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Andrew, from his watchful presence in the corner, keeps a steady eye on five people throughout the night: Aaron, Nicky, Kevin, Neil and Moreau.

Jean Moreau looks better than before. His skin is still pale but it has lost the pallid, unhealthy quality it held before joining the Trojans. His hair has grown a little longer and his smile looks a hundred times more genuine, not something forced for the press. That doesn't mean Andrew feels an ounce of sympathy for him, no matter how many times Neil or Renee try to argue his case. He may have been a victim, but he held Neil down whilst Riko did horrible, twisted things. He kept watch to make sure nobody would stop it. There is still a bitter distaste pulsing through Andrew at the mere thought, infecting him with an awful sort of emotion, one of the signature Neil-related emotions he feels far too regularly.

He is midway through reimagining grisly ways to make Moreau pay when his cousin interjects.

“You should stop him,” Nicky says, shooting a concerned glance behind them to where Kevin is sat, steadily working his way through half the liquor available.

Andrew nods once, curtly, in lieu of I know. Kevin is taking this loss especially sourly because he had a glimmer of hope for them this time. Although Andrew thinks his crushed reaction is ridiculous when it comes to something as unimportant as Exy, he can faintly understand the disappointment. Failures don’t hit as hard when there is no chance of winning at all; Kevin had victory in his sights then promptly lost it.

Andrew has spent the majority of the night alternating between watching Neil, glaring daggers into the back of Moreau’s head and listening to Kevin’s speech become progressively more slurred with the more vodka he consumes. All in all, nothing has happened. Nothing interesting. If Neil didn’t want to stay and socialise and talk about fucking Exy until the sun rises, Andrew would have escaped long before this, gone up to the roof and found comfort in the silence and nicotine.

He is midway through debating whether to leave when this celebration gathering goes from unbearably dull to inconveniently alarming.

As he watches Jeremy Knox and a few other Trojans sidle up beside Neil, there is something unpleasant which twists deep within his gut. Andrew isn’t sure where Moreau is. It’s rare to see him and Knox apart since his arrival to the Trojans. They are practically glued together, and Kevin had explained something about how the Ravens did everything in pairs and could never go anywhere alone, which was enough to satisfy most of the Foxes and their insatiable curiosity. Maybe Moreau has stayed away because of who Knox is talking to. It’s good that he stayed away. He and Neil must pull out all sorts of horrible memories within each other, reminders of Evermore and everything Riko put them through.

What Jean let Riko put Neil through, a voice in his head adds. He is suddenly glad that Moreau isn’t in his sight right now.

Neil laughs at something said. Knox throws an arm affectionately around his shoulders. The contact lasts for quite a while. It isn’t Jeremy Knox which is the problem, though. It’s the others. They are unfamiliar, and as Andrew is not Kevin, he doesn’t spend the entirety of his spare time obsessing over the Trojans or their players and lineups. He narrows his eyes at these new faces. One female, one male. They both seem rather taken with Neil, laughing easily along with him.

Except that the female looks at him with nothing but warmth in her eyes; the man is looking at Neil with something Andrew has the misfortune to recognise immediately.

It’s a downside which comes with years of intense scrutinising. Andrew picks apart situations, desperately searching for potential predators as he has learned to do since he was seven years old. That man has blatant desire flashing in his eyes. They flick from Neil’s jaw, down his neck, down his arms, thighs, calves. On the route back up, he lingers dangerously on the curve of Neil’s ass like it's painful not to reach out and touch him.

Neil can fight his own battles. This man may be broad and muscular, but he poses no threat. It’s just a bit of ‘harmless staring’ or whatever Nicky likes to claim when people eye him in the street. It's not like Neil couldn't take him.

Andrew knows that this person is just an opposing Exy player. He knows that Neil doesn’t swing. And most importantly, he knows that jealousy is a pointless feeling.

But like the flick of a lighter, sparks of envy dance in his stomach, something hot and horrible bubbling out of his half-digested lunch.

Jealousy is one of the most futile things to exist. It’s weak, ignorant, stupid. Andrew has spent so long willing this emotion far away that it’s reappearance startles him. He remembers jealousy when it came to Cass and Drake, when it came to previous foster homes with older, prettier children. He remembers jealousy slowly fading away until he was nothing but an occasional flicker of anger, perhaps bitter amusement, but never this. Never feeling like he’s being burned from the inside and out just from the sight of a Trojan.

