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All of these things [and none of them you].

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Tyler has a rescue cat called Finn who likes to sleep in this ugly bowl-vase hybrid thing his mom bought him from Goodwill when Teen Wolf was cancelled. She meant it as a sweet – ‘you can still have nice things on a budget’ – gesture but maybe he took it to be a thinly veiled, reality check - ‘you better start looking for a real job’ - gesture.

Which, sure. Fine. He’s flirting with this side of thirty, taking a Creative Arts course with a focus on Sports in Film and Fiction; and putting his hand up for bit parts in B-Grade television shows that generally end in him dying. He should probably buy more dinnerware, some sheets, one of those kitchen knives that does everything - be a real man - but he’s happy. He’s okay with his lot.

“You know that ‘okay’ is basically ‘not good’ just without the terminal illness,” Colton tells him over the phone when Tyler tries to plead his case. Of all the Teen Wolf cast, and in moments like these, Tyler’s not sure why Colton was one he kept around.

“No, okay is … satisfactory. Okay is, sure I could be half naked on a yacht in the Caribbean but I’m not and I’ve accepted that and I’m moving on.”

Colton laughs and it makes Tyler happy. “I’m just saying, if the headline reads ‘Out of work actor buried alive under his three hundred adopted cats’ I can’t promise that I won’t laugh. That’s all.”

Tyler hangs up on him and Snapchats a photo of his ass later, with, kiss it.

*

Tyler has an old globe next to his bed, red flags pinned to all the places he’s been. There are photos tacked on the wall above it, endless streams of people, landmarks, landscapes and seas. Tyler’s seen a lot of the world, from the glitzy glamour of a red carpet to the dusty squalor of third worlds and the happiest children he’s ever met but never knew bouncing around at his feet.

These days he is running in the mornings, and hitting the gym at night. He joins a local baseball team [The Jokers] that mostly consists of stay at home dads who don’t really want to compete; and a low impact hiking group that mainly consists of senior ladies making no effort to hide the fact they’re ogling his ass in his gym shorts. Tyler moves around a lot, but stays in the same place, because he’s done with that. Wanting more. He sort of just wants to enjoy what he has.

“Knowledge,” his study partner, Clark, nods over his coffee cup and pushes his glasses back up the bridge of his nose.

“Is this the part where you say something about power?” Tyler asks, almost indifferent. Clark’s one of those guys that everyone thinks Tyler will become. Floating around on the fringe with no real direction, studying until he dies or until the government catches up with him.

“No.” Clark looks almost insulted. “Power is ignorance, Tyler. Power is war and famine and - ”

“Okay, okay, please, I thought we had a deal. Only an hour of monologuing per week, and you’ve done about four hours today.”

Clark pushes his glasses back up his nose and Tyler quietly wonders if he looks as stupid when he does the same. “I was only going to say, knowledge is the fruit of all labour.”

“Oh, geez,”

“You can have all the money in the world but you will never really be accomplished until you know what you have.”

Carrie sent him a picture of his niece on Uncle’s Day - apparently that’s a thing - with a bowtie around her bald head.

He thinks he has some idea.

*

Tyler has a Prius and no shame. He has a compost bin, a bucket he puts recyclable water into and a buzzer in his shower that now has ‘tight ass’ written across it [thanks, Ian], with the s’ scratched off in case his mom ever sees. The shirts he doesn’t donate he rips to shreds and uses as rags, and all of his unwanted food goes in a box by the door that he takes to the local shelter every Friday.

“Reese’s Pieces. Graham Crackers. Froot Loops,” Tyler says as he sifts through the goodies his brother has brought over. “I’m … amazed.”

“What, homeless people are fussy now?”

“No, but apparently they’re diabetic.”

Tanner throws a Butterfinger at Tyler’s head and meanders through to the kitchen. Tyler’s still heavy limbed and dirty from his morning run, a trail of loose leaves and stones across his foyer.

“ … and if I keep eating like this I’ll start looking like those guys in Wall.E that live in hover chairs and don’t go outside - ”

Tyler pokes his head out from behind the fridge door when his phone buzzes against the kitchen counter. “Could you pass that?

