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feel like flying too

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It is so, so stupid late right now. Like, hours past your bedtime late, even taking the time zone thing into account. You should be sleeping. Dave (you check again) is passed out and drooling on his pillow like a nerd. You should be too! It's been a long day. But you're still just too wound up to sleep. You fidget a little more. This is so awkward. Maybe you'll just get up and go out to the living room. You can turn the volume way down and play some Xbox or something until you're ready to actually sleep.

You get up and go slouching out there and then stop, honestly a little intimidated by all the cables and wires and blinky boxes that make up the TV's fort. You chew on your lip, studying it, wondering if there are booby traps in the mess somewhere—from the way Dave talks about his bro, it sounds possible—or if you'll accidentally set everything to blare through the speaker system and wake up the entire apartment building.

"Can't sleep?"

You jump about a foot in the air, and you clap your hands over your mouth too late to stop the "Eep!" noise from getting out. Wow, you feel like a dork. "Um," you say.

Dave's bro just nods, like he knows exactly what you wish you had said, which is a good trick because you're not totally sure yourself. "Happens sometimes," he says. "Hard to relax in a strange place, yeah?"

"Yeah, exactly," you say. "I mean it's really nice here! It's just not familiar." And there are smuppets everywhere and the apartment smells...not bad, but definitely not like home? And you're pretty sure you don't want to say that out loud.

Dave's bro does that flash-step thing and suddenly he's in front of the couch, snagging a remote control you didn't even see and flipping the TV on, starting up some kind of concert recording with weird thrumming beats that aren't quite like the stuff Dave likes. "So come chill out," he says. "I got something here that might help you relax, if you're down."

"Um, really?" you say, and then he's pulling this orange glass bulb thing out from behind the couch and for a second you're afraid it's some kind of smuppet sex toy and then you realize that no, dude, it's a bong, which is a thing you have never before seen in real life, only in those youtube clips of Cheech and Chong that Dave tried to convince you were high art (ha ha) a few years ago. "Holy shit."

That actually makes him smile, and you thought there was a rule against Striders smiling. "It's just weed, man. Isn't Washington one of the states where you can smoke it medicinally?"

"Well, yeah, but that doesn't mean that everybody does it, or anything." You're watching him fiddle with the bong and you have this kind of tingly feeling that you identify after a second as your getting-away-with-stuff senses on high alert. Your lip is caught between your teeth again as you watch.

"You don't have to," he says. "I'm not here to be your after-school-special leering drug pusher trying to get you hooked on cocaine and put you on a street corner. It's just hospitality. Bong's here if you want it." He lights up the weed in its little bowl and takes a hit. You are watching somebody do drugs in real life. Wow.

He holds it for what feels like kind of a long time, then exhales smoke in a slow stream toward the ceiling. You can smell it, and it's...kind of nice. You sort of imagined it smelling a little like your dad's pipe (which smells really different than other people's cigarettes, even though they're both tobacco, so go figure) but it's not. The smell is kind of sharp and savory and...brighter, maybe? Can you use words like that to describe smells? You can now. You watch him take another hit and then sigh like everything is right with the world.

"Okay," you say, sitting down next to him, "I think I want to try."

"Cool," he says, nodding slowly, and a tiny part of you dies because Dave's bro is like the epitome of cool and he approves of you and this is probably exactly why there are all those lectures about peer pressure and you don't care. "Here." He shows you where to hold it and presses the lighter into your other hand. "Don't take too big a drag the first time. You've never smoked anything before, have you?"

You shake your head. "Cigarettes smell gross," you explain. And maybe there was that one time you tried to figure out how pipe-smoking worked but that was a disaster and it doesn't count.

"Right," he says. "So take it slow. Breathe it in, hold your breath for a couple seconds, and let it go."

You feel a little shaky and nervous but you do your best to play it cool. The smoke tastes weird in your mouth and is a little prickly in your throat and you feel weird about holding your breath, but at least you manage to not cough all over the place like people do on TV when they've never smoked before. By the time you breathe out you think maybe your head feels a little funny.

You try to pass the bong back, but he shakes his head. "Go ahead and take another hit or two," he says. "Get the full experience."

"Haha, wow," you say, "taking this hospitality thing pretty seriously, huh?"

"You know it," he says as you fumble with the lighter. You breathe in a little deeper the second time and you're definitely feeling fuzzy by the time you exhale. You blink at him a few times, feeling how your face just sort of wants to smile right now. You take a third hit.

"Wow," you inform him gravely after that one. "I—yeah."

