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wildflower.

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It started at a bar. Sleazy, dark, and smoky, the bar was home to a plethora of galiant free spirits that come in with only one intention, and leave forgetting they ever graced this establishment with their presence. They cruise in with unwashed hair and bitten nails, cheap liquors and sharing stories. Stories they will never remember who told them or where they were when they spilled words like grains of sand. Yet, phantoms of these stories will haunt them in the back of their minds. After sipping college-budget-friendly juices, they disappear like dust being thrown into glowing air. Gone, but they linger with you for a while.

Some like to carve once relevant phrases into the bar, such as "Jenna and Debby 4EVA" and "For a good time, call 555-0367, ryan xoxo" Some of the more academic and creative drunks will compose tipsy pieces of literature to reminisce in the wood until smoothing down. Some are love poems, some are words people wish they said, some are beautiful, some are painful, some are praising life, and some are suicide notes. I've read each and every one, but one sticks with me, no matter what.

Carved in the center of the bar, a simple quote lives, birthed by slanted writing and too much gin. The poem recites "When I die, my rotting body will grow into flowers, and I will be them, and that is eternity."

There is a story behind that tattoo on the scratched up bar. It must have been 3 years ago, when the thin boy sprinted into the bar. He had loose shorts on exposing his bruised knees, a thin shirt showing off his lithe body, and boots as banged up as the bar that sat between him and me. His hair was mussed up yet fluffy; a soft chocolate colour.

His fingers were short yet delicate, but stained red. I looked up, and his collar bone was distorted. His breathing was ragged, and his neck had bruises the shape of an aggressive man's hands on it. Still prominent over the hand-shaped bruises was a single hickey.

I had to count to ten before I could even attempt to look at his face.

His face was slender, young, and near angelic. At least that's what it would have looked like if it wasn't beat to a pulp. Both of his chocolate eyes were black and blue, his nose was dripping blood the same colour as that on his fingers. His mouth was soft, but kissed a dark purple shade. He should have had tears pouring out of his doe-like eyes, but his face remained stone cold.

I wanted to ask what happened. I wanted to help him escape whatever he was running from. I wanted to keep him safe.

I don't know if it was all the pot I smoked in high school or the shot of vodka I took with some wine-mom that night, but I couldn't get myself to help the poor boy. I couldn't even ask him if he was okay.

I was more terrified than he was.

I didn't even card the underage boy. I asked him what he wanted to drink and he spat "You know what I want." With shaking hands, I poured him a gin and tonic.

He drank his poison, keeping his stone-cold and barely-there stare, pulled out a quarter, then carved his message into the bar. Without another word, or paying, he got up and left.

Tracing my fingers over the poem, I bring myself back to reality. Tonight was a quiet night at the bar. I usually worked alongside Pete and Patrick. Pete was a recovering alcoholic who talked too fast and nearly knocked over drinks with his hands during every conversation, while Patrick was a quirky yet seemingly innocent boy who loved fedoras and Pete a little too much.

I was used to hearing them flirt, Pete do his deep booming laugh, and Patrick let out high pitched giggles at anything Pete did. And of course, I was used to hearing Patrick scream as Pete drilled him in the backroom. Tonight, however, I was alone at the bar.

I've been working at this dirty bar for nearly six years. Six years' worth of people coming in and unknowingly telling me their stories. Who they were, where they were from, and where they attended university. I mean, that isn't really their story, per say. More of them just making drunken small talk to help them from drinking alone.

Although, more deep individuals give me those stories I'll remember for a while. For example, the Abused Poet. Sure, we never spoke, or let alone met eyes, yet I feel like I could pick him out of a rioting crowd. The simplistic words, the sharp, slanted writing - I could tell he was a mastermind, a pensive individual, an artist who was beautifully morbid.

A clearing of the throat reminded me that I did indeed have a customer in the quiet bar. Tuesday nights were always slow, except for a few regulars. A short blonde who talked way too loud about her kids with her more plump friend, a greasy Armenian man who definitely ran a drug emporium, and a Uni professor who is cheating on his wife with one of his anatomy students. Pete, Patrick and I all know that he is helping her study the human body. Another regular also comes, but he doesn't deserve to be classified with those messes of matter.

He was by far my favourite.

Looking up across the bar, it was ironic enough that my favourite was sitting there looking ethereal. He doesn't talk much. At least not to me. Like ever. Sure, he orders his drink, politely thanks me, and then doodles in his little moleskin as he drinks the bar dry. Then, he calls a cab, and calls it a night.

He only started coming 5 months ago, but spends more time in the bar than any of the other regulars. It almost offended me that, for the amount of time he spends here, he never even told me his name, where he went to university, where he's from, all that shallow knowledge I shouldn't even care about.

One thing I did know was that he could drink more than the professor and Armenian man put together. He couldn't weigh more than 120 pounds, so it was pretty impressive with him being so little.

"What can I get you?" I rasped, looking down at a carving of "Want some? Come to the ladies room for fun xx." Classy. Glancing up, I see his soft lips purse into the closest thing to a frown, but a smile hid underneath his angst.

His lips were so, so soft looking. Same with his short, fluff of deep-chocolate hair that was made for fingers to run through, and frequently found itself home to twitching and anxious fingers. And he had these big doe-eyes that replicated the shade of bar that separates us.

He was so soft and gentle looking, but everything else was sharp enough to cut glass. Cheekbones, jawline, eyebrows, collarbones, but a pixie nose artists could only attempt to perfect in their work.

He was a walking oxymoron.

"You know exactly what I want." Sharp tongue, too. He was right, I knew exactly what he wanted. He wants what everyone else wants. To forget old memories and make new drunken ones. To replace the recent, gloomy ones that lurk in his complex mind. In simple, non-poetic words, he wanted to get shit-faced.

Every night, he comes in, drinks for a couple hours, gives me suggestive glances, and doesn't say a single word. As I've said, I don't say a word to him either. Although he is a few inches shorter compared to my height, he utterly intimidates me. It has to be the way he carries himself -somber, relaxed, yet coiled tight. Quiet, yet has a story.

A story in which you need to pick each petal off of him to get to his tender core.

I want nothing more than to be that florist.

Following his blunt orders, I pour him a vodka soda on the rocks. He does this little routine every time. Suck a piece of ice, draw a flower on the dew of his glass, and then sips his devil's juice with a grimace on his face. It was terribly cute.

"You weren't here last night." I remarked like an idiot. My favourite wiped his sweet mouth with the back of his hand. "You always spend Monday nights here. You bring that little brown notebook thing and write in it." God, I am such a damn creep. Who says that? This adorable, mysterious boy probably thinks I'm a damn stalker. If I saw my dopey face, with my stupid nose piercing, grinning like a moron, I would have nailed myself straight in the mouth.

Favourite stiffened, took a sip, and then sighed. "I have commitment problems, I guess." He shrugged and dug his blunt nails into the bar. "I was fighting with my boyfriend-er-ex boyfriend, Brendon. He was too pale, too mouthy, too clingy. Apparently, you aren't supposed to sleep with your married boss when you're in a relationship. Is that a rule or something? Well, he saw my boss and I frenching at Red Lobster, so we broke up. Anyways, I came here to drink to forget my commitment problems, not remember." He ran those twitching fingers through his hair, then took a big swig of a fresh drink I poured for him. "You know what? Liquor might just be the best boyfriend a desperate thing like me can get."

Wow. Wow. That is really all I could say. I've never really heard anyone open up like that. I mean, I've heard all types of stories, but this one seemed the most honest. I thought he was some sort of mute-sociopath, but apparently he held nothing back once you actually talked to him.

"Are you an alcoholic? I-well, not to be rude. But there is an under-the-table rule that the staff here can't pour more than two drinks to anyone who talk about drinking problems." He responded to this by tipping his head back and letting out a beautiful, harsh laugh that I will cherish and play like music in my head while I work on day-to-day chores.

"I'm not committed enough to be an alcoholic. See, commitment problems." He seemed less intimidating, more relaxed, now that I've picked a petal off the flower.

"I hate committing, being tied down. I like walking in the rain when I want. I like to climb fire escapes when I want. I like to be alone when I want. And I really like to pick flowers and tie them in my hair whenever I feel like it. It sounds pretty effeminate, but frankly, gender formalities don't work with me."

I noticed a little wild violet tucked in tousled hair, tied to another, continuing in an endless circle of nature, crowning him like an ethereal nymph. A fawnlette, I think that's what Vladimir Nabokov called boy nymphets. He was a fawnlette that never grew out of his boyish charm, but received far too many bruises as the years passed by.

"I love violets. They are my favourite flowers." He noted. I kept that in the back of my mind, just in case I ever get the chance to buy him flowers.

"And I hate committing when I comes to the people I have sex with. I have about 14 partners right now. And I'm not a whore, I just like sex. Why should I be stuck picking only one flower, when there are so many different ones growing? Soft ones, prickly ones, white, coloured, thick, thin, ugly, graceful. Some are domestic. Some are wild." He catches his breath after his little rant and take a shot of tequila without even making a face. "I think I'm a wild flower, I don't like growing in one place."

I couldn't agree with him more. He was a wild flower. He thought free and did what he wanted; sadly he just grew into the wrong places, like this decrepit bar.

"Everyone that comes here thinks they are a wild flower." I reassure him, "They come in, drink, and then leave for their next journey." He taps on his shot glass, indicating that he wants another hit. "You, you are just a wild flower that gets watered a bit too much," I tell him.

He downs another shot and wits back "Why do you want me to stop drinking? It's your excuse to look at me, and my excuse to look at you. We both don't have issues with this, do we?" That sharp tongue will always be the victor between us.

A familiar song twinkles though the radio, causing both of us to sigh. "You know, wild flower, I never caught your name." I stated as I poured him another shot.

"That's because I never told you. This is the most you ever talked to me." That tongue is like razors. He fiddled with the neckline of his cable knit sweater, then scratched his drunk-rash stained collarbones. "It's Tyler. Well, it is really Tyler Robert Joseph."

Tyler. I say it out loud on accident (on purpose), loving the way it simplistically rolled of my tongue, yet spat off his knife like mouth. Tyler crinkles his precious nose, making me glance down to realise I was indeed overflowing the shot glass with some other vapid liquid.

"Well Tyler, I'm Josh, but it is really Joshua William Dun." Damn I am so smooth when I don't think about it. That makes up for the pool of alcohol accumulating on the bar. Tyler reaches forward, brushing his thin, clean fingers over the writing I worship.

"Josh. It suits you. Sturdy, dependable, but still a little strange." He tips his tan neck back and downs his 4th, maybe 5th shot of the hour. "Damn, this wild flower has been watered far too much." He slurs adorably, giggling a bit at how tipsy he was.

I hesitantly called him a cab, never wanting him to leave my sight again. I don't want him to keep growing, a flower that grows into the arms of bad boyfriends and the beds of 14 married men. I want him to grow and become domestic in my garden.

I pour him a cup of coffee to help him sober up a tad. Licking his lips, he goes "That poem, who wrote it?"

"What poem?"

"The poem you have been looking at more than you've been looking at me." Sharp tongue, like always.

"Oh, this poem. A few years ago, some boy came in and wrote it. He was pretty fucked up. He looked like he got the shit beat out of him."

"What month was it? When he came to the bar?" Tyler asked.

I vaguely remember snowflakes dusting the boy's hair, and his clothing seeming way too summery for the weather. More cleared up in my foggy brain. Twinkle lights were wrapped around the bar, and Pete, Patrick and I were wearing our worst sweaters. Pete was kissing Patrick's neck and handing him a gift wrapped in pink paper.

Cute little bastards.

"Josh? Wake up Josh. Wake up." Tyler called as he snapped his fingers in my blank face.

"Sorry. I zone out a lot. It must be the weed I smoked when I was younger." Tyler raised a thin eyebrow at my justification. "It was Christmas time, and he seemed to be running away from something."

"He was running away. He had commitment problems." Tyler mumbled, licking the rim of a shot glass. "I hate Christmas. I came out to my parents on Christmas eve-eve three years ago. Last time I saw my parents."

"..and I never really got a good look at him. I hope he comes back some day, I think he would be a wild flower." I continue.

"He is." Tyler softly informs me. "I can tell, no sedentary flower could ever think like that." He reaches for his hair, and unties a wild violet. You know, those little purple violets you see while you hike in parks. The little ones that grow in the cobblestone of streets. The delicate ones that juvenile girls play "he loves me, he loves me not" on, hoping a petal will remain for "he loves me." Taking the little piece of himself, Tyler sets it right where the poem ends.

I'm touched, honoured really. I don't know if I wanted to touch it, frame it, kiss it. Tyler adjusts his crown in his perfect fluff of hair. God, he is gorgeous.

Tyler was reaching in his skin tight jeans for an empty wallet before I interrupted him with "Stop. It's on the house."

"Really? I drank the place dry." He really did. Remember, the kid could drink more than the Armenian and creepy professor put together.

"No, really. This is all you owe me." I picked up the violet and smelled it for the first time. It smelled fresh, yet soiled at the same time, much like the angel in front of me.

Tyler gave me a smile. A genuine, sweet, toothy smile with white bricks building a home, his bottom teeth crooked and overlapping a bit in the most adorable way, and canines a bit pointy, begging to dig into something. The smile, the story, the flower, and the name. They could pay for a million drinks.

Tyler doesn't thank me verbally, but gives me a quote. Or more of a warning, that I intend on carving into my skin someday.

"Dear Joshua, my words will grow flowers in your lungs, but when they get too big, you won't be able to fucking breathe." Then, he left.

I kept the flower in my pocket, I read the poem every day, and I did carve his farewell into the bar. Tyler Robert Joseph didn't return, for that he has grown into another field, with another married man to kiss at Red Lobster and more commitment problems.

However, the day after we shared stories, I did notice a new poem written on the other side of the bar.

"Flowers do nothing wrong, but we rip them from their homes, and give them to people who will never love us."

Chapter Text

It continued at a bar.

Hazy, cheap lighting illuminated the rustic, grim, hole-in-the-wall, emphasising the amount of dirt, debris, and dust coating everything within the building. Posters, records, Polaroid photos, and an array of tchotchkes covered the walls completely, leaving little room for the hideous mustard coloured paint to peak through. Despite the bar being decrepit and tacky, and the carpeting being the same pattern that was iconic in The Shining, there was a homey, warm, and serene vibe the shit-hole gave off. When you stepped into the bar, you were practically transported back to the 70s. Well, Pete, Patrick, and I were sure that was the last time renovations or anything new except for liquor was purchased.

The only thing that kept this tavern modern were the many memos engraved into the wood of the bar. If you have gotten to know me before, you must know the drill. These notes were created by tipsy artisans who drowned their sorrows in cigarettes and Jager-Bombs. After the struggling hipsters and hippies get drunk enough and share a little too much about themselves to me, they pull out a coin and leave their mark on this establishment.

Most of the notes are song lyrics or simple poetry. The rest are love notes, hate mail, goodbye letters, mindless doodles, and phallic symbols.

So. Many. Phallic symbols.

I don't care what the hell the drunken ghostwriters create, as long as they don't touch my favourite's artwork. I kept a hawk's eye on those drunken authors and illustrators if they even come close to the poetry my beloved favourite composed.

I'm not fucking stupid. After my favourite and I shared stories, I connected the dots. Of course my favourite was the roughhoused boy. There was no way there was another wild flower in this world that could compose art like my favourite. Even though I solved the mystery of the bruised up adolescent, there where so many questions I needed to be answered. What was he running from? Who did that to him? Why did he start coming to the bar three years after that one night? Why did he stop coming after we spoke? And what are the meanings behind those doleful compositions?

Mournful and doused in melancholy, the floral, earthy literature has become a child to me. I care for it like when I was a teenager and was forced to carry an egg for a week in order to pass my Child Development class. Only this time, if I dropped the egg, my existence would shatter along with the fragile shell. That's what would happen if my favourite's artwork was destroyed.

I want to put a tiny fence around each one of his poems so nobody will fuck with them. I clean them and polish them. I trace my fingers over the tilted writing every chance I get. When no one is looking, I bend over the bar and kiss both of the mosaic, botanic poems; terrified that kissing the ballads may be as close to kissing my favourite as I get.

That and my stupid fucking violet I keep in my pocket. Who the hell picks wild violets? I'm sure the token I cherish like a nugget of gold is coated in dog piss and pigeon cum and all sorts of vomit inducing fluids, but god. This little purple flower was lucky enough to be picked from gritty dirt by an archangel, cared for with tender, graceful fingers, tied to another gracious violet, and perched on top of the fawnlet's divine head.

If I was a flower, I would want to be a little wild violet so I would have the chance to be picked up and nurtured by my favourite.

Oh god. My favourite.

It has been five hellish months since my favourite and I had that night of velvet phrases and silken angst and muted flora. Well, time seemed to stand still since the last time I saw him. No, not stand still, but every week felt like an eternity. Nights felt like lifetimes as I poured wandering souls vodka-Red Bulls and waited. I tried to keep my mind off of him, but when I see his anthem tattooed into the bar, all I can wrap my brain around is willowy, pouty, celestial poets with the musical initials T.R.J.

Tyler Robert Joseph.

I can't even say their name.Tyler, Tyler, Tyler. It races through my simple mind every second of every day. It's like this prayer. If I keep just thinking, TylerTylerTyler, then maybe he will come down from the heavens and answer my hymns. Maybe if I go to church, pray to God, eat those bland crackers, sip their cheap wine, and douse myself in the holy water, the lord will bless me with the miracle of TylerTylerTylerwalking through the doors into the bar.

Or maybe my TylerTylerTyler was some sort of satanic chant that if I keep repeating, I'll eventually go mad and shoot myself right at this bar. Maybe TylerTylerTyler is really my REDRUM REDRUM REDRUM like in The Shining. Maybe TylerTylerTyler running through my mind is a result of cabin fever inside the bar, where I'll end up killing both Pete, Patrick and myself. Or maybe, one of the happy couple will strangle me for talking about TylerTylerTyler all the fucking time. Probably Pete.

That bitch is fucking wild.

I've tried so hard to escape the constant TylerTylerTyler. Three weeks ago, I visited my mom. When she asked me if I was seeing anyone, I wanted to tell her "No because Tyler Joseph is a perplexing, disappearing enigma who spent one night confessing to me like a sinner and now doesn't even fucking exist, but he is everywhere and I can't fucking escape his ubiety. And it is fucking killing me mom."

But all I said to the dearest woman was "No, I've been busy at the bar."

And I can't escape him. Everywhere I look there are tawny eyes, and baby doll lips hiding over-crossed teeth, and miles of tan, buttery skin stretched taunt over those slightly toned muscles, and endless legs, and glowing faces and gentle cheekbones and all those other details that make up the masterpiece that Monet or Kahlo or da Vinci couldn't even come close to perfecting.

The masterpiece that is TylerTylerTyler.

I see him everywhere. I see him when I'm running through the park, when I'm light-headed and panting from my workout. I'll look out into an empty field, and there will be Tyler sitting sublimely. Bare chested, wearing only a pair of his beloved loose shorts, showing off his eternally bruised knees; he is picking wild violets to make into a tiara to be worn on his pretty little head.

He looks up at me through his unbelievably long eyelashes. Before I can say his name, or take a step towards him, or even take another breath, Tyler achromatizes away into the luminosity.

I see Tyler when I visit the contemporary coffee shop near my apartment.

Drowsy, under-dressed, and desperate for caffeine, I order my coffee then sit down at one of wooden tables. As I read a chapter in one of the raunchy smut novellas Patrick recommended to me, I feel the impending need to look up. Sitting kitty-corner from me, there is the doll-like mirage bundled up for the nippy weather. He is snugged in an over-sized green jacket, a loose grey sweater, and skin-tight black jeans tucked into his signature scratched up boots. His delicate hands are wrapped around a mug of liquid warmth, most likely black coffee with no cream or sugar. That's what he would always order at the bar to sober up.

I didn't understand how someone so syrupy-sweet could digest a beverage so bitter.

Because that's what Tyler is.

Syrupy-sweet.

I try to wave at him, whisper his name, receive some recognition from him, but his pixie nose is tucked away in that same moleskin notebook.

"Tyler!" I call out just loud enough for him to hear. Wiping his rose-petal lips, he looks up and flashes a toothy, over-crossed smile. I look down to mark my page in the erotica I was reading, and when I look back at the lounge chair Tyler was supposed to be sitting in, he is gone.

I see Tyler walking down Broadway, his hair and eyelashes dusted in phosphorescent snowflakes. But, it was just a cute, dark-haired college girl.

When I'm lucky enough, I see Tyler in my bedroom.

He is as bare as he were born, but is far from innocent like an infant. His skin is like honey, and he smells like vanilla, autumn, ginger, and boyish musk. His ribs are protruding and his stomach is flat, only in the way an artist in their twenties can look like. His legs extend for forever and a day, and his soft, thick thighs just about touch. The only fat on his lethal body is condensed on his perky, soft, heart-shaped ass. And his cock. His cock. Tyler is so dainty but his cock stands against the plane of his stomach at a solid seven inches hard.

God, I want to fucking devour him.

"What do you want?" I asked Tyler, my breath caught in my throat.

I hear his knife-like tongue "You know exactly what I want."

And trust me I do.

I take Tyler by the nape of his neck and kiss him so hard I can feel the blood rushing to our lips, our cheeks, and our members. I pick the thin creature up by his itty-bitty waist and wrap his legs around my hips. His arms wind around my neck and he pulls me further in his mouth until our teeth are clinking and our tongues are shoved down each other's groaning throats. My knees are weak and my vision is white and I am tingling from my head to my toes.

It feels so amazing. Tyler buck-naked. Me, clad in ripped skinny jeans and a flannel. We can't get enough of each other. It's like Tyler is marijuana and it's my first time smoking that earthy substance. It's like Tyler is the Fountain of Life and I am on my death bed. It's like Tyler is the only thing keeping me existing.

And honestly, he is.

"Touch me, touch me. I'll die if you don't touch me." Tyler begs me as I lock sight onto his bambi-eyes. I do as he commands and place him on the bed. I kiss every inch of his soft skin, worshipping him like saint he is. Time slows down as Tyler releases precious moans and whimpers and keens as I touch everything I can on him.

I thank every god above me as Tyler sits on my lap and sinks down on my cock. I silently promise that I'll start going to church again and drink cheap wine and douse myself in holy water just because Jesus, Mary, and all the Saints in heaven have given me Tyler Joseph to fuck. I bump my hips up against his ass, and his nimble back arches in utter pleasure. Tyler is blissed out and setting a fast rhythm for the symphony of our pleasure. I want to touch him. I want to hold him and never ever let him from my embrace. I want to fuck him until he is sobbing from how good it is, until he is begging me not to stop.

I place my hands on the backs of his thick flexing thighs, but he smacks my hands away immediately. "Don't fucking touch me," he snarls at me as he bucks his hips against mine, throwing his head back to release a scream-like moan, "I'll die if you touch me."

I don't listen to him. I always listen to him, but this time, I was a god-damned idiot. I reached up and grasped his cock between my fingers. Tyler's angelic face became stone-cold, like it was when he took too many shots of vodka. It reminded me so much of the bruised up boy that came to the bar three years ago. Intimidating, cold, but still vulnerable.

"Dear Joshua. You've always been a fool. An ignorant, oblivious, fucking fool."

And with that, Tyler was gone. I was alone on my bed, cock in one hand, and bowl in the other. I never had Tyler Robert Joseph impaled on my cock, I never kissed his bratty little lips or heard his breathy moans. I don't want to go to church anymore, and I have no one to pray to except for the consistent TylerTylerTyler screaming through my floaty head like REDRUM REDRUM REDRUM boomed through Danny Torrance's adolescent mind.

I took another hit from my bowl as I whispered to myself "An ignorant, oblivious, fucking fool..." as I blow out a smoke ring and think of abused boys with tuggable hair and bruised knees and raspy voices.

"An ignorant, oblivious, fucking fool."

|-/

Valentine's Day was the most sorrowful night of the year for us at the bar.

Pete, Patrick and I find that every February 14th, the smoky building should be renamed "The Lonely Hearts Club" because everyone drinking here on ole St. Valentine's day are heartbroken, deserted souls who have fucked up too many times or maybe just forgot to buy their significant other flowers or chocolates. Valentine's Day was the night that for every drink I poured for a homeless heart, I took a swig of vodka. It was the only way I could get through the night without wanting to hold one of the mounted guns to my head and pull the trigger.

I hate February. February is when everyone gets seasonal depression and the snow is slushy and dirty and there is always that weird super-hot day where you can't wear your knit socks and coat because you might roast, but at night it is so cold your balls seize up inside of you. February is when all your books seem bland and no good plays are being produced and you can't find good weed and every night you eat Chinese lo mein from the carton and your parents don't send you money because there are no good holidays. Except for Valentine's Day.

September 16th was when Tyler and I swapped stories. September 16th was when I last saw Tyler. I've been living in a Tyler Joseph fantasy world ever since then.

I imagined walking with Tyler through the city during September, all the leaves changing colours, Tyler warm in one of my flannels, and his precious head covered in my grey beanie. I pictured Tyler and me not holding hands yet, but bumping arms as we kept our hands warm around our mugs of coffee.

Tyler drinking bitter, flavourless black coffee, of course.

I imagine going to Tyler's apartment in the morning in early October. I'd wake him up with a knock on the door and he would answer with messy hair and sleepy eyes. I would take Tyler out to breakfast at the diner that serves the best pancakes and coffee.

Black coffee for Tyler.

I would take pictures of Tyler, wrapped up in my camo jacket, as he ate his breakfast, syrup dripping down his elegant chin. I would watch his lips fascinated as Tyler talked to me about flowers and novels and artwork and music. I would sip my coffee, doused with cream and sugar, and feel my heart swell at anything Tyler would do.

I picture what Tyler was for Halloween. Maybe he was something basic like a black cat, with precious kitty ears placed onto their flawless fluff of hair. Or maybe he was something glamorous, like a Burlesque queen. Fuck, imagining Tyler with thigh highs and a show-girl corset and high heels and alluring makeup made me weak in the knees.

I pictured us in November. Kissing in my apartment as Tyler only wore a huge open cardigan and thick framed glasses, and I was shirtless but wearing loose joggers. I imagined making pumpkin cookies and drinking coffee with pumpkin cream in it and Tyler drinks his coffee black as we watch out my window, looking at the silly tourists get hyped for the Thanksgiving parade. Tyler and I got high and watched the Charlie Brown Thanksgiving special as we ate Thai food and tried to take the ugliest pictures of ourselves.

Tyler can't win. It's impossible for him to be ugly.

Tyler and I shared a shower, and maybe he let me wash his hair.

I picture Tyler and me running through Toys-R-Us during Christmas time, picking out ridiculous toys for our friends. Tyler loves the antique dolls in old creepy thrift shops downtown. I take Tyler to Macy's one night and he nearly passes out when he sees all the Agent Provocateur Lingerie. I definitely bought him a pair of seductive stockings and panties to wear to torture me as I attempt to vacuum the apartment.

