As he rolled out of bed this morning, spending the afternoon manning a kissing booth definitely wasn't on his list of things to do. He’d planned on hanging out with his friends, spending a couple hours at the school’s annual fundraiser, before heading home. Hell, he never even volunteered. All he’d done was offer to help set the stalls up. But then John Cena – the stereotypical captain of the football team, but with a heart of gold and gleaming reputation – had strolled up to him all smiles and a “hey Seth, look, I’m sorry its late notice but Randy can’t come, so we need another guy on the kissing booth. I was hoping maybe you’d be able to fill in for him?”
Seth, being the sucker that he is, accepted and allowed John to guide him towards one of the booths.
There was a shelf inside, and on it sat a packet of chewing gum, breath spray and hand sanitizer. With a grumble, he opened the packet of gum and began to chew as he waited for his first 'customer'. His tall, dark, and incredibly attractive first customer. It’s only afterwards that someone leans over to hiss “what are you, five? Jesus kid, give ‘em something worth their money.”
He has to catch himself before he makes a fool of himself by asking what that even entails. He knows full well what that means, and the thought makes his gut clench. It's not that he hasn't kissed anyone like that. It's just. He's never kissed anyone that he doesn't know. That he doesn't harbour some kind of feelings for. But he doesn't want to make a bad impression. And who knows, maybe some no-strings-attached kissing could be good. Almost everyone he knows seems to enjoy it, so why shouldn’t he?
It’s been a couple hours now, and Seth is surprised by just how popular his booth has been. Among all students. He’s been openly gay for years, but there are still girls choosing his booth, rather than one of the older, much straighter guys’. He’s also surmounted a considerable pile of phone numbers. Calling them back isn’t something he’s likely to do, but just looking at the pile is enough to boost his confidence.
“Better get that sanitizer ready, kid.” The guy on the booth next to him laughs, setting off a chorus of cackles amongst the others. In confusion, and curiosity, Seth looks up from his pile of phone numbers. Approaching his booth is Dean Ambrose who is somewhat... infamous. Partly because of his home life and the number of fights he gets into (though from what he's seen, Seth is half way to beliving the fights are simply him sticking up for himself, rather than fighting for the sake of violence). There are also vicious rumours about his mental health, but Seth hasn’t ever listened to the jokes and jibes. In fact, part of him sympathises with the guy. Sure, he’s a bit... quirky and unpredictable, but he’s never seen anything that would suggest he’s anywhere near as bad as people make out.
“Hey,” Seth smiles when Dean finally reaches his booth. His smile isn’t reciprocated, rather his nervous expression deepens, “Roman bully you into this?”
The name seems to shock Dean into life, “what?”
“Roman.” He nods over to where Roman Reigns stands, not-so-inconspicuously watching them. Roman’s in the year above them, a Junior, and one of the stand-out players on the football team. Despite everything that’s been said, Roman’s never once betrayed his friend for the sake of his image. If it came down to it, Seth would even bet Roman would rather give up playing football than abandon Dean.
Dean glances behind him, causing Roman to quickly look away, “yeah,” Dean turns back to him with a grimace, “I don’t do stuff like... this. But he promised to do my homework for a month if I came over so...”
“A kiss from me is worth a month’s homework? I’m flattered… But also slightly offended that it took that much to convince you.”
“Sure you’ve heard the shit,” Dean shrugs, blunt fingernails picking at a patch of peeling paint on the booth. Seth’s suddenly overcome with the urge to take the hand in his own. He shoves his hands in the deep warmth of his jacket pockets to stop himself, “y’know. Just... people look at me funny. Know you’re in with Orton, prob’ly gonna be captain of the wrestling team when he graduates. Don’t want you to risk that or have people take the piss outta you for having to, y’know. Kiss me or whatever. Not that much of a dick, surprisingly.”
“I don’t pay much attention to what people say, Dean. Just put your money in the pot and kiss me already, yeah?” Dean swallows but nods, dropping his money into the pot as told, “so there’s no rules or whatever, but, just, don’t... I had one chick almost pull me across the booth earlier so please don’t try that- not that I think you would! Just, yeah. And only one kiss. Unless you wanna pay again.”
