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Muffled sounds of music and chatter flow out on the streets through the fogged-up flat windows. As he walks up to the doorstep, Liam tosses the last of his cigarette and sees two chattering girls leaning against the doorway. They give him a blank glance. It’s nothing special, but the anxiety and the nicotine in his system make him feel as if they’re judging him.

He knew that he should have put on something “fancier” going to a party at Jarvis’s, with all his posh and educated friends. It was a wise choice of his friend to have this party, being the first Friday of the term - they’re still in the period where most of the students are excited before everyone loses their spirit and ambition as winter approaches. It’s the last taste of summer.

Anyway, not that Liam gives a single shit about that.

He makes his way up the staircase, two at a time, as if he’s in a hurry passing by the snogging couples and cackling friends. He tries to hype himself up as the music grows in volume around him, shrugging his shoulders to the beat as he makes his way to the end of the corridor.

He hates uni parties. Anything centering around class privilege and spoilt behaviour annoyed him. However, he has a soft spot for Jarvis, and he doesn’t want to miss it for him. That is what he says to himself, anyway.

Liam strolls into the room without knocking. Smoke, sweat and expensive perfume filled the flat and he glanced over to see if the windows were open for the sake of fresh air. Liam would be more than okay with all of this excess in very different circumstances but now… he’s honestly not loving it.

“Liam!” The tall man approaching him is wearing a dark purple suit. It’s a well-fitting thing in corduroy that he probably found at one of the local second-hand shops. Liam respects him for that - he always had a taste. “I’m so glad you came!” Jarvis embraces him in a friendly hug, and Liam awkwardly pats him on the back in kind.

“Well, I couldn’t leave you alone with all the posh cunts, could I now?”

Liam and Jarvis are different in every way possible. Their Northern roots link them, according to the Londoners, but Liam thinks that they wouldn’t know Northern unless it kicked them up the arse. Unlike him, Jarvis adapted smoothly to London. Blessed with an understandable accent in comparison to Liam’s snarling Mancunian tones, he flitted between the posh students like a natural. That made Liam uncomfortable, and unsure how to feel.

“You need to stop being so defensive mate, not all of them are posh!”

“Yeah yeah, tell that to their old man’s net worths.” Liam shoots Jarvis a cocky look that he simply waves away, and the pair begin to make their way through the crowded room.
Liam tries to ignore the sympathetic-cum-pitying looks thrown his way as they entered the kitchen. Unlike Jarvis, he is still viewed as an outsider. Growing up relatively skint never bothered him - everyone around him was the same.

Once he came to London, he stuck out like a sore thumb. Even Jarvis’s social circles refused to let him in. Liam could guess why. Jarvis goes to Saint Martin’s, where the boys wear skirts and the girls shave their heads, and studies some kind of art Liam doesn’t even bother to try to understand. Liam views art students as underfed dreamy toffs who had fantasies of starving in Garretts but could always afford to fall back on Mummy and Daddy’s silver spoon when they inevitably ended up dropping out. Working at a supermarket or flogging houses or running a shop - that’s a proper job. Not building bloody statues with some poodle clay. Liam cringes even thinking about that.

Liam’s life is that of painfully bright Fluro-lights, and an unidentifiable smell, and the endless rigour mortis of the mundane. The kind where the everyday life of common people was washed out in its true grey tones. And yet… somehow, these toffs are dying to look and act like that. It baffles him, the romanticisation.

Liam leans against the sink as Jarvis walks over to the fridge to fetch a beer for him. He nods in thanks and pops open the can before slurping up the foam like a kid with a can of Coke. He watches a couple of people at the kitchen table having a discussion about the latest political debate between the Tories and Labour with the kind of intensity he thought was reserved for football matches. He’d overheard some workmates talking about it yesterday, but he didn’t engage with politics so he hadn’t contributed.

He feels a hot blush spread up his neck at the realisation that he is surrounded by people who is both wealthier and more in tune intellectually than him. He grimaces and takes a harsh swig of beer. He needs to pull himself together - he is at a party, for fuck’s sake! The place to forget your troubles, not fucking zero in on them!

Jarvis, somehow sensing his discomfort, placed a hand between his hunched shoulder blades. “Come on, let’s get you out there socialising a bit, huh?” He throws an arm around Liam’s shoulders and tugs them both out of the kitchen and through the living room. Just as they reach the doorway of another room, Jarvis’s name suddenly chimes above the music and chatter, and he looks apologetically at Liam.

“I’ve gotta go and talk to Saskia, but my friends are in there so you can just go in.” Liam gawks at Jarvis. He doesn’t know anyone here! Jarvis put his hand on Liam’s shoulder and shakes him a bit. “C’mon mate, I’ll be right back! It’s not like they’re any different from us.”

Liam swallows, a silly grin spreading on his face, trying to neuter his fear. “They’re posh kids, Jarv,” he mumbles. His anxiety churns in his stomach, crashing around. He thinks of that old Japanese painting of the wave in Jarvis’s room.

Jarvis giggles, giving his shoulder a friendly slap before letting him go. “Don’t be a baby and get in there Leeum. I’ll be there in five.”

He sprints to the end of the hall, where an angry-looking girl is stood waiting for him. Liam smirks at this act of eye-warfare towards his friend. He turns away from the brewing conflict, and back towards the door Jarvis led him to. With a deep inhale, he steps inside.

***

“Damo, truth or dare?”

Damon sighs, his eyes fixed on the chipped bottle in front of him, his fingers playing with the cuffs of his jeans. He’s almost got off scot-free the whole night - if you count kissing Brett and telling everyone he’d shag the cleaning lady of their accommodation as scot-free. The universe isn’t done with him yet if Justine counts as the universe. Her dark eyes glitter as she waits for his answer, elegant fingertips tapping the glass.

Damon adopts an aloof expression. “Dare.” Justine smiles and spins the bottle with a flex of her wrist.

Knowing Justine and her ways, he’ll probably end up in the wardrobe for seven minutes in heaven with Alex. And it is never heaven with Alex. Justine suddenly stops the bottle with her hand, and leans in to whisper something in Brett’s ear, who smiles. Damon’s brow furrows as she perkily leans away, grinning.

God, he hates them so much.

“Okay, Damon. You will kiss the next person who walks into the room.” A laugh ripples through the circle. “Tongue and everything,” she adds with a snicker.

Damon rolls his eyes at her big grin. The downside of being the courageous, up-for-anything friend of the group is that he ends up embarrassing himself for their entertainment. They all look at the doorway, trying to will someone through, and Justine is just about to spin the bottle again when a lad walks in.
The darkness of the room and the shitty fairy lights in the front room cause Damon to struggle to see his face. He can tell it’s a boy, though. Build, hair, movements, etcetera. Not rocket science. Just his luck.

Justine beams at him, giving a Damon look and winks as he stands up with a sigh. He slips over to the newcomer, who’s a bit shorter than him. He’s probably gonna have to lift this guy’s chin up for a proper kiss. He can feel nerves radiating from him. His first rodeo, Damon guesses. Or at least his first of Jarvis’s parties? This provides him with some confidence, at least - he doesn’t have to snog someone he knows again.

The upside of being closer is that Damon can make out his face. The boy, who’s gorgeously shaped brows are furrowed in confusion, lifts his chin up, and bright blue eyes meet Damon’s dull ones. They seem to shine in the darkness of the room, pupils blown wide. Damon can feel blood thrumming at his temples and chalks it up to nerves. Damon wants to open his mouth and say something to him even though he really doesn’t get why he can’t just kiss the boy immediately. Then suddenly, without any warning, he leans in for that kiss.

His lips are soft and plump, just like a girl’s, and Damon is pretty sure it isn’t written anywhere that the kiss should be deep but he can’t help himself. He brings his hands up to hold the boy’s face, feeling smooth skin and slight stubble.

He’s not holding back, probably responding in kind to Damon’s sudden leap, and exhales into Damon’s mouth. Damon blushes at this oddly personal action and sucks on his lower lip. The boy’s tongue suddenly snakes into his mouth, and Damon feels a deep moan leave his mouth. His eyes shoot open and he immediately breaks the kiss, leaving a trail of spit which quickly snaps. Jesus, he just moaned in front of everyone. Shame, shame, shame.

Someone in the circle coughs. The boy’s eyes are still fixed on Damon. He looks like he’s never been kissed, and Damon can’t help but smile at him. His blue eyes are shadowed by thick black lashes, and his eyebrows are jostling for a room with a hairstyle that screams ‘Beatles fan!’ Or maybe Stone Roses, for that matter.
He’s delicate, pale and gorgeous. A high pink blush suddenly spreads up his cheeks as the boy raises one of his eyebrows slowly, opens that gorgeous plush pink mouth, and says - “Did ya just kiss me, ya cunt?!”

Brett cackles, and Damon smiles wider. His Mancunian accent is just brilliant. A cute boy with a Northern accent - what’s not to love? Beatles Fan blushes furiously and wipes his mouth with the back of his hand.

“Guess I just did,” Damon smiles, extending a hand to shake. “I’m Damon.”

He looks at his hand for a moment, then back at Damon with a bewildered expression.

“Liam,” he replies, he looks back at Damon sternly, his blue eyes sending electric shocks to him.

Damon slides his hand back in his pocket, playing it cool. “Sorry for the abrupt meeting. My friends were playing Truth or Dare and Justine here-” He points at Justine who’s resting her head against Brett’s shoulder while sending Liam a funny smile. “-was so very nice to dare me to kiss the next person who came into the room.”

Liam glances over at Justine, almost as if it hurts him to look, his eyes immediately going back to the cool spring of Damon’s face. “C’mon, sit down with us!” Justine calls from the circle. “Do you know Jarvis?”

“Uh, yeah. We’re-we’re…” Damon ushers Liam to sit down on the floor next to him. Liam sits carefully, crossing his legs, keeping a small gap between them. He stares at the bottle on the floor. He sighs. “Yeah, we’re mates.”

***

“So you’re from the North?”

They’d peeled back to the kitchen after Spin the Bottle dissolved into strip poker. Liam felt too queasy to witness Brett undo his silk shirt, and Damon had made some quick excuse about being thirsty. So here they are, leaning side by side against the now-empty kitchen counter.

Liam snorts at his words. The North. Of course, he’d say that. He turns to Damon with a sarcastic expression, which promptly melts away when he sees Damon is actually incredibly earnest and not at all taking the piss out of him.

Liam tries to be nice and confident this time. “Yeah, Manchester. I’m surprised you Southerners can understand me. How far North have you been?”
Damon grins, taking a swig from his can of beer. “A fancy restaurant in St Albans,” he replies with a laugh. “And I like your accent. It’s…” He waves his can around, looking for the right word. “Charming.”

Liam smiles inside, coughing outwardly. “Uhh, thanks.” He swallows the last of his beer. “So, what about you? Take it you’re from ‘ere?”

Damon crunches up his can. “Yeah, born in Whitechapel.” He grimaces as he says it. “Just got back, actually. I was living in Greece for a while. Dad thought I was too much trouble here, so he sent me there to study.” He giggles and Liam wonders how he can just brush off studying abroad. “Got a tan, came back, now I’m taking Art at Saint Martin’s. That’s how I know Jarvis and how I met Justine and Brett and all that lot.”

Liam just nods at him. He’s not shocked that Damon’s from a posh family, given his flippant attitude towards Greece and Jarvis’s party. But… he didn’t think he was from somewhere like Whitechapel. Peckham, sure. Damon’s trashed jeans and attitude made him think that.

