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“It's hot in here, isn’t it? I’m warm.”

“Oh?” Robby shifts nervously from foot to foot, watching him. “Maybe you should stay still for awhile.”

This is your fault , his brain says. There's a tiny part of his conscience that knew he involuntarily brought this upon himself by giving the girl two pills and not bothering to see who took them. He probably didn't know what he was taking. Maybe it was slipped to him. Who fucking knows!

“I'm warm.” He repeats. “I'm really fucking warm.”

Jesus christ, go figure. Decisions like this always somehow come back to kick him in the ass.

The other boy groans but it sounds less like pain and more like a feeble attempt at vocalizing that his brain is trying it eat itself. He leans against the wall, turning a cheek to the surface and repeating the noise.

“Hhhnn...”

The naïve idiot. He stands there with his face squished up to the wall, presumably trying to leech the coldness out of the paint.

Robby steps forwards, grabbing him by the arm and noting that he is in fact, much warmer than he should be. 

“Come on, I'm taking you someplace cold. You can lie down and I'll stay with you, okay?” 

A mumbled yes. Good enough.

He manages to descend the stairs without tripping, quite the feat when a certain sweaty someone had been leaning on him the entire time. The basement is much cooler than downstairs, devoid of any party guests. The host had put a sign on the door reading “no entry”, so they'd be undisturbed.

He slides open a pocket door to a bedroom, motioning for the other boy to go in. “Come on, lay down for a bit. You're too hot to keep dancing around.”

He flops down on the bed, arms sprawled out to the sides. Robby finds a dimmer switch, turning the glaring ceiling lights to an eye-friendly intensity. He shuts the door, muffling the sounds from upstairs. Light and noise might be best in moderation at a time like this.

Robby sighs inwardly. He should have been smarter about that. He was concerned about an overdose, someone freaking out or calling the cops and ratting on him because he's the one that sold it to them.

He was on his way to find the girl in question when something stopped him.

 

“Jesus Miguel, how much have you had to drink?”

Robby's head turned towards a male voice, amusement fast bordering on irritation.

“Aw Eli, man are you worried about me?” Another boy, one he'd seen before, was hugging him around the neck.

Robby had gotten a bad feeling in the pit of his stomach. Oh, something was wrong alright. This was more than just some kid being an amateur with his liquor. That extra pill was still unaccounted for. Wasn't his concern to monitor everything, but he'd wanted to be sure nobody was about to OD on his supply.

He looks around once, then…

A loud thump; flesh hitting linoleum.

“Miguel!”

Oh no.

 

“I've never felt like this before.”

Robby turns around, jolted from his daydreaming. “Huh?”

“How long does this last?”

He shrugs. “You should stop feeling like this in a few hours.”

The boy, who he was now sure was the same Miguel Diaz from before, is clutching at the bedpost, scratching at the wood with his short nails. “When can we go back upstairs?” 

“Not while you're like this.”

He whines. “Wh-y?”

“Because, you need a babysitter and you're overheating up there.”  

“I can handle myself.”

Robby's not going to entertain that thought right now. “No, I don't think you can.” He slumps down on the floor, phone in hand for any type of distraction while Miguel hangs over the side of the bed.  

“What are you looking at?” He reaches his arm out, fingers barely touching the edge of Robby's phone.

“I'm just making sure I know how to deal with you.”

“Oh?” He’s staring at him, arm folded under his head with his dark hair falling in his eyes. “What are we gonna do down here?”

Robby keeps his distance, or rather tries to, with the boy's apparent tendency to reach out and touch things.

You are going to lay there, cool off and drink some water ‘till your high goes down. And I am going to stay here and waste time, I guess. And make sure you don't overheat and keep trying and kiss strangers on the mouth.”

He chuckles. “Nothing wrong with that, they liked it… everyone likes to be kissed.”

Robby rolls his eyes. “That's debatable, Diaz.” His last name slips from his mouth before he has a chance to stop it. He wonders if Miguel is high enough not to question how he knows it.

“... I bet you'd like it, too.”

Robby looks up from his phone, a little taken back.

His mouth opens but words can't find their way to his tongue at first.