“Oh, sorry, was I boring you? Is your favourite brother’s brush with death not interesting enough …” Tanner trails off as he flicks through Tyler’s phone. He snorts, jerking away from Tyler when he tries to snatch it back. “Relax, bro. It’s just Dyl. He says he misses your gigantic ass and wants to see you before you disappear into obscurity with your egg white omelettes and rescue pets.”

Tyler gets Tanner in a headlock while he reads the message himself.

Dylan must have been talking to Colton.

*

(Tyler has a Mets flag that Dylan left behind and told Tyler to keep. It was a little faded and frayed at the edges but it was familiar and he was sentimental.)

*

Tyler has a favourite deli on 4th, Cutting It that serves a Cheesesteak that is simultaneously the best and worst thing Tyler has eaten in his whole life. He has a table out the front that has the best shade, and a waitress that he knows by name and always takes care of him. He doesn’t like to laud his status – not that he really has one any more – but it’s nice to be spoiled in some things.

Later that week, while JR and Ian sip wine and pontificate, Tyler wipes sauce from his elbows and Dylan cackles next to him.

“Dude,” he says for maybe the eighteenth time in half as many minutes. It’s been more than a year but some things never change. “I never thought I’d see the day where you would eat more than your daily intake of calories in one sitting. It’s a thing of beauty, I’m, like, touched.”

“In the head?”

Dylan just laughs louder, head thrown back and that light in his eyes. He’s filled out again and less pale, more freckles and pink cheeks. He hasn’t shaved for a while – in-between projects – and he’s wearing a cap to cover up that unmistakable mop of hair.

Tyler’s always had a thing for Dylan. A sort of detached, ‘would my mother approve’ feeling that mostly went unnoticed [and never came to fruition]. Age meant more back then, circumstance, and although Dylan had drunkenly admitted to Tyler that he swung both ways, he’d never shown any reciprocal … whatever.

“Are we on the clock?” JR asks Dylan when Dylan pulls out his phone. It’s bright, and bulky, and yet looks small in Dylan’s grasp. The veins in his forearms pop, stretching over it. “Did the movie star pencil us in?”

“Yeah, man, no shit,” Dylan says with that smile that plays at the corner of his mouth, fingers flicking over his keypad. “You should be paying me for making this appearance, you don’t even know.”

“You’re texting Posey to tell him I’m eating carbs on a week day, aren’t you?” Tyler says and the cackle in reply is the only answer he needs. “It’s like you’re a teenager again, seriously, should I get you the kids menu?”

“I don’t know, do they have chicken nuggets?”

“That was one time!” Tyler protests, balling up a napkin to throw at Dylan. “I knew I should have taken the dare.”

“The dare would have involved that garlic soup Posey made, like, a month before, so, no. Mr. Perfect has to have some flaws.”

“Mr. Perfect? I’m sorry, didn’t you just do a shoot for GQ - ”

“Men’s Health, dude, and the make up girl grabbed my bicep and sniggered so don’t even - ”

“Ladies,” Ian cuts in, and Tyler glances over to him eyeing them both, amused. “I’m not the nerdy kid at Prom who doesn’t get asked to dance. Stop ignoring me.” JR coughs. “I mean us.”

Dylan just laughs and Tyler scratches the back of his neck and he forgets sometimes, he forgets how easy it is with Dylan.

*

Tyler has 143 contacts on his phone. 12 he speaks to regularly, 4 he slept with, and 1 he was in love with once. It was the hardest thing about Teen Wolf – people en masse. Cast, crew, fans and press; the politics of who he should follow on Twitter, or know the names of at parties. Tyler liked to be with people, but mostly in moderation.

When he was young, and new at this, Tyler had a media coach that told him, “Tyler, the best thing you can do is smile,” and he worked that out quick. Travis calls him the smiling assassin, their mom has an album full of cuttings and photos from the red carpet, and Tyler figures he can live with it.

“Stop smiling at me, asshole,” Darren, the pitcher for the Hillside team shouts at Tyler, so Tyler grins a little wider. Darren’s chewing on so much gum he can barely hold his mouth closed, and Tyler loves baseball so much he can forgive all the clichés. He can forgive the screaming kid somewhere over his left shoulder, and the short balding guy at third base saying something rude about his mom.

