Hoechlin doesn’t do solo interviews which is a shame since he’s probably the only one of them who doesn’t drop IQ points (and common sense) during one. So they take turns and when Teen Vogue asks Hoechlin for a photo shoot/interview it is Dylan’s turn. Not that he’s particularly concerned of course. Dylan has done interviews with Teen Vogue before and understands that the journalists there hold even more contempt for him than he does for them, ergo he will not be asked to pose with Hoechlin or contribute in any way other than to utter such quotables as ‘he’s such a nice guy’ and ‘Aw shucks Ma’am I don’t know what Tyler wears to bed’. So he brings his Kindle and his IPod and decides to waste a few hours in any available nook in the studio.
What Dylan absolutely doesn’t expect is to be gushed over by the photojournalist in charge of the shoot and to be swatted, honest to God swatted with a hand and everything, to costume and makeup to join Hoechlin.
“I think there’s been a misunderstanding,” Dylan tries to tell the journalist as he’s attacked by the makeup artist. “You guys are meant to be interviewing that guy…” He tries to gesture to Hoechlin only to have someone yell out a curse word over the state of his hands. “I’m just his backup.”
“You are his prop,” The photojournalist tells him in her high pitched German accent. “To be honest when I first suggested it to Mr Hoechlin I expected him to bring a vase or a lighter, but you! You are perfect. The tone of your skin, the lines of your body,” She eyes him up and down. “You will add another dimension to my work!”
“Wait a minute,” Dylan tries to gather his thoughts. “Hoechlin knew about this?”
“I hate you,” Dylan snarls when the photojournalist, her name is Inga, arranges him across Hoechlin’s lap like a blanket. She forced him to wear an unbuttoned plaid shirt over unbuttoned, and incredibly tight, Armani jeans. She wants him to rest his ass on Hoechlin’s lap while Hoechlin plays with the two buttons that are still fastened on the fly. The pose is dirty and quasi-pornographic and Hoechlin loves it if his grin is any indication. “You couldn’t have warned me?”
“Would you have come if I had?” It’s a fair point but Dylan is sprawled out on his colleague’s lap while said colleague has his hand on his junk, he doesn’t really care about fairness right now. “Besides this is fun.”
“For you maybe,”
“Enough of the chit chat boys!” Inga yells from somewhere behind the blinding spotlights in front of them. “Now Mr O’Brien I would like you to turn over. No do not move your buttocks. Keep your buttocks where they are Mr O’Brien, I mean it. Actually you may raise them very slightly. Yes that is very good! Now Mr Hoechlin I would like you to put your hands on the waistband of his jeans. Perfect! I would like to see a little more passion in your eyes Mr O’Brien!”
“How about I buy you a drink later?” Hoechlin says when Inga, the devil woman that she is, has them both topless and almost-kissing. “There’s this really good cocktail bar not far from the studio. We could try and drink away today’s memories.”
“You’re buying,” Dylan mumbles against Hoechlin’s mouth and he hums in agreement even though it wasn’t a request. Eventually Inga asks them to kiss and Stiles wonders why on Earth Teen Vogue needs a gay kiss. It is only later, months later, that he finds out the shoot was for Attitude and the article was less about Teen Wolf and more about Hoechlin coming out.
“Wow,” Holland says months later when they are all together and some mediocre talk show host displays one of the Attitude photographs for the amusement of his audience. It’s the one where Dylan is on Hoechlin’s lap with his back arched. Hoechlin’s face looks straight on at the camera with this intense expression that is Derek Hale on a bad day, his fingers playing with the waistband of Dylan’s jeans, and Dylan’s body…
Dylan has no words to describe how good Inga has made him look. So he doesn’t say anything, he just smiles politely at the talk show host when he asks Dylan whether he turned Hoechlin gay (seriously who says shit like that?), until Hoechlin makes some jokey comment about how Derek wants Stiles’ ass and deflects all of the attention onto himself. Dylan is grateful but not so grateful that he can quite forgive Hoechlin for getting him into that position in the first place.
“I’m sorry,” Is Hoechlin’s favourite phrase. He says it with bouquets of flowers, sent like clockwork every Sunday to his condo in LA, with chocolate, expensive designer gifts, and on one memorable occasion with a thousand dollar whiskey hamper from Scotland. And no matter how many times Dylan texts or calls or pages or tweets him to tell him it’s okay, that there are worse things to be called than ‘that guy who turned Hoechlin gay’ (because apparently as mediocre as that talk show host was his show is the most popular one in the country amongst Teen Wolf’s target audience, and so now Dylan is known as ‘that twink who turned Tyler Hoechlin gay’ and gets a surprising number of death threats from their target teen demographic).
