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heart beat for a thousand miles

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Dizzee isn’t sure if it’s some kind of daredevil syndrome or if it’s just a plain, old exhibitionism thing. It sort of seems to border between the two. Or maybe it’s just the fact that even well after a year – a year, he thinks, feels it flutter like light wings against the inside of his breastbone – he still can’t keep his hands off his boyfriend.

It’s Thor’s fault anyway, he decides, as he’s dragging Thor into the cluttered alley behind the club. The music from the party’s still going, the Zulu Queens giving the crowd just what they want. It was very sweet of Tanya to extend the invitation to both Dizzee and Thor although the twist of Ra-Ra’s lips had clearly shown he wasn’t pleased with his older brother being there to chaperone. 

Never mind that Dizzee would never think of doing anything akin to chaperoning for Ra-Ra – he’ll easily admit that his younger brother has his head screwed on a lot more level than Dizzee has – but any plan he’d had to relax and just kick back was immediately ruined when Thor turned up in an aged, green Henley that stretches almost obscenely around his arms and a splotch of red paint smeared along his neck, forgotten.

“How old is this shirt even?” Dizzee demands, shoving Thor up against a wall, the two of them half-hidden by a waist-high dumpster and the darkness. Thor goes as easily as ever, looking at Dizze with those soft eyes that will probably either kill him or save him one day, maybe a mix between the two. He gasps when Dizzee presses in against him from shoulder to hip, hands smoothing over the worn shirt. 

“Dunno, like four years, maybe?” Thor suggests and then makes a low noise when Dizzee runs his hands over his pecs, thumbs moving over where his nipples sit under the fabric.

Dizzee feels almost ravenous, like he could consume this boy until they merge into one being and still want him more every day. He slots his thigh in between Thor’s, feeling how he’s quickly hardening in his jeans.

He steals a quick, dirty kiss and then drops to his knees. He can’t help but grin at the gasp that escapes Thor’s mouth.

Even with all their practice, his impatience makes his hands clumsy, something that Dizzee has never had to worry about before, and it takes a few tries before he finally gets open Thor’s belt and fly, yanking his underwear down without further ado.

A thick shudder goes through Thor’s whole body when Dizzee finally takes him in his mouth, setting a quick pace with one hand firmly on the muscle of Thor’s hip. Thor has one hand on the brick wall behind them, another curled carefully around the back of Dizzee’s neck. His mouth hangs open, slick and pink even in the poor lighting.

Dizzee can feel the little hitches of Thor’s hips, knows to take him in deeper and swallow and that’s the exact moment the club’s backdoor swings open.

“Dizzee?” Ra-Ra calls out, and Dizzee almost chokes. On the wall, Thor’s hand curls into a desperate fist. “Wait, Thor, ‘s that you? You seen Dizzee anywhere?”

“Nah, I was just stepping out for a smoke. Last I saw, he was heading to the bathrooms,” Thor says in an almost normal voice. Dizzee would be impressed if he wasn’t completely frozen, well aware that his only saving grace is the dumpster in front of him. If Ra-Ra takes just two steps forward – well. It’s probably a good thing he’s moving out from home soon, because he’d never be able to look Ra in the eye again.

“How does he always just disappear like that,” he hears Ra-Ra sigh. “I’m gonna try to keep looking for him. You coming?”

“Just a second,” Thor tells him.

It’s only when he hears the creak of the backdoor swinging closed again that Dizzee even dares breathe. He plants his face in the rough fabric of Thor’s jeans, smelling the strange but treasured combination of paint and skin.

“Well, that was a mood killer,” he mumbles. Thor just snorts in response.



He may not be able to keep his hands of Thor, but his boyfriend doesn’t even try to pretend that he doesn’t feel the same way. Dizzee’s not sure what set it off tonight, but one second he’s folding their clean laundry and the next he’s got his back on the bare mattress and his legs around Thor’s hips.

Thor bites a vicious line of kisses down his throat, scraping his teeth over the jut of his collarbone. Dizzee melts back into the mattress with a sigh, bringing his hands into his boyfriend’s hair and giving it a firm tug. Thor groans into the skin of his chest before he all but rips Dizzee’s shirt off.

