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Forms of Affection
August 1 | Tag: Jaya and Safi
DC-DCTVU-1

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#1
Christian didn’t visit the Green Goddess constantly. He knew that Belle wouldn’t especially approve of something like that, and it wasn’t somewhere he wanted to take Safi. Safi and Stark was enough… He really didn’t want the sanctity of his hideaway broken by Safi coming here to find partners, too.

But on nights when he was sure, or sure enough, that Safi was...spending time with Stark… Christian snuck out of the mansion and headed down to the Goddess to visit with Jaya. Because no, he didn’t particularly love the idea of sharing the big, empty house with Tony Stark in the first place, but knowing what the two of them were doing together? Christian really, really didn’t want to be there. Just like before, when Safi would bring someone home with him, Chris would leave for Tiny’s bar to drink. Except that now he wasn’t really drinking…

Physical affection was the best sort of affection, and sex was perhaps its ultimate form. Physical affection was something of an addiction for the small man; he had grown up with none of it, and now… Now he wasn’t one to turn away from it, no matter the source.

Tonight, like he had done in the past, Christian moved stealthily out of the mansion and made his way to the Green Goddess. He knew the best, safest way to the place, and walked in without any hesitation, greeting the bouncers and staff with friendly smiles before he sought out Jaya.
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Star Trek-AOS

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#2
Over the past several weeks, Christian had become a regular, and most welcome patron at the Green Goddess, and had also become a regular, and most welcome fixture in Jaya's bed. A fixture in her bed, but not a client. Somehow, without really meaning to, Jaya had drifted into having what she considered a casual sexual relationship with Christian.

She'd started heading in that direction when she'd coupled with him the first time without payment, but then, the next time he'd come back, he'd brought her a little present. Nothing really valuable, but carefully made, and a token of friendship and affection. The third time he'd come back-again with a little gift, this time it was some food he'd made-, she'd taken him back to her room in the family quarters. Jaya knew that treating a Terran like this was eccentric, but Christian was so normal, so kind and sweet and nurturing, that it was impossible to think of him as being truly alien. So she'd given up trying, and by now she and the other Orions had started treating him more or less as though he were a small, hairy, oddly pigmented Orion.

Not that this meant she was even slightly considering him as a possible candidate for a serious relationship. For one thing, he was too poor to pay even a fraction of what she was worth, and for another he was clearly in love with his Safi. Not to mention the reproductive issues, or the fact that although she found his embrace comforting, he was too delicate for her taste in the long term. There were other reasons, as well, like his sister's mild disapproval of casual coupling for a start. No, this would be strictly casual, and very much not exclusive, but that didn't mean that it wasn't a relationship.

Which meant that tonight, when he walked up to her, where she was sitting at the bar, keeping half an eye on the place and drinking a glass of juice before she started her set, she slid down off of the stool, and wrapped herself around him in a welcoming embrace. "Its good to see you, Christian." she said, smiling at him.
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DC-TV-1

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#3
It wasn't like Chris to be sneaky.

The Goddess was...well hell it wasn't the first whore house he'd frequented, he HAD been a soldier after all! But besides finally being introduced to Belle he'd scooped the place and besides it having the issues of every cat house it was pretty safe, and Belle was there so there was no way to keep Chris away. And after the first week or so he'd stopped following him everywhere.

All he asked for was a check in so he knew where chris was suppose to be, yes he was a damn adult but this was also a literal world of gods and demons, safety was the damn watch word.

So when he was sneaky...that was not normal and brought out his suspicious instincts, worried that someone was manipulating the bouncy man.

When he tailed him to the Goddess….Safi was confused, finding a shadowed corner to...watch.
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DC-DCTVU-1

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#4
It wasn’t like Chris to be sneaky around Safi, no.

Safi had earned himself a rare place in Christian’s life where there was very, very little that the smaller man kept from him. But this? He didn’t want Safi to worry, he didn’t want to distract him from what Safi wanted to do, and he didn’t want Safi to stop him from going. So he snuck out of the mansion.

Sue him.