“I don't think so.” It sounds unconvincing.

A smile spreads across Miguel’s face, taunting. “You would.”

Robby quickly looks down. The more he ignores him, the more he talks.

“I want to go back upstairs,” he whines.

“You can't.”

“Why-y?”

“Because, it too hot and you'll overheat and you're rolling too hard to keep straight right now... You need to drink water.”He looks around; he had forgotten to get him some. “Hold on a sec, I'll be right back.” Robby stands, thankfully Miguel doesn't. “I'm going to get you a drink, so stay here for me, alright?”

He smiles, craning his head back on the bed. “Hurry back, don't leave me too long.”

Robby nods and slips out the door into the downstairs kitchen where he grabs a plastic cup and fills it with water. He remembered that thing about electrolytes and adds sugar to it. Maybe he'd drink it easier if it were a little sweet.

Standing by the sink, he takes a few deep breaths. He'd only seen Miguel once, outside the dojo when he went to go talk to his dad. He'd made an effort to find out who he was, and that name would occasionally pop into his mind every once in a while. Admittedly, he'd held some resentment towards him, seeing his own father hug this random kid when he wouldn't even pick up the phone to call Robby on his birthday every year.

But now…

He opens the door again, and Miguel is on the bed still. He rolls onto his side, gazing up at Robby's face.

“Hey, man. Is that for me?” He outstretches his arm, motioning for the glass in Robby's hand. “Mine?”

Robby blinks. Now, not so much. He's so harmless, so innocent when he's high out of his mind. It's hardly his fault someone slipped him Molly.

“Here,” Approaching the bedside, Robby hands it to Miguel as he sits up, the mattress springs creaking. “Just sip it, don't drink too fast.”

As Robby stands in front of him he can see those dark eyes over the glass as Miguel drinks, looking up at him. He gingerly places the empty cup on the bedside table, flopping back down again on the floor. Robby breaks his stare.

“Good.” He mumbles. He takes the opposite side of the room, leaning against the closet door. He picks at a spot on the carpet. “Are you feeling a little better?”

“I don't know...” Miguel rolls around to face him, now on his side and grimacing. “I don't like this.”

Robby frowns, concerned. “Don't like what? What's wrong?”

Miguel makes that groaning noise again, crawling to Robby's spot on the floor, sitting directly beside him now. He can't tell if Miguel is actually shaking or if he's imagining it.

Robby eyes him warily. “Are you alright?”

“I don't know...” His words are all breathy, and Robby can hear him taking little gasps of air through his mouth like he's trying to swallow it.

“Miguel?”

“Ayhha… yeah... yes?”  He sounds like he's just run a block or two, or like he's ready to fall asleep. Maybe he would just fall asleep and Robby can put him to bed. His head is lolling sideways as he leans against the wall.

He is shaking.

“Are you okay?”

“How long does this last? How long?”

Oh fuck. “Uh, not too long. Don't worry, okay?”

He sighs, sounding irritated, and Robby prays he's not about to get panicky or something. “I don't like this.”

“I know you don't.”

“Can't you make it go away?”

Robby looks Miguel in the eyes. “No. I can't. You'll be okay, you just have to relax, alright?” 

“I can't go home like this. My mom will freak out if she knew I took something.”  

“You can crash out here, then.”

“I–”

“Shhh.” Robby cuts him off. “Just hush.”

Miguel suddenly looks at Robby as if he’s kicked him. “No! I don't feel well, don't tell me to shush!”

Robby squeezes his eyes shut a moment. What the hell is he supposed to do? Robby had never really dealt with a bad trip before, but he usually was able to correct it if he saw it coming. The problem with this is that it’s already happening, and now the other boy is agitated, to boot.

Miguel whines, the sound coming out low in his throat.

He needed to calm him down. “Just breathe, okay? Don't worry. You've gotta calm down or you're gonna make yourself sick.”

Miguel is biting around his mouth, gnawing his lower lip.

“It's okay.” Robby repeats, “It's alright.” His hand rubs his back, the skin still much too warm even through his shirt, up and down in an effort to soothe him. “Breathe in through your nose, out your mouth, alright?”