“Not that I’m complaining, mind,” Dizzee breathes as Thor sucks marks on the thin skin underneath his bellybutton, “but what has gotten into you today?”

The sight of Thor grinning up at him from between the V of his legs is probably Dizzee’s favorite sight, to be honest. It makes his mouth go all dry and slack.

“Well, I was hoping that you would,” Thor says, looking wild and sharp with his hair falling in free waves around his face before he scrambles up to straddle Dizzee’s hips and catch his mouth in another harsh kiss.

They switch it up often enough, but it still feels novel enough to send a rush through Dizzee’s veins, makes his heart beat just that bit faster. He slides his hands over Thor’s thighs and back to grab his ass firmly.

Thor rests his arms on Dizzee’s shoulders as he pushes back, making the muscles in his arms stand out, grinding into the cradle of Dizzee’s hips. Dizzee bites at his bottom lip and pulls open the fly of Thor’s shorts, those terribly tight ones that Dizzee pretends to hate.

As he pops open the line of buttons, it’s immediately obvious that Thor’s wearing nothing underneath. Dizzee’s isn’t sure what expression he’s making but Thor laughs.

“It’s laundry day,” he says without even a hint of shame in his voice. Dizzee scoffs.

“As if you need an excuse to go without,” he says pointedly. Thor goes without underwear about as often as he goes shirtless. Which is a lot.

“What can I say,” Thor says, still grinning as Dizzee tugs the shorts of him, “guess I’m just that easy when it comes to you.”

Thor barely lets him shove down his own jeans before he’s digging out the lube from underneath the mattress. He keeps sucking small marks into the sensitive skin of Dizzee’s throat and Dizzee thinks he’ll probably look like he’s been mauled by some kind of motorically challenged vampire later, but at the moment he’s got this beautiful boy writhing on his fingers and sending sparks of pleasure through Dizzee with his mouth.

Thor groans loudly.

“Oh, for fuck’s sake.”

Dizzee blinks, then turns his head in the direction of the decidedly feminine voice as Thor does the same. For a second he thinks he’s having some sort of flashback but it’s not Shao who’s barged in the door this time. It’s Mags.

She’s got both hands on her hips and a very impatient look on her face, glaring at them as if she hasn’t walked in on them in the middle of sex.

As if she can hear what Dizzee’s thinking, she scoffs and says, “Oh please, it’s nothing I haven’t seen before,” and well, between the casual relationship she used to have with Thor and using Dizzee as a mannequin and model for her designs, she probably has seen everything currently on display.

Thor rolls off with a dramatic sigh, throwing an arm across his eyes. “The venue,” he says, “that was today, wasn’t it?”

“Ah,” Dizzee says, remembering. They were supposed to help out setting up the venue for the fashion show Mags is showcasing at. He pulls his boxers and pants back up. “This is why we need an actual calendar, you know.”

Thor is the one who remembers these things. He’s got a brain for remembering dates and odd bunches of information and he’s usually very good at it; Dizzee’s always had difficulty retaining numbers and facts that aren’t of immediate interest to him.

Thor stares at him balefully as Dizzee rolls to his feet and throws his shorts at him. They’re both still half-hard but Dizzee’s jeans are probably a lot easier to wiggle back into than the shorts. Not to mention that Thor’s still got lube smeared all over.

“We really don’t,” he grouses. “This is a one-time only thing, okay.”

“Sure,” Dizzee agrees easily, grinning at Mags, “until next time you get horny.”

Mags cackles when the open tube of lube hits Dizzee in the arm with a wet smack.



Dizzee isn’t sure what time it is but it’s late enough that the subway station is basically deserted. Actually, it’s completely deserted at the moment. From the bench they’re on, they’ve got clear view of the stairs while still being partially hidden by a couple of pillars and Dizzee just wants to touch, just a little.

It’s been hours since he last got to touch his boyfriend and he feels like he’s aching. Sometimes he can’t help but wonder how he made it so many years before meeting Thor, how he could go about life without knowing his touch. Now he can barely go a handful of hours.

