Graeme tipped the spaghetti from the colander back into the now-dry boiling pot. There was a fair amount of it, that was for sure. He wasn’t certain they’d be able to finish it. But then again, it didn’t matter whether or not, because there would be no leftovers tonight. Leftovers didn’t exist anymore.
Mostly because the Earth was going to be blown up at midnight. Well, less mostly and more completely.
It didn’t really matter. Too much was far better than too little, he decided. And the whole point of their last meal was ‘too much’.
It had started as Bill’s idea. And then they’d all realised that probably the one thing that they all collectively enjoyed was eating. Because who doesn’t like eating? Inexplicably they were all friends, but their likes and dislikes were all mismatching. But you can’t go wrong with eating, it’s almost universally enjoyable. And given the fact they’d all wanted to spend their last night together, it just made sense to pick something they’d all like. Something simple.
It was exhausting to stir so much pasta because it was heavy to move with the spoon, but he did it anyway as he sprinkled in the cheese and emptied jars of sauce into the pot. The warmth of the freshly boiled spaghetti would melt the cheese and warm the sauce through. Too hot and too cold would become a sort of acceptable warm.
Struggling slightly, he hefted the pot into his arms and carried it to the table, where he dropped it down with a hard clonk just in time for the doorbell to ring.
Tim was worrying his lip hurriedly. Graeme had never seen him do it before. Bill looked awkward, too. Graeme answered the door to a delivery boy who looked far too flighty and didn’t even ask to be paid for the two boxes he passed over. “I’m gonna get fired,” the boy said with a smile. “That’s my final act.”
Graeme closed the door on the kid’s wild grin.
“Well we definitely have too much food,” he said, breaking the tense silence.
“That’s the idea though, isn’t it?” Bill asked, pronouncing too many of the syllables in ‘innit’, turning it almost into it’s lengthened form: another thing Graeme had never seen before.
“Why did we have to order pizza?” Tim said suddenly. “It’s so American.”
“Pizza isn’t American—” Graeme started, but he was cut off by Bill.
“We should’ve just gone down the chippy like I said in the start. None of this slow preparation stuff, that’s all too depressing. I feel like I’m getting my last meal on death row,” Bill said.
“Well, technically—” Graeme started again, but he was once again cut off.
“We couldn’t go down the chippy, Bill, because the oil is rancid and you can taste it on the chips,” Tim announced shrilly.
“Oi! It’s vintage,” Bill exclaimed in protest.
“Stop it!” Graeme interrupted. “The chippy is closed because Mr and Mrs Brown aren’t working tonight, so it doesn’t even matter.”
The silence fell again. The food on the table was steaming, and everyone was just looking at it awkwardly.
“This is far more awkward than I’d thought it would be, I have to say. It’s almost as if nobody wants to be the first to tuck in,” Graeme said, half-joking and half-not.
“Rather like an orgy,” Bill mused.
“It is not,” Tim said, sensibilities offended. As if to drive his point in some strange way, he tore open a box and pulled free a piece of pepperoni pizza, taking a muted bite.
The others dipped their heads in acknowledgement, and each pulled free a slice for themselves, starting to eat. The trepidation seemed to leave the room now everyone was eating. They picked up the pace and started to lose their basic decorum. Bigger bites, quicker swallows, far too few chews than is considered proper.
Tim would usually peck like a delicate little thing whenever he ate, but he was probably eating the quickest of all of them, even Bill. Graeme could only blame the fact that the end of the world was getting to the poor boy.
Meanwhile, Graeme himself was experiencing somewhat of an epiphany. He had never had any particular focus or interest in food besides the basic gratification it brought anyone given it keeps human beings alive when they eat. That and the taste of his favourites. But now he was appreciating eating abstractly. Stuffing too many slices of pizza into his mouth while his best friends did the same on either side. It held an almost instinctual appeal.
They went through the box together faster than any of them expected. Tim passed Bill a crust he hadn’t eaten as Graeme put the empty box on the floor and opened the second one.
Graeme was almost full. Not full-full, just in the way that if he needed to, he could stop now. But he didn’t need to and had no plans of the kind. He kept eating. There were eight slices a pizza — now, it’s worth mentioning they weren’t particularly large pizzas, given about an hour Graeme figured he might have been able to eat one by himself. In any case, the last time Tim and Bill had had 3 slices, and he’d had 2. This time, even if he was taking just a little more than his share, he aimed for four. And he pulled it off pretty well.
