Tyler pinpoints Dylan taking over his condo to somewhere around mid-March.
He cottons on when Dylan wakes up after the third time crashing on his couch in the space of a fortnight and says, pawing at the empty box of Cheerios on the coffee table, "Man, this is awful. We're going grocery shopping."
It wouldn't be a problem if it weren't for his stupid crush. His stupid crush that everyone knows about. Excluding possibly Dylan himself.
He can't help it, though. Dylan just-- he just makes Tyler light up, and it's the stupidest fucking thing he's ever thought, let alone felt, but there's nothing he can do about it now.
There was nothing he could really do about it from the second he met Dylan, honestly.
He's never exactly been subtle about his feelings, but Dylan makes him want to not be subtle even if he could.
The way he smiles sometimes and then looks at Tyler like he's waiting for him to smile too, or when he does one of his stupid dances and then shoots Tyler a glance for his reaction, or every time he laughs with his whole body-- pretty much everything he does, now, it just feels kind of vital, like he has to smile back and show Dylan that yeah, I think you're fucking awesome. Like there's this weird pull, like he can't not.
The only thing is, it's become this massive wave of feelings on his part and it's kind of distorting everything coming from Dylan's end. Obviously Dylan likes him, but Dylan likes everyone, so it's kind of hard to gauge the nuances of it.
He would ask someone, maybe, but he's already a bit horrified by all the beatific looks he keeps catching from the others every time he glances away from Dylan. He has to maintain some dignity.
There's maybe an element of self-preservation to it, too.
He sighs, rubbing his forehead. He's been awake for exactly seven minutes, and the coffee in his hand is still too hot to drink. All in all it's way too early and he's way too lacking in caffeine to think about any of this, so he just says, "Okay. You're driving."
Dylan's a terrible driver. You wouldn't think it, watching the show-- Stiles is super handy with the Jeep, and Dylan's as perfectly in-character there as he is everywhere else-- but in real life situations the finer mechanics of the gear stick seem to elude him completely.
"Oh my God," says Tyler, the third time they jar into motion at a stoplight. "Getting you to drive was the worst idea."
"Well, it was yours," agrees Dylan cheerfully, tugging haphazardly at the gears.
"That's not how you-- " Tyler cuts himself off, blanching, and just goes for, "I'm too young to die."
"Definitely too pretty." Dylan grins at him, swerving into the Costco parking lot.
"I'm driving home," says Tyler firmly, jumping out of the car before Dylan's even cut the motor.
"You know," says Tyler, snatching the shopping cart from under Dylan's hands, because he's about as coordinated with them as he is with a registered vehicle, "We're kind of well-off now, we don't actually have to buy in bulk."
Dylan shrugs. "Bargains are bargains," he says. "It pays to be safe, in this economy."
Tyler grins. "You just like being able to buy ten boxes of Coco Puffs at a time."
"And you're just upset because Costco doesn't sell quinoa," Dylan shoots back, laughing.
Tyler shakes his head, biting down on his lip, and is kind of thrilled by how well they know each other. Even the Costco thing-- Dylan doesn't actually have a preference, but Tyler read this whole thing a while back, about how apparently even warehouse chains had politics, and he'd thought it was kind of fascinating but also that no one else would. Dylan had caught him at it, though, and demanded an explanation, and obviously Tyler had obliged, and well-- Dylan has shopped at Costco over Walmart ever since. It's kind of-- he doesn't even know. Just, nice.
He checks himself before he walks the cart into a wall of half-off cans of tomato soup, and says, "Do you have a list, or is my house just generally lacking?"
"Hmm," says Dylan. "I like tomato soup."
Tyler makes a face at the cans. "We'll buy tomatoes and make our own," he says.
"But I want all the processed preservative deliciousness!" says Dylan with wide eyes.
Tyler rolls his and throws two cans into the cart. "We're still getting tomatoes," he says.
"Do you know how to make tomato soup?" asks Dylan, leading the way into the cereal aisle.
"No," says Tyler. "But I know how to use the Internet."
"I'll get you my mom's recipe," says Dylan. "It's the best."
"I thought preservatives were the best," says Tyler, to mask-- or well, attempt to mask-- the way he's kind of stupidly touched.
"This is even better," says Dylan reverently. Tyler shakes his head and laughs.
He watches as Dylan throws fifteen boxes of cereal into the cart-- three different kinds, five of each. "Are we preparing for a siege or something?" he says.
"A siege of awesomeness." Dylan nods.
Tyler smiles helplessly.
They fall into a routine which consists basically of Dylan leading the way and Tyler following obediently with the cart-- it's a little bit pathetic, really, how much it mirrors their general existence, and even more so because he can't find it in him to care.
The rest of the stuff Dylan throws in the cart is mostly cans-- fruit and vegetables, some tuna. He holds up a hand before Tyler can even say anything and says, "Don't worry, we can get the real stuff too. It's good to have it handy, though, right? Just in case?" and Tyler can't really argue with that. Not that he would, anyway. There's also a truly obscene amount of soda in there by the time they make it to the checkout. He's mentally recalculating the number of hours he's going to have to put in at the gym per week and absently pulling his wallet from his pocket when he feels Dylan's hand closing around his wrist.
"What?" he says, blinking.
"I got it," says Dylan, pulling out his own wallet.
"What?" says Tyler again. "No, you-- "
"Come on, I crashed on your couch and ate most of your cereal. I got this."
Tyler shakes his head.
Dylan puts his hands on his hips and raises an eyebrow. "There's gonna be a lot more crashing on your couch and eating your food, man, so let me alleviate my guilt."
"You don't have to feel guilty about that," says Tyler, frowning when Dylan pushes in front of him and hands over a wad of cash to the girl behind the checkout. "Mi casa es tu casa, or whatever."
"Aw," says Dylan, grinning at him. "Also, it's 'su casa,' dumbass. Shouldn't you know that? Aren't you Hispanic?"
"No," says Tyler. "What? Am I?"
Dylan stills incredulously halfway through handing change to the cashier and turns to look at Tyler with stupid bug-eyes. Tyler stares back, straight-faced-- or well, straight-faced for six seconds, and then he bursts out laughing. Dylan laughs too, with his whole body, head tipped back, change forgotten in the hollow of his palm. The cashier clicks her tongue impatiently.
"Sorry," says Dylan hastily, turning and dumping the change into her hand.
He's still grinning like crazy, and Tyler allows himself a hand on the small of Dylan's back until they head out into the parking lot.
"You know," says Dylan as Tyler drives them back to his place, "'Tu' and 'su' are actually both correct. I sincerely apologise for calling you a dumbass."
"Did you google it?" says Tyler, throwing him a helpless grin. Of course he did.
"Accuracy is my middle name," says Dylan, nodding absently.
"I thought that was freeloader," says Tyler.
"Hey, shut up, I paid for the groceries," says Dylan.
Dylan puts the groceries away in exchange for Tyler carrying most of them inside; it's kind of perplexing and also kind of awesome how he knows exactly where everything goes.
He frowns into the fridge when he puts the soda away and says, "We need more booze eventually, but I guess we can wait a bit."
"Huh?" says Tyler, blinking. Thank God Dylan has his back to him; that ogling was probably verging on the wrong side of creepy. If there is such a thing as a right side.
Dylan turns around, grinning. "I'm getting your place party-ready, duh. Or well, you know, making sure it's up to being hangout central."
"My place is going to be hangout central?" says Tyler.
"Yeah, we decided without you. Since it's your place and you don't get a say."
"Is that how things are supposed to work?" says Tyler, tilting his head and grinning.
"Always in my experience," says Dylan, smiling back.
"I guess I should've realised, the way you were all going on about my beach house," says Tyler. He doesn't exactly mind. He loves the cast and he loves being part of the cast and he's kind of stoked that they all want to hang out at his place. It's big enough that even if he did want to get away at any point he probably still could. Anyway, he doubts anyone would actually take over his room. That would kind of suck. Unless it was Dylan, obviously. He might have to look into getting some more furniture, though. He doesn't even have a second bed, just a mattress in the guest bedroom, which is why Dylan has been opting to sleep on the couch.
