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the night starts here (7/?)

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Skandar stands awkwardly at the side of the room, nodding along to the conversation around him without really paying attention to it. He taps his foot against the floor agitatedly, eyes fixed on the door. It's not fair—he hasn't seen Will and Anna for almost a whole month, and now he has to wait even longer because apparently, they're incapable of arriving to a party on time.

"Oh my god, stop it," a voice hisses in his ear suddenly, breaking his concentration.

"What?"

Georgie, standing beside him with her arms crossed, stomps on his foot.

"Ow! What was that for?" he cries, but then realises, as his foot almost instantly starts tapping against the floor again.

Georgie looks at him pointedly. "It's so annoying."

"Wait a minute, is that—" Ben says, leaning in from Skandar's other side. Skandar's eyes instinctively dart towards the door again, but nobody's there, and he looks sheepishly back at Ben, who is tilting his head down towards the floor and frowning in concentration. "Is that 'Another One Bites the Dust'?"

"...What?" Skandar says helplessly, but his voice is drowned out by Georgie.

"It is!" she cries, laughing, and adopts Ben's bizarre stance, head on one side, bending over just a little.

And then—

"Dum, dum, dum," Ben says, in time with Skandar's tapping foot.

"Another one bites the dust," Georgie chimes in.

Skandar stares at his foot, which has apparently decided to tap out the beat of old Queen songs to keep itself occupied while he impatiently watches doors.

"Dum, dum, dum," Ben and Georgie sing, "another one bites the dust! And another one gone, and another one gone, another one bites the dust—"

They seem not to notice or care that Skandar has forcibly restrained his foot, now, and he wonders how exactly he's going to survive spending six months filming with these two. Ben and Georgie, that is, not his feet, although if they're going to develop a habit of drumming out '80s hits, that could be an irritation as well.

"Hey," says Georgie, as Ben continues singing, mostly to himself, "is that Anna?"

"What?" Skandar looks around wildly. "Where?"

"Over there, talking to Will," says Georgie, pointing in the opposite direction.

"What?" Skandar almost gives himself whiplash. "When did Will arrive?"

"When we were singing," says Georgie nonchalantly. "HEY, ANNA! WILL!"

"Damn you and your singing," Skandar mutters, as he spots the two of them, looking startled on the other side of the room.

"Damn you and your musical foot," Georgie retorts, waving manically at Anna and Will to come over.

Skandar feels his heart start beating a little faster—ridiculously—as the two of them approach, Anna looking beautiful in a lacy black dress and Will in one of his typically weird outfits but looking good anyway. He doesn't like that he's missed them as much as he has, because it's only been a month and he has to cope without them for much longer than that. And he used to be able to, too, but it seems like the more time he spends with them lately the harder it is to be alone.

It's not helped by the knowledge that this is a leaving party. This is likely the last time he sees them before he goes. Suddenly, he regrets that they never really talked about this, because if they had, they maybe could have had a decent send-off of their own. But instead they just had their first serious couple talk (threesome talk?) and then Anna realised she had a bunch of Uni work to do, and hurried off back to Oxford. Shortly after, Skandar received a phone call from his Mum wondering whether she was actually going to get to spend any time with him at all before he disappeared for six months, and he was guilted into going back home. They didn't think about the fact that that might have been the last time they'd all be alone together before Skandar left.

They reach the group and suddenly the air is filled with greetings. "Hi!"

"Hi!" everybody echoes.

"Hi, I was watching the door but I didn't see either of you arrive!" Skandar says hurriedly, almost feeling guilty for not being the first to notice them.

"We saw you," says Anna, looking a little puzzled, "you weren't watching the door, you were standing on one leg."

"Oh, that," says Ben. "His foot was being a jukebox."

She looks at him for a moment, then says fondly, "I missed you, Ben," and pulls him into a hug.

Georgie attaches herself onto the hug, and Will and Skandar grin at each other over the huddle.

"This'll probably save time," Will says, and wraps his arms around one side of the group.

Skandar shrugs, and does the same, hiding a smile in Anna's shoulder as one of Will's hands closes around his and gives it a gentle squeeze.

"Okay," says Anna after a moment, her voice muffled against Ben's chest, "I'm beginning to have difficulty breathing. Also, shouldn't you guys be bonding with the new cast and crew?"

"Are you trying to get rid of us already?" Ben asks, mock-offended and squeezing her tighter.

"We did try," Skandar adds, "but I'm not sure we're coming across that well."

"Ah, what with the hopping around on one foot and public group hugs?" Will asks.

"Yes, that." Skandar cranes his neck to grin at him over Georgie's head.

In truth, it went all right, but it was just kind of awkward, and he'd really rather be joking around with this lot than getting to know new people. He never really felt like that when Ben joined the cast, but maybe that was because they were all still together, and this time they've been split into two and it's like he has to choose where his loyalties lie.

He knows it's not particularly fair to shut the new people out—Will Poulter in particular, who is over in a corner right now looking intimidated by Tilda—but he can't help it; right now it seems so much more important to be saying a decent goodbye than a decent hello.

It takes quite a while for them to get a chance to talk on their own. Skandar spots Will heading to the toilets and goes after him, and after, they sit down around the corner together.

"I'm gonna miss you," Will says quietly.

"I know," Skandar replies, a little stiffly. "Me too."

"Do you want to talk about it?" Will says. "It's just—we haven't, you know."

Skandar sighs exasperatedly. "What is there to talk about?" He leans back, hard, against the wall. "I'm leaving. You're staying."

"Yeah—but—" Will says, then stops, hesitating. "It's just. It doesn't seem like you've really accepted it."

Skandar wants to say, I'm leaving, you're staying, again, until Will gets it, but he knows what Will means.

Will's sort of fidgeting like he's not sure how much he should say, whether he'll offend Skandar, and Skandar wishes he'd stop worrying about his feelings and just go ahead.

Eventually, he does. "I mean, you're sitting here with me instead of getting to know Michael. Or Will." He tilts his head in the direction of the party. "And you know...you should make an effort, you're going to be working with them."

Skandar crumples, falters, gives in. He can't stand it anymore. "I don't want to work with that Will," he says, his voice sort of breaking a little as he places a hand on Will's chest, feeling the gentle thud of his heart against his palm. "I want to work with this one."

Will pulls him into a hug, apparently without a second thought, and Skandar holds onto him tightly, savouring the warmth and the closeness. He shuts his eyes and buries his face into Will's neck, inhales, smelling soap and sweat and cologne and that Will smell he knows so well. He likes the shiny-soft feel of Will's blazer against his cheek. He doesn't want to open his eyes and see if anyone's noticed them, but he can't help his paranoia and when he senses someone coming closer he opens one eye carefully.

It's only Anna.

He and Will stay right where they are.

Skandar's reminded of the Prince Caspian premiere after-party in New York, reminded of Anna coming around the corner to see him pushing Will against the wall and kissing him. He wishes it were that simple now, that they could just steal a bottle of something and sneak off to a hotel and get off. He knows he's simplifying, knows it was anything but easy back then, but still. He wants that.

Anna looks tired, drained, somehow. She was probably flashing smiles at everybody else, dancing with Andrew and Georgie, politely asking Will and Michael about their other projects. But now the smile she gives them is sort of forced and tight and she slumps down next to Skandar on the bench and drags her hand back through her hair.

"I don't like this," she admits.

There's a long pause.

"It doesn't feel right," she adds. "We've barely said goodbye, and now everyone is, and—" she's looking at him, now, and Skandar peers up at her from over Will's shoulder, "I just want to get out of here."

"We can't just go, Anna," says Will's voice, a low rumble in Skandar's ear.

Neither of them are letting go, yet, and Skandar wonders if maybe it could stay that way forever, if Will could just be his limpet or his conjoined twin and he could bring him with him for filming.

"No, but—" Anna sighs. "Can't we?"

