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A Beer and a Brawl

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Six months had passed since Wayne had gathered all the courage he could muster and kissed Daryl, and they had been together ever since. Not that there hadn't been a few tense times for Wayne, especially early on. From their first outing where Wayne took Daryl's hand into his own, which was apparently scandalous for the AG Hall for all of about two minutes until McMurray muttered an, "Okay then, can we talk about the trash that keeps bein' left in the flowerpots outside?" when things went back to normal. Mrs. McMurray pulled them aside after and said, "Sorry about all the cocksucker comments. Just hate it when someone keeps me from my cocksuckin-" She turned pale, then muttered, "Sorry," and walked off.

Wayne shook his head. Daryl just smiled.

It was kind of surprising how easy it was for Daryl; compared to Wayne, Daryl's past had been littered with unfortunate events. But nothing phased him at all. That is, until one night at Modeans II, when some de-gens from upcountry showed up. "Ah ah ah," Gail said, distracting Wayne with a fresh bottle of Gus n Bru when one of the de-gens pinched Bonnie McMurray's ass. But Bonnie handled him herself by grabbing his hand and forcing it into a stress position behind his back.

She finally let go, and the de-gen's friends started laughing at him. Daryl did as well, and Wayne gave him a smile.

"What the fuck're you lookin' at?"

Daryl began to stand, but Wayne grabbed the back of his jumpsuit. "Not worth it, Darry."

"I'm lookin' at someone who just had his ass kicked by a girl, ya fuckin' de-gen," Daryl said. He turned to Wayne, then said, "Sorry, Darlin'."

Things quieted for a moment, and all seemed to go back to normal until the de-gen barked, "Go stick your fuckin' head in the oven, fuckin' faggot."

Wayne watched Daryl freeze. He knew that's how Darry's mum had offed herself, and it wasn't something he liked to talk about. But he didn't realize how it would affect Daryl until he saw his sweetie go pale and slumped into his seat, his face fallen. The change in him was so vivid, it pooled cold in his gut.

Say what you want to Wayne. But never take on someone he loves.

Wayne stood up, fingers immediately going to his sleeve to unbutton it. But before he could complete the motion, Gail called from behind the bar. "Not in the bar, Wayne. You know the rules."

Wayne squinted.

After a beat, he took a step toward the door. But he was stopped when the de-gen said, "Jesus Christ. What kinda man are you that not even your boyfriend has your balls. The ugly fuckin' bartender has 'em in her purse."

The entire bar went silent.

Wayne's fingers drifted over the material of his cuff. And as he felt the individual threads that made up the material, he turned to Gail. She handed him the bottle, and said, "You're cleanin' up the blood."

Wayne put the bottle down. And a few seconds later, the de-gen, too.