"We'd love you even if you didn't have a sweet pad, you know that, right?" says Dylan solemnly, stepping forward to put a hand on Tyler's shoulder.
"Yeah, yeah." Tyler rolls his eyes to counter how his stomach is swooping like a teenage girl.
"Good," says Dylan, splitting into a wide grin again and stepping back. "Hey, I don't even have to get you to buy booze anymore! I keep forgetting."
"I like having you around, you remind me of my youth," says Tyler.
Dylan elbows him on his way to the couch. "Bet you miss getting sleazy older men to buy you alcohol, right?" he says. "We're watching a movie, come on."
"Yeah, okay," says Tyler, following. Then, "Hey, are you calling me sleazy?"
Dylan just smirks and throws a DVD at him to put in.
When Tyler shuffles into the kitchen the next morning Dylan's already there with his head in the fridge and about ten six-packs of beer stacked around his feet.
"Um," says Tyler, blinking. "Morning?"
He can't decide whether he's more perplexed by the vast quantities of alcohol at seven am or the fact that Dylan's awake before him. It's a close call.
"Hey, sweetcheeks," says Dylan from inside the fridge. He emerges with an unopened pack of tofu in his hand and adds, "Seriously?" wrinkling his nose adorably.
"It's healthy," says Tyler, folding his arms defensively. "And delicious," he adds, when he realises the former isn't really reason enough for Dylan to not make fun of him.
"Uh huh," says Dylan skeptically, putting it back on a different shelf. "Anyway, I'm rearranging to make way for the booze. I did some shopping." He indicates the six-packs.
"No shit," says Tyler. "Is there coffee?"
"I put a pot on before I left," says Dylan.
"I love you," says Tyler vehemently, making a beeline for the coffee and his mug.
Dylan smiles into the fridge and says, "I got some spirits and stuff, too. They're already in the cupboard. Oh, and I stopped by the market, since it was so early. Got your tomatoes and, you know, all the weird healthy shit you like."
"Shut up, you like it too," says Tyler, mumbling into his coffee to hide the way he's kind of stupidly touched. Dylan's actually a pretty amazing housemate. Not that they're living together or anything. He probably shouldn't get too far ahead of himself. Houseguest. It's just hard not to think about things, when it comes to Dylan, even if some of them are as terrifying and breathtaking as they are awesome. Like how he's starting to realise he wouldn't mind just-- having Dylan around.
All the time.
Or well, he's always thought that, really, because it's Dylan, but in a less abstract way now, where Dylan is actually taking over his house and it's mainly just-- really nice.
He heads to the gym after his coffee and a bowl of cereal to work off some of the more worrying Dylan-related feelings. Half so maybe he can stop thinking about it so much and half so he doesn't actually do anything to scare Dylan away, because that would kind of suck.
Dylan watches him go, shaking his head, and says, "I'm going to go for a run. On the beach. Like a normal person."
"I go for runs on the beach," says Tyler blankly.
"Oh my God," says Dylan, throwing a cushion at him.
Tyler blinks confusedly, opens his mouth, shakes his head, closes it again, and heads out.
Dylan shouts, "The fact that you don't get why I pummeled you with your own cushion just proves my point," after him.
Tyler sticks his head back in the door and says, "You might want to look up the definition of pummeled."
Dylan smirks and throws another cushion.
Dylan's in the shower when he gets back, so he makes himself a protein shake in the kitchen instead. He does have a bathroom attached to his bedroom, but he hasn't actually tested the two-showers-going-at-once capabilities of this place yet, so he figures he'll wait.
"Gross," says Dylan when he wanders in, shirtless and toweling at his hair. He wrinkles his nose.
"What, me or the shake?" says Tyler.
"Both," says Dylan. "Go shower, you neanderthal."
"Hey, it's my place," says Tyler.
"Nuh uh," says Dylan, sticking his tongue out. "I'm going to start a list of house rules. Number one is no sitting on Dylan's couch 'til you've showered."
"I wasn't going to!" says Tyler. "Also, I could swear I remember paying for that couch."
"I sleep on it, it's mine," says Dylan.
"If that's how you think about everything you sleep on, I'm pretty sure you may have broken some laws somewhere," says Tyler, tilting his head. "You know I'm gonna sit on it now, right?"
"Don't you dare," says Dylan, holding his towel up threateningly.
Tyler grins and goes to barrel past him; Dylan shouts and jumps onto his back, which-- okay, he has a half-naked, still damp Dylan O'Brien on his back, awesome.
"How is this supposed to stop me?" he says, swallowing around his helpless grin and making for the couch.
"Stop it!" says Dylan. "I'll-- I'll eat all your tofu! I'll throw all your protein shakes down the drain! I'll make Holland redecorate! With girly stuff! I'll put naked pictures of you on the internet! I'll tell your creepiest fans where you live! I won't stop talking about Paul Newman! I'll-- "
He breaks off when Tyler throws himself-- or well, both of them, really-- onto the couch victoriously.
"I hate you," he finishes listlessly, groaning and squirming out from where he's half buried under Tyler.
"You don't," says Tyler kind of breathlessly, grinning up at the ceiling.
"Maybe I'll get your bed all dirty," says Dylan, and Tyler does go shower then, if only because a shirtless Dylan saying shit like that is a bit too much for him to handle.
"I think you bruised me," announces Dylan when Tyler wanders back out after his shower.
"Huh?" says Tyler.
"With your macho couch-claiming shit, you bruised me," says Dylan, pouting at him.
"I did not," says Tyler.
"Dude, have you seen yourself?" says Dylan. "You are not a light guy."
"I-- did I seriously hurt you?" says Tyler, pulling his lip between his teeth guiltily.
Dylan grins brightly at him. "No."
"Asshole," says Tyler fondly, rolling his eyes and opening the fridge. He frowns at the wall of beer. "I feel like I'm living in a frat house," he says. "Where did you put the tofu?"
"Seriously?" says Dylan, making a face. "You actually eat that?"
"Why else would I buy it?" says Tyler, perplexed.
"To look the part?" says Dylan.
"What part?" Tyler frowns. "I'm not that shallow."
"Hmm, you're not, are you," says Dylan thoughtfully.
It's weird, like-- he doesn't say it like it's surprising, which, obviously, Dylan knows him well enough to know he's not like that, or well, Tyler would hope, but he says it kind of quiet, almost like he's talking to himself, and just kind of-- not fond, exactly, but-- Tyler can't really pinpoint the tone, but it doesn't sound bad, and it makes that stupid swooping in his stomach start up again.
He shakes his head and sets about making probably the most determined stirfry ever.
There's enough for both of them, and Dylan says, mouth full as they eat on the couch (to which Dylan raises no objections, the filthy hypocrite), "I was going to make fun of you for that super intense focus you had going on while you were cooking, but props to you, buddy, this is actually pretty amazing."
"Thanks," says Tyler around his fork, and despite all the other things going on in the Dylan space in Tyler's brain, right now it's just easy, the two of them sharing lunch, warm and comfortable and super nice.
It never lasts, though, that totally-relaxed-around-Dylan thing. It's tough to explain, because it isn't like it's ever hard, or bad-- it never is, being around Dylan, and probably never will or ever could be, but he can't help the way that feeling so at home and at ease around Dylan is mixed up with all these other things like how much he just-- wants, and that probably won't ever go away unless, well. Unless he has.
He's in that weird stage, too, where he doesn't know if that strange mix of feelings, that almost but not quite bitter sweetness, is something he should be getting used to (because its not like this or anything really could make him not want to live with Dylan) or if he should still be hoping for more, for everything he wants.
Sometimes Tyler wonders whether Dylan knows, or-- or suspects or something, because it's not like he's subtle, it's not like he doesn't know the fondness is there on his face every time he looks at Dylan. The other guys have given him shit about it often enough. Plus the things he says-- he hasn't ever said outright something like hey I like you not just like a friend but like I want to kiss your stupid mouth and do dirty things with you, or maybe even something like I think I may be falling a little bit in love with you, but he's not going to lie, either-- can't, really, it's just not how he works-- and if anyone asks what he thinks about Dylan he's going to say how awesome and hilarious and talented he is, because well, he is, and he should be told all the time.
