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The first time you meet in real life, your primary thought is that he is beautiful. John is so beautiful.

He's got the hollow bones of a bird and a matching thinness, and when he sees you he chirps greetings and floats through the air like he owns it and he does, just like he owns you. His eyes are the blue of the sky and his skin is the white of the clouds, and maybe if you consume him whole you’ll be able to feel a universe inside you, a weightless atmosphere drifting through your veins and giving you life like you’ve ever deserved any right to it.

You want to eat him up so no other can ever see the beauty you’re witnessing. You want to comb every inch of his brain like an ancient ruin but tell no one of your findings. You want all of his grinning, lovely innocence, and you want to fuck it right out of him until his hips are as bruised as your soul and the only name on his lips is yours.

You tell him this against the unforgiving spike of his collarbone, and he counts your freckles with thin fingers and makes you choke on your own damn breath. When he hums your name into your neck and slides into you for the first time, it feels like coming home.

Like you belong.

Those fingers brush some kind of metaphorical wind over your translucent skin, raising pale hairs and taking away every bad thought you have about yourself. When he slips off the barrier of your shades and red eyes meet blue, you’ve never felt more naked, with your dick out and sweat matting your hair to your forehead. He moves with you in the most enticing rhythm you’ve encountered yet, and when you feel the throb of his heart in you and you come with more intensity than ever before in your short life, that throb becomes the backbeat to the verbal pulse of your brain, puts music to the neverending stream of lyrics, brings sense to the words you’ve always spat but never gave meaning to.

You’ve never been one for religion, but you swear the slick heat where your bodies touch is God, and the sound of his name leaving your lips in a quiet breath of a moan is the most fervent of prayers, and the bony fingers clutching your bony hips hard enough to bruise are that longed-for paradise, and as a person who’d expected hell at the very most, you think that maybe this is what ascending to all the other religions’ heavens is like, too.

When he’s done and he draws out of you with a squelch that makes you shiver and rests his head beside yours and threads your fingers, and you see the chaos of his hair and the delicate brush of ebony on ivory as his eyelashes touch his cheeks and their painted-on flush, he looks like a doll. A doll that you want to put away on a shelf to keep away from everyone else who will taint him, who will take away your sky, who will make him forget even temporarily that you’re the only one; the only one who will ever love him like this, the only one who sees all his loveliness just like he’s the only one who’s seen yours.

But when he feels your gaze on him and squeezes those too-elegant pianist fingers around yours and meets your eyes, you feel almost guilty, because you don’t deserve him. The whole world needs to see how beautiful he is, even though the thought makes you sick, even though he’s your bird that you don’t trust yourself enough to permanently cage.

He’s so lovely and so oblivious when he whispers, “Your jizz is like…all over your stomach,” and his attempt to giggle quietly turns into a snort, and you think that it’s okay, because maybe he won’t fly away, even if you don’t cage him. Maybe, then, it would mean more if he really did choose to stay.

He’s beautiful. John is so beautiful.

And maybe you are beautiful, too, because every sky needs something to tower over, and because every heir needs a knight to protect him, and if you are even merely backup to him, you don’t mind. You don’t mind, because with his legs tangled with yours and his heart your personal metronome against your side, you are beautiful, too, even if it’s only a lie.