brytewolf: (Chris BW contemplative)
brytewolf ([personal profile] brytewolf) wrote2010-12-01 05:04 pm

The Coffe Cup

Title: The Coffee Cup
Author: Brytewolf
Rating: PG
Words: ~1,400
Series: Star Trek: 2009
Pairing: Chris/Karl
Disclaimer: This is in no way indicative of how the boys actually see each other. It is purely a work of fiction, simply for enjoyment purposes.
Summary: Just when Karl decides to give up on his attraction to Chris, something happens that gives him hope... and maybe more. This is actually two separate comment!fic originally posted in the Daily Captain, Daily Doctor posts of mega inspiration in [ profile] jim_and_bones.

The Coffee Cup

Karl never imagined he’d be jealous of a coffee cup.

But when the man in charge of props walked up, and handed the slim white mug to Chris – and the American actor’s long-fingered hands wrapped around it possessively, holding it close – he felt that familiar emotion unwrapping itself in his belly.

Stupid, he knows. And he kicks himself as he turns away, trying to ignore the sight of Chris in that clean white suit. Only someone stunningly beautiful could pull off that look, so of course Chris appears as if he was born to wear it.

Karl knows he doesn’t look half as good in his own.

He tries to distract himself, walking over to where John and Zach are chatting amicably amongst themselves, shooting Zoe a smile along the way. He’s comfortable with these people – has to be, after so many months shooting with them, and then the long string of publicity gatherings. He knows them all, views them all as extensions of his family –

But there’s one he wants to know better than that, not that he would ever feel the same. Karl has been witness to the long string of females, some nameless and some staying for a little while. And knows that, even in the safe environments when it’s just the group of them, trustworthy – there has never been a soft admission, not like Zach.

He still doesn’t know when this thing happened. Was it seeing him smile for the first time? The kindness shown in little ways, to each and every one of them? Perhaps his strength, how the man kept them all going even though they were exhausted and wanted to give up and go home. Or the laugh, when his eyes lit up like a little boy and he sounded so free…

He doesn’t know how it happened, but he knows his heart has most certainly decided. Not that it does him any good – he can’t have what he wants, anyway.

Inserting a comment that sounds lame, even to his own ears, he tries to shake the image of Chris’ hands out of his mind, tries to shake this melancholy that has taken hold.

He knows he’s failed when a soft elbow connects with his side, and he glances up into Zach’s knowing eyes.

“He looks good in that suit,” Zach murmurs quietly, for Karl’s ears only. John is off playing with Zoe, the two of them talking animatedly with each other. Karl doesn’t even remember him stepping away.

Karl shrugs his shoulders, trying to pretend indifference.

But he should have known he couldn’t fool Zach. “You haven’t seen him in a while, have you?”

Unable to resist, Karl glances back over to the white wall, where Chris is standing getting his picture taken. That cup is now at his lips, and he’s pretending to take a sip. Karl tries to ignore a new pang of jealousy, wondering what those full lips would feel like against his skin.

“He’s not mine to hold on to. The only time I get to see him is….” And he lets his words trail off, hating himself for admitting it out loud. It would only make it worse.

Nimble fingers wrap around his forearm, giving a squeeze.

“I know what that’s like,” Zach replies, and he glances over at Chris, too. “To want what you can’t have. I’m sorry.”

Karl shrugs off the hand, as he shrugs off the feelings of melancholy hanging over him. He doesn’t miss the flash of hurt in Zach’s eyes, and he gives a semblance of a smile in apology.

“Nah, don’t be. I’m sick of feeling sorry for myself.”

With that, he turns to walk out the door, Zach following behind. He needs a smoke to clear his head, and the clinging feelings swirling around in his heart.

Feeling slightly better, Karl decides to wander. The photoshoot went flawlessly, and they’ve been released back to their hotel rooms. Thankfully, they arrived without fanfare and the hotel isn’t swarming with paparazzi – hopefully, it’ll stay that way.

And, for now, it seems as if he should be safe if he wanders around the building and its immediate surroundings.

Karl doesn’t get very far. Downstairs, into the lobby – where he glances into the attached restaurant, and freezes. His heart in his throat.

Camouflaged from curious gazes, but shining like a beacon to Karl’s trained eyes, is the source of his torment. Chris is in that comfortable green T-shirt that Karl thinks looks best on him, at a little table by the window.

His elbows are resting on the pristine white tablecloth, one hand casually wrapped around a cup – the other curled around his neck as he stares, unseeing, out the window.

Karl stands in place, a roil of indecisive emotions flowing through him. On the one hand, Chris looks like he doesn’t want to be disturbed – on the other, he looks as depressed as Karl feels.

And no matter what his conflicting emotions are, Karl can’t leave him alone – not like this.

Taking the seat across from the object of his affections, he settles at the table. Chris glances at him, murmuring a soft hello before returning his gaze to beyond the window.

That’s when Karl realizes he recognizes that coffee cup.

“How?” he asks, jerking his chin towards the offending piece of ceramic. It may be an inanimate object, but he can’t let go of his feelings of jealousy towards it. Especially not when he sees the comfortable way those long fingers are wrapped around its base.

Chris glances down at the cup, and the ghost of a smile plays across his lips. “I made the mistake of telling them I liked it. They wouldn’t let me leave without it.”

Even the ghost of a smile is enough to make Karl’s chest constrict painfully. He tells himself he’ll just have to get used to it. Unless he just lets go of his feelings, which he hasn’t been able to convince himself to do yet.

But he smiles through the pain, knowing how much Chris would have protested the gift. Knowing far too much about the silent man in front of him. Even if he didn’t, it’s obvious that Chris is upset about something – and it breaks Karl’s heart to see him like this.

And so he talks. At first, it’s just random thoughts that pop into his head, a low murmur directed at his silent seatmate. But he knows it’s working when Chris chuckles softly at one of the idiotic stories he tells.

After that, Chris starts being an active participant in the conversation. Slowly, slowly, the look of sorrow and distraction leaves his face – until his eyes light up, and he’s gesturing animatedly with his hands.

Satisfied that he’s accomplished his goal, Karl gets up to leave. He has to separate himself, before he sinks even further, before he gets even more addicted to Chris’ smile.

He sees the questioning look in Chris’ eyes, and has to answer. “I wanted to go for a walk around the block, while there’s still daylight left.”

An easy enough excuse, that neatly skirts the truth. He can’t say, won’t ever say the truth.

He’s taken by surprise when Chris stands as well, a tentative hopeful look in his eyes.

“Hey, can I come with?” Then Chris is glancing away, as he says, “It’s been a while since the last get together, and I didn’t get to hang with you at the shoot earlier.”

Karl’s heart is beating in his ears as a warm flush of heat travels down to his belly. But no, it’s not anything more than friendship, no matter how something inside him whispers that Chris isn’t seeking out the company of anyone else in their group. And he can’t stop the rekindling of hope that takes up residence in his chest.

He nods, and Chris picks up his jacket and moves to his side. Karl notices the coffee cup, standing alone and unremembered on the table – he doesn’t mention it.

When they’re walking out of the building, Chris’ shoulder accidentally brushes against Karl’s – and neither of them move away.

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