"You look amazing," Bill murmured, lowering the mirror. "What do you think?"
Tom opened his mouth to say something filled with suave assurance, particularly in regard to his masculinity, but as it turned out, his tongue was quicker than his brain. "I look like Natalie Portman," said Tom, and added hastily, "She's seriously hot."
"Really?" Bill asked, and let out that gorgeous laugh of his again. "Well, you're attractive, she's attractive, so that does make sense. You like it?"
Okay, so Tom's remark hadn't been the stupidest he could possibly make. In the end it had worked out, as a matter of fact, because he liked it when Bill laughed, and wanted to be the cause of that sound whenever he could. Just as he was congratulating himself on the unexpectedly clever move, his tongue suddenly decided it would be a great idea to blurt out, "You think I'm attractive?"
Shit, Tom thought vaguely, panicking as Bill raised an eyebrow at him. An eyebrow raise couldn't be a good sign.
"Yes," Bill confessed in the dulcet tone that seemed to be his usual - dulcet, now there was another word Tom hadn't even been aware existed in his own vocabulary. Bill glanced down, then back up at Tom through his dark, mascara-laden eyelashes. "Yes, I do."
"Oh," said Tom, and grinned slowly. "Really?" Somehow his most idiotic statements were getting him further than the polite conversation he'd been attempting to make before. Maybe if he'd left his intelligence by the wayside to begin with - all right, more than he already had, anyway - he and Bill would have been making out on the sofa by now.
"Well." Bill picked up a tube that was either lip gloss, mascara, or something Tom had never heard of before, and started fiddling with it between two dainty fingertips. "Yes."
"That's good." Tom wasn't even trying for coherency anymore, just grinning like a madman now that Bill had given him the confidence boost of the century. This, he could deal with. When someone found him attractive, he knew it was safe to kick the charm up to full throttle, which was always a relief. Tom had never been a master of subtlety, but seduction, hell yeah, he could manage that.
Bill's box was between them, kind of in the way, but Tom leaned over it, touching Bill's chin with two fingertips, the way Bill had held his in place. With a startled, adorable little intake of breath, Bill looked over at him like a deer caught in the headlights.
"Oh," said Bill, glancing over at the television. "Oh look, four runs to five now. Cubs might actually have a chance of-"
"Hey, you know, you kind of look like Natalie Portman too," Tom interrupted him, bringing Bill's head gently back around to face him. Bill licked his lips and blinked at Tom. "I mean you're hot," Tom concluded. "And it's really sexy when you talk about sports."
Bill looked nervous, licking his lips again. There was also something else in his eyes, though, something that Tom interpreted as hopeful. "You know I'm a guy, right?" Bill asked.
"Jeez, duh," Tom replied, and leaned in to find out whether those lips were as kissable as they looked.