Safi could call him if he found Chris wasn’t around the mansion, but Christian wasn’t about to go knock on his door when Stark was in there and interrupt them, because… No. Damn it, Chris wasn’t that damn selfish, and he wasn’t needy, either. He was a grown man, just like Safi was, and he wasn’t asking permission to leave when he wasn’t comfortable staying somewhere. And when Safi and Stark closed themselves into a bedroom, well, Christian didn’t want to be anywhere near the mansion. So… The Green Goddess.

Jaya had become a friend, a real one, over the past few weeks. Christian was fully aware of what the Green Goddess was, and he enjoyed going there, partially because the atmosphere was so relaxed and welcoming, and partially because he had found that he liked the Romulan Ale, and partially because it was where Belle was at. And because it was Jaya’s place, and Jaya was a good friend.

The sex was pretty nice, too. Because that… That was new, but it was nice. (Chris wouldn’t say it was better than one of Safi’s hugs, because those were incredible, but… Safi… And thus… Well, that was its own thing.) Jaya’s embrace was returned warmly, of course. Christian was always nice to people, but those who had earned themselves a place in Christian’s heart were treated...subtly differently. His smile had something else in it, his eyes crinkled with it, and there was an ease in his posture. All of these were present with Belle, and Safi, and now with Jaya. He knew what she did for a living, and he knew what she was, but she was also Jaya, who was Christian’s good friend. A relationship, yes, they had that, but Christian had no illusions of something more than it was. “It’s good to see you, too, Jaya. How are you tonight?”
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Star Trek-AOS

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#5
Jaya knew that Chris came to the Green Goddess at times when he was trying to avoid being in the Avenger's Mansion when Safi and Tony Stark (not the one who was a regular of Jaya's, otherwise she'd have long ago had a talk with him) were having relations. She'd hoped that having sex with her would give Chris the confidence and courage to approach Safi, but that apparently wasn't the case. It was disappointing, but if Chris was going to continue to be stubborn and foolish, and if Safi was going to continue to reject Chris's attempts at courting him, which were obviously too subtle for Safi to notice, then there wasn't much that Jaya could do. Other than to continue to attempt to bolster his self-confidence and welcome Chris when he showed up, looking for a place where he felt safe and liked and could enjoy himself.

Because Chris was a friend, and a good one, and he was the younger brother of one of her employees, which meant that it was part of her duties as the senior woman (even though she was absurdly young for the job) to make sure that all of her people were healthy and happy. Doing so was a duty, but it was a pleasant one. Chris was sweet and he just needed a place to feel secure and cared for.

Not to mention the fact that it was nice to have sex with someone with whom she could just relax and enjoy herself, without the considerations and complications that went into coupling. And Chris liked to cuddle, before and afterwards, although he'd never stayed the night, and that was lovely, because Jaya adored cuddling.

So the hug, and the smile that Christian got from her was warm, and relaxed and very much genuine. "I'm doing well." she replied, keeping an arm around her as she lead him back to the bar, where a glass of Romulan ale was sitting next to her juice. copy-Ruvet liked Chris, and was inclined to spoil him a little. "The other girls have all been busy with their regulars tonight, so I've been on stage more than usual" which would explain why she was in her traditional Orion bikini top and hip wrap "which is a nice change of pace. But my night is almost over-things are starting to slow down a bit, and I've got two more sets, then I'm going to have supper and relax." she ran a fingertip along the curve of his ear and down his neck and asked, teasingly "Would you be interested in joining me?"
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DC-DCTVU-1

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#6
Christian had been able to separate the Tony who liked to come to the Green Goddess from the Tony who lived at the mansion fairly easily. The Tony he had met here was nice, mostly, and Chris had liked him fairly well. And he definitely did not like the Stark who lived in the mansion. Of course, if Chris were being honest with himself, and he did try to be, that had more to do with Stark’s relationship with Safi than any personality trait the man had. And the fact that he was apparently little like Christian knew from the comic books. The worst thing? Everyone (really no, everyone), said that he should tell Safi how he felt. And maybe he should, but then Safi would know, and when he preferred Stark to Chris, well… That was a bit much to deal with. A lot much, really…

So instead he tried to show Safi how he felt in other ways, and Safi… Well, he either didn’t realize what Chris was saying with his small actions, or he purposely ignored them in order to avoid telling Christian that he didn’t feel the same way. Besides, Chris was well aware that they wanted different things from each other. Safi wanted to be friends, and Christian wanted something...more.