One night Tyler drags me out to dinner. We are both dressed in pajama pants, our hair a mess, and our eyes blood shot from the weed we smoked earlier that night. Tyler pulls me into a lavish, swanky, uneconomical, five-star restaurant. We ate steak and drank champagne, and ordered about four decedent chocolate lava cakes. When our $382.73 bill comes, Tyler releases the Joseph charm, batting his lashes and making his voice breathy and so fucking hot. The waiter walks away, flustered from Tyler undoing his belt with delicate fingers, and Tyler and I sprint out of the restaurant with a fire under our ass.

My left leg gave out as we ran past the maître d', knocking all three of us over. Tyler grabs me and another bottle of ridiculously expensive champagne and we took off again. We run so fast and so hard, neither of us can catch our breath from how hard we are panting and how hard we are laughing. We ran nearly five blocks before we hand to sit on the curb and almost cough up blood from laughing as hard as we did.

Tyler stole the champagne bottle, so we sip on the posh bubbly as we take the bus back home. Tyler's cheeks were flushed from running and being drunk, and he couldn't stop giggling.

It would be a lie if I said I wasn't a little bit in love after that night.

For Christmas, I buy Tyler a new moleskin notebook, perfume that smells like violets, a copy of Lolita (I may have ruined Tyler's copy by spilling beer on it), a few vintage smut books (turns out Ty likes antique pornography more than Patrick), wool socks, new floral vans, and a cheap ukulele from a garage sale to fulfil his constant want to try something new.

Tyler gives me four things.

One: An American Apparel flannel I've had my eyes on for quite some time. We both know Tyler will be wearing it more than I will though.

Two: A new bowl. This one is pretty and a glassy greenish blue. Maybe Tyler and I got high as kites on the weed he imported from Amsterdam and danced to one of Tyler's Nancy Sinatra vinyls, maybe we didn't.

"Bang Bang. My baby shot me down," Tyler sings in his heavenly voice as he exhales toxic smoke into my mouth.

Three: The palm sized leather moleskin Tyler had been doodling in since the first time we talked. Within the miniscule notebook are endless drawings of angelic, doe-eyed boys blushing as another boy with a nose piercing and curly red hair kisses his cheek. There are also little poems and quotes Tyler wrote in the little moleskin, but I can't remember what exactly.

Four: This one was interesting. A lavender collar, like a fetish collar I usually see at the sex shop down the street from the bar. And a set of little ambiguous lavender leather handcuffs. And a pretty, lavender ball gag. I knew enough about Tyler to know what to do with these gifts.

And if Tyler spent all of Christmas blindfolded, collared, rosy ass high in the air, snarky mouth gagged, handcuffed to the bed, and a high speed vibrator stuck in his pretty little hole, nobody needs to know.

Tyler and I don't spend the holidays with our families. Tyler hates Christmas, if I remember right. We first met on Christmas Eve, when Tyler was running from something. I still don't know what, but every plot needs a few holes.

I picture us spending New Year's Eve eating Taco Bell (Tyler and I's favourite) on Pete and Patrick's couch, watching the ball drop. When it is finally midnight, Pete shoves the younger boy to the ground and kisses him like an animal. Patrick moans loud, and before we know it, the couple are in the kitchen fucking. Tyler and I however, took our kiss slow and syrupy like molasses. That is what Tyler was.

Syrupy-sweet.

January is when Tyler would get sick, probably the flu or a common cold. I would run my fingers through his hair as he spent all day vomiting, despite his stomach being empty. I would make Tyler spaghetti with nothing on it when he hasn't eaten in days. I would watch the soft inhale and exhale from his lips as he slept on my chest. I would let Tyler sit on my lap only in the flannel they bought me for Christmas as we watched obscure Netflix movies (we totally just use Pete's account) and repeats of the X-Files as I just trace the tattoos on his arms and admire my angel.

February, however. February is when I can stop fantasising about Tyler. And maybe. February is when my stupid little Tyler Joseph fairyland could come true.

"Wake up Josh. Wake up," I am brought back to my dull reality was Patrick snaps his fingers in my hazy eyes. "Were you even listening to me, or were you dreaming about that twink again?" Patrick's tone was light, but he still made my blood boil.

"He isn't just a twink, Pat. And yes. I heard you." I snapped back at the other boy, rolling my eyes dramatically to emphasise how exasperated I was. Exasperated that Patrick constantly mocked my infatuation with Tyler Joseph, and that all of those moments and memories with Tyler were just puzzled together in my cluttered mind, and they will only ever be imaginary.

Maybe Tyler was that. Maybe Tyler was just a figure of my mind.

Pat raised an eyebrow at me, smirking as he asked "Then what did I ask you, Joshie?" My heart felt a bit balmy at Patrick's nickname for me. I can't stay mad at him.

But fuck. Fuck. I have no clue what the fuck he was asking me. And I don't want to give him the satisfaction of knowing he is correct about me musing about Tyler. Patrick grew so tired of me constantly gossiping about Tyler, so he tried to deflect my obsession with the poet by saying stuff like "Did he even wash his hair? It was greasier than that Armenian man's at the bar." He could call him those repulsive claims, but I know he is just jealous of Tyler.

TylerTylerTyler.

I let out a hearty sigh. "You asked me to suck your dick as Pete shoves his left arm in your ass, right?" Patrick replies to that with his signature scream he does whenever he is amused. As much as he pisses me off, I have to love that boy.

"As tempting as that sounds, I need you to go to the liquor store and pick up some stuff for Valentine's night. You know the bar is always dry by 10 pm on that night."

Valentine's Day was Friday night, and it was only Wednesday. Pete, Patrick and I needed to brace ourselves for the sob stories, callous weeping, and pessimistic moxy in the bar. I'll definitely need to smoke before work.

"Oh, and Pete and I are leaving the bar at like 11ish so we can rock our with our cocks out,"

"Jesus Christ, Pat. Not only did you just say that, but you are leaving me alone at the bar? On our busiest, most suicidal night?"

Patrick grins awkwardly, trying to comfort me with a soft "You will survive Joshie. You survived 4 months without that twink."

"5 months, and you can eat my ass with a wooden spoon." I grunt at him.

Patrick rubs my arm and ruffles my hair, then hands me a grocery list filled with booze, spirits, and other liquid courage. "Love you, Dog Breath. You will survive."

"Fuck off."

|-/

It wasn't hard to find a liquor store.

All of them were sleazy, filthy, and left you with an unsettling feeling of impending doom. However, there was one liquor bar about three blocks from the bar, nestled between a warm coffee shop/library and a floral shop. We usually go to the closest store, which is a minute walk from our bar, but is definitely run by a pimp.

I sacrificed my warmth for my safety and my sanity, and took a brisk walk to the cozy, reasonable liquor store three blocks over. Lighting a cigarette and pulling my camo jacket against my chest, I strolled past street vendors and dirty hipsters with greasy hair.

"Did he even wash his hair?" I hear Pat's voice, and my mind immediately fills with illusions of soft, fluffy chocolate strands and fluttering eyelashes, and over-crossed teeth.

TylerTylerTyler. I sigh internally as I imagine Tyler, bundled up for the cold weather, walking next to me, smoking a Marlboro. Stop it Josh. Stop it. He isn't real. He doesn't exist.

I try to focus on the list of liquors as I walk into the store, try to keep my mind blank of little brown-haired beauties, with honey skin and thick thighs and gritty voices. Stop it Josh. He doesn't exist. He isn't real. I see vodka everywhere, and all I can think about is TylerTylerTyler sucking on pieces of ice with his bubblegum lips and drinking his poison with a stone-cold face.

He isn't real. He isn't real. He isn't real. I keep telling myself that as I think about slanted font on the bar. "When I die, my rotting body will grow into flowers, and I will be them, and that is eternity." and "Flowers do nothing wrong, but we rip them from their homes, and give them to people who will never love us." If he isn't real, then how in the hell did those poems get on the bar?

It's all been in your mind. Tyler isn't real. The poems aren't real. Just get your booze and get out so you can go smoke. I shovel all types of gin and brandy and rum and scotch into my basket, trying to think about the old white men that will drink these toxic liquids Friday night. Remember when you liked daddies, Josh? Wasn't life so much easier back then?

I checked out, showing my ID and the bar's credit card the owner will pay off. The older man behind the counter asks me if I'm spending Valentine's Day alone, so I mimic that stupid cryptic angel, bat my eyelashes and reply "No, liquor may just be the best boyfriend a desperate thing like me can get." The cashier laughs and I flash a toothy grin at him, scratching my tattoo on my right hip that reads "My words will grow flowers in your lungs. But when they get too big, you won't be able to fucking breathe." I try so hard to be a doll and be attracted to the bearded man in front of me, but he can't replace my TylerTylerTyler.

Stop it Josh. He isn't real. Those poems are fake. Those words are fake. Your tattoo is just of some quote from Tumblr, that violet in your pocket isn't real. He isn't real. He doesn't exist. There is no Tyler Robert Joseph with commitment problems who drinks too much and has 14 men to fuck. There is no Tyler who kisses men in Red Lobster. There is no "wild flower." He doesn't exist. He never existed. Get over him.

If he isn't real, then how could Pete and Patrick have seen him? And how come I have a violet in my pocket that still smells like musk and boy and autumn? And how come I remember that little angelic boy so well? Tyler is real. Tyler is real. Tyler is real.

"Dear Joshua, You've always been a fool. An ignorant, oblivious, fucking fool." He isn't real. He is real. He exists. He is real he is real he is real and he will be mine. He isn't real, he isn't real.

I'm losing my fucking mind.

TylerTylerTyler is booming through my head, so loud I feel like my skull will fracture. TylerTylerTyler just like REDRUMREDRUMREDRUM. My heart speeds up, and I have to whisper to myself "He is real," as I step through the doors, out of the liquor store. I tried to remember everything I could about him.

His lips were so, so soft looking. Same with his short, fluff of deep-chocolate hair that was made for fingers to run through, and frequently found itself home to twitching and anxious fingers. And he had these big doe-eyes that replicated the shade of bar that separates us. He was so soft and gentle looking, but everything else was sharp enough to cut glass. Cheekbones, jawline, eyebrows, collarbones, and a nose artists could only attempt to perfect in their work.

He isn't real, that was just an illusion. You were just lonely. He isn't real.

His face was slender, young, and near angelic. At least that's what it would have looked like if it wasn't beat to a pulp. Both of his chocolate eyes were black and blue, his nose was dripping blood the same colour as that on his fingers. His mouth was soft, but kissed a dark purple shade. He should have had tears pouring out of his doe-like eyes, but his face remained stone cold.

Bruised knees. Wild violets. Scratched boots. Dark eyes. Moleskins. Slanted handwriting. Over-crossed teeth. Hickies on strangled necks. Cable-knit sweaters. They all exist. Tyler exists.

The cold air hits me as my mind and I fight a bloody battle of he isn't real, he is real. He isn't real. He is real.

I walk mindlessly through the sludge of the melting snow, arms filled to the brim with brown bags weighed down with translucent bottles containing amber liquids. My nose prickles at the scent of fresh flowers at the floral shop, but all I can smell are dried out wild violets laced with the scent of unwashed hair.

He isn't real. He isn't real, I finally decided. He isn't real. I keep saying that to myself as business men walk past me, and go into the store to order flowers for their loved ones. He isn't real. I walk towards the floral shop. He isn't real. I'm not looking where I'm walking. He isn't real. I feel myself walk right into something, nearly tripping me and causing me to drop the $400 bags of alcohol.

"Ouch! Watch where you're walking, dick!" I know that voice. I know that melancholic, near-raspy voice laced with sarcasm and attitude.

He isn't real. He isn't real.

Some boy is sitting on the steps leading up to the flower shop, long legs stretched out in front of him. I know those boots. My eyes trail up. His legs are clad in black skinny jeans with slits on the knees. I know those bruised knees.

He isn't real. He isn't real.

He is wearing an antique button-up only my favourite could pull off. He isn't real. There is an apron on him that employees wear at the floral shop, but no name tag. He isn't real.

I want to cry when I see a single hickey staining a tan neck.

He isn't real. He isn't real.

In one hand, there are a bunch of wild violets. In the other was a cigarette grasped between two delicate, clean fingers.

I have to count to ten before I look at his face.

There he is; angelic, darling, soft, sharp, stone-cold, but still luminous, Like someone was holding a candle under his chin, causing him to glow like he does. His eyes are glassy, and his lips look like cotton candy. A single strand of soft hair falls in his view, blocking me from seeing all of his fawn-like features. I need to reach out and push that strand back.

"Don't touch me. I'll die if you touch me." I listen to him this time. I stand still, soaking his apparition up. He isn't real. He will disappear soon. He isn't real.

My mind tells me not to say his name. Not to mutter TylerTylerTyler like a prayer, or sing TYLERTYLERTYLER like a holy hymn to be paired with cheap blessed wine and bland communion.

I can't stop myself, I make eyes with his, I suck in a breath. Tyler isn't real. Tyler isn't real. I cross my fingers, praying to God or Satan that Tyler is real. His name is on my parched lips.

"Tyler," I rasp as my eyes gleam, and I clutch my bags for dear life.

He isn't real.

"Dear Joshua," He smiles lightly with over-crossed teeth as he takes a drag from his cigarette.

Bitter, but syrupy-sweet.

The bags of alcohol fall onto the pavement, shattering near Tyler's bruised knees and scratched up boots.

He is real.

Chapter Text

This time, our story didn't continue at a bar.

It continued on the brick steps of a young, whimsical floral shop in Columbus. The temperature of the air was brisk, causing me to shake a bit in my boots, but maybe that was just due to who was sitting before me. The snow was becoming slushy and dirty, and the melted black ice left the streets stained dark. The sky was an ash colour, and clouds were carefully layering over us, promising a new fall of sleet that would leave the streets even more cluttered with frozen precipitation.

The emporium of fauna was next to a slightly grim liquor store, a warm coffee shop, and an attractive bakery that was producing the sweetest smelling bagels that ever graced this earth, blending with the invigorating scent of the blossoms inside the shop.

Shit, I am hungry, but that can wait.

The floral shop was bustling with business from all types of men and women, due to the fact that it was February 12th. Two days before capitalism's favorite holiday, and a lonely heart's worst nightmare.

I've walked by this floral shop almost every day for the past 4 years, which has never upset me before but right now I am furious. I've always enjoyed the fresh cut flowers and friendly greetings from the employees when I walked to go get my morning coffee at the shop nearby. My apartment was only one block from the little market, which makes me feel nauseous.

He was right under my nose this entire time.

The fucking angel, that has had me wanting to tear my skin off and gouge my eyes out and make a noose for myself weaved out of spiraling chocolate hair then wrap it around my neck so I can just save myself from this toxic obsession with this fucking kid, was one block from my apartment. I passed this goddamn fucking floral shop every fucking day. If I walked into the store on September 17th, then maybe I would have saved myself from these five months of brain-decaying, cavity-inducing day dreams of my favourite and I skipping away into the sunshine and baking cookies and fucking each other into another century. Maybe I wouldn't have smoked sixty bucks worth of weed every week just so I could get into my "Tyler Joseph Fantasia" like it was an amusement park where I could ride flowing waves like a roller coaster and ice skate on flat stomachs and go sledding down the slope of heart-shaped asses. That theme park would be my heaven.

I would give my left nut to go there.

If I would have just stepped into that little shop, I would have taken Tyler on a date to the coffee shop while he wore my flannel and drank black coffee. I could have taken him to the pancake place in October and kissed his syrupy-sweet lips. I could have seen what he was for Halloween. I could have eaten Thai food with him on Thanksgiving and gotten high while watching Charlie Brown. I would have been able to wash his soft hair. I could have bought him lingerie during Christmas time, and gotten him those new vans and the ukulele and wool socks and violet perfume. I could have received his moleskin filled with his poetry and drawings of us. I could have had my New Year's kiss with him instead of watching somberly as Pete and Patrick kissed so hard their lips bled. I could have cared for him while he was on his death bed during January.

I could have been his Valentine way before February was even in sight. I could have been his boyfriend and his partner in crime and his artistic muse and his hairdresser because lord knows I could spend hours engaged in his hair. I could have saved myself from the constant torture of he isn't real, he doesn't exist, he is real, he doesn't exist, he is real, he doesn't exist. I could have cleared my mind of any TylerTylerTylers screaming in my mind like REDRUMREDRUMREDRUM, and TylerTylerTylers would be falling from my lips like prayers as Tyler did to my body exactly what I've been fantasising about for the past 5 months.

I would have been his. And he would have been mine.

Why didn't I go to this floral shop? Why didn't God or Satan or whatever scientologists worship bring me here? Why was I so foolish to just walk by and ignore the fucking masterpiece inside the store? Why was Tyler always right.. why was I an ignorant, oblivious, fucking fool?

A torn up boot, glistening with the alcohol I dropped, putting out a dull cigarette brings me back from my dream to the nightmare before me. His soft, delicate fingers reach in the front pocket of his apron and pull out a box of sticks, and he lights one, bringing it to his cherry-stained lips. He closes his icy eyes and blows out a ring of smoke. When he is finished, he taps the ashes off his cigarette and looks up at me.

I'm towering over him as he sits before me but god I feel minuscule and worthless. Maybe because I am currently fighting every urge to get down on the ground and worship those banged-up boots and those never-ending legs and bruised purple knees.

Or, maybe because Tyler is such a celestial being that that is what I am. Minuscule and worthless.

An ignorant, oblivious, fucking fool.

Tyler glances at the mess of alcohol and shattered glass in front of me, and the shattered glass ceiling keeping me from my Tyler Joseph Fantasia that I finally broke after five months, and gives me a teasing smirk, hiding his over-crossed teeth I was lucky enough to view moments ago. Raising one of his arched eyebrows, he breathes out our infamous first words:

"What can I get for you?" Oh my god. His voice is like velvet and sandpaper. I want to engulf myself in it, make a robe out of those silky words. I want that voice to leave my body rubbed raw, but tender. The thick, warm voice most likely comes from years of smoking, drinking, and commitment problems.

I quiver a bit internally, while I try to muster up enough confidence to pull out the charm I've been told I have. My stomach drops when I actually hear my own slow voice reply "I don't know, wild-flower. Maybe a reason why I haven't seen you at the bar since September."

Oh dear shit. I just fucked up everything, he thinks I'm an obsessive-compulsive stalker who is in love with him.

That's because you are, Joshua Dun.

Tyler replies with the sarcasm and wit I've known (or imagined) that he has. He giggles softly, his breath smoky and visibly from the cold air, and that one strand is still hanging in his eyes.

"I have commitment problems. You know that, don't you darling?"

Darling, Darling, Darling. Oh god. Just carve that into my tombstone. Just carve in "Joshua William Dun. Died on February 12th, 2017 of heart palpitations caused by Tyler Robert Joseph calling his hopeless ass "Darling" with his honey-and-vinegar voice." His voice may be decadent and sour, but you all know what Tyler really is.

Syrupy-sweet.

Tyler finally pushes the strand of soft hair out of the way, letting me see his entire angelic face. He ducks his head down for a second, and I notice the crown of violets I knew him for was no longer existent. He points his cigarette at the mess of 20 bottles at our feet and smirks "You know, they have AA meetings across the street. I think you have a drinking problem, dear."

In all of my fantasies, I somehow forgot how razor sharp his tongue is. It cuts words into the air like a freshly sharpened knife, and each word draws blood from me in a blissful torture that I can't get enough of. His tongue could have been used to carve his poetry into the bar, that's how precise it is. I want that blade shoved down my throat. I want it to fucking slit my neck.

His weapon of choice darts out and wets his lips before he takes another drag, finishing his second cigarette in the few minutes we have been talking. Well, not talking. More just me heavy-breathing and Tyler taunting me. Say something back, Josh. Tyler is real. Tyler is real and he will vanish in thin air if you bore him. Don't bore him. Maybe that's why he disappeared for five months. You bored him.

"I thought you were the one with a drinking problem, or are you not committed enough to be an alcoholic?" I wit back, attempting to make my words exact and nimble like Tyler's. "And all this liquor was for Valentine's Day at the bar, if I don't get fired because of this." My stomach turns at the alcohol seeps into the snow, knowing that I just shattered $400 dollars of liquid courage. Shit, Pete and Patrick are gonna kill you. You are so fucked. What the hell are you going to say? Blame it on Tyler. Tyler made you do it because you are a weak hopeless romantic who is in love with someone you barely know. Yeah, they will eat that up and shit that out. You're a goner, Joshua.

"Do you know if this place is hiring? I think I need a new job."

Tyler throws his head back, laughing a golden, auroral, rough laugh that brings back memories from our night of sharing stories. "Trust me, Dear Joshua. You don't want to work here. The flowers smell sweet, but oh, how it is bitter in there."

What the fuck. Why is he so poetic? Does he even try to be graceful with his words, or does it just flow naturally? I don't know, but God it fucking kills me.

Tyler lights his third cigarette, and hands it to me because the bags that filled my arms moments ago are sopping on the ground. I take a drag, and blow it in the opposite direction of Tyler, not wanting to release the deadly smog in his intangible face. Turning away from him was pure hell. I was so relieved to see that Tyler was still sitting on the steps when my eyes returned. So pretty, so delicate, and so devilish.

If only he knew how unhinged he made me.

"How have you been?" He pulls one bruised knee to his shivering chest, and picks at the slit in his jeans. For the first time his voice wasn't sharp or sour, but exactly how I imagined it to be.

Syrupy-sweet.

How have I been? How do I phrase this lightly? I've been high. I've been drunk every night. I've been living in a world that doesn't even exist because of you. Because of you, I am so out of touch with reality. Because of you, Tyler Robert Joseph, I've realised that I don't even stand without you. I've blended the lines of fantasy and reality, the lines of love and hate. The lines of dedication and obsession. I've gone fucking insane because of you, Tyler. And now you are sitting here, with your soft hair and slender face and lithe body and a hickey on your neck that should be from me, but is from some astrological man who I know exists, and you are asking me how I am? I am half alive because of you, Tyler. I haven't been able to fucking breathe.

"I've been fine." I finally decide. I've been fine.

Tyler appears rather bromitic. "Fine. Fine, Dear Joshua, are the exact words someone says when flowers in their lungs are keeping them from living."

I take another drag, brushing my fingers over my tattoo on my hip as Tyler picks petals off the violets in his hands. I picked the petals off him, now it's his turn.

"Then I've definitely been fine." Tyler's face doesn't move at all after my response, but the wind tousles their hair and stains their cheeks pink. "And you?"

Tyler sneers, and cuts me with his tongue. "Oh, sad, sad Pretty-Boy, I tried to warn you."

That's not a lie, he did. How could I forget the last thing he said to me before he disappeared from September 16th to February 12th. I have his parting words stuck on my pelvis in inky black.

"Dear Joshua, my words will grow flowers in your lungs, but when they get too big, you won't be able to fucking breathe."

And those flowers. Those wild violets have blossomed in my chest, have filled my lungs with petals and leaves and vines and have left me gasping for air. And each Tyler Joseph daydream has let these flowers grow to a gargantuan size that has filled my lungs, heart, liver, stomach, small intestine and gall bladder with bright, fragrant violets. And I don't know, if I water them vodka or smoke them out, will they die? Because, I'm pretty sure each poison just makes the flowers grow faster, and me fall harder.

"And I'm dandy, Joshua," Tyler picks the final petal off of his bunch of violets. He tosses a single petal into the puddle of liquor in front of us.

"You know, Joshua. I am rather transparent, so it makes it impossible for me to lie."

What he said next made my flowers gag me.

"I've missed you every day. I told you a lot. I need to tell you more."

I need him to tell me everything. I need to know who Tyler Joseph actually is now that I am positive that he is real. I need to know what his writing means, and what he was running from when his blood was red, and if my fantasy world could become reality, and if I could reach my dream land without being high as a kite. And I needed to see if these flowers in my lungs need to die, or need to grow bigger until violets are crawling out of my throat and ears and eye sockets and nostrils.

"I want to hear more." I tell him, touching the toes of my Clarks with his depraved boots. "I need to hear a lot more."

Tyler lets the violet petals go in the wind, and pushes himself up to meet me face-to-face. And oh god, oh god, oh god. Our noses brushed, and his breath felt so warm on my face. It smelled like cigarettes and bubblegum, which should have made me sick, but I want to inhale that scent until I faint.

Bitter, but syrupy-sweet.

His skin is clear, but barely-there freckles dust the flawless canvas. His eyelashes are thick and dark, framing glass eyes, and his eyebrows were soft and arched. That single unruly strand returned, falling in his vision.

"What do you want to hear?" Tyler pouts his baby-doll lips slightly, and tilts his head. I can't tell if he is inquiring me, or indicating that he wants me to grab his locks and kiss him until we crash to the ground and shatter just like the bottles I dropped.

I finally gain enough courage to move that god-forsaken strand out of his face, and his hair feels just like how I imagined. Silken, gentle, and virginal.

Unlike Tyler.

I drop the cigarette, and place my hand on his lower back before moving in closer to his lips.

"I want to know why you disappea—"

"Tyler!"

Tyler's breath hitches as he jerks back faster than lighting, and I lose my balance, almost falling alongside the liquor.

A tall, well-dressed, undeniably sensual, man stands at the top of the stairs, and Tyler turns a bright crimson.

"Tyler, sweetheart. Haven't we had a few talks about you slacking on the job?" His voice was stern, and Tyler looked skittish and scanty. Obviously, this man was Tyler's boss here at the floral shop.

"Yes, Mr. Weekes. I'm sorry, Mr. Weekes." Tyler replied, almost robotically. Like he was trained to do so. His voice was so small, almost defeated. It made my flowers bloom a little bigger in my chest. I wanted to protect him at all costs. Tyler glanced at me, looking almost guilty.

"Sweetie, what am I going to do with you?" Mr. Weekes' voice is coated in greed as he steps down, and I realise how robust and powerful he looks compared to little Tyler. How he made me look positively effeminate. He places a large hand on the curve of Tyler's ass, and Tyler grows stiff.

He sticks his other hand out to me, and I feel too shaky to grasp it. "Dallon Weekes, I own this prize." I knew he meant the shop, but he made it seem like he meant to say "I own this prize, Tyler Robert Joseph." I stick my quivering palm to his, and he smirks as he feels my nerves.

"I hope this one wasn't causing any trouble." He laughs as he squeezes Tyler's backside, making Tyler squeak. "What am I going to do with you?" Mr. Weekes brushes his thumb over the lips I was supposed to be kissing. My blood boils, but Tyler just looks dull, almost dead inside, like a soulless doll. "He's always been a troublesome one."

You don't even know the half of it, Mr. Weekes.

"I'm Joshua. I work at the bar down the street, I'm Tyler's friend." Friend, friend, friend. More like Tyler's stalker, obsess-er, soul mate, future-boyfriend, etc. But this creep doesn't need to know that.

Mr. Weekes looks unimpressed by this, but turns to Tyler and asks "Is he a customer, Tyler?"

"No, sir. I've never been to your store before, but I will soon, I promise." I interject, but Mr. Weekes is examining Tyler's hickey. "It is Valentine's Day on Friday, maybe I'll buy some flowers for someone." Tyler makes eye contact with me, the first time since Mr. Weekes came out, and I see the slightest flash of a wink. He knows. He knows those flowers will be for him.