“One kiss.” Dean repeats, nodding his head, eyes fixed on the lips in front of him. Seth decides to let Dean move at his own pace, not wanting to scare the guy away, and smiles gently when Dean’s eyes flick back up to meet his, as if asking for permission to move. Exhaling deeply, Dean eventually edges forward to meet Seth’s lips. He surprises himself as he hums at the contact, hands slipping from his pockets to brace themselves against the top of the booth, helping him move closer, feeling almost desperate for more. Dean’s lips are soft, he notes, and his kiss is gentler than Seth anticipated – though Seth isn’t certain what exactly he was anticipating, he hasn’t exactly given kissing Dean much thought...
He could stand here and kiss Dean all day, and that thought alone startles Seth. What also startles him is the heat and desire swimming in the blue eyes staring back at him when he finally pulls back.
“Damn.” Seth muses, more to himself than anyone else. Dean grins, dimples emerging from nowhere, catching him off guard. Seth has to take a moment to regain his breath, quell the churning in his stomach.
“Hope it was worth your money.”
“More than worth it,” Seth notes the blush creeping up Dean’s face and the way his eyes drop to his hands, “hope I was worth the shit you’re prob’ly gonna get.”
Unable to keep his hands to himself any longer, Seth reaches up to brush a honey-blond curl aside as he smiles, “more than worth it.”
They stand for a while longer, just smiling at each other. Seth wonders if Dean can feel the crackling electricity between them too. Before he can figure out what to say next, Dean is muttering his goodbyes heading back towards Roman. He ignores the jibes that come from the others on the booths. Dean’s all too aware about his reputation around the school, and Seth feels like perhaps that’s slightly upsetting to him, even if he doesn’t admit it. There was just something in his eyes that lit up when he said he didn’t listen to the rumours. As if Seth’s opinion truly mattered. He tries not to read too much into that one observation, but it still makes his stomach flip slightly.
A few more minutes, kisses and phone numbers later, a guy wearing a ridiculously over-sized top hat and blatantly fake moustache arrives. Seth has to use all his self-control to not break out into fits of laughter. He kisses the guy – tries not to shy away from the uncomfortable scratch of plastic against his nose – smiles and says goodbye.
Not ten minutes later a guy wearing lensless Harry Potter imitation glasses and a fake beard approaches the booth.
Another kiss, another smile, another goodbye.
The trend continues. He finds himself kissing several guys that, strangely, all have blue eyes and honey-blonde curls. He manages to bite his tongue until a guy wearing a masquerade mask steps up. That’s when Seth finally cracks.
“Y’know, Dean. There’s no rule that says you can’t just come back to the booth and pay for another kiss.”
Dean blanches, hand quickly coming up to tear the mask from his face, “I– I didn’t. Roman. He- he said I should- told me that-”
“I’m not mad, Dean,” Seth assures. He watches as Dean’s shoulders relax and leans around the booth to tug at Dean’s hand. None of the guys at the other booths look surprised, simply nodding as he leads Dean behind the nearest wall. Seth presses him up against it, biting his lip to hold back a smile when he feels warm hands hesitantly rest on his hips, “and I meant it when I said you could’ve just come back if you wanted to keep kissing me. Not sure I would’ve even charged you.”
Dean frowns, “why?”
“Does it matter why?” Dean shakes his head slowly, though his eyebrows are still drawn together suspiciously. Seth smiles, leans forward until their lips are brushing, and then murmurs, “so what’re you waiting for?”
It’s a long while before Dean and Seth emerge from behind the wall. Lips bruised and red, minds still echoing every truth and tender word exchanged, hair and rumpled shirts a tell-tale sign for anyone who sees them step out together. Seth laughs as he notices that the sky is now darker. Shit. Were they really gone that long? His hand seeks out Dean’s, slots their fingers together. From the corner of his eye he checks Dean’s reaction, hoping he hasn’t overstepped any boundaries, and watches as he glances down at the point where they connect, watches as Dean’s face almost splits in half with a wide smile. At that moment, Roman approaches them. Seth watches as his eyes drop to their connected hands, the sight causing the older man to grin as well.
“Looks like it was worth me dragging your ass here after all, eh?” Roman chuckles, shoving at his friend’s shoulder playfully.
Dean grins, “yeah,” Seth bites on his bottom lip and his face grows hot as Dean tugs his hand to pull him closer. He then feels a kiss being pressed against his temple, “more than you'd believe.”
He makes a note to thank Randy for deciding to not turn up today.