A/N: Bet you'd all thought you'd seen the last of Bicely! Of course, that is not the case. Today, January 22nd, 2017, is the official Bicely Day! In honour of this wonderous occasion, I have written this piece of plotless fluff. I have noticed that it was ridiculously easy to start writing these two again, although my characterisation is quite different (read: better, more plausible) than it was 2-3 years ago. Wow, three years ago... It's amazing how long I have shipped these two.
Enjoy, and Happy Bicely Day!
Benny Southstreet made his way down the sidewalk. He was walking quite slowly – so that his rather overweight friend could keep up–- a rare luxury in New York. But due to it being early afternoon on a Tuesday, the streets were not crowded. Most people were working or something, but not Benny or Nicely. Not at the moment, anyway… not now that Nathan had made everything difficult with his silly love affair.
"I can't believe it," came Nicely's voice from a few paces behind. Benny slowed down even more.
"I know," Southstreet agreed, shaking his head, but not so much that his fashionable hat would shift out of its perfectly jaunty angle.
"How come Nathan loves Adelaide so much?" Nicely demanded.
"I dunno," Benny replied, "same reason any guy loves any doll, I s'pose."
"And what reason is that?"
Benny shrugged. "I dunno."
"I don't understand it, Benny!" Nicely exclaimed, "How come every man in the world seems to fall hopelessly in love with some broad?"
The two men came to a crosswalk, crossing the street just as a car rounded a nearby corner. The car's driver yelled at them, but they paid him no heed.
"It's puzzlin', ain't it? I never understood it either," Benny admitted over the man's yelling, "I been with lotsa dolls but I never felt nothin' for any of 'em."
"Yeah... I worry, Benny, when I see you with a doll. I worry you'll fall in love and end up like Nathan."
Benny scoffed. "You worry about that? You shouldn't. I won't ever get married, nuh-uh. Not in a million years."
Nicely laughed in return. "Yeah, I shouldn't worry, I guess. I try to imagine you sittin' at the dinner table with your wife n' kids, but I can't."
Southstreet laughed even harder. "Now that's funny."
"But still," the shorter man continued, "maybe you ought to be like me and give up dolls altogether. Ya know, just to be on the safe side."
"You phrased that as if you've ever been with a doll," Benny said, "when you know as well as I that you're as pure as a nun."
Nicely blushed, his pudgy cheeks flushing a deep red. "I ain't no nun, Benny! I'm as bad as you are!"
"But you've never been with a girl."
"Yes, out of my own choice!"
"How noble of you," Benny mocked.
Nicely sighed. "It's because I don't want to end up fallin' in love. It's a precaution. I could get a doll if I wanted."
"But you don't want?"
"No way!" Nicely exclaimed. "Far too risky. And not like crapshootin' risky. The wrong kinda risky."
"Mm-hm. I see," Benny said, smirking.
"What you mean, huh?" Nicely asked, in an attempt to sound tough, "You think I'm lyin' or somethin'?"
"Nah, I'm just thinkin' maybe there's another reason you don't want a doll."
"What do you mean?"
"Any chance you, uh, like guys?"
Nicely blushed again, brighter than the last time. "Wh-what? You think I'm–?"
Benny raised his hands, trying to calm the other man down. "I don't think nothin'. It's just speculation. You ain't never liked a doll before, so maybe–"
"–You said you ain't never liked a doll before, either!" Nicely pointed out.
"But I've been with 'em."
"But you didn't feel nothin'. Maybe that means you like guys!"
Benny smirked. "Maybe it does."
Nicely sputtered, not quite knowing what to say, or what to think, or what to do. Luckily, they had reached their house, so he had a moment to think before resuming their argument indoors.
Benny opened the door. "Hello, Mrs. Boris!" he called out to their landlady.
"Back already?" she asked. Benny entered, and Nicely followed shortly after.
"Yes. Mr. Detroit had a, uh – personal emergency, so he sent us home early."