He swings his bat a little, waits, and when the chance arrives, hits the ball over their heads and somewhere near next Tuesday. Tyler laughs at the sound of his team-mate, Hank, singing the Rocky theme, and decides not to ignore his phone when it rings in his pocket.

“Tyler? It’s Dylan? What the fuck are you doing?”

“Sliding into home plate,” Tyler lies, jogging in slowly and barely tapping it with a toe. “Why? What are you doing?”

“Baseball?”

“No. Shuttlecock.”

Dylan makes a sound between a splutter and a laugh while Tyler takes a bottle of Gatorade handed to him. He likes his team-mates middle aged naivety; the thought that Tyler might be out of breath after one go around the diamond. “You play amateur baseball.”

“I play the sort of baseball that wishes it was amateur baseball.”

“Oh my God, please tell me there’s a uniform.”

Tyler eyes one of his team mates, currently sporting the purple and green travesty that could pass as an outfit for a circus clown. “There’s a - ”

“Dude, first you’re playing baseball without me then you tell me you’re doing it in a uniform?”

“Sorry, I forgot to put the photo on Instagram.”

Dylan scoffs. “Like you go near social media any more. Hey I’m completely open tomorrow night, do you think I could come hang out? Maybe we can wrangle some peeps together.”

“Wrangle? Are you working on a western?”

“That’s classified information, Hoech, if I told you I would have to pay someone to kill you.”

Tyler agrees to dinner, hanging up on Dylan when he starts making requests re:the menu, and sends Dylan a video of Hank moonwalking in his uniform. If Dylan gets Seana Posey to photoshop Tyler’s head in it, later, put it on Twitter, he figures he deserves it.

*

(Tyler has a t-shirt Dylan gave him that says Wish You Were Beer and came with a greeting card that read – have fun in Europe, don’t miss me too much.)

*

Tyler has a six seater dining table that’s possibly the most expensive thing he owns. He bought it with Brittany, back when they were considering a house, back when they were trying to mend something that was broken in ways they didn’t understand. He has dinnerware, fancy wine glasses, and centrepieces; he has this looming sense of being a fraud because he doesn’t know which fork you’re supposed to use first.

“Hoechlin,” Dylan says in his sing-song voice, coming through the front door brandishing a bottle of red wine and socked feet. “I smell meat roasting; please tell me I smell meat roasting.”

“So many jokes, so little time,” Colton calls from his place with Holland on the sofa, and Dylan crows excitedly, putting the bottle down, patting Tyler’s chest and launching over to greet them. Tanner and his girlfriend Mia are heading over, and JR said he was bringing a friend, and Tyler is wishing he’d bought that cheap eight-seater from IKEA last spring.

When everyone gets there they sit, crowded around the table, and reminisce. Mostly about the first season, about living together and watching the Shopping Network and buying stupid shit like a blender so they could make margaritas and stay up all night singing dumb songs like Put The Lime in The Coconut.

Colton re-enacts a scene from their house one night when Dylan wore a big yellow hoodie, a backwards cap and rapped all the words to The Fresh Prince of Bel Air, Posey hollering, ‘Pump It Up Prince’ in the background until Dylan tried a backwards flip and brained himself on the banister.

“It was only, like, two hours, two hours in the emergency room,” Dylan protests, holding his glass loose in his fingers, fingernails still bitten down. “I’ve done a lot worse.”

They talk until the uneaten food turns to rock; go around the group taking turns rehashing their current life story. They all poke fun at Tyler until he leaves the table in mock hurt, taking some dishes and heading out.

“You know we don’t mean it, right,” Dylan says later, quiet, joining Tyler in the kitchen. “When we give you shit about your tree hugging lifestyle and unhealthy obsession with quinoa.”

Tyler, elbow deep in suds, paints some across Dylan’s face for affect. “I know.” Dylan splutters at him, wiping his cheek on Tyler’s shoulder, and they’re laughing, soft giggles that won’t carry out to the others.

“It’s true, though, I mean. The rest of us are still spinning madly in circles waiting until we land. You know what you want; you’ve got what you want.”

Tyler just looks at him, still smiling, still trying to figure out if he’s right.

