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Excellent Benefits

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Dex isn’t sure who says it. Shitty, maybe? Or someone else with a similar voice. But somebody says it, and the words ring in Dex’s ears and sink into his alcohol-heavy brain with force. It comes just after Nursey admits, “Fuck, drunk enough I’d make out with anything.”

Someone says, “Even Dex?”

And Nursey says, “Hell, yeah, even Dex.”

And someone– damn it, is it Shitty? – says, “Good thing Dex’d never make out with you, no matter how drunk he got.”

Dex starts. Somehow it’s an insult, somehow he can’t ignore it. He jumps up and storms across the room. “Bullshit,” he says, “bullshit, what kind of a fucking prude do you think I am?”

Shitty and Nursey and Wicks all stare at him. A couple of others there, faces blurred by alcohol and dimness. Dex still isn’t sure who said it.

The corner of Nursey’s mouth turns up. “Dude, I don’t even want to think about how drunk you’d have to be. That’s, like, alcohol poisoning level.”

Dex bristles. He has no idea why this is something he wants to challenge. There’s a piece of him that’s WTFing even as he puffs himself up, jabbing a thumb toward his chest. “Bullshit,” he repeats. “I’d do it now. I’m fucking drunk enough.”

Nursey’s staring at him, goggling. “The fuck, Poindexter?”

“Seriously.” Dex is frowning, He opens his arms wide. “Go for it, Nurse. Bet you won’t.”

“You fucker,” Nursey breathes, and in another moment he’s up on his feet, meeting Dex halfway across the room, and taking Dex’s face in two warm hands, guiding their mouths together.

Nursey’s lips are warm on his, warm and beer-sweet, and he kisses like he means it, soft and fluid and wonderful. Dex moans and opens his mouth to the kiss, licking at Nursey’s lips, at his tongue. Nursey slides his hands across Dex’s jaw, down to his neck, a more intimate touch. Dex loses his breath. Sucking in air desperately through his nostrils, he grabs Nursey and brings their bodies crashing together.

Oh, oh, it’s good, it’s so good. Nursey’s breath is warm as it slips into and against his mouth. Nursey’s fingers slide into his hair. Nursey’s everywhere, all up against him, and Dex can’t stop. He purses his lips, chasing after more kisses. When their tongues curl together, bright lightning sears him from chest down to cock. He presses against Nursey, tugs him in again so their bodies are touching every possible place. Hips and thighs and chests and yes. Nursey’s hard. They both are. It’s far and away the best kiss Dex has ever experienced. He’s flying.

They break apart. Pant. Nursey sticks out his tongue to lick the seam of Dex’s lips. Dex hauls him in for more kisses. He can’t leave it alone. He can’t let it end.

This time they’re sinking onto the couch, Nurse straddling him, kissing again. Nurse’s hands play at his shoulders, stroke the soft skin of his neck. Dex shivers. Nurse’s thumbs brush against his jawline, the patch of softness beneath his ears. It’s extraordinary. He’s shivering all over.  He lets go of Nurse’s mouth long enough to kiss at his jaw, his neck. Nurse moans above him, the most wonderful sound, a soft tenor. Dex chases the sound, trying to draw out more moans. But Nurse is insistent too, craning his neck, pulling Dex’s mouth up to meet his again. They kiss for minutes. Hours, it feels like. Infinities, universes are born, just of the two of them kissing.

“Holy,” Nursey breathes, pulling back. “We should– we should stop.”

“Yeah,” Dex agrees. They don’t stop.

Someone’s breathing “hottt,” next to them. Someone else is whooping, an obnoxious noise . Dex doesn’t pay it any mind. His whole world right now is Nursey’s mouth on his, Nursey’s arms wrapped around his shoulders, He’s endlessly warm, sweating, intoxicated by more than just tub juice. God, it is so fucking good, all of it is, the whole world. He doesn’t want it to ever end. Because once it does, reality will come rushing back in and he will remember that this is nothing but a drunken dare.

And that thought – it makes him sad enough to stop.

“All right, all right, Nurse, enough. Fuck. Get off me.” He shoves Nursey off him unceremoniously. Nurse looks dizzy and confused  Someone in the crowd around them lets out a disappointed “awww.”

Dex turns and snaps. “Show’s over, you pervs.” He spits on the floor, like he’s trying to get the bad taste out of his mouth. Nothing could be further from the truth. The taste of Nurse remains on his tongue, warm and sweet and everything he’s ever wanted without knowing it. He tries to swallow it down, turning away from a dazed-looking Nursey, making his way to the front porch for another drink.

