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When Connor closes his eyes, he remembers this place, right behind Oliver's ears, where there's always indents from his glasses, and it always smells faintly like printer ink. The first time Connor tasted it, he licked his way around the shell of Oliver's ear, and Oliver had laughed, full bodied, against Connor's chest.

That happened a few months into the school year, before the bonfire, when Oliver was nothing more than an easy, uncomplicated hookup. Before everything in Connor's life was turned upside down. Before even the simplest things started eating Connor from the inside out.

Connor hates the walls of his apartment, the dull beige of them, the blank spaces where he hasn't put up any decoration or art. He picked this place because it was a good distance from campus and the front door was perfectly positioned for kicking out hookups. But now it feels too big, too close to Annalise Keating's house. He wants to-- he needs to get as far away as possible.

He turns over in bed, a shiver chasing its way down his spine. He closes his eyes again.

He picks out a good memory. The first time Oliver fucked him. Connor's not picky about topping or bottoming -- he likes sex in all its filthy, glorious forms. But that time, Oliver had laid him on his back, covered Connor's body with his own, kissed Connor, his hard cock filling Connor up. Everything narrowed down to the sting, the stretch, that edge of pain that Connor loves to ride. It could have, should have, been like any other fuck, but Oliver had smiled at him, his eyes crinkling. Without Oliver's glasses in the way, it had been easy, too easy, to see every emotion on Oliver's face. Connor let Oliver fuck him again the week after that, but he made sure to stay on his hands and knees that time, so that all he could see were the off-white pillows and sheets.

Or maybe one of Oliver's blowjobs. Oliver sucks cock like he's spent a lifetime starving for dick, so desperate he gets sloppy with it. Connor loved to close his eyes, to lose himself in the sensations, to listen to the wet noises Oliver would make.The simplest of pleasures, so uncomplicated back then. Nothing feels simple or uncomplicated anymore.

Connor turns again on his bed, trying to find a comfortable position.

But then he starts remembering other things. The smell of woodsmoke, the empty look in Sam Keating's dead eyes, Michaela's gasping, panicked voice, Wes's unsettling, unnatural calm. Bile rises up in Connor's mouth. He won't be able to sleep like this.

He picks himself up out of bed and drives to Oliver's apartment. It's not so late yet. He knocks on Oliver's door.

It takes a minute for Oliver to answer. He's wearing his pajamas: a t-shirt that nicely frames his shoulders, long loose pants that pool around his bare feet.

"I couldn't sleep," Connor says, hands shoved in his pockets, his shoulders hunched. "Just. I got stuck in my head." He doesn't even need to lie.

Oliver's face softens, ever so slightly. "Yeah, okay," he says, stepping out of the doorway to let Connor in. "I can get you a pillow and some sheets for the couch."

"I thought that maybe I could-- could I sleep with you?" Connor asks. "Just sleep."

Oliver sucks in a deep breath. His eyes dart to the side, and Connor knows what he's going to say, but Connor can't let him.

"Please," Connor says. "I don't want to be alone."

Oliver finally meets Connor's gaze , gives him a deliberate once over. Connor knows he looks like crap. His hair is a mess. His eyes are red. He probably smells like he hasn't showered in days. Oliver sighs. "Fine," he says, voice clipped. He turns back towards the bedroom, lets Connor follow him.

Oliver's sheets smell like him, smell like the way it felt to have Oliver's arms wrapped around Connor's body, the gentle, comforting pressure of it. Oliver climbs into bed, back turned towards Connor. He flicks the light off, leaving the room dark and quiet.

Connor curls in as close as he dares, His mouth inches away from Oliver's neck. From here, he can see that place, right behind Oliver's ear. It's too dark to make out whether or not there's still indents from his glasses, but it still smells like printer ink.

This time, when Connor closes his eyes, he falls asleep.