Unsure Gareth… not something we get to see every day. But like everyone, Gareth has his moments of doubt. Moments when he wonders whether he’s good enough. Or maybe even just enough. Especially when Jack dresses up to go hunting.
Gareth is not without his moments of jealousy, either, while – for Jack – relationships are very black and white. You’re either in, or you’re not.
A version of this ficlet, along with some musings about Gareth’s need to look after people and Jack’s reaction to it, was first posted on the Dreamspinner Press Blog as part of the House Hunt Blog Tour.
Purple or Green? – A Jack and Gareth Ficlet
“Camouflage paint is so much easier to work with. At least I can see the point of it.” Gareth scrubbed the towel over his face. This was not going as he’d planned. He’d almost poked his eye out with the stupid pencil. Using the liquid stuff with the brush tip was no better. It smeared like nobody’s business and made him look like a grumpy panda.
How did Jack manage to draw such a sexy thin line? In less time than it took Gareth to unscrew the cap, too. He’d been trying it for the last half hour, and all he had to show for his efforts were a ruined towel and makeup smears all over his face.
It was lucky he had the house to himself for once, or he’d catch it big time from the boys. Daniel, with his recent interest in dressing to get noticed by the girls, might understand why Gareth was trying out Jack’s collection of eyeliners. Nico would pour nothing but scorn on the attempt.
The sad fact was, Gareth was jealous. It was juvenile and stupid and completely unwarranted. Gareth knew that, but he couldn’t change how he felt. Lisa had asked for Jack’s help shutting down an escort agency, so Jack was once more playing bait. And according to Baxter and Lisa, who were backing him up, Jack attracted a lot of attention in the clubs. From men and women alike.
Jack had come home in the early hours, hyped and buzzing, lipstick on his neck and his makeup a smudged mess. He’d looked gorgeous, dangerous… and so enticing that Gareth had been grateful that the boys were staying with Aidan overnight.
And yes, he and Jack had been late for work that morning.
Once the lust haze cleared, though, it left Gareth feeling unsettled. As if he wasn’t quite enough any longer. And that had, by strange, meandering pathways, led to Gareth scowling at the mirror, Jack’s makeup case open on the dresser. He had no idea what he was doing, the ruined towel could attest to that, but he’d dare anyone to call him a quitter.
Maybe it was time to apply a little logic.
Jack’s stash of colours and implements was huge. Gareth had thought that eyeliner was black, but it seemed he’d been wrong about that. Jack had eleven colours of eyeliner in his case in flavours of thick, thin, pencil, liquid, brush, gel – and… really. What the fuck?
In the end Gareth chose purple, because it looked appealing, and a deep green that he could see Jack wearing. Deep green and Jack went together like pie and mash, even if he couldn’t explain why.
He ditched the pencils as unusable and too dangerous and was trying to get the hang of the liquid liners with the brush and sponge tips when he found one that looked like a felt tip pen. One side was as thin as a fineliner, the other side broader, more like a whiteboard marker. He used both of those every day, so that should be easier, right?
Grimly determined, Gareth set to work once more.
He was putting the finishing touches on his right eye when Jack came home. The morning’s excellent mood hadn’t faded yet. Jack was whistling, calling out, bounding up the stairs… only to freeze in the doorway when he caught sight of Gareth. He lost his smile, too.
“What… are you doing?”
Gareth shrugged. “Trying to make myself a bit more presentable?” he offered, voice hesitant, not surprised when Jack got it right away.
“As if you have need.”
“I thought I might,” Gareth admitted, but then he turned his head this way and that. “So, which one? Purple or that deep green you used last night?”
Jack breathed out. His shoulders dropped. And then the smile returned.
“You’re hopeless, Flynn,” he pronounced as he joined Gareth by the mirror. “With your eye colour, what you want is teal. C’me here.” He riffled through the brushes and pens until he found the colour he sought. “I bought that on a whim a while ago,” he explained as he reached for a pack of wipes that Gareth hadn’t even noticed. “It’s not my colour and I had no idea why I’d ever want it, but…it’s perfect for you. Here, scrub your face.” He held out the wipes and watched while Gareth turned them purple and green, idly rolling the liner in his palms.
“There’s no reason for you to spruce yourself up with paint, unless you’ve got your eye on someone else,” he said. “I’m perfectly happy with the man you are. I don’t need embellishments. Besides…”
Jack looked uncomfortable all of a sudden. He waved at the case. “That’s camouflage,” he explained. “Armour. Walls made from bullshit and deception. I’ve no need for it unless I’m hiding.”
Gareth spun around on the stool and settled his hands on Jack’s hips. “So this was a bad idea?” he queried while his fingers teased along the edge of Jack’s waistband.
“Maybe… not entirely,” Jack decided after a moment and leaned into the touch. “I never thought you’d try liner, so while I have you here, I might as well satisfy my curiosity. Hold still.”
He straddled Gareth’s lap and unscrewed the cap on the teal liner. It took him just moments to line Gareth’s eyes and when he surveyed his work, Jack’s breath caught in a way that Gareth found oddly comforting.
“Fuck… that’s hot,” Jack breathed almost reverently. “We can do that again.” He leaned back a little for a better look. “But I tell you one thing for nothing, Flynn: you are not leaving the house looking like that!”
I really wish I had a picture to post alongside that little Jack and Gareth snippet. My idea of Gareth looks like Laurence Nicotra, and imagining him in eyeliner is seriously hot! And if there’s anything you’d like to know about Jack & Gareth, Aidan, Skylar or the boys… just let me know. The Muse is always on the lookout for inspiration! 🙂