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What a waste to say the heart could feel apart, or feel complete.

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Nothing short of a miracle, this was: Potter, boyish as ever still but taller now, standing in this freezing parking garage holding the edges of the briefcase smiling down at the bird. Your bird. His bird. Finally returned to him.

Impressive by your standards! Certainly honorable in the eyes of the fates. Some shooting, some spilled blood, this and that, bang bang, you won in the end with Potter at your side, just like all of your daydreams foretold. All that matters now is you gave him back his painting. Redemption is a sweet thing. A weighty thing, lifted from your soul now. Closure that made you ache in the nicest way possible.

Once upon a time in a crossfaded teenage dream, you had taken the bird, stolen from him. Was it stealing? You shared many things with each other in those very fucked up days. Lifted things from supermarkets to eat and shared those meals. Swapped all possessions with ease to make up for anything the other lacked. Steaks with butter, sweaters without holes, jokes and laughter, liquor and drugs, everything. Any of his was yours just as any of yours was his. Any except the bird. It was not yours to keep, and you knew. Was not his to keep either, but was more his than yours. Was not even yours to know about, until you did. He showed you. And the bird was a temptation; he held himself at a distance in the daylight, only truly vulnerable when blackout drunk and eyes glassy and curled in your lap. This was okay, though. Secrets were meant to be kept close to the chest. He was your little chained up golden bird, through and through. You only ever wanted to keep him for yourself. You would give Potter his painting back, did plan on it even, but then he and Popchyk must leave, immediately, are you coming or not, Boris? No one left for him now here. Time to go home and never look back.

Potter did not like to share feelings, lied about little things often, made himself small and out of the way. Unknowable, maybe to others but not to you. Certainly not now though, glowing, aching in the light, smiling at his painting, open and entirely there.

You marched over, curled a hand behind his neck. Behind his glasses his eyes were damp. Weepy, touched and emotional, just like he could always be with you, but he smiled at you like he hadn’t in years. You pulled him forward, kept his forehead against yours. His hand grasped at your shoulder, equally measured in desperation to touch each other. You could feel his warm, wet exhale against your mouth and chin and cheek. Hoped he understood, all of this was for him. All choices you ever made, everything was for him. Did he realize? Could he see, finally? How much you loved him still?

 “Not so bad, eh?” You asked. He hiccuped, smiled, nodded. A sweet thing, this. Maybe the sweetest ever. Worth all the troubles after all. 

 “Not bad at all, Boris. Fucking incredible, even.” He tucked a face into your neck, into the fleece collar of your coat, folded up against the biting wind. “Thank you.”  

You pet a hand across the back of his skull, holding him close. A hand on his jaw, keeping his smile turned towards you. He was handsome now that he stood a head above you, angular and refined. You noticed before, but was different now. Not so young and soft like the boy who had left you in a Nevada desert. Not miserable and empty like the addict at his engagement party.

 “We should celebrate, Potter. Not every day something like this happens.” You decided, clapping his shoulder. He nodded and clicked the briefcase closed, clutched the plastic handle like a lifeline.  

So Gyuri, most beloved angel from the sky, drove you both to Theo’s hotel. Gave him the night off, feeling generous and lighthearted. Go celebrate too, Gyuri, have a good time. We’ll be fine, yes yes. Do not worry, go get drunk, man, go! Theo lingered near you in the elevator to his room, inching closer each floor up, up, up. You both shared all the teeny tiny bottles of vodka and gin from the room’s refrigerator to drink, down, down down.

Usually, you do not hoard drugs. Sell quickly, take quickly, find replacements quickly. Keep your hands clean. But you have had kept these tabs of acid tucked in your pocket, just in case, for days now, a new record. Perhaps your plan backfired, perhaps it didn’t. And it didn’t, so it was time to celebrate. You pulled the fold of foil from your lined pocket. Potter made towards the bed, about to hide the painting once again, but paused.

  “Let the creature have some fresh air.” You chided him gently. “Deserves it, after all this.”  

He nodded, and unlocked the briefcase, lifted the painting. So small, but so demanding of love. Of attention. Potter centered it carefully on the desk against the wall. Stared at it again, stared through it, lived in between the layers of oil paint for a moment. He saw his mother, saw rubble and debris, flashing siren lights, saw sunlight for the first time in years. You knew.

 “Potter, I have surprise.” You wrapped an arm around his shoulders, let the hand trail to his waist. 

 “Boris, any more surprises today and it’ll be the end of me, I think.” He said softly. 

You held up the foil, unfolded it delicately. Theo realized what the tabs were. He grinned.

 “Once more. For the truest and greatest night of our lives.” 