He nods. "Here, pass it over."

"Oh, right," you say. "Sorry." You hand the bong over and watch him take another hit off it. Somehow that's totally fascinating now. "It's like everything is the same but more," you say, and you're not sure you're explaining yourself well, but it's like. Your head feels fuzzy on the inside and colors are really neat and you feel just generally pretty okay with the world. Not that you usually have problems with the world, but. Yeah.

You discover that the texture of your jeans is pretty neat. You discover that rubbing the back of your head against the couch makes you want to giggle. You discover that Dave's bro has a really great smile that makes you feel warm and happy. You discover that when he ruffles your hair it makes you want to push into his hand, and make a sound like a really terrible attempt at purring.

He laughs when you do that, and oh, that's a really good sound. He scoots closer and you can feel how warm he is all along your side and that's pretty nice, and when he says, "Makes you kind of touchy-feely, hmm?" you can't argue.

"That's okay, right?" you ask. "Wait, is that okay?"

He laughs again and this time he's close enough that you can feel his breath in your hair. "Okay by me," he says. He drapes an arm over your shoulders and you lean into him and he feels so solid and strong. His other hand is tracing patterns across your thigh like he thinks your jeans feel neat, too, or like he's writing you a secret message, wow, that would be so neat, and you squirm a little but you can't decode it but that's okay too because it just feels nice.

Really nice. Oh. Kind of...really nice in a specific in-your-pants way, and wow, the friction of your jeans against your developing boner is way more interesting than usual. Should you not be thinking about it? Maybe this is inappropriate. Okay probably yeah. But you can't help yourself entirely, and then it twitches just as his fingertips trace a curve high up on your thigh and he laughs.

"You doing okay there?" he asks. His other hand splays across your chest and it's warm and you wonder if your heart is really beating as hard as you think it is, and when his fingers start sliding back in the direction of your knee again your hips come up off the couch a little. "Let me know if you need a hand."

You're clutching at his pants, your fingers graspy and half-numb and when did that happen? He's definitely tracing letters up your thigh now but you can't concentrate enough to follow the message. When he gets to like pocket level your hips do the thing again without waiting to consult with your brain. "If you're offering, um, yes please," you say.

"Sure thing, man," Dave's outrageously irony-cool bro says and wow you have no idea how he has the dexterity to get your jeans open one-handed when he smoked more than you did and you're currently about at the "check it out, I have feet" level. Also, rambling in your brain. But your jeans are open and he's trying to tug them down without really letting go of you so you squirm to help him out and check it out, you do have feet, and kicking them helps get your jeans and your underwear more or less off and wow.

"Were doing this," you say, because it occurs to you that it fits, "where making this hapen," and how do you even pronounce hapen anyway? You're probably doing it wrong and it's still making you giggle.

He laughs, too, warm and easy, breath against your ear and really quiet because that's right Dave is still asleep in the next room, jeez.

This time when his hand slides up your thigh it makes your leg hairs prickle all funny from getting brushed backward, a little squirmy weird but good, and then he's touching your balls, holy crap. You make another dumb little eeping noise as he plays with them, as his fingertips trace really lightly up the length of your dick. It feels great and you want more and oh man just really seriously you want his hand wrapped around you, really a lot, and maybe you're actually saying so?

Because he says, "Yeah, it's cool, that's exactly where we're headed," and you think you might die. But then he lets go of you for a second and he's undoing his pants instead, and he doesn't say anything about that, just raises one eyebrow at you over the top of his anime shades.

So you stick your hand in his pants and wow okay that's his dick in your hand, gosh, and it feels so amazingly smooth—okay, yeah, you guess it's not that different from yours? But when you're touching yours you're thinking more about how your dick feels than how your hand feels, or maybe it makes more sense to say that the other way around, but either way you're touching him and that's a little scary and a little thrilling, and then he gets his hand right where you want it, wrapped hot around your dick and everything is awesome. Those rough spots on his palm are sword calluses, aren't they? Man, that feels so cool.

You let your head fall back and your hips rock up and just feel, his hands and his dick and his body heat and the roughness of fabric and the coolness of air on your bare legs, everything, everything, melting into this blur of things-that-feel-awesome, dreamy and spiraly and drifting, carried by the beat of the music that's still going, that's been going all this time, hasn't it? And you can feel the heat and tingling in your nerves that means pretty soon you're going to come, and that's going to feel so good, but it all feels so good, that's the really cool part, it's going to be just one more part of this weightless whole, and you suddenly get it, why they call it getting high, because right now, you're just. You're flying.