"Well, until then, I'd appreciate if you didn't loiter on the steps on my store."

Well, fuck you too, Mr. Weekes. Bastard. Asshole. Creep. Pedophile. Dolphin Fucker.

Before I can argue, Mr. Weekes is guiding Tyler back into the store, whispering something into his ear. As he does this, Tyler turns back to me and builds me a toothy, over-crossed smile. His eyes light up, and for the first time since his boss got all hand-sy with him, he looked...alive. Tyler mouths me something, but I can't make it out, blinded by affection for that little angel, and fury for that bastard-ass boss. I smile back, and try to blow him a kiss.

TylerTylerTyler.

"Kitten, what were you doing out there? You know you have customers." I hear Mr. Weekes bite out under his breath.

"I know, Sir. I promise it won't happen again."

"Tyler, Tyler, Tyler. We both know that's a lie. And what do I say about lying?"

"Lying makes you look petty, not pretty." Tyler puckers his lips, blowing back a kiss and smirking smartly. He saw, fuck.

"That's a good boy,"

I leave the shattered bag of alcohol as a little treat for Mr. Weekes, but I bend down and pick up five violet petals, one for each month I lived in Tyler Joseph Fairyland. With that, I'm on my merry way back to the bar, vibrating with joy, ready to unleash it all on Pete and Patrick.

He is real.

Chapter Text

With adrenaline, lust, and fire pumping through my veins, I sprint back to the bar, carrying nothing I was supposed to bring back except the sweet scent of Tyler and a few flimsy violet petals. The walk to the liquor store back to the bar usually takes 10 minutes, but I was able to make it in four.

I burst through the door of the bar, covered in slush and cigarette smoke, panting like a dog in heat. When I spot the couple, tenderly kissing as Patrick sits on the bar and Pete has his hands wrapped around his cushiony waist, I hear myself boom "PETE! PAT! He is real. He is real and he almost kissed me and he want me to be his Valentine and he wants to tell me more and he smiled and winked at me and I am so upset he has been so close to us this entire time and I could have prevented all of this obsession if I just would have looked in the floral shop but his boss is a dickwad and I needtogoseehimagaincomewithmerightnow." I'm usually very slow and soothing sounding, but all of that was left at the steps of the floral shop.

"Josh! Calm down! What the fuck did you just say?" Pete looked scared shitless, probably thinking I was having a stroke. Patrick looked pissed that I was encroaching on their make-out session.

I try to catch my breath, but it takes too long. Still wheezing, I say "Tyler is real. Tyler is real and he is working at that florist place down the street by the liquor bar. He told me he wanted to talk to me more, and we almost kissed."

"Yeah, and I was almost dicked by Pete thirty seconds ago, but then you walked in." Patrick swung his legs across the bar, facing me with aggravated eyes. "Wait, Josh. Where is the alcohol you were supposed to buy?"

"Oh, I dropped both bags on the pavement when I saw Tyler, but it's okay because Tyler wants to tell me more and we are gonna be boyfriends and I'll be able to fill all these plot holes I have about him so I don't give a shit if you are pissed about me wasting $400 dollars!" I jump for joy around the bar, knocking over chairs and tables with my excitement.

"You dropped all of that liquor...because of that basic twink?" Patrick chokes out, needing to be held back by his lover, otherwise he would have tackled me to the ground and choked me out.

"Yeah! But I saw Tyler! And I'm not high or drunk or anything right now. My prayers have been answered and I didn't even have to go to church and eat those shitty crackers or drink that awful communal wine."

"Actually Josh, I don't give two bitches about you seeing Tyler right now, because we NEEDED that alcohol for Valentine's Day! That is our busiest night and we will basically go out of business if we are dry!" Pete's eyes bug out of his head as he gestures with his spastic hands, nearly backhanding his boyfriend.

"It's fine! We will figure it out! We can scrap together liquor from our houses, and then we will have enough for Friday night! It's all going to work out." Optimism overflows from every orifice of my body. "But Pete! Pat! I saw Tyler! And Tyler wants to see me again!"

"I don't believe you, honey. I think you were seeing things, and got too excited." Pat challenges me, shaking his head.

"No! I saw him and I can prove it. He's at the floral shop on 45th! He works there and I'll prove you wrong, Pat!" I try to catch my breath again before I slur "He is real. He is real. He is real."

Patrick looks at Pete, and hops off the bar. "Fine. I want to see this."

We walk the three blocks, Pat's hand engulfed in Pete's. We pass the street vendors, coffee shops, homeless people, and greasy hipsters. When we reach the floral shop, I am drowning in enthusiasm. Pete steps on the violet petals and cigarette butts Tyler left as he walks up the stairs that were lucky enough to touch Tyler's ass.

I peer into the window, seeing that Tyler now has a single violet tucked behind his ear. His cheeks were a darker rose colour, and his lips looked swollen, most likely from Tyler's sinful biting habit. How is it possible for someone to be so pretty?

All of the workers in the floral shop look a bit like Tyler. Well, no one compares to the beauty and grace of my Tyler. However, all 6 of them are tall, messy-haired, pouty-lipped, young men. All of them were a Daddy's wet-dream with their cute asses and creamy skin. All of them looked like they belonged on the cover of an American Apparel Ad, or at least on a gay camboy site.

For a lack of a better word, all twinks.

Blurred from my vision was an incredibly attractive Southeast Asian man standing in front of my favourite. He must be a "paying customer." A customer that Mr. Weekes isn't a cock to.

"He's real alright." Patrick groans, picking at his cuticles. "But who is that guy over there getting closer to him than you ever will?"

The man is a staggering height, much like Mr. Weekes. He was buying a dozen red roses for someone, hopefully not my Tyler. His clothing is trendy, his skin is bronze, and his hair is quaffed. He looks significantly older than darling little Tyler, and is cupping my angels delicate chin, brushing his cheekbones. Tyler's smile was coy, demure, and docile, hiding his over crossed teeth from the exotic man in front of him. Why is this floral shop so...intimate?

"Wow, he is pretty gorgeous." Pete sighs dreamily. He's always had a thing for twinks, explaining why he was crazy about Pat.

"Yeah, if you like alcoholics with greasy hair."

"For once, Patrick Stump. Will you shut the fuck up?"

I try to ignore them as I just watch Tyler, features prominent now that his hair is completely out of his face. His tattoos contrast with his smooth, silky skin, and his jeans cling to his body in the most heavenly way possible. I'm confident in saying that the flowers in my chest just doubled in size.

Mr. Weekes must have smelled the raging blossoms inside of me, because his head snapped to the window with a sharp look on his dapper face. I grab Pete and Patrick and we haul-ass back to the bar, each of our minds filled with leggy young men and messy hair.

"Fine, Josh. He is real, and he is stunning." Patrick finally grumbles. "I'm sorry I doubted you."

I don't reply to Pat. I just grin like the Cheshire Cat as my mantra rings in my head like church bells.

He is real. He is real. He is real.

TylerTylerTyler.

*

That night, Pete, Patrick and I worked alongside each other at the bar, pouring drinks and listening haphazardly to each story that passes.

The hippy sitting in front of me pulled out a Swiss Army Knife and began to carve his intoxicated sonnet into the wood, overlapping a few song lyrics and phallic symbols. I turn away for one second to grab the Kahlua bottle, mindlessly nodding my head when a girl asks if Kahlua is gluten free.

"It's so...like groovy that you guys are together! Like...who says that all gay men need to be conventionally attractive?"

"Oh my god. Please shut your whore mouth." Pete throws his head back, exasperated at the girl while his boyfriend kisses the back of his neck, mumbling that he should just calm down. "I understand that you are drunk, but can you just say stuff like..."

"Joshua?"

My head snaps when I hear that husky, breathy voice. He is standing with his tattooed arms crossed against his chest, clad in an oversized green jacket, his antique button-up, and the signature black jeans and boots. His hair is significantly messier than earlier, windblown and speckled with snowflakes. His face reminds me of glass statues of the Virgin Mary. Pearly, and celestial.

"I want you to stop by the flower shop tomorrow." All eyes are on Tyler as he stands there, but his eyes are locked to mine. I feel the flowers growing in my stomach. Tyler smells like a blend of flowers and cigarettes and a bit like weed which makes me fall a bit deeper in the Tyler Joseph Rabbit Hole.

"Of course, I'll do anything for you." It's silent in the bar, the only sound was ice shaking in one of the hipsters' glass. That, and the roaring sexual tension between Tyler and I.

I'll do anything for you. I'll jump off a bridge if I know you are waiting for me in the river. I'll do heroin if that means I'll be high enough to reach you. I'll walk through Midtown, where there are 800 crimes for every 10,000 people, with a gold plate on my head if I know you are waiting on the other side. I'll chop my stomach open, let those flowers and my bloody nectar spill out, and weave you a tiara as long as I know that you will wear that flower crown like the glorious fawnlet you are. Anything, for my Tyler.

Anything.

"I know you will. And that's rather foolish claim, Joshua."

"Yeah, I've been called a fool before."

An ignorant, oblivious fucking fool.

"I'll see you tomorrow then, dear." His voice gets breathy and raspy and seductive, making me want to jump across the bar and fuck him so hard on the floor of the little tavern until he is screaming "JoshJoshJosh" like TylerTylerTyler howls in my brain.

Tyler reaches across the bar, touching the poetry he once wrote when he was only a torn up child. He lowers his eyes, reading the melody he composed, and his breath hitches in a way only I could hear as he recites the words:

"When I die, my rotting body will grow into flowers, and I will be them, and that is eternity."

With his serene, wistful anthem, my flowers grow so voluminous that I feel them down in my toes, to the tips of my fingers, blooming in my ribcage, tickling the back of my burning throat, and vines twisting down to my loins.

Unlike short seconds ago, I didn't want to fuck Tyler. I just wanted to engulf him in devotion until he is struggling to breathe, and our two gardens intertwine together. I want to hold him down and let my roses grow into his violets until the vines are twisted together and our leaves overlap and we are no longer two patches of wild flowers, but one.

I want him to be mine.

Tyler looks small and precious and so fucking delicate like a little doll. He looks like how he did when Mr. Weekes stepped to him at the flower shop. Just...vernal. No, no. that's not the word to describe it.

His fawn-like eyes look up and he whispers to me "You promise you'll visit me tomorrow, Joshua?"

"I promise, Ty."

All of the times I called him Ty in my dreams. Ty. It was short and sweet, but at the same time personal and sentimental. Not anyone can just call him Ty. I had to earn that right. And trust me, listening to his story on September 16th, going 5 months without my fix of this addicting drug, I absolutely fucking deserve to call him Ty.

I remember I had an embarrassing nickname for him that I would call him as I tickled him and kissed his neck while he only wore my dress shirt and smelled like a blend of black coffee, vanilla, flowers, and sex.

Baby Boy.

I'll call him that someday, someday soon. I can feel it in my veins, along with the thorns from the flowers pinching my arteries.

"You can't break a promise, Josh. You break a promise, and you break my heart."

Vulnerable. That's the word. He looked like a little beaten up teenager running from some demon that beat him black and blue, and his wounds healed and his hair grew but oh, how the petals were torn from his flowers. And the worst thing is, I know he doesn't just look like a little stepped on violet. He is one.

For the first time, Tyler doesn't terrify me.

And no. No. I won't ever break his heart. I will do anything for him (because I am a fool), but no. I will never break that beauty's heart.

If anything, Tyler, with his stone-cold mug and shining eyes and bitten lips and heart shaped ass and that one hickey that should have been drawn by me, Tyler will be the one slashing my chest open and ripping the greenhouse out of me, along with a pulsing muscle that keeps me alive. But even without my heart. I'll live.

Tyler breathing is what keeps me alive.

I run my hand through his hair, and brush my fingers over his chapped bottom lip. Tyler parts his rose petals, brings my finger into his wet heat, and sucks it, all the way down to my knuckle.

Oh my god. Anything about me not being intimidated by Tyler disappears as my pants grow tight and my stomach goes taut and my loins heat like a campfire. TylerTylerTyler. He can go from looking divinely defeated to a fucking minx in seconds. And that is so fucking dangerous. But I love danger. I'm a fool.

An ignorant, oblivious, fucking fool.

Tyler kisses my fingers before he places my hand back down on the bar, right over the poetry "Flowers do nothing wrong, but we rip them from their homes, and give them to people who will never love us." Tyler engraved on the holy day of September 16th.

"Tomorrow?"

"Tomorrow."

And with that, Tyler is gone. But like dust in the air, he lingers. The smell of his perfume and fresh fauna and unwashed hair and cigarettes and weed is still in the atmosphere, sticking to me like a guardian angel.

Bitter, but syrupy sweet.

My little heaven.

My Tyler.

*

That night, I left the bar early so I could jerk off at least 30 times, but still get my beauty sleep. And for going five months without seeing my prime spank-bank material, then seeing him two times in one day, and actually having real contact with him, I was ready to explode. As thoughts of breathy moans and fluffy hair and thick thighs and soft eyes graced my filthy fantasies, I couldn't help but think about how weird everything was today.

I went from obsessing, living in a fantasy world, to nearly shooting myself because of this whole he isn't real warfare, to Tyler killing me on the steps of that floral shop, to Tyler somehow knowing everything about me, to Tyler milliseconds from kissing me, to Tyler being submissive and half-alive with Mr. Weekes, and a darker hickey on his neck as he subconsciously ripped me to shreds while he flirted with that suave Asian man.

And then the bar. Tyler standing there reading his poetry to me, sucking my fingers, and cutting into my skin with his razor tongue. He was real. He was real. This is all real. This is all real.

I reached my 4th orgasm of the night, moaning out my angel's name. This is real, Josh. My body felt floaty and serene, but something was ripping me apart inside.

Why was Tyler gone? Why didn't I find him earlier? Why was he so...transparent?

It's going to fall apart. He is too good for you. You were better off when he was just your little dream-boy. This will end too soon Josh. Stop it now, and you can save yourself. Save yourself, but most importantly, save Tyler.

I push that voice out of my head, and I try to fall asleep to the sound of Tyler's voice, but no longer made up phrases that I morphed into his voice. Actual poetry Tyler has said to me and only me.

He is real. He is real.

"TylerTylerTyler..."

Chapter Text

Once again, our story didn’t continue at the bar.

It continued, once more, on the same brick steps of that same young, whimsical flora shop in Columbus; the overtrodden and slushy, now ashy grey snow appearing even more dull and grimy in the daylight this time around, the remnants of my spilled and nearly ruined career still visible in unswept scatterings of shattered glass, hues of amber and gold liquid and soggy leftovers of those brown paper bags. Even the new, fresh layer of sleet that had fallen through the night couldn’t cover up my mistakes.

Fuck.

Unlike the preceding night, the shop wasn’t bustling with business either. Not yet, at least. I had no doubt that later on in the day, it would be busier than my own fucked up mind had been ever since the frankly unforgettable night of September 16th. It was February 13th, after all. The countdown was on. Less than 24 hours to go until a singleton’s doomsday. It’s not a surprise though, considering the place isn’t even open for business for another hour or so.

Usually, I’d probably question why on god’s earth I was standing in the numbingly cool air of Ohio at 7:36 in the morning when just about anything else appeared more tempting, staring blankly at the insipid grey shutters across the door that locked me out, isolated me, served as yet another barrier between me and my doe-eyed angel, but my question would only avail to answer itself. TylerTylerTyler. That fucking kid; the kid with the pouty lips and the silken hair and the heavenly giggle and the pooling eyes that I just wanted to drown myself in as though they were holy water and I was the diseased, begging and pleading on my knees for a cure. He was the reason for everything I did as of late.

The Abused Poet, the roughhoused boy, Tyler Robert Joseph. My favourite.

He was the reason I had damn near lost my fucking mind. Or maybe I had in fact already lost it, and our long-awaited reunion was simply a figment of my obsessive imagination, a hallucination of sorts that only nourished my insanity.

No, Josh. He’s real. He is real. He is real. TylerTylerTyler is real.

I’ve had to keep reminding myself of that every single second we’ve been apart.

He was, and still is the reason my dreams were plagued with unabating images of archangels with sharp tongues that never let me rest. The reason my imagination had become infested with the unrelenting TylerTylerTyler chant that’d slowly emerged as the soundtrack to my daily life. The reason my whole vessel was now possessed by the violet-ridden flora that caught my breath and blinded me and figuratively stopped me from living.

He was right though. Of course, he was fucking right. He had warned me.

"Dear Joshua, my words will grow flowers in your lungs, but when they get too big, you won't be able to fucking breathe.”

That same sickeningly sweet scent drifting from the coffee shop, up into my nose and burning every single sense of the flowers blooming inside of me is what finally knocks me out of my trance, my daydream, my overbearingly addictive fixation on my toxic angel and the things he has done to me -whatever you wish to call it.

So I turn, enter the homely and inviting shop and dump myself into the window seat; one in which I know I won’t lose sight of the goddamn prison run by Mr. Weekes, the prick. It’s not like there’s some sort of battle for the best seat in the joint though, what kind of nonsensical headcase is up and taking a trip to the local coffee place at 7:30 in the morning anyway? Other than me, that is. But we all know who to blame for that.

I’m practically suffocating in my own fatigue, having spent most of my time and energy the previous night with whirlwinding thoughts of Tyler Joseph and slaps to the face and biting pinches to my own skin to assure myself that it wasn’t just a fantastical illusion this time, but I can’t risk missing him today. Not after 5 fucking months of searching and suffering and teetering on the brink of lunacy.

Each passing minute seems to drag on longer than the last, sluggish and torturous, as I absentmindedly twirl a tiny wooden stirrer around my sugar-doused coffee and occasionally stop to take a sip; lazily licking remnants of cream from my upper lip. And the taste? The taste is heavenly.

Syrupy-sweet.

Just like my baby.

I’m mid-way through another sweep of the lips when I see him, finally, and my heart begins to race and my winding violets begin to bloom and the god damn coffee cup almost slips from my grip, narrowly avoiding another clattering wreck that only seems to be becoming emblematic of my life.

Oh god. Oh god . He’s so fucking gorgeous. Ethereal, even. Soft tresses the colour of my coffee all feathery from the morning breeze, cheeks flushed the way I imagined them to be in my lust-filled fantasia whenever he was writhing and panting and breathily moaning on top of me, me buried deep inside him, rose-petal lips bitten to hell. Clad in his classic skinny jeans and boots, but this time with a sheer button up that exposed hints of dark tattoos and more of that smooth, honey skin that I’d graciously spend the rest of my damned existence caressing and kissing and worshiping and marking up as mine.

On his lower back, daringly close to that perky heart-shaped ass of perfection, was a hand. A stern, broad hand that would be broken by now had I not been so weighed-down and weak by the very flowers that I was only nurturing with this visit. A hand belonging to none other than Mr. Fucking Weekes; his other tool of harassment running lazily across the fawnlette’s face, but my angel only gazed at the frost-covered steps with blank eyes and none of the soul that I knew he had as the two of them traipsed side by side.

That seemed of good a cue as any to kick my dopey and smitten ass into gear, only allowing myself the shortest of time to shift my gaze from him and grab a sugar-less, cream-less, black coffee to go.

For Tyler, of course.

I still didn't understand how someone so syrupy-sweet could digest a beverage so bitter.

Takeout cup of flavourless brew in hand, I force myself up those slippery steps and through the door to my own personal nirvana before I can even so much as think about what I'm going to say to him; I ignore the sight of the dickwad, Mr. Weekes, departing to the back room in the corner of my eye and the booming essence of flora similar to the very clusters blooming inside of me knocks me like a straight blow to the jaw, leaving me breathless but so intoxicated on those fumes that it almost feels like coming home.

This time, my angel notices me first.

"Dear, Joshua," he breathes out, those delicate fingers brushing an arrangement of flowers before him; the light switch in his baby-doll eyes seeming to flicker on, and those cotton-candy tinted lips curving up into a smile that reveals his heavenly overcrossed teeth. God damn, he was so exquisite. "You came."

His comment seems unnecessary.

We both know how undeniably sincere I was being when I rather foolishly claimed that I would do anything for him.

Because I am just an ignorant, oblivious fucking fool.

That anything included paying him the promised visit mere minutes after the floral shop, his prison, had opened for business, a cup of my favourite's favourite beverage in hand and a dopey grin on my punchable face. Way to cool down the overly-eager and stalker-esque behaviour, Josh. Fucking idiot.

Brisk but steady words slipping from my own lips before I can even process what it is I'm saying, I charm back "'M not sure who's fucked you over and broken their promises to you in the past, wildflower, but I fully intend on keeping mine." I won't break my promise, and I most certainly won't break this cherub's heart.

My words, though nowhere near as elegant or poetic as even the air he exhales, peculiarly are the source of the growing rosiness on his cheeks; a sweet glow that could compete with the flourishing tulips beside him and put even the loveliest of rose bouquets to shame. Ridiculously, I get a burst of pride from the reaction, and suddenly things don't feel like such a far cry from my Tyler Joseph Fairyland anymore. His flush only deepens when I hand over the still steaming cup of dull coffee, which really should be as stone cold as Mr. Weekes glare by now considering how long I've been staring at him and soaking up every inch of that gorgeous face, and our fingers brush together again - his delicate and brisk, in contrast to mine, sturdier and balmy from the cup.

Rather than doubting my commitment with further discussion, Tyler instead shakes his head ever so slightly and lets out a tiny laugh - more of a giggle - that would definitely be the exact soundbyte of a twinkling star on a clear night if it were to have one. Dear god, what I would give to hear that sound on repeat until the day that my flora begins to wilt and my heart stops pumping and all of the breath leaves my body. Then again, that giggle on repeat could be the very cause of my inevitable demise.

He leans forward in intrigue, head tilting and another vague statement filling the air between us. "You remembered."

His words should've been cryptic and indecipherable, and perhaps they were to any other mere mortal, but I have spent far too many days in my Tyler Joseph Fairyland to not understand him.

What he meant to say was, I remembered that the fawn-like boy was partial to a black coffee on a bad day.

And what I wanted to say was, of course I remembered. How could I forget? You've haunted my imagination and my mind and my dreams every damn second of every damn day for the past few months - so much so that every indescribable and infinitesimal detail about you is ingrained into my brain and branded into the backs of my eyes. Every single silky strand of hair, each and every fluttering eyelash, every velvety curve of your lithe body. Every dent, every dimple, every bruise, every damn near-invisible freckle. God, I most probably could've created my own replica of you that was nothing short of complete and utter perfection if I had the ability.

But what kind of obsessive, disturbing, prison-material kind of creep would say that shit out loud?

So once again, I settle for something I can only hope comes out as smooth as it sounds echoing in my head. "You're not a very forgettable person, Tyler Joseph."

"So I've been told, darling."

It was foolish of me to reckon that I would be the first to felicitate him in that way.

He takes a sip of the steaming beverage that just about conceals his syrupy-sweet smirk; razor-sharp tongue darting out to sweep up the excess bitterness in a move that proves powerful in fashioning a knot of vines deep in my abdomen that burns and almost makes me whimper out loud. With a quick glance to check that the coast is clear of the over-possessive asshole, I quip "Your boss. What's his deal?"

"Ah, Mr. Weekes," Tyler sighs almost wistfully, though his tone is drenched in almost as much bitterness as the very drink in his crafted hands. "You've already heard the story of he and I frenching at Red Lobster. Mr. Weekes may be a wise man, but he is not one to understand the concept of wildflowers. He mistakenly believes that a claim on me was born the night he fucked me until I couldn't walk."

It takes everything inside of me not to visibly choke on air at his words, as though the vines of my blossoms had at last forced themselves out of my ears, my eye sockets, my nose and my lips, and were now winding themselves around my neck and constricting like a python on its prey. Not only did the mere notion of that dick touching my angel make me wish to spew up the golden nectar and fallen petals inside of me, but the overwhelming yearning to protect Tyler Robert Joseph from the tainted hands of undeserving men returned in full force.

"But the thing is, my dear Joshua, you cannot force a flower to thrive somewhere it does not belong."

And that, I could not agree with more.

My archangel, my fawnlette, my Tyler, most certainly didn't belong in the arms and the gardens of greedy bastards with wandering hands and beady eyes and no respect for this celestial being who graced our earth.

Tyler Robert Joseph deserved to thrive. God, did he deserve it more than any other being on this godforsaken planet, and I've known all along, ever since the night of silken words and shared stories, that I would do anything to nurture and revive him and bring so much soul and essence back into his flora that he would bloom into his own bed of violets so voluminous that his heavenly being would envelop me too; burying me alive in his florets and gifting me the capability to breathe simply through watching him prosper. I would devote every inch of my being to this kid.

And it would be a life worth living.

"Where do you belong then, wildflower?" I wit back, stunning myself at how easily the words were flowing from me when god's gift himself was standing only breaths away from me, knowing exactly what response I want, and am wishing for deep down - the kind that would be predictable in one of those sappy rom-com movies that Pete loves so much.

"In your arms, Joshua."

Perhaps even, "In your bed, darling." if we were taking an extract from one of Pat's raunchy novellas.

Fuck, I really need to stop reading those.

But my desired answer was exactly that - fiction. A fantasy. Something that only the Tyler Joseph from my make-believe mirage would be willing to say.

Tyler appears contemplative, his delicate eyebrows furrowing imperceptibly in thought. "Everywhere, anywhere, nowhere." For once though, he doesn't seem entirely content with his own musings, apparent within the subtle crease on his forehead and the brief flicker of conflict in those tawny-eyes. Cup of coffee being placed down beside him in defeat, fragile fingers run themselves through his ever-so-slightly waved strands of hair, tangling in them and tugging at a loose curl.

God damn. Just as I'm about to celebrate the fact that I've finally left this sharp-tongued angel near speechless, those rose-petal lips open once more and release another confession that could've very conveniently stopped my flora-ridden heart from beating a day longer.

"I'm still searching for where I belong, I guess. But maybe, just maybe, you'll be able to help me with that, dear Joshua."

Those words. Those words in that raspy yet still syrupy-sweet voice that I just want to drink up, coming from those cherry-stained lips as his fawn-like eyes pierce my soul and leave me gasping for every morsel of oxygen I can reach; those words are the breaking point for my self control, and I know in that exact moment that to hold back for even a millisecond longer would be devilish torture that would only serve to break me down and crumble the last of my will to live in this world without Tyler Joseph being mine.

I swoop forward to close the minuscule gap between us and reach up to hold my angel's face in my hand, thumb swiping across the silken surface of his cheekbone; the gentle hitch in his breath only fuels me further as the taste of bubblegum and cigarettes and black coffee surrounds my every single sense and leaves me so lightheaded that I'm barely even able to process the fact that finally our lips our locked. Locked in a way that I can confirm with complete and utter certainty that this kid is a fucking godsend, so heavenly that I'm almost convinced that the whole world around us is spinning and if I let go of him, I'll crash down on the ground and shatter into a million irreplaceable pieces just like those bottles in the snow outside. My lips part with a quiet moan that can't be contained any longer and the second my baby takes advantage of that and slips his razor-sharp tongue into my cavity, my blossoms burst out of my throat and his wilting vines grip onto them for dear life, gasping for their oxygen.