“Jeez,” Nicky says, a little too loudly, “who’s that with Jeremy?”

“Chris Hayes,” Kevin replies automatically, and Andrew suppresses the urge to roll his eyes. Kevin adds some other Exy-related shit, but all Andrew pays attention to is, “Backliner,” and, “he joined recently.”

“How come I’ve never seen him before?”

Andrew isn’t looking  - his eyes are glued to Neil - but he assumes Kevin shrugs in response. There’s no other replies.

“Seems nice,” adds Nicky dreamily.

Yes, he does, Andrew thinks bitterly. Too nice. He’s very handsy, all handshakes and elbow touching and friendly nudging. Even from this distance, he notices the telltale tension in Neil’s back as one of the man’s hands brushes by one of the scars left by Riko. It’s not his fault (this man has no idea that Neil is so broken and damaged beneath his clothes) but Andrew still stiffens, preparing to have to push his way over there if things went south. There are knives tucked in his armbands and his fingers are twitching with the urge to curl into a fist.

Andrew does not like to feel too much. Swarms of emotions knock the tight grip on his actions and not having utmost control has always disturbed him. He doesn’t trust the universe to run things. Not when they’ve gone so horrendously in the past. Whenever caustic emotions do try to rear their ugly heads, he pushes them further and further down until the same heavy emptiness settles back into place, then he can comfortably feel nothing. There are odd pinpricks of emotions, like a small stab of interest if Nicky suggests something he likes, or a trickling stream of dislike running through his veins, but they are all faded, smothered with indifference.

Of course, there are bad days. Whenever the haunting remnants of his past decide to catch up with him, Andrew is at their mercy. There is no choice other than to feel. To endure. His mind reels with reminders, playing back trauma as if it’s nothing more than a movie. Sometimes all he can do is relive every second.

Those frequent bouts of self-destruction have been the only constant throughout his life; everything else has stretched to fit around them. The only difference is now he’s got company on bad days. Before, Andrew would have nothing but a blank wall to stare at whilst damage splintered through his mind. Now he can rake his eyes over the sharp angle of Neil’s jaw, the dip of his cheekbone, the point of his nose. There is auburn hair to run his fingers through. The familiar bumps of scars are there, and Andrew can touch them with firm fingers, a reminder that there is a solid presence beside him which will only disappear if that is what he wants. His 'yes' and his 'no' matter for the first time in his life.

That is often enough to pull him back in from the deep end, but never enough to stop him from drowning. Neil’s presence is a band-aid on a wound deeper than flesh.

On the days he isn’t being harassed by anguish, he feels quietly. There’s never been a need to act on emotions, and letting himself be controlled by them is stupid. He sees the disastrous results first-hand. Andrew sees Kevin drink himself into unconsciousness because of Riko; he sees Nicky barely holding back tears because of some insignificant fight with Erik; he sees Dan’s hands quivering after a particularly bad press duty; he sees Neil and his vehement anger, hostility leaking into his words and pulling out that part of him he’s so desperately tried to hide.

To put it simply, Andrew does not like to feel too much as he is never quite sure what his hands will do.

Right now, they are curled tightly around his drink, so tightly that he wonders if the glass will shatter if he squeezes tighter.

Chris gets pulled back into the thick of it pretty soon. Everybody seems to want to meet this new backliner extraordinaire, especially Allison, who flutters her eyelashes and flips her hair whilst introducing herself. Knox, in a very Jeremy Knox fashion, can’t resist but to join in with the bigger crowds and slips Neil a quick goodbye before joining the others. Out the corner of his eye, Andrew notices Moreau reappear, assuming his usual spot at Jeremy’s right shoulder.

Just as Andrew’s relaxed enough to think steadily, Chris Hayes makes another brief appearance. Just him this time. Knox and the other woman are still caught up in the crowd. Neil smiles at him, that strict and weary smile which Andrew recognises as unease, but still accepts conversation. Judging by the easy flow of the chatter they are talking about Exy.

Of course they are. Why would Neil talk about anything else with such a relaxed posture?

It’s not until a minute in that something shifts in Neil’s expression and the conversation becomes increasingly fragmented. Andrew feels that horrible territorial urge slice through his body. He will not move, but pays close attention. Half of him is interested to see where this will go. The other half of him is cautious. Neil is replying with ice in his eyes and Chris is all burning, fiery desire obvious in his eyes, and there is a small voice in Andrew’s brain that reminds him this will not work.