He nods slowly. “Mhmm.”

Robby mimics the movements, Miguel mirroring him. “Just breathe, Miguel.”

And he does, slowly. His head doesn't lift, looking up at Robby from his position.

“It’ll be okay...”

“What's your name?” His voice is shaky. For a second Robby think he might start bawling.

“My name’s Robby.”

He nods, affirming. “I’m Miguel…”

Robby grins at this. “Yeah, I know.”

They sit there for a while more. Miguel's soft breathing and the upstairs commotion are the only sounds for a while until Robby thinks it's safe to speak again.

“Are you alright now? You gonna be okay?”

Diaz shrugs. “It's just... this carpet,” he says, pouting. “I hate this stupid carpet.”

Robby tries to keep the humour out of his voice. “What's wrong with it?”  

“It feels weird…” His voice takes on a softer quality. “I need something else.”

Robby straightens up. “What? What do you need? Thirsty still? Do you want a snack? You should probably eat at some point to–”

He barely registered the hand on his leg before Miguel's entire weight is pressing into his lap.

“Woah, hold it–!”

“This is better.”

“No, no, not better… get off me man.”

He looks heartbroken. “Why?”

“Because,” Robby tries to push his legs off his lap. “There's a bed over there, you can just sit there if you don't like the carpet. ”

“I like this better,” His dark eyes reflect the soft, glowy light. “It's comfy.” Miguel’s head drops to his shoulder, nose to Robby’s collarbone. “I like it.”

Robby doesn't know where to put his hands. They go to the floor in lieu of anywhere else. He feels the other inhale deeply.

“You smell good.” Robby can feel his mouth move against the collar of his shirt.

“Um, thanks.” Robby says, lamely. He doesn't know what to do with this. Every little shift of the boy in his lap has him tensing, and Miguel is dead set on avoiding the floor.

“You can touch the ground you know, it won't hurt you.”

“No.” He says. “No, no. The carpet, it feels weird, you know?” His toes dig into Robby's ankle as he scoots himself closer, legs folded right up to his chest.

“Isn't this a little counterproductive to being hot?” Robby’s words feel hopeless, as if logic is going to do him any good. “Don't you want some space?”

His fingers drum idly on the floor, restless.

But again Miguel refuses, shaking his head. Although given the closeness it was more akin to him rubbing his face into Robby’s neck then it was a simple shake of the head.

Abruptly he sits upright a little, leaving Robby with a closeup of the space below his eyes, those long eyelashes creating shadows on his cheeks.

His actions are so quick that his elbow nearly knocks Robby’s jaw back, and the mild struggling seems like just another ‘let him be’ moment until Robby realizes what he’s just done.

He tosses his shirt back over his head, catching on the bedpost. Miguel curls back into his spot against his chest, now down to his jeans. Robby's mouth feels dry. Miguel was smaller, a little skinnier than a lot of boys, but there was a handsomeness to him that had Robby a flustered mess at seeing him half-naked.

Through the thick silence, there is another noise Robby's ears barely register. He's somewhat drunk, although the buzz had mostly worn off some however long ago during Miguel’s little freak-out. He realizes his mouth isn't open anymore, no more lips parted and breathing like he's swallowing the air, but instead his jaw is pressed tightly together.

That's the sound. His teeth, grinding together.

His hand flies to Miguel's tensed lips, prepared to wrench his mouth open like he used to do with his cat whenever she picked up something she shouldn't have, trying to pry those little fangs open while she rolled around, scratching up his forearms with her back feet.

“No, no no, don’t grind your teeth, okay? Come on,” His index finger is on Miguel's lips, soft and warm like the rest of him.

“Come on, stop that.” Miguel opens his mouth, instead taking the initiative to bite the tip of Robby's finger.

“No, Miguel don't do that... ow, you're biting me!”

Trying to gently pry the digit from between Miguel's front teeth was proving ineffective, and the pressure on the joint was beginning to get painful.

“Ouch!”

Robby frowns, looking him sternly in the eyes as if that would be to some effect.

“Let go I said.”