For the first time since September 16th, the roles are reversed.

And in this moment? I am the one keeping him alive.

I can feel it.

My TylerTylerTyler.

He pulls back slowly, the hesitation in his movement evident, threading my kiss-swollen bottom lip between those crooked teeth and planting a closing peck in place. Before I can even attempt to catch my lost breath or possibly even just pin him to the counter behind us and show him just how much he really deserves to be worshipped, Tyler nuzzles his angelic face into my hand with a gentle yet contented sigh.

If only he knew just what that simple, kitten-esque movement did to me. Fuck.

"You need to leave, Joshua."

Intertwining our fingers as one, his delicate hand practically engulfed within my own, the little minx smirked "Customers are going to start coming in soon. And I'm not sure Mr. Weekes would appreciate you loitering in his store, dear." There's that same hint of guilt in his eyes as the last time Mr. Weekes interrupted us, though he disguises it well with the fluttering of his eyelashes and the ever so slight pouting of his reddened rose-petals.

I nod in understanding, despite the actuality that the idea of leaving once more was destroying me when there was still so much left to say, and give his hand a tender squeeze of reassurance. Not even attempting to hide my desperation this time around though, I tell him "Only if you promise I'll see you again soon."

"I promise. It is Valentine's Day tomorrow, after all."

"Tomorrow?" I question, much like our encounter last night at the bar.

"Tomorrow."

He must be able to read my mind, sense my slight disappointment at the fact that I'm yet to rid him of more of those petals. That I'm yet to fill in the potholes that plagued my fantasia. Because as I'm about to take leave, mind filled with nothing but the syrupy-sweet scent of Tyler and the bubblegum-bitter taste of his lips and the feel of his honey and butter skin, he calls out after me.

"Oh, and Joshua? Don't be too disheartened, darling. Your answers will come soon enough. But you should embrace the moment, because there really is something beautiful in watching a wilting flower hold onto its last petals."

Chapter Text

Our story makes its return to the dark, sleazy, smoky bar on Friday 14th of February; Capitalism’s favourite holiday, a lonely-hearts worst nightmare, or as it is more commonly known, Valentines Day.

The one single, sorrowful day of the year in which the world becomes overbearingly and tooth-rottingly sweet, overzealous about romance and transforms every surrounding into a hue of pink and red, making it seem as though we are all living in possession of rose-tinted glasses. And if we’re being realistic here, Valentine’s Day is exactly that - a day in which rose-tinted glasses make us believe deep down in our souls that love is the be all end all of life, that our lovers can do no wrong and transports every living couple on earth back to that honeymoon stage that wooed each and every one of them to begin with.

It hardly ever lasted past the day itself, though.

Despite the fact that our bar is just a tacky, dusty shithole that serves as a second home to greasy hipsters and raging alcoholics and broke college students who are typically too stoned or inebriated to pay attention to anything besides the booze in their hands, Pete and Pat thought it’d be ‘sweet’ to illuminate the memo-ridden bar with strings of old fairy lights they located in the basement, just to get into the holiday spirit. Ancient, clearly, noticeable in the way every other bulb flickered and faded occasionally as though they were seeking to grasp at the last few grains of life but failing miserably. I had to hand it to them though.

They fit the bar’s aesthetic precisely.

As was the usual story within our little tavern, the desolate free spirits who grace us with their presence on such a dismal day always remember to carve their markings into the scratched-up bar. They’ll never remember doing so come the morning, though. Some never even see their own creations again. It is on Valentines Day in which love notes become most common, appearing in endless scatterings across the wood.

Ironic, really, considering that their doleful composers are those lacking devotion, spending their night in a dim hole-in-the-wall watching Pete and Pat eye-fuck each other across the room with every chance they get.

So. Much. Eyefucking.

i've almost become blind to it at this point.

I, myself, was never much of a believer in the day of Valentine’s, viewing it simply as some corporate scam to make extra bucks when all of the good holidays were dry and far. And unlike you’d assume, my distaste towards the day of romance didn’t even stem from being your typical unlucky in love kind of guy who’d spent every February 14th of his life alone. Even when I was graced with the company of another being, I still couldn’t bring myself to find purpose in the holiday. That, of course, had changed drastically now that Tyler Robert Joseph had made his holy return to my dull life, building his own personal garden inside my vessel, so grand that flowers of every shape and size filled each niggling crevice of my body, butterflies roamed freely and frequently deep in the pit of my stomach and sunshine practically streamed out of my ass at just the thought of his angelic face alone.

I was practically a walking advertisement for Valentines day now.

I even had the heart-eyes to match, Pat had told me yesterday upon my return to the bar. He may have also labelled my fawning over the angelic boy as 'fucking gag-worthy', but Pete and I both took notice to the tender smile hidden behind his sharp words. He even suggested that 'that twink would be the death of me', to which my only response was "I know." with a flutter of my heart so wild that it almost made me sick.

I no longer have to struggle to ignore the booming TylerTylerTyler in my mind, because the near-satanic chant had now been replaced with real images and vivid touches and intoxicating smells of my TylerTylerTyler. No longer are these thoughts and visions just lucid phantoms conjured up from smoking too much weed. This time, every fleeting form of him that runs through my head and leaves me feeling fainthearted is contrived from my own experiences. Authentic translations of holding his delicate hand within my own, of caressing his honey and milk glazed skin so softly as though he would break at the slightest touch, of kissing those pouty, bubblegum-stained lips that spoke the very poetry that was now branded onto my hip forever in an inky black cursive.

I no longer have to take a swig of vodka for every drink poured for the heartbroken and deserted souls drinking their night away in our dreary establishment, because now? Now I had another coping mechanism of getting through the night without wanting to hold one of the mounted guns to my head and pull the trigger.

"Wake up, Joshua." My new coping mechanism smirks almost as if he can read my mind and knows exactly who I am thinking about within my daze, plump lips pulling back ever so-slightly to reveal his wonderfully crooked teeth. I shake my head, trying to rid away the trance that I often feel myself falling into. I blink once, twice and then refocus my gaze on the archangel of my fantasies; sitting cross-legged atop of the old oak bar, directly beside his original and oh-so-treasured composition with that familiar moleskin notebook resting in his lap.

He'd made his reappearance, and solidified his promise to me, an hour or so ago, before Pete and Patrick had made their escape to take advantage of the holiday designed specifically for sappy couples like themselves and most likely fuck until sunrise.

Don't get me wrong - Fuck them for leaving me alone to deal with the heavy air of depression and pessimism and heartbreak that absolutely suffocated the bar every February 14th, but at least this way I didn't have to make my journey home with the sounds of Patrick essentially screaming as Pete drilled into him in the back room ringing in my ears.

It also meant that I could spend my night alone with my baby boy. Or as alone as we could get in a room full of buzzed outcasts who allowed their dirty gazes to linger on my TylerTylerTyler for just a beat too long for my liking. I don't blame them. Who wouldn't stop and stare if they found themselves in the presence of an ethereal being such as himself? But that still didn't mean I was happy about it.

That very entrance not too long ago arose as a strange mirror-image of the very first time I'd been acquainted with my angel 3 years ago, back when he was just an innocently banged up boy. Similar to that December day, the falling snowflakes were dusting his windblown hair and resting on sinfully long eyelashes, the fawn-like boy wearing yet another of his outfits that was far too summery for the numbing temperatures of Columbus; a smooth black button-up, of course, paired with skintight leggings that hugged his thick thighs and luscious backside, leaving the base of my stomach pooling with heat, along with co-ordinated shoes and a kimono; both decorated with holiday-appropriate pink roses, similar to the very ones flourishing in my lungs. The difference was that this time, unlike 3 years ago, he was no longer bruised and beaten to a pulp. Those delicate fingers weren't covered in ruby-tinted blood, no hand-shaped mark wrapped around his slender neck and rather than being black, blue and soulless, his chocolate eyes were gleaming brighter than the dismal fairy-lights.

He no longer looked like a wilting flower, but a vivid, blossoming violet instead.

Looks can be deceiving though. Or so I've heard.

"You were daydreaming again, dear." His reminder is overflowing with a natural smugness that coats his syrupy-sweet voice, but when I glance over to him to shoot a playful glare in his direction, Tyler's perfectly-formed pixie nose is already buried deep back inside the cherished moleskin; back to scribbling or doodling whatever it is he's been working on all night.

The bar seems to have quietened down considerably with the late hour; well, not quietened down per say, but the remaining handful of customers were now inebriated beyond repair, and had either retreated to one of the farther booths to wallow in their sadness and regret, or were working on composing their parting masterpieces in any free space they could find on the worn down bar. It only made sense for me to take this opportunity to spend some time with my favourite.

TylerTylerTyler.

I lean against the bar beside him, attempting to peer at what it is he's so focused on inside that little book with no luck, and query "Planning on showing me what you've been doing for the past hour, wildflower?", the pure curiosity obvious in both my eyes and tone of voice.

Gently closing the book, he runs his lithe fingers along the worn down edges and looks up at me innocently; eyes all big and shiny and fawn-like and oh so irresistible. He must have the ability to make the toughest of men melt into a puddle with just one look, I'm sure of it. "When it's finished. Patience is an art, Joshua."

Had anyone else said such a thing to me, the appropriate response would've been an eye-roll and a spew of complaints about how patience was bullshit, but not with him. When it came to that kid, patience was one of the simpler things he could ask of me. I was more than willing to comply.

"I can show you some other stuff though," he supplies instead, slick tongue darting across his winter chapped-lips, leaving them glossy and kissable. "Or I can answer some of your questions. I did say I wanted to tell you more. I need to tell you more."

Finally, I almost sighed out loud. Finally I'll be able to fill in some of the potholes in the story. Maybe now I'll be able to answer what he was running from all those years ago, why he made a return to the bar 3 years later, why he was so damn beautifully broken. "I have something for you first." I grin, tongue poking out ever so slightly between my teeth as he raises a delicate eyebrow in my direction; attention fully on me for the first time since his arrival. I turn away briefly, not wanting to shift my gaze from him for too long as it simply is torture, and locate the gift that I'd stored away beneath the counter earlier in the day when I found myself being sucked into the nonsensical traditions of romance.

A fresh, sweet and earthly smelling crown of wild violets roped together in a way that mimicked the exact one he wore on the blessed day of September 16th.

I had promised him flowers, after all, though these were not purchased from Mr. Weekes. That bastard didn't deserve my money.

Tyler laughs lightly, the golden sound reflecting from every surface in the bar and surrounding me completely, then reaching out to brush his fingers across the delicate petals in admiration; the same rosy flush making a reappearance on his cheeks. "I guess I kinda missed seeing you with flowers in your hair. It's a good look. And it is Valentine's day after all." My justification only solidifies the loving smirk that paints his lips, so I take that as my cue to finally coronate my favourite; gently nestling the flora on his silken soft locks with a sappy smile of my own. And if he were an angel, this would most certainly be his halo.

He locks eyes with me, one hand reaching up to fiddle with his crown appreciatively. He may not give me an outright 'thank-you', but his following confession is more than enough to express his inner gratitude. "That may just be the very first Valentine's gift I've ever received that was something besides a night of 'love-making'. 'Love-making' being subjective, as not once have I ever felt love for a man who took me to bed." Not once had they ever loved him, either, he didn't need to add, for the unspoken words were blindingly discernible in his eyes alone.

And god, oh god, those words are enough to rip the petals from my blossoms and leave a tear right down the centre of my heart. Had I not been so focused and set on nurturing the wildflower back to full health and happiness, I would've made it my own personal mission to track down each and every good-for-nothing man that'd worn down and used my angel for their own pleasure. I'd break every single unrighteous hand that'd groped and bruised and damaged my TylerTylerTyler.

And that was a shocking thought coming from my own mind. Usually I take pride in being that guy who didn't have a violent bone in his body. Pete even frequently compared me to a kitten, for being so soft and seemingly innocent most of the time, despite the very fact that I towered over the guy; dwarfing both him and Patrick. But for Tyler Robert Joseph? For Tyler Robert Joseph, I'd be willing to fight the masses.

"You're welcome, Ty. I'm just glad you like it." I affirm, short and sweet, rather than expressing my distaste for his past verbally. If any of the disgust I held for those men somehow laced its venom into my words, he doesn't acknowledge it. Pooling chocolate eyes wander across my lips, gaze lasting just a beat too long before he is uncrossing his legs and shifting them to dangle over the barside; warm thighs loosely resting either side of my waist and holding me in place.

I never want him to let me go.

"That night, in December. When you first came to the bar. Who were you running from? Who did that to you?" If anything, that is the most important of my questions, one of many potholes in the plaguing story of the Abused Poet that has always troubled me the most. I just hoped it didn't come across as too intrusive. The last thing I wanted to do was upset or offend the kid.

"My parents." The answer came simply, not too much of a surprise. The resurfacing memory not even bringing a hint of emotion to his pretty features as Tyler rests a soft hand on my arm and begins to absentmindedly trace the swirling colours and disjointed connections of my tattoo. Almost as if he's willing to tell his story, but bored of the disconcerting reminder. "My dad, actually. It was three days before Christmas, I was so fucking bored of my life. Of my no-sex-until marriage secret boyfriend who I could only see whenever my family weren't around. Of my parents. Of just being alive in general. Everything was just.. dull. So some dodgy kid from school hooked me up with a fake ID, and I went to some sleazy club downtown. Latched onto the first guy that undressed me with his eyes - tall, toned, mid-thirties, looked like he'd screwed with a few desperate kids in his time - and I went home with him. Let him fuck me until he got bored, and then he kicked me back out onto the streets with nothing but a 'You're a good fuck, kid.'"

My angel scoffs, as though he is being slapped full-force in the face with offence at the recollection of the bastard, and his blunt nails dig into the skin of my arm with hidden distress. I know there will be tiny, crescent-shaped bruises there in the morning. I can't even bring myself to mind though. Perhaps they'll just serve as another joyous reminder that my TylerTylerTyler is real. Gently, as if I am a hunter attempting to not scare away a wild fawn, I unlock his grip on my arm and instead lace our fingers together; the brushing of my coarse lips against his digits being enough of a comfort for him to return to the story.

"So, I can't go home at that point, 'cause it's probably about 3 in the morning, and that alone would cause enough shit to get me locked away for a month or something. I just wandered around Columbus until the morning, snuck back in through my window and it was like nothing had ever happened. Managed to avoid my family until dinner, but when we were sat around, mid-prayer, my brother decides to point out the hickey on neck. Wanting to know what it is, where it came from. I didn't even realise it was there. Realised I had nothing to lose though, so I came out to them all. Told them I had a boyfriend, that it came from him. And fuck, I've never seen my parents look so pissed, and so disgusted in my entire life. Pretty sure I'd be in a hole in the ground right now if looks could kill. They sent my siblings upstairs, out of the way. And then my dad beat the shit out of me."

From the very beginning of the story, I'd has this dreaded feeling of exactly what was coming. But I still feel my stomach turn when the words finally leave his rose-petal lips; it feels like every single vine and blossom that completely encapsulates my vessel is on fire. Clawing at my skin in a crazed attempt to break free of my hold, wrap themselves around Tyler Joseph and protect every damn inch of his being from the cruel world that he is oh-so-exposed to. I force myself to swallow the lump in my throat, the fountain of nectar and fallen petals and withered leaves that is threatening to spew all over us, and all I can bring myself to choke out is a broken, whispered "Ty.."

"I just ran. Didn't even bother to stop and grab anything, I just ran to the furthest area of Columbus I could reach before almost giving out completely. And that's when I came to the bar. The story gets a little boring after that, I guess. I found Brendon, a friend of a friend. Stayed with him, dated him. Not that I was ever committed. Commitment problems, remember? Only time he ever caught me was when he saw Mr. Weekes and I frenching at Red Lobster. But you know that story."

People with stories like his don't crave pity. I already know that. Especially not people as celestial as himself. Pity was likely to be the last of his worries.

"You deserve the world." I state simply, and my god, does he. This beautiful, broken boy with his syrupy-sweet voice and his desperately vulnerable bambi-eyes and the blooming bruises that covered his knees. He didn't even belong on this shitty earth. I didn't deserve to be in his angelic presence. And perhaps it was toxic, but I was certain that I would do anything that it takes to prove my worth to him.

Tyler looks almost saddened by this, and shakes his head softly in discontent. "You're a fool, Joshua."

An ignorant, oblivious fucking fool.

"A wildflower, I may be, yet I am trapped by weeds. Weeds that are unrelenting and suffocating and stealing more of my oxygen with each passing day. I'm poisonous, darling."

For once, I find myself able to wit back at his words surprisingly quickly, with something I will later pride myself on being nearly as poetic as his own words. "If you don't pull the weeds in the garden, then the flowers will never grow. Weeds are meant to be pulled, Ty." And without saying it aloud, the eyebrow I raise to challenge him promises that I will be the one to tend his garden, I will be the one to destroy his weeds.

Auroral voice slipping just below a whisper, one that is only just audible above the melancholic echo of whatever love song is floating through the tavern, and shiny fawn-like eyes locking onto my own, he very matter-of-factly repeats himself in confirmation. "Foolish."

Foolish, I may be, but this is not news to me. If you're familiar with my story, you'll know I've been called an ignorant, oblivious fucking fool before. And maybe, just maybe, I'm beginning to accept that fact if it means that Tyler Robert Joseph is mine. I murmur a playful "Shut up", voice low and raspy thanks to the thorn-ridden vines clawing at my throat in their desire to reach my angel, and tilt my head to capture his lips in a quick kiss; my angel's breath lingering with the taste of chain-smoking, the bitterness of the vodka shot he threw back upon his arrival, and the constant undertone of sweet and sugary bubblegum. Forcing myself to pull back is excruciating, but the clinking of ice in an empty glass reminds me that we have an audience.

An audience who need to get the hell out; it already being past our usual closing time.

"Give me five minutes to close up."

Tyler nods in understanding, shoots a warm smile in my direction and opens his moleskin notebook once more.

|-/

Clearing the bar out of the last few drunken stragglers proves just as difficult as usual, having to essentially carry some of those who were worse off out of the door, as well as fighting the simultaneous urge to both punch a creep in the face and flush as pink as the very roses that decorated my TylerTylerTyler when he pulled me aside, hot breath coated in Jack Daniels and gaze locked on my angel, and murmured "Give it to that boy good tonight, before he finds somebody else who can." His words, and the notion that Tyler's worth is measured in sex and without it he'll take leave, make my blood boil. So hot that I can feel it pulsing and burning every inch of my skin. But I don't give him the satisfaction of knowing that. Instead, he gets the door slammed in his face and a "Fuck off, dude." called after him.

Tyler raises an inquisitive eyebrow at that, but I dismiss it with a shake of my head; more interested in the loose sheet of paper being caressed by his nimble fingers.

Clearly sensing my interest in the torn out page, the fawnlette smiles, the biggest and perhaps most sincere smile I'm yet to see gracing his beautiful face; all miniature dimples and crinkled eyes and pouty lips pulling back to bear his endearingly overcrossed-teeth. I didn't think it was possible for my flowers to grow or blossom any further, but I'm proven wrong in that very moment when I feel them double in size; their vines wrapping around every single organ in my body and squeezing so hard that things feel fuzzy. The good kind of fuzzy though. That kind of fuzzy, warm glow that people in romantic movies describe having when everything seems to fall in place, when the amount of love they feel for another is so overbearing and so real that nothing else in the world seems to matter besides that other person.

The kind of feeling that I've only ever experienced around Tyler Robert Joseph.

"This, my dear Joshua, is your Valentine's gift." He explains, ever-so delicately pressing the sheet with torn edges into the palm of my hand as I approach him. And fuck, maybe I should quit my low-pay job as a lousy bartender right this second and go into the psychic business instead, because right in front of me, right in my grasp is a drawing; a drawing of an angelic, doe-eyed boy blushing as another boy with a nose piercing and curly red hair and raging violets bursting from his ribs kisses his cheek.

It's Tyler and I. Almost identical to what I had envisioned back when I was still trapped in my TylerTylerTyler fantasia.

Dear god, I feel myself fall for him more and more every single second. Deeper and deeper. Harder and harder. Faster and faster. It's like one of those rides at a theme-park. One that makes your whole body feel as though it's floating, makes your stomach twist and turn and your head spin and your toes feel tingly. But the adrenaline rush keeps you going. Keeps you running back for more. And that is exactly what my TylerTylerTyler is.

The adrenaline rush I never knew I needed until it smacked me right in the face and knocked every ounce of oxygen from my lungs.

I love you. I love you so fucking much is what I want to say to him in that moment, but I know I shouldn't.

"I love it." I settle for that instead. It still holds the sentiment, but not to the extent that screams I know we've only spent less than a weeks worth of real-life time together, but I'm completely and entirely convinced that I am unconditionally in love with you, Tyler Robert Joseph. I am in love with your divine smile and your auroral laugh that could probably cure every disease that infests this god-forsaken earth. I am in love with every single inch of your exquisite body and the way your voice is coated in syrupy-sweetness. I am in love with the way you always smell like an intoxicating mix of wild violets and bubblegum and cigarette smoke that leaves me on the brink of fainting every single time. I am in love with your poetic grace and your quick wit and your sharp-tongue that could slit my fucking throat and still leave me saying thank you. I am so in love with you that I would sacrifice my own life just to save you.

I wouldn't want to scare him away, after all.

Holding the treasured drawing against my heart, that is now as precious to me as the Mona Lisa is to The Louvre, akin to a teenager fawning over their first love letter, I grasp his hand in mine and help him down from his perch on the bar. I wrap my angel up protectively in my warm embrace and welcome the feeling of his head resting against my chest; feeling every exhale from those rose-petal lips brushing against me. I nestle my face into his unwashed yet still silky smooth locks, plant my chapped lips against his temple and ask "You coming home with me tonight, wildflower?" To which his simple response is

"Of course, darling."

Chapter Text

The story continued at an apartment.

The walk back there hadn't taken too long, but it was safe to say that I'd spent much of the journey wrapped up in my own thoughts; suffering some sort of crisis or sudden realisation or maybe it was an epiphany. I wasn't too sure. The frosty breeze of the night air had been more than enough to sober me up completely, allowing awareness to hit me full force like it was a fucking truck on the highway and I was just some poor animal seconds away from becoming roadkill; just one glimpse at my TylerTylerTyler snuggled up in the winter coat and grey beanie belonging to me was the point at which I thought fuck.

"Joshua, no. It's freezing out there. You need to wear it."

"Ty, put the damn coat on before I pin you down and do it myself."

"You wouldn't-"

"Oh yeah?" I'd challenged in interruption, raising a playful eyebrow at the stubborn kid before stalking closer towards him. My hand had only just touched his wrist before he was giggling and squealing out an, "Okay, okay! I'll wear it."

"Good. I wouldn't be able to forgive myself if you got sick."

Fuck.

Not fuck because I was upset by this situation, upset wasn't even a word in the vocabulary of my Tyler Joseph Fantasia. Not fuck because I was beginning to question my own actions. But fuck because it finally sunk in that he was real.

Sure, everything had been real for the past two days, but only as we were walking side by side, my arm thrown over his shoulders and our fingers loosely tangled together, his homely warmth pressed against me and perhaps being the only thing protecting me from freezing to death, a cigarette being passed between our free hands every other minute, and his fawn-like eyes peering up at me and glinting in reflection of the street lamps as though they were filled with more stars than the whole god damn galaxy, did things finally feel real.

And oh god, it was infinitely better than I could've ever fathomed in those hauntingly beautiful daydreams that'd plagued my mind for a solid 5 months straight.

I loosen my hold on his delicate hand for the first time since we'd left the bar to fumble around in my pocket for the keys; it proving to be a significant challenge thanks to the fact that every single inch of my damn body was numb from the winter air. Not that I minded though. Seeing my angel warm and almost drowning in the faux-fur outline of my coat's hood was enough to snatch the words of complaint straight from my lips and utterly obliterate them. And as cliche as it sounds, I'm convinced in this very moment that that sight alone is able to warm me from the inside out, as though I'd never even stepped foot outside into the brutal Ohio winter.

I've never been more thankful for my shitty apartment I think as we step over the threshold and are almost instantaneously engulfed by the heat it embraces; it's that kind of drastic contrast, when you've been outside in the cold for so long that when you finally step inside? Your cheeks flush instantly and you almost feel like fainting with that heavenly overstimulation. And shitty it may be, but Tyler doesn't seem to mind as he toes off his shoes at the door, strips of my coat and beanie to reveal his flora crown once more and claims his spot on the sofa; legs pulled against his chest, toes wiggling in his socks and cheeks burning from the sudden temperature change.

God, he is so fucking adorable.

I loiter in the kitchen, fumbling with a stack of unwashed dishes in an attempt to disguise some of my messiness, and call over to him "Can I get you a drink?" That was what people usually did when they had a guest, right? Saying I was well-acquainted with the idea of guests would be a lie. A bigger lie than saying 'I'm not in love with Tyler Robert Joseph', actually. Pete and Pat came over regularly, sure, but they practically lived here and went about things their own way, helping themselves to all of my takeout leftovers and draining me of my beer supply faster than the Armenian guy drains us of vodka on a particularly tough day.

Those loveable assholes.

Tyler nods in response, only vocalizing a simple and syrupy-sweet "Please," as he bites down into his pouty bottom lip and lets his gaze wander around my apartment; checking out everything from the dusty and mostly untouched stacks of vinyls littering the shelves on the walls, to the electronic drum-kit pushed into the farthest corner of the room and even the empty cartons of smokes that are virtually overflowing from the trash-can at this point.

I leave him to it, returning a few minutes later with a clearing of my throat to catch his attention and collapsing onto the sofa beside him; a bitter, flavourless black coffee in one hand and an equally bitter beer in the other. Perhaps the two would cancel each other out and become sweet later on, when their remnants would grab at and cling to each other on our lips. Black coffee for Tyler, of course. Drinking black coffee at what is nearing 2 in the morning may seem absurd and unconventional to some, but I have a feeling that unconventionality is my angel's forte.

I take a sip of my beer, tongue swiping the excess before a slightly harrowing thought strikes in my mind. "Tyler.. How old are you? I - well, I mean.. 'M not here to judge or anything, but I guess I've just never asked before. Never got the chance to."

He smirks, lips curling up gently at one corner and turns to face me directly. "I'm not underage, darling, if that's what you're worried about." His tease, and the insinuation behind it, near enough stops the oxygen from reaching my lungs and make my cheeks burn with more intensity than the sparkle in his fawn-eyes. Not that I make it obvious though. So with a mocking roll of my eyes and a light chuckle, Tyler finally answers. "I'm 21. Birthday was in December. I mean really, I was underage drinking every time I was in your bar. But you never once carded me. Why else do you think I drank there so much?"

"You seriously only ever came to our bar 'cause you could get away with breaking the law there?" I pout, childishly feeling a pang of disappointment echo through my whole body; a few of my blossoming flowers wilting at just those words alone.

"And to stare at you, of course."

And in that very second, my flora are revived; more tremendous and more lively and more scented than ever.