*

Tyler has a new role on a low budget straight-to-DVD film called Covering All Bases. He plays an assistant to the main character, a washed up old coach who has lost his love for the game; a team of rag tags wannabes left under his care. It’s nothing new and not particularly exciting, but Tyler’s been moonlighting as their sports consultant and it’s one of the more enjoyable things he’s done all year. One of the most fulfilling.

“Mighty Ducks on grass,” Posey surmises, when they catch up for coffee with Seana and Dylan. The Poseys had been backpacking around Europe, deep sea diving in Australia, mountain hiking through New Zealand. Posey looks happier than Tyler’s ever seen him, and it warms his insides a little, like a feeling of pride.

“Grass?” Dylan says with a cackle. “Dude, I knew that kid with the glasses had to be smoking something.”

“Were you two even alive when Mighty Ducks was around?”

“It’s called Netflix, Hoech, look it up,” Dylan teases, flicking some of the foam from his coffee in Tyler’s face.

“Hey, how long before you’re taking off?” Posey asks Dylan, with his usual speed of subject change. He has a tee that says, sorry, were you talking? which Tyler thinks he might have stolen from Stiles’ wardrobe. “We wanted to plan a house warming; maybe we could do it while you’re still here.”

“Uh, I’m not really sure,” Dylan says, and he’s doing that thing where he doesn’t look them in the eye and can’t seem to keep his hands still. Like a tell, but without the lying. Evading, maybe. “I’ve got some things in the works, but they’re a little … under wraps, you know? It could be a few weeks, it could be tomorrow.”

“We’ll have it this weekend and hope for the best, then!”

Seana gasps, “Tyler!” at the same time Dylan says, “You don’t have to - ” but they all know what Posey’s like. He sees the world as one long tightrope to conquer; planning a party in a few short days is like picking the best outfit to wear to it. Simple. Tyler’s always admired that.

“Come on, guys,” Posey groans, bottom lip out and brown eyes soft and big. “Hoechlin wants to party, don’t you Hoechlin? He wants to get trashed and dance to the Venga Boys, don’t you Hoechlin?”

“Dude,” Dylan says after a pause. “Hoech’s right, we need to update our pop culture references.”

Posey starts singing The Venga Bus Is Coming while Dylan drums the beat with some spoons. Seana looks on, fondly, lovingly, and Tyler wonders if he’s any better at schooling his expression.

He’s been told he’s not.

*

Tyler has a grainy home video that Tanner shot on his tablet. It’s from a few years back now, out of focus and the sharp shock of someone hooting in the background. Probably Brittany. In the video, Tyler’s a little tipsy and dancing on a chair; a little twerk and a hip thrust that Dylan probably taught him. He can’t make out the song but Tanner swears it was Push It and Tyler figures it adds flavour to the story. Knowing Tyler it was probably something ridiculous like The Human League.

He doesn’t care what anyone says, it isn’t sexy. Tyler doesn’t do sexy.

“Dude,” Dylan crows over the music, the beat clanging against Tyler’s bones. He feels too old for all of this, wall to wall with bodies and sweat tickling at his neck, a head ache coming on. Except. Dylan’s fingers are hot against the skin of his hips, the lights catching on his eyes, sparking. “Sexy is your schtick, fuck, own it brother.”

Tyler swallows hard and tries to remember how he got here. A beer or two, a quick run in with the Carvers and Gage, a smart ass comment to Dylan about shaking his money maker. If they’re going to give Tyler shit about his reclusion he’s going to give Dylan shit about his continuing success. He made a movie with DiCaprio, seriously, he feels he has a valid point.

“Hands where I can see them, boys,” Posey says, appearing from nowhere, and Tyler almost feels guilty, which is ridiculous. He’s been thinking about putting his hands in certain places, but he hasn’t been doing it.

“T-Pose, dude, Hoechlin was about to bust out the sexy.”

“No, he wasn’t,” Tyler says, giving Dylan a look, and the stupid smile he gets in return does pubescent things to his stomach. Shit. “He was getting another drink.”

They shout, “Souse!” and “Inebriate!” to his retreating back, and he’s so distracted he pops open a Lite beer. His hands shake and he steadies himself against any forgiving space of wall, swearing under his breath. It’s okay to find Dylan attractive, it’s okay to think about what he would look like spread out across Tyler’s bed, flushed and happy and home.