Shit. How could he not realize how badly he wanted Nurse? All it took was a dare, and then Nursey was in his arms and it was… God, it was everything. Dex is still trembling from the feeling of it all. The warmth of his skin, the smell of him, the sweet rasps of his shallow breaths in Dex’s ears. It all plays out in his mind again, like every erotic fantasy he’s ever hard, recent and real and tearing him apart.

This is bullshit. He doesn’t need this in his life. Maybe … maybe it will all be over tomorrow. When he sobers up. Maybe it was all just induced by the alcohol, and he’ll wake up, and the feeling of Nurse’s hands on him will have evaporated into nothing. Hell, A guy can dream.

And oh, he dreams.

That night, despite the sedating pull of the alcohol, he dreams about Nurse on him. And beneath him, and behind him… rocking a sweet, gentle rhythm into him… breath warm on the shell of Dex’s ear, whispering “God, you feel so good” … fingers playing on his upper arm, tight around his cock, nails dragging at his thighs …

Dex wakes up with soaked sheets and a messy stomach. He groans, grumbles, gets up to clean off.

His head is pounding. It’s a hell of a hangover and it isn’t even loud enough to drown out the  root problem. Dex heads for breakfast knowing that he’s got it bad for Derek Nurse, that he would probably kill someone to feel Nurse’s skin against his again, and that even killing someone, as cathartic as it might be, wouldn’t persuade Nurse to feel the same.

Thank God Nurse isn’t at breakfast. If Dex knows one thing about the guy, it’s that he gets hangovers that are even worse than Dex’s.


It’s Lardo who finds him around noontime, sliding into the seat next to him at the computer lab and booting up some graphics program in which she starts to play with circles and lines. Dex watches for a few minutes, amazed by her ability to pull a curve into the perfect place. She constructs a wave, a hillside, a face out of nothing as he blinks, disbelieving, at the screen.

“So, you guys a thing now?” she asks, out of nowhere, voice as flat and disaffected as usual.

“What? Wait, what?”

“You and Nurse.”

“A thing?” Dex screws up his face. “No. God, it was a fucking dare.”

“It was your fucking dare,” she says, and all at once there’s a beautiful green eye staring at him from the middle of the face. The things she does with that software are sorcery.

“So?”

“So,” she says with a shrug, “people could take that to mean something.”

“That, what? That I’m hot for him or some shit?” Dex shudders as he says the word out loud.

“I don’t know.” She draws another gorgeous eye, and starts on a bulbous nose. Is she drawing Nursey? Because that’s not cool. “I’m just saying, people could take it the wrong way. And by people, I mean Nursey.”

“Oh.” Dex shudders. He hadn’t even really thought about what Nursey might have taken his dare to mean.  He’d just taken it for granted that Nurse would have either forgotten the whole thing or written it off as the meaningless drunken shenanigan it was always supposed to be. It’s Dex’s own failing that he had to come out of it with a thirst for Nursey that’s gonna drive him crazy. But maybe he’s fucked with Nursey’s head a little bit too. Nurse ought to know, at least, that Dex won’t try that shit again.

“You should probably go talk to him, is all I’m saying,” Lardo says, drawing a pair of red lips that definitely aren’t Nursey’s. Fuck, Dex has got him on the mind.

He starts packing up his stuff.


He shows up at Nursey’s brownstone with his bag slung over his shoulder, knocks, leans against the doorframe. His heart’s racing, and he’s gonna pretend it’s from the walk and the crisp air.

Nursey opens the door. “Hey.” He looks – fuck, he looks so good. His shirt’s hanging low on his chest, uneven, showing a glimpse of muscle. Dex wants to reach out, tug on that thin cotton until it’s stretched or even ripped beyond recognition, and slide his hand along the line of Nurse’s pec. He tries not to drool as he offers a simple hey back.

“Come in,” Nursey says, and Dex follows him into the room. The size of Nurse’s room never ceases to amaze him. All this hardwood and all these windows and this wide open space. It’s obscene, especially for an underclassman. Normally Dex’d get a little cranky about it, but today he’s got more then enough to fill his outrage-o-meter, and it’s all because of the guy walking just ahead of him. All soft lines and hard planes, so damn touchable, so out of reach. Nursey crashes down onto the couch, hands folded behind his head, and Dex follows, separating them with a respectable distance.

“So that shit was embarrassing, huh,” Nursey says.

Odd way to start the conversation, but okay. “Yeah, no shit. People are weird.” Okay, maybe Dex is the weirdest, considering he basically dared it to happen.