Dylan's not like that, in the whole honesty sense. He's not a liar or anything, but he's sarcastic-- not to a Stiles extent, not at all, but he says things for no real reason sometimes, just because it'll be funny, or because it'll spark a reaction, not necessarily because it's true. It's not-- Tyler doesn't not like it, because it's part of the reason Dylan's such a hilarious person, but it makes him hard to read sometimes, makes it hard to distinguish between that and what's just real. Especially when it comes to flirting, which Dylan does pretty much incessantly-- Tyler's noticed, he's not that oblivious-- but just. He has no clue how much-- if any-- of it he really actually means.
The thing about it all, though, in the end, is that if Dylan does know, he hasn't said or done anything he doesn't do all the time. Like, he can flirt all he wants, but he's been doing it since day one, so Tyler figures if he's started meaning it somewhere along the way, something should change, right? And it hasn't, so that doesn't really bode well at all. It means Dylan likes Tyler enough to not say anything and still want to be friends, and Tyler doesn't want to fuck that up if it's all he can get.
And if he doesn't know, well-- Tyler can still use the not wanting to fuck up their friendship excuse until it goes on long enough that he can't escape the fact he's just a pussy.
He figures he's not quite there yet. He thinks. Hopes.
Fuck, he doesn't even know.
Tyler's reading on the deck overlooking the beach when Dylan sticks his head outside and says, "Hey, I was going to do some laundry. It's either that or go home and get some more clothes, but if I leave you might change the locks or something, so you have anything you want me to throw in?"
"Um," says Tyler, looking up, "The hamper in my room. You don't-- I wouldn't change the locks, though. If, you know. If you want to keep staying here."
Dylan smiles. "Thanks, buddy," he says. "In that case call it rent. I'll grab your hamper, that cool?"
"Sure," says Tyler. "Thanks."
Dylan salutes and disappears back into the house.
Tyler tries to go back to reading, but he can't really concentrate. He's too stuck on thinking about what it's like living with Dylan-- even if it's not official (or real, the objective part of his brain supplies), it's still more or less what's happening, at least for the moment. It's just different from what it's like hanging out with him, even if they did hang out pretty regularly before. It always is, he supposes, when you move in (shut up) with someone, and it's not always good, like sometimes you realise you can't handle the person in constant, prolonged doses, or you find all these annoying habits you can't get past, but other times, like this, you just end up learning all these new things you can't in any other context, and it just builds on everything else you like about them.
He's learned that Dylan sleeps sprawled out on his back with his mouth open, which on Tyler's couch means there's always one gangly arm and leg thrown over the side, and his voice goes all deep and throaty until he's had his morning coffee. He's learned that his exercise schedule isn't so much a schedule as random bursts of energy that manifest in anything from a midnight run on the beach to joining Tyler at the gym and refusing to not keep up with him. He listens to music like One Direction and Demi Lovato and Ed Sheeran, but he only sings shitty 90s pop songs in the shower. He does the same half nervous, half thoughtful, probably totally unconscious touching his face thing while he's watching Law and Order: SVU that he does during interviews. He brushes his teeth three times a day, drinks way too much caffeine, wears his dudebro hats when it's not sunny, indoors, and occasionally with nothing but his boxers, and buys his sweatpants one size too big, which means they're constantly sitting so low on his hips it drives Tyler nuts.
It's still maybe a little bit addictive, waking up every day knowing he's going to learn some tiny, fascinating thing to add to his Dylan puzzle, even if it does make it harder to stand just how much he wants.
"Laundry's done," Dylan announces a couple of hours later. Tyler's moved inside to watch shitty daytime TV on the couch. His life is so glamorous sometimes. "Are you an OCD folder?"
Tyler shrugs. "Nah, I'll just grab my stuff and put it away, 's cool."
"Sweet," says Dylan, flopping onto the couch next to Tyler and kicking his feet up onto the coffee table. "What are we watching?"
"...Huh?" says Tyler, staring at Dylan's feet. It's not something he normally does, much as he stares at almost every other part of Dylan, but it's just-- he's wearing Tyler's socks. He doesn't think Dylan's even noticed; they're fairly run of the mill, as far as socks go, and maybe Dylan owns a similar pair, who knows, but he recognises the stripe around the ankle, and just.
"Watching?" says Dylan slowly. "Are we? What? I'm not sure how else to say it, dude."
"Oh, uh." Tyler blinks and shakes his head. "Days of our Lives, I think? It's finished now."
"Oh, well, that sucks," says Dylan, sinking more comfortably back into the couch.
Tyler nods absently. He's saved having to make up an excuse to go to his room when an old rerun of Seventh Heaven comes on, since Dylan knows he categorically refuses to watch it, and he flees to the sound of Dylan's gleeful laughter.
"Oh man," he says, as Tyler escapes, "I hope it's one you're in!"
"Turn the volume down," says Tyler, and shuts the door.
It's just, he thinks, sitting down on his bed, it's just, sometimes he feels like he can't even breathe with Dylan around. Not that he doesn't like living with him, pretty much the exact opposite, which is precisely why it's such a problem. Shit. He lies back and stares at the ceiling and just tries to pretend for a moment that he's here by himself, because it's too much, this, sometimes-- Dylan here all the time, the easy spread of his limbs on Tyler's furniture, wearing Tyler's clothes like it's no big deal. It probably isn't, for him, and man, what a stupid thing to get so worked up over-- socks, of all things-- but God, Tyler can't stop thinking about it. There's just something so weirdly intimate about it. Besides which he just wants to touch, like he always does, slide his hands up over that sliver of skin he could see between the waistband of Dylan's sweatpants and his shirt, and see if it feels as smooth and warm as he thinks it might, as it looks.
It's a messed-up kind of torture-- he doesn't want it to stop, he just wants more, and sometimes the fact that he can't have it is kind of overwhelming.
He jerks off and feels a little bit guilty, yeah, but really it's in the interest of not going freaking insane sometime Dylan can actually see, so he curls his fingers around his cock and closes his eyes and thinks about Dylan: Dylan's stupid thin fingers wrapped around his dick and Dylan's slick, pink mouth open and wanton for him, and he comes so hard he's shaking with it long after he's dry and wrung out, the t-shirt he forgot to take off totally out of commission.
He drags a finger absently through the come dipped under the vee of his hips and mostly just wishes it was Dylan's.
The aching itch under his skin is just a little bit easier to stand now, though. Not gone, but he could probably face Dylan sometime soonish. Maybe once he's cleaned up.
"Baseball," he announces an hour or so later, emerging from his room. He maybe drew it out a little bit, but hey, it doesn't hurt to be safe.
"Huh?" says Dylan absently. It doesn't look like he's moved from the couch.
Tyler rolls his eyes and throws a banana from the fruit bowl at his head. "Eat that and get dressed. We're going to play some baseball."
"With people?" says Dylan interestedly, peeling the banana.
"No," says Tyler. Huh. It probably says a lot that he didn't even think about asking anyone.
Dylan just shrugs and says, "Kay, cool," through an obscenely large mouthful of banana. It's kind of ridiculous and kind of hot all at once. Tyler honestly has no idea how he manages it.
His main prerogative with the whole baseball thing is to just get out of the fucking house for a bit. Maybe it's defeating the purpose, getting Dylan to come along, but there's something about that space, something too close and intimate and suffocating, something that feels dangerously like theirs when it should be nothing but his.
The park is fantastically wide-open and anonymous. He gets Dylan to bat so he can double up on pitching and fielding and just fucking run, trying to shake off everything that's driving him insane. He knows it won't work, not completely, but it feels amazing anyway, just stretching and overstretching his legs until they're tired and aching, cheeks hot from exertion and everywhere damp with sweat. The breeze when they finally stop feels incredible on his overheated skin, and he lies down on the grass a safe foot or so from Dylan and breathes in huge gulps of air.
"Fuck me," says Dylan. "I'm tired just from watching you run, you freak."
"Mmm," says Tyler lazily. He could probably fall asleep right here.
