When a lover of boys, or any other type of person, meets that very person who is his other half,
he is overwhelmed, to an amazing extent, with affection, concern and love.
The two don’t want to spend any time apart from each other. These are people who live out whole lifetimes together,
but still can’t say what it is they want from each other.
-Aristophanes, Plato’s Symposium
Though he was well acquainted with the risks of doing so, Charles was studying with his window open. There was a light breeze to the spring day, and the scent of flowers and fresh-trimmed grass wafted into his room as he poured over his textbooks. It would have seemed that all the world had stopped for him, until a familiar voice called out to him through his window.
“Charles! I know you’re in there, Charles!”
Charles sighed as he looked up from his book. As fond as he was of Sebastian, there was an awfully good reason he had to study so hard for his exam. He had allowed the hedonistic little lord to tempt him away from his classes for over a week, and got nothing in return beyond a dreadful hangover and some angry notes from his professors.
And now, Sebastian was leaning halfway into his room, not unlike that first night, only now he wasn’t upheaving the contents of his stomach onto his floor. Instead, he was lifting a picnic basket, as if to emphasize his next request: “Come dine with me.”
“I’ve got to study, Sebastian. I can’t.”
“Oh, studying . What could possibly be more important than lunch?” Sebastian asked, clearly offended that Charles would even think of studying over spending time with him.
“My Greek literature exam.” He explained, holding up his textbook as if to prove a point. The cover was blank and worn, a piece that one could easily imagine had been used since the college’s first class hundreds of years before. Or perhaps the ancient Greeks themselves had once studied from it, as dusty and faded as it was.
“Well then it’s a good thing I’m feeling much like a Maenad today,” Charles could have argued that Sebastian felt like a Maenad every day, but then he continued flippantly, “I’ve got grapes, and cheese, and just the most lovely olive oil from Liguria. Papa assures me it’s the best in the world.”
The “and wine” went without saying, as Charles could see the neck of a bottle sticking plainly out of the basket.
Charles could see that there was no way out of it. He sighed, closing his textbook before giving Sebastian his answer. “....Fine. I’ll eat with you. But you must promise to let me study while I do.” He was putting his foot down. He would not allow himself to fail this class. However, even he had to agree that studying on an empty stomach wouldn’t be very beneficial.
Sebastian’s face lit up, and suddenly Charles remembered why it was so easy to drop everything and do his bidding. He was positively radiant at his best, and a petulant child at his worst.
“You won’t hear a peep out of me! Silent as a church mouse, I promise.”
As much as Charles wanted to believe that promise, he doubted it would be the case. Sebastian always found something to discuss, even as a one-sided conversation. But regardless, he packed up his textbooks and followed Sebastian out to his car.
The lunch, as promised, had been divine. Sebastian had driven them out to a heavenly little patch of nowhere in the countryside. There wasn’t another living being around for miles, other than perhaps an errant sheep or the occasional bird overhead. It was more peaceful than anywhere in Oxford proper, and Charles thought that perhaps Sebastian had had the right idea to bring him out there.
But first, there was lunch to attend to.
Sebastian had spread out a large blanket, one big enough to house the two of them (three if you counted Aloysius, which Sebastian always did) comfortably with their meal between them. They removed their shoes, and Sebastian his socks, freeing themselves further as they relaxed in the spring sun. The meal was a light affair, as Greek as Sebastian had promised. They laughed and fed each other grapes and olives, morsels of oil-soaked focaccia. The wine was drank in what felt like an instant, a sweet red that lingered on the tongue long after the bottle was empty.
When the meal was done and put away, Charles returned to his textbooks. Sebastian had, miraculously, kept up his end of the bargain in the end. He remained blissfully silent, instead choosing to smoke and stare up at the nearly-cloudless sky. Charles used his stomach to prop his head up, resuming his studies.
After the silence stretched out for a certain length, Charles could have easily assumed Sebastian had slipped into one of his mid-afternoon, post-lunch naps. It wouldn’t have been the first time. The fingers carding through his hair affectionately told him otherwise. Sebastian seemed to simply be enjoying the moment, the pleasure of silent companionship. It was a welcome reprieve after the week spent in manic debauchery.
“What is it that you’re reading, anyway? Greek, of course, but do tell me more, otherwise I’ll only assume it’s something dreadfully naughty.”
Charles had made it through well over half the book before the silence was broken. He was actually quite proud of Sebastian for managing to last that long. He looked away from the words to instead gaze up at him. His golden hair was more like a halo in the late afternoon sun. “It’s, ah, Plato,” He explained, catching himself after a moment’s distraction. “Discussions of love, and all that.”