"Guess it's a good job I never asked for your ID then, or I would've lost my chance to stare at you too." My tongue will never be as sharp as his own, my words never as poetic or graceful, but I'm finding it easier with every breath to converse with the man of my dreams, so that has to be something. Right?

"Subtlety was never your strong suit, dear Joshua." Tyler's smile is cocky once again, radiating pure smugness and leaving me wanting to throw myself across the sofa without a care for the burning beverage in his hand, pin him down with my thighs and kiss him until my angel is gasping for air; until the vines that completely encapsulate me possessively tangle with his own in relentless and irreversible knots, leaving us connected forevermore. That honey-and-vinegar voice drags me from my fantasy and back into the real world, however, the question being flipped on me this time as he downs a swig of his coffee. "How old are you, darling?"

"'M not old enough to be your dad, angel, if that's what you're worried about." I humour back with a raspy chuckle in reference to his earlier tease, "I'm 27." Only in the beat of silence that passes following my own confession do I realise my slip of the tongue, and only then do I comprehend that I just called this kid one of the many pet names conceived during my time in Tyler Joseph Fairyland. My angel, my fawnlette, my baby boy. All terms of endearment that are common within my own rambling thoughts and fantasies, but ones that I hadn't dared say out loud yet. And it is enough to damn near stop my heart from pumping the golden nectar around my veins completely.

"Angel, huh?'

"I - uh.." Brain essentially short circuiting in panic and rushed words fusing together as a jumble of inconclusive garbage, I fumble looking for some sort of excuse, explanation, anything. But fuck, does my own mind hate me today, for all I can manage to do is stare into his divine eyes in stunned silence; beer-coated lips parted with nothing but a short breath being released in lieu of actual words that may be essential in saving my ass right now. I don't even get the chance to kick myself for possibly fucking this whole thing up though, as only a second later my TylerTylerTyler is abandoning his coffee on the worn-down table beside us and crawling onto my lap. And if my brain wasn't already melting into a dysfunctional puddle of sludge, then fuck, this would definitely do the job - his thick thighs pressing dangerously close to my crotch, warm coffee-stained breath crawling across my lips and intoxicating my every single sense, usually innocent doe-esque eyes darkening to the shade of black honey; thick with lust.

Not once detaching our gazes, he whispers simply and all I can feel are his sharp words dragging themselves torturously against my lips. "Say it again."

"Angel." I repeat on command, swallowing the lump in my throat, voice lower and huskier than his own. I know if I even attempt to speak at normal level right now, my voice will completely crack and the desperation will seep through in the exact same way that Tyler Joseph and his flowers seeped into my heart.

Delicate, clean fingers finding their way to the nape of my neck and tangling themselves in whichever ruby-curls they can latch onto, my baby pulls me ever closer; our lips brushing against each other, noses bumping and breath mingling as one bitter taste. "Again."

Who am I to deny this celestial boy of what he wants?

I respond more confidently this time, only praying that my breath doesn't hitch and my words don't break. "You're an angel, Ty."

And apparently that is his breaking point, as the phrase barely has time to filter into the air between us before he is attacking my lips; kissing me so hard that every ounce of nectar-infested blood in my body is rushing my lips, my cheeks, my dick, leaving me so woozy that I'm almost 100% sure that I have died and gone to heaven and this boy licking into my mouth and rubbing his perfect ass against my crotch is the cherub from above that is stealing the very last shreds of my god-forsaken soul.

"Joshua." He pulls back with a breathy whine that sets my loins on fire, and pins me down with a look that I'm unsure of any mere mortal having the ability to recreate; looking infinitely sinful while simultaneously still sporting the blinking, glossy eyes of a delicate fawn.

That look is so fucking dangerous.

He is so fucking dangerous.

But I am an ignorant, oblivious, fucking fool. An ignorant, oblivious, fucking fool who is unconditionally and inconceivably in love.

"I want you to make love to me."

"I'll do anything for you, Ty."

And with that, I stand from where we're nestled together on the sofa and hitch his lithe body up against mine; long legs wrapping themselves around me and saliva-glossed lips reattaching themselves to the pale skin of my neck, nipping and sucking tenderly in a way that leaves my toes tingling and my heart nearly pounding out of my flora-ridden chest at the mere thought of having this archangel's marks decorating my unworthy body. I'm just thankful at this point that my bedroom is only a few feet away, for I can feel my knees getting weaker and my vision going whiter with each passing second.

Laying him down on the white sheets that contrast his beautifully tan, honey-and-milk skin, I allow my fumbling hands to begin unbuttoning his shirt and tugging off his skintight leggings until he is down to just the boxers that hug his precious heart-shaped ass and barely cover the bulge up-front; my gaze locked on his face, all flushed cheeks and bitten-to-hell lips and wide eyes. His impatience is clear though, as my admiration session is interrupted with soft hands tearing my shirt over my head and expertly unbuckling my belt. The skinny jeans, however, are more of a difficult feat that I struggle with alone; Tyler giggling in that way that makes my heart explode into a thousand shattered pieces as he watches me curse myself under my breath for the fashion choice.

His first instinct, once my pants are finally scattered elsewhere on the bedroom floor, is to loop his fingers in the waistband of my underwear, floral-crowned head instantly ducting down too. I'm quick to grasp his face in my hand though, and gently pull my TylerTylerTyler back up to face-level, thumb brushing against his slicked lips lovingly. "Another time, angel." I murmur to sate his confusion, settling the fawnlette onto his back and hovering above him. "This is about you." If it was even physically possible, his face flushes deeper at this, and my favourite turns his head to hide it in the sheets, nuzzling it into his shoulder coyly.

I take my time appreciating every god damn inch of that body, drinking him up as though he is the the Fountain of Life and I'm seconds away from inevitable death, worshipping him as though I am a devout Christian begging God for forgiveness. I brush my lips across those prominent collarbones, down his chest, along his flat stomach, and I press tiny, featherlight kisses to the soft, velvety skin of those thick thighs as soon as his boxers are as good as gone.

And as I look down at him in that exact moment, I know in my heart that nothing in the entire world will ever be so beautiful. No sunrise, no sunset, no sparkling night sky, no breathtaking view from the top of a mountain will ever be able to top my Tyler Robert Joseph.

Perhaps it was mere minutes, or maybe it was hours, spent adoring my boy, I'm not sure. The concept of time is lost on me in this very moment. But all I know is that each second, each minute, was worth the precious moans and delicate whimpers and desperate keens that dripped from his rose-petal lips, every single one encouraging me to show him how he deserved to be loved and treated even more so. His thighs begin to lightly tremble, the vibration rippling against my bare waist and making the vines in my stomach twist and allowing the thorns to sting my skin with utter need. And almost as if we're in sync, Tyler peers up at me and begs in his beautifully choked-up voice. "Josh, please..Touch me, touch me."

Unable to even fathom how I've had any semblance of self-control up to yet, I swoop down to lock our lips in a kiss overspilling with passion once more, simultaneously nudging two slicked up fingers inside of him and nearly fucking losing it right there and then, as his moan reverberates into my mouth and he pushes back repeatedly against my hand in desperation. Gripping at my hair and no doubt leaving blunt marks in my scalp, my TylerTylerTyler cries out, "God.. Joshua. Josh. I need you, now."

I would die happy if those were the last words he ever spoke to me.

"I've got you, angel." I reassure, voice low in his ear, basking in the response that the pet name initiates. I hitch his legs above my hips, and instantaneously he clings to me; kiss-bitten thighs bracketing my waist and tugging me as close as physically possible. As gently as I can when every muscle and every bone and every blossoming flower in my god-forsaken body is screaming at me to find my release, I replace my fingers with my dick and fight back the cry threatening to rip from my own lungs as I'm suddenly, and finally, surrounded by my TylerTylerTyler.

Much like my time in Tyler Joseph Fairyland, the overwhelming feeling of him so warm and tight and safe around me makes me silently promise that I will start going to church again and drinking the cheap wine and dousing myself in holy water, because that would only be the first step in thanking Jesus, Mary, and all the Saints in heaven above for giving me Tyler Robert Joseph. As I look down at his blissed-out face, I know there is no way I'll ever be able to thank them enough.

I could sacrifice myself in the name of God as thanks for this ethereal boy and it still wouldn't be enough.

"You're so beautiful, Ty" I purr, tattooed arm wrapping around his itty-bitty waist and hoisting him up as I sit back on my knees. I punctuate each bump of my hips against his heavenly ass with another murmured compliment, nipping at his jaw and growling "So, so beautiful.. You're fucking glorious, angel."

Nimble back arching in pleasure, he nuzzles his face into my hair and gasps out a sinful "Joshua.." when one particularly well-aimed thrust taps his prostate precisely. Tyler rocks himself against me, clenching and head thrown back in bliss, choking out a barely intelligible "'M not gonna last much longer, Josh", though it honestly sounds more like a wrecked sob at this point. "Don't stop."

"Me neither.. Fuck." Despite the fact that laughing is the last thing on my mind right now, I almost want to laugh in disbelief at myself. Here I am finally fucking, making love to, the very saint that I fantasized about and lost my damn mind over for months on end, and somehow I managed to not bust a nut the very second I saw him naked.

That's a pretty fucking amazing achievement in my mind.

With my free hand, I reach to grasp at his noticeably aching and leaking dick, matching the rhythm almost in complete synchrony and setting the tempo for the symphony of our pleasure. As each thrust gets clumsier and the coil deep in my stomach begins winding tighter and the fire burning in my abdomen almost makes me scream, I manage to grit out a low "Kiss me."

And he does.

One hand still digging into my bicep and clinging on for dear life, he shifts the other to latch onto the nape of my neck and captures me in a kiss; the sensations of his tongue deep inside me and his pretty ass clenching around me and those thick thighs quivering against my waist being the perfect combination code for my release - the white, hot heat completely bursting through me with a groan, hips stuttering and the roses in my chest ripping out of me with more force than ever before. Only seconds later, Tyler is practically squealing into my mouth, coming across both of our stomachs in thick, pearly ropes and falling limp in my arms from a mixture of overstimulation, pleasure and exhaustion.

Laying him back down onto the sheets, I pull out as gently as possible and make a quick dash to the en-suite; returning with a wash-cloth and settling myself beside him. As I begin to wipe the cool and damp material along his tummy, my angel peers up at me, all angelic with his post-sex glow and his bitten lips and mussed up hair that is still looped with the wild violet crown, and rasps out a simple yet sincere "Thank you."

"You don't have to thank me, Ty." I laugh lightly, dumping the soiled washcloth on the bedside table and then shifting to lay down; allowing him to cling to my chest, resting his chin there and watching me sleepily, doe-eyes all glazed over and hooded with content. "It was my pleasure, seriously."

My TylerTylerTyler shakes his head slightly, biting his lip and still attempting to get his breathing back to its normal pace. "I didn't just mean for the love-making, Joshua." Obviously seeing the look of confusion that makes a brief appearance in my features, he explains "I meant thank you for being so.. nice. And so gentle, and caring. I just.. I guess I've never experienced that kind of sex before. It was nice. More than nice."

God, he is so precious. I am never going to let him go.

Responding only with a soft smile and another velvety kiss to his temple, I bind him in my warm embrace, pull the covers over us and let the gentle thudding of my heart sing him to sleep.

And I can feel it. I can feel our two gardens intertwine together. I can feel my roses growing into his violets, I can feel the vines twisting together and our leaves overlapping. I can feel that we are no longer two separate patches of wild flowers.

I can feel that we are slowly becoming one.

Chapter Text

The first feeling that registers as my eyes blink open slowly is the heavenly, encapsulating sense of warmth; the gentle rays of the morning sun sneaking through the slit in the curtains hitting my chest and the heat of another body pressed against my own being enough to leave me flushed, even in the supposedly bitter Ohio morning.

Even as I stare idly at the ceiling in a weak attempt to ground myself, I'm still unable to fathom the fact that my last memories before falling into a deep sleep were actually real. It had to have been real. There's no way any filthy fantasy of mine built up from vivid hallucinations and lustful wishes could've felt so fucking amazing. I thought I was lucky all of those times I saw Tyler Joseph naked and in my bedroom deep in my Fairyland, but god, they were nothing compared to the real thing. All those times I imagined making him weep with pleasure combined couldn't even add up to a fraction of what it truly felt like. My intense fabrications of reality were practically worthless in comparison to the authentic experience, much like I was in comparison to my angel.

I'm still a little overwhelmed, honestly.

I can't get enough of him. I don't think I'll ever get enough of him.

The feeling of cool, silky fingers running across my skin brings me out of my daze that I so often find myself falling into and back into reality, though this time? The reality is nowhere near as dull and depressing as the one I'm familiar with facing. I look down, and my breath catches in my throat at the sight; cheeks burning and heart pounding so loudly that I'm convinced the other boy must be able to hear it too.

There he is.

He is real.

My TylerTylerTyler has his head resting on my abdomen, pretty doe-eyes still lidded with sleepiness, chocolate locks messy from slumber yet still littered with wild violets and delicate fingers lazily tracing along the black cursive ink that marks my right hip; the exact poetry that he spoke to me as his parting message on the blessed day of September 16th.

"My words will grow flowers in your lungs, but when they get too big, you won't be able to fucking breathe."

He must sense that I'm awake, and shifts his gaze from the marking to lock eyes with me instead. Not once does his touch leave the ink though, and it almost feels as though the very skin it adorns is burning; like the thorns beneath it that encapsulate my body are pinching at the skin and begging to break free. It's pleasurable though. A fucked up kind of pleasure, but blissful nonetheless.

"I can't believe you did this." His morning voice is almost velvety, like raw honey; syrupy-sweet with a raspy undertone. The kind that only a visually angelic boy with a sharp tongue and a smoking addiction can pull off. And fuck, it is so god damn attractive. It just makes me want kiss him breathless even more.

Usually his ambiguity is somewhat captivating, only serving to make the living archangel even more enchanting and mysterious; leaving you wanting to sell your god damn soul just for the minuscule possibility that you'll find out one single piece of information more about about the boy. But right now? It's fucking terrifying. Though I've been priding myself on being good at reading him until this point, I have no idea what he is going to say next. The only ideas I have running through my mind are complete opposites. One being "Gosh, Joshua. This is quite possibly the most romantic thing any living man has ever done in honour of me." and ending with him ducking his head beneath the covers and putting his pouty lips to good use. The other being him fleeing my apartment half-dressed, calling me a "Fucking creep" or perhaps a stalker, most likely throwing something at me in fear on his way out.

Perhaps I've just been watching too many shitty Saturday night rom-coms and unrealistic drama movies with Pete, because neither would actually happen, and both are overly dramatised, I know that. But I still worry.

"You're a goner, darling."

While his words are truthfully sharp and cut deep into my chest, leaving scars in their wake and allowing my nectar-infested blood to drip down my skin, his tone is not. His tone is gentle, soft, forgiving. Laced with unspoken apologies. And I can see it reflected in his eyes.

He was rather transparent, after all.

It was almost impossible for him to lie to me. Those innocent fawn-like eyes giving away everything and speaking the words that he wasn't saying aloud. Maybe he'll never admit it to me face-to-face, but I know. I know he's starting to feel a sense of guilt for tangling me in what he thinks is his overgrown garden of weeds and poisonous vines, for pulling me into this unforgiving and inescapable loop of unconditional love, for letting me practically worship him and his every move and his every word and putting him on a pedestal so high that if he were ever to slip, he would come crashing down and crush me in his path. But an overgrown garden of weeds and poisonous vines isn't what my TylerTylerTyler is. Not to me at least. And regardless of the nature that his garden consists of, soon we will become one. And I will do everything in my power to uninfest him and make us blossom once more.

"I know." I agree simply, voice quiet as to not break the peaceful lull of the morning. I could never even attempt to deny it.

I was completely and utterly gone for Tyler Robert Joseph.

"I've been a goner from the second I first laid eyes on you, Ty. And no matter what happens, I'll never regret that." My confession sounds like one of those cliché lines from another of Pete's movies, but I've never been more certain of something in my whole life. My favourite could disappear from the face of the earth tomorrow, and I wouldn't regret falling for him. Of course, my already fragile and flora-ridden heart would be ripped from my chest and shattered into a million irreplaceable pieces, and my life would surely lose the majority of its purpose, but I still wouldn't regret sacrificing my whole heart and being to the ethereal kid in front of me.

Rather than continuing that conversation any further, my fawnlette reaches across and presses those plush rose-petal lips to the marking on my hip, sealing his words this time with a kiss, rather than a bitter swig of his vodka on the rocks. Warm breath making my exposed skin tingle, he murmurs "Well, I think it looks beautiful, Joshua. Devastatingly beautiful."

The corner of my lips twists up into a smirk, and I respond "That's funny, 'cause I think the person who said it is devastatingly beautiful too." I reach down to interlock our fingers, and scatter of constellation of tiny kisses along his knuckle before he can even attempt to roll his eyes at my sappiness.

Tyler shifts so that he is sitting on my lap, thighs bracketing my hips in a heavenly imitation of the previous night. He tilts his head at me, free hand trailing down my bare chest and the teasing confidence that I'm oh-so-familiar with makes a return, coating his words and oozing from those baby-doll lips. "Bet that's what you say to all the pretty young boys, huh, old man?" With a grin, revealing his perfectly unperfect teeth, he continues "You give all your boy toys pretty gifts and pet names? Or am I special, Joshua?"

I run my hand through his tousled hair, and brush my fingers over his chapped bottom lip; Tyler catching my thumb between his teeth and biting down playfully. "Even if there were others, you'd still be the special one, angel. My favourite." My reassurance is unnecessary, for he already knew that deep down, but it makes him giggle and nuzzle his face into my hand coyly. And my god is it worth it just to hear that heavenly sound.

I have no fucking idea how I've lived without this kid for so long.

Turning his face back so that our gazes our locked once more, I ask "You got any other plans today, wildflower? Or do I have the pleasure of your company for a little longer?" Of course, i'm hoping his answer is the latter, so that I'd get to spend as much time as possible with my TylerTylerTyler, but he is as much of a wildcard as he is a wildflower. Unpredictable, uncommitted and perhaps I am foolish to even entertain the idea of him wanting to stick around.

An ignorant, oblivious, fucking fool.

I can't help but let my mind wander back to September 16th, when he'd confessed to me "I hate committing, being tied down. And I hate committing when I comes to the people I have sex with. I'm a wild flower, I don't like growing in one place." Though those words are disheartening to hear on loop in my own mind as a harrowing reminder of my potential future heartbreak, as even the thought alone of my angel disappearing into the arms of another man is enough to completely ruin me, I can only wish that the languid tangling of our vines and the cross-breeding of our flowers is enough to convince him that perhaps growing in one place isn't so bad after all.

Especially when that one place is exactly where you belong, and where you've been searching for all along.

"I don't know, darling." Tyler hums in mock contemplation, pixie-nose scrunching up and his fingers tapping against my skin. "Perhaps I can be convinced to cancel my other plans and stay for a while if you promise to make breakfast and cuddle me while we watch terrible Netflix movies."

"Wow, you're a much easier date than I thought you would be." I laugh, the sound being muffled against his neck when I press a gentle kiss across his pulse-point. But we both know that he could've listed off near-impossible terms in exchange for his company, and my response still would've been "Anything."

He could've asked me to walk straight through the depths of hell in the favour of one more kiss, and I still would've told him "Anything."

Tyler appears light-hearted and amused, but the undertone of his next words are anything but. "Easy is practically my middle name, Joshua. How else do you figure I ended up in the beds of so many older men?"

"Stop." I interrupt him before he can degrade himself any further with that sharp, cutting tongue. It isn't just used to cut other people and leave them oozing with bitter trails of blood and adorned with puckered scars. He hurts himself with it too. I scold "Don't talk about yourself like that, Ty. I hate it."

My words seem to go in one ear and out of the other, for Tyler doesn't respond to them directly, but instead laughs bitterly with a shake of his head. "Don't you think it's funny, dear? We cut and kill flowers because we think they are beautiful, but we cut and kill ourselves because we think we are not."

I gently place a hand either side of his delicate face and almost melt right there and then when he blinks up at me with those pretty doe-eyes, glazed with a thin veil of unfallen tears. Voice low, but still confident in my own words, I murmur "I don't ever want you to feel that way about yourself, Tyler. I meant every single thing I said last night." And perhaps it is a decision that I'll come to regret in a few minutes time, but I know that I'll only get through to him with complete sincerity if I say the thoughts that have infested my mind ever since the night of September 16th. "You are so, so fucking beautiful. Every single thing about you is enough to make my heart stop in its fucking tracks, and I've dedicated more time than I care to admit ingraining every indescribable and infinitesimal detail about you into my brain and into the backs of my eyelids so that maybe, just maybe, when you're not around I'll get the chance to see you again when I close my eyes. You really are an angel. Not just looks wise either. You have more grace and wit and heart than all of the people in my life combined, and honestly I don't know what the hell I did to deserve you coming into my life. So what if you're a little broken. Everyone is, and it in no way reduces who you are as a person. You are perfect, Tyler Robert Joseph."

Tyler releases his golden laugh, albeit a little choked up, but still as angelic and blissful as ever despite the few tiny droplets of tears slipping down his cheeks and dampening my fingers. Lips pulling up into a shy smile, he repeats "Bet that's what you say to all the pretty young boys, huh, old man? You make them all cry like this, or am I special?" And what he says next makes the flowers in my lungs flourish so profoundly that it leaves me unsure of how I'm even still breathing.

"I don't know what the hell I did to deserve you, Joshua."

Our lips meet in a kiss; not so full of need and desperation and pure lust and passion like the ones from last night, but more soft, slow, loving. Like the ones that you see in movies where the protagonist finally gets the first kiss with the person of their dreams, and the world around them seems to slow down and they realise in that moment that the other may be all they ever need to survive.

Not that I didn't know it before, but TylerTylerTyler is definitely the only thing I need to survive nowadays.

We pull back, foreheads still lightly resting together, and Tyler grins with a bite of those bubblegum-stained lips "..Can we have that breakfast I was promised now?"

"Nice to see you've got your priorities in order, kid."

Shifting him from my lap and onto the bed with a thump that makes his heavenly giggle filter through the air, I locate his boxers and a baggy sweatshirt of my own that will surely swamp his delicate body and toss them to him; pulling on a pair of sweatpants of my own before reaching out my arms and letting him jump into my hold once dressed.

And maybe Tyler gets bored of sitting on the kitchen island idly and attempting to seduce me while I try to cook for us. And maybe Tyler pins me to the counter by my hips and drops to his knees in front of me, showing off another divine thing those bitten lips of his can do. And maybe we're both so distracted that we end up burning the pancakes and setting the building's fire alarms off.

But nobody needs to know that.

Chapter Text

For someone with supposed commitment problems, Tyler Robert Joseph was surprisingly hard to get rid of.

Not that I was trying to get rid of him, or even wanted him to leave. In fact, it was quite the opposite. I wanted my TylerTylerTyler to stay by my side for the rest of my god damn life, safe from the dangerous hands of greedy, undeserving bastards and isolation with his own toxic thoughts. But with a new Monday brought a new day of work, and meant that my angel had to bid me goodbye with a gentle kiss, a bite of my lip and a syrupy-sweet "Until next time, darling." that leaves my flora-ridden chest feeling hollow, almost as though his delicate hands reached right inside of me, tore through the unrelenting blossoms, ripped out my still-beating heart and took it with him.

Tyler Robert Joseph has most definitely stolen my heart.

Following the burnt breakfast incident that gave way to endless complaints from disturbed neighbours, my angel had been highly amused with himself; with messy hair, flushed cheeks and clear evidence of our early morning rendezvous still on his swollen lips, he had taken to hiding himself behind me, faze nuzzling into my bare back, while I suffered through the lecture from my landlord about how I should "take more precautions to avoid situations like these." And when asked "How on earth do you even manage to forget that you have food cooking anyway, Joshua?", the kid hadn't been able to hold back his knowing snicker.

"You're dead, kid."

"Oh yeah? What are you gonna do to me, Joshua?"

It's safe to say that conversation ended with Tyler pinned to the couch underneath me, being tickled until he squealed and my lips attached to the soft, honey skin of his neck. It's also safe to say that the sight of my own blooming mark on this celestial being, now staining the underside of his jaw, was enough to fill me with an overflow of both pride and pure love.

The rest of our Saturday had been spent exactly how my TylerTylerTyler had requested; watching shitty indie movies on Netflix, eating takeout, sharing occasional sweet kisses and my baby laying on my chest sleepily as his fingers danced along the very words inked across my hip that he graced me with on September 16th. It was unspoken, never mentioned between the two of us, but it seems as though he has become almost as attached to the marking as I have. He finally fell asleep at 10:34PM, so I picked him up in classic bridal-style, settled him into the bed and spent yet another night with the boy of my dreams curled into my side and holding on to me as though I was the only thing keeping him afloat in the harsh waves of the world.

Sunday was no different. I woke up to a flurry of kisses from my angel and his hand on my dick, the combined sensations leaving me feeling faint with pleasure, yet simultaneously confused as to how one single living person could be so damn fucking perfect. I almost had to pinch myself just to double-check that this was reality, and that I wasn't just too high to function and seemingly slipping back into my Tyler Joseph Fantasia.

I'd even considered at one point, while he was pressed up against the steamy glass door of my shower with those endlessly gorgeous legs wrapped around my waist and his delicate hands tangled in my drenched curls, that perhaps I was actually dead, and this seeming reality was just my version of heaven. Perhaps on the night of February 12th, when I'd returned to the bar having just lost $400 worth of booze, with nothing but the syrupy-sweet smell of Tyler staining my clothes and five loose violet petals in hand, perhaps Pete had lost it there and then and murdered me in cold blood on the dusty floor of the shithole.

I wouldn't put it past him. Like I said before, that bitch is fucking wild.

But no.

The soft, heavenly moans of "JoshJoshJosh", much like my very own near-satanic chant of TylerTylerTyler, echoing between the enclosed four walls, surrounding me completely and the blunt nails scratching down my back as he mewls with pleasure are enough to remind me once more that this is real. Tyler is real. And god damn.

I'm definitely the luckiest man alive.

With Tyler sated and sleepy once more, Sunday then became video game day; my fawnlette nestled between my legs on the couch, playing each and every game from my dusty collection that hadn't been touched in a good few years. He was a pro at all of them, of course. Not that I'd doubted him anyway when he proclaimed himself as the "Mario Kart Champion".

I'm still yet to beat him.

I didn't even need to ask him if he was staying the night. We shared one knowing look that seemed to communicate a whole conversation, a quick kiss and then he was disappearing into my en-suite to get ready for bed. And when I made it back to bedroom 5 minutes later with a mug of tea in one hand and warm milk in the other, my exquisite TylerTylerTyler was already out like a light, curled up in one of my oversized hoodies, long eyelashes fluttering and pretty rose-petal lips parted ever so slightly.

And maybe I took a picture of him like that on my phone. And maybe it is now my home screen.

But Tyler doesn't need to know that.

|-/

Monday is perhaps the longest day of my entire life.

