Garin could feel it building from the moment he woke up.
Simon had asked him once what it felt like. Garin's usual eloquence had dried at the source, and he'd stuttered out a disjointed, lame handful of words, finishing up with, "Like your blood is fizzing. Like something's coming, and you can't stop it, and you don't want to stop it, but you don't want it to happen either, because when you do..."
"Yes?" Simon prompted, his eyebrows knitted in a frown as he tried to make sense of what Garin couldn't make clear.
"All hell breaks loose."
"Sounds like sex," Simon commented lightly, his hand moving in a soothing pattern over Garin's back. "Speaking of which--"
"I can't. It's not safe when I'm like this. You could get hurt."
Simon's gaze dropped to the white slash of a scar across his forearm. "Yeah. Been there, done that."
"I'm sorry," Garin whispered wretchedly.
"Hey!" Simon pulled him close. "Not your fault. Never your fault. And you're worth it, okay? So no sex, but we can still--" His hand came up to cup Garin's face, bringing their lips together in a kiss.
He'd had to shake his head and leave the bed, because Simon couldn't be that close and Garin not want him.
No matter what the consequences.
He wasn't used to being considerate; it didn't come at all naturally, but for Simon he'd try.
And now it was Monday morning, his electric toothbrush had spat out a warning shower of sparks just before he put it in his mouth, and he wasn't going near the coffee maker, no way.
Garin stared out at a rainy, windy, autumn day and reached for an umbrella. He wasn't going to risk driving, either.
By the time he arrived at the coffee shop, A Spoonful of Sugar was already lit up, a warm spill of light inviting the caffeine and sugar-deprived to come inside and kick-start their day. Groaning, because this was the third time this month that Sarah had had to open up, and she was going to make his life hell, Garin pushed open the door, and nodded to their first customer of the day, who returned the nod. Mitchell spoke to no one until he'd finished his first cup of strong, black sludge; the nod was more than Garin usually got.
"You're late." Sarah's full, smiling mouth went thin and tight. "And you're dripping all over the place!"
"Yes, I know. I'm sorry. I--the car wouldn't start and I had to walk in."
"You walked? From Eglinton?" Sarah gazed at him with as much shock as if he'd told her that he'd done it naked. For a woman who spent hours with her feet slamming down against the unforgiving surface of a treadmill, she viewed the kind of walking that took someone from point A to point B with deep incredulity.
"It's not that far."