Prompt-story that came about as a result of driving the TQ Social LJ, 07/24/09 Enjoy, and comments are always welcome!
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In the grand scheme of things, Peter didn’t suppose it mattered that Charlie had painted the living room sea foam green. Okay, it was kind of girly, mostly because Charlie insisted on calling the color by name… and maybe because it wasn’t a strong, bold kind of green. Even so, Charlie wasn’t exactly the cars and sports kind of guy, no matter what he looked like, so maybe it made sense.
Of course, Charlie also wasn’t the “proposition his best friend” kind of guy, either, but he’d for damned sure just finished doing so. At least, Peter thought he had. Or else it was the vodka. The clear liquid for damned sure had a way of coloring Peter’s perceptions.
“What?” he demanded, his eyes most likely wide. They felt like they were wide, anyway, so chances were… yeah. “What?” He said it again, louder, as the first peal of thunder tried to drown him out. “Dude! Seriously, that’s…”
“Hot?” Charlie suggested, and damn. When had Charlie moved so much closer? “Come on, Petey. You can’t tell me you’ve never thought about it. You. Me. Silk sheets and lube. I mean, I’m totally your type. I’ve seen what you go after at the Club.”
Well, that was true enough, though Peter hadn’t really thought about it. He couldn’t pretend that he didn’t go for short, stocky guys with at least some red in their hair and soft brown eyes that looked like warm chocolate. Couldn’t even try to claim that short and stocky and muscled, with just the right amount of chest hair, did anything but flip his switch. Yeah, Charlie knew his type. But as right as Charlie was, Peter knew his friend was completely wrong in one very important way.
“The fuck I can’t tell you I haven’t thought about it, man! Because I haven’t! Shit, you’re my best friend. I don’t think about hooking up with you, Charlie! Like, ever!” Because that was true, too. Peter hadn’t ever let himself consider it. Not even once in the ten years he and Charlie had been more or less inseparable. He’d never been willing to punish himself by thinking about it.
Except that one night, maybe a week earlier, because Peter hadn’t known Charlie was going to be at the Club and when he’d seen red hair and that build from behind, broad shoulders tapering down to an ass that was just round enough but not too round, Peter had been stoked. Until the hottie with the body turned around and Peter saw it was Charlie, out of work early and ready to party.
But that had been a fluke, Peter told himself sternly. He’d noticed Charlie by accident that night, and Charlie wasn’t serious, anyway. Was looking for some friends-who-fucked thing, and… no. Sex only screwed up friendships, and Peter had way too much time invested in Charlie to go fucking around with the guy and fucking things up. To take that step and lose the little bit he had.
“Dude. Seriously,” he added, pouring another inch or so of clear booze into his glass, “that’s like… the worst idea ever, okay? Worse than the time you stuck maxi pads to Professor Kearney’s dog, back in college.”
Charlie laughed, but it sounded weird through the alcohol in Peter’s system. “It was only one maxi pad,” Charlie said, just as another clap of thunder burst somewhere nearby. “I mean, come on! Kearney’s chihuahua wasn’t big enough for any more. Besides, the poor little bald thing needed some protection from the rain.”
Peter snorted. “Yeah, well. You’re just lucky he never figured out it was you. Uh, Kearney, not the dog. Anyway…” Anyway, Peter would be damned if he would lose Charlie just because he couldn’t keep it in his pants. Better to admire from… well, not afar, but not a-near, either. No touching, and barely any looking because God knew what Charlie would see in his eyes if Peter ever let himself really look.
“Anyway,” Charlie picked up for him, and for about a second, Peter thought the whole insane notion of the two of them — together — had been forgotten. Then Charlie went on.
“I don’t think it’s a bad idea, Petey,” Charlie said, his tone sort of wistful, which was weird. “I mean, just think about it. We already know each other’s bad habits. We spend most of our time together anyway. And…” Charlie sighed and shook his head, then leaned against the TV in what Peter knew was a studied pose. Charlie’s patented ‘hot-as-sin-and-twice-as-ready” pose that worked incredibly well at the bar.
“And what?” Because Peter was suddenly curious about what the hell had gotten into his best friend. Except those were maybe not the best words to be using, even in his own booze-softened brain.
“And don’t you get tired of it?” Charlie finally burst out with, his eyes sort of sad but also sort of hopeful, as far as Peter could see. “Trawling around the fucking Club, looking for… whatever the fuck. A warm body, or maybe just someone to hold on to so you won’t feel so alone. And did you ever wonder why we never find anyone for more than a night or two? Because I do, Petey! I wonder. And I think I finally figured it out, okay?”
Oh, man. Charlie was worked up. And not in the get-out-and-find-a-fuck way, either, which couldn’t be good. Peter knew that much, even as he ignored the little voice in his head that said he should lay off the vodka. Swallowing what was in his glass shut that voice up, anyway.