He blinks as he realises they’re much more different than he first thought. Damon starts telling him about his family, what he’s studying, how Athens is. They talk about music, discovering they share the same love of mods and the Beatles. Under all the chatter, Liam can’t ignore the tiny nerve that ignited inside him after Damon’s kiss. The hope that with that kiss, he wouldn’t be seen as an uneducated, uncultured lout.

God, his friends would make fun of him just for thinking about this.

Liam didn’t care if Damon was serious about his interests or not, but Damon’s genuine wide-eyed alertness towards Liam’s opinions on Quadrophenia shoved that in a biased direction. Liam felt his chest puff with pride when he showed off his obscure Beatles knowledge, facts about b-sides and recording sessions tumbling out. Well, it was better not to say anything personal about himself to Damon now, was it? All the facts in the world don’t change that Liam is slightly intimidated by Damon’s confidence.

After Liam runs out of steam, Damon wets his lips with his tongue and gestures towards his bottle. “More booze?”

Liam nods, and pushes himself upwards to the counter and sits. There are only dregs left now - cheap wine and a few crushed cans of beer. All the vodka and Irn-Bru and Schnapps disappeared ages ago. Liam quickly opens his third beer, hoping for the alcohol to reduce the tingling sensations Damon was causing in his lower body with his every look. Not that he’s complaining, mind you.

Liam is a lot of things, but he’s not stupid. He’s noticed Damon’s smirks, winks, and glances over his body. He saw the way Damon licks his lips when the conversation between them lulls into silence or sighs when Liam looks away from him. This was pure, grade-A flirting. He didn’t want to bolster Damon’s confidence any more than he had done, and besides, it felt nice to be chased.

Damon rummages through the fridge and pulls out a bottle of rum. He plonks it on the table and shoves around some more for a bottle of Coke. Smiling at Liam, happy blue eyes sparkling, he quips, “I don’t think Jarvis will mind.”

“Knock yourself out, mate,” Liam replies.

Damon skitters around, filling a glass with coke and rum sloppily. He grabs a teaspoon to stir it, like some kid pretending to make a potion, before expertly tossing the spoon into the sink with a clatter. He turns around and gives the glass at Liam.

“Uh, beer,” Liam replies awkwardly lifting the can, and Damon is more insistent.

“Come on, drink! That beer is piss-weak anyway.”

Liam raises an eyebrow at him in jest, taking the glass and setting down the beer. “Are you trying to get me pissed?” he fucking giggles at him.

Damon just smirks, as if he knows the effect he has on him. Bastard.

Liam chugs the drink down, handing the empty glass back with a giggle, before leaning up and shoving in his back pocket for some cigarettes. He places one between his lips without breaking his eye contact with Damon. He reaches out with the package, offering one to Damon who willingly takes one. “Cig?”

“Ta.” Liam follows his movement as he places it between his lips. Blinking and adjusting his eyes, Liam pats his coat pockets awkwardly. “Got a light?”

“Oh, sure.” Damon reaches for his pocket, exposing a strip of golden sun-kissed skin, and Liam inhales sharply. He wants to see more of that. An image of Damon naked flashes in his mind and a furious blush spread up his cheeks.

The click of the lighter sounds, and suddenly Damon’s forehead is almost touching his, the ends of their cigarettes touching as the flame lights them. Damon’s eyes dart up to meet his before he leans away, and Liam inhales the smoke a little deeper than usual.

Grey smoke wafted over Damon’s Baroque face. His pixie-like cheekbones were shadowed by the sliding lights from outside, and his bitten pink lips were like a rosebud closing around the yellow of the cigarette. God, Liam thinks, what does he even want?

Damon suddenly swans over and places both hands to the counter, to the sides of Liam. Liam’s taller now, for once, sat up on that messy counter. Damon’s cigarette pushes up as he pouts that pink mouth, and his messy golden hair falls over his shiny eyes.

“Hello,” Liam says with a nervous laugh. “Bit close.” However, Damon feels his fingertips fall over his hand, and he moves up to pull the cigarette away. Damon scrunches his face up as Liam exhales smoke, and before he can prepare, he captures his mouth in a kiss.

This is different from the game’s kiss. It’s more passionate, more private, rougher. Liam tastes of beer and fags, and Damon snarls into the kiss and he grips a fist into the back of Liam’s denim jacket. The faint laughter from the party, just a few meters away, melts away, and Liam breaks for air with a gasp before diving back in again. It’s tender, in some kind of feral animalistic way. It’s a kiss between two people who didn’t realise they needed this.
Damon breaks their kiss to leave his cig onto the ashtray next to him. He huffs out the last smoke in his system and presses his body back to Liam, who feels a bit cold and empty without him.

He presses his forehead against him and rubs his nose to his softly. His genuine smile makes Liam’s face burn more than ever, so he closes his eyes. His body is already shaking. “Fuck, kiss me again,” Liam begs between their breaths. He is too scared to open his eyes, too scared to see Damon witnessing his desperation for him. “Please, Day, kiss me.”
Liam doesn’t even remember when he felt the press of Damon’s sweet lips against his but he knows the feeling of his body relaxing under his kiss and touch. He pushes his lips into Liam’s wet mouth more and the tender touch of Damon’s lips feels almost addictive.

Liam whines as Damon’s fingers skitter under his t-shirt, and his mouth starts to sprinkle kisses over Liam’s jaw and neck. When he feels Damon’s tongue and wet lips hit a sensitive spot, his back arches, his feet crawl in his shoes, and he moans loudly. God, he’s feeling Damon in every single part of his body.

“Leeum,” Damon’s voice trills, sing-song. “Open your eyes, darling.”

Liam opens his eyes slowly, breathless from all that kissing. His head is swimming in a lustful haze, and he only focuses on Damon. Damon’s fingers dance over his cheekbone, and he bites his lower lip. “Fuck, you’re so beautiful,” he whispers, and a shiver travels down Liam’s spine. His lips part needily, wanting that touch. Damon kisses him again, softer this time, his hand dragging down Liam’s thigh, and just as Liam is about to moan louder than before-

“So I see you got some socialising done, huh?”

The pair look around quickly, still trapped in their own little snogging world. Jarvis is stood in the kitchen doorway, his arms crossed and a smug smile on his face. He was probably the only person in the world who unabashedly didn’t feel any shame towards what he just saw. Damon sniggers, leaning into Liam’s frame, making himself comfortable. Liam blushes, burying his face in Damon’s shoulder. As discreetly as possible, he breathes in the scent of Damon’s shirt. It makes him all warm and squishy inside. Liam cringes at himself.

“Oi, I’m a little bit pissed you kept Liam here from me for so long, Jarv,” Damon says, crossing his arms.

“Well, I had my suspicions the two of you would get on a bit too well.” Jarvis raises an eyebrow, strolling over to the table to pick up the rum. “I see you demolished my rum too. Lovely.”

“Sorry,” Liam said weakly, sending Jarvis an apologetic smile.

“It’s fine. I’m sure Damon will be merciful and kind and bestow upon us a new, way fancier kind of rum.” He gathers up the bottles and turns back to the pair with a sigh.

“Everyone’s leaving now, and I’m sorry if I interrupted your little heavy petting session.” Liam wanted the ground to swallow him. “As much as I’d like to party all night, I’ve got work tomorrow, so if you’re not gonna help clean up, kindly get lost.”

Damon waves and tugs Liam down by the hand. They exit the kitchen and stumble towards the hallway, where Damon grabs his jacket. Jarvis comes back to give them both a quick hug, and they leave for the night.

It is cold outside, and the temperature slaps them both in the face. Liam begins to stroll down the road, and Damon swings around him, walking backwards while staring at Liam with his hands in his pockets.

Jesus, this boy.

“Y'know you could fall over, right?” Liam points out with a raised eyebrow while trying not to laugh.

“Guess you’d have to catch me, then.” Damon stops abruptly, causing Liam to crash into him with a curse. Damon grabs the collar of his jacket and kisses his lips quickly, followed by a smile. Liam raises his eyebrows and the two walk to the tube station in relative silence.

Damon is practically skipping, and Liam prays that his heartbeat doesn’t thrum between their linked hands. Their comfortable silence is brought to an end as the red and white sign in front of them pulls into view, and Damon clears his throat as they walk through to the gates. The tube station is practically empty. It’s the first time since they met earlier tonight that he sounds remotely shy. It’s quite endearing, really.

“So,” he begins slowly, smiling as he lets Liam’s hand slip from his.

“So,” Liam answers, not knowing what he wants to say, or wants at all. “I, uh, I have work tomorrow so I better get home.” He feels dumb the moment the words leave his mouth and shoves his now-cold hand in his pocket.

“Yeah, of course,” Damon replies softly. His voice sounds a little high and sullen as if he’s jealous he can’t keep Liam all night. “A cruel mistress. Well, I’ll let you get off home.”
He starts to walk to the gates, but Liam grabs him in a fit of emotion and kisses him in his first moment of proper courage all night. It’s hard and sweet, and he’s only really doing it so Damon knows he wants to kiss him too. He quickly pulls away, laughing at Damon’s exhilarated face.

“Night, Damon,” Liam says with a smile and turns around to walk away. Damon stares at his funny walk, his brown hair fluttering in the wind, and sighs softly.

***

After he’d pulled himself from his bed, Liam goes to meet his mates at the pub. He lits another cigarette and stares at the sunrise. It’s that weak early winter sun that doesn’t actually warm anything up, but it reminds Liam of home, so he likes it.

He steps up through the pub door, his shoes sticking a little to the floor, and orders a beer. The football is on, and he stares lazily at the figures running on the little TV screen. Grabbing his bottle with a nod of thanks, he steps out to the pub garden and spots Richard and Bonehead lounging on a bench. He doesn’t know why they aren’t inside. It’s fucking freezing. Liam made his way over regardless, catching the strains of conversation. Richard was in a discussion with Bonehead about some bird he’s been seeing lately.

“At least she’s not as stuck up as the last one,” Richard says with a shrug. He takes a deep drag of the cigarette and blows out the smoke to the air above him, nodding at Liam in greeting as he sits beside them.

“Well, that’s what you get for going for posh birds, y’know,” Bonehead replies, giving Liam a look as if to see if he agrees.

“Yeah, fuckin’ alright,” Richard waves his hand dismissively at Bonehead. His last girl was someone he had met while working as a waiter at a charity ball. He had accepted the job mostly to have a laugh with his mates at the toffs but then ended up shagging the charity holder’s daughter.

She had gotten a thrill from being with someone from the ‘wrong side of the tracks’, which the term makes Liam shiver in embarrassment, but the adventurous affair came to an end when her mother had made it very clear she was not going to end up with a bloke like Richard. Apparently, she needed a proper young man to take care of her and not some lad making a living on serving shrimp cocktails to rich people.

“They’re all th’ fuckin same! They love the idea of a council flat and-and cheap food and shitty beer but as soon as you dunk them into reality, they fuck off back to their parents and their money.”

Liam scuffs his toe on the patio as he listens to Bonehead, his brain whirring. He thinks of all the people he saw at the party. The way they drank and spoke and acted. The way their clothes show who they are and what they earn.
Liam wonders if they ever lie awake and wonder about what would happen if they didn’t get their blessed job as an independent fucking artist. He wonders if they can listen and understand the Stone Roses just like him, feel the emotion in the same way.

Then he thinks of Damon, who despite his background had not treated Liam any differently to anyone else.

Well, you could say that he’d even made Liam feel things for once.

Regardless of if it was his head, his heart or his lower body -wait, no, it can’t be in his heart. Stomach, yeah, could be his stomach. After all, he made him feel things.