The thing is, Skandar thinks he probably shouldn't want that as much as he does. He knows he should want to bond with Will P., and Michael, and all the new people he's going to be working with. He shouldn't want to just abandon this party, but there's really only two people he cares about giving a proper goodbye to.

He sighs into Will's shoulder. He doesn't want to deal with this. Getting to know these people makes it real.

Skandar catches a glimpse of movement and he glances up, seeing Tilda heading towards them. He knows she knows and everything but he's still suddenly embarrassed, blushing furiously and disentangling himself from Will's arms.

"I'm sorry," Tilda says, standing over them like an absolute giant in her high heels. She crosses her arms, and then brings her fingers to her lips, glancing behind her back at the rest of the party. "I didn't mean to interrupt."

Skandar tries desperately to stop blushing.

"I just thought it seemed like you weren't really enjoying yourselves," she says, and Skandar looks up at her with her tight-fitting black suit and her piercing green eyes and her cropped red hair and wonders how, how she can be so perceptive and understanding and nice and cool all at once.

"No, this is great," Skandar lies, not really knowing why. "It's really—a great chance to say goodbye, to everyone, and everything."

Tilda smiles, then looks slightly pained, then smiles again. She sinks down, crouching, and the three of them look at her in puzzlement. She reaches for Skandar's hands and Skandar feels himself going even redder, especially when he thinks about how they're not really that concealed over here and this whole thing would just look fucking weird if anyone saw.

"You don't want to say goodbye to these people," says Tilda quietly, calmly. "You want to say goodbye to Will, and to Anna, and that's okay."

Skandar looks down at his lap because her eyes are too intense, and he looks at her long pale hands holding his. They slip away and he watches as she gently strokes Anna's cheek, then Will's, and he watches them smile embarrassedly and colour a little.

"If you want to go, I'll cover for you."

Skandar's heart sort of swells and he feels stupid.

"We can't just ditch everyone," says Will, and Skandar hears the way he hesitates on the 'everyone', clearly only really thinking of Georgie.

It's always the four of them, even with Ben now it's always been okay for them to break off from him because he's older and newer. But Georgie—well, they can't just leave her, all three of them vanishing with no explanation.

Tilda smiles again. She tilts her head. "If you're worried about the little one, I think she'll be okay," she says.

They all crane their necks to peer around the corner, and, through the crowd, they can see Georgie sitting at the side. For a moment it looks like she's alone but then they see Will Poulter standing up, offering her his hand as a song starts up—one Skandar knows Georgie loves. He watches as Georgie bursts out laughing and gets to her feet, taking his hand, and he spins her around as they make their way into the middle of the crowd.

"They've been attached at the hip for at least the past half hour," Tilda says with a wicked grin, and then gestures down the corridor. Skandar assumes that down there, they'll find a door they can sneak out through.

"Thank you," he says, and then suddenly, on instinct, leans forward and presses a clumsy kiss to her cheek.

His face feels hot when he pulls back and he can instantly sense the strong desire Will and Anna both have to tease him. But Tilda smiles and squeezes his hand and says something that sounds like it might be a quote, probably from some book he studied in school. And okay, he's not really sure what it means, but he assumes the gist of it is that she's wishing him luck for the next movie. And also maybe something about talent, which makes him blush even more.

Tilda leans back, peering around the corner back at the party, and then gets hurriedly to her feet, gesturing at them to do the same.

"Andrew's heading this way," she says, voice urgently hushed even though she's still smiling.

She nudges Anna's shoulder and the three of them race off down the hall, Anna's heels skittering against the tile as they round the corner. Will and Skandar grab one of her hands each to prevent her from falling, and she can't help but let out a giggle as they race down another corridor towards the back door of the venue. The soles of their shoes all clatter towards it and they can hear Andrew's voice fading into the background.

Skandar feels a sudden pang of guilt as he starts to hear Tilda's indiscernible response, remembering that behind him, there's a room full of people gathered to give him a send-off and he's abandoning them.

But then the rest of Tilda's lie is drowned out by the sound of Anna's heels skittering to a halt, and her laughter as she squeezes his hand. On his other side, Will lets his hand go, in order to grasp the doorknob in front of them, his grip strong and certain. The door opens onto a street and they step out, breathing in the cool fresh air.

"We're in the clear," Anna says breathlessly, her face flushed. She pulls him into a hug, and he buries his face in her shoulder, brushes his lips against soft skin and inhales the sweet smell of her.

She spins him round to Will, passes him over, and Will pulls him close, big hand on the back of Skandar's head, fingers combing through his hair. Will chuckles in his ear and then lets him go, grabs Anna instead, lifts her right up in the air and makes her shriek.

Skandar knows they're hardly going to be chased after, but the security of their hands was nice and so when Will puts Anna down, he links his fingers through theirs again and drags them off down the street before they have a chance to catch their breath. He knows he shouldn't, but he feels like he just hopped into a getaway car after robbing a bank.

"I know a place," Anna pants, as they eventually slow to a stop further down the street. "There's a club, maybe ten minutes' walk from here."

"But Skandar—" Will starts.

"It's fine," Anna interrupts him briskly, tugging Skandar's hand and pulling the two boys in the opposite direction, presumably towards the aforementioned club. "Lulu goes there all the time because they never ID. He'll be fine."

"Sounds like a classy place," Will snorts, and Anna wrinkles her nose.

"Maybe I'm not in the mood for classy," she says. The dress she's wearing begs to differ, Skandar thinks, but he's too intrigued by the meaning behind her words to argue. "I think we should send Skandar off with a night he'll remember."

"What kind of club is this?" Will laughs, and Anna lets go of Skandar's hand to reach round and prod Will in the ribs.

***

It is, indeed, not a classy place. Its main clientele are under-18s out on school nights getting pissed on Smirnoff Ice. As they're heading inside, a boy who looks no older than fourteen stumbles past them and throws up in the gutter. The first thing they see upon entering is a girl slumped against the wall crying her eyes out, her friends drunkenly comforting her. It's a pretty big change from the laidback, grown-up atmosphere of Skandar's official leaving party, but somehow it feels like a necessary one. After all, he needs to remember that what he's leaving this place for is several months of work. Maybe what he needs is one last wild night, one last chance to be an irresponsible teenager.

But Will and Anna are faltering, hanging back. It's really not Will's scene at all, and Anna looks a little taken aback at the discovery of what her little sister's scene apparently is. But everyone here's too drunk to know who the three of them are, or too drunk to care, so Skandar takes their hands again, a shudder of confidence sparking through him like electricity as he strides forward into the club, into the mass of dancing bodies, pulling Will and Anna along with him. The music is loud, growing more deafening the deeper they go into the crowd, but it feels like it's embracing them, the heavy bass pounding right through their bones.

As they head towards the bar, the pounding bass starts to organise itself in Skandar's mind into a hip-hop song he's heard before, something chavs at school play on their mobile phones to annoy his Maths teacher. They reach the bar and drop hands. There doesn't seem to be any sort of queue and so Will steps forward, almost shouting out their orders. Skandar can't hear him, so it's a wonder the barman manages to. All he can hear is the song.

It's one of those ones that features a rapper calling girls bitches and telling them to 'drop it low', and he gives Anna a sidelong glance, expecting her to make a grossed-out face, but instead he gets a smirk. She raises her hands in the air, the movements appearing jerky in the strobe lighting that suddenly flashes throughout the room. Her hips sway, bump against his, and then she throws back her head and laughs suddenly, quite possibly at his expression. He's not actually sure what it is, but it's probably worth laughing at. It's just—well, he's not into these girls, any of the girls they're surrounded by, caked-on make-up and dresses that leave nothing to the imagination, grinding up against guys they've just met. They don't do anything for him. They used to catch his eye, sure, but since Anna, they just seem trashy.