Dylan seems to realise this. He sits up and pokes sternly at Tyler's chest. "Hey, big guy," he says. "Don't you dare fall asleep on me here. I may be real-life decently-built Dylan, not pale-skin-and-fragile-bone Stiles, but I still can't piggyback your dead weight."
Tyler makes another, possibly even less coherent noise, and sort of rolls onto all fours before he pushes himself to his feet.
"That's the stuff," says Dylan approvingly. "Here." He slings an arm over Tyler's shoulder. "Man, there's this thing called restraint, you know? Or pacing yourself. Shit, taking it easy, even. You should try it sometime, it's awesome. Jesus, you're fucking heavy."
Tyler huffs a laugh and shifts even more of his weight deliberately onto Dylan.
Dylan laughs around a curse. "Asshole," he says, readjusting his stance.
"I felt like running," says Tyler with a half-shrug. "I'm fine. Just ready to crash, you know?"
"Yeah," says Dylan. "I'll drive."
"Oh God," says Tyler.
Dylan hip-checks him into the side of the car and climbs threateningly into the driver's seat.
He sleeps long and heavy that night, which is awesome. When he wanders into the kitchen after finally waking it's edging towards noon and Dylan is at the stove cooking something.
Dylan doesn't hear him come in, probably on account of how he's blasting music loud enough to drown out that and any other noise. He's also singing along and dancing as he stirs and adds a bunch of spices to whatever it is he's cooking. Tyler bites down on his lip and just watches. He's pretty sure the song is One Direction-- something about Katy Perry and tables breaking-- and Dylan's moves are at his ridiculous best. There's some pretty amazing hip-work and arm flailing, and Tyler's sure he's only not spinning because he's focusing on the stove.
It's-- well, it's a little horrifying but mostly just incredibly charming. He just-- he just wants, fuck, so badly right now, just wants to crowd Dylan back against the counter and kiss him until his lips are numb and bruised, put his hands all over that warm skin, maybe slide one into the sweatpants sitting too loose on his hips and-- and, fuck. God, he should say something. He even gets as far as opening his mouth, because it's times like this, when Dylan is just so completely Dylan, so completely everything Tyler loves about him, that he's closest to breaking, but this is just-- it's so close to perfect, and so what if it's edging towards the side of so close it hurts a little bit? It's better than almost anything, in the end.
He's saved by Dylan finally giving in to doing a spin and spotting him.
He reaches over to turn the music down, flushed and grinning. "Morning, sunshine," he says.
"Hey," says Tyler, swallowing and forcing a smile. It's not hard, really. Dylan is reliably hilarious. "Nice moves."
"Yeah?" Dylan's flush deepens a bit, but he tilts his chin and cracks up, mouth open as he laughs. "Thanks, man," he adds. "Tastes better when there's dancing, you know?"
"I didn't," says Tyler, chuckling. "Good to know. What are you making?"
"Mama O'Brien's famous tomato soup," says Dylan.
"Oh, cool," he says, crowding up behind Dylan to peer over his shoulder. It smells pretty fucking good. "By the way," he adds. "One Direction?"
Dylan spins around and pokes his chest. Tyler blinks. They're standing really close like this. "Shut up, they're awesome," he says. "Besides, you recognised them, so pot, kettle."
"I still can't tell them apart," says Tyler, grinning and stepping away. There's only so much he can take. Those sweatpants shouldn't possibly manage to look so sinful.
"You should get on that," says Dylan, picking up the spoon to stir the soup. "I think you'd like Harry."
"Why?" says Tyler, pulling a protein shake from the fridge.
"Posey says he reminds him of me," says Dylan, shrugging and laughing. "You like me, right?"
Tyler glances at him, but he's still stirring the soup absently. "Yeah," he says, because it's true, and it's not like he can or would lie about that ever.
Dylan throws a bright smile over his shoulder, the kind that always makes Tyler's chest hurt a little.
Tyler goes to shower, figuring that Dylan will be finished with the soup and maybe also the dancing by the time he's done.
He is; he's served out the soup in bowls and points at Tyler when he comes out. "Grab a spoon," he says. "We're doing a Lord of the Rings marathon."
"Okay," says Tyler easily, grinning.
The soup is, predictably (or not? he realises he's never actually tried Dylan's cooking before) amazing, and so is the easy warmth of sharing his couch with Dylan as the afternoon wears into evening, quoting lazily along every time Dylan prompts him.
Sometime during the third movie he kicks his feet up and starts sagging towards Dylan, eyes half-shut, and Dylan throws him a smiling, eyes-crinkled glance and slings an arm over his shoulder. It's fucking nice, the heat of him seeping into Tyler's side, the familiar sounds of the movie and Dylan's breathing sending him half to sleep.
He forces himself upright and to his room about three-quarters of the way through, when he's tipping towards the point of passing out on top of Dylan, partly because he doesn't trust himself when he's asleep or even half asleep and not in complete control, and partly because he might actually crush Dylan, and that wouldn't be cool at all. Dylan makes a half-assed attempt at a protesting grumble and then just waves at him sleepily from where he immediately takes over Tyler's space on the couch, yawning with his stupid mouth all pink and open and wet.
Tyler swallows and ducks into his room to jerk off like a total creep.
He wakes up before his alarm, but he figures it won't hurt to get in an early-morning workout at the gym, so he stumbles blearily into the kitchen anyway, trying not to trip over anything and wake Dylan. He's usually pretty good at sleeping through the coffee-maker, so it should be okay.
Dylan's definitely still asleep, anyway, as Tyler waits for the coffee to percolate, so he's not expecting anyone to stumble out of his spare bedroom, much less Posey.
He's yawning and scratching at his stomach, eyes still mostly shut as he navigates blindly into the kitchen.
Tyler blinks. "Uh," he says. "Hi? You slept here?" Then he shakes his head and amends, "Wait, you're here at all?"
Posey cracks his eyes open and says, "Yeah man, needed a place to crash, last minute. Dylan said it was okay, hope you don't mind."
"...Uh," says Tyler. "No, that's fine."
Posey grins and claps him on the shoulder and half-shouts, "Thanks, bro!"
Tyler winces. "Dylan's still-- oh."
He cuts himself off when Dylan comes shuffling in, knuckling at his eyes.
"Morning," he mumbles, grinning at Tyler, and then he catches sight of Posey and the grin turns to a slightly sheepish expression. "Um, I guess you've found Posey then?"
Tyler nods, raising an eyebrow.
"Sorry," says Dylan. "I was going to ask, but you were asleep and I didn't want to wake you, I mean, I was pretty sure you wouldn't mind. I'm really, really sorry if you do."
Tyler shakes his head and says, "No, that's-- you should wake me, though."
Dylan's face kind of falls, and Tyler kicks himself mentally, adding, loud and hasty, "No, I mean, it's fine! You didn't have to wake me, you were right, I don't mind. I just mean, you know, if you need to wake me, or-- or if you want to, that's fine. I won't freak out and punch you or anything. Uh."
Dylan smiles, wide-eyed and nodding.
Posey looks back and forth between them and rolls his eyes. "You two dudes are crazy," he says. "Where's the cereal, bro?"
Tyler goes to drink his coffee on the deck while Dylan gives Posey an expert run-down of where shit is in Tyler's kitchen.
When he gets back from the gym Posey's still there, sprawled out on the couch with Dylan playing Mario Kart.
"Yo," he says, throwing Tyler his easy, lopsided grin.
"Hey," says Dylan. "Pull up a beer and watch me kick Posey's ass. We're going to the beach soon."
"Cool," says Tyler, taking Dylan's advice and grabbing himself a beer from the fridge. He sits on the single-seater and watches them finish the much closer race than Dylan's greeting implied. Dylan's marginally better at driving in videogames than he is in real life, though, so he does win, and snags Posey's beer from between his fingers for a victorious last sip.
"Hey!" says Posey.
"Suck it, bitch," says Dylan.
"You're a bad influence on him, man," Tyler muses to Posey. "He's been a model housemate 'til you got here."
"Lies, I've been a burden," says Dylan, grinning widely.
It's weird how entirely true and at the same time not that statement is. Not that Dylan needs to know. "You said something about the beach?" says Tyler, raising an eyebrow.