The man leans forwards so there is very little space between him and Neil. For a moment, Andrew expects their lips to collide in a forced kiss. Instead, his lips reach Neil’s ear and he whispers something. Whatever he said can’t have been about Exy; Neil looks annoyed and shocked when he pulls away. But nothing has chance to explode. Chris flashes a crooked grin and saunters away, re-joining his clad of irritating teammates like he had never left.

Neil’s look of bewilderment still hasn’t gone by the time he reaches Andrew,, stumbling over and looking lost. He raises one eyebrow in an unspoken question - what happened?

Neil’s response is a quick shake of the head - not now.

Andrew just nods and keeps his expression impassive, although something ugly is sparking in his chest. He swallows it down with another swig of his drink.

 


 

The shower runs for ten minutes or so. Andrew waits patiently, sitting on Neil's bed and letting himself think. By the time Neil emerges from the bathroom, hair wet from the shower and towel around his hips, Andrew has pieced together a few sentences.

Neil offers Andrew a small smile, who says nothing and keeps his gaze expectant. His eyes wander where they shouldn't and he wrenches them from Neil’s torso until he is clothed.

“What?” Neil asks eventually, after he’s pulled some pyjamas on.

“What happened with that Trojan?”

Andrew decides to miss out the fact that he knows his name and position.

The bed dips underneath Neil’s weight as he falls onto it, furrowing his eyebrows whilst he searches for words. Andrew resists the urge to lean forwards and run his fingers over the crease, smoothing it out. His skin is already scarred beyond belief. The areas which are smooth should be kept like that, unmarred and safe. “Uh - he just asked me what I … like … am. Who I like.”

Neil’s eyes find his and the annoyance somewhat melts, replaced with something much softer. Andrew feels a defensive scowl and the automatic response of stop looking at me like that brewing on his tongue, but manages to keep his lips clamped together.

“I think it was a subtle way of telling me he was gay and single, I guess.” A small frown plays on his lips. “I’m not sure why he told me. I mean, it’s not like anybody knows about us, right?”

Andrew looks at him, unimpressed. Neil is somehow smart and oblivious at the same time. The idiot can plan three escape routes, can notice if somebody has followed him for too long, can find out information on any person he needs. But he doesn’t seem to notice when people’s gazes linger a little too long on his body. He doesn’t pick up on flirting, doesn’t understand why somebody would ever take an interest in him for what he looks like. 

Carefully, after a long silence, Andrew asks stiffly, “What was your answer?”

“Told him I don’t swing.”

“Were you interested?” His tone is challenging, testing, and Andrew knows his eyes must be hard.

It’s just a question. Three words, six syllables. But beneath the simplicity is hundreds of unasked questions and unspoken words.

Scraps of vulnerability shine through. He hates how Neil looks at him, eyebrows furrowing further. Andrew can’t help it this time. He reaches out and pushes his thumb over the crease of Neil's skin. He isn’t gentle, but he knows Neil finds comfort in that. His hands feel commanded by something outside of his realm of control, volatile and unsafe.

Andrew doesn’t understand why Neil leans into his touch as if it’s a gift granted to him. Andrew will never understand how he can blink up with wide, completely unquestioning eyes. Does he not know? Has he not realised by now? He’s spent long enough with Andrew to understand that nothing good ever comes from him.

Images of Neil moaning and eager underneath somebody else’s touch infiltrate his mind. He pictures Neil with his head thrown back, his jaw open and exposed as another man leaves bruises behind with his teeth, and the sound of familiar breathless moans echo in his ears.

It’s not like his nightmares. In those, Neil is in his position from all those times with Drake, head being pushed into the pillow and knuckles white against the headboard. Those wrench him from sleep with shaking hands and gasping breaths.

But in these visions, Neil wants it. Wants it from the dark and faceless figures which are holding him against the wall and he wants them to touch him.

The faint envy tugging at his insides from earlier becomes much more recognisable. Accompanying it is an aching emptiness, that horrible feeling of abandonment which he is no stranger to.

“Of course I wasn’t.” Neil says it so plainly, as if that fact won’t ever be debated, and Andrew pushes his thumb against his forehead a little harder in retaliation. Don’t say that. Don’t be so sure. “I told you. You’re the only one I swing for.”

“Shut up.” He means to leave then, get his cigarettes and go up to the roof, but his body does not cooperate with his mind. Instead, he does not look away from Neil’s eyes, never breaking his vehement stare, and eventually the curiosity grows overmastering. “What did he whisper?”