Halfway through the event they’d been working at, he’d had to pull Thor into a bathroom stall just to kiss him for a second and feel the solidity of his body. There are still times where Dizzee wonders if Thor’s something he made up, a wish that somehow magically came alive. Maybe he doodled him on Shaolin’s old apartment walls, that time with the purple crayon, without realizing and Thor was born in a blaze of fire and thunder storms.

Maybe he’s been on his feet a bit too long. He slumps down on the bench and lets his head rest on Thor’s shoulder, basking in the warmth he can feel even through the shirt. Thor slides a broad hand onto Dizzee’s thigh, stroking his thumb in small circles.

Even though Dizzee’s absolutely beat, his body reacts to Thor’s touch with an almost pavlovian rush of arousal, something so deeply ingrained in him now by simple association.

Dizzee tilts his head and presses a lingering kiss against the soft skin under the hinge of Thor’s jaw. Thor turns and slides his mouth against Dizzee’s, softly sucking his lower lip into his mouth. Dizzee puts his hand on Thor’s where it’s on his own thigh and slides it a bit up, a bit in towards the inner seam of his pants. Thor presses his thumb firmly into the join of Dizzee’s inner thigh, stroking it along the middle seam leading up to the zipper.

It’s probably the exhaustion but the slight touch makes Dizzee shudder and make a wounded noise against Thor’s mouth.

“Oh, Dizz,” Thor murmurs, sounding as if he’s the one being taken apart by the gentlest of touches. Maybe he is, too. “You’re beautiful, Dizz. Dizzee.”

Thor has barely touched him but Dizzee already feels like he’s falling, shaking, and with a single firm squeeze of Thor’s hand, he’s coming, back arching and hand gripping Thor’s wrist like it’s a lifeline.

Thor makes an amazed noise and when Dizzee looks at him his eyes have gone all dark and wanting. Dizzee has barely gotten a breath in when he hears the telltale echo of approaching footsteps and two familiar voices.

He sees Crash and Daze about a second before they see him and barely has time to throw his jacket over his lap to hide his stained pants.

“Hey guys,” he calls out, hoping they won’t notice the thickness of his voice or the way Thor shifts surreptitiously next to him, hunching over a bit.

As the two other boys drop down onto the bench with them, chatting energetically, Dizzee shoots an apologetic smile at Thor who just gives him a quick wink. It curls into a ball of warmth in Dizzee’s chest.



Shaolin drops his jacket the moment the doors to the old library close behind him. It drops to his feet, a heavy flop of leather, thick enough to create a shine of sweat on his skin in the early fall warmth.

Like most days, he still feels cold, though.

His temple is so quiet around him, like a mockery of the noise there should have been. Instead, there’s only the deep creak of the building settling into itself, the smell of dust and mildewy books in place of life.

He grits his teeth and doesn’t look at his turntables or the crates of records set up around the room. The funny thing (the gut-wrenching, harrowing thing) is that music used to be the one way he could escape.

In this room, where his music was supposed to live, there are scraps of notebook paper shoved into every crevice. There are empty cans of beer and soda on the tables and in the window sills that he can’t bring himself to throw out. There are books that have been carefully dusted off and flipped through, dog-eared on certain pages like the hands that left them might actually come back to look again.

Now, everywhere he looks he sees traces of a boy who’ll never come back. With the amount of times Shao’s been abandoned in his life, he really should be used to it, he thinks. He thought he was used to it.

Turns out that you never truly get used to being left behind.

Shao feels weary down to the very marrow of his bones in a way he hasn’t really felt before. Before, it had been anger, struggle bringing a stubbornness along with the pain, an unfailing refusal to fade away. Now – now he just wants to fall into bed and not get out again.  

But before he does just that, he notices one of the record players, an old, cheap thing, is gone. He tenses, looks through the room for any clue he might have missed but everything else looks the same, except for a small gap left in one of the crates of records. Nothing else has been disturbed.

For a second, he’s baffled. Who steals a shitty old record player, a handful of LPs, but doesn’t touch the expensive music equipment, or even just the spotless Pumas in the boxes next to the bed?

Then it dawns on him. Aside from Shao, there’s exactly one person – well two, now, technically – that still uses the temple, as if Shao’s presence is a blessing instead of a curse.

