It’s not a no, so John kisses him again. Harold kisses back, just barely, opening his mouth to let John in, a breach of boundaries that has John dizzy with the sheer amount of possibilities it suggests.
Then Harold pushes him away, holding him at arms’ length, resolute. “I really can’t.” His mouth firms. “I won’t.”
If John’s honest, Harold has a lot of reasons not to sleep with him. John goes for the most obvious one. “Do you think I’m doing this out of obligation?” He raises his eyebrows. “Because you’re not that pathetic, Harold.”
“Thank you, I’m aware.” By the sudden frost in Harold’s tone, that wasn’t his main concern.
John sighs and changes tack, nuzzling Harold’s neck. “Then what?”
Harold doesn’t really respond to the contact. His hand hovers over John’s shoulder, close enough for John to feel its warmth. “You’re a passionate man, Mr. Reese. I’m not.”
John draws back. “Are you saying you’ve been toying with my affections for nothing, Harold?” A faint smile rises to his lips. “I thought you were better than that.”
“So did I,” Harold snaps, with a frustration that seems unwarranted. He takes his hand back, dropping it stiffly at his side. “John. No.”
As simple as a command to the dog, and as effective. John moves away. He’s already making plans: he may have lost the battle, but the campaign is ongoing, and John’s got some experience with guerrilla warfare.
[It wasn’t typical for Tate to have so much trouble adjusting to morning when he hadn’t fucked or drank much the night before. After getting a ride home, he’d barely had enough time to rub one out before falling drowsily under, only to wake up what felt like seconds after when his alarm clock signaled him for work. He got his hours in later–the two or three he’d missed out on –after his shift, and woke groggily to the sound of his father’s key turning in his lock.
It wasn’t like he didn’t understand why the man did what he did. He was trying to compensate for not really being there when Tate was a kid, and doubly so trying to keep him on the straight and narrow. Problem was, as much as Tate wanted to show the old bastard up, his dad’s “concerns” and accidental insults only made him ache more for taboo recreation. The clock struck six by the time his father finally left his apartment, and come eight, Tate was still laying lazily in bed, staring up at the ceiling with the butt of his phone balanced on his ribcage, thinking somberly of Deacon’s invitation. Syd Matters cooed gently at him from his stereo as if urging him to just roll over and stay at home, avoid pissing off Daddy-O for the third time that week. Maybe call up Nicole from one floor down. Stay in and chill.
But all he could think about was that handsome swagger, dark, dirty blonde hair, and the sad look on his face when it looked like Tate wouldn’t come.
He groaned and sat up, took a shower, and spent the next hour and a half scanning anxiously through what was still clean in his wardrobe, entirely too much time for what he ultimately settled for. Safely inside a pair of acid-washed jeans and the least douchey white band tee he owned, Tate hurried the rest of the way through his routine so he could at least leave the house by ten. His hair wasn’t exactly how he wanted it, socks could’ve been matched a little better under his dark leather Bartons, but by the time he finally made it down to the Koko, he’d forgotten about it almost entirely.
Though he’d arrived considerably late into the show, there was still enough of it left for Tate to drown in the aesthetics of the nightlife. He bonded with some of the other fans who professed to have been there from the beginning, reunited with some people he’d run with “back when”. Met some guys who shared a few of their Baja imports with him, rich, home-rolled cigarettes cut with the perfect amount of marijuana. Smooth and just what he needed to really enjoy himself when he was finally loose enough to brave the dance floor with the rest of that night’s group.
By the time the show started to wind down, Tate had taken up shop at the bar, laughing and conversing with some of the other showgoers and tipping back cocktails, grinning over his glass every time one of the more intoxicated fans belted out lyrics as they came. He felt the familiar warmth of a balanced buzz take over his nerves and stared at the stage with half-lidded eyes, as he took in it all at far greater detail. Dave’s focus. Jesse’s flair. Deacon’s unparalleled charisma that made a (surprisingly, new) flicker of something stir in his chest at the sight the him tipping back a water bottle between tracks.
He turned back to his group when the band exited the stage, free from distraction, his mind now turning over the probability of him finding someone to take home, and make the night complete.]