“He said that if I wanted to swing, he’d give me a push in the right direction.” Neil wrinkles his nose - as if it's no big deal - and shrugs. “Then said he’d see me at the next game.”

The words strike an unpleasant chord in Andrew. They sound flirty, something Nicky would mindlessly say with no bad intentions attached. But there’s something sinister about them which he does not like. Andrew thinks to the next game, when Hayes will be watching from the crowd, and the implications which come with his promise. I’ll see you at your next game.

This feeling is toxic. It burns as it flares in his chest.

“Andrew?” Neil says quietly, and it is only then Andrew realises he had gotten tangled up in the exhausting web of his thoughts again. “Are you okay?”

Andrew ignores Neil’s question and instead fixes him with a look. He is not sure what to do about the anger curdling in his chest, so he just leans in and hovers a safe distance away from Neil’s lips, whilst mumbling, “Yes or no?”

Typically, he barely finishes the question before Neil is replying with a heated, “Yes,” and meeting him halfway.

The toneless insult of ‘junkie’ brews on his tongue, but right now there are more pressing matters at hand. Andrew slips his hand over Neil’s shoulder and connects their mouths, gently at first before descending into that familiar game of push, pull, push, pull. His tongue is eager and warm and sweet against Andrew’s, the faint taste of beer on his tongue from the party earlier. Neil lets himself follow the movements contently, kissing harder when Andrew does, tilting his head back when Andrew trails kisses to his sharp jawline. Neil makes a little noise of appreciation.

“You can touch my hair,” Andrew tells him, noticing that Neil’s fingers are balled into fists on his lap. Something strange and warm flickers through him at the joy which lights up Neil’s eyes, melting the icy blue into something much kinder. Andrew likes this; he likes being able to see Neil without the biting words shielding him from the others. Although he’s considerably more comfortable with the Foxes now, he’s never like this. Never so smooth and perfect and safe.

Fuck.

Neil touches his hair like he’s never done it before. No pulling, no grabbing, just slow and cautious hands weaving their way through blonde hair. Andrew zeroes in on an old, faded mark just below the collar where nobody else could see. Neil’s pyjama top is loose enough to grant access to the skin, and Andrew sweeps his tongue across the mark. He does it hard, probably harder than necessary, but all of these feelings tying knots inside of him have grown tiring.

Andrew continues the descent to his collarbone, dipping his tongue in the hollows of Neil’s neck. He cherishes each sliver of skin offered to him, brushing his lips against it and gently presses his teeth there.

“Andrew,” is panted gently, followed by a gentle, low noise. In retaliation, Andrew tugs at the skin with his teeth, harder this time.

Mine.

He feels a familiar sense of possessiveness coil inside of him, but not the same like he feels with Kevin or Aaron or Nicky. That is the urge to protect and keep safe.

This is the urge to have, to want, to keep. Forever. The others will live their lives separately, and Andrew is perfectly okay with that. Kevin with Thea and Exy; Aaron with Katelyn; Nicky with Erik. But Andrew does not want Neil to live his life separately. The mere idea sends a pang of neglect through his chest, reverberating through his body.

He’s feeling a whole lot tonight. Andrew can’t place what has changed, what has warranted such explosions of shunned emotions.

Mine gets stuck in his throat.

Neil pulls away for a second and Andrew jerks his hand off his shoulder, awaiting a no. Instead, Neil just grins infuriatingly wide, poking one dimple into his cheek.

Only one, though. Neil can’t be normal and have two dimples, can he?

“Should I … lock the door?” he asks breathlessly.

It only takes a second for Andrew to think about it. “If you feel it's necessary.”

That is a cloaked yes and Neil smiles a little. He looks quite comical as he stumbles up to flick the lock, as if that little bit of kissing has weakened his legs forever. Andrew watches how he flops back onto the bed and settles his hands on his knees.

“Where can I touch?”

He ignores the desire shooting through him at the sight of Neil’s parted lips and blossoming bruises.

“Andrew,” Neil says, reminding him to answer. “If it’s a no, then I can -”

“It’s a yes.” Andrew growls his reply, but it’s not at vehement as it could be. There’s a soft reassurance buried somewhere within his voice and Neil notices. His smile grows and Andrew is left with no choice but to lean forwards and kiss it off. They kiss for a few more seconds before Andrew adds, “Not below my hips.”