Except Dylan might be gone tomorrow, and then what will Tyler do?

“Gross,” Dylan admonishes, screwing up his face as he looks at the label on Tyler’s bottle. “I was kidding about the alcoholic thing.”

“I think I might head off,” Tyler blurts from nowhere, for nothing, and Dylan blinks at him to the beat of Funky Cold Medina.

“It’s like, 10 o’clock.”

“Yeah, I just, feel a bit sick or something. Maybe it was the potatoes.”

“The potatoes,” Dylan repeats, dry, and he doesn’t look convinced and he definitely doesn’t look impressed. His jaw is firm, mouth in a thin line. “Right.”

“I’m sorry Dyl, I know you’re probably going soon I just – call me or something, okay?”

Tyler doesn’t even stop to say goodbye to Posey, and he may actually hate himself for the first time in his whole life.

*

(Tyler has a wind up toy Dylan gave him with a man on a pitcher’s mound swinging his arm. I know you won’t eat the candy, Dylan had said, pointing to where it was popping out of the man’s hand. So now I have a reason to come over.)

*

Tyler has a shelf that stretches across the length of his lounge room wall, stacked high with DVDs. Films, mini series and TV shows his friends have starred in; dusty at the spines and seals barely broken but significant to him nonetheless. Chain links. Tyler likes to entertain the idea of watching them, now and then, but he’s got this weird aversion to watching things more than once.

Except maybe every Dave Matthews Band DVD in his collection.

Back when he was with Brittany, they’d sat in front of his ridiculous 50-something inch TV and watched The First Time, because she had bugged him into it and because it gave him a silly little thrill to be able to tease Dylan about it later. Except Brittany had said, ‘That boy’s really got something’ and Tyler had agreed and all he could text to Dylan later was, saw TFT, you were great.

Dylan had replied with a smiley face and they hadn’t talked about it again, maybe because Dylan hated talking about his performances and maybe because of the bedroom scene that made Tyler’s skin flush a little.

“Dude,” Posey is saying over the phone, voice muffled by what Tyler assumes is a late breakfast. “It’s cool if you don’t want to like, get all up on that, but don’t be running off like a douche. That’s not your style.”

“All up on that?”

“Dylan! He’s been trying to get in your – uh, on your – uh he’s been trying to win you over, man, and you’re like, glacier town. Cold as ice.”

Tyler pauses, expecting Posey to break out in song, trying to get his shaking hands to still. “I wasn’t sure - ”

Posey barks out a laugh, choking on whatever he had left in his mouth. “You weren’t sure, dude, like, people in China are sure. Should I tell him to wear his ‘I did five seasons of Teen Wolf with Hottie Hoechlin and all I Got Was This Lousy T-Shirt’ T-Shirt?”

“It’d be a big t-shirt,” Tyler says lamely, slumping onto any indiscriminate surface. “Is he pissed?”

“No, he’s disappointed. And if your parents were anything like mine you would know that disappointed is so much worse than pissed.”

“Okay, well, I’ll call him, I’ll work it out.”

“Yeah, buddy, sounds great, just one small, geographically challenged problem.” Posey coughs, like he’s pained. Indigested. “He’s on a plane to like, New York, or was it Newark … or New Zealand. Somewhere that isn’t California.”

“Right.”

“Is this a bad time to tell you the only thing keeping him here was you?”

“What?”

Posey laughs again, but he doesn’t sound remotely amused. “Okay, so the t-shirt for Christmas then.”

*

Tyler has unlimited texts on his phone contract, and some ridiculous number of hours for local calls. He has a phone that gets hot against his ear when his mom talks to him for too long on Sundays; the battery dying when his brother and sister put their kids on for Face Time. They mostly shout at him and swing the camera around so he can only see the tops of their heads and the ceiling, but it unfurls something warm in his chest, and soothes him.

Tyler has the ‘fastest texter’ record amongst his group of friends, but it’s not doing him any good right now. He’s been looking at the singular, pathetic sentence he’s composed to Dylan for about half an hour now, and it gets worse every time he reads it.