“Seriously dude,” Dylan yawns when Hoechlin calls him yet again to apologise. He glances at his nightstand and sighs when he sees the time on his alarm. It’s three in the morning so this is probably a drunk dial. Dylan hates it when Hoechlin drunk dials him. “It’s okay. I’m a hot guy; it’s only natural that you’d have a thing for me.”
“Yeah,” Hoechlin rasps out in his ‘I just drank my body weight in Jack, Jack’ voice. “You’re gorgeous and miles,” He hiccups and Dylan sighs impatiently. “Miles out of my league but I can’t help it. I…” He trails off suddenly and this is usually the point where either Dylan or Hoechlin hangs up but before Dylan can do the honours Hoechlin mutters something under his breath and of course Dylan has to ask what he said. “I love you.”
“I love you too man,” Dylan says automatically only for Hoechlin to interrupt him with what sounds suspiciously like a snarl.
“Not like that dumbass. I love you. As in I’m in love with you. I’ve been in love with you for more than a year. Ever since I fucking laid eyes on you. I…” His voice loses all of the fight in it suddenly. “I should really stop drunk dialling you.” And before Dylan can say anything, before he can so much as react, Hoechlin hangs up. He doesn’t call Dylan much after that.
The script for Season three surprises Stiles. Not that he didn’t see it coming of course, MTV are nothing if not whores to their audience, but he expected the Derek/Stiles romance to be relegated to subtext and innuendo not passionate kisses (with tongue, the script explicitly states) and half-naked fumblings in the woods. But Dylan can handle it. He is after all a professional.
As it turns out, while Dylan is a professional Hoechlin is definitely not and he refuses to do any of it (the kissing, the grinding; the fully clothed almost-porn on Stiles’ jeep). The continued refusals cause tensions in the studio and it gets so bad that one of the higher ranking producers actually orders Dylan to go talk to Hoechlin, like he’d listen to him.
“Remind him that he’s damned lucky to still be on the show after what he pulled with Attitude!” The guy snarls at Dylan as he walks to Hoechlin’s trailer. He thinks it’s a little harsh. There is nothing in their contracts that states that they can’t talk about their personal lives to the media. Dylan should know, after Hoechlin’s little revelation (or as his Mom calls it, his unibombing by phone) he spent hours scouring over every tiny word of his contract. But Dylan figures that the producer is too angry to remember that little fact. “He cost us millions. It’s time for him to start paying us back!”
“With gay sex!” Colton shouts from somewhere on the set much to the amusement of the crew, but Dylan doesn’t laugh. He can’t. It’s like someone took his sense of humour and stomped all over it.
Dylan hugs Hoechlin the second he opens the door and doesn’t let go, not even when Hoechlin begins to kiss him.
Dylan can’t come out in the same way as Hoechlin did. For one he isn’t as well known in the business to be able to take risks like that (even though everyone who should know knows). For another his agent has promised summary castration and/or execution if he does. But they don’t keep their relationship a secret either. There’s lots of unashamed handholding and PDAs and even some wildly inappropriate restroom sex during after show parties and award ceremonies.
Hoechlin even buys them a condo, not that either of their schedules allows them to stay together longer than week in it, and a cat. And his Dad sometimes spends hours on the phone to Hoechlin trading recipes because in addition to being a good baseball player, and a good actor, and a good lay, Hoechlin is also the best cook in the fricking universe (and yes, that universe does include his Dad whose cooking so pales in comparison that the mantle of responsibility for catering all of the O’Brien holidays fell to Hoechlin within seconds of his Mom tasting his lasagne). And Dylan is so happy that he accidentally (and totally not on purpose no matter what Hoechlin says) comes out on the David Letterman Show by proposing to Hoechlin (instead of answering a Stiles based question) and then not laughing it off.
“Seriously?” Hoechlin asks incredulously at the same time as the audience lets out a collective gasp.
“I love you, dude.” Dylan shrugs casually because now that he’s said it and it’s out there he feels so much more relaxed like a two hundred pound weight (he didn’t know he was carrying) has just been lifted from his shoulders. And now he understands why Hoechlin came out the way he did. It feels so fucking liberating. “I think it’s time we made it official don’t you?”