Factor Four

“Think about it,” Ice said one hot spring afternoon, fanning himself with a sheaf of notebook paper, “I’m a guy who wants to get some, you’re a guy who wants to get some, and we’ve got the whole room to ourselves for the afternoon. We’d be stupid NOT to give it a try.”

Ceasar, pressing a cold can of coke to his forehead, was not so easily convinced. “If it’s such a great idea,” he reasoned, “why haven’t we thought of it before? In fact, why doesn’t everyone just grab the nearest person at a moment’s notice and head into the nearest bathroom stall? No, there’s got to be something we’re missing.”

Ice waved his hand, fending off logistic flaws and hypotheticals and also sending a nice breeze Ceasar’s way. “That’s because other people have one thing or another about the whole situation that they’re not cool with. We don’t have any hang-ups so we’re free to do what we like.”

Ceasar scrunched up his nose. It was far too hot to try and work out why such a logical conclusion didn’t jive with his worldview, but Ceasar was sure going to try. “Maybe we do have hang-ups and we just don’t know what they are,” he argued. “We’d better make a list.”

Ice nodded, conceding the point. He grabbed a paper from his makeshift fan and fished under the bed for a pen. “Fly at ‘er,” he said, plunking both unceremoniously on the desk.

Ceasar set down his coke and straightened up, pen poised. “Number one,” he said, scrawling across the paper in his tight, messy print, “Attraction.”

“Got that covered,” Ice said quickly, “No problem at all.” Ceasar agreed, placing two tiny checkmarks at the end of the line.

“Two,” Ceasar said, “Willingness of both parties.” He had that one double-checked before Ice could even open his mouth. “And three, prior commitments.” He put down one checkmark and looked sidelong at Ice, expectantly.

“Hey,” Ice said, “If I already had someone I wouldn’t have to try and convince you to do it, would I?”

“Point taken,” Ceasar said, and added another check.

“I think that about covers it,” Ice said gleefully. “If everyone’s willing and has the hots for each other there’s no problem, right?”

“No,” Ceasar said, tapping the end of the pen against the desk, “I’m sure there’s something else. Man, I wish I watched more cheesy teen dramas. Help me out, here.”

“Hey, I don’t watch that stuff,” Ice said. “You’re just over-thinking it.”

“Something about… oh!” Ceasar’s eyes lit up and he scribbled across the paper.

Ice read over Ceasar’s shoulder. “Love?” he asked, bewildered.

“You know,” Ceasar said, “it’s just supposed to be physical but one of the people falls in love and the other person doesn’t and the entire relationship is ruined. It happens on TV all the time.” Ceasar beamed. He knew there was something off about the whole arrangement. “That’s what makes it complicated!”

Ice just stared. “But that won’t be an issue,” he said.

“Well why not?” Ceasar asked, tapping the pen against Ice’s desk again. “Why would a television drama lie?”

“No, it’s just that I’m in love with you already,” Ice said, “So there’s no problem, see?”

The tapping stopped.

“I mean, the worst that could happen is that you’d fall in love with me, right? And that’d be a good thing,” Ice elaborated, seeing the dumbfounded look on Ceasar’s face. “So if that’s all then there’s nothing to worry about.”

“Of course there’s something to worry about!” Ceasar exclaimed, sending the pen flying across the room. “You’re in love with me?”

“‘Course,” Ice said, “Why else would I be trying to get into your pants?”

“Why didn’t you say anything? Why didn’t you just ask me out instead of trying to get into my pants? That’s what normal people do!”

Ice shrugged. “This seemed easier.” He paused and looked at Ceasar. “Wait,” he said, “does this mean you like me, too?”

“Of course I do you jackass,” Ceasar said, and punched Ice in the mouth. Ice lay sprawled on his back, blinking up at the ceiling for a few moments, and then Ceasar pressed a lukewarm can of coke against his cheek. “Next time just say something, you dick,” he said.

Ice took the can and turned it, searching for a cold spot. “I like you,” he mumbled through rapidly swelling lips, “let’s go out sometime.”

“Okay,” Ceasar said, and smiled.

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