Somehow, though, Anna acting like one of them—even for only about seven seconds—is really hot. It's made even better by her dorky laughter afterwards, and the awkwardness of her movements because she's not used to it. Or, in her own words (the only ones he hears in the sentence she yells in his ear, anyway), "NOT DRUNK ENOUGH!"

Will remedies this quickly, sliding a tray of shots down the bar. He pays the barman as Skandar and Anna take a glass each. Skandar can feel Anna's eyes on him as he brings the glass up to his mouth and downs whatever's in it—possibly vodka—and he's not sure it's because she's being protective, or looking for reassurance. Because she waits 'til he's coughed a little and flashed her a grin before she downs her own. Anna's more of a chardonnay girl than a vodka shots girl, but then, it's not like he has much experience himself with this sort of thing.

He laughs suddenly, the alcohol hitting his bloodstream. They're not exactly in their element here, but it seems more entertaining than embarrassing, more amusing than awkward. He watches Will gingerly pluck one of the shots from the tray, and then gulp it down.

"WHAT IS IT?" Skandar yells in his general direction.

"I DON'T KNOW," Will yells back. "HE SAID THEY HAD SOME SORT OF DEAL ON."

Skandar laughs again, takes another one of the shots on impulse and watches as the other two copy him. He throws his head back, staring at the ceiling as it flashes and pulses with coloured light. His throat stings but his chest, his heart—they feel good. One more shot each, and then Anna's pulling the two of them onto the dance floor just as the DJ switches to another song. This one sounds more playful, electronic beeps pulsing beneath the sound of a woman's rhythmic breaths.

Anna lets go of their hands once they find a part of floor that's not crowded by trainers and stilettos, and she flings her arms up again, up to the ceiling, her fingertips pushing through a layer of light that slices through the room. Beneath it everything is movement in clouds of smoke (the smoking ban is apparently paid no mind here), and Anna's body sways, her hips rocking. But she doesn't quite match the beat, and she laughs and then loses her confidence, arms slung down by her sides once again, her gaze awkwardly flitting all over the club.

Skandar feels her insecurity, getting pushed from both sides as the dancing crowd ebbs and flows. Some girl gets her handbag caught on Anna's dress, and Skandar watches as the two of them try to disentangle it. But the girl eventually just pulls hard and the bag comes free, tearing the delicate lace of Anna's dress in the process. Anna is too shocked to react, just looking down at the frayed fabric, ripped from hip to hem. Skandar knows what Will's about to do before he does it, and grabs his hand without thinking—a combination of the alcohol and the pattern of the evening, he guesses. He's trying to stop Will, but he does it at the same time as Will grabs the girl by her shoulder, yelling something at her.

Suddenly the boys are knocked forwards by the movement of the crowd, and their linked hands jerk upwards instinctively. The girl—fake tan, hair scraped back against her scalp—sees the entwined fingers and simply laughs, still dancing, shouting something in her friend's ear. Will blushes hotly, speechless, and Skandar feels about a hundred things—disbelief, fury, and mortification, to name a few—and shakes Will's hand off, pushing through the crowd alone, back the way they came.

He slumps against the bar, his breathing heavy. For a few moments it seems like all he can hear is his heart pounding in his ears, and he's a little ashamed to realise he's more of a lightweight than he thought. (Then again, none of them know what was in those shots.) He's surprised that his embarrassment isn't so much due to the fact that he was seen holding hands with another guy, but more that they didn't know how to react to it. They haven't had any experience with this before, haven't learnt how to deal with that sort of thing.

And some part of him, some shameful part, wanted to prove to that girl—that stranger—that he's not gay, wanted to explain the situation to her, explain that yeah, he's had sex with a boy, but he's had sex with a girl too, and doesn't that count for something? He doesn't consider himself gay, not in the slightest, even—Will's the only guy he's ever felt this way for, and sex with him isn't gay sex, it's just sex with Will. And holding hands with Will is just holding hands with Will, and he wishes there was some way for everyone to understand that.

"You gonna order, or what?" someone barks in his ear suddenly, and he jerks upright to see a guy with spiky, gelled hair peering at him, pointing at the impatient barman.

"Oh, right, sorry," Skandar mumbles, which is pointless, seeing as anything quieter than a yell is totally inaudible in this place. "Um, a beer please." His mouth seems to work before his mind, possibly in a psychic sort of way, because only seconds after he shouts "THREE, three beers please," Will and Anna appear on either side of him, sweaty and uncomfortable.

Will leans in to say something—Skandar feels lips brush against his ear—and then changes his mind, pulling back. Anna does it instead, and Skandar feels confident that what she says is just a more coherent version of what Will was going to say.

"We're not really used to this, are we," she says. Her voice isn't raised, but her lips are pressed so closely to his ear that the words seem to travel directly to his brain like she's a voice inside his head.

He shakes his head, laughing hopelessly, as the barman cracks open the bottles, one after another after another. He pushes the beers towards them, Skandar pays, they drink, and conversation is still entirely futile.

"DO YOU WANT TO TRY FIND SOMEWHERE THAT'S MAYBE A LITTLE QUIETER," Will bellows.

***

They manage to find the toilets, and lean awkwardly against the wall. On one side of them, boys laugh raucously, trading condoms and stories that even gross Skandar out. On the other side, girls are holding hands as they wait in line for the loos. (Distantly, he wonders why the divide is so clear, why he can't reach down and slip his fingers through Will's right now without being judged, but he pushes the thought out of his mind, embarrassed for even having it.)

In the middle, boys press girls against the tiled walls, mouths against mouths and hands between legs. Will, Skandar, and Anna sip their beers from the bottle, twitchy and uneasy. Everybody here is probably younger than them; immature, aimless partying youths with no future, and yet it feels like they're so much more mature. Skandar knows he's done more than these kids could ever hope to, but he feels so small amongst them.

"Does anyone else feel awkward?" Will says, then, his voice hoarse from shouting, sounding strange in the quieter environment—almost too loud.

Anna takes a long swig of her beer and then just laughs. Then, suddenly, she hands the beer to Skandar, and fumbles around with her dress for a bit like it's bothering her. It takes Skandar quite a while to actually process the fact that she's taking it off, because it seems so ridiculous, but that's definitely what she's doing. She's wearing a slip beneath it, he realises. Tight, silky, black, low-cut. Exactly the kind of thing she'd wear under her clothes, but not—well, not as an actual dress, which is what she seems to be going for now.

She shrugs at them, which has the effect of pushing her boobs together in a rather distracting way, and Skandar and Will only vaguely hear what she says. (Which Skandar thinks is, "Just trying to blend in.")

She sticks out her hand to take her beer back from Skandar, and he gives her his as well, shrugging off his jacket and letting it drop to the dirty floor. She grins widely, kissing him on the lips impulsively before handing his beer back to him. They take a swig in unison, both looking towards Will expectantly. He's wearing something that is pretty much a suit—as in, you'd have to look at him quite closely to realise that the shirt he's wearing is some kind of strange t-shirt with buttons, and the trousers are actually black skinny jeans.

Skandar and Anna consider him for a moment, trying to work out how to casual-ise such an outfit. And then Anna reaches forwards and takes Will's beer, handing both bottles to Skandar, leaving him to clutch the three of them to his chest, cold and sweating ice through his t-shirt. Anna pushes Will's blazer off his shoulders, tossing it over her shoulder, and then begins unbuttoning his shirt. They're receiving a few strange looks by now, understandably. Skandar's sure, though, that stories of seeing Susan Pevensie undressing her brother in the bathroom of a seedy London club are more likely to be on drunken Facebook status updates than legitimate gossip blogs.

Anyway, Will's wearing a vest under his shirt. Skandar looks him up and down uncertainly. It's a sort of pale grey and clingy vest, and teamed with the skinny jeans and slightly pointed black dress shoes, it looks a little odd. But also good, somehow. He's not sure how Will does that.