I’m sorry we didn’t get to catch up again before you left.

Awful. Awful and all lies because it should really say, I’m sorry I’m a total dick.

Tyler thinks about it. Thinks about what would have happened if he had entertained his thoughts, had said to Dylan, do you want to, and Dylan saying yes, and the thought of it, Jesus.

Tyler deletes what he has, writes, I’m sorry I’m a total dick and just presses send. It’s a language Dylan understands and honesty he deserves. They’re friends first, and hopefully friends always and he’s not going to undermine it by playing the polite game or treating Dylan like an idiot. They both know what they know.

Tyler holds his phone in his hand until he has to use it, puts it in his pocket until he doesn’t need his pants. He put it on his bedside table and somehow manages to sleep, waking up in the middle of the night to the light flashing and a message waiting for him.

back in town on the 8th. dinner?

*

Tyler has little to no experience with dating men. In his household, growing up, homosexuality was never vilified but it wasn’t really talked about or openly accepted either. Tyler didn’t consider the possibility he may be flirting with a 4 [5 … maybe 6] on the Kinsey scale until he was almost 20 and out of home. The culture of baseball wasn’t exactly accommodating either, so it was only in certain circles and among friends that he could do anything about it.

It mostly felt seedy, and deceitful, and he hadn’t bothered for a long time.

Dylan’s a different thing altogether.

He looks pale, and tired, and he rubs at his shoulder and his neck a lot like maybe he’s nervous. He’s wearing a Henley and expensive jeans and he’s shaved since last time Tyler saw him. Smooth, more freckles, longer hair, so much to look at, so much to covet. Tyler feels young and foolish.

“Posey said - ” Tyler starts, playing with his napkin and not meeting Dylan’s gaze. Dylan interrupts,

“Posey is the worst,” and they laugh because it’s the absolute truth. “Look, can we not talk about what was, like, said or told or guessed or anything? I feel really stupid.”

You feel stupid? I just ran out on you, on Posey, ‘cause I was too gutless to …”

“I get it. It’s a lot to – we’ve been friends such a long time and things have changed a lot. I was just gonna jump into it dick first - ” Dylan makes a startled noise and Tyler feels a warm flush creep its way up his neck. “Oh God, I just said dick.”

Tyler huffs softly, unable to stop his grin. Dylan’s right, a lot has changed, but some things never will. Dylan, and the earnest way he is with Tyler. Loose limbed and giving. He has seen, and known, and experienced things that Tyler only scratched the surface of but they’re still the same friends they were all those years ago. Friends, with an edge of something else, maybe, something that Tyler doesn’t want to over think.

“Let’s get some food and you can tell me about Jimmy Fallon - ”

“Dude, you didn’t,”

“Of course I did.”

“Ugh, I hate the internet so much. So much.”

They get food and they rally, relearning each other. Dylan talks with his mouth full, cutlery flailing around, laughter big and loud and drawing attention. They touch briefly on the subject of their exes, the it’s-been-over-a-long-time variety of chatter, vague, because they never really knew each others girlfriends and Tyler wonders if that means anything.

“I’ve signed on for a new movie,” Dylan tells him when they get to Tyler’s truck. He leans his back against it and plays with a sleeve of his shirt. “I have to do some work interstate but mostly it’s in the studio, you know, here.”

“That’s … that’s good.”

Dylan tilts his hips toward Tyler, smiles in that way that he does sometimes, private, like he knows something Tyler doesn’t. “Is it?” he says, and it’s enough, Tyler surging forward, Dylan’s back hitting the door of his truck with a thump. Dylan makes a breathy - aroused – sound when Tyler takes his mouth in a kiss; he opens fast for him, groans and grabs on to anything he can reach.

Tyler’s a little drunk on his lust, staggered, one hand playing at the back of Dylan’s head and the other firm on his ass, pulling him in. They’re fairly exposed here, the streetlights bathing them in rich orange-gold, and a part of him would like to see it from that angle. Every angle. All the time.

“Wait, wait,” Dylan says around a breath, his hand gentle at Tyler’s chest and not pushing him away. “Can we, can we clear something up before this goes any further?”