At least on nights like tonight, he had this place he could come to, drink either Romulan ale or iced tea (it depended on his mood and if he beat Ruvet to ordering, otherwise it was always the ale, which earned a smile from Chris. Ruvet was nice, and he was an amazing bartender. He greeted Jaya with the sort of warmth and friendliness that he would have greeted someone he was close to, someone he genuinely cared for (because he did) like Safi. He did like to cuddle, and he only didn’t stay because, well, he was expected at the mansion in the morning, to be coming out of his room, and secondly, because he wasn’t sure how it would work to stay, so he just… Didn’t. But he did love to cuddle, and Jaya was very nice to cuddle with.

Chris looked up and glanced around when she mentioned the other girls, and no, they really did seem to all be busy. Huh. Christian’s touches were clearly affectionate, but they weren’t possessive or demanding. She spoke of eating and relaxing, and Christian gave her a quiet smile before his eyes grew lidded and he leaned into her touch even as he blushed, his fingers putting the lightest bit of pressure against her, nothing that would ever, ever hurt, but enough to feel; she was good at getting that reaction, and he had ceased to mind the telltale sign of enjoyment when she hadn’t said anything of it. “I would like that. Did you have something in mind for supper? Or I could make something…” Food was a comfortable way of showing that he cared for someone; it was one of the ways he tried to show Safi, you cooked for someone when you cared for them, and he cooked for Safi pretty much every day. He made Jaya food every now and again, though, little ways of telling her that he cared about her.
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Star Trek-AOS

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#7
Jaya had noticed how starved for touch Chris was, and so she made a point of lavishing physical contact on him. Like Christian, her touches weren't possessive, but they were affectionate, and offered because both of them were very physical beings, who thrived on touch. She'd noticed that he often flushed with pleasure when she touched him, and although she hadn't encountered that physiological change with previous Terrans she'd encountered, she was willing to accept anything that seemed to be 'normal' for Chris as being, well, normal. Certainly he didn't seem at all distressed by her touches, so logically his flushing was a sign of pleasure and enjoyment.

"Kaalth made some mareep-" which was an Orion dish that Christian had eaten earlier, and said that it tasted like a slightly sweet version of chicken and dumplings "earlier in the day, and it re-heats well. He wanted to make sure that everyone got a good meal." she smiled fondly, Kaalth was starting to be more proactive about his role, which was a good sign, since even Nala, as traditional as she was, would want a man who could be a partner in the running of the place. "I'm fine with the mareep, but if you don't feel like eating it, there are plenty of things to cook. Otherwise you can just relax and wait for me." not wanting to tell him no, since refusing to let a man take care of you in small ways was just cruel, but at the same time, she knew that Christian worked hard, and deserved a break.
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DC-DCTVU-1

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#8
There was pretty much no form or source of physical affection that Christian pulled away from. The girls, other men… Christian wasn’t really picky about gender or race, though there were certain lines he did have; he didn’t initiate it most of the time, but when he did, it was usually in the form of a hug. There was a certain amount of familiarity he required before he’d even consider hugging someone, and if the touch were too intimate from someone who was too unfamiliar, he’d blush and look away.

But if he knew you, the way he knew Jaya or Ruvet or so many others here? He was endlessly happy to hug and touch always wearing a smile, even when he did blush.

Here, at Jaya’s place, Christian was relaxed, and happy, and comfortable. The place had a certain affect on him, one he rather liked, which was one reason he spent time here; it felt nice to be here. And the Orions didn’t judge him or treat him like he was weird. He offered to cook for Jaya, and she stated that Kaalth had cooked for everyone, which apparently included Chris, so he nodded. He didn’t mind not cooking, but he was glad he’d made the offer anyway; it was nice to be able to do things, even small things, for Jaya. “If he already cooked, then I wouldn’t want it to go to waste. I'll be right here when you're done, Jaya.” Christian’s smile was open and easy, he didn’t mind, of course he didn’t.

