Ken stopped in the doorway, holding Tippy under his arm like a football. Jess was washing dishes at the sink. Ken could feel the contentment wash over his body. Jess always held his body so stiff, always anxious to show the world how tough he was. But in this unguarded moment, Jess's body was totally relaxed, and he was softly singing along with the radio.
"So complicated, look how big you make it
Filled with so much hatred, such a tired game
It's enough, I've done all I can think of
Chased down all my demons, see you do the same."
As Jess reached to gather another dish, he must have noticed Ken's shadow. He stopped singing and turned off the radio. Ken watched as Jess's walls slammed back into place; his shoulders rolling back, the tendons in his neck becoming more pronounced, his hand clenching into a fist. And Ken's heart melted at the blush that crept into Jess's face at being caught singing.
"Oh, that was fast. Did she pee?" Jess asked quickly to cover his embarrassment.
"Yeah, but she'll still wait until we are asleep and then piss on the carpet," Ken said. Then lifting Tippy to eye level continued, "One morning we'll have fried dog for breakfast if you keep peeing on my carpet." Ken turned his face away as the little dog tried to lick his face and quickly sat her down. As soon as her paws touched the floor, she ran to Jess.
"She can't help it; Dad didn't housebreak her and she's not a puppy. It'll be harder for her to learn," Jess defended as he knelt down to pet the dog they'd inherited from Jess's father.
"You didn't have to turn off the radio. I like Pink and I like that song.” Ken paused. He wasn't a sentimental man, but the song struck a chord in him. "That song kind of describes us, huh?" he said.
"I've not chased down all my demons," Jess snapped. "We've been together 2 years and you still have to use the paddle to help me chase away my demons!"
"Jess," Ken hardened his voice, soft platitudes would do nothing but piss his Jess off. "Your demons have been growing for a life time, 2 years is nothing."
"Well how pathetic is it, that you have to use a paddle on a grown man’s ass," Jess snarled. Tippy whined in sympathy. Sympathy that Ken refused to give Jess.
"You think it's a hardship on me?" he demanded of Jess. "Cause I've got to tell you, Jess, it's not. I hate that you are so hard on yourself, that you think so little of yourself, but having you over my lap? Squirming? That's not a hardship at all."
"You're ok with it? Even when it's not play?" Jess asked.
Ken stalked forward, and fell in love all over again as Jess held his ground. Jess tensed but didn't flinch when Ken moved into his personal space, and gripped his shoulders tightly.
"I'm not ok with you tearing yourself down, but I am ok with giving you what you need," Ken said softly and then paused. Finally, when he felt the tension about to snap inside Jess, he admitted, "And it's what I need too. It fits us." And with a smirk, Ken added, "It's perfect."