"I did!" says Dylan. "I want to go scout the best places. You know, for hangout shit. Best places to chill, best places to swim, et cetera. Get your asses up." He springs to his feet.
Tyler gets up slightly more reluctantly from his chair-- it's fucking comfortable and he did just do a hard couple of hours at the gym, but there's no occasion on which he can actually turn Dylan down, nevermind when he's smiling the way he is now, so it's useless fronting.
Posey gets up slowly, the way he does everything, and follows them both to the doors overlooking the deck and the beach.
"This is such a sweet place, dude," he says admiringly.
"Thanks," says Tyler. It is pretty fucking sweet. He likes that his friends like it too-- it makes it feel kind of like he's a proper adult doing things right, and not just in his own head.
He watches as Dylan and Posey chase each other down onto the sand, grinning. Sometimes he kind of wishes he had what Posey does with Dylan, that complete ease and certainty, openly expressed and understood on both sides, but he supposes it's a kind of redundant thought, because Posey just doesn't look at Dylan like he does. It's only Tyler and teenage girls in that boat, he's pretty sure.
Dylan's stripping his shirt off, even though it's only edging towards April and the weather isn't that hot yet, or well, not that hot for LA. Tyler catches up and says, "I thought you were scouting?"
"I am," says Dylan, throwing his shirt into Tyler's face. "I need to know where we'll get the best sun, duh. Also I want to go for a swim."
"Don't freeze," says Tyler. "This isn't what the water's like in summer, you know."
"You surf all the time," says Dylan.
"In a wetsuit," says Tyler.
"Pfft," says Dylan. "Join me or be forever labelled a pussy. Posey!"
"Coming!" says Posey, tugging his shirt off and throwing it in Tyler's face too.
"I hate everyone," says Tyler, but he grins and strips his own shirt off to chase them into the waves in his shorts.
It's fucking freezing; the weather isn't too bad, bearable without a shirt, but the water is cold. Dylan emerges from under a wave gasping, cheeks already impossibly flushed and hair dripping into his eyes.
"Told you," says Tyler, smirking, and dunks him for emphasis.
Dylan comes up spluttering and slippery, grinning around an indignant look. "Fuck you," he says cheerfully, wrapping his arms around his chest and bouncing with this kind of manic grin.
Tyler's kind of mesmerised by-- well, by all of it, really, Dylan's slippery slick skin and his pink, peaked nipples, the slightly white-knuckled grip of his fingers digging into his arms. It reminds him of that photoshoot, the one where they made Dylan stand fully-clothed under a running shower, and Dylan had thought it was completely stupid, could barely stop laughing and inhaling water long enough to get the shots, but man, had they got the shots.
Anyway, that whole picture is probably why he doesn't notice Posey sneaking up behind him until he's jumped on his back and tipped him under the water.
"Fuck," he gasps, surfacing and shaking his hair out of his eyes.
Posey whoops and goes to hide behind Dylan. Tyler advances on him anyway.
"I'm not your mom, bro," Dylan says to Posey, side-stepping out of the way.
Posey says, "Asshole," and dives off to swim a safe distance from Tyler.
He doesn't bother giving chase; he's still pretty wiped from the gym and now he's used to the temperature the water actually isn't that bad. He drifts lazily closer to Dylan instead.
"Hey," says Dylan, smiling. "Best idea or best idea?"
Tyler shrugs, biting down on a stupid grin. "It'll be a better idea in summer," he says.
Dylan unfolds his arms and pokes Tyler's bicep sternly. "That's the point," he says.
"Right," says Tyler. "Scouting."
Dylan nods, eyes drifting to find Posey where he's still swimming kind of haphazardly twenty or so feet from them. Tyler ends up looking at Dylan, as he tends to given half an opportunity.
He's all pale skin and-- well, Tyler remembers one of Dylan's lines from the show, something about pale skin and fragile bone, and the kind of devastatingly blasé way he'd delivered it, so perfect for Stiles, but it's not quite right for him, at least not in this context, not as Dylan.
Dylan's the sort of in-shape that comes from eating relatively balanced meals and being a generally active person (with a burgeoning, slightly grudging appreciation for the gym), but he doesn't count calories/preservatives/sodium content/carbs/everything else like Tyler, and he doesn't love the gym like Tyler does either. That's cool with Tyler, though. That's Dylan, and it'd be weird if he was like, a Tyler clone, fitness-wise, and Tyler would probably be way less attracted to him, because this is-- everything about him-- it's all puzzle-pieces in the overall Dylan charm, and it holds together something bigger about him, like how he's more spontaneous, maybe, more at ease with himself and everything, and how he's a bit of a frat-boy when it comes to eating and partying, and how he's super committed to his breakfast cereal obsession.
It all adds up to this subtle, lithe kind of muscle definition that's just-- well, it's hot, and it sits so well on him, the dip and swell of his biceps, his surprisingly strong-looking forearms and wrists, the perfect balance of muscle and bone mapped out on his chest. Tyler just wants-- especially now, with the way the water's running down him in rivulets and the waves are lapping at the tops of his thighs-- he just wants to touch, all of him, the stupid long hollows in his neck, the smooth shadows of his ribs, the ridiculous cut of his hipbones. The moles that look like they go all over. He wants to get his mouth on them, see what he tastes like, memorise with his mouth the lines his eyes already know by heart.
"I'm wiped," he announces, shaking himself out of it before he starts looking too stupid (probably too late), or before Dylan notices him looking. "Let's go back, yeah?"
"Yeah," agrees Dylan. "Posey!" he shouts. "We're going back, fucker."
"I have to split," Posey announces back at the house, once he's tracked sand all over Tyler's living room floor. "Got a hot date." He grins.
"Aw, baby, you don't have to lie to us, we still love you," says Dylan, cracking up.
Posey tackles him back onto the couch, which turns into a hug goodbye.
"See you, man," he says to Tyler when he climbs to his feet, grinning and disheveled, holding out a hand. Tyler rolls his eyes and puts him in a headlock instead.
"I'm feeling the love," says Posey, struggling half-heartedly.
"You know I love you, babe," says Tyler, letting up and shoving him towards the door.
Posey laughs and waves himself out.
Dylan groans and stretches on the couch. "Grill for dinner?" he says.
"I-- when did you even buy meat?" says Tyler.
Dylan just grins and says, "We have burgers or hotdogs or steak, what's your pleasure?"
Tyler tilts his head. "Burgers," he decides. "I'm going to shower. You can cook them without burning my house down, right?"
Dylan shrugs breezily. "If I do, you'll be in the shower anyway, so don't worry about it."
"I feel so much better," says Tyler, grinning as he goes.
It's kind of good timing-- he was getting to one of those moments where he just needs to be by himself for a bit, to rearrange his scattered feelings and find some space to breathe.
He looks at himself in the mirror and thinks about telling his reflection what a fucking idiot it is, if that wouldn't feel even more pathetic. He scrubs a hand through his hair instead-- it's starting to get long again. He's thought about cutting it, getting it properly styled, but he figures the hair people on the show will sort it out once they go back, and he doesn't mind it like this. He grimly ignores the way he can also so easily recall Dylan saying something about liking it all long and fluffy, sometime before the buzzcut when he was high on Posey's weed.
"Impressive, right?" says Dylan as Tyler swallows the last of his burger and throws the plate onto the coffee table with a laboured groan.
"Yeah," says Tyler, because well. It's just burgers, but then again he thinks everything about Dylan is kind of impressive, so.
Dylan grins, stretching out on the couch next to Tyler. He looks super content, beer in hand, and says, "Man, I'm a genius. How did you ever survive without me around to keep you stocked up on booze and delicious food?"
"Uh," says Tyler, grinning around the mouth of his own bottle, "I did it myself?"
Dylan just hums lazily. "That should be a household rule," he says.
"What?" says Tyler.
"Booze and burgers," says Dylan. "Always booze and burgers in the house."
"Okay," says Tyler easily. He thinks about saying something monumentally stupid, like there should always be a Dylan around too, but settles for taking another long pull of his beer.
The next time Tyler goes to open his fridge, there's a piece of paper taped to it.
He squints, head tilted. It says 1. No sitting on Dylan's couch 'til after you've showered.