Neil’s footing is more secure now and it shows as he pulls Andrew down on top of him with little hesitance. The grip on the front of Andrew’s shirt is light - he could break it off if he needed, but he doesn’t need to, doesn’t want to. Before Andrew can linger too much on the strange sensation of being guided, he is being kissed again, tilting his head sideways so their noses don’t bump. Surprisingly delicate hands trace down Andrew’s spine and the little dip of his back, following the path back up a few times. He can feel silent promises trailed in the wake of Neil’s fingertips.

Neil half moans when Andrew’s teeth dig into his bottom lip, stifled by insistent kisses. Mine, Andrew thinks for a third time, the word launching into the front of his mind and twisting into his brain.

Neil looks flushed and gorgeous when he pulls back. Fuck. The sudden urge for skin to skin contact shakes Andrew. He likes feeling outlines of scars slip against his stomach, likes the dips and bumps of Neil’s torso, the rapid expanding of his breathing. Leaning up, Andrew pulls of his shirt in one motion, then takes a second to make sure his voice still works. He is suddenly overwhelmed with the intense need to show Neil quite how much he is feeling.

“I want to fuck you,” Andrew says lowly, and Neil pulls back, eyes clouded with desire and breathing ragged.

They’ve only tried this particular dance a few times before. The first was fragmented and neither of them came before Andrew called it quits, because his mind was polluted with visions of Drake and his skin was crawling with the ghost of unwarranted touches. The second time went better, but Andrew kept himself tightly restrained, moving slowly and not all of the way. It was still enjoyed, and Andrew still remembers how Neil had moaned and gripped his shoulders and said his name like that would solve all the issues of the world.

Now Andrew is determined to make this work, to make Neil feel good and make those noises again. For once, he can't curse his eidetic memory. He'll forever remember how Neil sounds when Andrew slides into him, closer than close.

“Yes or no?” he says quietly.

“Yes.”

They don’t kiss again until Andrew is holding condoms and lube and by then, Neil has taken off his shirt. He awkwardly pulls off his pants and socks - Andrew will never understand why he wears socks to bed - and then he is naked, cock half-hard and chest flushed. It takes some restraint to tear his eyes away from Neil in order to uncap the lube and pour some onto his fingers, warming it whilst he eyes Neil’s torso. He looks at the puckered bullet wounds, the burn scars, the jagged knife wounds which were stitched up unevenly. By now, Andrew knows the story behind each of them.

You look gorgeous, he wants to say.

“I hate you,” comes out instead.

“Sure you do,” Neil mumbles, a stupid smile tugging at his lips.

It slips off fairly quickly. The second Andrew presses a finger in, Neil gasps and claps a hand over his hand to stop himself from being any louder. Very gently, Andrew bites Neil’s knee. It’s an unspoken request - I want to hear you.

“You can do two,” Neil tells him, in between breathy moans and broken curse words.

“Can I?” Andrew quirks his eyebrows, but he can’t resist leaning down and pressing a kiss to Neil’s open mouth, pink and open and just waiting to be kissed.

He’s not in an awkward mood tonight so he obliges Neil and slips a second finger in along with the first. The groan vibrates against Andrew’s lips. He enjoys coaxing all these noises from Neil, the moans ringing clear in the air, the yes present even when Neil is too wrapped up in bliss to speak coherent words. Maybe it’s the satisfaction of watching somebody fall apart under his touch.

Maybe it is something else.

As usual, Neil loses all sensibility when it comes to sex. He’s inexperienced, as a life on the run didn’t offer many opportunities for sex, but they’ve been fucking for over a year now and Neil knows what he wants. A few of his favourite words fall from his lips - harder, faster, more, yes, good, so good. Andrew grunts, feigning annoyance, pretending that those words aren’t sending spikes of arousal down his spine and straight to his cock. He is hard in his jeans, almost painfully thanks to the sight of Neil beneath him, legs spread and moaning.

For him. For Andrew.

Mine.

Another kiss, this one harder, driven by the ugly twist of his stomach whenever he looks at Neil for too long. The fingers gripping his hair glide down to his jaw and run along the sharp edge of the bone, thumbs lazily brushing over his neck. Andrew gets the urge to tell Neil to shut up, even though he’s not saying anything, just letting out ruined gasps and little groans. His eyes are closed, and Andrew makes the mistake of saying his name, his husky tone making Neil’s eyes snap open. The bright colour is startling, but comforting and he really, really hates how blown his pupils are. Not that he looks away. Andrew holds the gaze for a long, long time - so long that he forgets to keep moving his fingers. They slow to a stop whilst still knuckle-deep inside Neil’s tight heat. Neither look away.

