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Part One
Part Two

Hey, Wardo, check out Facebook’s newest app! Sent you an invite!

Eduardo rolled his eyes at Dustin’s text, as he waited for Singapore Airlines to announce the boarding of his flight. Don’t use apps. Don’t want Mark to sell my info to Walmart.

But don’t you want to see if our friends prefer Markuardo or Eduark? There’s a poll function!

WTF? Dustin??!

Get the app. (What about Meduarkdo?)

It took Eduardo a moment to remember his Facebook password, then another to figure out the App Requests link on the sidebar. (What happened to simplicity as the key to Facebook’s appeal? Or how important it was not to have ads? Fuck you, Mark.)

A few more clicks, and Eduardo’s eyes widened in horror. He dialed Dustin’s number from memory.

“Hey, Wardo, what do you think? We agreed that ‘The Saverin-Zuckerberg Wedding’ sounds nicer than ‘Zuckerberg-Saverin Wedding’— ”

“How many people can see this page?” Eduardo’s mother was on Facebook, for crying out loud.

“Relax . . . it’s just you, me, Chris, and Mark right now,” Dustin said. “We wanted to test our new wedding features. You can combine all your registries in one place!”

“Dustin,” Eduardo said in tones of despair, “Mark and I are not getting married.”

“Really? Cuz Mark’s registered for the entire William-Sonoma electronics section.”

Eduardo’s indignant squawk drew the glare of a flight attendant, and she forced him to turn off his cell phone before he could verify Dustin’s claim. When the plane had climbed to cruising altitude, Eduardo rushed to log back in.

Mark had indeed registered them for every food processor and electric griddle at William-Sonoma. In retaliation, Eduardo set up a link to Amazon.com and registered for Nong Shim Shin Noodle Ramyun, 4.2 Ounce Packages (Pack of 20).

Without thinking, he dashed off a Facebook message to Mark: Nice try. I’ve seen your attempts at cooking. Stick to ramen.

Eduardo froze in his seat. It was the first time he’d messaged Mark in six years. He’d just . . . forgotten that they weren’t friends any more.

The page refreshed. Apparently Mark hadn’t known that Amazon was a wedding registry option. In quick succession, he’d added Call of Duty: Black Ops, Charmin Ultra Soft Bathroom Tissue 9 Family Rolls, and Red Bull Energy Drink, 8.4-Ounce Cans (Pack of 24).

There was also a new message. The kitchen stuff were for you. This is for me.

Eduardo couldn’t help rolling his eyes. He registered for Men’s One Energy Multivitamin 90 Tablets and Optimum Nutrition 100% Whey Gold Standard, Double Rich Chocolate, 5 Pound. This time, it was easier to fire off another message to Mark: In that case, you’ll be needing these.

Mark’s response was quick. It’s not the wedding yet, and you’re already nagging me.

I’m becoming my mother. Eduardo suppressed his smirk.

Instant reply. Could be worse. You could be turning into mine. (Ewwwwwwww)

Eduardo laughed out loud.



“Dinner tonight at the Kong?” Chris asked, as they walked through the baggage claim at Logan Airport and piled into the waiting car. “Dustin, I’m not sure this should be our opening gambit.”

Dustin looked defensive. “Hey, never underestimate the bond between Jews and Chinese food!”

“Mark needs to make a good first impression. I can still get reservations at L’Espalier.”

“Nah,” Dustin said. “Wardo said he wanted scorpion bowls. And remember the Kong’s crab rangoon?”

“Oh God, yes,” Chris said. Mark nodded.

Dustin smirked. “Nostalgia—it’s delicate but potent. In Greek, nostalgia literally means ‘the pain from an old wound.’ It’s a twinge in your heart far more powerful than memory alone.”

“Dustin, are you quoting Mad Men at me?” Chris gasped. “Who’s the PR expert here—me or Mr. I-think-I’m-Don-Draper?”

Mark rolled his eyes at their bickering and checked his phone for wedding registry updates. After weeks of back and forth between him and Eduardo, the registry had ballooned to thousands of items, mostly on Amazon. It was comforting to see that Wardo’s tastes hadn’t changed. Or at least that was how Mark interpreted Wardo’s latest choices: The Expendables on Blu-Ray and Kikkoman Chinese Style Egg Flower Soup Mix – Hot & Sour.

Communicating via registry updates and Facebook messages, however, was nothing like meeting face to face. (Yes, Mark was aware of the irony.) After weeks of planning, he and Wardo were finally both in the same city. This was it.