Miguel's teeth stop digging in just long enough for his tongue to replace them, running along the underside. Robby's hand attempts to pull away again until Miguel's fingers wrap themselves around his wrist. His finger leaves his mouth a moment but remains touching his bottom lip, and when he talks it feels all sorts of lascivious.  

“Sorry, I'll make it better.” He smiles and Robby's resolve splinters, cracks, all but falls away like Miguel's last shred of social inhibition.

His finger disappears to the knuckle, through those lips and Robby feels his tongue trying to soothe the pain away and perhaps drive him even closer to doing something he knew Miguel might regret in the morning.  

He pulls his hand back, finger wet. Wipes it on his shirt hem right beside the other’s knee and Miguel tips his head back while he looks at the ceiling, the lump below the hollow of his throat looking more inviting by the second. Robby closes his eyes for a moment, like imagining something will provide some relief from all the tension.

Until Miguel's face goes back to his shoulder with a new vocalization that Robby finds much more endearing than the hallway noises.

He groans this time, hating everything a little bit more.

“Hmm?” Miguel thinks he’s said something.

Robby can't force himself to make a sound. It's been one and a half hours. Halfway to Miguel's sobriety.

“I'm thirsty.” He says, prodding Robby's neck. “I'm thirsty.”

Words climb up his throat again. “Then you need to get off me so I can get you more water.”

“Hhhh.”

Robby's face scrunches in confusion. “What?”

The sound is repeated, and Robby gasps as Miguel's mouth goes to his neck, all tongue and sucking motion.

“Di-az!”

He hisses, muffled by Robby's skin. “Hhhh!”

He only manages a few more seconds, with Robby (somewhat reluctantly) pushing at his shoulders. His head had been craned the opposite way, giving Miguel easier access to the side of his throat. Robby had always loved his neck kissed. There's a strong tingling that makes it way up his side, right to his brain and blocking any rational thought.

Miguel detaches his mouth. Robby can feel the air hit the wet spot on his skin and reaches up to wipe away it with his sleeve. Slowly but surely, he's being covered in a stranger’s saliva.

“I've marked you,” He’s beaming, clearly proud of himself. “There's a mark.”

Robby swallows, suddenly more aware of himself.”Great, thank you.”

Robby's one hand is flat on the ground, but the other had found its way to his back, he figured maybe at some point in the sudden neck kissing. Miguel is squirmy, not keeping still anymore.

“What are you doing?” Robby hopes his voice doesn't sound quite as wrecked with teenage hormones as it does to himself.

“Your hair… so soft,” His hands slip, down to Robby's v-neck. “This too… very soft.” He caressing his arms, his chest.

Robby sighs. “You're so out of it, man.”

He wishes he'd had another few drinks in him. Not because he wasn't enjoying his company, or because he found the task of babysitting someone's first time an ordeal. Miguel was right; he'd love a kiss, but he wasn't about to kiss someone in this state of mind when he was near completely sober, it wouldn't feel right. He didn't want to feel like he'd be taking advantage of someone. And Miguel had been going around kissing anyone willing. He didn't like the feeling in his stomach at the thought that Miguel might not remember it.

He pushes through the haze, remembering the trigger for Miguel’s sudden vampirism. “You want some water?”

“Nnm-m.”

“Is that a no?”

“I want juice, not water.”

“Okay,” Robby pauses, hands leaving Miguel's shoulders. “I'll find you some juice.”

And maybe some booze for himself. The party is in full swing upstairs.

Miguel pushes himself up, and Robby's foot has pins and needles from the lifted pressure. He stands, turns and without looking at Miguel again, shuts the door and runs upstairs two at a time.

For whatever reason, his brain tells him to avoid the blue-haired boy Miguel had been talking to earlier. He felt ridiculous running around with a hickey on his neck looking for non-alcoholic juice. He works his way through the hall and into the kitchen upstairs, rummaging the fridge for a suitable drink. He settles on apple juice for Miguel, and two shots of whatever is on the table for himself.

He stands there a while, feeling a little more collected. It's time to go back downstairs now.

--

He'd climbed back into his lap the minute Robby sat down. He didn't bother objecting this time.