Andrew’s mind springs to the thought of somebody else in this position, staring down into bright eyes and so close to Neil that every nerve feels like it’s about to spontaneously combust.

Eventually, Neil clears his throat and shifts. “I’m ready.”

Andrew blinks slowly. “I’ve only used two fingers.”

“I know,” he replies. “And I’m ready. I want you.” He smiles childishly, despite having two fingers still between his legs. “In me.”

Andrew rolls his eyes and pushes his fingers in deeper. “Not yet. You aren’t ready.”

He finds that place that has Neil lost in a cloud of pleasure and curls his fingers up against it. If a complaint is forming, it is harshly cut off by a loud and guttural noise. Andrew feels his lips tug up and quickly flattens his mouth back into the usual unimpressed line.

“Fuck, fuck, fuck,” Neil says, almost begging, pushing his hips up against his hand. Jesus. Andrew fights the heat wanting to rise to his face and channels it into moving his fingers harder. Neil throws his head back and opens his mouth, a cry of pure, unbridled ecstasy. “Andrew.”

It feels an awful lot like surrendering when Andrew finally pulls his underwear down and rolls the condom on his cock, but it is worth the pleased little noise Neil gives him.

The first push is easy. He preps Neil for ages each time. Andrew is no stranger to the horrible stretch and the ache which lasts for days afterwards. After a few long seconds, he slides all the way in, watching Neil carefully for any signs of discomfort. There is nothing. Bright blue eyes definitely hold his own, filled with lust and affection and a whole lot of other things which splinter through the iris.

Amazing floats around his brown, but Andrew bats that thought away.

Neil’s fingers dig into his shoulder blades as he moans, long and low. “Oh, God.”

Andrew can’t resist saying, “Not quite.”

But the sarcastic effect is dimmed as his voice is strained with pleasure. Neil feels just as good as he always does, the pressure on his cock so unbelievably hot and tight that he feels close to passing out. Andrew waits until his mind has stopped running circles before moving. Control is crucial, especially when Neil is so pliant underneath him, so trusting and calm. Andrew refuses to let himself go and end up causing some kind of damage because of it.

It takes quite a while. Neil just waits, stroking an errant lock of Andrew’s hair back.

“Okay?” he tries.

“I hate you,” Andrew pants, already high on the feeling. The legs around his waist tighten encouragingly, and the slight jostle causes a groan to slip from Neil’s lips.

Andrew starts to move. He looks down at Neil, who is slack-jawed and bleary eyed. He rolls his hips up, meeting the thrusts halfway, consequently driving Andrew deeper than feels possible. The feeling of cooperation is new, but reassuring. Every time Neil pushes against him, it’s a physical reminder that he wants this. That he likes this. That Andrew isn't hurting him.

“Mhm,” Neil hums, kissing Andrew’s cheek wetly, tracing a path to his lips. Their mouths join together again, a blistering heat spiralling through to his core as Neil clenches around him.

It is a well known fact, among the Foxes and the general public, that Neil is attractive. Andrew has never even said one word on the matter, not to anybody else. But his beauty really is underappreciated, no matter how much Allison shouts about him looking hot or no matter how many strangers drop their gazes to his taut, muscular thighs. They all think he’s pretty because of his sharp tongue and icy eyes. Nobody else sees Neil like this. This is his Neil, reserved for times when they are alone, soft and soothed.

He likes knowing that. He tries to bury the affection but it bounces straight back up, pouring out of him and into each thrust.

“Ah,” Neil moans, throwing his head back and exposing the sensitive skin on his neck. “Fuck, Andrew. Feels - feels so good.”

There’s no needy edge to his voice. His voice is husky and low and satisfied, pushing back onto Andrew’s cock with more animation than he ever shows in any Exy game.

Gradually, fuelled by Neil’s increasingly loud groans, they pick up speed. No matter how many times they do this, Andrew is certain each time will feel new and unwrapped like the first. He grips one of Neil’s thighs to steady himself and the intoxicating feeling of pleasure wraps around him. It is tangled with something else, something warm and resembling affection, but now is not the time for considering emotions. It is always dangerous to think whilst his brain feels completely fried like this. The only coherent word ricocheting through his head is mine.