“Whoa, why are we stopping here?” Chris asked, as the car turned right off JFK Street. Another turn took them in front of Kirkland House. “We’re staying at the Charles.”

Dustin hopped out the car with a spring in his step. “Reunion housing, bitches! I got our old rooms, and we’re having a massive party tomorrow night. Be there or be square!”

“Do people still say that?” Mark asked, as Dustin disappeared from view with two large suitcases. Chris sighed.



It was just the Kong, Eduardo told himself as he crossed the street in front of his hotel. Chipped lacquer on the tables, scratched up vinyl booths, terrible lighting that hid the cracked linoleum—he, Chris, and Dustin used to love that place, especially because it was the only restaurant that would deliver at 2 a.m. Mark never expressed a preference one way or the other, but Eduardo had seen him eat scallion pancakes when placed in front of the laptop keyboard.

The Kong was the farthest thing in the world from appletinis and Palo Alto and law firm offices. For which Eduardo was grateful.

Eduardo reviewed his game plan as he walked past three banks, two bookstores, and a credit union. (Since when did Harvard Square have so many banks? No wonder students had trouble with credit card debt.) The plan was simple: go in, have a quick drink, maybe order some food, and try not to yell at Mark.

It wasn’t Mark’s fault that he was having a quarter-life crisis, Eduardo had decided. According to Wikipedia, characteristics of quarter-life crisis may include nostalgia for university life and frustration with social skills. (As well as lack of friendships or romantic relationships, sexual frustration, and involuntary celibacy. But that last part hit a bit too close to home.) Though it was very tempting to leave Mark floundering in his newfound emotions, Eduardo was going to be a bigger man for once: he would see this new Mark and laugh at him behind his back. Instead of in his face.

Tonight’s gonna be a good night, Eduardo hummed to himself as he rounded the corner of Mass Ave. The Kong should be just there—oh shit—



Mark rather wished it were his dashing good looks that put the shell-shocked expression on Eduardo’s face. Unfortunately, Eduardo was looking everywhere but at him.

“What—what happened?” Eduardo gawked at the flatscreen television, looked down at the bar’s granite countertop, and shuddered. “Why would anyone do this?”

“Chris said the Kong was renovated a while ago.” Mark shrugged. “Guess they finally entered the 21st century.”

“But—but why???” Eduardo wailed, as a surly man gestured them towards the corner table. He craned his neck to see the bright, low-hanging lamps and whimpered.

“Scorpion bowl,” Mark said to the waiter, gesturing at himself and Eduardo. As the waiter left, he took advantage of Eduardo’s distraction to double-check his phone. Chris had given him a mobile version of the friendship algorithm flow chart. The next box said Small talk 1: Compliments “Hey, Eduardo, you look good.”

“Huh? Oh, er, it’s easy to get a tan in Singapore.” Apparently, Wardo’s emotional distress from the Kong’s renovation outweighed lingering animosity from the lawsuit. Interesting.

Next was Small talk 2: Weather. “How is the weather in Singapore?” Mark asked.

“We’re getting ready for the monsoon season,” Eduardo said, his face lighting up. As he launched into a monologue on typhoons and Southeast Asia’s shipping lanes, Mark reminded himself that the weather was never just small talk to Eduardo.

“…and with the drought in China, we’re keeping our eyes on the food prices—oh, our drinks are here.” Eduardo paused, then frowned when the waiter slid over a large bowl with two straws in it. “Wait, where’s the other one?”

“Scorpion bowl,” the waiter growled. “For two people.” He stalked off before they could protest.

Mark looked at Eduardo, who stared back with a helpless expression. “We should respect their cultural traditions,” Mark said as he reached for one of the straws.

Eduardo snorted. “I don’t think scorpion bowls are part of actual Chinese tradition.” But he also leaned forward.

Mark took a sip and grimaced at the cheap booze. He looked up and froze.

From up close, Eduardo’s lips were ridiculously delicate, curving around a plastic straw and glistening from the alcohol. They pursed as Eduardo sucked on the straw, then flattened when he winced.

Letting go of his own straw, Mark licked his lips in reflex. Eduardo was so close, he could lean forward and—

“Ready to order now?” The waiter scowled at them.

Mark sank back in his chair, feeling oddly breathless.



Eduardo hid his cringe by taking another sip of the scorpion bowl. By some unspoken agreement, neither of them had brought up their “wedding”—or Facebook, for that matter. But the resulting conversation left something to be desired.