Robby's feeling the alcohol by now, having loaded up with one more shot of vodka before he finally went back down.

Miguel is looking at him, drowsy-eyed. “This feels nice.”

Robby nods, agreeing. It certainly feels very nice.

During the night they'd talked, about themselves and whatever else Miguel thought of at the moment. He'd asked Robby what his favorite colour was. Robby said it was blue. Miguel looked said that his was green. His reasoning for this was because when he was little, him and his mother used to go to the beach and he'd find pieces of beach glass. He liked the memories with his mother and he liked the colour green because it reminded him of all the nice things in the world, like trips to the beach and the arrival of spring time. He also said he had a new reason to like the colour green, touching the side of Robby's face and looking into his eyes for a very purposeful three seconds.

Robby never knew his face could get so hot.

As they sit here now, he wishes he could think about something other than ‘oh my god, you're beautiful in this light and please don't get off my lap.’ He wants to say more to him.

He suddenly grimaces. He feels a little disgusted with himself from earlier. A natural reaction to having someone on your lap sure, but he didn't need to cling to him like he did. He shouldn't really be touching Miguel, should he?

He still doesn't remove his hand from the other’s lower back.

Miguel looks at him in concern, those dark eyes soft. “What's wrong? Do you feel sick?” Both hands go to Robby's face.

He blushes. Maybe can smell the alcohol on him.

“You feel warm.”

“Do I?” Robby asks.

“Mhmm.”

Miguel's hand slips from his hair to the floor, where he seeks out Robby's other hand, intertwining their fingers.

Robby's drags his eyes up from Miguel's chest. He’s looking pleased with himself, his adorable smile drowning out the light above his dark head. When Robby places his hand on his shoulder, there's a glimpse of Miguel's braces. They're just metal, no colours.

“How do you feel?”

“Better now.” He's sobering up a little, he thinks. The peak has come and gone and he's calming down now. He wasn't freaking out anymore. He was calm. A calm but present danger to Robby's clear lack of discipline and self-control.

He shifts under the boys' weight. His foot is becoming asleep again.

The clock on the bedside table reads 12:34. The party is still going on upstairs, but he can hear people talking now, no yelling. It's coming to an end.

Miguel stares at his face, subtle movement of both eyes flicking back and forth. “I like you.”

Carefully, he lets go of Diaz's hand and brings both to rest on the boy's waist, holding him exactly where he is, on his lap. Robby's thumbs caress his bare skin, feeling his ribs.

There's a happy sigh from Miguel, hair falling across his forehead in a wavy mess. Robby’s head swims a little.

He voices the first thought that comes to his mind. “This is an unconventional way to meet.”

That makes him laugh. “I guess so. I like it, though. Don’t you?” He looks hopeful, just a little bit nervous.

Robby nods. “Yeah, I do.”

One hand moves from Miguel’s waist to his chin, thumb coming to caress his bottom lip. Miguel doesn't bite him this time and Robby leans in, pressing a kiss to his mouth.

Miguel is tentative and inexperienced with his tongue, but it doesn't make much of a difference to Robby, too overwhelmed with the pleasurable feeling in his chest. When Robby gently breaks their contact, Miguel briefly moves his lips over the bridge of his nose, kissing the tip.

Robby swallows, the intimacy of the moment dissolving the block of ice in his throat. “I like you too.”

He can see his own reflection in Miguel's eyes.

“Thanks for taking care of me, that was so nice of you.” Miguel’s voice catches a little. “You're being so nice to me.” His hand goes to Robby's hair again, threading it between his fingers and watching it fall back into place.

Robby takes his time to brush some dark hair off Miguel's forehead in return, pushing it off his face and feeling the softness of it. Miguel is looking at him as if he’d put the stars in the sky just for him, as if he's the solution to all his problems and more. Admiration, is the word Robby’s probably looking for.

Miguel tips Robby's head back a little, mouth against his throat. A quiet ‘thank you’ is mumbled in-between kisses.

--

Robby squints open his eyes. Silence, and creeping sunlight from the partially open blinds.

It's morning. What time, exactly? He looks to the bedside table, red numbers reading 9:34.

