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Jonny!” Thom's movements are already stuttering, and as Jonny kisses and nibbles and mouths and licks at Thom's neck, moving his left hand just so around Thom's erection, drinking in the little whimpers that escape Thom's lips as he rocks up into his firm grip, the ones that in the early days of their frantic couplings, cause Jonny to panic a heart-stopping second, to stop stone-still, so like crying they sounded. Thom's gasping, and Jonny draws away to prop himself on his right elbow, shifting his weight on his knees, panting a little as his groin brushes against Thom's tense thigh, so he can watch Thom's rapturous expression, as he draws him closer to the edge.

At this point, Jonny knows Thom's tells pretty well, tilts his head a little, their breaths mingling, so close their faces are. Thom's lungs are working like bellows, his strong arms locked around Jonny's waist and shoulders, clinging like a burr, his blunt, bitten, raggedy nails pressing crescents into the twin ridges either side of his spine, a sharp pleasure-pain Jonny had never really thought about before now in any of his imaginings, not like the blazing hair and temperament to match, now firmly being borne into the ratty studio sofa. Thom. Thom.

An adjustment of his grip sets Thom gasping brokenly, never one afraid to be vocal, as unselfconscious here as on-stage, makes him twist and writhe beneath him, pressing up against Jonny's weight, and he groans gutturally, surprised, as always, by the man beneath him. Thom's so good at it, so good at keeping Jonny on his toes, and Thom throws a leg over one of the backs of Jonny's knees, seals them closer, tries to pull Jonny onto him to share their heat and skin.

Jonny resists a bit, keeps a space between them, panting, wanting so much to grind into the hard line of Thom's hipbone, but there's something about Thom's face. He wants to watch him come undone.

Thom turns his face up and away from Jonny's questing lips to gasp in a breath, and in base thoughts, more reflexive than anything, Jonny realises he doesn't like that, smooths his splayed right hand from where it's been flat against Thom's shoulder, feeling his pulse and difficult breaths, and pushes it up the side of Thom's neck, his thumb trailing over Thom's bobbing Adam's apple, the intended end goal to grasp Thom by the jaw and steer him back, so he can kiss him again.

Instead, he watches in surprise as Thom's eyes flicker, roll back, he can tell, behind his eyelids, pulling in a stuttering, wrecked breath and pulsing in his hand, chest rising and falling like he's just run a mile, leaving his flat stomach sticky with semen and sweat. Jonny frowns in puzzled confusion, drawing back slightly, unsure. He delights in how sensitive Thom is to his touches, always so demonstrative, carelessly so, but Jonny had thought he'd gotten Thom all worked out by now, knew how to tell when he was about to come. He shakes his head lunges forwards to kiss at the corner of Thom's stubborn jaw, turning his attention back to himself, presses them close together, closer than they've ever been, even, releasing Thom's cock with a slight squeeze, smiling into Thom's hairline at the noise he makes, and bucking into Thom's flesh until he himself is lost in pleasure.

Jonny hadn't really thought about it again until a few days later, in the middle of cooking. It's dark out, barely gone evening-time, winter very much in their midst, and the back garden of his house is just one inky page beyond all his kitchen lighting can throw out through the window, steaming up as he cooks. He likes his kitchen, though it's small; everything's where it needs to be, no ostentation, nothing extraneous, just exactly what he needs. He's almost finished boiling some water to make vegetable stock, is pushing rice and onions, some crushed garlic, around in a frying pan with a wooden spoon, it sizzling and colouring darker, nearly ready to switch off the heat on the saucepan and ladle across the stock for his risotto.

He turns down the heat on both pans, slices some mushrooms into strips, taking a slight breather before resuming. Thom's coming round later – he promised, after he was done in the studio, he'd come straight round – and Jonny's heart flutters every time he remembers. He feels jittery and nervous, abashed. This is a big step. It's not a spontaneous jumping of one another after eyeing each other across the studio for the whole day once they have an excuse to leave, or catching one another after idly mentioning perhaps staying behind to try a certain idea, and might you be able to help out with it, see what you think? No, this is premeditated, this is adult, and mature, a discussed plan, a chance to set and possibly break boundaries. A chance to talk. A date, it's a date.