Neil chants the well rehearsed phrase of so good until his voice is hoarse. Andrew shifts the angle the slightest amount, and Neil has to bury his face in Andrew’s shoulder to muffle his cry. Their skin slaps together and echoes around the empty room, and Andrew clenches his jaw tight to stop any noise from escaping. He prefers to stay silent, to listen out for any issues. Even though he can’t see Neil’s face, he knows he looks like a total hot mess. He always does. Andrew thinks about it sometimes, when he is jacking off in the shower, about how Neil looks when he’s thoroughly fucked out.

Mine, Andrew thinks, and he tries to hide his grunt in Neil’s neck. Neil is mine.

There’s a hot mouth sucking at his neck. Each moan vibrates through Neil’s chest onto his own.

“Touch me,” Neil asks, more breath than words, but Andrew still catches it.

He obliges, pulling back and wrapping his hand around Neil’s cock. He jerks him in time with each thrust, and he can tell Neil is only just managing to hold on. Manic, wild eyes latch onto Andrew’s and the gaze does not break, not even when Neil finally mounts to an orgasm and spills over Andrew’s knuckles. A guttural noise scratches its way from Neil’s throat as he comes, and Andrew’s lying if it doesn’t send him significantly further closer to the edge. He stops moving, looking down. Neil looks like a porn star, pupils blown, his breathing coming in uneven bursts. Andrew can’t help it - he leans down and kisses him soundly on the mouth. 

Andrew wipes his hand on the sheets and bracing his elbows either side of Neil’s head. He goes to pull out, to take off the condom and finish into his hand, but he finds himself locked in place by a pair of legs. The hold isn’t hard - he could fight it off easily if need be - but it speaks loud enough. Stay.

“You came,” Andrew reminds him, almost annoyed.

“You haven’t.”

Andrew glares harder, but he can’t quite manage the usual venom. He feels blissfully high right now, hanging on the edge of an intense orgasm and pressed so close to Neil, and he wants more. He hates that. Hates feeling at the mercy of his desires.

“I want you to,” Neil adds. He almost purrs it.

“Neil -”

“If it’s a no, then just say,” Neil tells him. “But if not, I want you to carry on.”

Warmth unfurls in his stomach. He can’t quite pinpoint what it is, but no matter how much he wills it away, it is still there. The feeling is a knife twisting between his ribs, striking his lungs, and he can’t breathe. Every shaky inhale seems like a miracle. Fucking Neil and his fucking understanding. Half of Andrew wants him to make a mistake so he has a reason to push him away, turn back to his old destructive habits which left him hollow. But Neil does everything right. He cares for every boundary, checks for any sign of discomfort.

Andrew hates him.

“439 percent,” he tells him, sounding strangled.

Andrew starts again slowly, wary of Neil’s oversensitivity. His orgasm rebuilds quickly; he pushes into Neil with controlled movements, trying to grasp control. It slips dangerously from his fingers as his thrusts pick up speed. With the sight of a fucked out Neil, it won’t have taken long anyway - but what sends him careening into a harsh, powerful orgasm too quickly is Neil’s lips pressing against the sensitive shell of his ear and whispering I want to see you come, Andrew.

“God, shut up, shut up,” he tells Neil, squeezing his eyes shut as animalistic urges power through him. He bites back the long, drawn out moan and settles with panting into Neil’s shoulder, rutting his hips forward. He isn’t gentle. Not at all. His mind screams at him to stop but pleasure fizzles through him too fast, too much, and he is coming harder than he’s ever come before.

Neil sighs into his shoulder, kissing the sweaty skin, trying to convey unspoken words through touch. Everything he wants to say but can’t, he tells through kind fingertips and gentle palms, through his company and his kisses.

Five seconds pass. The same little circles are stroked at the base of his spine, Neil’s other hand pressing reassurance into his shoulder.

When Andrew pulls out, Neil just watches him, looking absolutely ridiculous with his messy hair and swollen lips.

“You okay?”

Andrew narrows his eyes. “Are you?”

“Yes,” Neil replies, voice sounding a bit hoarse but otherwise completely genuine. “I’m more than okay. Better than okay. That was so, so good. Andrew, you … that … I -”

Andrew kisses him to stop him from saying something ridiculous, then the corner of his jaw, looking at faint pink marks left behind. They’ll fade away soon.

“Thank you,” Neil settles with, and that is enough for both of them.