Chris would fine sitting at the bar, chatting with Ruvet when he wasn’t busy, and talking to anyone else who wanted some company, until Jaya was free. Nights like this, it wasn’t like anyone was going to be looking for him anytime soon. He would sit, talk, watch, and work on one of his current tiny projects, shaping some wire around some mechanisms idly while he waited.
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Star Trek-AOS

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#9
Jaya and the other Orions-both real and constructs-, didn't treat Christian like he was odd for the very simple reason that, from their point of view, he wasn't odd. Oh, to be sure he lacked the confident braggadaccio that most of the men in the Orion Syndicate learned to affect in public, but his behavior was very much the way that they acted when their weren't aliens around to impress. So Chris got lots of hugs and other forms of affection, and everyone was glad to have him around.

Chris accepted the offer of food-which was good, since Kaalth would be a little bit bugged if Chris didn't want to eat his cooking and because she could tell that he needed a break. "Excellent." Jaya said with a smile "I'll see you on my break between sets, and then...." she let her voice trail off suggestively, and then she moved in, and pulled Chris into a kiss. This was no chaste farewell peck, either. Jaya kissed him deep and long and hungrily, her kiss promising all of the things she was going to do with him when she was done with work, suggestions that, based on the eagerness with which he returned the kiss, Chris was very much in favor of. When the kiss ended, sooner than she would have liked, Jaya whispered "I'll see more of you later, sweetness." against Christian's mouth, and then, after another kiss, this one was a brief brush of lips, she disentangled herself and headed for the stage.
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DC-TV-1

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#10
A woman hanging all over Chris wasn't an unexpected sight; while the other man might not believe it Safi had seen he had friends even among the Lex Crop PA Pool who liked to drape over the small man.

So that wasn't completely unexpected to witness.

When the hostess took her leave Safi slid into the vacated seat; “I thought Belle left today?” He commented, smiling at the smaller man.
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DC-DCTVU-1

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#11
Chris was happy to receive hugs and affection from the Orions. It was, perhaps the first time in his life where he seemed to naturally fit in somewhere, to have found a place where people didn’t think him odd, and he loved it. They accepted him, and while he looked nothing like them, they understood him.

He knew his limits, and when he had begun to reach them. That was one of his strengths, and while Christian was not at his breaking point yet, he was feeling stretched just a bit too thin, like not enough jam over a piece of bread, and that had nothing to do with magic, and everything to do with leading not one, but two double lives. He had his life and work in Central, and he had his life here in Hub. He had his time with Safi, and he had the time he spent here or with others. And it was difficult to keep it all separate, but Chris managed. Tonight, he just wanted to relax, and not think about Tony Stark and Safi, and instead just focus on Jaya. He could do that, and it didn’t make him bad, right? Right.

That there were a few in the PA pool in Lexcorp that liked to get touchy wasn’t news to Christian. He was small, and he was probably the most unthreatening man around, and most of the girls threw him into the ‘gay’ category, and so he was safe to touch and flirt with. Not that he didn’t flirt back, because sure, he did, it was fun, but he respected that they thought he was safe, and he didn’t press the issue. But that didn’t mean they wanted to do more than cuddle or flirt. (Not that he was going to complain about being cuddled, because he absolutely loved it!)

Of course, they didn’t kiss him the way Jaya did, promising so much more than just cuddling. Not that there wouldn’t be cuddling, because there definitely would be that, too, but there wouldn’t just be cuddling, and Chris had a damn good idea of what Jaya had in mind in how she kissed him. And Christian was plenty eager for it.

Jaya was amazing when it came to physical affection.

When she left, his attention went immediately to the little piece he was working on, winding copper wire around and through gears and sprockets, in some places holding the pieces in place, and in others being what they were interacting with; it all depended on the place. It was a complex but tiny piece, and Christian worked with the slow steadiness of someone who knew exactly what he needed done.

And he just about lept out of his seat when Safi spoke.

”I thought Belle left today?”

Anyone would have flinched, right? Yeah… Let’s call that a flinch. It was definitely nothing like nearly leaping out of your skin. Nothing at all like that. “S-Safi! I… Uh.. Yes...she left today.” Belle had been gone for… Hours now. He wasn’t here to see Belle though, and it didn’t occur to him that Safi might think that was why he was here. Because he had been honest with the larger man, telling him when Belle was meant to leave for her grand adventure (that Christian hated that she was going on, that he was horribly worried about her being hurt while on, that she better, better come back from. He really needed her to come back from her adventure…)

There was something important he was curious about, though… He blinked at Safi, “Why… Why are you here?” Christian didn’t often stammer, but when he did, he really did, apparently. And he hadn’t stammered at Safi in months now. Definitely not since they’d arrived in Hub! Damn it, this was… He did not feel guilty! This was not guilt! Maybe it was a little, tiny bit of guilt… But he shouldn’t, he shouldn’t feel guilty. So then why did he feel guilty?
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#12
Jumping out of his skin? Safi’s eyes narrowed thoughtfully; what exactly was he feeling guilty about? First sneaking and now acting hella guilty.