"Moron," he mumbles fondly, and then fumbles around for a pen. He writes 2. Dylan is not allowed to drive anyone to or from Hoechlin's house unless they specifically mention a death wish. He pauses, then adds, Even then he probably shouldn't.
Dylan snorts and rolls his eyes when he sees it.
The list gets filled in pretty rapidly after that. Dylan adds 3. Must always be booze and burgers in the house next, and Tyler retaliates with 4. No One Direction before 11am.
Dylan grudgingly agrees, but makes Tyler let him write 5. Conditional entry-- hats mandatory. (Exceptions may be made, see Dylan.)
("This is a house, not a nightclub," says Tyler. He laughs, though, because well.
"I know, I'm working on it," says Dylan, grinning.)
Then there's the one time Tyler somehow miraculously manages to forget he pretty much has a housemate now, and accidentally sits on the couch after an early-morning surf.
Dylan adds, 6. SHOWER FIRST THEN SIT ON THE COUCH AFTER SURFING ON THE BEACH WHICH IS 90% SAND TYLER OH MY GOD SEE RULE #1.
("Like, I'm not anal or anything," says Dylan, "But I have standards, and one of them is I don't want sand going in weird places while I'm sleeping."
"Sorry, it's habit," says Tyler. "It is a couch. My couch. That I occasionally sit on after I surf because I'm kind of wiped."
"No, it would be your couch if your spare bedroom had a bed," says Dylan.
Tyler rolls his eyes and remembers the whole buying furniture to get the place ready to be hangout central thing. "Fine," he says. "Come on, we're going shopping."
It's pretty fun, actually. They get the bed for the spare room, and on top of that Tyler buys the most ridiculously comfortable recliner he's ever come across. He actually makes Dylan promise to only let him use it after he's been to the gym. Seriously, it's that incredible.
"It's a 24 hour thing, right?" says Dylan, laughing with his whole body like Tyler loves. "Like, you can't use the previous day's gym visit to get a sit in the chair?"
"Right," says Tyler, nodding.
They also get a couple more chairs for the deck and some spare stowaway mattresses.)
The last rule added to the list before any more people come over is Dylan's contribution. It just says, 7. If you have weed you must share.
"That one's for when Posey comes," he explains, grinning.
Dylan's not actually an asshole-- which, well, obviously-- but despite the whole I'm taking over your house and making it hangout central thing, he checks with Tyler before he gets anyone to come over. It's cool with Tyler, though, of course. He kind of misses having everyone around.
"Sucks it's not summer," Dylan muses as they hide the more breakable stuff in the kitchen and double count to make sure there's enough alcohol. "But hey, practice run, right?"
"Yeah," says Tyler, grinning. "Real booze, though."
"Oh my God," says Dylan. "Can you imagine everyone's faces if we provide, like, non-alcoholic beer?" He wrinkles his nose and laughs. "Linden would disown me."
"Everyone would disown you," says Tyler.
"How do you know they won't disown you?" says Dylan. "This is your house."
Tyler shrugs. "They like me better," he says.
Dylan gasps dramatically. "Lies," he says, and jumps on Tyler's back to ruin his hair.
"Yo!" says Posey from the doorway.
Dylan slides off of Tyler's back and grins hugely. "Posey!" he shouts, going in for a hug.
Posey returns it one-armed; he's holding a six-pack in his other hand.
"Excellent," says Dylan, taking it from him. "More booze. Totally unnecessary, but much appreciated, buddy. I like your enthusiasm."
He passes it off to Tyler, who sticks it into the already-groaning fridge.
Posey hugs him from behind and says, "Remind me I need to talk to you about love and shit later," and then disappears into the living room before Tyler can say anything.
He blinks, frowning, and decides now would be a good time to start drinking.
He's several drinks in and everyone's arrived, lounging on the couch and just kind of watching everything, pleasantly buzzed and stupidly content. He really loves his friends, is the thing.
He likes seeing them have fun and he likes being part of it and just-- just, Dylan's here and it's so close to everything he wants and he can go with this for now, he really can.
There's plenty of booze going 'round, although if Posey's got weed on him he's not telling, at least not yet. Tyler remembers some bullshit high talk about it being an art, something about, "You can't just whip it out whenever, you have to know when or it could totally fuck up an awesome night. Just leave it to the master, young Jedis."
Dylan had giggled and said, "Fuckin' ewoks, man," and Posey had grinned and said, "See? Like that," and handed Dylan the weed. That had been a fun night.
"Man," says Dylan, flinging himself onto the couch next to Tyler. "I could go for some ice cream, you know? I can't believe we forgot to buy ice cream."
Tyler narrows his eyes. "Has Posey got out the weed and not told me?"
"No," says Dylan, laughing. "Man, I'm barely even drunk yet. I just want some ice cream."
Tyler hums agreeably. He is drunk, or well on the way, right at that awesome stage of riding the crest between tipsy and a bit more. "We should get chocolate sauce," he muses. "But like-- I don't like that kind that goes solid, you know?" He looks at Dylan to make sure he gets it. "Like, chocolate sauce is supposed to be gooey and delicious. Otherwise it would just be chocolate."
"Add it to the rules," says Dylan. "But you're fuckin' right." He shuffles along the couch so he's pressed warm and slightly sweaty to Tyler's side. Tyler closes his eyes and just enjoys it.
"Hey," says Dylan after a moment. "Thanks."
Tyler blinks his eyes open slowly. "What for?" he says.
Dylan says, "For not kicking me out or something," shrugging.
Tyler is honestly baffled. "Why would I?" he says. Like, maybe Dylan doesn't know the extent of Tyler's stupid feelings, but he definitely knows how much Tyler appreciates his general existence.
Dylan just smiles at him and says, "I don't know, you're pretty awesome."
"I-- thanks," says Tyler. He feels so warm, but not in a bad way at all.
"You're welcome," says Dylan, slinging an arm over his shoulder.
Tyler tips his head so their temples are pressed together, and Dylan waits a long, indulgent moment before he shifts and says, "I gotta go bug Linden, it's on my list and I haven't done it yet, but I'll come back, okay?" He turns his head and presses a sloppy kiss to Tyler's cheek.
"Okay," says Tyler quietly as Dylan bounces across the room.
He doesn't have time to shake the stupid expression off his face-- it doesn't help he's all honeyed down with alcohol-- before Posey is taking Dyan's spot next to Tyler.
"So," he says slowly. "Love."
"Huh?" says Tyler, blinking.
"I told you we gotta talk about love, man," says Posey. He taps the side of his nose. "I totally remembered, and you didn't even remind me like I asked."
"Uh, sorry," says Tyler.
"'S all good, bro," says Posey. "So. Love."
"What about it?" says Tyler absently. He's kind of mesmerised by Dylan laughing over on the other side of the room. It's just-- he's never met anyone who laughs quite like that.
"You're in it," says Posey. "Love, I mean. In love."
"I-- what?" Tyler snaps his eyes back to Posey.
"In love," Posey repeats. "With Dylan. Come on, man, everyone can see it. I just figure it's time we actually talked about it, you know? I thought you guys would sort your shit out since you've been living together or whatever, but I don't think you have. Unless you're secretly fucking. But I can usually tell when people are secretly fucking. It's a pretty rad skill."
Tyler just blinks at him.
Posey raises an eyebrow in return.
Tyler deflates. "Fuck," he says, rubbing a hand over his face. "I mean, I know everyone can tell, you know? Except Dylan. I don't know if he can tell, I mean. I have no idea."
Posey tilts his head. "I don't know if he knows you're doing-- well, your thing, you know, we call it your Dylan thing, but I know he likes you."
"He-- he told you?" says Tyler.
"He doesn't need to tell me," scoffs Posey. "No, look, I know him, okay, we're bros. I know he does this thing, he's got this kind of-- of double-bluffing thing going on."
"What does that even mean?" says Tyler, frowning. He goes to take a fortifying swig of his beer, except its empty. Posey produces a new one apparently out of nowhere and keeps talking.
"You know," he says, "He flirts and makes all these stupid obvious gestures because you're supposed to think he doesn't mean them when he actually does."