Sebastian hummed knowingly above him. “The Greeks had the right idea about love. Do you know they had several kinds?” He asked as he lit another cigarette, taking a drag before offering it to Charles.
Charles did, in fact, know. “There’s Eros , love of the body. Philia , love of the mind. Agape , love of the soul…” He trailed off, taking a drag from the offered cigarette. He’d come to know many of the Greek forms of love from Sebastian and his group of friends. He had learned more from them than perhaps he had from his stuffy old professors.
“Let’s not forget Ludus, ” Sebastian reminded him, plucking the cigarette back for himself. Charles found it very hard to forget Ludus , the playful love, the love he and Sebastian undoubtedly shared. Juvenile, perhaps, but no less important to the two of them. No less pure. “No, we can’t possibly forget that,” Charles agreed with a grin.
“Another wonderful thing about the Greeks. They didn’t limit themselves,” Sebastian added, “One could have a female lover, of course. The usual way things are done, you know. Procreation and all that. But it was just as common for a man to take a male lover. Young men in their prime, as we are.”
Charles found himself sitting up at the revelation, fully at Sebastian’s attention. He had known this, of course, but had never delved into the topic. His professors had strictly forbidden any discussions on this aspect of Greek love, and refused to elaborate on their “unspeakable vices.” Sebastian, on the other hand, was so willing to teach him more of the world he had so rapidly pulled him into. He saw Greek love all around him: the intimate way Sebastian’s friends held and kissed each other, the ways they touched without any hesitation.
It was a language all on its own, and Charles hadn’t been given a dictionary until that moment.
“The lover, the erastes , would slip between the thighs of his beloved. A most masculine pleasure. Muscular bodies sliding together to reach a mutual bliss.” Sebastian he continued, and Charles immediately felt his expression take on more of a grimace than anything else.
“I don’t see how that could bring much satisfaction,” he wondered aloud. To him, the whole business just seemed like a lot of chafing without much of a purpose.
“It can be quite nice, nestling oneself in the tight, slick thighs of another.” The look Sebastian gave him was positively lecherous, yet not so out of place on his Caravaggio-esque face. Charles wasn’t necessarily surprised that his companion had partaken in such pagan forms of pleasure. He’d done much worse, if Anthony Blanche’s stories were anything to go by, even if he did doubt their veracity at times. But this, it seemed, Sebastian had a wealth of knowledge on.
Charles’ stomach tightened, but he couldn’t tell if he was appalled, or intrigued.
“And this is pleasurable for...both parties involved?” He asked, his curiosity not yet satiated.
“Oh, yes, quite. If you do it correctly,” Sebastian replied, his tone as casual as if he were discussing a play he had just seen. As he spoke, he turned Aloysius so that he was facing away from them on their blanket. “I could show you, if you like.”
Charles and Sebastian had kissed before. They had even done a bit of rutting through their clothes when their bodies were more wine than water, but this was something entirely different. Sebastian was asking to use him, in so little words. And Charles was considering letting him.
Call it academic curiosity .
“You’re really thinking too loudly, Charles. I can hear you all the way over here,” Sebastian remarked, beginning to close the gap between them with a hand on Charles’ chest. Charles covered it with both of his own, giving it the faintest squeeze. “Alright.” He conceded, even if he wasn’t entirely convinced of the pleasure of the act.
Sebastian would show him. He trusted him.
Sebastian’s lips were soft and warm as they pressed against his, his manicured hands moving from his chest to cup his face. Charles quite enjoyed kissing Sebastian, and found he could spend hours doing it without reprieve, if only Sebastian wouldn’t get bored after so long and request they move onto something more exciting. This, though, the lord didn’t seem to be rushing.
He kissed Charles languidly, as if they had the rest of eternity to themselves. Short pecks, kisses that plunged deep into Charles’ mouth and practically stole his breath. Soon enough he had completely forgotten all hesitation from before, replacing it entirely with want . He wanted more, anything that Sebastian would give him.
The weight of Sebastian sliding onto his lap was welcomed, and he wrapped his arms tightly around him to draw him closer. He could feel as hands worked at the buttons of his shirt, the sun warming his skin just as much as Sebastian’s touch. Finally, though, as he was wont to do, Sebastian pulled away from his mouth for more exciting endeavors. He kissed down the column of his neck, following the path his hands had followed moments ago. Charles sighed, his head falling back as he allowed the gentle assault, giving Sebastian more space to claim. All the while, he too worked on Sebastian’s ridiculously overdone outfit: his tie, his waistcoat, the buttons on his shirt. It was all so much work compared to his own outfit, but wasn’t that always the case?