Jonny smiles unconsciously as his thoughts drift from thoughts of just Thom, the person, to their clandestine rendezvous, to the thought of Thom in his house. It's a sudden leap: Thom's track record of dating is spotty, but they've already lasted long enough for Jonny to have idle little fantasies for the future, nothing extreme, more banalities shared than anything, and Jonny knows he's smitten, has been for quite some time.

He resumes his stirring, turns the heat back up again and ladles some stock in carefully, pushing the pan's contents around to evenly spread it. He thinks about Thom again, in his house, and wonders what the evening might bring. He smiles, imagining going over to kiss Thom after their meal, ignoring clean-up, the thought of leading him up the stairs with interlocked fingers, their touch electric, brushes his thumb across his lips idly, smiling slowly behind his hand. And then he thinks of Thom's face, as he came, the last time they were together, and Jonny shivers, frowning even as he feels warmth coil in his gut. He sets his face, tries to make it neutral, switches on his battered little radio to some classics channel and hums along - tuneless, he knows - to try to keep his thoughts from wandering, but it's too tempting a path, now. He recalls more details he hadn't had time to ponder over whilst in the moment; Thom's spit-slick lips, bruised red and parted so wantonly as he orgasmed, how his brows pulled together as though shocked himself, how he pushed up from the soft cushions in an arch like a bow being pulled back before falling boneless beneath him. How Thom'd made a new, choked sound as Jonny's hand wrapped around his neck – wide enough, on reflection, to brush Thom's shoulder and jaw. It wasn't as though he'd been rough, but intentionally gentle neither, a balanced pressure with how he was hovering over Thom, leaning on his elbow...

Jonny tilts his head at the thought, wheels turning in his mind, until he begins to hear the pan hiss again, shakes himself and adds more stock to the pan.

Jonny hears the knock at the door over the whir of the extractor fan, and sets aside the spoon, turns down the heat, nearly having finished cooking. Thom's earlier than Jonny had assumed he'd be; in his mind, he was envisaging leaving a plate in the small oven to warm for Thom, drinking one cup of tea, and then another with growing anxiety bubbling under his skin as the hands on the clock on his wall crawled on. Thom's affinity for music, the studio, and perfectionism is such that Jonny had all but discounted this as an outcome. He hurries to the door, pushing hair out of his face and unlocking the door swift as he can manage, mindful of the cold. Thom's in a thick turtleneck, a shade of blue that clashes strangely well with his orange hair – because it's really too vivid to be ginger – and a jacket over the top, buttoned high, his rickety car parked on the pavement behind Jonny's just catching the light from indoors. He smiles softly, noting Thom's scruffy stubble again, the red of his cheeks and nose already from exposure.

Thom answers in kind, his chapped lips having cracked a little in the cold, and Jonny pulls open the door further, fingers clutched around its edge, following Thom's progress before redirecting to shut and lock it. Thom's leant against the wall, wavering slightly balancing on one foot, unlacing his shoes and shivering from the cold. Jonny want to usher him into the warmth of the kitchen, draws closer instead, hovering by his side. Thom drops his shoes, haphazard, yet in a pile next to Jonny's boots, and he straightens up and turns to Jonny, a smile growing across his lips. Jonny grins in return, ducks forwards to briefly, chastely brush a kiss on his lips, and blushes, thrilled beyond reason at the sweet look that transforms Thom's face.

Thom continues undoing his coat, clears his throat. “Something smells good.”

“Thanks!” Says Jonny brightly, pushing his hair away from his face and itching his scalp, accepting the coat handed to him. “It's risotto.”

Thom raises his eyebrow. “The one Coz wowed about?”

“I wouldn't go that far. You know what Colin's like.”

“Mmm, hyperbole out of his fucking ears.” And then Thom laughs, and Jonny's heart sings.

