What are friends for, I guess

Turns out, he broke her nose.

He could tell from the corner of his gaze, when she showed up in the club. He swallowed, considering downing his drink and asking for something stronger. Or arsenic.

“What’s wrong?”

Of course his friend could tell something was wrong. He almost wanted to say he wasn’t feeling good. But trying to leave without being noticed would be difficult now. “Eh.” He shrugged. He didn’t want to explain what happened. Maybe she wouldn’t notice him. Just because he broke her nose…

There was the thin line of not thinking it was his fault and that he would do it again if put in the same situation. People didn’t tend to agree with that line of thinking much. If their genders were swapped that would be another matter.

She made a beeline for him. He realized that either she was going to accuse him out loud here or blackmail him with the visual reminder. He considered making her right by chucking his glass at her.

His friend made a big show of yawning and stretching, his long arm smacking her right in the face.

“Whoops,” the other man said.

It was so obvious, but he couldn’t help but wonder if his best friend was the best or the worst.

In his defense

In one moment, the atmosphere changed.

He reacted without a second thought. The insult had run his anger past the point of thought. Rational thought dissipated as the muscles in hands made them clench. A moment later he straightened his fingers, pressing his palms down on the table. The part of his mind which wanted to attack was, perhaps, all of his mind. Which was why pressing probably wasn’t the right word for what he did. From the sound he made, slammed made much more sense.

Before he could stand up, before he could swing, she attacked. Instead, his hands rose in front of him to catch her by the shoulders. Her teeth grazed his neck, unable to make a proper mark there.

She was feisty, her fingers at his chest, long nails reddening the skin under his shirt.

He raised up and hand and clocked her in the forehead. She reeled back and fell to the ground. He took a breath.

“Someone might think I wronged you.”

She mumbled something that might have been screw you. He kicked her in the stomach. Yep, someone was going to throw a fit about this. As if she didn’t insult him first, as if she didn’t attack him first.

Damned double standards.