Anna balls up the shirt and tosses it over Will's shoulder in the general direction of a bin, missing by about two metres. Will immediately looks concerned.

"I'll buy you a new one," she promises, looking him up and down and grinning.

Skandar does the same (for the second time), feeling a little more drunk as he appreciates the sight of Will's biceps and the way the vest clings to his chest.

"Do we blend a little better now?" Will asks, rolling his eyes, oblivious to the way they're both eyeing him.

Skandar looks from side to side, and is greeted on both left and right by couples with their tongues down each other's throats.

"Uh," he says.

Anna laughs, and then takes Will by the hips, clutching him tight and pulling him close. His vest pulls up a little against the thin silky fabric of her slip, and her breasts push together as they press against his chest. She grins against his lips before they kiss, soft and then harder. Skandar's watching, but he starts to feel a little conspicuous for doing so, so he fumbles in his pocket for his phone as Will nudges Anna against the wall with his hips. Anna drapes her arms over Will's shoulders as the kiss deepens, and Skandar finds that he doesn't feel jealous, not even a little bit.

Suddenly, the guy Skandar met earlier at the bar stumbles out of the toilets and bumps into him.

"Shit, sorry mate," he says, running fingers back through his gel-coated hair.

Will and Anna are oblivious, wrapped up in each other, Anna's back arched so that her hips press forward into his. The guy follows Skandar's gaze and his expression turns suddenly sympathetic.

Just then, another boy comes through the door and a short blonde girl queuing up for the girls' toilets turns around, eyes lighting up. She embraces him, and the guy with the gelled hair watches them for a moment. He and Skandar stand awkwardly between the two kissing pairs.

"Third wheel, eh?"

Skandar can't help but grin, as he stands there with three beers clutched awkwardly in his hands, waiting. "Something like that," he replies.

"I know how you feel," the boy says, shaking his head in understanding.

Skandar laughs uneasily, shrugging as he looks back over at Will and Anna, who are listening in, smiling against each other's lips. He looks back over to his left, to the other couple, feeling like a voyeur as he watches their heated kiss. The guy's hand snakes down between their bodies and under the girl's short skirt, and Gel Boy groans.

"Jesus, get a fuckin' room," he yells, jostling them apart.

They stumble off back through to the club and Skandar returns Gel Boy's perfunctory wave. The moment they've disappeared around the corner, the three of them crack up, and Anna reaches out to Skandar for her beer, pulling him in towards them in the process. Their hips bump and their bottles clink, and Skandar desperately wants to kiss them both on their flushed, wet mouths. Anna's forehead rests against his, and he can feel her breath on his face, and Will's arm sneaking around his waist. The tension is unbearable, but they're already attracting a few odd looks, and attention is really the last thing they want.

A crowd bustles past them suddenly and they all separate, the moment gone as quickly as it arrived. They cough, run their fingers back through their hair, finishing their beers and trying to look normal. As they head back to the dance floor, Skandar realises how drunk he's starting to feel. He kind of likes it.

"Hey," Will shouts, slinging his arms around their shoulders as they fight their way back through the club, "I think we should get completely plastered."

Skandar laughs and Anna looks doubtful.

"To send Skandar off?" Will adds, and then shoots a glare at a group of guys who check Anna out as they pass.

Anna shrugs obliviously. "I thought we wanted it to be a night he'd remember," she yells back above the noise.

They've reached the bar now, and Will is frowning at Anna. He lets his arm drop from her shoulders and turns to Skandar instead.

"Hey," he shouts, "I think we should get Anna completely plastered."

Anna folds her arms, pouting at them, but they can tell she's not genuinely annoyed.

***

Roughly ten minutes later, they're sitting at a booth all in complete hysterics after witnessing the ridiculous, soap-opera-esque break-up of a girl and her boyfriend. Normally, Skandar might feel kind of bad about being so entertained by others' tragedy, but in these circumstances, the ex-couple are entirely unaware of their comedy genius, and anyway, Skandar's too drunk to care all that much.

Anna can't stop laughing and even does a hilarious impression of the girl, which causes Will to literally do a spit-take. He then goes and buys them all another round, to make up for the beer he lost as a result.

Or something.

Currently, Will and Anna are currently sitting across from him, laughing and swaying into each other, shouting sentence fragments in each other's ears.

"DO THEY HAVE," it sounds like Anna is yelling, "ANY MORE. OF THE STUFF?"

"THE WHAT?" Will yells back.

"THE STUUUUFF." Anna collapses into giggles.

"ALCOHOL?"

Anna gives him a Look. "YES, I'M ASKING IF THE BAR HAS RUN OUT OF ALCOHOL." She somehow manages to make her voice sound scathing, even at such a volume.

Will, clearly too drunk to bother coming up with an actual response, just sticks his tongue out.

Skandar leans across the table, getting his arms rather grossly sticky in the process, and presses his lips to Anna's ear. "I thought you wanted this to be a night I'd remember," he mimics, teasing, and she gently headbutts him away, laughing.

It doesn't take much longer for them to relax enough to actually get up from their safe little booth. A song comes on that Anna, apparently, secretly likes, and now that she has a decent amount of alcohol in her system, she's willing to get up and dance to it. She slides out of the booth and places her hands flat on the table, leaning forward with a frown. Skandar attempts to look at her face instead of her cleavage, but interestingly, alcohol interferes with such a task.

"I'm not going to dance on my own," Anna says, pouting at them. "Come on."

Skandar shakes his head. He's really not a dancer.

"Come on," she pleads, swaying her hips to the beat like she's trying to tempt them.

It's a wonder, really, that no drunken underage boy appears at that moment and takes the opportunity to start grinding against her, because Skandar's not sure which boyfriend is supposed to defend a girl who has two. Then he realises that Anna can probably stand up for herself, anyway. And then he realises that he'd rather like it if he were the drunken underage boy grinding up against her, but Will gets there first, wriggling gracelessly out of the booth.

She's looking at him suspiciously as he ducks behind her and curves his hands around her hips. He leans down over her, in a way that's dangerously close to being obscene, even here. But Anna's arms stay straight and her back only arches a little under Will, and then, fuck, he really presses in against her and she resists, presses back, her hips moving in a tiny, slow circle. He presses his lips to the back of her neck, and flashes Skandar a look which makes him squirm in his seat.

They straighten up, Anna reaching up behind her to cup Will's face and turn it down towards her. She smiles, and they seem to be lost in their own little world for a moment until the crowd surges and knocks them sideways. Skandar leaps up to keep from losing them, and feels his surroundings spin a little as he pushes past people. He finds Will and Anna not far away, holding each other close and sort of swaying to the music, almost like they're at a fancy ball or something—although Will's hands are a little low on Anna's hips for that.

Anna takes Will's hand and lifts it high, twirls herself under it to face Skandar.

"Hiii," she sing-songs, and reaches for him, pulls him in.

"I don't dance," he says into her ear, grinning.

"Oh, like we do?" she snorts.

And then she takes him by the hips and it's as easy as that all of a sudden, just moving with her. The next hour or so seems to go by in a blur—the three of them tangled with each other, pressed together and dancing in a way that feels almost as satisfying as sex, the closeness and the way they respond to each other's bodies. They fall into it easily where others might struggle, because they're used to being a trio, they know how to make space and avoid exclusion. Anna is in the middle for the most part, the boys just touching where they can, but a few times Skandar does end up against Will or with Will against him, and those brief moments make him buzz with anticipation.

But it's as frustrating as it is satisfying, as there's only so far you can go in public and after a certain amount of time Skandar starts to feel like this is the longest foreplay ever. At various times through the night, he's been half-hard against Anna's thigh, against her crotch, against Will's arse, against what he's pretty sure was Will's equally-growing erection. He's not sure it's particularly healthy for his body, either, to keep having an erection flipped on and off like a light switch, and eventually he just can't take it anymore.