But Nursey doesn’t call him on it. “I don’t get why everyone was so eager to watch,” he says. “Like, go watch a fucking porno if you want to see people get it on, that’s what they’re there for.”

“Exactly.”

“Like.” Nursey is frowning. “I’m not doing it for your amusement, right?”

“Right, right, exactly.” Dex wants to ask, then what are you doing it for? But he bites his lip. Eyes on the prize, Poindexter. “Anyway. I just came by to make sure we’re – we’re cool.”

“Oh. Oh, yeah.” Nursey’s laugh is a little shaky. “Yeah, yeah, of course we’re cool.”

“I mean.” Dex frowns, looks at his hands. His palms are always so pink. It annoys him. “I didn’t want anybody getting any wrong ideas.”

“Pff.” Nursey blows air through his lips. “No, no, I get it, dude. We were drunk, it was a pissing contest. No big deal.”

Dex eyes him. Not a slightest hint of perturbation on that face. Which is annoying. Couldn’t he look a little confused? “OK. Cause I didn’t want you to think…”

“Naw, man. Naw.” Nursey slumps down on the couch, butt easing forward toward the edge of the cushion. He looks kind of like he’s melting. “‘S all good.”

“All right. Cool.”

“Yeah.”

“Yeah, good.” Dex should get up and go home now. Somehow he’s not, and it’s annoying him.

“Good, man.” Nursey oozes off the couch entirely, planting his ass on the floor. He slings his arms over the couch cushions behind him, one hand landing on Dex’s knee.

Dex frowns and shakes him off, getting to his feet. “All right. I just wanted to make sure.” He heads for the exit.

“Hey, yo, Dex?” Nursey calls from the floor.

Dex’s at the door already. “What?”

“You wanna do it again?”

What?

It takes real effort to turn, but Dex manages it. Nursey’s sitting there on the floor, his arms widespread on the couch beneath him, smiling that weird content smile. His legs stretch in a gangly pair toward the TV, one ankle folded over his other. He cocks his head. “Well?”

Dex puts his bag down with a sigh. “Say that one more time.”

“Wanna do it again?” Now Nursey’s getting to his feet. “No audience this time. And. You know.” He takes a step toward Dex. “Sober.”

“Why– why would I–” Dex looks from one corner of the room to the other. He’s half expecting a hidden camera. “Why are you asking me that?”

Nursey shrugs. Takes another step. A bloom of heat starts in Dex’s gut that quickly spreads to his chest and fingers. “Because it was hot,” Nursey says. “I mean, come on, it was hot, wasn’t it?”

“It – uh–” Oh hell, Nursey’s too close too quickly, shoulders square with Dex’s own, face impeccably beautiful before Dex’s helpless eyes. The curve of Nursey’s eyelashes. The pink whisper of his lips. “Yeah,” Dex agrees before he can help himself.

“So?” Nursey reaches out. His hand slides, a warm circle, around Dex’s wrist. “Why not?”

Because we’re not boyfriends. Because it’d be torture. Because I’d only want you more. “I– I dunno.”

Nursey’s forehead touches his. Soft breath caresses his face. Dex knows he’s red all over, but he can’t help it, can’t stop it. “Then–?”

Dex licks his lips. Nursey’s gaze snaps down to capture it. Those eyes, like a tiger’s, on Dex’s mouth. Dex feels like he’s been devoured.

“Okay,” he breathes. “Okay.”

Nursey’s mouth slides against his. His tongue, a lick of flame, sears the seam of Dex’s mouth.

In another moment Dex is walking him backward, kissing him like he’s starving for it. He grabs at Nursey’s shoulders, shoves him back down onto the couch and climbs over him. Fuck, Nursey’s underneath him like he’d imagined, so much warm muscle and soft lips, and Nursey’s making little noises into the kiss, whimpers in a voice softer and gentler than Dex has ever heard from him. Nursey’s fingers are at his waist, gripping, grabbing at his shirt, and they’re like touches of fire. Dex catches Nursey’s tongue between his lips, sucks. Nursey gives a glorious groan.

“Yeah,” Dex murmurs into the kiss, and he doesn’t recognize his own voice. Has he ever sounded this low and rough, this utterly wrecked? Nursey’s done this to him – no, Nursey’s doing this to him, still, with sneaky fingers raking up under his shirt and insistent hips cresting against Dex’s, and fuck, that’s his cock grinding against Dex’s stomach. It feels amazing. A flash of an image sears Dex’s mind – his fingers wrapped around Nursey, Nursey arching and groaning and coming all over Dex’s hand – and he bites at Nursey’s lips to keep from exploding with it.

