Paper Gods
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The bed he wakes up in today is surprisingly high-quality, peach-coloured sheets swaddling a mattress lacking anything that digs into his back and threatens to turn a good night's rest into an unwilling acupuncture appointment. The sheets tell him it's not Monday, the fact he's not sleeping on an air mattress means it can't be Thursday, either, and the lack of jagged edges rules out every other day.

He briefly wonders if he's died, because there's no other way to explain the sudden outlier in the rhythm of guest bedrooms and dirty floors that he's crashed on, picked himself up off of and passed out on like clockwork. Then he stops staring into the fabric, rolls over and realises where he is.

It's Ari's own bedroom, not his guest room. Of course. The entire place *stinks* like the conspicuous absence of stink, a lack of the three dollar-cologne and someone else's-sweat that he's been slowly generating like a cocoon these past few weeks — to say nothing of its hideously tasteful furnishing, all elegant wooden furniture from a place with three umlauts in its name.

He's busy inspecting a silver photo frame on the bedside table when there's three sharp raps at the door that sound like nails being pounded in his head thanks to the hangover. The pain nearly makes him drop the frame, and it doesn't help when whoever's at the door calls out too-obnoxiously, "Henri, get up."

Henri (that's his name, Glimmer's washed his brain out more effectively than any waterboarding) shades his eyes and squints at the figure in the doorway. Even the dregs of sunlight that backlights them are a little too bright for him right now, and it takes a few moments of tearful staring to realise just who it is.

"Hey. Morning, Ari. That any way to greet an old pal-"

"You folded my wardrobe into the wall." Ari scowls — he's a half-inch shorter than Henri is, but fuck if he doesn't have the presence to more than make up for it. Maybe it's the scorched-off eyebrow. Yes, that's it…

Even if the words mean nothing to Henri right now, body language tells him enough that Henri flinches back a little bit, hands up instinctively. "Uh- what? Don't remember doing that last night-"

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