"I think we need to get a taxi," he says, lips to Anna's ear, and he tightens his grip on Will's hands, which are clutching her hips.

Once again, the three of them hold hands, forming a line with Skandar at the front as they snake their way through to the club's exit.

***

In the taxi, it proves somewhat difficult to keep their hands off each other. Skandar is just so desperate to touch them, and for them to touch him. And in the club, that was okay as long as they were dancing, like everybody else. But Skandar wants—needs—more, and he's finding it difficult to care about their cab driver's personal comfort.

So he ends up nuzzling Anna's neck, pressing clumsy kisses to her hot skin as he slumps against her in the backseat, while Will's hand clutches at his thigh and Skandar tries to pull it closer to his crotch.

That's pretty much the position they're in when they reach some traffic lights and the taxi driver peers in the rear-view mirror at them, and then again, and then clears his throat and decides, for some reason, that it's not an awkward moment to start speaking.

"'Ere, sorry, but you're not from that Narnia film are yous?" is what he says.

Shit. Skandar heaves a sigh against Anna's shoulder and just shuts his eyes, utterly unable to come up with an appropriate response to that. He can't even be bothered thinking about what would be appropriate, so he just leaves that up to the others.

Luckily, Anna pulls through. "Which one of us?" she asks, patting Skandar on the head comfortingly and making him feel quite sleepy.

"Er," says the man, taken aback. He drives on as the lights turn green, and then looks at them in the rear-view mirror again, kind of studying their faces in the dim light.

Skandar tries very, very hard not to laugh, and fails.

"You, sweetheart," the driver says finally, pointing to Anna over his shoulder with his thumb. "You look like a film star."

Skandar's pretty sure he actually winks after this statement, which is just astoundingly gross. But Anna only giggles.

"Oh, no," she says, turning her head and kissing Skandar softly (possibly just to shut him up). "No," she says, still looking at Skandar and not at Mr. Creepy Cabbie, "you must be confusing me with someone else."

"Oh, ah," the man says, frowning to himself as he drives on.

Anna grins and kisses Skandar again, easing her tongue through the seam of his lips as her hand cradles his face. Will rests against Skandar's shoulder, kisses it through the sweaty fabric of his t-shirt and then hitches it up to kiss the skin. The cab driver clears his throat again and turns up the radio.

Skandar really doesn't think he's one for exhibitionism (though tonight seems to be making him question this stance rather a lot), but there's definitely something exciting about behaving like this in the back of a cab. Right in front of (or rather, right behind) a total stranger. He's hard again already, too drunk to try not to be, and Will's hand keeps skimming the crotch of his jeans teasingly.

Luckily for everybody, the drive to Will's flat isn't that far, and it's not long before they're stepping back out into the cool air, clothes somewhat crumpled as they pay the taxi driver. Skandar feels like maybe they should tip a bit extra as an apology for their behaviour. But then—

"Coulda sworn I seen you on a DVD somewhere," the driver says, shaking his head like he's trying to bring a memory to the forefront of his mind.

Anna, hands on her hips, bends down to look at him through the window. "Which one of us?" she asks, smirking, and then turns on her heel and pulls the two of them after her.

"Finally, home," Will grins, heaving his body against the doors.

But actually getting inside, and up to Will's own flat, proves to be difficult.

Skandar sniggers. "I think you need to actually unlock that, Will."

Will sighs dramatically, pulling himself back up and fumbling around in his pockets for his keys for what feels like a good five minutes before finally waving something in the general direction of some kind of sensor.

"That's it," Will announces, after throwing his whole weight against the door determinedly and letting the others through, "that's it for my responsibility tonight, I'm too drunk for this."

"For doors?" Anna enquires.

This leaves Skandar in charge of getting them into the lift and pressing the unnecessarily complicated pattern of buttons required for getting to Will's floor. When he finally succeeds and they're on their way up, it feels like a genuine achievement.

"You're so drunk, Skandar," Anna giggles, bumping him with her hip. He sways gently, feels the cool surface of a mirror against his arm.

"Not too drunk to get it up," Will points out, smirking, and Skandar half-heartedly cups his hands over his crotch, grinning at Will sheepishly. "He's been hard since we were in the taxi."

"I thought you were walking funny," Anna grins, and Skandar reddens, but then she's nuzzling up to him, prying his hands away and replacing them with her own in a much more firm touch, caressing the hot hard shape of his dick through his trousers.

He says something that sounds, to his own ears, like "fffff," and then moves in to kiss her, but she turns at that same moment to look at Will and beckon him towards them. Will's hand joins Anna's between Skandar's legs, and Skandar sort of whimpers, head rolling back against the mirror.

The lift pings as they reach their floor, and Skandar groans. The three of them stumble out, nearly tripping over as they try to walk and be all over each other at the same time.

"I don't think—" says Anna breathily, in between kisses to Will's bare shoulders and Skandar's neck, "I can make it," she stops abruptly, leans back against the wall and pulls them in towards her, "inside," she murmurs finally.

"No," agrees Skandar. He clears his throat, pulls her closer, his sweaty palm against the soft silk of her slip.

She nuzzles into his shoulder, leaves a smudge of pinkish lip-gloss on his shirt. Their lips meet clumsily, and he can hardly take it, even just a kiss, feels like he could come in his pants right here just from her tongue in his mouth and the heat of her body against his.

"It's only about," Will whispers, "five more metres."

He's tugging at Anna's slip. She shakes her head, turns away from Skandar to look at Will. "Uh-uh," she says firmly, "five metres is five metres too far."

She loops her arms around his neck and kisses him against his giggly protests, while Skandar aches at the loss of touch. Anna backs Will into Skandar, who lets out a surprised little "oof" and then grasps Will's hips, his hard-on pressing up against him. He snakes a clumsy hand round in front, his cheek against the back of Will's neck. He feels growing stiffness against his palm and smiles into hot skin.

He knows that the corridor of Will's flat is hardly private (no matter how beautifully deserted it is right now), but after a night of busy party, of crowded club, and of an inconveniently nosy cab driver, it feels as private as a locked bedroom.

"You were okay with a dance floor and the back of a taxi," he points out to an anxious-seeming Will, "but now we're in an empty corridor you're getting modest?"

"My neighbours," Will whimpers weakly against Anna's mouth.

"This is England," Anna murmurs soothingly back. "You haven't even ever spoken to your neighbours."

"Exactly," Will protests, as Skandar starts fiddling with that ridiculous ram's head belt buckle of his. "I don't think this is the best circumstance for our first meeting."

"No?" says Anna, laughing softly. Skandar watches over Will's shoulder as she takes Will's hand and brings it to the hem of her slip, slides it slowly up her thigh.

Will's voice gets decidedly more strained now. "Hello, yes, terribly sorry, was I making too much noise with my impromptu ménage a trois outside your front door? I'm Will, by the way, I moved in at least a month ago, nice to meet you, yes, I'll take my debauchery away now."

As Anna chuckles and Will shushes her, Skandar wonders how Will is managing French at a time like this. He decides he's going to have to put a stop to that. Or he would, if he could get this damn belt buckle undone.

"We can do whatever you want when we get inside," Will promises in a hurried whisper. "Just, can we please try to hobble to the door?"

"But I'm so—" Skandar mumbles.

He's so hard now he's honestly not sure he can walk—or even hobble—and he can't seem to stop his hips from bucking up against available surfaces.

"I know," Will says, "you're jabbing me in the back."

Anna giggles, and reaches round Will, wedging her hand between them. The movement of her hand sliding down against Skandar's crotch makes him groan and also maybe flail a little bit.

"Wow, you really are," Anna murmurs, and her voice sounds sort of thick, low. "I don't know if I've ever felt you so hard, it's like a rock."

"Anna-a-a," Skandar manages weakly, canting his hips up and only meeting more of the heat and the friction.