Nursey’s hands jump, from Dex’s back to his ass, and he squeezes sudden and hard. Dex goes rigid, sucking in a breath.

“No good?” Nursey murmurs underneath him. How does he even have control of his brain right now? Dex’s so far gone he doesn’t know if he can answer.

He pants, pressing his forehead to Nursey’s. “No. Good. I mean. Yeah, it’s good.” Nursey’s lips curve into a smile, and he gives Dex another squeeze for good measure. Dex groans, the sound tumbling from his lips, and presses down against Nursey. His erection is riding against Nursey’s thigh, the muscle hot and hard and perfect against him. Nursey sighs at the feel of it, opens his legs a crack so Dex can rock into the space between.  

It’s too good. Dex grits his teeth and lets out a noise he should be ashamed of. Fuck, where did Nursey learn to do that? He must have made out with guys before. Not surprising. Dex must seem like a rank amateur. Awkward, sloppy, inexperienced – but then Nursey makes a noise and mutters, “Fuck, Dex, do that again.” Dex doesn’t even know what he’s done. He drops an open-mouthed kiss on Nursey’s neck, and yeah, yeah, that seems to do it. Nursey grabs at his thighs, nails raking along the fabric of his slacks,  and tips his head back with a groan.

It’s heady, having Nursey here, drawing these noises out of him. Dex is dizzy with it all. He licks and nibbles at Nursey’s throat, reveling in the feel and taste of him – warm and smoky and sweet. Oh, he’s so gone. Nursey is so hot, and he feels even better today than he did last night. Dex’s whole mind is here now. He’s able to think and appreciate. And there’s so damn much of Nursey worth appreciating.

“Shit,” he breathes, returning his focus to Nursey’s lips, licking and sucking at them by turns. “Shit, Nurse, what are we even doing?”

Nursey laughs at him, even through pursing, pressing lips. “Getting it on,” he says, kissing down to Dex’s chin, up his jaw to his ear. “We’re getting it on, Poindexter.”

“No, but–” but then Nursey has his lips around Dex’s earlobe, and a “yes” tumbles out of his mouth before he can find his words again. “–we– oh, fuck – are we– what?”

Nursey sucks on his earlobe. Dex gives a wail. Nursey’s hands are down into his slacks now, holding fast to his hips. “Does it matter?”

No, it really doesn’t, so long as Nursey never stops, as long as Nursey slides his hand just a bit to the left and grips Dex’s aching cock –

But he doesn’t. Nursey never goes there. And Dex finds enough brainpower to pull back. He’s still on top of Nursey, with Nursey’s hands in his pants and Nursey smiling at him, his lips a deep kiss-drenched pink. But they’ve stopped. And now Dex needs to know.

“I don’t,” he starts, and shakes his head. The things Nursey makes him feel are too confusing. “I’m not ready – I don’t think I can be, like, a boyfriend–”

“It’s chill,” Nursey says. He pulls one hand upward, tucks a strand of hair behind Dex’s ears. “We can just be friends. With really excellent benefits.”

Dex doesn’t know how he feels about that. A piece of him is disappointed. But another piece is relieved. He’s not ready to plan dates, and devote time, and buy gifts and flowers or whatever you get a boyfriend. He wants in Nursey’s pants, that’s for damn sure, and he likes hanging with him, so… “Yeah,” he says. “Yeah. Excellent benefits. Cool.”

“‘Swawesome,” Nursey says. He leans up, plants a kiss on Dex’s mouth, and then pushes him up to his feet. “I just got a killer poem idea.”

“You– what?” Dex is fighting a wave of dizziness.

“Poem. Idea. Killer.” Nursey has leaped to his feet and is now searching for something – a notebook and pen, apparently, given his triumphant cry  when he finds them. “OK, shoo, you’re in my creative zone.”

“Shoo?” Dex echoes dumbly.

“Yeah, man. Or at least go sit down and be quiet for a bit. I gotta get this out.” Nursey shoots a look at him. “C’mon, man. No being jealous, since we’re not a thing.”

“We– I’m not jealous!” Dex huffs. He crosses the room, grabs his bag. “Have fun with your poem. I have homework.”

“Yeah, good luck with that.” Nursey’s already scratching down words. He doesn’t even look up as Dex crosses to the door. But he does add, as Dex turns the knob and pushes the door ajar, “Hey, dude?”

Dex turns, scowling. “What?”

Nursey glances up at him and offers a wink and a shit-eating grin. “Come by anytime.”

And fuck if he isn’t the cutest damn thing in the world.

Dex offers him a crooked smile in return. “You better believe it.” And with an answering wink, he’s out the door.