Shit, not his heart.

“Don’t you agree, Liam? Patsy was a real brat, wasn’t she?”

Liam forces himself out of his own thoughts involuntarily and glances up from the bench to Bonehead, who’s speaking directly to him.

“Yeah, yeah of course,” he pauses and takes a big gulp from his beer. “She was a bit stuck up. Always wanted to go to them fancy restaurants.”

Richard laughs at him. “You still had somewhere better to stay than that shithole you live in now, innit?” It’s true - when he’d been with Patsy, they’d shacked up in her fancy Notting Hill abode, paid for by her dad. Apparently it was necessary for her to focus on her studies instead of needing to work and earn her own money.

“First of all, me flat is not a shithole, ya cunt, and d’yuh reckon you’d crash there every second of the day if it was? Second, I couldn’t be fucked to have her geezer up my arse every other week asking about when I would get a proper job. I have a proper job!” He exclaims and throws out his hands as if to empathise Patsy’s ridiculous father.

“Alright, touchy!” Richard backs off and goes back to talk about his charity ball sweetheart. Liam, who doesn’t want to tell his friends that he thinks they’re exaggerating or generalising at all, thank you very much, falls back into his own thoughts.

Liam wonders if he’ll meet Damon again, and thinks about Damon asking Jarvis why he hadn’t introduced them earlier. Liam wonders if he would have met Damon earlier had he accepted one of Jarvis’s many anonymous offers of a partner. He feels a pang of regret sting inside him and makes an informed and democratic decision at that moment to visit all of Jarvis’s parties for the slim hope of potentially seeing Damon again.

Liam chokes on his beer as his eyes caught an ugly tone of brown across the street. It’s fucking Jarvis in a brown suede suit. Jesus! He swears that man isn’t fully human, or just appears at the worst times like some chaotic trickster god to fuck with him personally.

Jarvis looks rather confused, his hair ruffled and unkempt, his suit jacket only held together by one button. Liam sinks down into his bench, hoping with all his extremities crossed that Jarvis won’t see him. His friends already hate people like Jarvis, and it is not helping that their last encounter was tainted by the fact that Jarvis had just come off a snogging session with some boy, causing his lips to be magenta pink. Richard had imitated his giggles for weeks after and Liam had wanted to die.
It looked like God was not on his side today, either.

Before he can register what’s happening, Jarvis is lolloping across the street towards them, a big smile on his face while he waves. “Liam, hey!”

Liam inhales, trying to stay calm. “Alright Jarvis. Didn’t think you were the type to visit this shithole?” Liam replies loudly as if to ask what the fuck he is doing in Brixton of all places. It’s the darling of stuck-up papers who like to clutch their pearls on why left-wing politics simply won’t work, or who want to get statistics for stabbings. Liam scoffs at that. He’s walked around at night no end of times and he’s never been stabbed. First time for everything, he supposes.

“Yeah, I’m only here ‘coz I’m out looking for some stuff Saskia asked me to buy for some recipe she’s making and she made me come here. Not that I’m doing a good job at finding it, either way.” Jarvis chuckles, combing a hand through his messy hair.

Liam opens his mouth, about to make some quip and send Jarvis on his way when a light bulb flashes over his tall friend’s head.

“Oh! Thank you so much for coming to the party, by the way. I hope you had a good time!” Jarvis says enthusiastically. Liam suddenly finds it hard to breathe, and he can feel Richard and Bonehead’s questioning glances boring into him. Of course, he hasn’t told anyone he went to the party. It wasn’t their business and he didn’t want them to go on some rant about why he’d been hanging out with ‘that posh prick Jarvis.’

They keep their mouths shut. Liam knows he’s in for the bollocking of a century after Jarvis will be gone.

“Yeah, it was, uh...” He fumbles with his words. “Alright, Jarv. Thanks.”

“I told you the people wouldn’t be that bad, didn’t I?”

“Yeah, yeah, they weren’t bad.” The words tumble out of his mouth, falling over each other. The silence from his friends is starting to become unbearable.

“Well, me and the band are havin’ a gig this Saturday. It’s by that park, the one like five minutes away from my gaff.” Liam nods hurriedly - it was the park next to the tube station where he’d seen Damon odd. “I’d love it if you could show up. You still haven’t seen us play, y’know.”

Liam nods casually.

“Oh, by the way, some people from the party will probably be there too,” Jarvis adds with a smirk.

Liam feels a sudden amount of heat swim down his body. He folds his arms, trying to act aloof, trying to think of anything but Damon. Jarvis, mercifully, stays quiet.

“Well, consider it, yeah? I really need to get going now, I’m already running late.” Jarvis salutes Liam and company and loped back through the pub’s garden doors. Liam, arms still crossed, lets out a massive breath he didn’t even know he was holding. He lifts his chin, like the conversation hadn’t happened, and takes a swig from his beer. His head turns towards a sudden huff that escapes from Richard, and he and Bonehead exchanges look before Bonehead speaks.

“What the fuck was that all about?”

“Dunno what yer talkin’ about.”

Bonehead cackles mockingly. “I’m talkin’ about the tall poof you were just talkin’ with, Leeum.”

“Oh, piss off! Jarvis invited me to one of his parties and since you two twats were out with your posh birds, I went. I had fuck all else to do anyway.” He tries to play it down, make it seem like it’s not a big deal.

“Glad to know we’ve been traded in for those rich twats,” Richards murmurs with raised eyebrows.

Liam glares, a hot mix of anger and disappointment churning up inside him. Are they aware they’re being just as cunty as those so-called rich twats?

“Wait, mate, you’re not actually going to go to that gig, are you? Fuck me, I dread to think what those posh cunts are gonna do.”

Liam feels his mouth go dry and something feels stuck in his throat. He’s confused. They talk like this all the time, the air turning blue with their own prejudices. So why does this one hurt so much?

Deep down inside, a little private voice wonders if they’d also call him those names if they’d seen him with Damon last night. They probably would, and worse.
The chilly air and the idea of Damon’s eyes on him again make his whole body tingle and Liam can’t even get angry at himself for it - he’s aching for Damon’s touch again. Fuck no.

Liam swallows and musters up a surprisingly confident tone. “No, of course, I’m not fuckin’ going. Why would I?” He lets out a light laugh, fingers tapping on the bottle, the nod Bonehead gives him leaving him feeling as if he’d been stabbed. Now, there’s a stupid statistic for the papers.

Chapter Text

Liam’s walk to the bar turns sour when he feels a rush of adrenaline and anxiety wash over him. It is the familiar anxiety, the gnawing fear that he is going to be surrounded by people who see him as less than them. He doesn’t know anyone else who’s going, aside from Jarvis, which makes him want to just turn on his heel and go back home to a can of beer and Match of the Day.

Christ alive. His insecure behaviour makes him cringe. Why is he even doubting himself in the first place?

His chat with Jarvis on the phone earlier had only covered the simple bases of meeting up, like locations and times. He hadn’t dared to ask who else would be there, which was a stupid mistake now that he thinks about it. Jarvis is the only one who knows of his and Damon’s shared moment in his dingy little kitchen, and although Liam has practically been bursting to ask if the blonde teenage wet dream himself will be there, he couldn’t.

Why is he thinking about Damon, anyway?

It’s empty outside the club, save for a bouncer, and Liam squints down at his watch to check if he’s early. Only five minutes, thank fuck. He shivers, stamping his feet a little to warm them up. His stomach is a spaghetti plate of nerves and anxiety, not helped by the lack of human beings around.

He shivers, shoving a hand into his pocket to pull out a packet of cigarettes. Flicking up his lighter, he spots two figures walking past him from the corner of his eye. Sliding the lighter back into his pocket, his brain whirs as he tries to fit the shapes to a name. His eyebrows raise in realisation - it’s Damon’s too-fucking-happy friends, Justine and Brett.

Fuck, what if he’s also here?! Jarvis and Damon seem to be good friends, and if the twins from The Shining are here, that tips the scales favourably in him also making an appearance. Liam rolls his eyes at himself as he takes a drag, the nicotine doing little to calm his nerves. He’s acting like a schoolgirl with a crush.

Not wanting to possibly meet Damon here, outside the club where he was rapidly devolving into a stress ball, he ditches the ciggy and nods at the bouncer in greeting, wandering in through the club entrance.

The corridor is dark, narrow, and stinks of beer, but widens out to a colourful room, jangly new wave blaring over the speakers and pool tables scattered all over. A few members of the staff are wiping tables in between booths, and the stage itself is still being set up.

Liam spots Jarvis by the bar. He’s talking to Justine, who’s nursing a beer, and a shorter girl with red hair stands beside her with a drink in her hand.

Liam gives a quiet huff. His desire to talk to Damon’s friends is below zero, but he doesn’t know anyone else here aside from Jarvis. He takes a breath, lifting his shoulders and swaggering over with that fake aloofness he’s learned to perfect. He wishes it was real. His body feels as if it’s about to explode.

“Liam!” Jarvis throws an arm around him when he slides over in greeting. He’s wearing a funny slogan t-shirt and those eternal corduroy pants, and Liam knows what his friends would say if they saw him here now.

“I think you’ve already met Justine,” Jarvis says cordially, and Liam nods at Justine in greeting, not wanting to seem friendly or soft. She nods back, her dark eyes glittering as if she can see into him, and Liam feels weirdly naked. His head is all over the shop, but all roads lead back to Damon if he thinks hard enough. And he doesn’t want Justine knowing anything about that.

The redhead next to Justine reaches out her hand before Jarvis has a chance to introduce her. “I’m Donna.”

Liam shakes her hand, his own clammy. “Liam.” Donna gives him a curious look with her big blue eyes, and Liam’s skin breaks out in goosebumps.

The air between them is uncomfortably silent after he retracts his hand. Justine and Donna glance at each other and then to Jarvis, smirking. Just as Jarvis opens his mouth to break the silence, his bandmate whos visibly shorter than him pop his head around the NO ENTRY door that leads backstage. “Hey, Jarvis, sorry to interrupt your little gathering but we need you back here.”

Jarvis waves in recognition before turning back. “Well, I have to go, but make yourselves comfortable and we will be onnnnn-“ He pauses theatrically to check his watch. “-In fifteen minutes!” He darts off with a smile, and Liam feels like he’s just been left at sea.

The silence between him and the two women suddenly becomes oppressive and scary, and he feels his stomach lurch with anxiety.

Why the fuck is he even here?

Damon isn’t here, and no matter how much Liam wants to kid himself, he is the only reason why he bothered to come. He hasn’t spotted any cornflower-blonde hair or tan skin or eyes that look like fairy pools. Just as well, because he’s probably going to vomit on his shoes from anxiety.

He gets a lump in his throat just thinking about embarrassing himself like that.

Justine throws him a quick glance with a smirk on her face, and then turns her entire body to Donna in a way that Liam takes to mean ‘get lost’. “So, Brett and I were having dinner at Damon and Alex’s last night,” she says in her cool Sloane accent. “And apparently, Alex is moving out next week to someplace in the East End.”

Liam feels his nerve endings physically tingle at the mention of Damon’s name, and his mouth drops open slightly against his will.

“Really? So Damon will be there all by himself? Shit, that flat is huge just for one person!”

Liam hops up on a bar stool, beginning to frantically fiddle with a napkin in the hopes of seeming uninterested, despite his full attention being on their conversation. His knee jiggles up and down, toe tips resting against the floor.

“Yeah, I guess so. But it’s Damon - it’s not like he’s going to be alone there for long, is it?” Justine giggles and Donna nods in agreement with a laugh.