A little bit hazy, his eyes met Charlie’s again, then skated away from the need he imagined written so clearly there. It was an illusion. It had to be. Charlie couldn’t need him. Couldn’t want him. Peter knew that much. So he was imagining the want and heat and desire. There was no other possibility. “Tell me you’re not off your meds, man.”
“My meds.” Charlie laughed, a touch of bitterness in his voice. “You say that like a prescription for valium is something I should be on, twenty-four seven. At least, you do when I’m saying something you don’t want to hear.” Charlie frowned, then sighed slow and deep. “Never mind,” he added after a moment, and the come-hither pose melted away. “Just… forget it, Peter. I’m not going to rant and rave, no matter how much you obviously want me to. I’m not a hysterical queen. I… I guess I figured I’d give it a shot, you know? Try to tell you how I feel. But you don’t want to hear it and I’m tired, okay? So let’s just pretend everything’s fine and I never tried to tell you I love you. It’s not like you’d remember it anyway, with nearly half a bottle of vodka in you.”
Good, Peter thought. Good. At least Charlie wasn’t going to keep pushing until Peter gave in. Wasn’t going to ruin the buzz floating through him or their friendship. “Cool,” he mumbled, giving Charlie a smile, even while something inside told him he’d fucked up. He hadn’t, though. Couldn’t have. Because Charlie didn’t mean it. Peter knew that much. And he couldn’t take the chance that believing Charlie’s words would lead to regrets and heartache in the morning. It would kill him if that happened, Peter figured. Even more than the hangover would probably do.
Another sigh, softer and mostly covered by the closing weather, and Charlie offered up a sad smile. “No, Peter,” he said softly, the words clear and sharp as glass in the silence between rolls of thunder. “It’s really, really not cool. I… it’s not cool at all. I. Fuck it. I’m going to bed.”
“Whatever, man,” Peter mumbled, his head drooping against the back of the couch, eyes closing as the room started to spin just a little. “Dude. ‘night.”
He woke hours later, as the thunderstorm crashed outside, loud peals and brilliant flashes lighting the heavy rain he could see through the balcony door. God, his head hurt. Hell, his whole body hurt. And the power was out because the nightlight in the hall that led to the bathroom wasn’t on, and the DVD player was entirely dark. “God,” he groaned, even as he forced himself to stand.
He was still wearing his sneakers, Peter noticed. Sneakers and socks, jeans and t-shirt. Maybe he’d stayed up after Charlie’d gone to bed. Charlie usually pulled Peter’s shoes off, otherwise.
It wasn’t until he was in the dark-as-pitch bathroom taking a leak by the light of the flashes outside the small window that Peter remembered.
He thought maybe his heart stopped. Turned to stone or something equally dramatic. Or else he was just that dehydrated, but Peter knew better. He knew the little voice that had been dulled by straight vodka had been right, too, because he’d for damned sure fucked up.
Charlie had offered him… everything. And he’d thrown it right back in the guy’s face. The worst part was that he didn’t even know why.
“Jesus,” he whispered, another flash of lightning showing him his own bloodshot, overly pale face in the mirror, in stark relief. “He must fucking hate me right now.” Which only made sense, because Peter kind of hated himself at the moment.
Christ. Charlie, standing there, trying to say exactly what Peter had never really had any hope of hearing, and… oh, yeah. He’d be lucky if Charlie ever spoke to him again. Hell, Charlie had called him Peter. For the first time since the day they’d met in the ninth grade, when they’d recognized something in each other that was different from the other guys at school. And Charlie had said…
“Oh, God. He said he loves me. Loves me. Or he tried to and I just…” Peter’s whisper was lost in another burst of storming from outside, but that didn’t make it any less true. It didn’t make his own thoughts on sex between friends less true, either, but… what if it wasn’t just sex, because what he could remember of Charlie’s words had sounded like more. And okay, he didn’t remember all of what Charlie had said, but he remembered enough.
He remembered “love” and “tired of fucking around” or something to that effect and God, Peter was, too. He’d just never thought he could have anything more. Not with the one he really wanted. But suddenly… well, suddenly Peter was thinking he’d been wrong, and was hoping against hope that it wasn’t too late.
With that in mind, he forced himself to swallow three glasses of water, right from the tap, and washed down a few ibuprofen tablets with the third. Then he pulled cotton from his skin, kicking his shoes and socks into the corner of the bathroom before stepping into the tub and turning on water that was only vaguely warm, which meant the power had been out for quite a while. The spray from the shower felt damned good, though. Helped more than Peter had expected.
Brushing his teeth helped even more, Peter decided, and thank God he crashed at Charlie’s enough to keep a toothbrush there. He’d tasted foul even to himself when he’d gotten out of the shower.
“Okay,” he told himself in another whisper, glad to see that he looked a bit better the next time a bright flash lit the small bathroom, “it’s make or break time, Peter. You could actually get what you want for once, so go for it. Don’t chicken out, man.”