Will eases himself out of the way and they close in on either side of Skandar, hands roaming, Will's worries about his neighbours long forgotten.

"God, I want to feel you," Anna mutters, and her hot cheek touches his as she speaks against his ear, her messy hair tickling his nose. He tenses, tries to get a grip. "I'm sorry, Will, I just—"

She's got one of his thighs between both of hers, and she's practically rubbing against him, clearly desperate for friction just as much as he is. She's got his fly undone in the blink of an eye, and he's breathing so quick and shaky he sounds like he's hyperventilating as she fumbles for his cock. He reaches down too, almost embarrassed at how fucking hard he is, but she gets there first, hand pushing down inside his boxers and wrapping around him. He breathes in sharply, so suddenly he almost chokes on his own saliva, and Will chuckles softly, dips, kisses his neck.

"Will, I'm—" Skandar chokes out.

"I know," Will says again, stroking a reassuring hand against his chest, "me too."

Anna pulls him out, squeezing him at the base, firm and steady. "God, Skandar," she breathes. Her fist slides up, lubricated only with sweat, the friction too intense.

"Just—" he starts, but he doesn't know what to say, doesn't know what he wants her to do.

He looks down. He doesn't usually like looking at himself during sex, gets embarrassed about things, but right now he can see the slick, wet, flushed head of his cock pushing through Anna's clenched fist, and it looks so hot he can barely handle it.

"Will, look, feel," Anna says brokenly, and Skandar's never heard her voice so husky before.

Will's hand trails down Skandar's stomach, and Skandar feels like his legs are actually about to give way when Will's fingers replace Anna's, curling around his aching erection.

Will keeps still, but smiles against Skandar's neck. "I...I missed this dick," he says, quiet, a little shy, and Skandar flushes and shuts his eyes, almost wants to turn away.

"Will," he says, blushing hotly now, a nervous sort of laugh bubbling up from his chest.

Anna's hand finds its way down to his balls, sort of cups them, and then she's stroking behind them, fingertips almost at his arse. He squirms against the wall, and Anna's eyes flick up to him. She offers a smile, which he returns with what feels like Herculean effort, finding it almost impossible to focus on anything besides what's going on between his legs right now. Anna kisses his jaw, and he feels the soft plump shape of her lips against his skin and tries to relax.

But then she's pressing down with her fingers and Will's thumb sweeps over the head of Skandar's cock, wet with pre-cum, and Skandar's body practically spasms. He grips Will's hip and Anna's waist like he's holding onto them for dear life, and shudders with orgasm, hips jerking up as he shoots in three hot pulses over Will's hand and Anna's arm and pretty much everything in the near vicinity.

He's pretty sure the corridor is actually spinning around them, but he's too dazed to worry about it, and decides to just stay slumped against the wall gazing at the ceiling until it stops.

"Er—ah," Anna says quietly.

"Oh," Will adds, sounding disappointed.

"It's okay, it's okay," Skandar pants, "I can go again," he assures them.

"Can it be inside?" Will asks.

"I think that'd be a good idea," Anna agrees, and points to a small, wet, whitish spot on the carpet about a foot in front of them.

"I—wow," is all Skandar can manage, as Will hurriedly scuffs his shoe on it, presumably to avoid offending his neighbours' delicate sensibilities tomorrow morning.

"Inside," Will says, "assuming you can walk."

"I...think so," Skandar says.

He tucks his cock back inside his boxers, trying to ignore the discomfort of it, damp and sticky, and takes a few experimental steps forward. His legs are like jelly, but they do seem to be holding up.

"Inside!" he says triumphantly and a little too loudly, pointing at a nearby door.

"Shh! That's not mine!" Will hisses frantically, and pushes him onwards, Anna giggling and trotting after them.

***

"Ah, bed," Skandar says, after they've managed to get through Will's flat to the bedroom. "How I've missed you."

He flops down onto it, headfirst, and nuzzles the duvet.

"Okay," says Will, his tone suddenly businesslike. "It's your leaving party, what do you want?"

Skandar rolls over lazily and gazes up at him. "A moment to recover," he replies, and then adds, "also, some sex, please."

Anna laughs and Will rolls his eyes. "That's kind of a given, you goof," Will says, causing Anna to laugh even harder.

The two of them join Skandar on the bed, curling up to him, and Skandar's tired, he can actually imagine just going to sleep with them like this. Only, he refuses to leave with only the memory of something that can barely be classified as a handjob.

Will nudges him. "Go on, tell us what you want. It's up to you."

Skandar stretches, rolls over to face him. "I don't know. Just sex."

"You never say," Will sighs exasperatedly. "You never really talk about it. Unless I make you."

Skandar flashes back to that day, the two of them entangled on the sofa, Will urging the words out of him, getting him to describe his first time alone with Anna. He starts blushing just at the memory of it and groans.

"I'm sorry I don't talk dirty enough for you, Will," he says scathingly. "Maybe I just don't see the point in talking about it when I can do it instead."

"Doing is good," Anna pipes up, snuggling up behind him.

"Well, maybe we'll just lie here and you'll have to make the decisions," Will says with a shrug, lying back.

"Yes, I'll have no choice but to describe what I want to do to you," Skandar replies, voice heavy with sarcasm.

He pulls himself up and turns around, sitting between the two of them. Anna's slip is hitched up, and her tights are torn from her knee right up to where he can no longer see the rip.

"Is that a ladder in your tights," Skandar says drunkenly, following its path with his fingertip and making her giggle, "or a stairway to heaven?"

Just then, his phone buzzes in his pocket and makes him jump.

"Is that something you can put to good use, or is it just your phone?" Anna retorts.

Skandar sighs and fishes it out, peering at the screen. "Georgie is asking me how Will's ankle is," he says, frowning. He actually has four missed texts from her saying this, getting increasingly more capitalised.

"How my what?" asks Will, sitting up.

"Ankle is," Skandar repeats. He shrugs and tosses his phone aside. "She's probably just being weird. Where were we?"

"Something about stairways to heaven," Anna smirks.

"Oh, of course," Skandar grins devilishly, tracing the ladder in her tights once again, following it right up underneath her slip and feeling the silky softness of her knickers through the tear. The damp silky softness. "You're so wet," he breathes out, fingers stroking gently through the fabric.

"You can't talk, mister, you were hard as a steel pipe a minute ago," she snaps back, but her face is flushed and her legs fall apart for him almost of their own accord as he carries on gently rubbing his fingers against her.

"Speaking of steel pipes," Will chimes in, flopping back down on the bed and pointing at his own crotch with a sheepish grin.

Skandar reaches over with his other hand, strokes the bulge in Will's skinny jeans, feels the stiff heat of it against his palm.

"This is gonna be a serious test of my multi-tasking skills," he says uncertainly, hooking his fingers into Anna's knickers and simultaneously picking at Will's belt buckle. "How about you deal with your—chastity belt, and I'll—"

Anna bursts out laughing and Will glowers, batting Skandar's hand away. Skandar peels Anna's tights down, giggling as she gleefully kicks off her shoes and watches them bounce off Will's bedroom wall. He pushes up her slip and starts to pull down her knickers, and he can't help himself—he buries his face between her thighs, presses his lips to soft damp hair and listens to her gasp. He grows hard again already, breathes in her scent, kisses her there.

"Skandarrrrr," Will groans, and giving him a sideways glance Skandar sees that he's stripped off completely already.

"C'mere," Skandar mumbles, "'cause I don't wanna move."

Will shuffles over, and Skandar reaches over 'til he feels the hard length of Will's dick, resting heavy and hot against his stomach. He brushes his hand against it then pulls back, chuckling when Will makes a frustrated noise in his throat. He brings that same hand down between Anna's legs, strokes it right along her, gathers her wetness on his fingertips. She whimpers, grabs at his shoulder, but he goes back to Will, curls his slick fingers around Will's cock, strokes smoothly up and down, savours the thick feel of him in his hand.