Mark thought he was being subtle with his cell phone, but the flash of a glowing screen was obvious even under the Kong’s new lights. Given that Mark tried a new piece of small talk each time he checked his phone, it was obvious that he was working from a script. Looked like Chris had finally gotten to him.

“So.” Mark took another peek at his phone. “How about them Red Sox?”

Eduardo choked on his drink. “Really, Mark? The Red Sox? You don’t even watch sports.”

Mark’s expression turned mulish. “Sure I do.”

“Okay, who’s the starting second baseman for the Sox?” When Mark’s fingers twitched towards his phone, Eduardo glared at him. “No phoning a friend. Or Googling.”

“The proper phrase is ‘using a search engine.’ No need to help Google maintain its brand.”

At Eduardo’s unimpressed stare, Mark backed down. “Fine. I got the idea from this Facebook group.” He held up his phone to show a page titled "Saying How about them Red Sox during an akward silence".

“Young people these days,” the waiter cut in, muttering under his breath as he slid platters of mushu chicken and crab rangoon on the table. “No time for thought, post everything on Facebook. Show stupidity to world.”

Eduardo froze. Across the table, Mark’s face settled on a blank expression.

“Post what food they order. Take pictures of food instead of eating,” the waiter growled. “Facebook, Facebook, Facebook. And no tip.” Slamming down another scorpion bowl, he stomped off.

Biting his lip, Eduardo looked at Mark. Mark looked back.

They burst into laughter.

“Young people these days,” Mark said with an exaggerated sigh. “Spend all their time on Twitter. Can’t think thoughts longer than 140 characters.”

“Hey! I resemble that remark,” Eduardo shot back. Then he realized what he had just said.

Mark pointed an accusing slice of crispy duck at Eduardo. “Traitor! Did you think I wouldn’t find out?”

“Whoa, whoa.” Eduardo raised both hands to ward off the chopsticks attack. “All my cousins in Brazil are on Twitter. I use it to stay in touch.”

“I know it was you Wardo!” Mark grimaced, in what Eduardo recognized was his best Pacino imitation. Eduardo couldn’t hold back his giggles. “You broke my heart. You broke my heart!”

It took a second for Eduardo’s mind to process the words. He could feel a chill go down his spine, stilling his heart. No. You did, Mark. You did.

Next

Date: 2011-05-19 05:15 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] applegnat.livejournal.com
Absolutely gorgeous stuff! I can't wait to read more. :)

Date: 2011-05-19 05:59 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] hiza-chan.livejournal.com
I am literally bouncing right now. I CANNOT WAIT FOR MORE.

Date: 2011-05-19 10:20 am (UTC)
ext_18115: (star wars - yoda)
From: [identity profile] skyearth85.livejournal.com
what is wrong with me that I want them married in that chapel and have the honeymoon in kirkland *sigh*

this fic is GOLDEN and the tv show reference (BBT!!!) are my happy place!

Date: 2011-05-19 01:08 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] chang-hen-ge.livejournal.com
I love how funny this is, and then with the last line, it suddenlybecomes really heartbreaking. Love this fic so much.

Date: 2011-05-19 03:53 pm (UTC)
ext_24538: (tsn} a. garfield} murderous deer)
From: [identity profile] xbriyeon.livejournal.com
ohhh Mark you idiot why would you say that at the end ;;;

but seriously this is amazing, so hilarious though I'm worried that Wardo is gonna burst a blood vessel sooner or later.

Date: 2011-05-19 04:30 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] indecentexposed.livejournal.com
JOY. PURE AND UNMITIGATED JOY.

i laughed and shrieked and there may or may not have been actual dancing. this is pretty much the best thing ever.

i need more, like, yesterday! :D

Date: 2011-05-19 09:54 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sakurita.livejournal.com

This is hilarious! XDD

Can´t wait to read more! <3

Date: 2011-05-20 04:59 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] celestialteap0t.livejournal.com
So much fun! I'm looking forward to more!

Date: 2011-05-20 11:19 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] neqs.livejournal.com
Hey, I really loved that! Dead funny stuff. Can't wait for more!

Date: 2011-05-22 10:58 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] silviakundera.livejournal.com
This is fun. I loved the reconciliation conversation flow chart. LOL. Can't wait to read more.

Date: 2011-05-22 01:27 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] metralha.livejournal.com
I'm loving this. It's so funny and in character.

Date: 2011-05-27 01:25 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] leopardchic79.livejournal.com
Love this!! Looking forward to more! :)
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