He watched the way they pawed for him - friends and followers alike, reaching for his body with malicious eagerness, Keith’s features twisting in startled discomfort, pain, and rage as he scrambled away from groping fingers and laughter-tinged one liners that chased him up Hugs’s broad shoulders in avoidance.
Ellis had only just last night been reunited with his lover after three days spent with a magic anon summoned little girl instead, losing Lily when Keith had returned; the reunion and loss combined had staggered him. It persisted in a thick cloud of vulnerability even in the morning after Keith’s impromptu glance at his messages initiated another magic anon, fouling El’s mood and unbalancing his usual boisterousness.
Jealousy churned heavy and hateful in his stomach, going frigid as he attempted to refrain from a blanket display of possession that might irritate or inadvertently de-masculinize his boyfriend. Keith had been patient with his white knighting when stuck in a female form, but Ellis was hesitant to step in under the current circumstances, particularly considering his own frustrations with Keith prematurely coming to Ellis’s rescue on St Patrick’s. Determined not to make an ass out of himself, Ellis lingered on the sidelines, fury building rapidly in a heavy burn that blazed in his narrowed eyes.
Hugs helped chase them off, and Ellis let Keith unwind in the living room with a plate of lunch while he walked Riggs by himself to catch a mental breath. They circled the trailer park several times before the urge to punch the next gray-faced stranger he came across, and a brisk jog around before the need to get shitfaced had faded to a dull ache between his temples.
When he’d gotten home, Keith had been napping, sandwich demolished and a relaxed snore to every exhale as he slumbered on the couch.
It hadn’t been until later that Ellis had taken advantage of it himself.