"No, you’re not. Do not lie to me; I am not an idiot. I know you cannot calm that quickly."
He sighed, shaking his head. “Would you like an embrace, perhaps? Mine are typically well-received, or you could voice any concerns to me. I can certainly keep a secret, Lyle; you may speak to me about this all you like, and I will not pass it along to anyone.”
Brainy… was offering to hug him?
"…I look that bad, huh?" He half joked, his attempted laugh a little strained.
"I’ve… never talked to anyone about this. I thought I was doing decently at hiding it.”
robotq12 replied to your post “robotq12”
[i’m just going to lay down. and never get up. okay. ye that sounds good.]
((ilu tho *face touch*
"Lyle, do you truly believe I go off and tell people I don’t even know of my friend’s feelings for them? While I will stand by my statement you have nothing to fear, I will not do so."
Carefully, he closed the distance between them, reaching out to rest a hand on Lyle’s shoulder.
He folds his arms tightly. Sucks in a breath through his nose.
"I am calm.”
It was just years of self imposed emotional repression being exposed.
"I am completely calm.”
"…Lyle. Now it’s 100%. Calm down."
"I do not understand such an expression."
"That’s—- No, that’s inaccurate—- Why would you think I ….”
"…Sprock, please don’t say anything to him.”
Querl is not what anyone would call emotionally mature; he’s never really had much practice at it and so flounders quite often when faced with a situation that requires him to be emotionally available. However, that didn’t mean he’s was unaware of the physical signs of emotion, the physiological signals that an observant sentient could use to gauge the reactions of others. Before his upgrade, it had been the only way he’d know to communicate with others. Observation and feedback.
Things are different now.
Even through the haze of the alcohol, Brainiac can see Lyle’s eyes, can feel the way he freezes up at Querl’s touch, can hear the slight beat between his words. It’s confusing, but the alcohol has loosened his tongue, and he knows he’s about to say things he usually wouldn’t.
“You’re rambling, Lyle,” he murmurs softly, moving his fingers from where they’d been touching Lyle’s cheek to grab his chin, forcing the other Legionnaire to look at him. He doesn’t know why he does it, only knows that he’s curious and this is the easiest way considering how evasive Lyle is being.
He leans in.
“Your pupils are dilated,” he begins, turning Lyle’s head this way and that to get a good look, “and your body is tense despite the alcohol in your system. You are being highly indirect and are refusing me eye contact, which is outside your normal personality characteristics and the parameters of our friendship. I can feel you clenching your jaw….”
“Shall I go on?” A beat. “Or are you going to tell me what’s bothering you?”
For one horrifying, wonderful second, Lyle feels his knees go a little weak. Brainy’s demanding hand, his bright, fierce stare. It’s so easy to imagine leaning in like some swooning thing, taking his friend’s face between his own hands and pulling the Coluan in those last few inches (that he’s minimizing himself oh god—) by the sharp curve of his jaw, pressing his teeth against the fullest part of…
'—-the parameters of our friendship—-'
He snaps out of that shockingly realistic fantasy like he’s coming up for air, sucking in a sharp breath through his nose and realizing his formerly half lidded gaze has begun wandering down to the other’s mouth in contemplation. Friendship, friendship, friendship, his friendship, remember how far you’ve come just for that, stop. His guilty eyes snap it back up to Brainy’s before they can reach their goal, chewing on his bottom lip in reprimand. He’s worked too hard on keeping this secret to lose his way with a bit of alcohol and a gut wrenching lack of distance. Even if he can hardly remember why he was hesitating with Brainy so sprocking close—-
"It’s nothing worth worrying about." Truth. Because it’s not. He clears his throat. All he can think to justify this inability to conceal is that his emotions are raw because of their recent stresses. They can be controlled. Just like he’s controlling the subconscious urge to let his abilities flux, to hide him from view even for a split second. He turns and reaches up towards Brainy’s hand, to gently pry him off, so he can get some distance before he does something very not clever indeed. But he has water and suds all over his hands and arms so instead they flutter awkwardly, gesturing, giving an easy going laugh. "Honest. I’m figuring it out. I’m fixing it, okay? Don’t worry. I’m just kind of. Messed up. Right now. That’s all." He pushes one of his slightly damp hands into his hair reguardless. "That makes sense, doesn’t it?"
Brainiac watches the fluttering of Lyle’s eyelids with a strange sort of curiosity, finding his expressions to be both unique and strange. Perhaps it was the alcohol, but Querl couldn’t help thinking that Lyle almost seemed embarrassed, though over what he had absolutely no idea. What did Lyle have to be embarrassed of?
Rolling his eyes, he leans down and in so that Lyle will have to look him in the eyes again. “I don’t think…I know you’re not sweet and innocent.”
Amending that slightly, he pulls back. “Well…I suppose you could be described as the slang version of sweet. But innocent you are most certainly not.”
Cocking his head, he finally gets a good look at Lyle’s face, at the faint pinkish hue dotting the apples of his cheeks. Is it the alcohol? Alcoholic substances were known to cause such things, but that didn’t quite seem to be the case. The alcohol hadn’t had sufficient time to do such things and…
“The blood vessels of your face have opened and expanded to the point of blushing,” he murmurs, reaching out without thinking to touch Lyle’s cheek, to touch the blush with his fingers. He expects the skin to almost feel warm under his touch, but it is simply soft skin, oddly pleasant soft skin that makes his hand tingle weirdly.
“What is the stimuli?”
'Most certainly' not innocent, huh? Lyle keeps his eyes on where he's washing the batter caked mixing bowl but his grin lists up on one side, a flair of cheekiness wiggling through any embarrassment.
"Oh, Is that a pro—" He’s just about to look over at his friend when something stops him. More specifically, there’s a hand touching his face. Caressing. Gentle even with calluses and chemical burns. He freezes, blinks widening eyes once, slowly, as if closing them will dispel any illusion he might be having, lips left ajar mid word. Something simultaneously cold and hot tingles out from his spine and across his shoulders. His stomach gives a pleasant drop. It all takes only a split second. "—Problem?" He finishes after a beat, mouth in a shocked smile and the rest of his expression uncomprehending. They never really ever touch skin on skin. Not intentionally. He was historically the one that reached out between the two of them, for shoulders or elbows or around his friend’s back, and his hands were always covered. And this was… it sears.
Then, ever easy with the rebound, Lyle rolls his shoulders and relaxes pointedly.
"Blushing? Me? Nah, it’s likely just hard alcohol on an empty stomach, Brainy. I’m not very good at holding my Silverale. Plus you said I was warm, right?” He hums and lifts the now clean mixing bowl out of the sink, suds and water running down his uniform covered arms as he gives it a small shake to dispel any lingering heavy drops. He’s trying to play off like the touch on his face hasn’t rattled him. It shouldn’t have rattled him. “Maybe I’m getting sick, you should be careful around me.”