Jonny leads him into the kitchen, asking how the studio was: Jonny had been there in the morning, only for Nigel to kick the rest of them out. To be fair, he was polite, and Thom had been fretting about something in particular on one of the tracks the last while, and it'd all come to a head that morning. But, from how he's been, Jonny can only guess it's been resolved.

Thom pulls out a chair at Jonny's small table, stuffed in the corner of the room, and seats himself, chin resting on the heel of his palm, the fabric of his too-long sleeves reaching the base of his thumb easily. He's chirping on about miscellanea and music, everything and nothing, fluffing up his hair idly one minute, the next chewing his nails, the next batting about the little bottle of beer Jonny got in just for his visit. He finishes off the risotto, turning up the heat and mixing it, waiting until steam begins rising from it to turn the heat of entirely, and dish up.

He's hungry, he realises, and no doubt Thom is too, so he dollops two good portions onto their plates, and carries them over, placing them both down with affected flair, buoyed at the little smile this prompts. He heads back to the worktop, gabs a little plate of grated cheese, and sits across from Thom, meeting his eyes, feeling finally peaceful after the agitation of his afternoon. He feels as though he's the one who's come home.

Thom is already halfway to shovelling half the plate in his mouth, having moaned in a rather unseemly manner at the first bite. Jonny's only just sprinkled some cheese on his, and hides his laugh with his hand at the man across from him, setting about eating with some propriety. He takes a drink of the water he fetched for himself, waiting for Thom to leave his mouth empty for long enough than incoherent sounds.

“Aw fuck, Jonny.” It's muffled by food anyway, but Jonny still smiles, pleased to have this kind of reaction. Thom fans at his mouth, talking around the heat, downs a swig of his beer, sighing. “I take back what I said: Colin was right about this.”

“You like it then?”

Thom raises an eyebrow archly, smirking. “Would I be saying this if I didn't?”

Jonny supposes not; Thom can be a good actor, sometimes, but usually not, and mostly he doesn't see the point anyway. He just measuredly takes another mouthful, pushing his luck and keeping his eyes locked with Thom's, enjoying how happy he looks, his eyes seeming to sparkle in the cool light of the room.

They eat, and drink, and chat, and Jonny almost forgets earlier thoughts, fascinated as he is with the talk of the work done on the track they'd been struggling on, seeing if he can manufacture a version in his head to then compare to what's been laid down, until Thom – fished wolfing his food down way before Jonny – reaches up to manipulate and stretch his own neck, still talking, not noticing how Jonny stops in his tracks, then roughly swallows what he was eating with a long swig of water.

Thom seems weary, so Jonny offers tea, and peace. The head into Jonny's tiny living room, neat but the corner possessing a clutter of instruments: guitars, keyboard, his viola, little box for his recorder. They've just talked and talked, drifting through topics so effortlessly, that it makes Jonny laugh at himself to remember their first interactions, when he was young and near-mute in Thom's presence, only Colin's 'annoying little brother'. Funny, the differences time and patience can bring.

Thom had refused Jonny's suggestion of him going to sit and watch television, or listen to some of Jonny's well-loved records, whilst he did the washing up. Instead, he perched beside him at the sink, talking as Jonny carefully cleans their plates and cutlery, the pans, and utensils. Outside was even darker, no stars visible with the nigh-constant gloom of the weather, not even the moon, which earlier had been a faint shrouded crescent behind a gossamer layer. Thom had taken it upon himself, quietly, harmoniously, to dry and put away what Jonny washed, sweeping away suds left behind, only once or twice having to ask the usual residence of one item or another, such is how long and well they've known each other.

Now, they're sat in a tranquil contemplation, telly flickering and image small, almost silent, the set an old hand-me-down from Jonny's mother. Jonny's sofa is small, but comfortable, well-worn in a different way to the one in the studio. They're next to each other, barely touching, sharing their own heat. Thom has his legs pulled up beneath him, and Jonny has his extended, crossed at the ankles, one heel resting on the floor. He keeps flicking his foot back and forth to an unheard rhythm, but other than that, Jonny's completely relaxed, content, mug of tea clasped in his hand, warming him where it touches his skin, and when he drinks it, his other hand free to tap out a counterpoint to the movement of his foot, or to gesture as they talk.