There's a stiffness in his neck from sleeping with his head at an odd angle, not in a bed but on the floor still. He looks down at himself; Miguel is snoozing away in his lap, his head on his shoulder and Robby can feel little puffs of air on his neck.

He needs to get up. He tries to delicately shift Miguel off of him, not wanting to disturb his sleeping. He looks way too cute to disturb. Robby feels like once again, this mirrored his stint with owning a cat.

He's not very successful however, and Miguel's eyes open when he tries to move him to the floor.

“Oh, sorry. I just needed to get up.”

Miguel is somewhat quick to move himself away from Robby. He looks at him, at the room, with no smile. “What time is it?”

Robby stands back up, a little wobbly. “Around 9:30.” He stretches his arms above his head, feeling the muscles in his back tense up before relaxing again. “I can drive you home, if you need. I don't know who you came here with.”

Miguel sits down on the bed, picking up the cup by the bedside table and downing what's left of the water. He's looking around for his phone.

“On the bed,” Robby points to it, a bit awkwardly. “By your shirt.”

Miguel becomes aware of its absence on his body. “Oh, right.” His hands nearly go to cover himself before he stops it.

There's a tenseness that Robby had been dreading. Sometimes after people had been rolling, they'd get low. Happens with a lot of drugs, you can feel really screwed up after.

“You feeling alright?” He asks. Miguel has barely said a word since he'd woken up.

He nods, weakly. “Yeah, s’all good.” He mumbles, pulling his shirt over his head. Once he manages to get his head out, Robby appears in front of him. His hair is messy, hanging in his eyes again.

Robby reaches out, maybe to tuck it behind his ear or brush it off his face like last night, like Miguel had remembered him doing last night... the cuddling, the kisses, the touching–

He dodges Robby's hand. “I’m fine.”

Miguel is stiff, tensed. There's a short pause before his head turns quickly towards the door, a noise interrupting their silence.

“Miguel, you down here man?” A mumbling, both male and female voices. “Where'd he go?... Maybe he went home already.”  

He casts one last look at Robby, lingering for barely two seconds before he disappears through the pocket door, sliding it closed it behind him without so much as a ‘see you later’ and definitely no goodbye, Robby is left alone again.

Robby swallows the pain in his throat and sighs, biting the inside of his lip. He feels like sulking, slumping to the floor in shame and bitterness. He reaches up, touching his mouth and remembering a few hours ago when Miguel had effectively changed his entire perception of him with one little movement of his mouth, one little touch of his face. He'd hoped that maybe he'd wake up with those feelings still mulling around, maybe Robby could have taken him for breakfast and they'd go from there. At least a smile would've been nice. Something other than the awkward nervousness that made Robby feel like he'd done a terrible thing last night.

Had he done something bad?

He heads out of the room and into the bathroom, where he fills a cup with water and sits down on the ledge of the tub, sipping it.  

He tugs at his hair, feeling inexplicably nervous. It's the same shameful feeling he'd felt when Miguel had first climbed into his lap. Someone turning him down had never made him feel like this, but he knows this wasn't just a refusal, it was more like regret. Regret for behaving like he did, for kissing him, for letting himself be kissed. Sure as hell hurt a lot more than a simple ‘no, not interested’.

Maybe if he would have drank more, he wouldn't have remembered so much of the night. Maybe it would have been better off not helping him at all. Pawning him off to one of his equally intoxicated friends and leaving them to deal with it. Letting his conscience eat at him instead of his heartbreak. What had being nice ever gotten for him anyway? The outcome was always the same.

He gets up, standing in front of the mirror, surveying himself. His gaze shifts down to his bruised neck, another memory of last night made sour by Miguel's rejection.  

Would Miguel ever think of him when he's alone?

His shirt still smells like him. He hopes that he can just forget all about this, except for when he inevitably thinks about it late at night whenever he can't sleep, and he'll think about a skinny boy with messy hair and wide, brown eyes who had one point, made Robby feel wanted.

He genuinely hopes he never had to see Miguel again. He doesn't want to have to see his own heartbreak reflected back in those beautiful eyes of his that would never look at him in the same way.