This was what he’d describe as sort of full. Eating more wouldn’t hurt him for a little while yet, but this is where he’d usually stop. But he wasn’t going to. He was enjoying this.
“Going begging,” Tim said, holding up another spare crust between his finger and thumb.
Bill shrugged and went to take it, but Graeme snatched it from Tim’s hand and ate it quickly. Bill just sort of blinked at him. He seemed surprised, not quite as intensely to be called shocked, but still, surprised. Graeme had never really been passionate about physical satiation. This enthused feeding was a new look on him, that the others hadn’t seen before. But it was as new to Graeme himself as it was to them.
He hadn’t lost all his manners, though. He invited Bill to the spaghetti first. This was less because he wanted Bill to get to the pasta first and really because he didn’t want to get distracted from the sight before him. He was drawing far too much pleasure looking at Tim. Tim was always a little bit naive and childish, but this contrasted with a sort of… it wasn’t sensibility and it wasn’t properness. But it was something of the kind.
It’s just, now he had grease on his fingers and sauce on his babyface, and he was licking it off his lips in a manner that was just so sweet. And Graeme liked seeing Tim looking like he’d lost a bit of control. (Not that he had a grand amount of control or restraint typically, just that he always looked like he did. Acted like it, too. But now that fallacy was blatant.)
Just to be polite, Graeme dished Tim out. The same amount as Bill had for himself, which was a pretty decent mound, but… it just seemed fair. And he gave that to himself too.
Graeme took a mouthful. It wasn’t twisted neatly around his fork like he normally would, using his spoon to stabilise the mechanism. That was too fancy, something Bill might have called poncy nonsense. He just sort of took his fork and spoon and shovelled it into his mouth. What bits didn’t quite fit just fell back onto his plate when he bit them off. He liked getting the sauce on his face.
Inspiration struck. “I think it would be marvellous if, having finished eating, I’m too full to move,” Graeme announced.
Bill repeated the same surprised blinking from earlier. “Well that’s easy enough,” he said after a beat. “Just don’t stop eating once you feel like you have to swallow every ten seconds to keep it down. You’ve gotta plan ahead though, get the dessert out earlier or you can’t get up to grab it once you’re done with the main course.”
“You’ve done this before,” Graeme said accusingly, but it wasn’t a serious tone.
“Maybe once or twice. Here.” Bill stood up and went into the kitchen, and he came back with a tub of ice cream and a cake in a plastic package. He tapped the package with the cake inside. “Just from the grocery.”
Graeme kept eating the spaghetti, but at some point, he reached an impasse and his belt was awfully tight around his middle. He squirmed a bit and took the time to look at the others. Bill was still eating happily, but he had slowed down a little, his bites smaller. Tim groaned and leaned back in his chair, one hand on his slightly rounded stomach. He was also still eating, but very slowly. Graeme liked the way he pressed his hands slightly into his belly when he leant back and panted.
Bill did a similar thing, but he was more subtle about it. He didn’t arch backwards greatly when he did, just sort of sat up straighter and huffed a little.
Graeme groaned a little too as he unbuckled his belt and let his belly move outward a little more, unrestricted. Tim seemed to have taken note, and stifled a burp with a pink face as he started undoing his union jack waistcoat, button by button, kneading more at his stomach beneath his shirt with little breathy pants.
Graeme almost jumped when he unwittingly moaned right after swallowing a particularly big mouthful. Bill snickered a little behind his hand at Graeme but was shut up when he interrupted his own amusement with an accidental burp.
“Shut up,” Graeme panted. “You think you’re one to talk, do you?”
“I most certainly do not, but you can’t deny my right to be amused at the fact that after being so obsessed with your mental gratification all these years, you didn’t even notice how much you liked eating.”
“I never had much reason to find ou—” his sentence was interrupted by a wholly unexpected and involuntary hiccup. He whined quietly, half in embarrassment and half in satisfaction. “Find out,” he finished.
“Whatever helps you sleep at night, Grae-bags,” Bill said with a smile and turned back to his food.
Tim was panting in his chair, still forcing food into his mouth despite his visible discomfort. Despite the pained look on his face, he also looked incredibly content, and Graeme couldn’t see fit to stop the boy when he had that odd delight shining in his eyes through the expression of distress. That and his stifling of a small burp every few minutes was endearing to watch. Unlike Bill, who barely even made the effort, Tim was still caught up on the little things like that.
