word count: 1216
warnings: like one swear word
request: anon: Could you write something where Johnny Laurens likes to call A Ham darlin or sugar and A ham gets super flustered and he trys not to get as flustered in public (and fails miserably) (a ham everyone can see you blushing)
a/n: what the hell happened with transitions? who knows. also SO SORRY for not posting in forever. i had zero inspiration.
When John first calls him darling, Alex isn’t that affected. John’s saying it teasingly. They’re at a party, slightly drunk, and the atmosphere is joking. The word falls from John’s lips in his smooth Southern drawl. “Darlin’, Alex, could ya get me some more of this?” He gestures to the liquid in his cup.
Alex laughs and squishes down the fluttering in his stomach. “You don’t need any more.”
“Aw, please?” John pleads, in his soft accent that’s ingrained itself into Alex’s mind. “Just a bit? I’m not properly drunk yet.”
“You’re a lightweight,” Alex points out. “You’re already loopy.”
John grins at him, and he smiles in the most adorable way, full of light and happiness, and no, Alex is not thinking about how cute John is when he smiles. Not at all. “Fine, if you insist, Alex.”
Alex rolls his eyes fondly.
“Darling,” John calls the next morning. “Can you get me a glass of water?”
“It’s your own fault you’re hungover,” Alex mumbles, not wanting to move out of the nest of blankets he’s formed in his bed.
“Please?” John asks, flopping down next to Alex. “It would mean a lot to me.”
Alex swallows, hard, because John is right there, extremely close, and smiling gently at him. He closes his eyes and tries to compose himself. “Fine. But only because I love you.”
John grins widely in victory and half-shoves Alex off the bed. Alex punches John in the shoulder and goes to get a glass of water.
He stands at the tap, filling a cup, staring out the window, trying not to put too much mental weight on the fact that after he said “I love you” John didn’t reply like he usually does, with “you know it” or “of course” or “love ya too.” He’s overthinking this whole interaction. John’s just being his friend, like always.
He will not get a crush on his best friend.
That would ruin everything.
Alex returns to the bed and nudges a sleepy John to the side, curling up next to him but carefully avoiding touching the other man. John drinks gratefully and then pulls Alex into the curve of his body.
Alex holds his breath, unsure of where this is going. Is John trying to make this go somewhere? Or is he just being his usual overly affectionate self?
It appears to be the latter, as John quickly falls asleep.
Alex relaxes and tries to sleep, but every time John breathes out, he can feel it on his neck, and it’s seriously distracting. So he simply enjoys the warmth and closeness of the other man.
It’s Saturday, so neither of them have any classes. They spend the whole day curled up together, occasionally getting up in search of food or water. Alex, personally, is just getting more confused about John.
Sunday passes, and neither of them mention the lazy day.
A week goes by, and Alex starts to despair, doubtful that John was in his right mind, doubtful that John wants to mention the Saturday.
But then one evening after they’ve been studying in the library, and it’s not dark yet, John turns on a different path, one that won’t take them back to their dorm.
“Where are you going?” Alex asks, bemused.
“C’mere, darling,” John says, a strange intensity in his tone.
Every neuron in Alex’s mind goes haywire.
He steps hesitantly towards his best friend.
John kisses him.
At first, it’s scared, and Alex realizes that John doesn’t know if he appreciates this. He deepens the kiss, stretching up since he’s shorter. John smiles against Alex’s mouth, and all the random feelings that Alex had been trying to figure out condense themselves into a cohesive whole.
He’s supposed to be here, right now, kissing John, because everything in the world makes sense, all the mysteries that he’s pondered are solved. It’s so undeniably right.
“Darling,” John breathes when they finally break apart, and Alex can literally feel the blood rushing to his cheeks. He ducks his head, and John presses a light kiss to the top of it.
From then on, when John calls him darling, he means it in a romantic way, and Alex is one hundred percent happy with this arrangement.
The one problem is that Alex blushes like crazy.
“Darling, we need some more cereal,” John shouts. Alex glances up, his cheeks reddening, from where he’s writing a paper.
“And I suppose you want me to get it,” he calls back, closing his laptop.
“Correct. I’m comfortable.”
“Don’t you have a test tomorrow?”
“So, possibly, you should most likely be studying for it?…”
“This is college, John, you can’t just ignore tests and wing them. It didn’t work freshman year and it certainly isn’t going to work now.”
“Relax, I know this material like the back of my hand.”
“Okay. Draw me a map of the back of your hand.”
Alex laughs, a full, deep, resonant laugh. “Gotcha.”
“Fine. If I study, will you run and go get me some more cereal?”
“What kind?” Alex asks, already reaching for his coat. It’s February and freezing outside.
“I am dating a five-year-old,” Alex groans. John throws a pillow at him.
“Darling, can you help me?” John whispers, poking Alex awake. It’s two in the morning.
“Wha the ‘ell?” Alex slurs, tired beyond belief. He’s only been asleep for about twenty minutes, and his entire body feels heavy.
“I need help,” John says, a little louder. He flicks on the bedside lamp and Alex groans, shying away from the light.
“With what?” Alex mutters, irritated.
“I can’t sleep.”
“How is that my problem?” Alex snaps. He’s cranky.
John steps back. “Sorry. I should let you sleep.”
Alex feels kind of horrible, but he turns away from his boyfriend. “Yeah. You should.”
“Thanks, darling,” John says, smiling gratefully at Alex, who’s handed him a menu. Alex ducks his head, not wanting John to see the full extent of his blushing. “What’s wrong?”
“Then why do you look embarrassed?”
“I blush when you call me darling,” Alex admits. He hadn’t meant for that to tumble out. Oh well.
John doesn’t say anything, and Alex grows worried that he’s offended the other man. But then John bursts out laughing. Alex grins ruefully and presses a kiss to John’s cheek.
The two order their food and John calls Alex “darling” at every opportunity. Alex doesn’t think it’s possible for his face to get any redder.
“Alex! Wait up!”
“What?” Alex yells, spinning around and coming to a dead stop. “You gonna try to console me? Tell me Jefferson’s an asshole who doesn’t know what he’s talking about? You’re right, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t hurt! He hurt me, John, he hurt me!” Venom and sorrow are equally present, tracing through Alex’s voice.
Alex closes his eyes, determined not to cry.
A hand traces his cheek.
John kisses him briefly and then walks him back to their dorm. He puts on a stupidly funny movie and wraps Alex up in a fuzzy blanket. Alex starts to cry at some point and John simply kisses away the tears. Right before Alex falls asleep, John brings his mouth up to Alex’s ear.
“Goodnight, darling. Sleep well.”
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