Liam bites the inside of his cheek to stop his big mouth from opening and saying something dumb. He twirls the napkin around in a circle, very painfully aware of the girls glancing at him out of the corner of their eyes to see how he reacts to their words.

“Damo’s not seeing anyone now, is he?”

Liam feels the hairs on the back of his neck stand up at the nickname. “I mean, not at the moment, I don’t think. But you never know with him, do you?” Justine shrugs casually, taking a swig of her beer.

Well, this is basically driving him up the wall. He’s either gonna start swearing, yelling along to the tinny Duran Duran on the speakers, or run for the hills. He doesn’t know if Damon has told them, or anyone, about last week, but it sure as fuck feels like they’re doing this to get a reaction out of him.

Justine was there when they kissed that first time, and she wouldn’t have had to put two and two together to understand what happened after they left.

He needs to get away from this torture as soon as possible. He needs a safe place.

Liam clears his throat clumsily. “W-Well, I’m just going to go to the loo.” Justine and Donna throw him a polite nod as he stands up, legs like jelly as he staggers to the toilets.

Usually, his visits to club bathrooms are short and sweet. A quick piss, maybe a chat with someone at the urinals, and then back out. However, now all he wants to do now is hide in a cubicle and listen to the gig through the bathroom walls. He doesn’t want to socialise, especially not with people who didn’t share his interests and who found him just as mutually uninteresting.

Not to mention their social class.

Liam frantically starts to wash his clammy hands, trying to calm his heartbeat. If Damon won’t be here, that will be fine. He can live. Jarvis’ band is amazing anyway - it is a treat for him to watch them. He was quite fine before kissing Damon. He doesn’t understand why he is acting like this.

He puts both of his wet hands on his burning cheeks piously to cool off, dragging them down over his neck. His body relaxes under his cool touch, and he exhales, looking at himself in the broken and dirty mirror. His pale blue eyes look dark in the lighting of the club, and his hair is windswept from his walk.

He gives another small huff, flaring up his fringe momentarily. He fixes it quickly and slips from the bathroom.

The club is almost packed with people, most hanging in front of the stage and more flooding through the door. He lurches to the bar, needing a drink to cool his frazzled nerves.

“Gin and tonic, please,” he tells the waitress, fishing his wallet from his pocket. He slides a tenner across the bar, grimacing. London. He nods in thanks as the waitress passes him the glass, and Liam downs it in one gulp. He thinks about ordering a beer on top of it when Jarvis’s voice booms from the stage.

“We’re Pulp! Thanks for coming!” he shrieks into the mic. And then, in true Jarvis fashion, he launches into a speech about space while the band begin to play the intro behind him.

Liam suppresses a laugh. He can practically see the question marks popping up above some of the audience’s heads. Of course, Jarvis is talking about universes and stars in a posh club. He giggles, listening to him wax lyrical about cosmic worlds and earth exploding. Turning backwards, he quickly asks for a beer.

Liam is taking a big gulp from said beer when he spots a pair of bright, curious blue eyes staring at him through the dark. He snorts up bubbles and enters a coughing fit as silently as he can.

Shit, he’s actually here! This is the first time he’s seen Damon since their kiss at the station, and for all he knows he could have been here secretly the whole time.

That idea makes his lips feel a bit numb.

Damon is standing by one of the booths, lit by one of the bar lights. He’s sipping something from a bottle - probably a beer - and wiggling his leg up and down. Liam frantically averts his gaze, trying to not make it obvious that he’s staring a hole into Damon. Jesus.

It’s probably too dark for Damon to tell anyway. However, it’s not that impossible for Liam to see his gorgeous profile and how his blue eyes are watching him carefully. They might be shadowed under his fringe, but it doesn’t matter - he can feel the boy’s eyes boring into his whole body.

Jarvis, still yapping away, starts talking about how the crowd is filled with “fresh new faces”, and Liam has no other distractions left. So he turns his glance to the side, meeting a pair of deep blue eyes. God, his whole body feels like it’s burning under Damon’s gaze which is not good. He’s too far away to tell, but Liam can sense that his glare is cocky. Lustful.

He knows Damon isn’t that modest.

Liam feels a cold sweat break out on his body, and he takes a frantic sip of beer, turning his head back to that stage. Jarvis is introducing a new song, but Liam’s ears are ringing, his hearing muffled like he’s just come out of the concert before it’s even begun. The crowd cheers and claps as the band fall in line, and all Liam can think about is how Damon’s a mere few metres away from him.

...Now the lonely nights begin
And there is nowhere left to go
But watch my spirit melt away…

Liam wants to stand up - his legs are beginning to ache from his uncomfortable hunch - but he’s seemingly stuck to the barstool, unable to move. He doesn’t know what he’s going to do, aside from vomit in the glass if his stomach churns anymore. He can’t understand why he’s so stuck on a boy he kissed once at a house party. Twice, his brain quickly reminds him, and he cringes.

...The next day, I was still alive
And I still believe in you...

Jarvis’s voice can’t cut into his thoughts and bring him back. Damon’s eyes are still staring at him. Liam can feel his gaze. Shit, he really needs to talk to him.

Let's do it now...

Liam finds his balls and steps down from the barstool carefully, placing his now-empty glass behind him. He begins to slowly move through the crowd, like water through rocks, the people neatly parting to let him pass. Damon puts down the bottle as he approaches, whispering something to a friend standing beside him - and then lopes off with him.

No, I was not crushed, I did not cry - you know that everything's okay...

Liam stops still, dumbfounded. A horrible ball of ice begins to form in his stomach. He’s just lost him, without any contact. Again. Feeling light tears prick at his eyes, Liam makes an effort to not frantically twist around in the hope of spotting a blonde head. He doesn’t want to do that to himself, and he doesn’t want to potentially see something he really won’t like.

Fuck, where did he even go?

Hey, I feel this night will never end
And I will never see the day
Oh, I was nothing when you came
I'm no-one now you've gone away...

What if Damon’s gone to see someone else? He might still have Liam’s minimalist conversation at the tube stop on his brain and took it the wrong way.

Shit, Liam could just be one of those lads who got toyed with by someone, fooled into thinking Damon likes him just because he kissed him back. Damon might not even really care about him. Maybe he was the type to just have fun with people without worrying about something as insignificant as a broken heart.

..If you came home right now
I'd run away, I'd run away now...

All Liam wants to do is find Damon, bury his face in his shoulder, and then kiss him square on the lips again. He wants to smell his warm cologne, feel the smoothness of his skin, and never worry about anything as stupid as to work or friends again. He hasn’t been able to stop thinking about him since the party. Jesus, they didn’t even do anything extreme - just a bit of heavy petting and a few kisses, Liam’s done more with any girl - and he’s out here acting as if Damon’s the new Charles and he’s the Susan.

You can go out and make love to whoever
Or whatever you like, babe

Fuck off, Jarvis! Liam scrunches his fists. He hates it, hates how he can’t just stop thinking about Damon. Maybe… maybe if he spoke to his friends. Yeah, they’d sort him out. They’d make him realise it was only some temporary fling that he’d fallen a bit too hard over. A phase. He could even change some of the names and places around, keep it simple.

Oh, now it's two a.m. and I'm still stood here waiting
So I go home and wonder why I bothered going...

Fuck it, he should just leave. It was a bad idea coming here in the first place. Damon’s still nowhere to be seen, and he just feels dumber than before. He’ll seem like a right bastard, leaving without chatting to Jarvis and congratulating him on the gig, but if he stays any longer he’s going to have a nervous breakdown.

Hey, I feel this night will never end
And I will never see the day
Oh, I was nothing when you came...

Liam sighs deeply, the motion suddenly sticking in his throat as he feels a hand brush against his. He peers sideways and nearly screams. That blonde hair, that angelic pout, those long lashes.

Damon’s here.

His frazzled brain tries to convince him that the touch was an accident and that Damon is gonna drop his hand in apology and wander away in a second.

I can't believe it y'know
I can't even remember the sound of your voice
Oh, the touch of your skin is a legend...

It doesn’t. Damon’s hand stays firmly against his, and Liam is rooted to the spot, unable to move, dizzy in love.

By the way, did I tell you that I love you?
Oh, if I didn't, I'm so sorry -
You know I, I really meant to tell you...

Liam wants to look at his face, at those sky-blue eyes holding green storms, just to check it’s actually him.

...But the bed is full of memories, full of memories of you
Oh, I tried to get them out but, but there's nothing I can do...

Someone in the crowd whoops. Liam’s heart pounds, a perfect substitute to the drums. Damon’s fingers brush against his palm.

...And send your body home to me today.

He’s so relaxed. His posture suggests confidence, pride. Like he’s not just holding Liam’s hand in a crowded club with a smile on that angelic mouth.

Liam waits for a while, trying to calm his heartbeat. He looks firmly towards the stage, where Jarvis is dancing around in a horrible brown suit. He’s naked underneath, Liam knows.

The song, passionate and desperate, is not helping his situation at all. He’s gonna deck Jarvis the next time he sees him. The song makes him think things, things that would be better kept in his head but delicious when acted out in reality. The song makes you feel tingly, right in the lower part of your body, made worse when you’re standing in a dark club with a gorgeous boy next to you, your hands barely touching but still making your heartbeat like a kick drum.

Oh-oh, if you came home right now
I'd run away, run away...

There’s a short pause as the last note rings in the space, and a cheer goes up for the band. Jarvis does a mock-bow, and Liam lets out a breath he wasn’t even aware he was holding.

Damon doesn’t move a muscle next to him, simply sliding his hand around Liam’s. His long, slender fingers hug Liam’s chubby ones. Liam squeezes his eyes shut and gulps, trying to suppress a laugh. He was searching for Damon for almost two days, and now he can’t even move next to him, all because of skin-on-skin contact.

Jarvis is introducing another song now, but Liam can’t focus on the title or the anecdote that goes with it. He feels Damon’s hand grip his own tighter and prays he’s not sweating. Hopes that his nervousness and excitement aren’t that obvious.

They stay like that for one more song. Damon sometimes bops his head cutely, causing their tangled hands to shake with the motion. They don’t say anything or look at each other the whole time. The song ends, and Liam braces himself as Jarvis takes a sip of water.

Suddenly, just as the next song is about to start, Liam feels himself being dragged out of the crowd. He yelps, unable to focus, apologising as he bumps into people and trips over his own toes. He stares at Damon’s head, watching his slightly slumped shoulders and rapid, determined movements.

Liam feels a rush of blood to his head as they leave the club and stumble into the cold night. Damon silently lets go of his hand and starts digging through his pockets for cigarettes. He fishes out the packet, placing one between his lips and offering them to Liam, who takes one wordlessly.

There’s a pause as Damon lights up, and Liam can’t stand it any longer.

“A small hi could’ve been just fine,” he mumbles. He breathes heavily, watching Damon’s face.

After the longest inhale in the world, Damon speaks, that familiar drawl making Liam’s stomach clench - “I’ve been thinking ‘bout you.” He exhales a plume of smoke, the grey matter visible under the fluorescent streetlight.

Liam lights his own cigarette shakily, taking a slow drag. He exhales the smoke into the cold night sky, watching as it swirls away to become one with the stars. He feels slightly better after that. Damon looks at him, waiting, expecting a proper reply. Liam smiles back.

“Hmm. Of course, you have,” he says cockily. Trying to brush it off. Like he definitely didn’t think about Damon all the time and failed to get him out of his mind.

Damon steps forward. He licks his lips, looking down at his feet as if to think of the perfect answer to Liam’s genius clap back.

