The name Marvin, from Welsh origins means ‘from the sea fortress’ or ‘sea friend’. *Mari* - sea or ocean. *-winiz* - friend.
The name Lance, derived from the old French form of Germanic name Lanzo, means ‘land’. The word has been associated since earlier days with a weapon (a light spear, lance).
Marvin reached Duke’s place early. In fact, he was only second to David. Ezra and Felix, although lived close to Duke, hadn’t arrived.
“Hey guys. Oh wow, I’m early. What’s up?”
“Nothing. I got here only a few minutes ago,” David answered giving him a fist bump.
Duke turned on the TV, and they watched random stuff on YouTube while waiting for the others.
Ezra and Felix joined them after some time. Felix took a seat on the couch and Ezra, the beanbag. Soon, Marcus joined them as well. He took part in Felix and Ezra’s movie talk.
Marvin wasn’t really interested in what’s going on around him. Even Kai was here. He’s always late. But where’s Lance? He’s late today. Marvin thought to himself. This is reducing his Lance time. He’d take whatever time he gets with Lance, even if it’s with a group of friends.
Lance finally showed up after another twenty minutes. Marvin’s face lit up just like it does every time he sees Lance. No matter if it’s after a week, a day or even an hour, there’s always the same gleam in his face for Lance. That warm and cheery smile. Not that he’s ever not cheerful, but that warm fuzzy feeling is reserved only for Lance.
Marvin immediately scoots over for Lance.
Everyone decided on playing UNO. Marvin saved a seat for Lance on his left but Lance deliberately sat on his right, Liam in between them. He knew Marvin would disturb and annoy him in the game. He wasn’t wrong. Marvin still tried to prompt him when he saw Liam was winning.
He would silently mouth the colour Liam had. Liam was so engrossed in his cards, he never noticed Marvin peeping in to his cards.
“Marvin stop cheating. I saw you prompting Lance. Who cheats in UNO?”
“You saw wrong then.” He acted like he doesn’t know what Felix is talking about. Lance just shook his head. Typical Marvin.
“We literally made eye contact while you were prompting Lance.” Felix said with a deadpan look.
“No, we didn’t.”
This made Lance smile. But he doesn’t show it. He’s great at that. Stupid Marv, he thought. Lance decided to not listen to Marvin’s prompting, or he would’ve won.
While having pizzas, Lance asked, “why did you try to prompt me in UNO? Seriously, who cares about that?”
“I wanted you to win.”
“Why? I don’t care if I win.”
“You used to get so happy when you won in UNO. I wanted to see you happy.”
“I’m not a kid anymore.” Lance mumbled and looked away, ignoring Marvin.
This doesn’t hurt Marvin, nothing Lance says can ever hurt him. He’ll take it all for Lance. He’d take his anger with a smile. All for Lance. But Lance turned away so Marvin won’t see him trying to hide a smile. Maybe Marvin knows that, maybe not.
All Marvin wants, is to see Lance happy and smile more often. It’s so rare now. In fact, the few times Lance smiles or laughs is because of him. Maybe he knows that, or maybe not. But he won’t ever let a chance to make Lance smile go. It’s so easy to make others smile, Marvin is that funny and charming friend you have. But with Lance, he tries so hard. And yes, he can be annoying. But he is the only one who can say ‘it’s okay’ with a smile no matter what happened.
Maybe Marvin is the only one who can see through Lance, beyond those threats and sneers. Past that anger on his handsome face.
“Lance, let’s go.” Marvin was tired and excited at the same time. He had a lot of pizza slices, so he was already sleepy. Excited because of course he gets to sleep beside Lance. He used to love their sleepovers when they were kids. Lance used to live close by, but he moved away to a different place later.
“Whatever, I just wanna sleep now.” Lance followed him obediently, yawning.
Lance dropped face first on the bed as soon as they entered the room.
“Lance, change your clothes. It’ll be more comfortable.”
“Ugh too tired.”
Marvin just shook his head. He took out a t-shirt and PJs Lance had in his backpack. He first turned Lance, so he was lying on his back. Then held his arms and pulled him up to make him sit.
“Ugh Marv, it’s fine.” Lance was irritated and sleepy.
“You aren’t even doing anything. Raise you arms.”
Lance did that sloppily, irritation visible in his actions. Marvin took off his t-shirt and put the other oversized t-shirt on him. Looking at sleepy adorable Lance, Marvin pecked him on his forehead.
“Ughhhhh”, Lance was already wiping his forehead with his hand. He looked up at a smiling Marvin which pissed him off even more.
Marvin chuckled, “you’re so whinny and adorable. Now, do you want me to change your pants too?”
“Shaddup. Go away.” Lance changed into his PJs while his frenemy was busy taking a T-shirt out of his bag. He got under the covers as soon as he was done.
Marvin started taking his shirt off to change as well. His body changed in all these years, it’s more toned and well defined now. Not that Lance was embarrassed of his body, still he found himself looking.
“Can’t you go change in the bathroom?”
“Why? Are you embarrassed? I just changed your clothes Lance.” Marvin said raising his eyebrows. He took his jeans off, folded his shirt and jeans to put in the bag. He picked up Lance’s jeans lying on the floor, folded it and kept it in the bag.
“You’re not gonna wear any PJs or something?”
“I usually sleep in boxer shorts.”
Lance was already trying to sleep facing the other way, as far away for Marvin the bed permitted.
Hmm this won’t do. Marvin put his arm around Lance and pulled him close, leg hugging him. Lance was so sleepy, he hadn’t realised he’s been moved. It started feeling heavy after a while, waking him up a little.
“Ugh stop leg hugging me. You’re heavy. Let me sleep.” Already half asleep, he was more irritated.
“But can I at least put my arm around you? I can’t sleep.”
Lance tried to wriggle away from Marvin as if to say no way in hell. Marvin just pulled him closer again, “Please.” He whispered in Lance’s ear, which made him stop struggling for a few seconds. His heart beat had picked up speed.
“Ugh stop it Marv... don’t pull me closer! Ugh just go to sleep.” Lance gave in to the tender, affectionate side of Marvin. Though he’d say he was dead tired to even argue.
“Sweet dreams Lance. Dream of me.” Marvin said nuzzling into Lance’s neck.
“Like hell. Good night Marv.” Lance said with a smile.
“Did you hear someone?”
“I don’t know, I don’t care.”