Anna is writhing a little beside him, bucking up against his mouth, and so he pokes out his tongue, slides it over her and tastes her, shudders a little when she moans out loud. He's only done this once before, and it's one of the things that scares him the most, makes him feel like he's really out of his depth. It doesn't come naturally, but he loves it, loves being down between her legs like this and pressing his mouth to her, suckling her clit and coaxing his tongue inside her.

Will is getting restless too, hips thrusting up off the bed's surface so he's fucking Skandar's fist slowly. It's making a sound, slick and dirty, and Skandar feels his face go hot as he nuzzles between Anna's legs, licks and licks at her, pressing his erection into the mattress. Her fingers grapple at his head, stroke, suddenly grasp a handful of hair as his tongue slides over her swollen clit.

Greedy, he eases out of her grip, replaces his tongue with some trembling fingers and crosses over to Will, leans in over him, bumps his lips gently against the straining length of his cock. The skin clings, hot and slick, Anna's smell mingling with Will's, and Skandar rubs himself against the bed, crumples the duvet beneath him. He kisses the head of Will's dick, the shiny-smoothness of it, his heart pounding in his ears. He breathes in, out, in, out, and then takes Will between his lips, sucks him into his mouth at the same time as he sinks a finger deep inside Anna, feels her pulse around him, soaking wet.

He sucks Will messily, too drunk and too needy to make it perfect, his mouth smeared with spit and pre-cum before long. Will is moaning, fingers grazing Skandar's shoulder, and Skandar tries to keep up, bobbing his head as he fucks Anna with his finger, thrusts in and out of her and presses the heel of his hand to her clit. Out of the corner of his eye he sees her fumble blindly for something to grab hold of and find Will's hand. They clutch each other tightly and Skandar works on them like it's the very last time.

He's jerking Will off with a spit-slick hand, fucking Anna with two fingers and lapping at her clit when she stops him. A flexing of her hand around his shoulder and then a breathless, "I—I—Skandar—"

He stops, pulls back, almost gulping for air, still fully-dressed and too hot and so desperately turned-on that it feels like the room is spinning.

"I need you inside," she murmurs, words blurring together.

"Yeah?"

"Yeah," she nods, swallows, and he sits up, pulls his shirt over his head and hurriedly yanks off the rest of his clothes.

She's wriggling out of her slip, struggling to get it up over her breasts, and then unclasping her bra behind her back. Her breasts sway free, heavy, nipples pink and hard, and Will tackles her onto the bed, covers her with kisses, his cock pressing against her thigh.

She giggles, writhes beneath him. Skandar hops off the bed and crouches down on the floor, pulling out the drawer under the bed and rummaging around for condoms and lube. Finding them, he leaps back onto the bed and is just getting the packet undone when there's a loud, insistent buzz.

"Oh my god, Georgie, Will's ankle is fine," Skandar groans, leaning across Will and Anna's entwined legs for his phone.

"She's so weird," Anna says absentmindedly, hooking her chin over Will's shoulder to watch as Skandar checks his messages.

"It's Tilda," he says. "She says she told everyone Will tripped over and we took him to A&E in case his ankle was broken," he explains, reading the text, "and, um," he smiles, "she also tells us not to do anything she wouldn't do."

"I think that leaves very little," Anna points out. "Can we have sex now please?"

"I—hang on," Skandar says, "let me just reply. I should probably tell Georgie we're okay, too."

Anna heaves a sigh, and Will laughs, reaching down between her legs and stroking her. Anna makes a vague sort of "nnnn" noise, which is surprisingly distracting when one is trying to respond to text messages.

"Okay!" Skandar announces after tapping out what he's pretty sure were the quickest texts in the history of the universe. He practically tears a condom out of its packet, and puts it on while crawling over to Anna.

She hooks her legs around him, pulls him in so that the head of his dick brushes against her, so hot and pink, wet. She's lying back, arms up behind her head, resting against a pillow, and she looks so gorgeous, so relaxed and natural and at ease. She crosses her feet behind his back and her breasts sway with the movement. He just looks at her, the tangled mass of dark hair around her gorgeous face, her sleepy smile, pink cheeks, her eyelids lowered. He strokes a hand down her torso, teases a nipple between his thumb and fingertip, traces patterns over her pale belly, twirls the dark hair between her legs.

Bzzzzzz.

"Oh my god!" Anna cries, bringing a pillow down over her face and groaning into it with frustration.

Skandar fumbles behind him for his phone, peers at it. "It's Tilda."

"Are we seriously being cockblocked by Tilda?" Will asks.

"Did you seriously just say 'cockblocked'?" Anna asks, voice muffled against her pillow.

"These are both important questions," says Skandar, "as is Tilda's, which I'm not going to repeat right now, but the most important thing is—"

"Is what?" Will asks, his eyes seeming to twinkle mischievously.

"The matter at hand," Skandar replies with a smirk. He throws his phone over his shoulder, hears it land with a clunk on the floor, and then pulls the pillow from Anna's face and sends it in the same direction.

Will settles down beside Anna, rests his head on her chest and watches, watches as Skandar starts to ease himself inside her. He can't help but moan with each tight, hot inch that envelopes him, and Will's hand slips down to where they join just to feel it.

"Ohhhhh, fuuuuck," Skandar groans when she's all around him, and she's grabbing at his hips, fingers kneading his arse.

"Good?" Will murmurs, nips at Anna's nipple with his teeth and makes her body jolt, her cunt clenching tight around Skandar.

"So good," Skandar almost sobs, holding Anna tight by the waist, pulling her down on him so he's as deep as can be.

When he leans down over her, starts fucking her, he finds himself hovering right over Will, and they kiss, soft and then sloppy. Anna moans beside them and Skandar kisses her, now, thrusts his hips faster, harder. Will's hand is down between their stomachs, sneaking down further still and then he's pushing a finger inside Anna, alongside Skandar's cock, and she shudders, clutches him tighter.

He straightens back up, everything too close and too hot all of a sudden, claustrophobic, and he throws back his head as he fucks her, hips pistoning back and forth, Will's finger keeping up with his pace and making everything even tighter and hotter. He can hear the slick sound of Will's hand against his own cock, and then there's movement, the bed creaking and mattress wobbling beneath them. When he opens his eyes, Will is in front of him, standing over Anna with his cock right at Skandar's lips.

Skandar grins up at him and sucks him right in, feels his lips stretch around the taut flesh. He brings his mouth back and forth, strokes his tongue over the smooth head, the ridge, that one vein on the underside. With one hand, he pats the bed aimlessly, trying to find the lube. Eventually his hand lands on a tube and he scrabbles with it for a while before managing to get the cap off and his fingers greased. Taking Will as deep into his mouth as he can, and letting Anna bring herself down on him, fucking herself on his cock, he reaches round to Will's arse.

He slides a finger down, waits and feels the heat against his skin for a moment, then the tight resistance as he pushes inside, gentle and slow but persistent, feeling Will's cock grow even harder in his mouth. He tries to find a rhythm, then, between his hips, his mouth and his finger, but he's clumsy from the alcohol and arousal, and he fails for the most part. But it doesn't matter—Will is grasping at his head and groaning, while Anna is moving with him, meeting his thrusts, making these little weak noises all the while. And he has her tight heat wrapped around him and the thick, hard shape of Will's cock in his mouth, the taste of him on his tongue, his finger held tight to the knuckle. And he has no idea how he's supposed to live without this, how he ever did.

Will's eyes are pricking with tears as he looks down, fingers tangled in Skandar's sweaty curls. He pulls out and Skandar wipes his wet mouth and looks up at him, lips curled into a crooked grin.

"Fuck," he says. Eloquent.

"Yeah," Will nods. He strokes his hand down, curls his finger around the hair at the nape of Skandar's neck. "I—can we—?"