“Cocky now, are we?” Their eyes meet again and now Damon looks down on him. Liam lifts his chin a little to meet his eyes, making the height difference more prominent.

“Yes,” he breathes out, and pouts his lips petulantly. Liam may be easily toyed with, but he knows exactly how to push someone’s buttons. It’s working, judging by the way Damon’s looking from his lips to his blown pupils.

Liam keeps on pouting, unaware he’s studying Damon’s face like a map. Without warning, Damon leans in and presses his lips to Liam’s, and he feels his body melt under the touch he’s been longing for.

Damon breaks the small kiss with a smile, looking at Liam happily. Liam ducks, blushing, and Damon laughs. It’s a beautiful, musical sound, and Liam cuts it off with an eager smooch. He bumps his nose to Damon’s cheek in a misguided aim and doesn’t even regret it, quickly dipping down to make up for all the lost time.

Liam feels Damon’s arms sling around him, warming his whole body, and he snuggles deeper into the embrace, fingers coming up to tangle in Damon’s soft hair as he deepens the kiss. The difference between the freezing temperature and the warmth of Damon’s lips sends chills through his body.

Damon’s hands snake under Liam’s jacket and sweater and he shivers at the contact, moaning between their shared air as he breaks the kiss.

Breathing quickly, he feels Damon’s lips drag to his cheek, leaving wet kisses down his neck as his fingertips draw small circles in between his shoulder blades. Liam leans his head back in a daze, giving Damon more space to touch.

The cold air is blowing on his exposed lower back, but he doesn’t even care. Damon’s teeth drag over the sensitive spot on Liam’s neck, and he moans, tugging Damon’s hair.

Liam’s just about to kiss him again when the club door opens and patrons begin to spill out. Liam wiggles in panic, blushing furiously. Damon, however, doesn’t even take himself off Liam’s skin. They both stare at the people walking out. A couple laughs at some inside joke, walking in the opposite direction to them. Liam huffs, already disliking them.

As the din dies down, they look at each other again. Damon has a smug smile on his face, and Liam feels his stomach flip.

“Wanna go to mine?” he asks casually.

Liam nods wordlessly, head spinning. Damon begins to walk further and further away from the club, his arm still around Liam’s waist, fingertips drumming on his skin.
***

It’s pitch black in Damon’s apartment, and he doesn’t even bother to turn on the lights as they both kick off their shoes and shove their way through the hall. Even through the dark, Liam can still make out the size of the place. Donna was right - it is too big for one person. Liam can’t even imagine how much the rent must cost, regardless of when Alex moves out.

Speaking of Alex, whoever he is, he wants to assume that he isn’t here. Liam would die on the spot if he was caught in the moment in this posh flat with the most gorgeous boy. He can make out the silhouettes of furniture through the moonlight.

They pass the kitchen quickly, and in the living room he can make out one of those new TVs his friends want, and one of those big sofas that look too posh in Liam’s opinion. He kind of wants to turn on the light and look around, and tries to glance at some pictures on the walls. Before he can make out enough detail, Damon pops up in front of him.

Liam can’t help but smile as he cups his hands around Damon’s pixie-like face and leans in to kiss him. On their way here, Liam had his doubts about whether this was a good idea. Damon moaning against his lips erases any of that. He slips his tongue into Liam’s mouth, and Liam can rapidly feel a tent pitching in his jeans.

Damon shoves Liam against the wall, and Liam cringes a little as his head collides with the brick. Damon’s lips nip at his jaw, and a hot blush spreads over his face as wet kisses trail from his jaw to his neck. Damon bites at his skin, sucking lovebites there, and Liam lets out a moan at the thought of Damon marking him up. Fuck it, he’s not even embarrassed anymore.

His hardness isn’t helped by the fact that it’s been a while since anyone’s touched him, and he frantically focuses his attention on the guitar next to the sofa so he won’t cum in his jeans. Damon’s lips are getting too wild, and Liam frantically shoves the blonde off him to take a little bit of the control back.
“Bedroom?” he chokes out, and Damon nods quickly in response.

They practically run to Damon’s room together, Liam nearly sliding across the floor and colliding with the doorframe. They stumble into the bedroom, Damon latching straight back onto his body the second they enter. He kicks the door closed behind him with his foot, and Liam twitches at the bang. It’s a mess of flustering, rapid movements, and he really doesn’t want Damon to stop.

Their quiet kisses fill the silent room, and Liam giggles softly from Damon stepping on his toes as he walks them both to his bed. What? It’s cute.

Damon pushes him onto the mattress and starts yanking off his sweater and shirt without any hesitation. Liam looks at him dumbly, feeling awkward while clothed. Damon is almost naked and breathing hard, his once-perfect fringe now flopping in front of his wild blue eyes.

Liam shyly reaches for the hem of his own shirt, lifting it over his head. He’s never really been insecure about his body, but Damon’s tanned skin and firm stomach make him feel a little self-conscious about his own pale skin and thin frame. Tin ribs, that’s what Bonehead had called him once.

Damon’s expression clouds with lust as he studies Liam like a snake, sliding on top of him and bending down for another kiss. Liam can feel his legs shake as Damon’s mouth begins to travel over his collarbones.

He exhales suddenly as Damon’s wet kisses stop just above the waistband of his jeans, and he hears the distant sound of his zipper being pulled. His jeans and pants are pulled off in one smooth movement as he lifts his hips slightly in muscle memory, and his semi-hard cock finally meets the warm air between them.

Damon lets out a harsh breath, quickly grabbing Liam’s cock and sloppily kissing the head. Liam twitches, sighing, not daring to look down at Damon’s eyes. His hands are above his head, fingers clasping at the headboard, and he wants oh-so-desperately to reach down and pull his blonde hair but he’s cut off by Damon circling his tongue around the tip of his cock, causing him to moan loudly.

His hands grip the headboard slats, his knuckles white, as Damon licks a stripe up his shaft and then sinks half of him into his pretty pink mouth. Liam cries out as Damon swallows him in one smooth movement, and his hips involuntarily jerk up, causing Damon to elicit a shocked giggle.

He blushes as Damon begins to move his head, gagging noises filling the room. He still somehow looks absolutely gorgeous, messy blonde hair falling over his eyes, cheekbones hollow, blue eyes glassy and pupils blown. He hums a little as he drags his mouth back up, releasing Liam’s cock with a pop before swirling his tongue around the head.

“D-Damon-” Liam chokes out before whatever he was going to say gets cut off by a moan. Damon happily hums, thumbs rubbing wide circles on Liam’s sensitive hips. “Fuck- Damon- Christ, I’m close.” Liam’s eyes squeeze shut as he rolls his head back with a whine. “So close.”

He feels Damon’s mouth sinking down again, and he knows the little bastard is doing it on purpose. He cries out, tears of pleasure pricking his eyes. “Fuck, please, stop!”

Damon’s mouth obediently releases him, leaving his cock wet and cold. He stares at Liam expectantly, who suddenly feels cheated by his own request. “Damon, I hate you!” he blurts out petulantly, wiggling his hips.

Smirking, Damon stands up to wipe his mouth, looking down at Liam who now feels drained of any energy. The blonde leans down to kiss him, and Liam eagerly welcomes him, tasting his own precum on Damon’s lips. This was not how he thought the night was going to go. But then again, what was he even expecting when he went to the club?

Damon suddenly breaks the kiss. “Y’know,” he mumbles lazily, pressing his forehead to Liam’s with a giggle, rubbing his cheek gently. “You also can touch me.”

Liam’s face breaks out in a hot blush and he opens his mouth to defend himself. Damon watches his face in amusement, raising an eyebrow as Liam tries to stutter out words.

The truth is, he doesn’t want Damon to know how desperate he is for him. Whenever he had sex with girls, the foreplay lasted ages. Liam would happily skip any kind of foreplay just to feel Damon shove his face into the pillow.

Liam kisses him, his hand travelling down over Damon’s smooth warm skin. He shakily pushes into his jeans, palming at his cock, and Damon moans into his mouth as he bucks his hips against Liam’s hand. Liam may be inexperienced, but he’s not clueless.

Damon looks at him, parted lips red and flushed. “How do you want it, babe?” he asks, his accent deep enough now to make Liam shiver. He’s never been one to be impressed by accents, but Damon could just speak and he’d probably cum. His mind races, trying to think of an equally lustful way to reply.

“Day,” he begins, rolling the intimate nickname around his tongue. His heart is beating like a war-drum. “W...want you inside me… please.”

He says it in such a low voice that at first he’s worried Damon didn’t hear him. However, all thoughts of that slip away when his heartbeat rises as Damon stands up, tugging off his jeans and throwing them to the floor. His briefs are tight, and Liam can see the veins of his cock through the fabric. His mouth actually waters.

Damon smoothly reaches over to his bedside drawer, opening it and pulling out a bottle of lube. Unscrewing the cap, he carefully drizzles the translucent liquid over his fingers before throwing the bottle on the bunched-up duvet. He leans in to kiss Liam gently, feeling his thudding heartbeat through his lips. Liam breathes, trying to relax, but flinches when he feels a cold sensation against his entrance.

Damon kisses the corner of his mouth sweetly, rubbing his lubed fingertips against Liam’s hole. He read somewhere that stimulation of the asshole is an effective way to relax it, and judging by Liam’s sweet moaning, he seems pretty relaxed. Damon inhales and slips one finger into him. Liam suddenly stops, and whimpers, grabbing Damon’s back, not knowing how to cope with the unusual feeling.

“Easy, easy,” Damon whispers, trying to calm him down. “It’s just me, love.”

Liam nods slowly and feels the sudden pressure of a second finger being added. Damon scissored them a little, trying to get him used to the feeling, and Liam cries out in pleasure. His pale skin is flushed with pink, and Damon watches his face as he fingers him at a steady pace. His eyelids are fluttering, and his lips are wet with mixed saliva. He twitches a little at the sensation, and Damon smirks, knowing that all this undoing is coming at his own hand - literally.

“Don’t tease!” Liam yelps when Damon hits a nerve inside him with the tip of his fingers. “Day, I’m so fucking close. Please.”

Damon slips his fingers out of Liam immediately and reaches for the lube again. He tugs off his briefs, and Liam has a dazed thought about how the fuck he’s gonna fit his cock inside him. It’s almost touching Damon’s belly, and it’s the prettiest thing he’s ever seen.

He licks his lips as Damon grabs a condom from the nightstand and slides it on, a small fibre of nervousness still dancing within him. Damon leans forward to kiss him, crawling over his body, and puts the pressure of his tip against Liam’s hole before slipping in. Liam breaks the kiss with a yelp, his eyes wide.

“What? What? Are you okay?!” Damon barked in urgency, and Liam gave a slightly pained grin.

“It fucking hurts!” he replied, breathing out, and Damon quickly wondered if he should pull out and go back to fingering him. He’s used two fingers in the past on others, and that was fine. He feels a little betrayed.

“Okay, okay, I’ll just- I’ll go slow, okay?” Damon says, and Liam nods. Damon feels his hands snake over his back, squeezing his skin for comfort, and he edges his hips forward. “You feel… so good,” he sighs into the crook of Liam’s neck, and Liam’s eyes are watering a little from the sensation as he blurts out various soft swears.

“Fuck. Fuck fuck fuck,” Damon breathes out as he finishes sliding in. “Liam.” His hand caressing Liam’s cheek and the other holding his hips steady. “You feel so fucking good.”

“Day,” Liam says quickly.

“Yeah?”

“C-Can you just move, please? ‘Coz I think I’m gonna cry soon if you don’t.”

