Dinner, to Thomas’ mild surprise, turned out to be more than excellent. He hadn’t exactly doubted Jim’s skills, but in his experience young men were not the most creative of cooks. One more way in which Jim was not like other men; one more reason for Thomas to enjoy calling Jim his boyfriend—and after a month, the novelty of the word still wasn’t fading.
The only mishap happened when they cleared the dishes from the table. Laughing at something Thomas had said, Jim dropped a glass. Thomas could have done a quick spell to stop it from shattering on the kitchen tiles, but he hesitated rather than say the one word that would have activated his magic, and already it was too late. One of these days, he’d have to tell Jim what he was, but Thomas had yet to find the right time.
“Ah, frak,” Jim muttered under his breath. “Don’t move, let me clear the shards first.”
Barefoot on the cool tiles, Thomas remained dutifully immobile, an empty dish in one hand and the dessert plates in the other. As he watched Jim grab a dustpan and broom, he asked, now certain he hadn’t heard wrong as he had believed in other occasions, “So, why frack? I mean, I’m worried about gas extraction too, but when did it become a curse word?”
Jim looked up from sweeping the shards into the pan to flash a confused frown at Thomas. “Gas extraction? Huh?”
“You know, those extraction wells they’re talking of putting a moratorium on until they’re sure they won’t cause more earthquakes?”
Jim now looked completely mystified. “Why on earth are you talking about that now?”
He finished sweeping the glass shards, bending low to look closely and make sure he hadn’t left debris. Thomas, meanwhile, felt as confused as Jim sounded.
“You just said ‘frack’. You always say that when you curse. Don’t you?”
Jim’s eyes widened in understanding and he took the plates from Thomas.
“Not frack,” he said, chortling. “Frak. As in, frakking toasters? Battlestar Galactica?”
Had Jim spoken Greek, Thomas might have had a better chance of understanding him. His expression had to give him away; after another quick laugh, Jim explained, “You know how TV shows get bleeped when the characters say ‘fuck’? This one show invented a replacement word. Frak. Frakking. Frakked. Just substitute for fuck or any word in the same family, and voila!”
Thomas knew what came next even before Jim suggested it. They’d watched a few Doctor Who DVDs, just so Thomas could understand those frequent references and the ubiquitous blue box on half of Jim’s t-shirts. Now, he was sure he would be treated to a Battlestar marathon.
Truth was, as long as they watched TV wrapped around each other in the oversized armchair, Thomas didn’t really mind what was on the screen, and after a while Jim usually forgot to care all that much, too…