SV FIC: wednesday100 challenge: Pets
Sucker for You
“So, this is my house.” Sam led Drew inside the two-storey farm home thirty miles east of Metropolis. It was the first time Drew had been to Sam’s place; they usually went to Drew’s apartment since it was closer to everything.
“It’s nice,” Drew said, tossing his coat on the arm of the couch in the living room.
“My grandma decorated it.” Sam hung up his coat and looked around, hoping not to see anything embarrassing lying out.
Drew peered into the fifty-gallon fish tank set up beside the bookshelf. “Did you know you have a dead oscar in here?”
“Yeah.” Sam bent to look in the tank. The astronotus ocellatus floated on the surface of the murky water, decomposing slowly. “He’s been dead for a while.”
“And he’s still in there?”
Sam shrugged, their shoulders brushing. “I didn’t know what to do with him. He’s too big to flush and he was a gift from my sister, so I wouldn’t be alone.”
“I doubt she wanted a fish corpse to keep you company.”
Sam’s cheeks heated. “Probably not.”
Drew straightened. “Do you have a net?”
Sam retrieved the fish net and gave it to Drew. “What are you doing?”
“We’re going to bury your fish.”
Outside, Sam dug a shallow hole with a garden shovel he’d taken from the garage. Drew dropped the fish inside and Sam covered him up with dirt. Sam dusted his hands off on his jeans and pretended he didn’t feel badly for his dead fish. “Now what?”
“It’s usually appropriate to say a few words.” In the fading twilight, Drew folded his hands, the green net dripping onto his skin. “Tonight, we pay our last respects to our dearly departed friend…” He leaned closer and staged whispered to Sam, “What was the fish’s name?”
“Oscar,” Sam said.
Drew continued solemnly. “Oscar, the Oscar Fish. He was a grouchy fish, who loved to talk trash and live in it—”
Sam smothered a laugh.
“—but he was still a friend,” Drew said. “Now, sadly, we must say goodbye to you, as you have gone to that giant fish-tank in the sky. Swim in peace, Oscar.”
“Swim in peace,” Sam echoed.
They were both silent a moment. Sam glanced at Drew, whose lips were pressed tight and shoulders shaking. Sam broke out in a grin. “Swim in peace?”
Drew threw his head back and laughed.
Sam jumped when the doorbell rang, sloshing water onto the floor. He was cleaning the empty fish tank and wasn’t expecting anyone, especially at this late hour. Opening the front door, he was surprised, and pleased, to see Drew standing on his porch with his hands behind his back. “Hey! What are you doing here?”
“Can’t a man come and visit his lover whenever he wants?” Drew flashed his dimples, leaned in, and pressed a kiss to Sam’s lips.
“Of course,” Sam murmured, returning the kiss. He stepped back, allowing Drew inside. “I just wasn’t expecting to see you tonight.”
“I happened to be in the neighborhood,” Drew said. It was a lie; Sam didn’t live anywhere close to anything. He usually flew into work. “I also have something for you.”
“You do?” Sam said.
Drew moved his hands from behind his back. Gripped in one fist was a clear, water-filled bag with two hypostmus plecostomi floating at the bottom. “Meet Burt and Ernie.”
A grin spread across Sam’s face and his cheeks warmed in pleasure. “Sucker fish? Are you trying to tell me something?”
“I suppose I am,” Drew drawled, his dimples deepening. “I’m a complete sucker for you.”