Nicely repressed a scoff. Mrs. Boris didn't know of the true, illegal nature of their employment, so he and Benny were used to telling her all kinds of lies and half-truths.
"Oh, dear… Is he alright?" the old woman asked.
"Yes, ma'am," Nicely answered, taking off his hat as Benny had. "It was a rather small emergency. Hopefully everything will be back in order tomorrow."
"Good, good. Well, you boys had better make the most of this and relax, then. I'll get out of your way," she said, before disappearing into the basement.
Before Nicely had time to re-focus on the argument they'd been having, Benny had already slunk off.
"Hey, Benny! I'm not done with you!" Nicely exclaimed, rushing towards Benny's room.
"What?" Benny asked, leaning against the doorframe.
"You like guys?"
Benny feigned shock. "Whatever gave you that idea?"
Nicely frowned. "You just told me!"
"No, I said maybe."
"That's why I'm askin' you now, do you like guys?"
"Maybe I do."
"Benny! This ain't a complicated question. Do you or do you not like guys?"
"Do you?" Benny retorted.
"Do I– What? What are you trying to do here? I don't get it, Benny."
The slimmer man sighed, running his hand through his gelled-back brown hair. "I dunno. Guess I was tryin' some kinda mind game on ya. But I'm not good at mind games."
"I can tell," said Nicely.
"Maybe I ought to practice," Benny mused, "Maybe there's someone who can teach me how to outsmart you. I wonder–"
"Alright, Alright," Benny sighed. "I do like guys. Well, not really guys, just one guy."
"Aha!" Nicely exclaimed triumphantly. "I got you to admit– wait, just one guy? Who?"
"What makes you think I'd tell you?" asked Benny.
"Come on, Benny! We ain't kids. I don't want no guessing games."
"Seriously, Nicely. I've told you too much already. Tellin' you who I like would do me more harm than good," Benny said, turning away.
"Why, is it me?"
Benny froze. "What? No!"
"Huh, interestin'," Nicely mused. "I guess you liking me explains a lot."
"Hey, I said I didn't like you!"
"And I've played poker with you enough to know when you're lyin'," said Nicely.
Benny sighed. "Fine. It's true, I like you. I have for a long time."
"Huh, interestin'," repeated Nicely.
"And what good did that do? Now you don't want anything to do with me, don't ya?" Southstreet exclaimed.
"Nah, I like you too, Benny."
"Now I've gone and lost a friend, haven't I? Gee, love really is stupid. You love a doll, you hafta give up everythin' you like doin'. But if you love a guy, then that's wrong. I wish love didn't even–"
"Benny, wouldya shut up a damn second and listen'a me?" Johnson exclaimed, grabbing his taller friend by the collar of his shirt. Benny's blue eyes widened, comically large. Or adorably so. Nicely stood on his toes and kissed Benny on the lips; closed-mouthed but insistent. When he pulled back, Benny was smirking.
"Now I'm listenin'," the taller man said.
"I like you, ya hear?"
Benny looked down to where Nicely's chubby fingers still gripped tightly onto his shirt. Nicely let go, a light blush dusting his cheeks as he did so.
"Well," Benny said, clearing his throat, "I guess Nathan fallin' in love with his fiancée was good for somethin'."
"Yeah," Nicely added, "Without it, we might'a never had this talk."
"We would've," said Benny.
"Yup," Nicely agreed immediately.
"I'm sure glad I fell in love with you 'stead'a some doll," Benny mused after a beat of silence, "You ain't gonna make me stop gamblin'."
Johnson laughed, a hearty chuckle that made Benny smile. "Nope. Nothin's gonna change between us."
Benny raised an eyebrow. "Nothin'?"
"'But there's gonna be more kisses," Nicely conceded, smiling.
As if in agreement, Benny laughed, stepping forward to wrap his arms around Nicely's shoulders and give him the second of what would be countless shared kisses between them.