Tyler stops with the beer halfway to his mouth, brows furrowed. He can't-- he can't actually make sense of that, like, does that mean Dylan doesn't like him? Or-- or if he does, then why would he do things that Tyler's supposed to think he doesn't mean? That's kind of-- he's never thought Dylan didn't mean anything he does, like, not really, not unless it's obvious he's just being stupid or whatever. He knows Dylan, and, and.
It hits him mid-swallow, and he chokes, coughing the beer down and saying, "Wait, wait, are you saying he likes me here? Is that what this conversation is about?"
"Um," says Posey. "Duh." He frowns thoughtfully. "I thought I opened with that? I wanted to be, like, not confusing and shit."
"Oh," says Tyler. "Oh. Then is that-- does he-- does he think I don't like him? Because that's the stupidest thing I've ever heard, everyone knows I like him."
Posey tilts his head. "I don't think he thinks that, exactly, because yeah, dude, you're super crazy obvious, but-- it's like, doing it but not, yeah? Protecting himself or whatever. It's kind of hard putting your feelings out there for, like, total real, you know? This way if it backfires on him he can pretend it was just a joke."
Tyler thinks about all the times he has to go off and be by himself in his room for a bit just so he can breathe, and the way that smiling at Dylan feels a little bit like he's falling at the same time.
The way he's been too freaking scared of losing everything to take a shot at something better.
"Yeah," he says quietly. "I-- I need to do it, though, don't I."
"You fucking do," says Posey, nodding.
Tyler echoes the nod and swallows the rest of his beer all in one go.
"That's the stuff, bro," says Posey approvingly, snagging the empty bottle and holding out his fist.
Tyler grins and bumps it as he gets to his feet, swaying a bit but lurching determinedly across the room to find Dylan before he chickens out again.
Dylan's still talking to Linden, and Tyler maybe overestimates the distance between them and stumbles heavily into him.
"Oof," says Dylan, throwing an instinctive arm around his waist. "What's up, big guy?"
"I need to talk to you," says Tyler. "Outside. Sorry," he adds to Linden.
Linden just waves a hand, looking amused.
"Okay," says Dylan slowly. He follows Tyler onto the deck. "Are you-- is everything okay?"
"No," says Tyler. "Well, yeah. But I-- uh."
He stops and scrubs a hand through his hair. This is-- it's still kind of terrifying. It's still Dylan and-- and their entire friendship on the line here. He wonders if it's ever possible to be a hundred percent positive about something like this. Probably not. It's sort of comforting, if he squints.
"Okay," he says. "Um. It's possible you may have noticed this, because I do a shitty job at hiding it, especially around you, even though that's when I should be hiding it the most, I think, but-- it's not really fair if I don't say anything, and I think-- I think in the end saying something might be easier than-- than this now, because I just want-- " He cuts himself off, then takes a deep breath and tries again. "I just-- I really like you. Like, I want to date you and kiss you and-- and not get out of bed with you ever. So, uh. Just so you know."
Dylan's staring at him, eyes huge. It's possible he hasn't noticed that his mouth is open kind of dumbly. Tyler can't help but notice; it's all pink and slick and touched by the soft light leaking from inside the house. There's no sound coming out of it, though, which is worrying.
"Uh," he prompts quietly, after a long moment where Dylan doesn't say anything at all.
Dylan blinks. "Dude," he says. "I feel the same, obviously, I can't believe you didn't know!"
"Really?" Tyler feels possibly the stupidest, brightest smile ever stretch across his face.
Dylan rolls his eyes. "You dumbass," he says.
"Shut up," says Tyler automatically. "Come on, I can't believe you didn't know."
"I kind of did?" says Dylan, biting down on his lip. "But in this weird way where it was like, too good to be true, and I kind of psyched myself into believing I was imagining things, or like, you just thought I was funny or something, even though you look at me all the time."
"Yeah," agrees Tyler quietly. Then, "Wait, but Posey said I wasn't supposed to know, like, you're doing this thing where I am but I'm not, or no, you want me to think-- fuck, I don't even know what he said. I did get it. For a bit. Before. But it doesn't matter now, right? 'Cause I figured it out and now I know and you know and it's all cool. Which-- can I kiss you now?"
"Yes," says Dylan, eyes zeroing immediately onto Tyler's mouth.
Tyler grins and steps forward to spread a hand over the side of his face, fingertips pushing into the slightly damp hair curling back from his temples, and leans in to press their mouths together.
It's-- God, he doesn't even have words, he kind of just shorts out. Dylan's mouth is so slick and hot, and he opens up straight away, no hesitant feeling around, just bites down a bit and opens up so fucking sweet, making these little noises in the back of his throat to urge Tyler on, to urge him in. Tyler does what he wants, like he always does, licking inside and pressing so hard it'll probably bruise, but he can't be anything but turned on by the thought of Dylan with his lips bruised and swollen from kissing him, because of him.
"Shit," he breathes, coaxing Dylan's mouth wider. "I can't believe I'm actually going to get a blowjob. I jerked off thinking about that, you know. About you blowing me."
Dylan pulls back a bit, eyes wide. "I-- really?" he says, swallowing.
"Yeah," says Tyler. "Your mouth, man." He shakes his head and trails off for a moment, kind of lost in that thought, and then he blinks and says, "Wait, I don't-- I said that out loud, right? You don't actually have to blow me if you don't want to. I mean, it'd be nice, but I just want you, you know? So whatever you want is cool."
Dylan just stares some more and then bursts out laughing, and Tyler kind of wants to be offended but he can't because Dylan's laughing with his whole body and it's such a Dylan thing that Tyler can't help but be charmed. When he stops laughing Dylan says, "I can't believe you'd actually give up blowjobs for me. I think that's the sweetest thing anyone's ever said to me."
Tyler says, "You've been dating the wrong people then."
"I-- yeah," says Dylan quietly, looking thoughtful. Then he brightens and adds, "But hey, don't worry, I can totally give you a blowjob. Fuck. Totally."
It's weird, like, Tyler's turned on, yeah, but he's also just so fucking happy, and he grins at Dylan so widely it hurts and says, "Yeah?" and Dylan says, "Yeah," and grins back.
"Fuck," says Tyler, sinking down onto one of the deck chairs and tipping his head back to stare kind of dizzily up at the sky. It's spinning a little. He's not sure if that's from the alcohol or Dylan.
Dylan sits down next to him, nudging his thigh over to make room.
"This was such a good idea," says Tyler. "Tonight, I mean. Your idea. It was awesome."
"Yours wasn't so bad either," says Dylan, grinning. "Telling me, I mean."
"Yeah," says Tyler. He closes his eyes. It's the most content he's felt in possibly ever.
When he opens them again Dylan's contemplating him with a fond smile. "Might save the BJ 'til tomorrow, though," he says. "Come on, big guy, you're passing out on me. Let's get you to bed."
"Only if you stay," mumbles Tyler, leaning into him when Dylan tries to help him up.
"Duh," says Dylan, slinging an arm over his shoulder to walk him inside.
Tyler wakes up with Dylan's face mashed into his shoulder and an arm slung over his stomach, and even if he does have a bit of a headache and his mouth feels gross and fuzzy, it's pretty much the best way he's woken up ever. It's just so stupidly perfect, no more so close, just-- it's it, which is almost as frightening as it is awesome, but not quite. Never quite, with Dylan.
He's a bit blindsided by it, a bit dumbfounded, and he stays totally still in a weird effort to not jar them out of the moment, or whatever the fuck. The next time he glances at Dylan's face, though, Dylan's blinking at him with this weird half-smirk, half just incredibly goofy grin.
Tyler rasps out, "Hey," grinning back.
"Hey yourself," says Dylan. And then, "Uh, so, I really want to kiss you right now, but my mouth kind of tastes like ass, so I'm going to give you that blowjob instead, okay?"
Tyler opens and closes his mouth like a moron and manages to get out "...Okay" weakly when Dylan's already slid halfway down his body.
