"Already melting," Victor muttered, the subject of his sentence swallowed up along with the spoonful of strawberry ice cream he was talking around. "Eat faster!"
"What kind of an–" Georgi gulped down a mouthful of blueberry sorbet. "What kind of an ice cream shop doesn't have air conditioning?"
"No time to talk!" Victor slammed his fist onto the table. The spoons rattled in the complimentary mix-ins jars each table was supplied with. He wished he'd seen them in time to put them on another table. Georgi always had to sprinkle and scatter and strew whatever extra crap was provided onto the ice cream and ruin the pure experience of the flavours.
"You're the one talking," Georgi said, giving Victor that look, that I know I'm better than you despite all the actual evidence, including GOLD FREAKING MEDALS, to the contrary look. And then he dumped a whole extra spoonful of hundreds and thousands onto the strawberry ice cream, right where Victor was eating.
"You're spoiling the ice cream." Victor shoved the top layer over to Georgi's side of the dish. "And the mood!"
"If you'd just gone with my suggestion..." Georgi pushed the coated ice cream back at Victor, proving that he didn't actually want to eat all those horrible sugar balls himself. "We could have been eating subtly flavoured lavender and rose ice cream with delicate spun sugar flowers in the cool elegance of–"
"Yeah, I read the restaurant guide in the hotel too." Victor started carving out a cave underneath the hundreds and thousands but in this heat, he knew undermining would only work for so long. "And it said this place has better ice cream."
Georgi rolled his eyes but he didn't retort and, more importantly, didn't dump a pile of chocolate chips into the melting mess.
Victor slurped down another spoonful. If he swallowed the hundreds and thousands whole, they weren't so bad. And the ice cream was very tasty. But melted, it wasn't nearly so appealing. Although he'd never let on, he was starting to wish they'd gone to Georgi's cool elegant bijou ice creamettery instead.
"Hi, guys!" A bowl of plain vanilla ice cream thumped down onto their table and the plain Canadian butt of Jean-Jacques Leroy slid into their booth beside Victor's fabulous Russian butt. "Nothing like ice cream to wrap up a weekend at Worlds, am I right?"
Victor shared a look with Georgi over JJ's rude manners and boring ice cream taste but neither of them stopped eating.
"You know, I didn't realise you two were such good friends!" JJ pulled a metal flask out of his hip pocket.
"We're not," Georgi said and that was definitely true but it irritated Victor that Georgi was so quick to say it.
"It's tradition." Victor contemplated getting JJ kicked out of the ice cream shop for bringing in his own alcohol. But then he'd have to take his attention away from the ice cream. "Just at Worlds."
JJ uncapped the flask but instead of taking a swig, he drizzled it over his ice cream. "Maple syrup?"
"NO," Victor said before Georgi could accept and ruin their ice cream yet further.
"Are you sure?" JJ held out the flask. "Everything's better JJ Style!"
"We're busy," Victor said. "Competing."
"Sounds fun," JJ said. "I'm in! What are the rules?"
"You can't–" Victor started but Georgi, of course, was already explaining.
"We just eat the ice cream," Georgi said. "But whoever gets the last bite wins."
"Sweet!" JJ scraped his syrup-drenched vanilla into the bowl with the strawberry and blueberry before Victor could do anything about it. "What do they win?"
"Well, the loser has to..." Georgi trailed off, cheeks turning as pink as the melted strawberry ice cream.
"What, get punched or something?" JJ scooped up a huge mound of ice cream and maple syrup and sorbet mixed together, but he paused with his spoon in the air. "Or is it a bet? What's the buy-in?"
Enough of this nonsense. Victor turned to JJ. "The loser," he said, speaking quietly but distinctly, "has to blow the winner."
They'd been playing this game for nearly ten years now. Victor wasn't quite sure how it had started except that they had both been very drunk at the time. But it had been a yearly event ever since.
Currently, they were tied 4-4 and, Victor had to admit, he wasn't sure if he liked winning or losing better. Blow-job giver Georgi had improved an amazing amount since year one. But blow-job receiver Georgi was incredibly appreciative, which Victor honestly enjoyed a lot. Either way, it was the only time they weren't sniping at each other.
"Blow?" JJ said in his too-loud voice. "Like a hummer?"
Georgi's face progressed from strawberry pink to plastic-covered booth red and he nodded.
JJ dropped his spoon.
Finally! Victor thought and waited for JJ's butt to slide away again.
But JJ didn't leave. Instead, he leaned back and slung his arm up over the back of the booth. "Eat up, guys," he said. He winked. "Everything's better JJ Style!"
Victor looked over at Georgi. Georgi looked back at Victor. "This year," Victor said in Russian, "let's share the last bite."
Go for it, beltenebra!