“So tell me again why we need to use these, Dad?” Shark and Sinbad were sitting on an already usable air mattress, watching as Dennis blew air into another smaller one.
“Well, to put it as simply and bluntly as possible, boy,” he said in between breaths, “your grandparents are insufferable pricks, and refused to give us any of the good bedding, for fear we may bring a curse upon their ‘wondrous family fortune’.”
Sinbad grimaced in confusion. “Uh…I ain’t one to get into curses and voodoo and other unconventional shit, and even I know that ain’t right.”
Dennis shrugged. “It is one of the, ahem, ‘joys’ of having a mother who thinks Elvis Presley is still alive. Now, could one of you help with these? I’m getting the feeling that any more inflating, and I’ll end up keeling over dead.”
That night brought a half-decorated room, an unfamiliar bed, and a little sister who indeed snored. Sinbad wished he’d brought earplugs or something similar to muffle Lolly’s auditory log-sawing.
Surprisingly, the air mattress was comfy, almost as much as his own bed. He wasn’t a big fan of the knockoff Pokemon blanket, but he could deal with it.
Earlier had been a mix of moving in furniture and listening to Lolly’s futile requests to live with the siblings’ mother. One apparent reason was ‘because I don’t want to live under the same roof as Dumb and Dumber here’.
Besides the obvious reasons stated why doing so wasn’t a good idea, it hurt Dennis to hear his youngest child prefer the walking disaster that was her mother.
Shark and Sinbad had wanted to give their input on the situation, but knew Lolly wouldn’t listen to them. Instead, the two busied themselves by hauling in whatever possessions Dennis managed to get from the mansion.
The redhead was laying on his stomach, glaring down at the floor, trying to tune out the snoring. Shark hadn’t yet come to bed, presumably still helping Dennis set up his own room. He now wished they’d brought along an alarm clock to know what time it was.
A few minutes had gone by before Sinbad was able to finally start getting some sleep. He vaguely registered the door opening, and Shark’s loud yawning.
He definitely registered a high-flying sensation, before connecting with a hard surface. By the time he realized it actually happened, the pain had become agonizing.
“Sinbad!” The brunette had crawled over to the other side of the bed to see his boyfriend having made a failed attempt to take flight. “Are you okay?”
“Aw, does it look like I’m okay? Feels like someone jammed a hot poker up my ass and-” Sinbad’s efforts to get up were made pointless, and only led to a grimace to his face. “Get your dad, yeah?”
First there was the obstacle of having to move into a new house.
Now there were potential medical bills.
Shark and Dennis were standing outside a hospital room, listening as Sinbad was checked by the doctor. Though his pain was not their own, the two still grimaced every time he cried out in pain.
At some point, Dennis had been handed a clipboard, inquiring about the patient’s personal information. He filled them out to the best of his knowledge. The only thing that bothered him was Shark’s attempt to look over his shoulder.
He then got to the contact information, and finally asked his son something that he needed help with.
“Boy, does Mister Rotter have any family here in town?”
The question confused Shark. Of all people to know about Sinbad’s personal life, surely it had to have been Dennis. He tried to wrack his memory as to who could possibly know any information about him:
“He’s got a roommate, but I don’t know if he’s awake right now.” Looking in both directions of the hallway, Dennis nudged his son by the shoulder.
“Could you perhaps leave for a few minutes and make sure?” Initially shocked by his father’s request, Shark was then reassured. “I’m quite certain Mister Rotter’s condition will not deteriorate in the time it takes you to go check.”
It wasn’t like Shark hadn’t stayed the night at Sinbad’s house before. It just wasn’t often he had to look for his roommate instead.
So far, the signs were good. As Shark unlocked the front door, he saw Goodwin’s truck parked in the usual place. The main room was quiet, save for an odd thumping noise.
“Don’t know anyone who’d do their laundry at this hour. Even in this town…” Shark was well aware of what Sinbad told him via phone conversation. He just wasn’t sure whether or not to actually believe him. Sinbad was known for his attempts to slander his roommate’s reputation.
Surprisingly, the washing machine was still. There was no sign of it being used for its primary use. Thus Shark was much more dumbfounded as to the source of the thumping.
“Goodwin, are you awake? Sinbad’s in the hospital, and I need to know what-” The brunette was stopped in his speech by the sight he saw.
His first thought was wondering when Jenni dyed her hair black. Then came the realization that it wasn’t Jenni at all.
After all, he knew Jenni to be blonde, free of tattoos, and pregnant. The woman Goodwin was in bed with was none of those things.
Shark belatedly covered his eyes, trying to walk backwards out of the room, away from the filthy, illicit sight. As soon as he made it back out to the living room, he turned and ran out the house screaming.
“Ah, there you are, boy!” Dennis was tapping the pen against the clipboard when Shark returned. “Did you find the roommate?”
“No, no. Not really. He was already asleep. Didn’t want to bother him.”
Shark’s sudden change in demeanor hadn’t gone unnoticed. Dennis set the board down and looked at him with a concerned expression.
“What’s gotten into you, boy? You look like you saw the ghost of one of your ancestors.” He placed a hand on his son’s shoulder, causing him to jump.
“Nope! Nope, I didn’t. Uh…Is Sinbad doing okay?” His nervous laughter didn’t help in his fearful state.
“Well, they managed to get him to stop hollering. Hopefully he isn’t too doped out on the happy drugs to not carry a conversation with you.”
“Sinbad?” The redhead was laying in bed, seemingly entranced by the action movie playing on the TV screen. He looked over with a dreamy expression upon hearing his boyfriend enter the room.
“What’s up?” The way he said it sounded more like whuhzzuuuuuup? Shark took a seat next to the bed, and patted Sinbad’s hand.
“You feeling all right? You don’t need surgery or anything, do you?”
“Aw, fuck if I know. They are making me stay in here for a few days, though.” Sinbad then gestured towards the machines. “Hey, you think I’d freak the docs out if I started whacking off while hooked up to these things?”
Leave it to Sinbad to make a serious situation awkward. Shark snorted and rolled his eyes, before becoming serious.
“So I went to your house earlier.” A large dark red eyebrow raised, indicating Sinbad was listening in spite of the presumed haze.
“Remember what you told me about your roommate?” Shark took a deep breath, then sighed. “You were right.”
Sinbad’s normally thin eyes began to widen. “How’d you find out? You find something that belonged to her?”
Shark shook his head. “I saw them…together. Somehow I don’t think they saw me. Or heard me. It was…disturbing. You think we should tell Jenni?”
“Nah,” Sinbad practically groaned out, now focusing on wiggling his toes. “She’d never believe us. Let her find out for herself. Ain’t our place to get involved.”
Moving his arm in an almost robotic manner, Sinbad took hold of Shark’s hand, having the two of them watch the movie. They watched in silence, besides acknowledging Dennis’ announcement that he was going to find the vending machines.
“Hey, Shark?” It wasn’t often that Sinbad referred to his boyfriend by name. “If, for some idiotic reason, I ever end up cheating on you, will you punch me in the face?”
Shark didn’t like to resort to violence, at least intentionally. His physical stature defied his attempts to get through most days unscathed. He interlocked his fingers with the bedridden redhead, and reluctantly nodded.
“I’ll keep it in mind.”