"You're just-- fuck," says Dylan, pressing his face into Tyler's abs and breathing in deeply. It should be weird, probably, but it's just super hot, which is how most of Tyler's Dylan thought processes go. "Do you know how gorgeous you are?" continues Dylan, lifting his head to glance up along Tyler's body. "I want to touch you all the fucking time, seriously, you drive me crazy-- "
"Me too," says Tyler quickly, flushing. "About you, I mean, I want-- "
"I know," says Dylan, grinning. "You wanna hear what I've thought about?"
"Fuck," says Tyler. "Yes."
"This," says Dylan, pressing his open, wet mouth to the skin just above Tyler's navel. "I've thought about tasting all these fucking muscles-- " He trails off and traces a path with his tongue right down to the waistband of Tyler's boxer-briefs. "And, oh-- " He lifts his head and slides back up a bit to take Tyler's left nipple in his mouth. Tyler chokes out a cough and arches up.
"I want to do that every time you take your shirt off," says Dylan, smirking through his lashes. "Even on set. Fuck, sometimes especially on set. That'd be hot, right?"
"I," says Tyler stupidly. "Oh my God, why didn't you say something?"
Dylan gives him a look. "I've been flirting like a maniac, you loser," he says. "I bought you beer. I cooked for you. I wore your fucking socks. I jumped on you, and the dancing, and-- "
"I think," says Tyler, choking on a laugh, "I think maybe next time we should use our words."
"That's probably a good idea," says Dylan. He tilts his head and adds, "I'm going to blow you now, okay? I think I'm gonna start slow, because I want to taste-- I've thought about that, too, what you'd taste like, how big you'd be in my mouth. And then I'm going to take you all the way down-- I like that, okay, so don't-- don't feel like you have to go easy. I just want-- I just want your dick, like, I want to be full. I'll probably deepthroat you." He stops talking, flushed but grinning.
Tyler's just staring at him with his mouth open, because well, how else is he supposed to react?
"How's that for using words?" says Dylan, smirking.
Tyler pulls himself together and arches an eyebrow. He's so hard, fuck. "You're totally making up for not telling me you liked me," he says.
"Sweet," says Dylan. "You can have a go after I make you come."
Tyler kind of shorts out again, and then Dylan just slides down and tugs his underwear off and gets his mouth on him, and then Tyler's completely gone.
He does pretty much exactly what he said-- starts off licking along the underside of Tyler's dick, pink tongue darting out, teasing and exploring, and moves up to press it against the slit.
"Shit," Tyler grits out, arching his neck.
Dylan hums, closing his mouth over the head, and Tyler's hands clench involuntarily against his sides. It's just-- blowjobs are always awesome, yeah, but this is Dylan, his mouth and his hands, one curled loosely around the base of Tyler's cock, the other clutching his thigh, and that's-- something else entirely. Something he can't entirely process right now, except for variants of hot and fuck and more. He's pretty sure he articulates as much, or it could just be meaningless grunting, he has no clue what the sounds coming out of his mouth actually are. It takes way more effort than it ever has not to push, not to tilt his hips up and demand or take, but it's worth it for the way Dylan pulls off and grins at him and grabs one of his hands to resettle in his hair, and says, actually tells him, "It's okay. You know, just-- if you want, go for it."
Tyler says, "I want you," and Dylan's smile softens a bit.
"Yeah," he says, and goes back down, taking him in further this time, not quite all the way, but 'til his lips meet the circle of his fingers, and he hollows his cheeks and sucks.
"Oh my God," says Tyler brokenly.
Dylan hums, which makes it even better-- or worse, he's not actually sure, it's a close call right now-- and tightens his hand, moving it in some kind of sinful twisting motion before letting go entirely just so he can move his mouth all the way down. Tyler's hips twitch, he can't help it, and Dylan isn't holding him down, actually makes a choked-off encouraging noise, muffled by Tyler's dick in his mouth, holy shit. Tyler scraps his nails against Dylan's scalp in warning and then pushes up, and Dylan takes it with a flutter of his lashes and another muted noise. His cheeks are so pink, his hands restless over Tyler's thighs, moving to his balls and then up over his hips, thumbs smoothing over the lines of bone. Tyler eases off when the pressure of Dylan's hands on his skin increases a little, and he's totally cool with that because then Dylan takes over again, swallowing and swallowing, pulling off and pushing his tongue into the slit just to slide back down and take Tyler back into the slick, tight pressure of his throat. Tyler can feel his groans around his dick, and that's what does it for him, in the end, what tips him over the edge, the fact that Dylan's getting off on this almost as much as he is. He tightens a hand in Dylan's hair to warn him, says, "Fuck, fuck, I'm gonna come," and Dylan just hums encouragingly, and Tyler does, shaking with it, arching into Dylan's hands and Dylan's mouth and coming so hard it almost hurts.
Dylan swallows it all, and Tyler just stares, when he can wrench his eyes open; Dylan's mouth is so fucking swollen, and there's a bit of come left unnoticed on his top lip, slicking up the sweet pink bow in this filthy, totally mesmerising way.
Tyler says, "C'mere," and tugs him in to kiss him, lick him clean, fuck the morning breath.
"Mmm," says Dylan into his mouth. "That was hot."
"So fucking hot," agrees Tyler, biting down on his bottom lip to see how he'll react.
He doesn't disappoint; makes this delicious, wanting noise and says, "I need-- Tyler, I need."
"I got you," says Tyler, rolling them over so he's braced over Dylan's languid, graceless sprawl.
He curls a hand around his dick without preamble, because he's waited long enough for this.
Dylan keens, spine arching deliciously, and says, "Oh, fuck, fuck, that's-- tighter, harder-- yeah."
Tyler grins, leaning down to mouth at his jaw as he jerks him off, adjusting his movements according to Dylan's reactions. He's not shy about what he wants, repeating variations of, "More," and, "Yeah," and "No-- that's, faster, like-- yeah," until Tyler's got a rhythm he likes, and then he just hooks an arm around Tyler's neck and says, "I'm not gonna be long, you're so fucking hot, I can still taste you, wanna-- " and Tyler tightens his hand partly without meaning to, and Dylan just chokes mid-sentence and comes without warning, all over himself and Tyler's hand.
Tyler strokes him through it, bringing him down slowly and watching his face, kind of fascinated.
It's just-- he doesn't really know how to explain it; he still looks like Dylan, only Dylan plus sex, all impossibly flushed, damp cheeks and such a bruised, slick turn to his mouth.
His eyes are kind of glassy when he opens them, and he says, "Mmm," again, and then, "That was awesome, knew you'd be good at that. Your fucking hands."
"You like them?" says Tyler, lifting the hand covered in Dylan's come to examine it.
"I like all your stuff," says Dylan, yawning.
"My stuff?" Tyler raises an eyebrow.
"Shu' up," says Dylan. "Sex. Tired. Sleeping."
"Hmm," says Tyler. "Yeah. I'm gonna clean up first, though."
"'Kay," says Dylan lazily.
Tyler glances at him and gives up on going to the bathroom to get a cloth; just grabs his t-shirt from the floor and wipes them both off.
"Nice," says Dylan, grinning. "Initiative."
Tyler rolls his eyes and collapses back next to Dylan. Fuck, he's wiped. The best kind of wiped.
He also kind of wants to get to sleep again just so he can wake up and do that all over-- or well, sort of. He has vague (or okay, not vague at all) notions of taking his time, getting his mouth on every inch of Dylan, all the places he's been wanting to taste, and see just how crazy he can drive him.
Dylan turns his head to smile at him, and yeah, Tyler's happy to go back to sleep now, just like this, spent from sex with Dylan and Dylan warm, slightly sweat-sticky beside him. The weird itch he's so used to is conspicuously gone, no longer buzzing insistently under his skin. Instead he just feels heavy and languid and completely content-- no more of that so close bullshit.
No more of that slightly painful ache. It's just Dylan. He has Dylan. Fuck.
"Words are hard, you know?" says Dylan unexpectedly. Tyler blinks. He'd thought Dylan was well on his way to sleep. Dylan shrugs when Tyler glances at him. "Just saying-- saying I like you, you know, that's real, you can't take that back or-- or pretend it's something else."
Tyler bites down on his lip. "I know," he says quietly.
Dylan shoots him a smile, reaching over to find Tyler's hand and tangle their fingers together.