These never quite made it to the one-shot I wrote.
"Elliot?" she asks, but her voice is soft. He can’t understand how her voice can be so soft after he just shouted at her. But that’s Elliot Jensen for you, shouting in your ear one moment and quiet as a lamb the next. Elliot shifts on the couch, taking another sip from his flask.
“Go away,” he says, when he really means stay. Stay, because I don’t know what to do and I have don’t get this hellhole of a life and—
"You ‘kay?" She hovers near him.
Elliot thinks it, but he doesn’t say it, no. He never says it.
Please. Just stay.
Instead, he grunts in confirmation.
She doesn’t know how to feel, finding Elliot Fintry in his boxers, watching Grease for what must be the thousandth time. All she knows is that Elliot’s eyes are narrowed, squinting, at the screen and she sees how exhausted he must be. Deep plum circles rim his eyes and his hair looks vaguely greasy, as if he’s been eating too many crisps and ran his hand through his hair after eating them.
“You’re dirty,” she observes, matter of factually. “It’s gross.”
Elliot doesn’t feel quite right. He can’t understand it because everything is too complicated to figure out, but he remembers how he felt when he was with Nova—with Nova, everything was simple. Elliot supposes that’s why life is the way it is, to start with a small knot before jumbling it until the knot is suffocating—suffocating without any way to make it out alive.
Instead, he sits there, listening to Grease and watching Jensen out of the corner of his eye.
All Jensen can do to try and make sense of Fintry is breathe—breathe and think as the sun rises into the west and the stars sink into the east—because fuck it all, everything about him is a contradiction.
He isn’t quite sure when Jensen joined him, but god damn is he thankful for her. Elliot knows if she left, he would start crying. It wouldn’t be that loud, stupid crying that helped nothing and pained others. It was specifically Elliot Fintry-style crying: silently, with a few tears trickling out of his cold, narrowed eyes.
it can be any length, but a short story usually is usually under 30,000 words