A laugh bubbled out of him, astonishment, nothing bitter. He nodded. He peeled one of the tabs off the foil, pinched between forefinger and thumb, other hand coming up to hold your jaw. His hands were frozen from the December air still. Steal him some gloves soon, you thought. Mittens, knit from black merino with a string across the back so he couldn’t lose them.

 “Open up, then.” He instructed, and you obeyed. He put the tab of acid below your tongue, cold fingers lingering in your mouth. You repeated the action for him, and pushed forward into his chest, broader now than last time you had felt it. He caught you, pressed his face to the side of your head, wrapped his arms around you. It was too soon for the acid to work but you felt high already. Excited. Warm and gilded and honey sweet. Laughing at nothing. Everything. Eager to be back in his arms. You kissed his neck, between his jaw and grey wool coat collar, pushing the heavy jacket off his shoulders. He sighed. 

And for a moment you’re sixteen again, in the freezing desert nights of Las Vegas, with Theo groaning softly beneath you on the cement, letting the world go static-filled and hazy in the best way possible, next to a dried up pool. You end up horizontal on the soft bed. Coats abandoned on the ground. Pressed chest to chest, sucking a bruise into the soft spot below his ear, feeling the vibrations in his throat while he groans, and then suddenly:

 “Stop, stop, Boris--” He breathes out, pushing you away. You pull back, confused. Did he not want? Did he still not know? Is not possible he could be this dense, no fucking way. 

 “I’m not-- Boris, I still haven’t been with--” He began to babble. Your stupid boy still, even as a handsome man. Unbelievable. 

 “This is fine. I’ll take care of you,” You told him, leaning down again to kiss his lips. Chaste, despite the way blood was racing through you. His eyes fluttered shut and kissed you back. 

 “But I’m not--” He tried again, pushing back on your shoulder again without much force. 

 “Does not matter, no?” You plucked his glasses off of his face, folded them and tossed them over your shoulder. There were indents on the sides of his nose. Very cute. You kissed him again. 

 “Boris,” He was going tense, shakey with nerves below you. Acid about to ruin the mood. His breathing went odd and his face was flushed. “I just haven’t-- not with another man.” 

You wanted to laugh. Pushed his bangs out of his eyes, instead. Gently so as not to startle him. Straddled his hips and held his face in your hands. Stern voice, and dedicated eye contact. This was serious business, you’d been thinking about it for years. Not about to let the moment slip away now, not when you had finally gotten him back. You felt slow and giddy and purposeful. So glad you both paid extra for color television this time around.

 “Theo, is just me.” You promised him. He smiled, so pleased that you called him by his name he almost laughed suddenly. “You’ve been with me. Still the same, just older now. Better technique. Mastery of the art, or some shit. Will take care of you, so no need to worry. Is just me.” 

His eyes were closed, swallowing some feeling down, giving himself permission for this. His pupils were blown wide when he nodded up at you finally. You leaned down, kissed him hard on purpose. Made him feel it. Gave him something to enjoy.

He clumsily undid the button and zip of his trousers and arched into your touch once you slipped a hand into his boxers, the tight grip of your hand going teasingly slow. Enjoy it, Potter. You’re allowed to like it, you wanted him to know. You kissed him like you were trying to let him know.

Your wrist torqued on the tug up, a thumb smearing across the wet head, the smooth slide down, the delicious flush of red on top of his cheekbones.

Somehow, the buttons of his shirt were undone now, leaving his chest out in the air. You weren’t entirely sure where your shirt had gotten off to. Maybe it was invisible now. Maybe you would turn invisible too. Maybe you and Theo could live the rest of your whole lives together as shadows in the back of an apartment’s kitchen where no one would notice either of you hiding in corners and whispering with your heads tucked together. Your teeth skidded over the tendon jumping out in his neck, kissing down towards his sternum, chest, stomach, lower and lower.

 “Feeling good?” You asked, lips against the planes of his stomach. 

 “More,” he breathed out, voice low and scratchy in a way that made your gut clench around nothing, “Please.” 

You tugged his pants and underwear off his legs, settled in the space between his legs. He threw an arm over his eyes like this was already far too much to bear. You dropped a kiss on the soft inside of his thigh, watched with a grin when the muscle in his leg jump, when his legs fell apart wider. Finally you licked up the side of his cock. Felt him twitch beneath your touch and grinned against his skin. This part was familiar, even after years and miles apart. You still knew what to do, how to hide your teeth and breathe through your nose with your mouth full, to tolerate the ache in your jaw alongside the spit and precum on your chin because whatever you had to do to hear the breathy, embarrassing noises that he would let slip was more than worth it. His spine arched off the bed, and you finally let your eyes close and reached into your own trousers. You pulled off and leaned your cheek against where his hipbone jutted out beneath his skin. You lazily stroked him, yourself as well, and cleared your throat.