He almost did, though. Right there inside the door of Charlie’s bedroom, he almost turned around and went back to the couch. But another flash, another loud, rumbling crash, and Charlie was there, prone and naked, sheets tangled around his knees and Peter couldn’t walk away. Couldn’t do it.
He had no recollection of telling his feet to move, but they did. He had no intention of crawling onto the bed and pressing a soft kiss to Charlie’s half-hard prick, but it for damned sure happened. Then his mouth found its way to the tip of that rapidly firming shaft and Peter’s tongue crept out, swiping slowly over velvety soft skin and turgid flesh, hot and hard and musky.
“Petey.” Moaned, and Peter had never imagined that Charlie would say his name like that. Like this was maybe Charlie’s dream, just as much as Peter’s. “Petey,” again, a low, pleading sigh, and Peter couldn’t do anything but answer it by doing what he wanted to do. Needed to do.
“Yes,” he answered, lips brushing Charlie’s cock lightly before Peter opened up and took that round, thick tip in.
Hands in his hair, Charlie’s fingers holding on, gripping tight enough that the small pain only made Peter move faster. Charlie tasted just like he smelled. Musky and fresh and clean, with a tiny bitter tinge that Peter wanted more of. That he would have more of, because Charlie was moving, hips rocking up, pushing into Peter’s mouth, dropping back to the mattress then reversing. Sliding in, pulling out, and Peter thought he’d never been such a willing supplicant, so worshipful in a way he couldn’t quite manage to define.
It didn’t matter, really, because Peter knew what he was doing. He was loving Charlie the way he’d always done. The only difference was that instead of loving Charlie by making no demands and never asking for what he really wanted, this time Peter was loving Charlie with his mouth, wrapped around Charlie’s already pulsing flesh. With his fingers, cupping Charlie’s tensing balls and sliding back to tease lightly at Charlie’s hole. With his body, rocking and writhing just as much as Charlie’s was doing… and finally, with his seed, spilled easily, quickly against Charlie’s skin and the sheets, just as Charlie gasped, arched, came with a shuddering cry, Peter’s name on his lips.
It could have been moments or hours before Charlie’s hands relaxed enough to let go of his hair, but Peter didn’t care. He was fine where he was, wrapped around Charlie’s legs, his head on Charlie’s hip, right over the little devil tattoo that matched his own. They’d gotten them the same night, a week after high school graduation.
“Are you still drunk?” Charlie said then, his hand stroking Peter’s hair, and Peter laughed. Laughed and moved, shifted higher on the bed until he was beside his best friend, staring into those deep brown eyes that he could barely make out between flashes of lightning.
“No.” Peter couldn’t help the smile that spread across his face. Didn’t want to help it, even though he felt like it should be a serious moment. “At least, I don’t think so. But if I am, I want to stay drunk forever, man. Because this…?” He slid his hand across Charlie’s chest, stopping when he felt the man’s heart beating beneath his palm. “I don’t want to lose this, Charlie,” he whispered, the gravity of the situation suddenly striking him. “God, tell me I didn’t imagine what you said, okay? I… because I really was drunk then, but I thought you said…”
“I said I love you,” Charlie answered, sounding just a little anxious in the dark. “I think I always did, Petey. Even when I didn’t know it. And I guess I figured… you know. Everyone you hooked up with was, um…”
He didn’t need to see Charlie clearly to know the guy was blushing and wearing that expression Charlie always had when he was questioning himself. Hell, Peter figured he could go blind right then and never have to wonder about the looks on Charlie’s face.
“Everyone I hooked up with wasn’t you, Charlie. Never could be, either.” Truth, spoken so easily. Finally spoken. Finally easy. “Uh, would now be a good time to tell you that… except for maybe two or three times a year, it was all just hand jobs? I didn’t want… well, not often, anyway, and only when it got too much, so mostly, I was sort of…”
“Waiting for me.” Oh, Charlie sounded stunned, and Peter liked it. Loved it, in fact. Just as much as he loved the way Charlie’s breath felt on his cheek as Charlie pressed closer, those strong arms wrapping around Peter and holding on. “So you…”
“Love you? Yeah. I really, really do.” Still truth and still easy. Huh.
Then Charlie was closer still, holding and held, and Peter felt those soft lips brush his own, and “Good,” Charlie murmured before his tongue slipped into Peter’s mouth, and that was… yeah. Pretty fucking perfect, Peter decided before losing himself in the soft and wet and simple kiss that was just as good as he’d never dared dream.
Morning would come soon enough, Peter knew, but that was fine. It would be more than fine if the power was back on, though. Charlie did love his coffee, and Peter would be damned if he was going to make his lover instant. Only the real thing for Charlie. Forever, if Peter had his way.
And he would, Peter promised himself as Charlie drifted off, still holding on.