Damon smiles, and carefully slides his hips back before pushing back into Liam again. Liam’s head falls back onto the pillow as Damon’s hips find a steady rhythm.

There’s a slight burn, a little pain, but it’s a pleasurable pain and it’s being rapidly outclassed by genuine pleasure with every move. He whimpers as Damon speeds up, wet sounds of lube and skin rubbing against itself filling the room. Liam moans loudly, unable to hold himself back.

“Damon! Damon, please touch me,” he says raspily, shaking. Damon grunts and buries his head in the crook of Liam’s neck as he thrust into him. His hand finds Liam’s cock and messily slides up and down, the precum and sweat acting just fine as lube.

Liam feels his legs shake as he frantically tangles them over Damon’s hips, and his body shakes as he feels the throb of his orgasm. Damon pushes deep inside him, his hand not stopping, and Liam cries out as he cums, body jerking, spilling over his own stomach.

“Shit, Liam,” Damon moans, his steadfastness breaking. “Oh, fuck! ” He pushes his forehead against Liam’s, draining every ounce of energy he has inside of him, and Damon swears he can feel Liam smiling in relief as he opens his mouth in a silent shout.

He shivers against Liam’s skin, eyes opening after what feels like a century, and plants a gentle kiss on Liam’s nose. Pushing himself up, Damon pulls out, sliding off the condom and throwing it into the bin next to his bed. He leans down, curling up beside Liam, who looks as exhausted as him.

Liam’s eyes turn to meet his as he looks at Damon cluelessly, wondering what the post-sex ettiquete is in this scenario. Damon suddenly giggles.

Day? I have never been called that one in my life, ever.”

Liam rolls his eyes with a smile, pressing his head into the pillow as he wiggles around to face Damon. “Oi, shuddup. Y’know your fucking friends are using it.”
“No they are not!” Damon laughs softly. Liam realises that when he laughs he has lines next to his mouth. His nose looks pointier, scrunched up, and his blue eyes sparkle. “No one calls me that except you.” He pauses. “I like it.”

Liam pouts his lips and mimics him. “Oh, yeah, like my friends? It’s just all Lee, everyday!”

“Y’know your family calls you Leeum, so shut it.” Damon pokes his shoulder playfully. His smile weakens a little as he places his fingertips on Liam’s cheek, blue eyes reading every single facial quirk.

Liam blinks, and Damon kisses him softly, rubbing his nose to Liam’s before pecking him again. Liam chuckles breathlessly when Damon kisses his sweaty forehead, leaning up to smooch him once more, a hand cupped around his Adonis jawline.

“Let’s get some sleep,” Damon whispers, breaking away. “We need to have a legendary breakfast tomorrow.”

Liam snuggles down, wishing he could just kiss Damon forever. “Sure.” He swallows. “Night.”

“Night,” Damon replies, smiling softly as he closes his eyes.
***
Liam cannot sleep.

He doesn’t know how long he’s been lying here, but he can guess from the way the sky is slowly getting lighter and turning peach outside. He can’t close his eyes, which is ridiculous - he’s exhausted after the shag, and Damon’s the perfect bedmate. Liam doesn’t think he’s kicked once, or stole the sheets. He sighs quietly, listening to Damon’s heavy breaths as he sleeps deeply. He was out like a light, gone minutes after he said goodnight to Liam.

He glances over at the pretty boy. His eyes are closed, eyelashes almost brushing his cheeks, lips softly parted. He’s so fucking pretty and it hurts to look at him.

Liam can’t help but feel like wanting to snuggle up to his side and fall asleep. Waking up to his kisses, maybe stay for the breakfast he anticipated for or talk properly to him.

Why the fuck is he feeling like this?

He wanted to be with him to finish what they started in the kitchen that night. The shag would be a remedy, a one-night stand to cure these feelings so Liam could move on and go back to his standard life. It was not supposed to get worse. He was not supposed to come out of this wanting to play house with Damon.

The sheets under him suddenly feel itchy and the pillow feels like it’s full of rocks. Fuck, he can’t stay.

It’s rude to leave, he knows that. It hurts when it’s happened to him. Damon’s gonna be pissed, but he can’t stay. Everything in his gut is screaming at him to leave.

His stupid fucking gut and its tingling.

As quietly as possible he slides out of the bed where Damon’s warmth hugs him like a golden ghost. Silently, he patters across the carpet and pulls on his jeans and shirt, picking up his socks and shoes to put on by the door. He prays a coin won’t fall out of his pocket and land on the floor.

The soft morning light from the windows is still very forgiving, and he carefully checks his path in order to not knock over or damage anything. He can’t even imagine his embarrassment if Damon woke up and saw him sneaking away.

How would he even explain himself? He couldn’t just say that he got super anxious about what this all is and didn’t even want to feel anything for him so he shagged him to get over him. Liam slaps himself mentally for even thinking about it. There’s nothing to get over! He’s not fucking in love!

Before leaving the room, Liam throws one last glance over his shoulder Damon, who’s still sleeping deeply. His naked chest rose and fell peacefully, his expression soft with sleep. It hurt to look at him.

He blinks, eyes watering a little, and softly clicks the bedroom door shut. The house is silent and dark as he makes his way through to the front door. He finds a key under the doormat, and lets himself out, sliding it back through the letterbox into the house after locking up.

His jacket feels heavy on him when he steps out the gate and out on the pavement. He breathes hard, and his body feels like it’s finally getting the oxygen it needs. The air is cold and the sun is too bright, and it takes every inch of his being to not crawl back up the steps and into his warm, blurred cocoon with Damon.

It’s still dark up in the flat and he peers up to the windows to check if anyone is looking down on him. If Damon’s maybe woken up, and looking down through the curtains with a hurt expression.

Nothing, no light and no movement and no anything.

He thinks about him, again.

The pretty boy sleeping unknowingly up in the warm bed. Where he should be now. Not here down on the cold street with a big lump in his stomach and enough uncertainty to drown in. The pretty boy with the golden skin, blonde hair and heavenly blue eyes.

… If you came home right now
I'd run away, run away
Run away

Chapter Text

Damon is looking at his sneakers’ worn out front when he hears Justine scoff and feels the way she faces him. “Could you please stop sulking and come back to the real world? Jeez, Damon.”

He chins up involuntarily and looks at her, his boredom is written all over his face -he just knows it. “I am already here,” he mumbles and throws his deathly stare at Alex. “Y’all dragged me here...outside of my house.”

Alex lifts his finger up to the air, showing that he is, in fact, rejecting the statement. “You need fresh air, you stayed in your room way too long. Besides I’m leaving soon so stop whining and spend some time with us, you arsehole.”

For a person who was moving out the next day, Alex was way too eager to have a party for it. They needed to buy the necessities for the celebration so here was, with his friends, having to deal with a shopping spree like they can’t buy fucking alcohol and some snacks without him. Alex somehow believes that it is also a good way to make Damon leave the house and Damon, being the person who didn’t want to seem like something is just wrong, said yes.

It has been a while since Damon has left his flat, it could even be his first time since that morning.

He can't stop thinking about it since he woke up by himself in the cold and empty bed. He seriously thought Liam went for a smoke or had a visit to the loo before realising that minutes actually passed and Liam was just not here anymore. He had left without a note or any explanation -leaving Damon there, numb and disappointed.

The more he thinks about it the more he feels the frustration affecting him. He wants to find a reason for him to leave like this but the closest thing he can come up with was he might have been too fucking soft. Fuck’s sake, he should have never said anything about that fucking breakfast or the nickname.

Maybe it was just an easy shag for the other boy? Damon has a hard time believing that.

Alex had come back in the afternoon the day after. He had noticed that something was wrong, despite Damon trying his best to hide it. After asking a couple of times and every time Damon dismissing it, he had dropped it. Well, not completely obviously.

“I think our Damon here guys, is hung up on some bird.” Alex lights a cigarette while talking to their friends with a smug expression. Damon sighs, of fucking course, Alex has a theory about his odd mood. Justine giggles.

“I am not.” Damon rolls his eyes and puts on his fake smile just to make sure he looks like he’s in his regular mood. The most convincing way is putting up the act. Not that his friends are buying it.

“Hmm, why the long face then?” His friends look at him immediately just to see his face again, like that would prove Alex’s accusation.

Brett actually watches his expression intensely. “Honestly Damon, you look like trash.” Justine fucking laughs at his boyfriend’s remark and nods. Damon shrugs, it is a valid comment anyway.

He is trying his best to not seem like a total mess but Alex’s constant teasing and pushing his buttons makes it really hard to stay sane when Damon’s already lost the plot.

Waking up without Liam somehow made him furious, he just can’t believe that he’s so offended by being left alone in his own fucking bed in the morning.

He was already captivated by him in the party that night just from fucking kissing him. Which he definitely was not the one to fall for random boys in a dare game, thank you very much. Then seeing him at the club, when he longed to kiss and touch him this much, it didn’t solve any of the tangles in his mind.

Damon doesn’t want to think about this anymore -not right now or later, ever.

“Can’t always be the shining star now, can I?” He scoffs and kicks a stone on the pavement and buries his hands in his pockets. Justine lets out an unconvinced snort but to Damon’s relief, they drop it and start talking about something else.

Alex has found this big supermarket in some area of London he doubts any of them have ever been in, but apparently they have cheap stuff so he decides that it’s the place to go. Not that Damon needs to buy random things on discount or products one does not know which part of the world they’re from.

Damon scrunches his nose a bit when they walk in through the sliding doors and the stuffy air fills his nose. The light is flourishing in a way that causes an ache in his head. He hates it.

There is a weird silence in the shop. The sound of the air conditioning that Damon doubts actually works and staff working while chatting constantly feels very afar. Damon tries not to cringe when he sees how his feet stick a bit to the slightly dirty floor. His shoes are rubbish anyway.

His friends stop for a moment, he tries to focus on them, be a part of the conversation and be present but it just doesn’t feel right.

He hears how Donna makes fun of a package of very cheap and fake looking hobnobs on the shelf and the way Justine laughs with her, how Brett says something about the poorly made ingredients in it.

Then they move on to walking deeper into the shop, he follows them in a haze. Tired eyes looking around at the shelves listening with one ear on his friend’s comments on what food they’re selling at the shop.

Suddenly, a familiar head appears in his view. His numbness is gone like a punch in his gut and Damon feels his heart beating quickly than before. He gulps quickly and prays for this to not be real and actually happening in front of his eyes.

In front of him, there is Liam looking down on the shelf. He looks busy, focused and Damon could almost see the empty expression on his face.

His pretty lashes shadow his eyes as he looks around the shelf and a small blush on his cheeks is visible, he looks a bit stressed and frustrated. Almost sweaty.

He is so fucking beautiful.

His hair moves around his head when his face turns up. His body backs away in a quick response that Damon feels his own chest tighten.

The look his baby blue eyes serving to Damon is hard to understand but they feel empty somehow. He looks like Damon means nothing to him. Like he has no regrets of leaving that day without saying anything. Like he was just a stranger to him.

Damon’s throat suddenly feels so dry.

Damon wonders what he feels, wants to know his emotions. If this hurts him as much as it does for Damon. Maybe it doesn’t. Maybe he doesn’t even care.

He thinks of how beautiful his rosy cheeks had been when they were together and tangled in his bed. Breathing heavily when his sweaty body was wrapped around Damon, all he could see was him. How they had kissed each other and how he sounded like moaning out his name.

Day. That he calls him. The name that only belongs to his pretty mouth.

He must have cared.