Clothes got strewn around them as they were removed, tossed without care in any direction so long as they were out of the way. Charles noted with a small chuckle that one of their shirts had covered Aloysius, leaving the poor bear blind to the proceedings, even as he faced away. “Perhaps it’s for the best,” Sebastian remarked between kisses, never pulling away from Charles’ throat more than a fraction of an inch, “He’s a terrible gossip.”
Charles went easily as Sebastian pushed him forward, laying back against the blanket as the kisses moved further down onhis body. His prick had been half-mast from the kissing alone, but stirred with interest the closer Sebastian got to it. He kissed Charles’ belly button as he undid his trousers, pulling both them and his undergarments off without a second of hesitation.
Charles had never felt so exposed in his life. Sebastian had seen him nude while sunbathing and swimming, but this was an entirely different context. The way Sebastian looked at him, eyes trailing hungrily along his pale form, made his heart pound almost painfully in his chest.
“I don’t see why you bother with being an artist when you’re so clearly meant to be a model,” Sebastian commented, his tone all too casual for the way he was eyeing him down. He hadn’t thought his body was much to look at at all, but Sebastian seemed intent on changing that.
“It’s not quite fair that I’m exposed to the elements while you’ve still got half your clothes on,” Charles remarked, attempting to regain some control over the situation, and then Sebastian laughed . A bright, wonderful sound--genuine, not like the laughs he put on when humoring one of his less exciting friends.
“You’re probably right. Modesty won’t help us here,” He agreed, making quick work of his trousers, leaving him just as naked as Charles as he crawled back on top of him. Their cocks nestled together comfortably, and Charles couldn’t help but rock his hips upwards, the feeling familiar even without the barrier of their clothes. Sebastian moaned, gripping his hips to still him. “You mustn’t do that, or we’ll get absolutely nowhere with this,” He reprimanded, but there was no malice behind it.
That time it was Charles to initiate the kiss, pulling Sebastian down to claim his lips. He poured himself into the gesture, making all of his desires known as Sebsatian’s hands moved from his hips back to his cock. He could rarely take his own advice, always giving in to temptation as it was spread out for him. He stroked him, firm from base to tip, and Charles found himself moaning into his mouth--a wordless plea for more.
Sebastian sped up the movement of his hand, pulling back from Charles’ lips to allow his sounds to fall into the open air. And, oh, Charles could hardly hold back. Not when he was finally getting what he had unknowingly craved for so long. He repeated Sebastian’s name like a benediction, an atheist praying at the altar of Marchmain, but only for release. Only for Sebastian to continue indulging him.
He found himself holding onto Sebastian’s shoulders for purchase, grip tightening as his friend brought him closer and closer to the precipice. He was nearly there, could feel the coil tightening in the pit of his stomach. “Sebastian, please,” He begged, eyes squeezed shut, “I’m-- ”
In an instant, it all stopped.
“I think you’re quite warmed up, then,” Sebastian announced, pulling back from him entirely. Charles could feel the tension in his body snap as he was denied his flood of bliss, and he fell back against the blanket with a groan. Sebastian could truly be cruel when he wanted to.
“Roll over, Charles,” He instructed as he dug back into the picnic basket. Charles, still dazed from his denied orgasm, resolutely refused to move. Instead, he watched as Sebastian retrieved the vial of oil from earlier, and his eyes widened with the realization of what he was going to use it for.
“Sebastian, you were just telling me how expensive that oil was. You can’t possibly be thinking--”
Sebastian interrupted him with a scoff, removing the cork. Immediately the thick scent of olives filled the air, and Charles was reminded of the meal they had just shared. How decadent it had been. “I can always ask Papa for more. Besides, it’s authentic. What do you think the ancients used?”
Well. He had a point.
“Now do roll over, Charles. I already asked you quite nicely once, and I won’t do it again,” Sebastian repeated, sounding less patient than he had been before. Charles relented, rolling onto his front. The pressure against his still-sensitive cock made him lift his hips, hoping for a reprieve. Sebastian surprised him further by grabbing him by his hips, pulling him up so that he was on his hands and knees.