Graeme made another swallow and hiccuped a second time. Just like last time, it made him whine softly. He had to unbutton his pants, as he’d noticed Bill had done a while ago now. He gasped the relief, and Tim followed suit.
Graeme didn’t care about looking silly now as he simply had to marvel at what he’d done to himself. He couldn’t help but stare down at his stomach poking out, rounded and noticeably larger (at least compared to usual). He had to run his hands over it, feel the angles in the way his belly was pushed out at the bottom and brushed his thighs, but most particularly the dramatic distention under the ribs. That was probably his favourite. It was still a little soft beneath his fingers, had too much give for his liking. But the skin was warm, and even though he was sitting right there next to Bill and Tim, he had to unbutton his shirt. His bare skin had a delightful pink flush around the distended area.
Muffling his own burp now, he scraped the last traces of spaghetti off his plate and looked into the pot. There was a little left in there, and he took some of it for himself, but it only constituted a mouthful or two.
Bill was also finished and happily accepted what was left in the pot. There was still food on Tim’s plate, but he’d stopped eating a while ago and was breathing in short, sharp gasps in his chair, holding his belly and moaning in discomfort. It was pressing against the front of his shirt, and that made Graeme giddy when he looked. It wasn’t exactly straining the buttons, but the fabric was pulling a little around where the buttons held it together.
That wasn’t to say that watching Bill didn’t also excite Graeme, because it did. There was a certain thrill to seeing how well-disguised Bill’s discomfort was. The panting was quiet, every now and again he’d press slightly at the sides of his belly, and his stomach pulled his t-shirt tight around him. But the thrill in this instance came from the fact Graeme had seen Bill do these things before at dinnertime. He hadn’t known what they meant, but the fact that Bill was more than full every time he did this, all those times, that was what Graeme liked about that performance.
Bill cut the supermarket cake into thirds, and Graeme picked up his section in his hands, chocolate frosting smearing between his fingers. He didn’t care. He’d never have to clean them again. What a wonderful way to die. He pushed the frosted confection into his mouth slowly, chewing it at a lazy pace, trying not to rush his stomach that was so delicate feeling now. Still, the cake was not that big, and his slice was gone fairly quickly. He was pleased he’d managed to get it down.
His distended stomach was now firm. The give had gone away, the flesh felt like it covered a rock when he touched it. It was hot and deeply flushed and distended more than an inch, which… given he was normally fairly skinny, was absolutely wild. He couldn’t stop touching it.
Every breath he took now was like Tim’s, short and strained. He could feel his stretched stomach pressing up against his diaphragm, and somehow that made him moan slightly and grin giddily as he looked up at nothing in particular on the wall.
“I think I’m done,” he said.
“Can you move?” Bill asked, reminding Graeme of what he’d said earlier.
Graeme shifted a little. He shifted a little more. He could shift so much, he might have been able to stand. Oh, it would make him sick. But he could do it.
“I can,” he said, a little disappointed.
Tim weakly managed to take another bite of his spaghetti in the background.
“Right,” Bill said. “Here.”
He grunted and groaned as he shifted just enough to lean over and reach his hands onto Graeme’s stomach. He then began to push gently, massaging his fingers over Graeme’s stomach. As he did this, Graeme burped several times, no longer abashed enough to care about stifling them.
“You can probably fit some more now,” Bill said and pushed the unopened tub of ice cream over towards him. Graeme picked up a spoon and scooped some of it onto his plate. It was soft and a little drippy from sitting out, but that made it easier to eat. He just tipped the plate towards his mouth and sort of swallowed it as it came. Every mouthful stretched his stomach more, and he could feel it. But eventually, he could eat no more, and he tapered off as Tim had. Now, though, he most certainly couldn’t move. He could shift a tiny bit, but there was no way he could stand.
Basking in the feeling, he reached his hands out to Bill. “Can I?” he asked.
“Certainly,” Bill replied, and Graeme touched his hands slightly to Bill’s stomach, grinning pleasedly at the feeling of the rock-hard distended organ under his fingers.
He turned in the other direction and asked the same of Tim, who responded with a “Please,” and as Graeme touched, seemed to become less and less pained.
Though it was hard, and it hurt him, stabbing pains shooting from within as he did so, Graeme turned to both of them in turn and gave them both a kiss on the hand each.
He fell asleep holding both their hands. If he was ever conscious again, that’d be a story for another day.