smoke break

rush and the reader having some tomfoolery while the hotel remains devoid of trespassers.

written for a dear friend.

AO3 Mirror

The black smog wrapped around you like the feathers of a boa as he went past you to open the door, keeping the path to a dim room on the outskirts of the paths usually taken open. A square table, tilted to misalign against the carpet below it, yet aligned towards the placement of the pieces framed against the walls, which were nothing too special, and looked more like something that would be obtained at any furniture shop rather than the fine arts.

You took a seat, looking up with your elbow on the table, resting your head upon the hand built upon it, and watched as Rush pushed the chair over to the wall with such little force that the bare air could've carried it. The small dimensions of the room made his height seem even more intimidating, and to you, endearing, not to mention the smell of gasoline and factory that came off of him like a fond cologne, a send-off to the roaring twenties for whatever unfortunate soul could still remember such an age and stumble inside the hotel.

It was your acquired taste, however. You could say he smelled like a personal heaven any day.

"So!" that booming voice he had spoke, or rather, yelled with no intention to yell yet would always be able to be heard from a few rooms away, "haven't seen anybody coming through for the past day. Pray for me this lasts."


That Jersey accent was already about to drive you crazy. Anyways, now that it did come to your attention, the hotel had been quiet recently. A much needed break for everybody involved, and you had already been witness to a few conversations held within this grace period. The other entities also seemed to have noticed it, embraced with a warmth of the cravings for peace. It would not last forever. People would be back, and people would be slain for everybody's sake, and that's why it was treated like it was worth such mild celebration. Rush's permanent grin seemed to extend farther down the cheeks, though that could just be because you were there. While your paths did not cross as much as either of you would like, times like these of relative quiet were spent together, stuck together, cold fumes wrapping around you without objection to his touch. The cold smoke, another acquired taste. You couldn't get enough of it.

You couldn't get enough of him. He was loud, able to strike fear into anybody, and you liked that.

"Plenty of things to do here, just have to look for them. There's always a few pieces missing, but the backgammon set should be good," he gestured to the left -- a shelf with a few other classic board games, a deck of cards, something unrecognizable as a game that probably was taken off of a dead body, and the already mentioned backgammon. You wished you were aware of this earlier. A few weeks to a few months. Time was lost too easily here. None of these looked too great to play with only two players, and the other two player options were either not competitive enough for you to like, too competitive and could rile either of you into a frenzy, or not that fun at all.

But the best sort of fun came from just making things up, and you already had a game made up as your selection for the night. Your head perked up from the unintentional slipping towards the table it had made.

"Give me a hand, dear. Wait, no...the entire arm. Two, if you'd so desire," you requested.

A hearty chuckle, a nod from the face of slightly brighter grey, and the smog bent to form the shape of two arms, starting from an elbow, the condensed fog taking a reach to hold onto one of your own hands already. They were minuscule compared to those monsters -- and cold, too. Even colder than just burying your face into it like you usually did. Hopefully frostbite wouldn't come and ruin the moment. You've seen Rush with these before -- fingers blocky and the size of your torso, and you had watched those fingers form the tightest grip against a trespasser and throw them against a wall at one point, reducing bones into powder with just one movement. He could've done that to you at one point. But now...?

Your arm moved up, shifting the elbow into that classic posture for a round of arm wrestling, and Rush copied your movements without a word, without a blink or twitch of that handsome face.

"Ready?" you asked.

"Whenever you are, love," he growled, a growl of upcoming ecstatic sparks. The battle was on, both of your hand's now in the ring. 

And you were either suddenly really good at this, or the smoke beast was not as strong as he let on, because it was already in the struggle part of every arm wrestle match. Tilted to the left, then the right again, an almost-win on Rush's end being shoved up as you began to break a sweat. The two of you exchanged words during all of this -- they were not very kind words. The love language of telling each other that you would kick each other's asses, to eat shit after the round, a banter that Rush and you loved to engage in. It soon turned into screaming curse words at each other, Rush giving a finale of a growl, and your hand being shoved onto the table. He always won, but it's not like you minded. Rush's eyes closed in enthusiastic laughter, and you joining in with a chuckle while still trying to process the last few seconds of that brawl.

You moved the arm to give a congratulatory handshake with him, an excuse to hold that hand yet again, and it felt like something had happened within those few seconds of intensities.

And you did hear a slight snap alongside the bang of your fist on the table.

And this wouldn't be the first time, nor probably the last, that he would've accidentally broken something in your frail works.

"Rush, think you did that thing where you fuck up my wrist again. Watch the way it dangles--" you shook out your wrist a little bit, and while it did hurt, it didn't hurt as badly as last time. It wasn't broken at the very least, but you still let out a string of quiet swears to decorate your pain before stopping.

"Wait. Again?" One of the few things that could nearly wipe that grin off his face.

You made another muffled agreement.

"Ice pack, then? Want to come with me to get it?"

Another mhm and a nod. Without hesitation and with a whole lot of worries, Rush swooped over, curling around your body with the icy pollution, lifting you up inside of it, pushed around until you could be cradled by what made you cough and choke, and would let suffocate you if it ever got to that point. Perhaps the grip he has on you could've just doubled as an ice-pack instead, but once Rush's mind was on your safety, it would be impossible to stop his search. Speaking of, he just broke that door trying to leave. That sort of hunk've been smitten by it since first seeing him, and it still makes your thoughts go to mush. Great distraction for whatever's going on with your wrist.