The olive oil was warmed from the sun as Sebastian poured it along the split of him, dripping over his hole, down his balls, onto his thighs. He used more than perhaps necessary, leaving him feeling slick and more than just a little uncomfortable.
“Now I want you to cross your legs at the ankles,” Sebastian instructed as he came up behind Charles, his prick resting against his ass. Charles did so, already feeling the tension that extended holding would undoubtedly cause. “Feel the tightness in your muscles? Keep them like that.”
Without further instruction, Charles could feel as Sebastian began to press himself between his thighs. He went slowly, luxuriating in the feeling of being squeezed so intimately by his friend.
Charles hardly felt anything beyond the press of Sebastian’s cock between his thighs for the first few shallow thrusts. The angle changed slightly each time, but it was still never enough to register anything nearing pleasure, still lower to his knees than anything else. He was beginning to think Sebastian had lied, simply wanting to seek his own pleasure between his legs, or perhaps their size difference was too great to allow for such an activity. Perhaps the Greeks were closer in height to each other than he and Sebastian were.
“I don’t think this is working, old boy,” Charles announced, sounding more than a little disappointed. But perhaps they could do something else together, something they could both benefit from.
“Nonsense. Just...give me a moment, it’s been a while,” Sebastian replied, withdrawing himself from Charles’ thighs to readjust himself properly. He went in higher this time, and Charles could feel the drag of his cock against the underside of his balls. That felt considerably better, and he could tell he had found just the right angle.
Sebastian continued from there, shallow little thrusts that didn’t see him pulling out completely, rather massaging himself between the tight crevice of Charles’ thighs. His cockhead bumped against Charles’ balls with each thrust, the drag of the length against his taint inescapable. Though it was nowhere near the direct pleasure of Sebastian’s hand from earlier, it still felt good .
It was a low and building pleasure, one that wasn’t given all at once. It had to be earned by him, by the beloved. Only by pleasing Sebastian would he reach his own gratification. The sounds he was making alone were enough to make Charles’ cock twitch beneath him.
The longer they remained locked in their amorous congress, the stronger Sebastian rutted against him, his movements growing more desperate. Though his thighs were beginning to ache, Charles tightened himself further, flexing muscles he hadn’t even realized he’d had until moments before. Sebastian gave a great shout at the new sensation, falling forward so that his head rested against the center of Charles’ back.
They were pressed together at every point then, sweat and oil keeping them joined as Sebastian used him to seek his release. He reached beneath their conjoined forms, wrapping an oil-slicked hand around Charles’ cock to stroke him in time with their frantic movements. He had been granted his pleasure, and he was more than ready to take it.
Charles was squirming beneath Sebastian, a push-and-pull against his cock and towards his hand. He was beyond language at that point, beyond reason. The heat dripping down his thighs told him that Sebastian had already reached that point, and it was enough to send him over the edge, as well.
Charles came with a shout, Sebastian’s hand working him through the tremors of release until it was all too much to bear.
They lay together afterward, Sebastian still against Charles’ back, quite content to never move again. The sweat and oil began to cool, which was an infinitely more uncomfortable situation than when it was warm, but neither seemed to mind so long as they could stay pressed together. “So, did it meet your expectations?” Sebastian asked in a low hum, his cheek pressed against Charles’ shoulder. He sounded all too pleased with himself.
“You know it did,” Charles replied with a roll of his eyes, but there was a smile playing on his lips as he did so.
“Wonderful!” Sebastian pressed a smacking kiss to his neck before finally rolling off of him, reaching for his cigarette case that rested undisturbed in the grass beyond the blanket. Charles turned onto his back as a lit cigarette was offered to him. Taking a drag, he stretched out, a picture of contentment in the afternoon sun. His thighs ached. He was covered in sweat, oil, and other unmentionable fluids, but he was in far too high of spirits to care.
“Did you know,” Charles said as he exhaled the lungful of smoke, “That certain classical scholars thought that we used to be two beings in one. Two men. Two women. A man and a woman. But the gods tore us apart, so we must search for our other halves.”
“How terribly artistic of you, Charles,” Sebastian replied, laying so that his head rested on his friend’s chest. “Can you imagine how inconvenient that would be? Eight limbs, two heads, two bladders, most likely.”
Charles could imagine the inconvenience, but found that imagining the inverse was much worse. To truly be alone, to be without one’s other half, he could hardly think of it. Instead, he focused on the feeling of he and Sebastian pressed together, their hearts beating in tandem.
It was an artistic thought, but perhaps one that wasn’t far from the truth.