But with it being my first full day as of late without so much as seeing Tyler Robert Joseph, aside from our quick goodbye earlier in the morning, I'm not surprised. How could I not feel like a whole part of me was missing after the weekend we shared together? Much like those 5 torturous months of Tyler is real. Tyler isn't real, every passing second feels like a minute, and every minute feels like an hour and every hour feels like an entire day. And I'm sure that if I don't see him soon, or even find some kind of distraction, then my mind will slowly reach the point of deterioration where I shoot myself with one of the mounted guns. Or maybe Pete and Pat will get tired of my moping and end it all for me instead.

Fingers brushing against the crumpled and dirty wild violet that is still held captive in the back pocket of my jeans, Patrick snaps me out of yet another of my dazes with a kick to the back of my leg which almost sends me straight to the floor. There's a loving smirk on his face, but I can already sense that this oncoming conversation will annoy me in some way.

I huff loudly as if to vent my frustration before I end up unloading it all onto the younger of the couple, and snap "What?" with a glare that I can barely even keep up when I look at the two of them; Pete sitting on the bar top with Pat resting between his legs. It was always hard to be mad at the adorable fuckers.

"Pete said, in these exact words - "Stop fucking sulking, lover boy." and seriously, Joshie, you gotta stop." Patrick parroted, looking me over almost sympathetically as he plays with his boyfriend's fingers. "The bar is already depressing enough, especially on a Monday night. Don't need you making it any worse with that pouty face and cold glare when anyone breathes near you."

"I'm not sulking." I defend almost dejectedly, despite the fact that I know I am. I just don't like giving them the satisfaction of being right.

"Yeah, you fucking are." My defence is interrupted by Pete, who cocks one eyebrow at me as if to challenge me to argue with him. I simply shake my head as if to brush off the conversation, but he adds "What do you have to mope about anyway? I mean, by the looks of your neck, you definitely fucked that kid that you've been jerking off to for christ knows how long. Shouldn't you be, like, streaming rainbows out of your ass and throwing up heart-shaped confetti right now as a celebration?"

With an exasperated roll of my eyes that the two of them were oh-so-familiar with at this point in our friendship, I sigh "Shut up, Pete."

Sure, I loved fawning over and babbling about my angel endlessly to the duo when he was just an enigma, possibly even some hallucination my own my deluded mind had created in order to save me from the boredom of repetitive nights in this dull hole-in-the-wall. I could've spent hours talking at them about the minuscule details of every single feature on his damn body and gushing about how he was so perfect that I was sure he was god sent. But that was back when he was just a fantasy. When he was unobtainable. When he didn't exist. When I didn't know his story.

Things are definitely different now.

Tyler Robert Joseph is no longer just some sharp-tongued, stone-faced celestial being who I wished kiss and fuck like there was no tomorrow.

TylerTylerTyler was now unofficially mine to protect. And god knows I would do absolutely anything in my power to protect that boy.

"Did you fuck him?" Pat asks in confirmation, tone almost amused and unbelieving for a split-second.

Teeth gritting and my fingers instinctively brushing across the sacred carving of "Flowers do nothing wrong, but we rip them from their homes, and give them to people who will never love us." that resides on the bar beside me, I clear my throat and answer "Yes, I slept with him. But that's not the point, Pat."

"What do you mean, that's not the point? Is our little Joshie actually in looooooove?" Patrick practically sings with a jab of his finger into my side, earning a chuckle from the older man who also reaches over to ruffle my hair condescendingly. "Look, babe. Our little dog breath is all grown up now."

"You can suck my dick. Both of you." I inform, tone unamused and face void of emotion as I back away from their giggles and Pete's call of "We'd love to", over to the other end of the bar when the greasy, Armenian man is awaiting my service.

I'm about 5 shots and 10 minutes into this drunk asshole's story of how his wife left him, and probably only second away from my own death via boredom and unwillingness to keep up the act of fake interest, when we're interrupted by Patrick shouting an "Uh.. Josh?" from the other end of the bar. Patience already having been whittled down to the point of non-existence, I close my eyes in quiet frustration and in a failed attempt to gain some form of composure, before spinning around to face him and ready to unload an irked demand of "What now?", but the words dissolve into the air the very split second my gaze catches exactly what it is he's looking at.

My angel, my fawnlette, my TylerTylerTyler is standing in the doorway.

Except he doesn't look like my Tyler at all.

He looks hauntingly similar to younger Tyler I had my first encounter with three years back; his knees are bruised, ruby-tinted blood trickling from his swollen split lip. His soft cheeks are tinged pink, though this time not flushed from the cold, but in the vague shape of a hand. Already yellowing, fingertip formed bruises and crescent shaped dents litter his arms, and his neck bruised in the shape of an aggressive man's hand. Still prominent over the single hickey left in place by yours truly.

The only difference is that this time, his pretty face doesn't remain stone-cold and those fawn-eyes don't remain dry.

Chapter Text

The first teary droplet that falls from those baby-doll eyes barely even has the time to touch Tyler's cheek before I'm practically sprinting across the bar to him, dropping the glass I'd been holding without a second thought and nearly knocking a bewildered and confused Patrick off of his feet. Not that I care about any of that though, because it's as if my whole world has gone blurry and the only thing in focus is my angel's beautiful, bruised up face.

All that matters in the moment, and all that will ever matter, is getting to him.

As soon as I'm at his side, he virtually collapses into my arms; one delicate hand using the sleeve of his sweatshirt to swipe away the silent tears that are filtering through and the other gripping the material of my hoodie, clinging to my chest for dear life. I wrap my arms around his waist gently, and when he winces with a jolt of pain and whimpers ever so quietly that I only just about catch it, my whole body feels as though it's being set ablaze with pure fury for whichever bastard hurt the kid. The violet-ridden flora that possess every damn inch of my vessel are burning and clawing at my skin in a crazed attempt to reach our TylerTylerTyler, to bind themselves around him and hold him as he heals and keep him safe and protected from sleazy, filthy, undeserving and unworthy married men.

Bastard. Asshole. Creep. Pedophile. Dolphin Fucker.

Ignoring the intrusive and inquisitive gazes of every last greasy hipster and raging alcoholic and broke college student that resides in the hole-in-the-wall, pinned to the two of us as though we are a target and they are the firing arrows, I rock the brown-haired beauty against my chest softly, hushing his cries and pressing gentle kisses into his messy hair. And god, I thought just looking at him in this state, so broken and vulnerable and so unlike the Tyler I was now used to seeing was painful enough, but my own breaking point is when I feel his lithe body begin to shake with sobs against my own; the vibrations reverberating against me and causing such an internal earthquake that cracks begin to form in my own fragile heart and the vivid blossoms begin to falter.

In this exact moment, I know that we are slowly becoming one. I can feel every godforsaken second of his pain.

I force back the lump building in my throat and open my mouth to speak, but my mind goes blank and for once, I have no idea what to say to him. Not yet at least. But as I internally curse myself for being so damn useless, and so bad at protecting him from the shitty world that he has already faced too much of at such a young age, Tyler himself speaks for the first time. In a low, damaged voice that sounds nothing like his own, he whispers into the tear-soaked fabric of my hoodie. "Can you please take me home?"

"Of course, angel." I murmur against his tainted skin, assuring once more "Anything for you." Still holding my baby, I turn to Pete ready to ask if I can leave my shift earlier than expected, but the words barely even have the chance to form on my tongue before he nods with a soft smile; concern glaringly obvious in his eyes.

"It's fine, Josh. Go. Get him home."

|-/

Tyler never once detaches himself from me on the short journey back to my apartment, even tangling our fingers together and gripping onto my free hand so tightly during the car ride that I feel it go numb, but the aching in my hand can't even reach a fraction of his own pain, so who am I to complain? Not that it matters to me anyway though, because I know if there was a way I could unload everything he is feeling onto myself, then I'd do it in a heartbeat. Anything to stop those tears from falling or to stop his usually syrupy-sweet voice from breaking.

We don't even speak on the way home. Not in an uncomfortable way, but I just know that he isn't ready to talk just yet. And I'm okay with that.

I'd wait for the rest of my damn life if it meant that Tyler would be happy at the end of it.

I can tell that my presence is more than enough to comfort him at the moment, as every time I press a quick kiss to his knuckles when we stop in traffic or allow him to nuzzle closer into my side as we traipse the stairs to my floor, his shallow and panicked breathing seems to still and his shaking body calms a little more.

I sit my angel down on the sofa, wrapped in a furry blanket to warm his freezing frame and separate myself from his hold briefly, only to retrieve the emergency first aid kit my mother forced my to keep beneath the kitchen counter and a damp washcloth. And if I said that the meek whimper he let out when I untangled our fingers and left his side for those few seconds didn't completely and utterly shatter what was left of my heart, then I'd be a fucking liar.

"Oh, Ty.." My voice cracks with an overwhelming combination of pity and pure distress at the sight in front me, my hand raking through his hair softly before brushing along his abused face. Lifting the washcloth to his ruby-tinged lips, I murmur "'M gonna try to clean it, okay? But you've gotta tell me if I hurt you, angel. I never want to hurt you." His silent response comes in the form of a barely noticeable nod, his now saddened doe-eyes squeezing shut as a method of slowing the plethora of hot, salty tears.

How any living person on this planet could even so much as think about laying a hand on this beautiful boy is beyond me, and the thought alone makes me sick to my stomach. Had I not been so focused on staying calm for Tyler right now, I probably would've been spewing up golden nectar and fallen petals and wilted leaves.

With as much care and gentle precision as physically possible, I wipe away the dried blood that paints his usually soft lips and brush a thin coat of antibacterial cream along the delicate wound; the indentation resembling teeth marks rather than just your average split lip, and making bitter, nectar-infested bile rise in the back of my throat at the crossing thought that what happened to my angel may be different than I originally thought.

Running the damp cloth over the rest of his precious face, I make sure to swipe up the salty tear tracks left behind on his cheeks and press a soft kiss to each side; his lips twitching up at the corner briefly at that.

"C'mon," I encourage, standing from the sofa and holding out a coarse hand that was made to fit with his own silky and delicate one. "I'll run you a bath. Sound good?"

Tyler responds again only with a nod, though blinks up at me with still-damp, shiny eyes that are the most fawn-like I've seen from him as of yet. "Stay with me though. Please?"

I never planned on leaving him in the first place.

"I'm not going anywhere, Ty."

For someone usually so confident and quick-witted, who is usually able to leave me feeling minuscule and worthless in comparison just with a simple look from those pooling chocolate eyes, seeing my TylerTylerTyler curling in on himself before me where we stand in the bathroom and hardly meeting my own gaze for longer than a few split seconds is disheartening to say the least, and only serves to add to the pure fury that I have every intention of releasing once I'm sure he is safe.

He quietly strips out of his clothes as I'm checking the water, and I have to close my eyes, count to three and brace myself before I can even turn back to look at him out of pure worry for what lies beneath. It's nowhere near as bad I was expecting, but the sight of fresh hickies littering his chest and the beginnings of bruises on his hips identical to the one on his neck make my stomach drop.

I don't even have the courage to say anything to him, only speaking up again when Tyler is nestled between my legs beneath the hot water; his gaze focused on my chapped lips.

"I'm so sorry, Ty."

He shrugs off my apology almost instantly, usually sharp-tongue darting across his lips and flinching when it brushes against the cut. "Not your fault.. S'fine." Clearly it's not fine, but he speaks up again before I can even comment, voice more gravelly than anything. "'M sorry for coming straight to you, for dumping my problems on you. I guess I just wasn't sure where else to go. Didn't wanna be on my own."

Hands slowly smoothing the washcloth and bubbles across his damaged honey-and-milk skin, absentmindedly tracing the lines of his tattoos and each individual marking left behind, I shake my head. "You don't have to be sorry, Tyler. I'm glad you came to me. You can always come to me."

"I'm serious when I say I'd do anything for you."

My reassurance makes his lips tweak into a barely-there smile, but it's still enough to make my heart swell and the violets in my chest catch my breath; figuratively stopping me from living for a brief time.

Without warning Tyler shuffles closer to me, or as close as he can get in such a minimal and enclosed space, and sighs before murmuring an explanation against my chest.

"He.. uh.. he has this weird thing with all of us that work at the flower shop. He's married, but dates all of us, I guess? Not so much dates, more like.. sleeps with us when his wife is away. Which is a lot of the time, actually."

Even the beginning of this oncoming story is enough to make my head feel faint.

The bastard is sleazier than I thought.

Warm breath tickling my skin, my angel continues. "I was okay with it to start with. I mean, I like sex and it wasn't hurting my job, so I went with it. Let him fuck me or take me on dates whenever he wanted.." A shaky sigh falling from those rose-petal lips, he added "I guess we both saw our agreement differently though. He started to get pissed at me whenever he found out I'd been with someone else. Slapped me a few times, but never anything more than that. I could handle it. 'M just glad he never found out about Brendon."

Damp fingers tangling through his soft hair comfortingly, I bite down on my tongue in an attempt to hold back my distaste and disgust for Mr. Fucking Weekes, not wanting to interrupt Tyler with my anger.

That could wait.

He peers up at me before continuing, eyes swimming with hurt, and it takes everything inside of me to not completely collapse on the spot. To not sacrifice myself to god right there and then in exchange for Tyler's lifelong and undying happiness.

Dainty fingers finding and running across my lovebite on his neck, my angel sighs. "I know he saw this as soon as I walked into work this morning. But he didn't say anything for a while, just carried on with the day normally. I thought maybe he just didn't care about it. Foolish of me, I know.. Look how the tables have turned, Joshua."

I notice his eyes beginning to tear up once more, but he quickly blinks them away and acts oblivious to their presence.

"We were the last two in the shop before closing up, and he called me into the back room. His office. To 'talk'. Asked me where it came from, asked me if it was from you. He's been suspicious of you since the night you found me again. And I mean, I couldn't lie to him. I'm transparent, remember? And he can always pick up on lies anyway. It's fucking creepy how good he is at it."

Not that it came as a shock to me at this point, but just hearing the words spoken out loud that placed me as the cause of the damage was still enough to leave me feeling as though I was the victim of some street fist fight; having had every ounce of flora-feeding oxygen knocked from my lungs and leaving me winded.

His golden voice cracks in a way that resembles the very glass I smashed earlier in the bar, and he practically chokes out his next words. "It wasn't like.. non-consensual. I agreed to doing it. To letting him fuck me over his desk, thought it'd make him happy. Get him off of your back too. But it wasn't like it usually is. He was so rough. Said he was just reminding me 'who I belonged to.' But, god, it fucking hurt. I hated it."

Any composure he'd managed to build up since we'd left the bar shattered once more; a heart wrenching sob catching in his throat and tears hotter than the very water we were bathing in splattering against my already damp chest.

"It hurts so much, Josh."

"I know, angel. I know.. I'm here." I murmur into his hair, arms locking around him safely and my hands brushing soothing strokes down his shaking back. "I'm so, so sorry. But you don't have to worry about him at all now, okay? I promise you, Ty. So long as I'm living, he's not coming near you ever again. He's never even going to look in your direction again. I promise."

And if he does, then I'll fucking kill him is what I think but fail to add out loud. And as much as I know that I'm most definitely going to hurt Mr. Weekes for even laying a single finger on my TylerTylerTyler, the last thing I want is my baby boy seeing me as an equal threat.

We stay wrapped up in each other like that, Tyler crying himself dry of tears in the crook of my neck and my blossoms gradually intertwining with his own more and more with each passing second, until the water goes as cold as the Ohio winter weather.

And when the water is drained away and my angel is tucked up in the warmest clothes I own, we settle into bed together; I let him lay against my chest, playing endless rounds of Mario Kart until his breathing steadies and his eyes flutter shut, and only when he is completely at peace do I voice the very words that I'm certain have been running through my mind ever since the night of September 16th.

"I love you so much, Tyler Robert Joseph."

Chapter Text

A soft kick in my side is my unusual morning wake up call; the action jolting me awake and damn near knocking me off the edge of the bed that I'd resided to midway through the night when Tyler had stretched himself out like a starfish, stole the majority of the covers and even shuffled to rest his head on my pillow too. Honestly though, he could've kicked me out of the bed completely and I still wouldn't have had it in me to wake the brown-haired beauty and reclaim my spot.

I'd sleep on the floor for that kid any day.

It wasn't hard to pick up on his level of ease and comfort whenever he was here, or just around me in general which left my heart oozing with pure love, and just the sight alone of him so relaxed after everything he'd endured was enough to make my heart beat those few paces faster at the simple thought that perhaps the idea of our two gardens growing into one was slowing growing on him too. After all, he had come back to me. And I like to believe that that's saying something for someone with supposed commitment problems.

Maybe I wasn't so foolish to believe in a happy ending for the both of us after all.

Fingers rubbing across my side soothingly and instantly finding those reminiscent words that are branded on my hip forever, I look over to my TylerTylerTyler and can't help but smile to myself despite the situation. He may have a busted lip, a purplish bruise trailing along his neck, sneaking out from under the covers of my hoodie and light bags beneath those pretty eyes formed from the exhaustion of crying himself dry but he's still my angel. Still the same beautiful, ethereal boy that first graced my shitty life with his heavenly presence three years ago and has haunted me ever since, filling every inch of my worthless body from my head to my toes with flora so voluminous that I'm sure I'll be completely overtaken by them soon enough.

Soon enough, all that will remain of the two of us will be our hearts; beating as one as the glorified centrepiece of our magnificent garden.

Another twitch of his foot that nudges my thigh and a soft, barely audible whimper of "Josh" in his usual syrupy-sweet voice knocks me out of my daze; needing to take a few silent seconds to process his sleepy rambling. I duck down to press a peck to his temple, supposing that it'll soothe his unconscious self before sliding out of the bed. I barely get both feet on the ground before delicate fingers are wrapping around my wrist and pulling me back.

"Please don't go."

Turning back to meet the sight of those fawn-eyes that suck me back in every time, like a poor soul in the sea being pulled from the shore by an unstoppable wave, I settle back down beside him. "Hey, hey.. 'M not going anywhere," I reassure, brushing a thumb along his cheekbone, but adding teasingly "You do realise we can't stay in bed all day though, right? I know you're 21 and that sleeping is a lifestyle for you, but.."

Tyler snorts in response, and god knows how but he even manages to make that sound golden and auroral just like his usual giggle. "God, shut up." He playfully slaps a hand over my mouth, a grin tugging at his own lips for the first time since last night and making my pulsing heart flutter with joy. "Why do you sound like a fucking forty-year-old? Darling, you're not that old."

Licking a stripe up the palm of the hand clamped over me, my angel squeals and yanks away with a playful glare, slapping his now wet hand against my chest in retaliation. I laugh at his weak hit back, only causing him to pout and run his fingers along my bare skin. "If my lip wasn't hurting so much right now, I'd totally kiss you to shut you up, Joshua."

"Sucks, 'cause I'd love that," I grin, but the harrowing reminder of his injuries sends another jolt of anger through me that I've been trying to ignore for as long as possible. Running a finger along his swollen, cherry-tinted bottom lip, I can't stop the sigh from slipping out; Tyler nuzzling his face against me.

"I just wanna stay here for a while longer.. I don't know, guess I just feel safe and things feel okay when I'm with you," he mumbles, voice raspy and almost filled with reluctance, as if saying it out loud means facing his growing attachment to me.

The words bring a flush to my cheeks and quicken the pace of my stolen heart, but I brush it off with a joking "It should be illegal for you to say things like that when I'm not allowed to kiss you."

He smirks, a quiet "Sorry," leaving his lips before falling silent in thought. Whatever it was that crossed his mind in the moment sobered him up, expression switching back to the downtrodden and defeated one he wore yesterday.

My poor, stepped on violet.

"What am I going to do, Joshua? I can't go back there.. I don't want to be near him," Tyler sighs, bottom lip quivering ever so slightly. Before I can interrupt though, he continues with his worried ramblings. "Do you know how hard it is for a 21 year old with no degree and no experience to find a job? I didn't even graduate high school." Laughing bitterly, almost exhaustedly at the thought, he adds "Got my ass kicked and ran away before I could."

"Ty, don't worry about that right now. We'll figure something out, I promise."

Out of habit, Tyler anxiously bites down on his lip; letting out a quiet hiss of pain when his teeth brush the cut and shakes his head. "You keep saying 'we', but it shouldn't be your problem to solve, Joshua."

"Well, Tyler Robert Joseph, I want you to be my problem," I assure him, statement full to the brim with sincerity. Really, he had been my problem ever since the holy day of September 16th. Nothing was going to change that now. "And you can call me an ignorant, oblivious fucking fool all you want. But I really will do anything for you."

"Don't make me cry again," he scolds with a soft laugh that awakens the butterflies deep in my stomach, rubbing at his tired eyes to rid away the watery veil making everything appear blurry. Long, clean fingers brushing my bed-hair backwards, Tyler wistfully wonders "Why does it feel like I've known you forever?"

That, I don't have an answer for.

All I do know is that I feel exactly the same way; a sentiment I return by placing a soft kiss to the undamaged corner of his lips, making my angel flush and giggle into the crook of my neck once more.

"You gonna be okay here if I go out this morning?" I ask cautiously, voice muffled against his messy hair. Honestly, I don't want to leave his side for a single second, but I think I owe a certain sleazebag a visit.

A pout forms on his beautiful face, but he nods nonetheless. And almost as if he can read my mind and pick up on the unspoken signals, Tyler murmurs against my warm skin with a flurry of kisses "Just be careful, please. Promise me you won't do anything stupid, darling."

"Promise, Ty."

|-/

The story makes its return to those same brick steps of that same young, whimsical flower shop in Columbus, Ohio. The one once home to my TylerTylerTyler, my precious little wildflower, who wasn't allowed to thrive here like the very flora on display.

My last visit here had been sweet; fitting for the image and the aura the homely business gave off from the outside.

This time, however, my visit would be the opposite. Bitter; a true representation of the building before me.

"Trust me, Dear Joshua. You don't want to work here. The flowers smell sweet, but oh, how it is bitter in there."

This time, rather than stopping to smell and allowing myself to become engulfed within the heavenly flowers in the air that used to feel like coming home, I find myself on autopilot; ignoring the call from the creamy-skinned and perfect-assed twink sporting an employee badge who resembles my angel an awful lot, and locking my sights on the back room.

The prick turns to face me and leans back against his desk, arching an unimpressed eyebrow and displaying nothing but complete and utter annoyance and distaste for my presence on his stone-cold face. God, I could knock that look straight off of his face.

"James," he tuts with a click of his tongue, deliberate incorrectness and venom lacing his tone, and I have to fight the urge to laugh in this bastard's face. "I suspect you are the reason that my Tyler didn't show at work today. Correct?"

"Listen," I begin, already feeling my fist instinctively clenching at my side. I wasn't a typically violent person, but I sure as hell had punched Pete a few times during our friendship, and even the simple sight of my Tyler last night was more than enough to light the fire under my ass and give me every reason to knock this guy out. "I'm not gonna entertain this bullshit, 'cause I'd really rather not be near you for a second longer than I have to."

He's cocky enough to smirk at this, looking entertained and waving a broad hand in front of him absentmindedly as if to signal me to continue.

"Not only is he not your Tyler, but he's also not your employee anymore. He quits."

When the prick has the audacity to laugh, I lose every shred of patience I was forcing myself to hold back until the last second; swinging my clenched fist and knocking him straight in the jaw, leaving him stumbling backwards with a tight hiss of pain. Control flies out of the window, and when the second hit catches his nose and a cracking sound echoes his office, I feel satisfaction overflowing and the unfiltered hate bursting through me.

Shaking out my aching hand with gritted teeth in an attempt to at least disguise the self-inflicted pain, I hiss "Go near him ever again, and we'll have a repeat. But I won't stop next time. If you ever lay another finger on the kid, I'll break all of them. So much as even look in his direction and you'll end up fucking blind, got it?"

I don't even give Mr. Fucking Weekes the time of day to form a gargled and no doubt pretentious response. Instead, I take a satisfying mental picture of his crimson-blood splattered face and crooked nose before taking leave with a spring in my step and a whole weight lifted off of my chest, uncrushing and allowing my vivid florets to blossom once more in an unstoppable fashion.

Chapter Text

Upon my triumphant return to the apartment, the sight of my TylerTylerTyler virtually drowning in my favourite hoodie, curled up on the sofa tiredly and clutching a mug of bitter black coffee between those delicate hands is more than enough to warm my heart, almost as though the flowers that consume me and wrap around the very muscle are alight like a forest fire that can’t be controlled.

Just like my growing infatuation with the brown-haired beauty.

I thought I was in deep way back when I first found myself falling into my Tyler Joseph Fairyland, but god that nothing compared to this. That was like paddling in the shallowest part of the sea, but this, this was like being swept away in the overbearing waves and drowning in every god damn inch of Tyler Robert Joseph. I was foolish to think I wouldn’t fall any further.

An ignorant, oblivious, fucking fool.

It was almost unfathomable how domesticated the two of us had become in such a brief period of time, both because this was only our 7th day of real life contact and because the kid in front of me was the same one who had told me on the holy day of September 16th that he was a wildflower; a wildflower with commitment problems and multiple partners who was unable to imagine himself growing in one place. Back then, he hadn’t considered allowing himself to blossom in one single place, with one sole partner to nurture his every need and help him flourish to full vibrancy.

But maybe that was changing. Or at least, I hoped it was.

And to anyone who would even consider telling me that being incomparably and infinitely in love with a boy I’d only really known for a singular week was absurd and unthinkable, well they could fuck off. After having him haunt my imagination and my mind and my dreams every damn second of every damn day for 5 months straight, after going so long with the constant TylerTylerTyler running through my brain like pure torture, after damn near losing my fucking mind over him completely and admitting my own downfall into insanity, after making love to him and leaving him squealing from overwhelming pleasure unlike anyone ever had before, after becoming his unofficial protector and breaking a bastard’s nose in his honour? I think I have every right to say that I am in love with Tyler Joseph.

“Honey, I’m home.” My tease as the door shuts behind me pulls another giggle from his wounded lips, one that I’m 100% sure I’ll never tire of hearing, as well as an eye-roll so similar to the ones I’m used to demonstrating. Maybe I’m rubbing off on him.

His chime-like laugh trails off into silence when he catches sight of my hand; reddened and already showing ever-so faint bruising with a split across the knuckles. I hadn’t even noticed the minimal damage until now, following his gaze and observing it myself. Perhaps it’d been the pure adrenaline and satisfaction of giving the bastard only a fraction of what he deserved, but nothing beyond the initial pain had even made itself known.

Joshua” Tyler scolds with a frown that leaves tiny creases between his eyebrows, reaching for my undamaged hand and dragging me onto the sofa beside him. He could try to be mad at me as much as he wanted, but that beautiful face struck no terror in me; only unstoppable infatuation. “You promised me you wouldn’t do anything stupid.”

I shrug, letting him fuss over the remnants of dried blood on my hand with only a slight flinch when he brushes across a particularly sore area; the movement sending an ache through the whole expanse of my hand. “I know. And I kept my promise.”

He holds my hand up in front of my face, the unthreatening glare in his big bambi-eyes being just about visible through the cracks between my fingers. And really, Tyler’s annoyed face was actually, and completely unsurprisingly, pretty damn adorable. Pissed-off was obviously just an expression an angel like him was never destined to achieve. “You have a split knuckle and blood over your fingers, Joshua. What about this says ‘not stupid’ to you?”

