<Big spoilers on the end of pt.6 and major spoilers for pt.2>
Description: The first time Joseph's wriggling eyebrows and pet-peeve smile feels less like a joke and more like a desperate wish is on the streets of New York.
OR: Joseph deals with loss in all the worst ways.
Trigger warning: gay relationships, whatever, I should really stop adding this warning because it's a waste to type.
---It's 2am i didn't proffread this take my word vomit
Joseph doesn't know the first time he saw Erina looking too frail and too weak than she was supposed to. His grandmother was always strong, a pillar of harsh discipline that hit his backside with a ruler whenever he was rude and brash and skipped school.
She wasn't supposed to look like that. She wasn't supposed to be hunched over in her rocking chair, an old photo clasped tightly in her grip, listless eyes staring blankly out the window, seeing something far in the past. That just isn't right.
For now, Joseph slinks back, and pretends he didn't see anything. But he just can't, because it's his grandmother, you know? It's for this reason that later that night he tip-toes his way into her room and pulls out the photo.
The boy has black hair and kind eyes, a big frame but a gentle smile. Jonathan, it reads, and he has the brief memory that that's the name of his grandfather.
When she's with Speedwagon, and Joseph is peering from behind a barely-open door, she doesn't look so sad.
If an old bond breaks, you just have to build another, don't you? If a bridge caves in, you just have to construct another. Then, you can cross whatever river just like before. It makes sense, he thinks.
The first time Joseph jokes about Speedwagon and Erina having an affair; it's just the small voice that speaks that small line of thought. And it was kind of funny to see Speedwagon sigh in disappointment and lower his hat as his grandmother promptly goes red in the face from anger and whacks her cane.
The bruises don't answer the small, barely there, question of why, though.
Sure, he knows why, he isn't stupid. Erina is too loyal and Speedwagon has no interest, they're just friends, he knows this.
But it makes sense, doesn't it? If his grandmother is sad because her lover is dead, she should find another one, right? Because if love made her sad, love also made her happy. She should just find love again, right?
The first time Joseph's wriggling eyebrows and pet-peeve smile feels less like a joke and more like a desperate wish is on the streets of New York.
It's a joke, of course, but he's only half joking and that small seed has already grown into a flourishing tree.
Caesar turns form everything Joseph hates to everything Joseph loves in the span of just a few weeks.
It feels so alive and so in-the-present and mid-kiss he chokes on his own breath coughs and hacks and blabbers out a quick; "I guess it really isn't like the movies, huh!" in the face of Caesar's extremely un-amused expression.
"This is why you've never had a girlfriend before." Caesar says, grimacing in disgust as he wipes Joseph's spit of his face.
Joseph, unfazed, sees an opportunity. "Sure I haven't got a girlfriend, but I got you, and that's better!"