Thom is similarly clutching his tea, his between two or his small hands. Jonny made sure his home would be warm, and he's glad of it, hearing the wind strengthening and developing outside. They finish their drinks over a drawn-out stretch, again just talking, the television a comforting background babble, accompanying nonsense-images of some late-night movie showing they're paying very little heed to. When they're done, Jonny takes Thom's mug gently from his hands, and places both to the floor with a delicate clink, careful to have them out of the way for if either of them stands. He turns in his seat, tilting his body partially towards Thom, and pulls his own feet up onto the sofa, and imperfect mirror of the other man's posture.

Jonny smiles softly, laying his head on the plush sofa back, and does what he realises he's been wanting to the whole evening – holds out his arm and beckons Thom closer, into his embrace. Thom fits like they're a puzzle, he's small and warm and his hair's fluffy where he just buries his face in Jonny's neck, breaths long and slow, relaxed. Jonny holds him close, breathes in the smell of him. It's nice, this is nice. This is everything he wanted, and more. They stay like that, until Jonny feels his eyes going heavy, glances at the clock and sees it's well after midnight, draws away to inspect Thom's face, sees how he's drowsy, almost dozing off, making a sort of irritated mutter at Jonny's warmth moving away and that he's been jostled.

Jonny begins to extricate himself, on a whim, brushes a hand through Thom's hair, lips quirking at Thom how Thom blinks his eyes open blearily, taking a second to focus on Jonny.

“Come to bed?” A soft suggestion, just barely more than a whisper. He's not nervous, not one bit. He just hopes Thom will follow him as he trails his hand down to Thom's own, tangling their fingers, and rising from the sofa. And he does, he follows Jonny's padding steps up the carpeted stairs, across the landing, and into the bedroom. Jonny disrobes, doesn't feel a hint of discomfort, looks over to Thom and smiles as he tiredly does the same, his movements lacking his usual sprightliness. He invites Thom to use the bathroom first, sitting on the foot of the bed in the semi-dark left by the yellow illumination from beneath his little en-suite's door, tracing the outline of his room in its greyscale presentation.

His room's slightly chilly, sat as he is in only his boxers, but he doesn't so much feel like wearing pyjamas of any kind. He wants to feel Thom's heartbeat against his through his skin, as they sleep. Thom drifts out groggily, taking in the room in the half-light, the side of the bed that seems to be Jonny's and gravitates to the opposite, as Jonny himself heads into the bathroom, does all he needs to, quick as he can.

When he switches the light off, his eyes are left unseeing for a while, so he relies on muscle memory, and touch, tracing his hand across a portion of the wall, then reaches for the foot of his bed, moving quicker when his fingertips find the quilt, brushing fricatively across the surface. He barely pulls back the cover, and slips beneath, gets comfortable, pleased when Thom, whom he'd assumed to be asleep, turns to him, draws close, slings a hand over Jonny's waist and presses his face back where it was earlier, on the sofa.

It's warm, familiar, though they've never done this before. It feels right, and Jonny's glad. Sleep comes quick.

As usual, waking is something that happens to him all at once. He's aware of Thom in his arms, in fact, that's probably what woke him. The man's lay more fully on his chest, breathing open-mouthed against his neck. His hair's ticklish, spiky, short. Jonny places a hand on Thom's flank, just holds him. This is okay, this is okay.

He shuts his eyes, not really to sleep, just to feel. Thom's breaths are languorous, heavy, and his heart beats a slow drum, a gentle one that's easy to feel. He keeps his eyes shut against the morning's light, seeping through the gaps between the wall and his curtains, thinks of music, gets caught up in it, idly begins moving his fingers lightly over Thom's side. He feels like he's meant to be here, and with who he's meant to love.

To his surprise, he wakes a second time that morning. He guesses he must've been lulled back to sleep by warmth and the delight of having another person with him, safe in his arms.