Liam throws a glance at Damon’s friends who still hasn’t noticed the dead serious moment going on they are in the middle of. Damon wants to scream at how clueless they are to everything. He wants to stop there and then and urge his friends to leave the shop with him. Turn around before anything horrendous happens.

“Isn’t that the bloke from the club? Jarvis’ friend! What was his name?”

Justine lets out a contemptuously laugh when he hears Alex intervene. “That he, has a name, Donna.” He hears how the voices around him get lower and quieter. “His name is Liam, I think.”

Damon feels his throat burn this time. He wants to snap at Alex immediately because of the way he says Liam’s name like he’s about to puke from disgust Alex sounds like he couldn’t care less though.

Damon feels how someone bumps him in his side and he looks down at Donna who’s standing next to him. “Didn’t you hang out with him that night?” She asks with her big eyes. “He was at the gig, was super awkward.” She informs him.

“Yeah, Jarv left us alone with him and he just stood there completely quiet.” Justine and Brett cackle. Damon is once again reminded about how much he hates them. “I don’t understand how he can hang out with someone like him. He seems like a silly billy type.”

Damon is upset, he has always been angry since then. Seeing Liam on here, cold and so far away from him is unbearable. He was hurt and when he hears his friends make fun of him, it hurts more. Liam isn’t stupid, well Damon thought so at least, right now he doesn’t know anything.

“It’s not that weird after all, is it? I think Jarvis feels like he needs to help him, y’know with both of them being from the North and stuff. I mean, I also feel a little bad for him too, he isn’t even going to uni, maybe he didn’t go to school at all,” Brett says. Damon immediately knows what stuff means, it’s just his posh friends who are afraid of saying working class. He hates how they think they are so much better than Liam. Like all their education did make them any better.

Damon isn’t innocent in it though. He has had his top education paid for him his whole life, parents who have made sure he goes to top schools and gets the biggest possible intellect. All for the best schools to put on papers for future job applications.

Somehow, while Damon was up in his own thoughts, his friends made a mutual decision that they were not going directly to the snacks but instead take a turn past the brown-haired boy, who Damon dreaded to talk to. Said with Justine’s own words, they are going for a chit and a fucking chat.

“Liam!” Damon sees how Liam’s attention snaps from him to his friend. He doesn’t look happy with being discovered by the group at all. “Liam! Is that you?”

Justine turns around at whispers to Donna. “Look at him.” She chuckles and Damon sends her an irritated glare. Has she always been like this?

“Aye.” Liam sets down a can of baked beans on the shelf and turns his attention to them. He can’t bear to look at him, he prays that he’ll do a great job of not trying to look at his face. He decides to look at his blue jeans and tries to lay his energy on the tiled floor instead of the ironic conversation happening in front of him.

“Didn’t know you hung out here.” Justine’s voice is cheeky and Damon knows she’s taking the piss out of him.

Liam’s shirt, compulsory by all staff, is not hard to miss. Bright blue with the shop’s logo on the front, small dust and dirt stains on his side from carrying groceries, he looks tired and messy. Damon bites inside of his mouth, call him biased but Liam looks fucking beautiful to him.

He is quiet for a moment but Damon can imagine that some kind of exchange of glares is happening. Not that he would know, his head is still blindly focused on his shoes -at least he thinks so.

“I fuckin’ work ‘ere.” He mutters coldly under his breath. It stings in Damon how his voice is different from the last time. That smiley, giggly and sweet boy was gone. He was gone now and he was replaced with someone cold, someone made of stone.

Damon is ashamed of his friends.

Alex lets out a chuckle. Damon wants him to shut the hell up before even opening his mouth. Alex leans his body against the shelf and lifts up a can of beans to study it. He scrunches his nose at it.

“People really eat this shit?”

Damon keeps quiet. He wants to say something, he can’t help but feel so angry with both his friends and Liam, so he doesn’t. He gulps loudly, refuses to look at him.

“I had it once, disgusting, I can’t understand how they can even get it down.”

He hates it. Hate how his friends talk about the others as they are so much better. He doesn’t doubt for a second that Liam’s friends would despise him and for once he thinks they have all the reasons to. The way his friends act, he is used to it, but it’s different now. All the posh clueless comments, Justine is the worst, she does it all the time.

However the difference is that it’s only in their social circles. As if that is any better. Damon cringes at himself for trying to justify their degrading behaviour. Even more about what bad fucking person he is, a person who needed to meet this pretty boy before he realised his friends are assholes.

Well, that is not completely true, he’s always found Justine and Brett annoying, but that is just because they are so fucking pretentious. Not that he doesn’t think that their posh upbringing doesn’t have anything to do with it. He knows it does, he knows he is like that too. But he wants to be different. If not for himself, for Liam.

Like Liam would care about him.

“That shit is being consumed by so many people you gobshite. It’s a fucking food, if you don’t want it then don't fucking buy it,” Lim snaps at Alex, more likely to everyone. Alex’s smirk fades away anyway.

The whole snacks section stays quiet for a hot minute with Liam’s outburst. Damon lifts his face slowly and sees him more tired than just before. Seems like talking with them made him worse.

Damon feels horrible but he throws a tired look at his friends and sighs like he couldn’t care less about his friend’s stupidity. Maybe it hurts Liam. Maybe he really wants Liam to feel how he felt in that morning. How he has felt ever since. But mostly, deep down he wants to believe that all he wants is to speak with him, to kiss him, to feel him.

He can’t.

“Can we get the fuck out of here, this light is about to give me the fucking brain damage,” he squints his eyes at the flourish light and throws a dead-eyed glance around the shop. Avoiding Liam’s burning stare that is still on him.

Donna chuckles at him. “Calm down, Damo, we’re just gonna get some snacks and then you’ll get your fucking fresh air.” She shakes her head at him, he sighs heavily. Her red hair moves around her head and she bumps Damon in his side. He sends her a glare but stays quiet. He knows she’s just trying to cheer him up.

“Well then, we don’t want Damon to get brain damage, do we?” Justine jokes awkwardly, clearly shocked by Liam’s outburst. Damon rolls his eyes behind her back. “It was nice bumping into you here Liam, keep up the hard work!”

Justine walks past him with a body language that tells Damon she loved every moment of the degradation act even though Liam put them into their place. Brett pats his shoulder on their way passing him and Alex wave the can he was holding in front of Liam’s face before placing it in the wrong part of the shelf. Liam breathes out from his nose, he’s basically fuming.

Damon follows Donna closely when she walks past Liam to join their friends. He still can’t look at him in the eye again. Feels how their shoulders almost touch when he walks right past with his head turned away.

Despite knowing that what he is about to might hurt, he suddenly decides to turn around when he’s almost by the end of the aisle. He turns around with a smooth spin, the soles of his trainers making a whiny sound against the dirty floor. He lifts his head cautiously, Liam is looking at him.

His whole body is turned towards him and he looks at him straight in the eyes. He looks sad. Maybe Damon can even see a hint of regret in his eyes.

Damon meets his eyes with his chin high. Just like he had done that first night, he was walking backwards but this time he was going away, leaving him alone. He then had a sweet smirk on his lips, cheeks burning from the cold weather and happy eyes. His whole body tingling and feeling Liam’s lips against his.

Now he looks at the beautiful boy with tired eyes. He can’t tell if it’s intentional, maybe his subconscious was doing dirty, but he feels as if he’s trying to make Liam feel as bad as he feels. His eyelids hanging heavy and mouth in a disappointed expression. He sees himself in the mirror over one of the shelves. He’s pale. Looks like he hasn’t slept in days. Which he hasn’t.

He meets Liam's eyes one last time. There’s only regret in them, Damon can see it now. His shoulders are slouched and he looks like he’s swallowing nervously. He physically forces himself to turn around, his attention no longer on Liam.

He drags his slouched body further and further away from Liam’s eyes that’s still burning in his back. He swears under his breath and sighs shakingly. Fuck, he misses his touch so much.

***

Liam has stayed in bed all weekend.

He also should be at work today but he doesn’t even want to show his face outside his room or his bed. All he wants to do is bury his face into his pillow and never get up. So that’s what he’s been doing for a while now.

It wasn’t like anyone knew what has been going on, but it’s maybe that. He wouldn’t be able to explain it either. Besides, he can’t stand being around all his coworkers, who seem like they have no worries in their lives. All they do is gossip, fantasize about a life that they will never have and gossip more. Who shagged who? The fuck Liam knows.

He feels like he’s drowning in his own world. It’s the job devouring him on his energy, his brother going on his nerves at home constantly and the fact that he hasn’t spoken to Damon since that day is eating him alive.

It wasn’t even that weird he hasn’t talked to him yet. He knows that Damon must have felt disappointed by him disappearing. He knows that he should’ve stayed and woke up while being next to him. Damon could have kissed him in the morning and he would let him while pressing his body back to him. However, he just couldn’t stay, can’t bear to see his face when he will learn that Liam doesn’t belong to his world.

It’s all he’s thinking about. All the time at work, when he goes to bed, in his dreams, when he wakes up. His mind is constantly on the blonde boy and the memories of that night.

When he came home from work two days ago after the encounter with Damon and his fucking weirdo friends he had fallen into his bed miserably. He stayed there all night, rejecting his brother’s offer about going out to get some fresh food. Even though the thought of fish and chips and his brother paying for it watered in his mouth, he refused to leave the house that day.

Then it became a habit of not wanting to leave the house anymore.

All he could think of was his stare and the feeling of a punch in his gut. The anger he had felt at himself, knowing he could glitter those pretty blue eyes unlike that moment, all he could see was a burning stare with so much darkness.

He thought of the way his eyes had shined when he laughed that night. The way his hair had tickled his face and his thin but attentive lips had left sweet kisses all over his face.

The morning after that horrible supermarket incident, he got up, ate some cereals and watched some telly to kill some time. Then he was back to thinking, under the covers till his brother came back from work in the evening.

He had realised that the closest way he got to keep all the thoughts out of his head was sleeping. In his dreams everything was less anxious, more about the good memories of his short time with Damon.

However, it left a bitter taste in his mouth and he felt his chest hurting each time he woke up and realised that the sweet memories that belong to another world were only in his dreams. It was hard keeping them in his sleep though, the daydreaming often sneaking up on him when he laid in bed or went for a cup of tea in the kitchen.

Liam sighs deeply, it sounds almost like a whine and he hates how affected he is by all of this. He’s laying in his bed, Stone Roses cassette in his Walkman and headphones lazily sitting on his head. It was shit, the cheapest one he could find was his best choice and the headphones that are already loose on his head with the sound becoming worse for each song passing by.

Ian Brown comforts him somehow and he lets out a shaky breath, again. He’s been able to hold himself back from crying but when Ian sings it, he feels like the tears are threatening to build in his eyes.

No earth, just sky it’s so surreal
Your pink fat lips let go of a scream
You fry and melt and I love the scene

He stares out of the window. The sound of traffic slips in through the window and he gets the chills. Noel doesn’t like when he smokes in their bedroom with the windows closed. So here he is, a full ashtray next to his bed and tears forming in his eyes.

Sometimes I fantasize
When the streets are cold and lonely
And the cars they burn below me

He is used to glares guilt-tripping him, he got it his whole childhood from everyone around him. His mum when he had done something stupid, his teachers slowly realising that he was a lost cause, his brother who couldn’t bear with him, girlfriends who gave up. Everyone.

Yet it felt as the look Damon had given him had broken him completely.

Don't these times fill your eyes

He scrunches his nose and let out a snort. He isn’t going to cry. Not over some stupid boy that obviously doesn’t want anything to do with him. Who he hasn’t even spent much time with, it was just a shag. It was supposed to be a lust thing.

