Psiksi was late getting home again. He’d been keeping quiet about his new job lately. He wasn’t even really willing to tell his partner about any of this. That was why he had left really early and returned really late.
Unfortunately, this hadn’t worked out.
“Where have you been?”
Kass stood in the doorway, tapping his foot, clicking his tongue in frustration.
“Work…” Psiksi lowered his head. He instantly knew he’d fucked up. “I’m sorry I didn’t tell you, Kass… But I’m so scared I’m going to lose this job and I’ve been really enjoying it so far…”
With a grunt, Kass moved to one side and let Psiksi pass, then closed and locked the door behind him. Their little house was dimly lit. The power was on, Psiksi knew because the light on the microwave in the corner was on, but the only other light sources in the house were small, battery-powered twinkle lights.
“I’m sorry…” Psiksi repeated himself.
“It’s fine…” Kass was dismissive. He sat down on the sofa. On the table were two meals, both of which were cold. Kass had obviously cooked something, expecting Psiksi to get home at a normal hour. Psiksi glanced at the clock on his wristband and realised he was half an hour late, later than he’d gotten home the night before.
“It’s not fine though! I pissed you off. I’m sorry…”
Kass said nothing. He got up, wandered to the fridge and opened it, blinding them both with the inside light. After much blinking, Kass grabbed an alcopop drink and a small pot of ice cream, then sat back down on the sofa.
Psiksi gave up trying to apologise and sat down on the sofa next to Kass.
“I thought you’d be angry at me for taking the House Fighter job. And I felt guilty, you looking after me and paying for me. That was why I didn’t want to tell you. I wanted to pay you back and you to not be angry.”
Kass sighed loudly between gulps of his drink.
Psiksi sighed too. He felt awful.
The two Rethans sat in silence. Kass continued to switch between his drink and his ice cream. Psiksi stared into space, occasionally glancing at Kass, or at the time. The meal Kass had cooked was some sort of meat stew, and the liquid had congealed into a weird, off-yellow goo. He’d probably forgotten to skim out some of the fat.
Finally, Psiksi decided to break the silence.
“Kass, I’m really sorry… I thought I was protecting you but it turns out I was just being dumb. I thought you’d be angry… I don’t want you to be angry…”
“Why the fuck would I be angry with you? I’m glad you found a job you like!” Kass nearly dropped his ice cream. He hadn’t expected Psiksi to suddenly talk. “Alright, fine, I won’t be happy if I have to fight you in an arena, but I’m more miffed that you felt you couldn’t tell me! I trust you, Psiksi! I care for you! But I felt you didn’t trust me! To the point that you sneak out in the morning and sneak in at night!”
“Of course I trust you!” Psiksi cried. “I trust you, I just don’t want to hurt you!”
“I don’t want to hurt you either…” Kass whispered. He edged over to Psiksi and put his arms around him. “Promise me you’ll just tell me next time?”
“I promise…” Psiksi smiled weakly as he hugged Kass back. “I really am sorry…”
“I’m sorry too…” Kass smiled back, holding Psiksi even tighter before letting go. “Maybe we should… get an early night?”
“That’s a good idea…” Psiksi smiled properly this time as he took Kass by the hand and led him upstairs. “We could do with some rest…”