“This is actually not stupid at all,” I inform, lowering our adjoined hands so I can look at him directly. “Stupid would’ve been me taking one of the guns mounted on the wall at the bar and paying him a visit with that instead. Shooting the bastard right between the eyes, which I admittedly considered last night." Smirking at the joke that maybe wasn't as much of a joke as I'd have liked it to be, but more of a genuine consideration, I continue before he can even begin to interrupt me with another reprehension for my unapproved actions. "Ty, just look at yourself in the mirror. You can't seriously think he didn't at least deserve to get punched for what he did to you. Honestly, he deserved a hell of a lot more. But I was keeping my promise to you."

"I just-," Tyler sighs so faintly I just about catch it even in the near silent serenity of the apartment, diverting his concerned gaze from my own and tangling his delicate fingers in the furry throw beneath us absentmindedly, distracting himself from the topic at hand. "I don't want you getting hurt, Joshua."

"I'm not hurt, angel. This is nothing, it'll be healed in a few days like nothing ever happened." I murmur, coarse lips pressing against the backside of his interlinked hand in a show of comfort; almost instantly feeling the tension leave him and the distressed look being wiped clean from his pretty face. "Trust me. There's nothing to worry about anymore. Not for me, and definitely not for you. And anyway, you should see the other guy."

He visibly smirks at that, despite wanting to hide it and nudges his bruised knee into my side gently, reminiscent of the very ones he'd sported on our first meeting. Tyler reaches both of his hands out to caress either side of my face; thumbs smoothing along my cheeks and trailing down my jaw, brushing the rough stubble that'd formed in place over the passing few days. With a tilt of his head and a sudden conversation change, my angel mutters with a teasing scrunch of his perfect pixie-nose. "You smell like a walking advertisement for lung cancer, dear."

His comments catches me off guard, a low laugh bubbling in my throat as I gently slap his hands away from me in mock offence. "Charming."

"Never said I was complaining." Tyler's voice gets low, all breathy and raspy and seductive; the way it is when he wants something, that makes my stomach churn with desire and my head swim with lust so prominent that I end up feeling seconds away from fainting. My mind barely even has the time to comprehend the situation before the kid is scooting closer, breath hot on the skin of my neck and one soft hand trailing up the inside of my thigh; the other pressed against my chest and pinning me in place despite how light his touch is.

"You're so pretty, Joshua.."

The way those broken baby-doll lips drag torturously against my pulse point makes my breath hitch, and I can feel them twitch into a satisfied smirk against me. His lower hand ghosts over my crotch, where my dick just so happens to be embarrassingly half-hard already from the gentle touches, and causes me to buck up against him slightly. My angel hushes my impatience and oncoming neediness, pushing my hips back down, nipping at the underside of my jaw tenderly and lazily trailing the hand that was once resting on my chest down my abs and across my right hip where his own words are concretized in vivid black ink.

Tyler's exploring hand shifts and loses contact with my body briefly, dipping into the lower pocket of my jacket and before I can even blink, the weight of him is lifted off of me entirely; my neck feeling bare without his lips attached to it and my dick aching to have the weight of his heavenly warm thighs pressed against me once more. I look up at him, confused at the loss and dazed from desire, and he's backing away from me with a wink; a stolen half-drained carton of cigarettes and my lighter in his hand.

The little fucker.

I press the heels of my hands against my eyes in mock exasperation, willing the semi already beginning to press up against the tightness of my jeans to go away; really, it's a useless attempt at not giving my TylerTylerTyler the satisfaction of knowing what he does to me so damn easily, because the sly grin pulling at those pretty bubblegum-stained lips and revealing his adorably imperfect crooked teeth tells me that he already realises. And he loves it.

"You are unbelievable, Tyler Robert Joseph."

Sock-covered foot nudging open the glass door to the balcony, despite the fact that the temperature outside is still chilly, Tyler slides down to sit in the opening; his perfect ass blessing yet another surface in my soon-to-be holy apartment. Fuck, this place would probably be worth 10x it's original, shitty value now, thanks to its blessing by my fawnlette's presence alone.

"So I've been told, Joshua."

I still have absolutely no fucking idea how he can so easily switch from being this divinely defeated, vulnerable and delicate soul who I want to protect with every damn inch of my being to then being a fucking lust-inducing minx, leaving me feeling minuscule and powerless and worthless and just about ready to drop to my knees and do anything he asks of me within mere seconds. It is so fucking dangerous. He is so fucking dangerous.

But I've said it before, and I'll say it again. I'm a sucker for danger.

Especially when it comes in the form of this celestial boy with pouty lips and pretty doe-eyes and tuggable hair and a perfect ass and the constant lingering smell of bubblegum and cigarette smoke.

His delicate fingers pluck one of the few remaining cigarettes from the packet, resting it between the undamaged side of those rose-petal lips and muffling his raspy voice ever so slightly. "I am, however, usually used to receiving that compliment while there's a dick in my mouth or up my ass. You're different, dear. You're special."

Resisting the urge to blush pathetically at that statement, because a 27 year old man should absolutely not be getting flustered so easily over a pretty fawn-eyed boy calling him special, I shake my head in his direction with a gentle laugh. "Could've just asked, you know?"

Sharp-tongue darting out and wetting his lips, leaving them glossy and oh so inviting, he grins amusedly at me. "Oh, I know. But where's the fun in that?" He lights the cancerous stick and inhales the toxins that will one day destroy his beautiful body, blowing out a ring of smoke into the cool air and tapping away the ashes. "I love seeing you all riled up, darling." In a signal for me to join him, my angel pats the space beside him on the minuscule balcony with his free hand. Not that I needed any further convincing, as I was so under his spell that saying no to anything had become an impossible feat, but he pouts up at me with the saddest and softest puppy-eyes he can manage and sweet talks "Come and warm me up? 'M cold."

I'm across the room and on the floor beside him in a heartbeat, Tyler instantly climbing into my lap; long legs wrapping themselves around my waist, head resting on my shoulder and his free hand shifting to run through my hair in a way that sends a shiver down my spine, a shiver I know is most definitely not from the cool breeze of the Ohio air.

We sit in comfortable silence for a good few minutes, passing the cigarette back and forth, Tyler gazing out into the distance contemplatively and lost in thought and me keeping my gaze trained on my TylerTylerTyler, admiring every single detail about him as though it is the last time I'll ever see him. I look at his hair; the scruffy tresses atop of his pretty head, curled ever so slightly in some places and tangled where his fingers have anxiously raked through it, looking almost as though he has just woken up, yet still perfectly fluffy. I look at his eyes; the dark chocolate brown colour so deep they almost seem endless, the way they quite literally sparkle the way romance novels describe in what you usually think is just poetic bullshit, the unbelievably long eyelashes that frame them and flutter so elegantly with every tired blink. I look at his nose; his delicate little pixie nose, one I'm sure is something created by an artist himself, with the perfect slope and covered in a constellation of barely-visible freckles that could put the stars in the night sky to shame. I look at his lips; pouty, slightly chapped thanks to a combination of the frosty air and the healing cut in place but still oh so kissable, stained deep pink like a mixture of cherries and bubblegum and lining those overcrossed teeth that endear me so greatly. I'm about to start admiring his gloriously prominent collarbones that are peeking out beneath my oversized hoodie when my angel turns and locks his gaze with my own; pulling me out of my endless fawning and back into reality.

"Joshua?" Tyler's voice is quiet; husky from the smoking yet still as velvety smooth as the skin that covers his gorgeous body, not wanting to entirely disturb the peacefulness that has taken residence between us. "Do you believe that there's a time requirement upon the feeling of love?"

His unexpected words leave me blindsided, my mouth gaping slightly as I practically plead my brain to give me the ability to respond casually. To not let it show as clear as day on my face that no, I do not believe that there is a time requirement on love for the simple fact that I am inconceivably in love with him. Wouldn't that just be step number one in the heartshredding process of scaring away the the kid with commitment problems?

"I..uh.." I stutter slightly, internally cursing myself and trying not to completely melt under his soft and curious gaze. "I'm not sure what I believe, Ty.. Why?"

Perhaps the most generic and avoidable answer I've ever given in my life, but I supposed it worked well enough in avoiding a confession and putting the spotlight back onto him.

Tyler laughs, the same golden and auroral sound that sets off the butterflies deep in my stomach, makes my inner blossoms burst and fills my whole flora infested vessel with a feeling of pure love so airy that I'd float away had he not been anchoring me down. Almost in disbelief of himself, he shakes his head and mutters vaguely about something being crazy that I don't quite catch. But before I can ask what he's rambling about in my confusion, my TylerTylerTyler looks up at me again, fawn-eyes shining, baby-doll lips tugging into a sincere smile and states simply:

"Because I think I love you too, Joshua Dun."

Chapter Text

My mother always told me that love like the kind you see in movies and read about in romance novels didn't exist.

According to her, there was no such thing as love at first sight, no such thing as soulmates. Even the mere suggestion that there was someone out there you were destined to be with all along was laughable to her. According to her, there was no such thing as falling hard and fast for someone who unexpectedly came into your life and turned everything upside down, leaving you with that same feeling that a high speed rollercoaster gives you. When your head feels fuzzy and your heart is racing and it's almost impossible to think straight. That kind of love simply wasn't possible.

But then again, my mother didn't believe in homosexuality. So fuck her.

In her eyes, love was between a man and a woman. Two people who had been through the formalities of first dates and meeting the parents and cliché romantic gestures and dating for at least a whole year before the big 'L' word could even be thought about seriously. Love, in her eyes, most certainly wasn't bred between a boy barely out of his teens and the older man who worked the bar at the local hole-in-the-wall.

But like I said, fuck her opinion.

One thing I could say for sure about love though, was that it most definitely wasn't my area of expertise. Up until my 21st year on this godforsaken planet, the only kind of love I'd ever experienced was familial. And even that was forced upon them as a simple duty of being a parent, not to mention only temporary until the day they found out their son liked it up the ass. And despite the fact that many men since my departure had willingly given me just that, not once had I ever felt even the tiniest spark of love for them.

Honestly, most of the time I didn't even like them as people. They were just good fucks. Distractions from the dismal reality of my life and the waging wars in my mind. And that's okay, because that's all I ever was to them too.

Sometimes I think that if I'd have stuck around for long enough, tested out the waters of commitment, and put a little more effort into actually caring, then maybe I could've eventually loved Brendon. Maybe. But what kind of love would that have been? Two people loving each other for the sake of needing or even just wanting someone else, for the sake of not wasting the time and effort shovelled into a dull relationship just to keep it afloat.

Kind of sounded like my parents.

And that definitely wasn't the kind of love I wanted.

Honestly? I didn't think I wanted love at all. I didn't think love was something destined for me. Never experiencing it yourself while watching everyone else around you get high on infatuation kind of ended up doing that to you. Plus, commitment had always sounded boring. Like I told Joshua way back when, I hated committing. I hated being tied down, being limited, having someone being dependent on me. I liked walking in the rain whenever I wanted. I liked to climb fire escapes whenever I wanted. I liked to be alone whenever I wanted. And I really liked to pick flowers and tie them in my hair whenever I felt like it.

But lately, I had slowly begun to realise that perhaps committing didn't necessarily mean giving up my freedom. The very freedom I thrived on was still on the cards if you found someone willing to love you for who you were; willing to love you even if you were a wildflower who had the original intentions of never growing in one place and living life as you pleased.

And Joshua William Dun most definitely loved me, being a wildflower and all.

Our 'relationship' so far had been unconventional to say the least. It wasn't like one of those romance movies or novels. We weren't two dying teenagers falling hopelessly in love, we weren't starcrossed lovers who chased the thrill of our relationship being forbidden, we were not a damsel in distress who needed saving and her knight in shining armour.

Perhaps that last one was a partial lie.

But really, we were just two people who happened to be in the right place at the right time, thanks to his low-pay job and my insistence on drowning my endless problems in copious amounts of liquor, and had an equal want to fuck the other stranger, kiss them, just do something. And though all I got from him was conversation and some story sharing on September 16th, my commitment problems had disappointingly told me that I would probably not see Joshua William Dun again.

I hadn't expected him to find me again.

And I most certainly hadn't expected to fall in love with him.

The sheer suggestion of being hopelessly in love with this man I'd only known for such a short period of time was unusual to say the least, and was one that would absolutely earn me a slap across the face along with a lasting bruise from my mother had we still been in contact. It was one that nobody would even will themselves to believe, probably telling me that it was unthinkable, inconceivable, that I was simply blinded by lust and assumed otherwise, that I had matter-of-factly fallen in love with the way he treated me rather than falling in love with Joshua himself.

But I'm sure that I love him. I may not know a lot about love, but I do know that.

I know that the feeling I get when I look at him is one I've never felt before in my life. As cliché as it sounds, that feeling really is indescribable and impossible to fathom.

I get that feeling every damn time he looks at me with those deep hazel eyes; all black coffee and honey, reminding me so wholly of the fall and somehow making me feel at home despite never knowing where my true home was at all. I get it when his lips are pressed against my skin; always velvety soft and warm, the brushing of his hot cigarette-scented breath on my neck leaving every single hair on my body standing upright. I get it when he holds me; those toned, vividly tattooed arms wrapping around me like a barrier of complete safety, grounding me when it feels like my whole head is spinning and leaving me never wanting to leave his embrace. I get it when he laughs; the sound low and breathy in a way that brings an instant grin to my own lips, his tongue peeking out between perfectly white teeth and the crinkles around his pretty eyes making a welcomed appearance. I especially get it when his strong, slightly coarse hands hold my face; thumbs brushing across my cheekbones soothingly and sweet whispers and reassurances and murmurs of 'angel' falling from his lips.

Perhaps I really am just a crazy headcase, but I'm convinced Joshua William Dun was put on this earth just for me. Whether that be to save me, protect me or even just make me happy, I wasn't sure. But he was here, nonetheless.

I giggle at the stunned look on his face, almost as if he is having difficulty comprehending the fact that I both just told him that I loved him too and had heard him originally whisper the sweet sentiment to me whilst I was half-dazed and near unconscious. He always calls me the beautiful one, but I only wish he could see himself from my point of view sometimes. Like right now, with his messy, ruby-tinted curls blowing slightly in the breeze, the ray of sun desperately trying to break through the dismal clouds making his nose ring glint almost as bright as his lovestruck eyes and his flushed cheeks matching-tone with his perfectly parted lips.

With a mocking tut, I tease "Close your mouth, darling. You'll end up catching flies," and turn my gaze from his nonchalantly despite the fact that my heart too is racing at full speed, taking a final drag of the near-finished cigarette and blowing the toxic smoke in the opposite direction to his gorgeous face.

Josh appears on the brink of collaborating his messy thoughts and finally speaking, but stutters, eyebrows furrowing, and just about chokes out a "Ty.."

"I'm serious, Joshua." I feel the need to reinstate that fact, for the look painting his features makes it seem as though he believes this is some sort of cruel prank; like his heartstrings are an empty playground and I am just a spiritless child, playing on them for a quick burst of entertainment to sate my boredom within my current life. "I told you, darling. Subtlety was never your strong suit."

"You love me?"

"I love you."

His silky lips are on mine swifter than a heartbeat; Josh not caring for the roughness of my damaged lips, and me not caring for tedious ache that the added pressure on my injury brought with it. It was near impossible to even take heart to the dull throbbing when it was losing the battle of dominance to the breathtaking pleasure of my Joshua licking into my mouth; teeth and tongues clashing, his hand tangling in the ruffled hair at the base of my neck and an unexpected, breathy whimper being pulled from me when he deepens the kiss.

We pull back to catch our breaths that were snatched so suddenly, and with cracked lips still glossy from his saliva I murmur lowly, "I definitely love you."

He laughs at that; the very laugh that sets my heart on fire with those squinted eyes and blindingly white teeth on show, and all I can do is smile what is perhaps the most genuine smile of my entire life. I know in that moment that if I had one singular wish, it'd be to have that butterfly-inducing laugh as the very last sound I hear before my inevitable demise. Hearing my Joshua's laugh as my life faded to darkness before my very eyes would make everything worth it.

Tongue poking between his teeth and his unstoppable grin far from fading, the red-haired man predictably replies, "I definitely love you too."

"So.. you gonna take me on a real date anytime soon, old man? 'M not sure me watching you pour drinks on Valentine's Day really counted." Resting my head back on his shoulder, I smirk up at him and await my answer. Honestly, we could never go on a real date for as long as we have left on this shitty earth and I wouldn't be able to bring myself to care, for any second spent with the older man was a second well spent in my eyes. But hey, teasing him never got old.

Josh rolls his eyes in an expected fashion, though his pretty lips are still twisted at the corner and fighting back an over-joyous grin. Humming with mock contemplation into my hair and sending a shiver down my spine, he sighs "I guess I could take a night off work sometime this week. Just for you, angel."

"Good." Tongue darting across my lips and still tasting the remnants of our kiss, a sickening bitter mixture of bubblegum and black coffee and cigarette smoke, I press them against his neck and nip at the pale skin. "If you're lucky and impress me enough, I'll finish what I started earlier."

And when I look up at him gazing down at me so lovingly, the way couples appear in those unrealistic chick-flicks, and smiling so brightly he could probably light up even the darkest parts of my thoughts, I get a stirring feeling deep in my chest that tells me everything is going to be alright.

I'm going to be okay again.

Chapter Text

It's not unusual to hear people saying that love is infectious; leaving you all heart-eyed and cheerful and overbearingly optimistic and so on top of the dismal world that quite literally nothing could bring you down. And honestly, that always sounded like bullshit to me. Like something you'd read about in some teen romance novel that led young hopefuls into believing that love was the be all, end all of life; the singular thing that would make their lives worth living and solve every problem they'd ever encountered.

But god fucking damn.

Ever since my pretty little angel had repeated those sacred three words to me that I was so convinced I would never hear, I had most definitely been on top of the world.

So on top of the world and heart-eyed and sickeningly cheerful and so overbearingly optimistic that I hadn't even had to ask Pete for that night off from work; he and Pat had simply gotten so fatigued in watching me parading my newfound infatuation around like a peacock displaying it's feathers, constantly getting distracted every time my phone so much as lit up with a text notification from Tyler and pouting about missing his company whenever there were a few beats of silence between us that they'd sent me home only an hour into my shift. Not that it mattered though really, considering weekdays at the bar weren't even close to being busy.

And honestly? I don't blame them for being sick of my lovesickness.

I had worked at this bar for around six years now, meaning I'd personally suffered through six years' worth of watching them flirt. Pete doing his deep booming laugh, and Patrick letting out high pitched giggles at anything Pete did. Six years' worth of watching the older men slowly but surely fall in love with each other. Denying it at first but eventually giving in and confessing to me what I'd already known all along. Six years' worth of watching them suck each others faces off and sneak inappropriate touches to each other beneath the counter of the bar when customers were few and dry. Six' years worth of hearing Pat's moans whenever he and Pete did 'stock checks' in the back room while I was forced to do overtime.

I definitely knew how tedious it got, but hey. The two of them probably deserved a little pay back from me.

My newfound freedom was how I found myself standing in front of my TylerTylerTyler's apartment door for the very first time; a single wild violet in one hand and my flora-ridden heart practically in my mouth, akin to a nervous and sweaty teenage boy waiting on the porch of his homecoming date's house while her over-protective dad watched with a stern glare from the sidelines. To be nervous around him at this point was utterly ridiculous, especially for a 27 year old man, but who wouldn't find themselves trembling at least a little upon coming face to face with a celestial being such as himself? A boy who I was completely and utterly convinced was a real life angel not meant for this earth.

"Dear Joshua."

The door swings open to reveal my favourite, syrupy-sweet voice all breathy and his pretty face flushed as though my appearance startled him. "You're early. I'm not ready, I-" Seeing him so flustered and almost wordless for once was a starling change from the quick-witted, sharp-tongued, composed boy I was so very used to. As with everything the kid did though, it was pretty fucking adorable.

"You want me to go away and come back in 10 minutes or..?" I tease, leaning against the frame of the door and raising an inquisitive eyebrow at him.

"What? No," Tyler stutters, looking almost frantically over his shoulder and back into the apartment. It's impossible for me to not laugh at his unusual panic; the sound snapping his attention back to me and a pout forming on his lips. He smacks me gently in the arm, scolding "Stop laughing at me," before stepping aside to finally let me in.

I pull the shirtless boy into my hold, forcing myself to ignore the sight of the few hickeys still prominent across his tanned skin, and kiss the side of his head reassuringly despite the laughter still dying off on my lips. "'M not laughing at you, angel. I'm just happy. And you just look extra cute when you're all distracted."

I didn't think it was physically possible but his cheeks flush an even deeper shade of pink, almost as rosy as his pouty lips, and he pulls away from me; his hand reaching down to remove a rubber band that is wrapped around his slim wrist. Before I can even question it, Tyler remarks "Just uh.. make yourself at home, or something? That's what people say to guests right? People don't usually come here. I-um, I'll be like five minutes, tops. Promise," with a gesture to the couch, disappearing down a small hallway and into an adjoining room.

The cause of his uncommon jittery-ness leaves me clueless, and just like that time Mr. Weekes got all handsy with him on the brick steps of the flower shop, just like when he turned up to the bar beaten and bruised in a reflection of his younger self, he seemed vulnerable. Though it was rather unsettling to see again, it only served to hydrate the flora that resided in my vessel; making them bloom substantially and break free of my bodily restraints once more to reach our TylerTylerTyler and protect him from the growing darkness.

I was ready to block out any weed attempting to infest his wildflower patch.

Taking a seat on the couch, I do a quick scan of his apartment and in one sense it's almost exactly what you'd expect of a 21 year old; a few fast food wrappers littering the kitchen, an empty cigarette carton, a half filled coffee mug and a worn out novel on the desk beside the window, even a simple vase that was home to nearly wilted flowers. Oh, the irony. The one thing that does catch my eye is that small moleskin notebook that has spent more time beside my angel than I have myself; opened face-down on the coffee table carelessly and practically begging to be thumbed through. Despite the fact that I scold myself internally for considering looking at its contents without permission, my body appears to be working on its own accord as the book is already in my grasp and being turned to the front page.

During my time in Tyler Joseph Fairyland, I'd always imagined the minuscule notebook to hold those adorably artistic drawings of us, alongside little poems and quotes and vague words scrawled across the pages in a font that resembled the very one that marked the old bar with his flora poetry from that day in December. And my assumptions weren't a far cry at all. Littering the pages were endless quotes of sorts, perhaps lyrics.

"I'm dying and I'm trying but believe me, I'm fine."

"Don't know what's inside of me."

"Won't you torture someone else's sleep?"

They're slightly concerning, to say the least, but any train of thought I had regarding his cryptic quotes flies off the rails and into my unconscious when I make it back to the page it'd been left on most recently. The pristine page was completely blank and looked almost untouched, aside from four words written in his delicate, dark cursive in the upper left corner.

"To my dear Joshua,"

That's it. Those four words are the only thing on the page, clear as day. And the ink still has a damp shine to it, meaning it was most likely written very recently. Perhaps this was the reason my TylerTylerTyler has been so flushed upon my arrival. I'd never imagined him to be one to write heartfelt love notes and confessions of adoration; poetic words with dark undertones, sure, as already proven by the inky words brandishing my right hip, but love notes? They seemed too.. conventional for a kid as mysterious and offbeat as my favourite.

Not that I was complaining.

I lay the moleskin back in it's original place with a soft smile; I know that one day I'll get this letter from him, and it'll absolutely be worth the wait. I can already imagine it now, Tyler's graceful words pinned right beside his Valentine's drawing of the two of us and serving as my every day reminder of how much I truly love this kid.

Less than a minute later, my angel makes his reappearance, and god does he look heavenly; his hair, as usual, is unstyled and messy but perfect nonetheless - soft, curled slightly at the ends and begging for me to run my hands through it in the way that draws kitten-esque purrs from him. He's wearing a crisp white button up that contrasts his honey skin and the vivid black markings along his arms, the collar managing to disguise a good percentage of the yellowing bruise still wrapped around his neck, and his usual black, ripped skinny jeans and banged-up boots.

"I'm not.. underdressed, am I?" Tyler asks with a nervous bite of his bottom lip, tongue instantly darting out to soothingly brush across the healing cut when he knocks it and winces lightly.

I grin, simply amazed that this boy honestly believes he looks anything less than impeccable, and shake my head. "Not underdressed at all, angel. Just missing something. Come here."

Despite the fact that he tilts his head at me and arches an eyebrow suspiciously, he still steps forward and meets me halfway. Retrieving the single wild violet identical to those that made up his flower crown, I gently tuck it behind his ear and reach up to hold his face between my hands; giving myself a moment to just appreciate and soak up every single feature of the fawnlette who was finally mine. "There. As beautiful as ever."

"You are quite possibly the most charming man I have ever had the pleasure of encountering, Joshua Dun."

"I do try."

|-/

One Taco Bell stop and a 15 minute drive later, the two of us are wrapped up in a blanket and sitting on the bonnet of my shitty car, parked just beside the local lake typically filled with screaming hordes of children during the summertime, but now peacefully silent with not a single soul around. Tyler is settled beside me, his head taking claim on my shoulder and our free hands interlaced together; the only sounds between us for a while being the occasional crunching of food, his soft breaths and the thumping of our heartbeats which I'm convinced are synced up at this point.

"This certainly wasn't what I was expecting when I suggested the idea of a real date, Joshua." His syrupy-sweet voice that I would happily drown in is the first to break the silence, the smirk playing on his lips being evident even within his tone.

I switch my gaze from the moonlight reflected water and to his pretty face instead, the latter being the more aesthetically pleasing view in my opinion, and taunt back at him. "What, you wanted to be properly wined and dined? With expensive champagne and appetisers the size of my finger and a live band playing in the background? Cliché, Ty. Cliché."

He snorts at that, an incredibly soft elbow knocking into my ribs as he somehow gracefully licks the remnants of his nachos from his fingers. "Shut up, J. You know that's not what I meant."

Tyler uses his newly freed up hand to grasp the blanket tighter around the two of us, leaning across and sneakily taking a sip from the drink resting between my legs. It'd be a lie to say the sight of his bubblegum-stained lips wrapped around the straw didn't do something to me. "Just didn't think an old man like you would be into the 'teen chick-flick' kinda date. 'M not complaining. I've had enough Red Lobster dates to last me a lifetime."

"I'm offended that you thought, even for a second, that I'd be tacky enough to take you to Red Lobster for our first date, angel." I shake my head at him with mock offence, turning my cheek in rejection when the kid tries to reach up to plant an apologetic kiss in place, his auroral giggle sounding through the quiet lull of the evening. The golden sound alone is enough to tear down my barrier of feigned indignation, so the second he tugs at the hem of my shirt with a soft pout, I can't resist but to lean down and kiss the tip of his pixie-nose.

With a precious grin of silent satisfaction at knowing that I'll always give in to him, he tilts his head upwards and gazes at the night sky; ridiculously long eyelashes fluttering with fascination. "You know anything interesting about stars, darling?"