He probably hates him and is ashamed over him. Over being with someone like him. He must have cringed when he saw Liam there, looking like a mess in his ugly blue uniform, swimming in sweat. Guessing what his friends would think about him getting it together with such a peasant.

It felt as if his stomach was gonna turn at the way Damon’s friends had looked at him. He’s never been ashamed of working. No, it’s been something he’s proud of. He knew how to take care of himself since he was a kid, he knew what he was doing.

He just felt so degraded at that moment.

The way they thought they had all the rights to look down on him. Damon not saying anything when Liam looked at him with pleading eyes, he must have been ashamed, disgusted.

Are you all alone
Is anybody home?

He wonders what he’s doing right now. How he’s feeling. If he’s as sad as he is. He’d imagine he is. He knows he hurt him.

Liam just wants him to be happy and be with someone who he shares the same lifestyle. Someone that will make his friends content and approving. A person that he can show off and love openly. Not some supermarket boy he shagged over lust and fun. Damon had to be ready for the disappointment. Liam did him a favour by leaving that day.

***

Noel comes home later that afternoon. Under his covers, Liam hears how he puts down the bags on the kitchen table. Rummage around in the kitchen a bit, opening the fridge, slamming the cupboards, flushing some water. It gets quiet again.

The bedroom door slides open. It’s dark in the room. Liam hasn’t bothered to let the lights on, he’s planning on sleeping soon anyways.

Noel of fucking course smells the cigarette and swears under his breath. He walks over to his bed cause apparently he can’t know whether Liam’s awake or not.

Liam stays still under his covers when he feels his bedside getting heavy and Noel sitting down next to him. He sighs as Liam turns away from him, facing the wall. Noel sighs troubled again.

“You gonna tell me what’s wrong or what?” He finally says after a moment of silence.

Liam doesn’t say anything, his back still turned to his brother.

He’s been debating for a long time now whether to tell his brother about his troubles or not. Wondering how he would react. If maybe he could tell him the problem but not mention it being a bloke he’s gotten all hung upon. They have never been good at talking about stuff like that. Noel usually just makes fun of Liam's various bird problems. Says they’re childish and that he needs to grow up.

He decides on not telling him.

“What makes you think something is wrong?”

“Well you’ve been in bed for two days, that’s not really like you. Besides, you have said no to free food and Richard was here asking for you.” Right, Richard came by last night inviting him to come with him and Bonehead to the pub for some pints. Liam had unkindly declined the offer. “You apparently told him you weren’t feeling it go to the pub. When are you not in the mood for drinking?”

“It’s nothing,” Liam mutters coldly. He sinks deeper down in his bed and covers himself even more with the duvet.

Noel is quiet for while, probably trying to see if he’s taking the piss or not. “Well alright, if it’s fucking nothing then get the fuck up and do something, now will ya Liam?”

Liam slowly turns at his way and sees his very expressive brows in a concerned furrow, most likely with a tired, irritated look. He has a feeling that despite it often being the latter, it is the first now. Liam keeps looking at him.

“Last time I remembered that fucking supermarket isn’t your dad’s so get over whatever this thing is and go the fuck out to work. You look like a mess.”

Liam bites his tongue, it is not the best time to play cat-dog with Noel. “I know how the fuck I look, thank you very very much,” he mumbles under his breath. “Now, let me sleep in peace.”

Noel looks at him like he didn't expect this type of answer from him. He gets up from the bed slowly. “Well if you want to talk about it I’m still here.”

Liam hums under his breath.

Noel continues. “Either way, I suggest you talk to someone and get your shit together because I cannot pay the rent by myself, Liam. You can't always run away from things.”

He feels how the shadow in the room drift away and Noel’s steps disappear out in the living room. He hears how his brother puts on the telly, swears under his breath then turning it off. The front door opens and closes loudly, his brother is gone.

He is left alone, again.

***

Liam spent another half more day, self-pitying himself before he decided that he indeed needed to talk to someone and try to get his shit together without running away.

“Can I come over?” He had asked Jarvis over the phone with his small voice.

Jarvis had sounded tired and like he just woke up with his deep voice. However, he finally told him that he could come over for tea later, which meant dinner for them. Liam smiled by himself, Jarvis always cooks good and he hadn’t eaten properly for days.

He actually isn’t sure when or how to tell Jarvis about what has been going on but either way, being with his friend always lightens his mood. He needs to speak to someone, breath the fresh air and take care of himself.

Sitting at Jarvis’ warm kitchen with different scents of saffron rice boiling, a stew simmering in a big pot and Jarvis by the sink washing vegetables makes Liam feel at ease. Jarvis had welcomed him in with a hug and a cigarette in his smiling mouth, asking if Liam wanted something to drink the moment he saw his face.

There was an Indian beer in front of him that Jarvis has found at some Indian shop and Liam looks at him weirdly, of fucking course.

Liam swore under his breath at first when Jarvis introduced the vegetarian stew, or curry as he called it, on the stove. What the fuck was wrong with eating meat? He wanted to ask, but he hadn’t said anything, not wanting Jarvis to go his another legendary rant.

“I must say I’m a bit surprised you asked to come over, honestly. It’s always been me who dragged you out to meet and hang out.” Jarvis stirs the pot a bit and puts down his lit cigarette in the ashtray. He reaches for his wine glass and looks at Liam.

Liam gulps loudly, he doesn’t want to talk about why he’s here right now! “Aye, not true I like to hang out with you, y’know that!” Liam tries to defend himself but he knows it’s for nothing.

Jarvis is right and he knows it. Because he sends Liam an unconvinced look, one of his eyebrows raised.

“Alright, maybe you have a point but I like to hang out with you. Besides I’m not the one to say no to homemade food.” Jarvis chuckles at his snarling tone and turns back to his stew, Liam must say it actually smells quite good.

Being here brings back memories. He should have thought about it, that it would stir things up. It came like a slap to his face when he had first entered the hall and how his eyes had fallen to the counter. The place where he had sat that night, what feels like weeks ago. Memories of how Damon’s hands had sneaked up under his shirt and how he had moaned into his mouth.

He can’t look at the counter now that he remembers it.

“What did you think about the gig, by the way?” Jarvis turns around to see his face. “I never got the chance to ask you, you disappeared.” Jarvis gives him a look that tells him that he should explain himself.

Liam takes a sip from his beer to give himself some time to think about what to answer. Had Jarvis seen them disappearing? Had someone else seen it? Does he know that they had disappeared together and is he trying to get it out of him? Fuck’s sake.

“Yeah, sorry about that.” Liam pauses. “The gig was brilliant, thanks for inviting me. Love the songs.” Jarvis doesn’t look convinced. “I mean it, it was really good! You guys sound amazing live.” Liam exclaims even though he knows that isn’t what Jarvis is curious about.

They sit down to eat after a while, Jarvis presenting the different dishes and add-ons to the food with their Indian names and Liam feel like he’s lost after the fucking curry. It’s good though. The tastes mixing in his mouth and together with the beer filling his stomach that feels as it hasn’t been properly fed the last days. Cereals are the shite.

Then his eye catches the empty rum glass in the corner of the counter, looking like it’s there to make Liam embarrassed. It seems like it’s been sitting there for a while, ever since Jarvis put it back there when he caught them.

Liam feels his throat burn so he coughs.

Jarvis looks up at him, paying his full attention now. He leans back in his chair. Lights a cigarette, offers one to Liam.

“No, thanks,” he declines a free cig for the first time.

“So what’s on your mind, Liam?” he asks directly.

Fuck, of course, he has noticed it. He doesn’t know if it’s the fact that he’s not on his toes with the cocky attitude as usual or what. Jarvis somehow has noticed that something is up.

“Hm, what?” He clears his throat and coughs a bit more. “No, nothing special… nothing special at all,” He mutters the last part.

“Is it the food?”

Liam coughs fakely. “Uh, yeah, not used to spicy stuff at all.”

They keep eating for a while. Spending the meal talking about Jarvis’s band, some new record and film, a football game Liam and Noel are going to next week and the latest stuff that’s been going on in Sheffield.

Liam’s thoughts spring back to Damon, fucking again, just from seeing that counter. He wonders once again if Damon has told anyone about them. Them? Like they are something. He wants to scoff at himself.

If he has told anyone now after their night at his place. Liam doesn’t know if he likes the thought of it which normally, he would tell his mates if he had slept with someone or not. In other circumstances, Damon probably wouldn’t even be ashamed of it, but then it’s not like he has just slept with some bird, he has slept with a bloke who’s so different than him. He was so special and his friend’s slurs are still burnt into his head.

Not some random bloke, mind you, a posh one. Liam doesn’t think Damon is someone who feels uncomfortable with his sexuality but the class difference is another thing. He knows how friends views on others can affect a person. He cringes at even the thought of that Damon would want to show him off for his friends or family for that matter. A lad working in a supermarket who puts cans of beans in order? Don’t think so.

He doesn’t even want to imagine what his friends would think of Damon. Like yes, he knows Jarvis likes him, but Bonehead and Richard? Any less Noel. Who’s always going on about the posh toffs, who taught Liam from an early age to never trust people who spend too much money on superficial things such as flowers and fucking interior.

No matter how much anxiety him and Damon being together, in any way, gives him he can’t help but want to explain himself to Damon, apologise for leaving. He at least deserves a sorry for not staying till that breakfast, after seeing Liam in his horrible working place he owes him one.

He also wants to say sorry for not feeling his warm body against his enough, listening to his deep moans as they pleasure each other and see his sweet smile on pink his sweaty face. He wants to have him to himself again, which seems impossible enough.

“Jarvis?”

“Yes, Liam.”

“Was wondering if maybe you could give me someone’s telephone number,” Liam builds up some courage, all he is able to boost and sits up straight.

A smile spreads on Jarvis’s face.”Of course, Leeum! Whose number do you want?”

Liam can’t tell if it’s a finally-he’s-talking smile or a genuine one. “Damon’s,” he says shortly. Then presses his lips together quickly before he says anything more.

Jarvis keeps on looking at him, Liam's heartbeat picks up. “Which Damon?” Slowly his serious face turns into a smirk with an eyebrow raised expression. Jarvis cackles a laugh, Liam slaps his shoulders playfully.

“Fuck, Jarvis y’know whom I’m talking about, don’t make me say it!”

Jarvis giggles at him this time and lifts his glasses to his nose. He won’t stop teasing Liam about it for sure and he doesn’t look surprised at all. He stands up, putting out his cigarette in the ashtray on the counter before leaving the kitchen.

Soon he comes back with a small phone book and a pen behind his ear. He pushes up his glasses on his nose and starts browsing through the small book that looks like the pages will fall out at any moment. Liam wants to laugh at him, being a party lover and knowing everyone makes him look like this.

He lets out a small noise when he finds the number and snatches a small piece of paper from the pile of newspapers and envelopes on the table and starts scribbling down a number on it.

Liam taps his fingers against the table when Jarvis slides the note over the table to him. He looks down on it. Damon followed by a phone number. Liam hates himself for not being able to calm his heartbeat even from seeing his name. His fingertips feel tingly holding the paper.

“Thank you, Jarv,” Liam doesn’t want to show how glad he is over now having the number in his possession but he sends Jarvis a small smile and grabs the note. Sliding up his trashed wallet from his pocket he places the now-folded note next to a five-pound bill.

“No problem.” Jarvis lights a cigarette. God, he smokes a lot and Liam just realises that. “Hope it’ll be well used.”