While Mitch waited for the shower to heat up, he caught up on his missed messages. There was one from Calvin, which he’d deal with when he possessed the bandwidth, but the most recent one came from Jodie, sent a few hours ago.
Heeeey, I need the bedroom tonight
Please don’t ask questions rn
But I made up the pull-out for you! It should be cozy!
tysm love yooou~
He prayed that she’d at least wash the sheets before he was allowed back into the bedroom. Considering that Basil didn’t do commitment, at least there wasn’t any threat of Mitch losing his spot in the bed. If only the attic had adequate insulation to get through the winter, then none of this would even be a concern.
Since changing his outfit was no longer an option, Mitch took extra measures to clean up, which meant skimming from Jodie’s most expensive bathing products. Yet again he didn’t have time to shave, and he frowned at the stubble that made notable progress within the last 48 hours or so, grumbling, “I look sleazy.”
Once Mitch felt as though he was an acceptable level of Less Gross, he returned to Avi’s room, opening the door a crack and poking his head in. “Pssst,” he hoarsely whispered in the dark, and was met with incoherent grunting. “We gotta get going if you wanna see the sunrise, man.”
“I’m up, I’m up,” Avi insisted, his voice still thick from sleep as he remained unmoving in the bed.
“You sure sound it,” he teased. “Hurry now.”
Mitch shut the door then hustled down to the kitchen, making a beeline for the coffee pot. In the time that it took Avi to catch up, the coffee finished brewing and had been poured into travel mugs: Mitch’s left black and Avi’s with a splash of oatmilk and a drizzle of maple syrup. “It’s gonna be chilly, so bundle up,” Mitch advised while he motioned to the coat rack in the hall, but faltered when he spotted what Avi had in his hand. Squinting, he asked, “Is that one of the brownies?”
“Yeah. I need food, and it was right there. And they’re really good!” He shoveled the entire thing into his mouth.
“You’re gonna give me a complex.” Mitch rubbed his eyes, then pulled on a coat.
“That’s fine, if you keep making food for me.” Mitch didn’t respond to that comment, since he didn’t want to start off the day by flying too close to the sun. Instead, he held onto both travel mugs while Avi zipped up his fleece jacket, then reminded him to grab a hat and gloves as well. “Alright, Mom,” Avi rolled his eyes.
“What we’re about to do isn’t smart, it’s very cold.” Mitch wandered towards the front door and observed the ice which covered the sidelite windows. He glanced back over at Avi, who was now bundled up in his running gear and defensively explaining the temperature ratings, how it could stand up to the elements just fine, and so on. Mitch didn’t have the heart to tell him that most of that stuff was marketing buzzwords and no real match for the full force of New England’s misery; instead, he handed over the mug while politely nodding and smiling.
Before they stepped outside, Mitch made a final pitstop to the livingroom. As promised, the pull-out had been lovingly made up with a plush comforter and a small tower of pillows. He poached the blanket, folding it up and tucking it under his arm, then followed Avi to his car while they shared relief over the temporary absence of Jodie’s creepy artwork.
The cold was the biting sort that went right to the bone, though not as offensive as it was the previous day. Hopefully it’d be warmer once the sun came up. And though Mitch wanted nothing more than to spend the day together with Avi, he offered a last out.
“No way. We’re up, we’re going to the ocean, and it’s going to be amazing. It’s so clear out, you can even see the stars. Just think how that’ll look with the sunrise.” Following the path of Avi’s extended arm, Mitch looked up at the deep indigo sky and the twinkling white lights strewn across it. He couldn’t argue, and as long as Avi was fine with the arctic chill, Mitch could endure. He planned on doing this regardless, he just didn’t want to drag anyone else down with his batshit insane tendencies.
But Avi was also a little batshit insane, Mitch came to realize and accept, which sort of explained why he was so drawn to him.