 “Stop hiding. I want to hear, Theo. See and hear. Want all of it.” Your voice hurt. Your head spun, span, spinned. Everything was hot, you hadn’t realized you were sweating this much until his thumb swept across your brow, brushed your curls back out of your eyes. He was leaning up on one elbow, panting heavily, staring at you with a tenderness that made you ache. He felt it too, you were certain.  

He grabbed at your shoulders and pulled you up, up, up again until his arms were around your neck, holding on desperately, like you were planning on leaving so soon and he couldn’t stand it. Your hands ended up on the sides of his face again, kissing madly. Letting him bite your lower lip too hard, nearly drawing blood, before pulling back with a wild smile. It didn’t even hurt, you wanted to tell him. You reached down between the two of you and he stopped you.

 “Don’t, you can--” he started to say and then stopped. Start, stop, start, stop. The shame of wanting was still a hurdle for him to cross. Any other time, you would have loved to torment him into saying it out loud, hold it over his head as something he really asked for, but you were just as hard as him. Just as lightheaded and strung out and wound up as he was, wanting it just as badly.  

 “In the bathroom, there’s some lotion” He fell flat against the mattress, still holding onto you. You kissed the side of his hair, somewhere above his ear.  

 “Be right back, then.” And so you stumbled into the bathroom, very bright and hard to see inside. You found the lotion, thankfully unscented. Shea-butter cock would be a terrible mix, you were certain of it. Not as good as real lube, but would have to do. Such is life. You nearly left the room before realizing you were still wearing trousers, still click-clacking around on the tiled floor in your leather boots with the cuban heels.  

Theo was sitting upright in the bed when you returned, stumbling out of your pants, tangled in a confusing knot around your ankles somehow. His nerves settling back in his system. No good. He reached out to catch you as you leaned forward, finally freed, eager and dizzy and waiting for you. His hands shook. One of your knees landed on the mattress and both hands went weaving into the hair at the nape of his neck.

 “Boris, how are we,” He tried to ask before you shut him up with a quick kiss. 

 “Don’t worry. Just relax, I do this for you.” You promised him again. This, and so many other things. Anything he wanted. He nodded against your shoulder and you rolled him back so he was lying down again. One slick finger, let him adjust to the back and forth, and then two, then three. His breathing was quick, near hyperventilating. Could barely keep his eyes open.  

 “Theo, hey, relax. Is just me. Just relax.” You whispered vaguely, tenderly, incoherently. He nodded along, tears clumping up his eyelashes when you pulled your hand out. 

Not for the first time, you felt like a teenager again, rutting against him with little grace. He bit his tongue when you pushed in and let the tears fall down the sides of his skull. You reached up and wiped them away. 

 “Potter?” You asked. His eyes were blown out to black rings, no iris in sight, red and watery around the edges. His hips moved, he gasped and all concern left, only devilish delight filling up your chest. 

 “Move.” He croaked out, demanding as ever. So move you did, curled over him, pounding each airless gasp out of him. His leg was bent at the knee and he cried out when you grabbed it and lifted it up. Ankle somewhere over your shoulder now. Pushed the blanket up below his hips, and the noises from him improved tenfold. Mastery of the art, indeed. Ha ha.  

His head was lolled against the mattress, pillows thrown off to the sides. He didn’t last more than a few loose tugs when your hand wrapped around his cock again, stroking him gently, careful of the sensitivity. The vague pattern of the bedsheets, beige floral embroidery on cream linen, swirled ceremoniously in your eyes around where his head was thrown back. He came, finally, in thick white stripes across the palm of your hand and the flat stretch of his stomach.

And you do not lie, this was for him, for you to take care of him. He finished and you were content to have seen it, to have caused it again. Though he stopped you, Don’t pull out he told you in a gritty whisper. Just keep going.

So you dropped his knee, held his face and kissed his lips, trying to convey your heart through sensation alone. You took those last few moments you needed before you were gasping into his mouth and he was nodding like this was exactly what he wanted, carding his nails through your hair affectionately.

It was exhausting, finally. The exertion catching up to you, still tripping but he was there, shuddering with a disgusted groan when you pulled out. Holding onto your arms and pulling you to lie next to him, keeping your fingers laced between his own. Decided to clean him up later, just a few seconds to rest first, to indulge in having your head tucked between his chin and shoulder again. You closed your eyes and so he did too.