How he wakes this time is far more sharply, and far more frantically. He gasps, then groans throatily, as he feels Thom's mouth on his cock, wet and hot, and small, strong hands bracing his hips into the mattress. He snakes a hand down, under the covers, over his own warm skin, and reaches Thom's scalp, coiling his fingers into shirt hair and grasping just a bit too tight, knowing how Thom will react, how he moans, moans around him, and he bucks, feels the restriction of his boxers pulled down to around his thighs.

He's hissing a feeble litany of, “Thom, Thom, Thom!” and tugs at the man's hair insistently, surprised at the tenacity of him. “Thom, kiss me.” Even though he can barely speak, Thom treats it as a command, rearing upwards and surfacing from beneath the quilt, and rushing to his lips, biting at them before parting them, licking his way into Jonny's mouth and tracing his teeth, his tongue, until Jonny sucks on it, crushes Thom to his chest with his arms tight woven around him, feeling the insistent press of Thom's erection against his belly.

He rolls them, movements sloppy but determined, drawing his hands from beneath the arched back, bounty of smooth skin, to reach for Thom's wrists, pressing into his leg insistently. It's like a mirror of their last meeting, so much less restrained, with no opportunity to be caught. Thom's writhing, so physically demonstrative as always, coming apart wilfully, beautifully, beneath his hands, head tipped back and neck a graceful, tempting curve, and Jonny wonders, all of a sudden, what other new sounds he could draw from between those red, girly lips, so he lowers closer, begins with sucking at the muscles and tendons jumping there, then affixes his teeth, firmly, something he'd never done before now, worried about causing pain.

Thom mewls and gasps, digs his heels into the mattress and pushes upwards, wild. This is unexpected, unexpected indeed, and Jonny's brain ticks over from merely seeking mutual pleasure to maybe wanting to drive Thom mad instead. He noses and nuzzles at the soft skin beneath his jaw, draws his teeth along the exposed column of Thom's strong throat, driving his pleasure with unrelenting strokes of his hand, firmly encircling his cock, his own jumping at the gasps and cracking sighs he manages to elicit.

And, when Thom's movements are jerky, rhythm all but fallen apart, a spark of devilment hits Jonny, and he rises up slightly, wraps his hand around Thom's neck, this time with a bit of force, feeling Thom's fluttering pulse, skims his thumb up so it pushes Thom's chin up and back, keeping a careful eye out for any discomfort that might mar that blissed expression, and squeezes, just enough so he shudders bodily beneath him, letting out a sobbing cry, sounding wrecked, coming hard into Jonny's hand, and over their stomachs, thoroughly spent.

Jonny presses his forehead to Thom's shoulder as he comes down, listening to heaving breaths gradually evening out, eyeing the pulse in his neck, a flicker beneath his thin skin, feeling a little embarrassed at the livid marks left there by his own teeth. Jonny's panting, too, his own arousal steady and burning against his own flesh, but he has to wait, has to see if Thom's okay. He suddenly feels like he's balanced on a precipice, having perhaps taken something he shouldn't have, or at least obtained it without asking.

He shifts, to stare at Thom's face, pushing his hair behind his ears and grimacing as the weight of it brings it hanging down again, nearly brushing Thom's face as it swings with slight momentum. He watches Thom's face for apprehension or for pleasure, staring hard, and worryingly, finds signs of neither, as though it's carefully blank. He opens his mouth, scrabbling at his thoughts for how best to approach this situation. If he's taken liberties, Thom's more than in his rights to drop Jonny like a stone and leave him far behind. The band. Where the fuck would this leave the band? He'd leave... maybe. He doesn't think he could stay after that. After any sort of transgression like that.

But Thom smiles widely, suddenly, like the cat that got the cream ad infinitum, coyly blinks his eyes open, looks up at him from beneath heavy lidded eyes, curls his stubby hand into Jonny's hair to pull his ear to brush against his lips, and in a new, husky voice, hushes, nearly mockingly, “My god, Jonny, if you can make me come that fast without fucking me, I'm scared to see what happens when you do.”