There was something going on.

“I followed you.” He answered, leaning back in the plush booth, “You don't normally sneak, I wanted to make sure you were ok.” Safi’s eyes flicked to followed Jaya’s progress. “Didn't know you were that close.” He commented lacing his fingers over his stomach.
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#13
Well, yes of course Christian was going to all but leap out of his skin. He had, as Safi had seen, snuck out of the mansion to come here undetected, in order to not disturb the very man who had just startled the hell out of him. And of course he felt guilty, because he hadn’t succeeded and Safi had left his night with Stark to follow Chris to a place where he was perfectly safe out of his strange desire to protect him from everything.

Yeah. That was the delusion he was feeding himself, anyway.

”I followed you.”

Chris was just… Really? He’d been careful! “I sneak when I don’t want to bother you!” Christian’s eyes flicked over the crowd, but he didn’t see Stark, which had him relaxing just a little bit when Safi looked to Jaya and commented on their...relationship.

He really, really hated how often he blushed. Right now, he hated it because that’s what he was doing, from head to toe, because… Yeeeeeeah. “We’re… Um… Friends.” His face? That was on fire. But what was worse was the fact that it wasn’t just his face. He tried to just focus on Jaya, because that helped sometimes, when he was blushing and stammering, focus on someone else, and Jaya was always doing something amazing, like her dancing, and…

Nope, that wasn’t going to help in this situation. Not at all, because he just felt… Was it possible to feel worse than this? Yes, he decided, yes it was. “I’m fine, really.” His eyes dropped to the floor, because yeah, that was almost a lie, because right now, he was far away from okay. “I’m… I’m sorry for making you worry, Safi.”
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#14
He always snuck out?

Safi's frown deepened, how many times? How many times had he need distracted and Chris had decided to go wandering??

“Why exactly do you think you'd be bothering me?!” He shot back, more than a hint of exasperation coloring his voice.

...friends

Safi froze, eyes glancing between the two. “Friends.” He repeated, “friends?” His eyebrows rose to meet his hair line. “I thought you did not do friends.”
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#15
Well, yes, Safi, Christian snuck out from time to time. He did that every single time you brought someone home from a bar or club, and how many times had Tiny (known to everyone but Chris as Edward), carried Christian home from his bar on those nights?

Pretty much all of them.

Why would he be… “You’re kidding, right?” Please say you were just kidding, because really, if Chris had to say it out loud he would die. His blush would steal all of the blood in his body and he would just die. Because no, Christian did not want to admit to Safi that he knew about him and Stark, both because that wouldn’t be comfortable for anyone, and because Christian wasn’t sure how well he’d be able to keep the fact that he hated Stark for it out of his tone, and that wasn’t right, he shouldn’t hate the man so much over something like this. He shouldn’t… but he did.

Didn’t make it right.

Chris blinked at Safi’s tone, at the look on his face. Safi thought that Christian didn’t have friends? Hurt passed over his face before Christian carefully, silently blinked it away, looking down, trying not to feel. “I don’t have many, no, but I have a few, I thought…” And he had counted Safi amongst that small number. Safi had kept saying they were friends, and Chris had believed him, as much as he wanted something else, he had taken friendship and done his best to be content with that.
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#16
Safi rolled his eyes “No. friends.” He resisted the urge to snack the smaller man on the back of his head, the broken puppy look irrationally irritating him. “You. Me. Friends. You. She? friends.” Why was it when ever he started to have discussions about feelings and such with the smaller man he ended up talking like a charatuire?

