Ben and PJ had it out on the lawn this morning while Sam (on his final Sunday off for the year because advent begins next week) stood there supervising them from the safety of the patio steps.
With paintball guns and day-glow orange paintballs.
Oh, and PJ wasn't armed and may have been running away. Because cold paintballs hurt like fuck and PJ may have made the mistake of losing his patience with the endless comments about how he was just like every other man here except possibly more desperate and he told the wrong person to fuck right off already and Ben looked at him quite crossly and put down his coffee and said,
Padraig isn't actually stupid so he did. It took Ben a couple minutes to load up and then he was off after PJ, faster than you would think for someone so big and now I have another outfit to soak in the set tub in the laundry room for a few days. Pointlessly, as the paint never comes out completely.
Once PJ made it to the pool Sam suggested to Ben that he give up and maybe try using words instead of paintballs so Ben turned around and shot him in the chest.
(Another outfit to soak. Christ, boys.)
Sam swore at him and Ben cut him off, saying it would be no different had it been Sam in the hotseat and Sam said something about wishing he could be so lucky so Ben shot him in the mouth.
Oh, stop it. He was far enough away. I've eaten many a paintball in my life. Granted, through a mask. With a lot of scared-sounding apologies afterward (Sorry, Bridget! Oh my God! Are you okay? That was supposed to go over your head!)
Sam swore again and turned and went inside. I passed him and went outside to take the gun from Ben (Give me that and maybe you should run before I shoot you too.) and then put the gun in a place they won't find for a bit (no one looks down low) and messaged PJ with an apology for Ben's attack and Sam's apparent initial blindness that morphed into regret.
PJ said it was okay, that he already told Ben he was sorry even though he isn't actually sorry.
I laughed. In spite of myself, I laughed. PJ is human. I'm flattered but also highly aware of the balance of our closeness and the distance that necessitates to succeed. As is he. Now more than ever. Sam? Well, he's a different story. He said some uncharacteristic, inflammatory things, but I'll have to deal with him later when he's in a better mood. Maybe at the end of the paintball gun again, though I prefer the pressure washer. It's messier and sends a message that holds no ambiguity whatsoever. It screams I'm drowning and out of control, instead of Ha, I left a neato color on you! It demands to be dealt with rather than being diffused by moving out of the line of sight. 3000 psi trumps 300 any day of the week.
Sam will agree with me once he is soaked to the skin.