Shao makes his way to the roof. As he climbs the creaking stairs, he can hear the soft strains of music floating down from the open door. Just by the soft bassline and acoustic guitar he can tell that it’s one of those sappy, acoustic records that Shao would swear up and down that he doesn’t own.

He shakes his head. Figures.

He steps quietly onto the roof and stops with his hand on the doorframe, just taking in the sight in front of him.

They’ve dragged out the extra mattress from the shed, thrown a few blankets over it and put up a few of the string lights. The multicolored bulbs paint the two bodies beneath them, making them look more like a vision taken straight from a dream that Shao could never voice rather than anything his reality could actually produce.

Still, there they are, limbs twined together like they belong there. Thor’s pale skin is a bare canvas for greens and blues while Dizzee glows in red and yellow, a study in warmth.

They move so slow and unhurriedly, one of Dizzee’s long legs hitching itself over Thor’s hip as Thor smoothes a hand down the length of the back of his thigh, catching at the back of his knee and pulling up and in, the muscles in Thor’s arms shifting tightening. Dizzee arches his neck and scratches his fingers down the broad expanse of Thor’s back, leaving four superficial lines that turn pink and purple as he shifts in the light.

Each rolling movement of the two of them together has the fluidity Shao can only feel in seamless transition of one track to another, beats and basslines blending perfectly. Dizzee tugs at the strands of Thor’s hair and it makes Thor gasp, Shao feeling the same greedy sound leaving his own lips.

It’s Thor who catches him staring and smiles, all dark eyes and kiss-swollen lips. “Hey Shao,” he breathes. Dizz twists to look back and he meets Shaolin’s eyes with a smile that feels like punch to the gut.

“I was hoping you’d make it,” he says easily, like he isn’t shifting the fundament of Shao’s world, every word a landslide.

That beautiful boy has always been endlessly frustrating to Shao, with a mind that works lightyears ahead of Shao’s own and a profile Shao can sometimes still see when he closes his eyes. The courage Dizzee holds himself with is new, unashamed, and Shao wants that so desperately he has to clench his fists because he has no idea how to obtain it.

On the mattress, Dizzee untwists a hand from Thor’s hair and holds it out to Shao. Shao lets himself be pulled onto those old blankets, and he can feel the weariness bleed from his bones, leaving just sparks of pleasure where two pairs of hands undress him and two mouths caress him like he’s something to be wanted.

Strangely, unexpectedly, he relates easier to Thor – and isn’t that a riot, Shaolin Fantastic commiserating with a pretty white boy with questionable taste in music. Once, he came to the temple during a storm with food and an acoustic guitar on his back and had played simple melodies through the night until Shao had fallen asleep.

It had been the best sleep Shao had had in a very long time. He still isn’t sure if Thor had actually known it was his birthday but he had been glad to not spend it alone for once.

At one point, easily fingering his way through something Shao thought he knew but couldn’t name, Thor had talked about getting kicked out at sixteen for falling in love, about the little sister he’s slowly forgetting the face of, about seeing families and wondering what that feels like, about drinking till he stopped hurting and then realizing it just hurt more that way.

Now he feels Thor’s mouth kiss down the line of his hipbone, one of his hands bumping into Dizzee’s over Shao’s chest. He can feel Dizzee hard against his side and hip as he puts a hand in Thor’s hair and drags him back up for a kiss that makes Dizzee moan into Shao’s shoulder. He stares at them with the same look he gets when faced with a bare stretch of wall, seeing beauty and possibility all on one.

It makes Shao reach out for him, lips parting easily for Dizzee’s tongue in a sloppy kiss.

There are things about Shaolin’s life that Thor will never be able to understand, that Dizzee will know just from being born and living in the same world Shao lives in. But then there are things that Thor recognizes, things that Dizzee, the boy with the stars in his eyes, could never fathom and that Shaolin would never, ever want him to.

Those stars need to shine, Shao thinks, gasping as hands slip over him, into him, until he can’t tell which hands belong to whom.

He’s not in love with Dizzee and he’s not in love with Thor; but he might be a little in love with Thor and Dizzee and the person he gets to be with them.