A Damn Good Day


The woman pulled the man close to her. It was almost a chore to relate to him, since he didn’t really appeal to her in that manner, but she was lonely; at least as lonely as a loner can be. It was one of those moments that demanded attention even if it might be fleeting and almost isolated. The man smiled broadly at her; his aloofness to her had been one of the safe things she could count on, and now that she was alone, it was both attractive and off-putting to find he was no longer safe. She kissed him and he returned her kiss; bold and brash in a way, but with an underlying tenderness he rarely displayed but to one other. Both of them knew it was a time of being used and being useful, since they both still longed for love that they had found and lost with others.

“You okay with this?”

“For now, sir!” She snapped her reply off as any dutiful officer might to a superior. But he was superior only in rank. She took a back seat to no one; her last love had discovered how independent and single-minded she could be and he loved her for it. But that was then.

“This can’t last.” He sighed; not easily taken to regrets; a man of determined ideals, he never did anything he thought was wrong if he could help it, and he almost always…mostly…did what he could to do the right thing even when money was involved.

“No, it can’t…” She breathed out. As satisfying as the moment had been, the brevity and limit made it almost hurt, since they had approached but had not duplicated what they had enjoyed with others. She pushed off him and rolled over onto her back; her arm splayed across his chest almost like a mother looking out for a child. In many ways he was like a child, but with innocence smashing head-long into cynicism. They say that cynicism is born of innocence betrayed, and his life felt like one long betrayal. To hold onto something solid and permanent was almost an elusive dream he nevertheless strove to achieve….

The figure hit ‘save as’ and folded the laptop closed. A quick scan around the room showed nothing remarkable or new in an unrelentingly unremarkable life other than the talent to write. The only solace, in fact, in an otherwise disappointing and discouraging existence, if it could even be called that. This despite the protests of others. A lover who valued him and tried every day to rip away the shreds of self-hatred that hung on like rotten grave clothes. But that meant fighting ghosts of the past. A mother who loved as much as she could while understanding little and a father who remained highly disappointed in those rare times when he actually had acknowledged the child; the golden child, in fact, who would have rescued the family from middle-class obscurity if the right genetic material had been passed from father to son.

Instead of the conquering hero, the child was defeated even before any battle had begun. And that was just for starters. Can a father actually dislike a son? Not just not care enough to love, but to hold the boy in such utter disregard as to be devastating. After all; he didn’t match up with his older half-siblings even. And his father never loved his mother to begin with, and loved neither until he had breathed his last….

Jess looked at himself in the mirror; a trope if ever he’d read one, his self-image was almost solely defined by how badly his attempts were met by his daily reflection. His hair was a nice if quite unpredictable amalgam of his father’s nap and his mother’s straight coarseness. A bit of makeup would do the trick, but not until he had ‘the talk’ with Vinnie. And that talk was so far away in his mind that he dreaded even talking to Vinnie about the mundane and usual …

“Well?” Vinnie looked in the mirror ‘over his shoulder’ and smiled at Jess.

“You make a very good likeness.”

Jess half-grinned, distracted by the pull against his better judgment. He resisted the urge once again to speak, even though it felt almost deathly to do so. It was as if he was sitting in a glass tomb; looking out into the open air of real life while consigned to a slow, painful death of self. Fear wrought through years of neglect and self-centered resignation fueled by feeling the need to please unspoken expectations. But even the worst of fears can be disarmed by love and a smile. Vinnie nodded and walked over to the bed and sat down, pulling Jess into a warm if playful embrace.


A simple if emphatic word; easily ignored as Vinnie drew Jess into a kiss. How long had they been doing this dance? How long had Jess been selfish in his deception? He felt entirely unworthy of the love Vinnie bestowed even as lips met the flesh of his neck in a sweet caress.

“Please stop…”

Jess began to weep; almost a surprise to himself, and even stranger; not a surprise at all to his lover. Vinnie didn’t stop kissing, but moved his attention to the crease on the cheek from an old scar. And then to the corner of the left eye as he savored tears that spilled freely.

“You think I don’t know?” He said softly. Jess pushed back just a bit and stared into Vinnie’s eyes.

“Know what?” His question came haltingly, as if by knowing it would finally kill him…kill her.”

“You look away when programs come on. The quick glance and sigh when a show has a girl like…..”

“No…” Jess protested, fearing that the tomb would be sealed forever. Vinnie touched his face…her face.

“Like you? Of course. Just like you.” He pulled Jess closer again but gave an accepting embrace with a soft whisper in the right ear.

“I love you.”


The very same person whom Vinnie had known all along; of course he loved her. He didn’t fall in love with a persona, but Jess himself….

“Yes. Every bit and part and facet and way about you! I’m sorry I took so long to tell you.” Vinnie blinked back his own tears.

“But you’ve said it before? You love me.”

“Yes, but I never told you that I love….this part of you.” Vinnie went to reach under Jess’ shirt and Jess pulled away slightly.

“NO….” Protests were met with insistence as Vinnie found the terrible secret underneath as his hand softly brushed against the camisole.

“I love you…all of you….and who you‘ll finally become.” He kissed Jess again by the ear sending a shudder down the neck. Jess dissolved completely as Vinnie lowered her gently onto her back.

“You….don’t mind?” She placed her hand gently down below.

“It’s only one small part of you…and what will change will be just as wonderful, since it’ll be of you….yours, okay?”


“Shhhh….” Not abruptly or with insistence, but by a supreme show of love, Vinnie silenced the protest with a very long and lingering kiss on the lips. Jess moaned softly and the two fell into a loving dream….

“How do I look, sir?”

The young woman practically saluted the young man with her voice. She wore light brown trousers and a chocolate leather vest over a grayish brown shirt. Her hair was much shorter than she liked, but it would have to do. The tall man wore a reddish brown shirt with grey-brown pants and dark brown braces. Warm autumnal vestments that signified both allegiance to the cause and a new allegiance to each other. They fit it nicely with the scores of others clad similarly milling around the large arena, but in one way they stood out from all the rest.

“We’ve done the impossible and that makes us mighty,” he said as he drew her into a warm if entirely public display of affection as he kissed her.

“Mighty,” she said and she kissed him back.

“…a damn good day to my way of mind…”

“Yes sir….”

Mal’s Song

Words and music by
Joss Whedon
As performed by

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This story is 1421 words long.