“Uh, sure, I - ”

“Do you like dogs? Because if you’re strictly about cats then we might, like, have an issue because dogs are - ”

Tyler laughs from his belly, pulls Dylan back in, the firm yet supple give of his body, his smell. He’s always had that smell. “I like dogs.”

“Okay. Great. Carry on.”

*

Tyler has Cheerios in his cupboard and full cream milk in the fridge. He has a copy of John Green’s latest novel sitting on the bench, and a sock that doesn’t belong to him thrown over the back of his sofa. He has smelly sneakers by his front door and a pile of scripts on his dining table and a post it on his cork board that reads call Deb 4 Bay film in someone else’s writing. There’s a spare tooth brush in the bathroom, a pile of washing in the laundry that’s all too small to be his, and a Mets baseball cap hanging off his bedroom lamp.

Tyler has Dylan’s legs around his waist, Dylan’s blunt fingernails digging into his back and Dylan’s throat in his mouth, bobbing and sticking and desperate. Tyler pulses into Dylan, deep and slick, so close, always so desperate to get there but always so sad when he does. That it ever has to end.

“Fuck, Ty, come on,” Dylan urges, meeting his thrusts, his head tipped back and his back arched and Tyler wonders if he was made for this. If Dylan’s body was just waiting for him, waiting for the right match, slotting together like they were built as one thing, but were broken once. Unfixed until now. “Yes, definitely, definitely made for you,” Dylan says, crackling, because apparently Tyler was saying that out loud and apparently he’s become impervious to Tyler’s pre-orgasmic ramblings.

“Jesus, Dyl,” Tyler says to the place where jaw meets neck, to his freckles. He feels the heat pooling low, he feels it all, them, here, this, to the end of every part of him. “Jesus, I fucking lo - ” Tyler manages to stop himself, reaches to grab at Dylan’s dick so that they can finish off together, taking Dylan’s bottom lip in his mouth as Dylan curses bright and beautiful to the ceiling.

“I heard you,” Dylan says softly, when they’ve tied off the condom and haphazardly cleaned off with the sheet. He curls around Tyler’s side and smiles, reaching a hand out to play at Tyler’s collarbone. “I wasn’t that fucked out not to know where that was going.”

“Yeah.” Tyler has one return plane ticket to London on his bedside table. He has Dylan’s suitcase in the hall, Tyler’s niece’s hair ribbon acting as a luggage tag. “It’s not that I wouldn’t mean it I just … I didn’t want you to think it was …”

“I get it.”

Tyler glances at the clock, big, red, digital numbers mocking him. Angry. “It’s 4:30.”

“Plenty of time,” Dylan says with a sigh, and Tyler winds an arm around his shoulders, pulls him in some more. He holds his nose against Dylan’s head, breathes, says,

“Did you want to go see Posey before you go?” because he can’t keep doing this to himself. It’s not a death sentence.

“I don’t have to. We can just …” his voice trails off and he hums and he means this. Just lying here until they can’t avoid it any more. Until it’s time to shower and dress and kiss goodbye at the door. Time to let go and accept this is how it’s always been, and will continue to be.

“It’s just three months, four tops,” Dylan says quietly, as if he knows exactly what Tyler is thinking. “And you’re coming to visit.”

“Yeah, I am.”

“And you l - like me the best,” Dylan says, grinning, tilting Tyler’s face to his, to kiss.

“Yeah, I do.”

*

(Tyler has a copy of OUT magazine that Dylan gave him, his face on the front and his signature inside because he thinks he’s funny.

OUT: So, we hear you’re in a relationship. With a man.

DO: You would have heard that, yes. If you heard I was in a relationship with a woman this interview would be kind of pointless.

OUT: No way! We’re all for equal opportunity. Straight guys are people, too.

DO: [laughs] Do you want to ask me lots of inappropriate questions about the guy I’m seeing, because he’ll read this and he’ll be mortified. I’m game.

OUT: We just wanted to ask how it was going.

DO: It’s great. He’s … great.

OUT: We should point out to our readers that you have the happiest, dumbest looking expression right now.

DO: It’s true. That’s basically my face now. For him, and for slow roasted chicken with apricot stuffing and home made yams with like, this spice crust and – yeah. Yeah, I’m really happy.)

 

-End.-