“What am I kissing?” Safi blinked shaking his head “-kidding. What am I kidding?” He corrected himself.
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#17
"I don't know what you're kissing." Jaya said, coming up behind Safi, "But I can promise you that it isn't as pleasant as kissing Chris." proving her point by giving the small man a quick, but still sensual kiss on the mouth. She'd caught sight of bits of their interaction, and if Safi was jealous, well, she could play on that, as a way to get him to declare his interest. And then, gracefully 'lose', of course. Chris was a friend, and a sexual partner, but not someone she wanted to claim as her own.

Jaya was fresh from her set, and a very light sheen of sweat was on her body, which, of course, meant that pheromones were pouring off of her in a enticing, erotic cloud. Standing so that she was pressed against Chris's back and side she said "I don't think we've met. I'm Jaya. You must be Safi, Chris has spoken of you often." her tone indicating that whatever Chris had said, it had been complimentary. "Its good to see you here."
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#18
Right. Because there was a difference between how he and Safi were friends and how he and Jaya were friends. Chris bowed his head and shrugged, “I'm not supposed to have friends like her?” It was a question because Chris really didn't even know anymore. Everything he had known before had been thrown into a blender and mixed up when he had come here. He still has his Faith, and his core beliefs, but the rules he had lived by? He wasn't sure anymore.

Those rules had begun to break down when he had gotten to know Safi. When the larger man had labeled them friends, and when Christian had realized that he wanted something else.

Something a whole lot more.

”What am I kissing?”

Christian knew what Safi had meant by the question; he paid attention, especially where Safi was involved, and he knew the man…. and yet a huge part of him wanted to tell Safi the honest answer: Tony Stark.

Luckily, Jaya saved him from saying anything by responding to Safi. And then kissing Chris.

Chris liked kissing Jaya. So of course he kissed her back, happily, for a moment distracted from the situation with Safi. But just for the moment, because this was Safi, and Christian was always acutely away of the other man. “I'm glad you think so, Jaya… Um.. Yes, Jaya, this is Safi. Safi, this is Jaya…” he blinked and blushed and shook his head slightly, not clearing it, but forcing himself to focus and think (of not quite so well as usual), “I meant that.. I thought you were….busy….tonight.” Chris’ tone grew just a touch more brittle as he muttered, “With Mr. Stark.” Hell, Christian didn't even know when the man had... No, he did. He knew the moment that Tony Stark had become Mr. Stark in his mind. The moment he had decided to be nice, no matter the consequences to himself. Yep, in that moment the hero, the relatable superhero had become just Mr. Stark, one in Safi's long string of... Companions.
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#19
Why did every conversation turn into a argument? “You can. But you told me you didn’t.” He clarified.

He was not sure why he was here now, he'd checked, chris was ok….as now he was just getting in the way as a third wheel. There were things he knew but didn't acknowledge, even really to him self because if he had to acknowledge them than he would have to change how he acted around the smaller man, changing the nature of their friendship. Safi wasn't looking for a relationship, he was not even a year from his divorce. The one major relationship he'd been in since Highschool, he wasn't at all ready in any respect to jump into another one.

...there was also the issue of while his family was aware of his sexuality….he wasn't sure how accepting they would be of a long term boyfriend let alone a husband. And if he started something with Chris, he respected him too much to ask him to hide.

There were deeper reasons behind his motives than simple blindness.

….of course there was that too.

“Hello.” His face tried to pull into the flirty smile he'd have worn under any other circumstances, unfortunately it simply wasn't happening.

Busy tonight? Safi suppressed a flinch, yes he could connect the dots, he had seen the pattern he'd hardly credited back in Central. But to hear it confirmed…

“I was worried about you.” And he'd said goodnight to Tony after a quick visit.
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Star Trek-AOS

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Katie

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#20
Jaya saw the attempt at flirting, and how it died, and took that as a good sign. Oh, she had no doubt that he was aware of her physically, but now, at this moment, she wasn't a object of interest, she was a rival for the attention of a man Safi was interested in. Which could work out in Christian's favor.

"You didn't need to worry." Jaya put in "Christian is very safe here. No one here is going to injury him, physically or emotionally. Either on purpose, or by ignoring his obvious interest and seeking out someone else's bed." the last said with a very pointed look. "When Chris comes here, we make time for him, and his needs. Needs that you have been ignoring." Perhaps she was being a bit harsh with Safi, but he deserved it.
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