"Yeah," says Skandar, nodding. Their eyes are fixed, he has to force himself to look away. "Yeah, Anna, can we—?"

"Yeah," she says, grinning, pulling herself up off him.

Skandar wipes his forehead with the back of his hand, feeling almost dizzy. Will disentangles himself, and Skandar reaches down between his legs to take his condom off.

"Do we have to—fuck, I can't—is it—" he stammers. His phone buzzes. Will throws something in its general direction. "I'm—ack."

Will looks just as flustered, but he laughs, pulls Skandar's condom off and replaces it with a new one, kisses him and strokes a hot hand down his back soothingly. Skandar smiles against his mouth, pushes him down onto his back and flips his legs up, ducking down to kiss the inside of his thighs, the base of his hard cock, his heavy balls, even that spot that Anna rubbed on him earlier that felt so amazing.

But Will pushes him off, sits up and wrestles Skandar down onto his back, straddling him with a cocky sort of grin.

"This is your send-off," he says, "you shouldn't have to do all the work."

"Yeah, like this is work," Skandar laughs.

But then Will is looping loose fingers around Skandar's cock and carefully bringing it into place, a hot smear of skin on skin and then that first push inside that makes Skandar's body jolt almost involuntarily.

"Stay still," Will says with a hint of a smile. Anna takes hold of Skandar's wrists playfully, pins him to the bed.

"Oh, that's easy for you to say," Skandar retorts, and then makes a noise and struggles a bit as Will lowers himself a little bit further, gasps and tosses back his head.

"Shut up," Will adds coolly.

Anna lets go of one of Skandar's wrists, clamps her hand over his mouth instead. He licks her palm obnoxiously, and she raises her eyebrows and purses her lips at him, before letting go of him altogether and clambering on top of him, sitting right down on him and holding him still with her weight. He can feel the slick heat of her cunt against his chest, the gentle throb of it matching the pounding of his heart.

Skandar's phone buzzes pathetically from somewhere on the floor, and when he starts to laugh, Anna says, "Ah—" and places her finger firmly to his lips to silence him. He rolls his eyes, and then Will is sliding down onto him in one movement, so tight and so hot that he can't help but cry out just a little.

Anna turns, swings around to face away from him and budges back until she's almost straddling his face. He tilts his chin, tries to reach her, but then Will makes a shaky little sound and starts to move, and Skandar's brain short-circuits. Anna brings herself gently down to his mouth and he parts his lips, tongue flickering out unsteadily against her, not sure how much of this he can take at once.

He doesn't seem to get a choice, though, because in seconds Will is riding him, so hard he can hear the slap of skin on skin and feel Will's erection smack down against his stomach with each heave. And the moment Skandar touches Anna's clit, finds the hard little nub against his tongue, she's moaning deep and low and unreserved, unable to hold herself up and almost smothering him. It's too much, too good, and he can't do anything but enjoy it, work his tongue against Anna until it aches, and then keep going, thrusting his hips desperately up as Will rides him at an erratic pace.

His hands slide over Will's hips, over Anna's, clutch at her stomach as his tongue pushes inside her and he mouths at her eagerly. He can't see either of them but somehow only being able to hear them makes it even hotter; he knows that they're kissing, that Anna's jerking Will off as the two of them ride him. And he knows when Will comes, feels the clench, the tension, the shudder and the sudden hot spray across his chest. Will moans mostly into Anna's mouth, and Skandar holds him tight, eases him through it, even as Anna starts to tremble against his tongue.

Feeling them both come brings his orgasm on faster, and it's a matter of seconds before it's rocketing through him, leaving him to mouth wordlessly at slick skin and pump his hips weakly up, up, up. Despite the fact that it's his second orgasm tonight, he still loses feeling in his fingers and his toes, and his brain goes completely foggy.

They get up off him to let him breathe—or rather, pant—and they clean him up, giggling, kissing him gently and pottering back and forth with towels and things. The first thing Skandar notices when he feels properly conscious is Anna standing against the wall, naked, eating a muffin.

"I was hungry," she says, "do you want some?"

After muffins, water, and some brief bedtime bathing, they're back in bed, snuggled up together under a thin sheet with the window open, too hot. Skandar is between Will and Anna, and he savours that feeling, the lovely naked closeness of their bodies against his, because he knows he's not going to feel it again for a long, long time.

Somewhere in the room, his phone buzzes to itself.

***

They come to the airport a few days later to see him off, Will limping ridiculously to keep up their pretence.

"So you thought it might be broken, but it's fine?" Ben is saying to him doubtfully as Skandar hugs various people goodbye.

"Yeah, well, I mean, it's sprained," Will says, chuckling, and Skandar wishes Tilda had picked a less terrible liar to be the one with the injured ankle, "but you know me—drama queen."

"Indeed," Ben says, strangely meaningfully. "Well, bye then?"

Skandar watches the two of them hug, and then as Ben heads off, gives Will a slightly anxious smile. Will pulls him into a tight, fierce, unself-conscious hug.

"I'm gonna miss you," he says into Skandar's neck.

"Duh," Skandar says back, but holds him close, whispers, "me too," into his ear.

Anna stands beside them and he catches her eye. She's fidgeting, watching them, a forced smile on her face.

"Group hug?" Skandar offers, retracting one arm to pull her in towards the two of them.

She giggles, buries her face in his chest, and he squeezes her tight.

"Come visit really soon," he says, trying to keep talking so he doesn't cry or something stupid like that. "Like, right away."

"We will," Anna assures him. "As soon as we can, I promise."

"I'm gonna miss you so much," Will frets.

Skandar laughs, ruffles Will's hair, wishes he could kiss him. "You said that," he reminds him.

"But I—"

"I know," Skandar interrupts. "Me too."

"Me too," Anna chimes in.

"I think they're waiting for me," Skandar whispers after a moment.

"Your Mum is giving us funny looks," Anna informs him. "You've spent longer hugging us than you have hugging her."

"SURPRISE GEORGIE ATTACK!" comes a sudden shriek, a split-second before the three of them are pounced on and the group hug gets even bigger.

"Is this a new thing we're doing now?" Georgie asks, wriggling between Anna and Will. "Because it's kind of soppy." Anna elbows her in the ribs, and she squeals. "Ben!! Anna's hurting me!"

"I forgot how hyper she gets in airports," Anna sighs.

Ben comes over, Will Poulter shuffling after him. "Are you leaving me out of a group hug?" Ben asks, sounding hurt. "But I thought that was our new thing."

"It was our new thing," Skandar whispers to Will and Anna.

"In a way," Will whispers back.

"Now they're whispering," Georgie pouts.

Ben's arms suddenly envelope them, and they all bump and knock against each other, laughing.

"Gooooo Pevensies!" Georgie cheers, grinning.

"Go Pevensies!" Will, Skandar and Anna echo, grinning bravely at each other.

"And whatever Caspian's last name is," Ben adds.

"And whatever Caspian's last name is!"

"And also Scrubb," Ben says, following a slightly awkward pause. Skandar cranes his neck as Ben gestures to Will Poulter to join them.

"Join the hug, Scrubb!" Georgie giggles.

"Oh, I don't know," Will says, scuffing his feet. He smiles shyly, jokes, "I mean, you lot haven't even bought me dinner yet..."

Georgie snorts and she and Ben grab a hold of him and bundle him into the huddle.

"I think they've been waiting for us for like ten minutes," Skandar points out after a moment.

Georgie breaks free. "Hold the plane!" she calls to no one in particular, and then trots off to give her parents one last goodbye. Skandar laughs, forces himself to pull away and shakes his head to try and get that stinging feeling out of his sinuses. He goes to hug his Mum and Dad and sister once more, and then heads down the aisle to security with Ben, Georgie, and Will P.

He keeps turning back, waving, as Will and Anna get smaller and smaller, and then, finally, disappear from view.

This is the first real test of their relationship, and he's not at all sure he's prepared.