Tommy has a Thing about popcorn. Merton thinks that this is rather cute--unlike Tommy's former Thing about Stacey, and his persistent Thing for football and fried chicken, none of which Merton can quite wrap his admittedly brilliant mind around. Tommy has a Vision: a salty, buttery vision that he brings to life every time he and Merton sit down to one of their weekly Movie Marathon sessions.
Merton has long since decided that he really, really, very much likes popcorn. There is a big bowl set between them on the couch, almost brimming over with fluffy bits of popcorn. Tommy doesn't take his eyes from the flickering blue screen, and Merton doesn't take his eyes from the bowl as Tommy fingers through the popcorn, testing shape and weight of each kernel in turn.
Merton can't be subtle for all that he tries and Tommy is hard to ignore. Slumped against the cushions, knees wide open, lips and fingers shiny with butter and he'd look lewd if he weren't Tommy, and therefore nice, a true gentleman, a good enough friend to ignore the fact that Merton is probably ogling.
Merton squirms and crushes his own handful of popcorn as Tommy flips a kernel into the air, catches it against the tip of his tongue and rolls it back towards his waiting mouth. Tommy swallows, licks his lips, and Merton belatedly brushes the crumbs from his palm. Merton leaves smears against his pants when he rubs his hands against his thighs.
The movie is almost over and the bowl is almost empty. Merton is determined to regain his composure before the tape whirs into rewind. He fixes his eyes upon the screen (has he really been watching Tommy eat popcorn for over an hour? Yes, yes he has, and Merton doesn't want to know if it's possible to be any more pitiful) and reaches for the bowl.
His fingers slide against Tommy's, making Merton start in surprise. Merton casts a sidelong look at Tommy and finds Tommy smiling at him. Merton flushes, opens his mouth to say something long-winded and appropriately mortifying, and smiles instead.
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