"Actually, yeah. I had to help my sister with this science project before in school. Found out that they don't actually twinkle. They just look like they do 'cause of light deflection or something. Weird, right?" I recall, my gaze following his own and looking at the dark expanse above us, littered with endless stars so bright that they illuminate our surroundings; the view being one that is almost as exquisite as the gleam in my angel's pretty fawn-eyes. "Kinda like finding out Santa isn't real."

My favourite sighs wistfully, keeping his sights locked on the glinting heavens above us. "That's life, Joshua. Everything pretty in life, everything that seems perfect and desirable, has a downfall. Stars don't truly twinkle. Flowerbeds are infested by unruly weeds. And humans.. Well. Humans are more complex. But believe me, everyone has their downfalls."

This kid is so fucking poetic and wise for his age that I'm briefly stunned into silence; wanting to argue that no, he is so god damn perfect that he can't possibly have any downfalls, but I know that I would be wrong. I know he is a stepped on violet who has faced far too much destruction already within his short life. And now, all I know is that I'll be damned if anything else even attempts to ruin my wild flower.

"That doesn't mean our downfalls have to define us." I quip, running my fingers through his soft fluff of waves that'd been rustled ever so slightly by the nights breeze.

His only response is a quiet hum; whether that is in quiet agreement or passive disagreement, I'm not sure, but what I do know is that the contented expression painted across my TylerTylerTyler's face leaves me with the overwhelming urge to kiss those baby-doll lips once more. Not that the urge ever really went away. It was almost impossible to never have it at least lingering in the back of my mind when faced with this beautiful boy.

My angel's gaze falls to my lips, and I only lean forward the slightest touch before he's meeting me in the middle. This kiss, unlike our usual passion-soaked and heated endeavours, is gentle and soft and slow and syrupy-sweet, just like my baby; no teeth and tongues, just the delicate brushing of our lips as he rests his hand on my cheek, thumb brushing across the my light stubble tenderly and leaving my head as fuzzy as ever and my flora thriving on pure adoration.

He threads my bottom lip between his teeth smoothly as we break away; a barely audible and wet smack sounding when he lets go. Hot breath brushing across my face in the most heavenly way, Tyler murmurs "If I remember correctly, darling, I did promise to finish what I started not too long ago if you were lucky and impressed me enough."

"Are you impressed?" I tilt my head at him, voice raspy and lips begging to be touched once more.

"J, I was impressed as soon as we pulled up at Taco Bell." Tyler smirks at this teasingly, thumb still swiping across my face lovingly.

"What can I say? I know the way into the hearts of college age kids."

He grins, overcrossed teeth on full display and tiny dimples forming beside his lips. "You mention the fact that I'm younger than you an awful lot, Joshua. You enjoy being a cradle robber, huh? Want me to start calling you dadd-"

I cut him off with another peck on his still slicked-up and glossy lips and shift to plant my feet back on the ground. I reach out my arms towards him and wrap him up in my hold the instant he clings onto me, long legs with beautifully bruised knees hooking above my hips and his tanned arms interlocking around my neck. A musical giggle that appears as the perfect soundtrack for the very stars above us rings into the air when I spin him around playfully, and with a nuzzle into my neck, Tyler chimes "We gonna hook up in your backseat like one of those 80's films now?"

"You know it, baby boy."

Chapter Text

The remainder of our February flies by quicker than a blink of an eye; the so called 'honeymoon period' of our not-so-official relationship in full force and only serving to make me fall harder and deeper and faster every single god damn day of my life. I thought that maybe I'd already given up every inch of my being to Tyler Robert Joseph on the holy day of September 16th when I first heard his story, and when I knew deep in my heart that I wanted him to be mine forever, but now?

Now I was sure of it. More sure of it that I'd ever been of anything in my entire life.

Any time I look over at him, fast asleep with his pouty lips parted ever so slightly and his hair all scruffy and his delicate fingers clutching at the blankets, I know I'd die for the kid. I feel it when he wakes me up with early morning kisses, littering them across my face and along the expanse of my bare chest; greeting me with a toothy grin when my eyes eventually flutter open. I feel it whenever he attempts to cook for the two of us, taking residence in the kitchen wearing only a loose pair of my joggers and singing quietly to himself with his heavenly voice.

The first time I'd heard him sing, I was completely and utterly convinced that my TylerTylerTyler was not only an angel, but also a siren too, as his enchanting voice would surely draw any living sailor to his untimely death. I myself was certainly drawn in instantly, but drowning in the sound of his gorgeous voice would be a death I could only pray to experience whenever my time finally came.

Could he be any more perfect?

I feel it whenever I watch him interacting with Pete and Patrick at work, giggling at Pat's sarcasm and flushing lightly whenever he catches Pete's admiring gaze lingering on him for just a few beats too long, always earning himself a smack upside the head from both myself and his boyfriend. I especially feel it with a force so overwhelming that it's comparable to being punched directly in the stomach whenever those sacred three words leave his pretty rose-petal lips; whether it's him sleepily mumbling them into the crook of my neck as I carry him to bed, panting out the words all breathy and raspy when he collapses on my chest post-love making session, or even if it's a simple text on the days we can't be together. Regardless of the situation, the 'I love you' gets me every god damn time.

He really does love me.

And I love him more than I could ever put into fathomable words.

|-/

By mid-March, Tyler is practically living with me.

We spend our days together, either out on dates at the contemporary coffee shop near my apartment where my angel drinks his bitter black coffee and rambles on about poetry and music and whichever new novel he's reading while I listen intently and adoringly admire the way his pretty features light up with pure excitement, or strolling through the nearby park when the days begin to get pleasant enough; walking hand in hand, shoulders bumping tenderly and Tyler stopping occasionally to pick scattered wild flowers from the ground, fashioning a completely mismatched flora crown to place atop of my own head with a soft laugh.

I always pretend like I don't notice the disapproving glances we draw from young mothers near the play area, and if Tyler notices? Well he doesn't mention it either.

Some nights he covers Pete or Pat's shifts at the bar, working alongside me but serving as more of a distraction than anything. Every spare second I get without a drunkard demanding my service, my hands are on his bitty-bitty waist and my chin is resting on his shoulder, scattering a constellation of minuscule kisses along his tanned neck while breathing in the oh-so-familiar scent of my angel; the sickening mix of sweet bubblegum and wild violets and fresh cigarette smoke entangling with the overbearing smell of hard liquor that the old tavern holds in a nauseating concoction that makes working feel like coming home in the most unconventional way.

Though his distracting company is sometimes detrimental to my own work, the customers certainly love him; every greasy-haired hipster and broke college kid and affair-seeking elder man that graces our bar with their presence falls for his boyish charm eventually. He's able to sell another round of drinks to just about anyone with one simple bat of his eyelashes and a pout of those kissable, cherry-stained lips.

"That kid is a fucking godsend." Pete tells me one night, when my favourite and his flirtatious antics just so happens to rake up the biggest single-night income we've seen in months at the bar, maybe even years.

All I simply respond is "You're telling me." with a grin so wide and overbearingly joyous that it genuinely concerns Patrick, the smaller man mentioning that he's never seen me that happy during our whole friendship.

It wouldn't even be a long-shot to say that I'd never been this happy before in my entire life.

|-/

April is when my angel and I hit our first bump in the road, in a sense.

Once more, I find myself standing outside of my TylerTylerTyler's apartment door, my flora-ridden heart practically in my mouth again yet not out of those typical 'first-date' kind of nerves this time around. This time, the feeling isn't one of butterflies of anticipation and blossoming love deep in my stomach like the kind they fawn over in romance movies. This time, it's more of a deep sinking feeling, a sickly churning as though my whole vessel is suffering an infestation of insects; the critters eating away at the flora that I thrive on and leaving me ruined and no longer beautiful inside.

I just know something is wrong.

I probably should've picked up on that when the kid was unusually quiet during our cover shift at the bar on Friday night, only giving me a faint and empty laugh whenever I teased him and quiet nods if I asked him questions. I probably should've picked up on that when Tyler went back to his own apartment rather than coming home with me that night, bidding me goodbye with a soft kiss, a shaky smile and a promise to text me the next day. I probably should've noticed things weren't right when he didn't text me at all on Saturday, not even replying to my attempts at conversation and not answering a single one of my calls.

But I'm a fool.

An ignorant, oblivious fucking fool.

And honestly? I'm not sure if I'm ready to find out what's wrong.

I give the white door labelled '21B' a sharp tap, the hollow sound echoing the empty hallways and leaving me in resounding silence once more. I wait precisely 10 seconds, counted in my head, as my fingers itch for a smoke to calm my nerves, and knock again. This time, I call out a "Ty? Are you in there? I mean, I guess you've gotta be in there because I'm not sure where else you could be but I'm getting really worried and-"

"Joshua." He interrupts me, usually syrupy-sweet voice now cracked and gravelly sounding quietly from the other side of the barrier between us. "Please just go home."

Though I feel my heart sink down to the slowly rotting remains of flowers deep in my stomach, I shake off the pang of hurt and try again to get to the bottom of the problem. "Did I do something wrong, Ty? Even if you don't want to let me in, I just wanna know that you're okay."

"You didn't do anything wrong." Though his words should be reassuring and calming my nerves that are threatening to wash over me like a tidal wave, they only build further concern for what the problem could actually be. Ever since that day back in February with the Mr. Weekes encounter, I never wanted to see my angel broken and vulnerable like that ever again, and I'd silently vowed to myself that his unofficial protector is exactly what I'd be.

I'd be damned if I was going to let something else hurt him now.

"I just don't want to see anyone."

Resting my palm flat on the surface of the door and leaning against it, as though it would magically make me closer to my TylerTylerTyler, I can't help but plead. No matter how desperate and pathetic I may sound. None of that matters when it comes to him. "Please open the door, angel. You might not want to see me but I need to see you. I need to know that you're okay."

Silence overtakes us once more, putting me on edge and making me worry that I'd scared him off and ruined my chances of being let in completely. It was stupid of me to rush in like this. He was like a baby deer after all; one you needed to take time and precision with when approaching, taking baby steps and keeping your voice low and comforting as to not startle him. As I sit here, cursing myself internally for my approach, the door opens slowly and surprisingly.

At a first glance, you wouldn't notice much different about the brown-haired beauty, but the more I look at him? The more I notice.

His usually tanned, honey-and-milk skin is a touch paler than usual, as if he hasn't seen the sun for a few days, and his usually fluffy locks are flat; unwashed, as Patrick had always chided him for during my months trapped in Tyler Joseph Fairyland, and messy. Those usually fluttering eyelashes were damp and clumped together, his pretty fawn-eyes watery and bloodshot and his flushed cheeks still soaked with tear tracks, painted a patchy pink colour. What was perhaps the most concerning though, was his slim wrist; in place was the same thin rubber band I'd noticed not too long ago, and the skin beneath it was rubbed raw, tender and looking seconds away from breaking and setting the blood of his veins free.

I take my own advice and approach him calmly this time, taking a small step forward but still leaving slight distance between us. My efforts at tip-toeing around him are unnecessary though, as the moment my arms open in suggestion of a hug, my baby is falling into my hold like routine; face nuzzling into my chest and tattooed arms locking around my waist as though he never wants to let go.

"'M sorry." His voice is so unlike I'm used to hearing, sounding almost empty and lifeless as opposed to the syrupy-sweetness filled with grace and wit and sarcasm that I adore so greatly.

"Hey, hey, hey.." I murmur, tilting his face up to meet my gaze. "Why are you apologising? You have nothing to be sorry for, baby."

Reddened eyes lacking any real emotion and appearing scarily dull, Tyler just about manages to croak out an answer. "'M sorry for worrying you.." The way his voice trails off at the end makes it sound as though he has more to say, as if he has more he wants to uselessly apologise for, but he can't bring himself to say it.

I especially can't bring myself to push him any further just yet.

"Not a reason to be sorry, Ty. Of course I was worried, but you don't need to apologise for it." My hushed reassurance is paired with a tender kiss to each of his tear-stained cheeks, leaving a salty taste resonating on my lips and making my vine-wrapped heart ache for him. "C'mon, let's go and sit down."

I have to practically carry the kid over to the couch, his body so fragile and weak in my arms. It's almost as though every single movement is an effort for him, sucking out the few minuscule remnants of energy that he holds. Relaxing back into the soft cushions, he shuffles closer to me and relaxes into my side, fitting snugly as though he is made to be there; my arm draped across his shoulder and drawing soothing, mindless patterns along the skin of his upper arm.

"Angel, can you show me your wrist? Is it okay if I look at it?" I murmur softly into his hair, not minding the unwashed scent and the hint of old, wilting violets that fills my senses in the slightest.

I feel Tyler tense against me, just barely yet still noticeable, and he hesitates for a few mute moments before nodding and holding it out in front of us. With my free hand, I brush my fingers against the raw skin and force myself to ignore the fact that my angel flinches at the contact; staring at the damage caused himself with a blank expression despite the fact that his fawn eyes are covered with a thin veil of tears.

"Is it okay if I take the band off, Ty?" My voice is barely a whisper at this point, but I know I have to check with him first.

My question seems to panic him, and injects the first sign of real emotion into his pretty features since I arrived. And it certainly wasn't an emotion I wanted to witness.

Fear.

"I can't, J." Tyler shakes his head, and the noticeable twitch of his fingers is enough to signal his internal debate of whether or not to pull his hand from my grasp. "I need to keep it on. I need it."

Slowly bringing his wrist closer to me, I look down to meet his unnerving gaze and keep my voice low. "Hey, how about we make a compromise? We'll take it off for a while, but you can have it back. 'M not taking it off you forever. Just need to give your wrist a break, yeah?" When his eyes flicker with uncertainty, I lift his hand to press a velvety-soft kiss to the damaged skin, the soothing gesture being the decision maker as Tyler simply nods once more in agreement with a hitch of his breath; doe-eyes fluttering shut and his hand going slack in my hold.

With as much care and precision as I can physically muster up, I slide my fingers beneath the rubber band to loosen it and slowly remove it from his hand; tucking it into the pocket of my hoodie for safekeeping. I hear my angel breathe out a quiet sigh of what sounds like relief, and with another peck planted across the stinging skin, I hum against him with a comforting smile despite the fact that I wish to do anything but smile right now. "That wasn't so bad, was it?"

My baby shakes his head in agreement, damp eyes trained on the now bare wrist in front of him with a look I can't decipher. So badly do I want to ask more questions, to dig deeper and be let in on his problems in the hopes of it allowing me to help him; of it giving me some sort of signal on how to make things right for this boy who deserved all of the happiness in the world. But I knew it'd have to wait. I knew those things came with time, and we had more than enough of that.

Almost as if he can read my thoughts once more, he breaks the quiet lull of the apartment with a rough voice that feels like sandpaper grating down my skin, no doubt gained from rubbing his throat as raw as the skin on his wrist. "Can we talk about this later, J? Please. I just want to sleep right now."

"We don't have to talk about anything until you're ready, angel." I remind him, fingers brushing through his knotted and greasy hair. "Want me to take you to bed?"

In a non-verbal answer that is still clear as day to me, Tyler shifts onto my lap and clings to me in his classic koala-style; long legs hooking around my hips and head resting in the crook of my neck with a yawn overflowing with so much pure exhaustion that it makes the vines of my inner-garden stab into my heart like sharp pinpricks once more. The kid is already seconds away from sleep in my arms when I make it to the bedroom, laying him down on his claimed side of the double bed and tucking him up in the fuzzy comforter. When I reach over to switch off the lamp beside him, he peers up at me, chocolate-eyes lidded, rose-petal lips parted slightly and groggily mumbles out his parting words for the time being.

"I love you s'much, J."

"I love you too, Ty."

Chapter Text

The story continues, once more, at an apartment.

Finding things to occupy yourself with in someone else's apartment, that you don't visit regularly, proved to be a harder task than I'd first assumed. During the course of our 'relationship' so far, I'd only been to Tyler's apartment a handful of times, and even then it was only either to pick him up or drop him off after a date. For some unknown reason, the kid simply preferred spending time at my place now, and had probably moved enough of his belongings over with him that it seemed more like he lived with me rather than alone.

Not that I minded in the slightest, though.

I'd tried watching TV to distract myself until he woke up, some brainless and mind-numbingly unamusing marathon of some old sitcom, but I couldn't even bring myself to focus on the forced humour and unrealistic antics of the characters. All that my mind had kept wandering back to was my TylerTylerTyler; the image of him so ruined and exhausted haunting my thoughts and eating away at my flora and making me question everything.

How had I never noticed that he was having problems before?

I'd seen my TylerTylerTyler vulnerable and broken and downtrodden before, it was exactly how he had been the very first time I encountered the mysterious doe-eyed boy with his bruised knees, beaten face and ruby-tinted fingers three years back on that fateful day in December. I'd seen him tired and distressed and filled with overpowering grief back in February after the encounter with his bastard of a boss. But this?

This was different.

Different how, I couldn't necessarily explain, but things just didn't feel right this time around.

After my unsuccessful attempts of sitting still and focusing on the poorly made tv show for longer than a few minutes at a time, I divert my distracted attention to tidying up his uncared for apartment instead; the place looking overly lived in and un-shockingly as though it hadn't been cleaned in a few days. I'm in the small kitchen clearing out the building mess of week-old takeout remains and evidence of Tyler's smoking addiction and general valueless clutter when my angel finally wakes up from his nap; the sound of gentle padding of feet across the wooden floor alerting me to his presence on the other side of the room.

With evening drawing in on us and the sun beginning to set, the last few rays of light are beaming in through the windows, a warm, golden-pink tint encapsulating the typically cool, white room and creating an image in front of me that looks to be one out of some sort of movie; my angel looking sleepy with the mussed-up bed hair that I love so much, surrounded by the auroral glow that makes him look quite literally like an angel descended from the heavens above to steal my unworthy heart and capture my fallen soul.

Rubbing his fawn-eyes that still remain patchy and sore from the tears yet are noticeably more peaceful than they'd looked upon my arrival, Tyler yawns in the most adorable way that makes my heart swell, asking in his cracked voice "What time is it?"

I pull my phone from my hoodie pocket to check, responding "Just past 7.. You were out for a while." Tucking it back in place and dumping the last thai-food takeout box in the nearby bin, I only have to take a short few steps forward before my baby is meeting me in the middle; small hands grabbing at the loose fabric of my hoodie and pulling me closer towards him so that he can snuggle into my hold as usual. "Feeling any better?"

He hums in acknowledgement, the soft vibrations against my chest making the butterflies deep in my stomach flutter with a brief wave of relief once more. Voice still rough and worn-down and so unlike I'm used to hearing, he mumbles against me akin to a small, demanding child "'M hungry."

"When was the last time you ate, Ty?"

He's quiet for a few moments in thought, before he eventually shrugs in response and buries his pretty face further into me as if he almost doesn't want to face talking about anything that would concern me further. "Don't remember."

Though the answer does concern me, as it would with any sane person, and makes the blooming flowers filling my lungs feel as though they've turned to lead that weighs me down and makes it harder to breathe, I decide against mentioning it given his hesitation. Upsetting him further is the last thing on my mind right now. "Want me to order out for something? Or I can cook, if you want."

Peering up at me with an ever-so-slight glint in his eyes like the one I'm so used to seeing, as opposed to the dull and lifeless gaze he wore earlier upon my arrival, Tyler enquires "Am I allowed to ask for pancakes this late or are you gonna make me eat 'real' food, dear?"

His question pulls a gentle laugh from my lips, accompanied by a typical eye-roll, that feels like letting out a breath of fresh air; as though the soft sound alone was more than enough to chip away at heavy lead building within my vessel and allow the oxygen to rush through once more, nurturing my flora and reviving them back to their vivid life once more. Sights locked on my angel as his own drained face lights up with a genuine smile in my direction, I hum "I'll make an exception for you, just this once, kid."

|-/

Little over 10 minutes and a handful of burnt pancake attempts later, we're settled back on Tyler's couch; his sock-covered feet tucked in my lap, a plate of syrup-soaked pancakes in his hands and a little of the colour he had been lacking lately returning to his angelic face in the form of rosy cheeks, finally. And just like it had during my 5 daunting months in Tyler Joseph Fairyland, the image of him snuggled up beside me, sticky syrup dripping down his chin and sharp-tongue darting out to swipe away at the glossy remnants, made my heart beat a little faster each time; to the point in which I was sure being around him was becoming unhealthy for me and my flora-ridden organs.

He knocks a soft foot against my stomach to gain my dazed attention, holding out the pancake-yielding fork towards me when I look over and hovering it near my mouth with light smile and a scrunch of his pixie-nose.

"I feel like I should be the one feeding you." I smirk at the kid, though open my mouth regardless, accepting his offering of the sickly-sweet food and catching the gooey drizzle of syrup on my tongue. Almost on instinct, my gaze wanders along his outstretched arm and I can't help but to linger briefly on the sore patch across his wrist; the redness having faded ever so slightly but remaining visible and bringing back the overbearing wave of intrusive thoughts I'd been having earlier.

Observant as always, my angel catches my brief stare and retracts his hand shamefully; pulling down the sleeve of his sweatshirt to cover up the damage and shifting his attention back to the food resting on his lap.

I didn't plan on forcing him to open up to me about what had happened behind closed doors over the weekend, but I knew that tip-toeing around it wasn't doing either of us any good.

"Do you wanna talk about it?" My quiet voice breaks the growing silence between us, a questioning eyebrow raised in his direction as he distractedly swirls a square of his fluffy pancake around in the pool of syrup swamping the plate.

"I don't know what you want me to say."

His indifferent response stumps me, because really, I don't know what I want him to say either. Well, that's a lie. What I want is for him to tell me is that this was just a one time thing, that this was nothing to be worried about, that I don't have to be concerned every time I ever left him alone from now on, just to be on the safe side.

But as ignorant and oblivious and as foolish as I might well be, I know that my hopes are far from the truth.

I know that this most likely wasn't just a one time thing. I know I should most likely be worried about this, at least to some extent. I know that I probably will be concerned from now on whenever we aren't together, just because I'll always have these bothers lingering in the back of my TylerTylerTyler obsessed mind.

And nothing can change that now.

"You know you could've told me, right?" I keep my voice soft and low, as if to not ambush my already vulnerable fawnlette.

"I know I could've, but that's not the point, Joshua." Tyler shrugs, ditching his half-finished food on the coffee table besides us and brushing his fingers almost instinctively across the ruined skin of his wrist. "The point is that I didn't want to tell you. I know I talk about being flawed often, but fuck. Nobody wants to be with someone who actually is broken."

Before I can interrupt with my defiant rebuttal, he continues on; the cracking in his syrupy-sweet voice becoming more and more noticeable with every word and only serving to form similar cracks in my stolen heart. "I knew it'd only be a matter of time before you found out. Before you realised that getting sucked into this endless trap and inevitable downfall with me isn't worth it, before you realised that I'm not worth it."

"Ty.."

"I can't even protect myself from me, J. How am I supposed to protect you from getting hurt too?" Tyler interrupts, glassy doe-eyes flickering to me in desperation and short breaths catching in his throat; begging for an answer despite his question being seemingly rhetorical. "I love you, Joshua. A lot. But loving someone and keeping them safe and happy is fucking hard when you can't even love yourself first."

Shifting my position on the couch so that I'm facing him fully, I reach down to lace our fingers together in the usual comforting fashion and press a kiss to the back of his delicate, shaking hand. "Just breathe, angel. Take a second to breathe."

With a barely noticeable nod, my baby rests his forehead against our linked hands between us; focusing on steadying his panicked breaths before laughing self-deprecatingly.

"I'm doing it again. I'm breaking down on you. You shouldn't have to keep dealing with this, Joshua."

"Tyler, listen to me." My suddenly low, assertive tone grabs his attention; those shiny baby-doll eyes looking up at me as though I'm the only thing keeping him sane anymore and he'll be damned before he lets me out of his sight. "So what if you're broken? I've said it before, and I'll repeat it with every breath I have for the rest of my life if it makes you believe it, but everyone is broken in some way. You said it yourself, humans have downfalls. That's just life. For you to even think for a second that it makes you less desirable to me.. that I wouldn't want to be with you because of that.. it's just insane, angel."

"I realised that you were absolutely worth it a long time ago. You are so, so worth it even if you don't believe it yourself. You're worth every up and down that we've faced so far, and every single thing that we're going to face for as long as you're in my life. I don't want you to worry about protecting me. I just want you to focus on making yourself happy, okay?" Catching my own breath and focusing on his loving gaze once more, I add with reassurance "I love you too. More than anything. And just having you around is more than enough to make me happy."

My angel smiles at me in a way so genuinely sweet that I not only know that he believes every word I spoke, but also in a way that I feel an unexpected rush of warmth flow through my body; the pure affection filling my whole flora-infested vessel, from the tips of my toes, through my nectar-filled veins and straight to my heart that flutters so wildly it almost bursts through my chest.

"Remember when I used to be all cold-hearted and apathetic and against commitment? Well now look at me, darling. Look what you've done to me."

"As much as I loved you back then, I think I love sappy, romantic you more." Letting out a breathy laugh at his mocking pout, I return the grin as my baby practically jumps on top of me; knocking me down onto the sofa and snuggling into my hold, his perfectly chapped lips pressing a constellation of sloppy kisses across every inch of my face that he can reach. And in the moment, I'm sure every auroral giggle that sounds through the air washes away those festering demons in his beautiful mind, for the time being at least.

And I'm sure that we're going to be okay.

"Ty? I really do mean it when I say I love you, but.."

"But what, Joshua?"

"You really need to shower."

Chapter Text

Typically, my late morning wake-up call usually occurred in one of two ways; either in the form of my TylerTylerTyler being the first to awaken and forcing me to face the day too via a flurry of gentle kisses and occasional tickles, or less preferably in the form of the typically lazy kid kicking and slapping me as he tossed and turned in his slumber, urging me to escape the bed before he caused serious damage with his surprisingly strong force considering how delicate he seemed.

Today, however, I faced neither of the two.

Early morning summer sun beating through the already opened window and splashing against my skin with the most heavenly feeling of warmth, I feel my body slowly beginning to wake; aching muscles stretching and a drowsy yawn falling from my lips as I instinctively roll over and reach to the other side of the bed for my baby. Instead of being met with the feel of his smooth, honey-and-milk skin though, the only sensation brushing my fingertips is the cool sheets of his unoccupied space that leaves a disappointing pang running through my flora-ridden heart.

Despite his absence, the quiet lull of the apartment remains showing no signals of his whereabouts. One hand ruffling through my messy bedhead of hair in an attempt to at least tame some of the unruly curls, I slip my legs over the edge of the bed and plant my feet on the uncomfortably warm carpet, grabbing the nearest pair of discarded sweats and pulling them on as quick as I can in my still half-dazed state. Legs still feeling slightly weak beneath me from grogginess, I slowly begin my search, checking the empty en-suite before making my way to the lounge instead.

With eyebrows furrowing in slight confusion when I don't find Tyler lounging on the couch with a bitter black coffee and his beloved moleskin in hand as per his usual morning routine, I'm just about to call out his name when I hear the padding of speedy feet against the wooden floor and feel a sudden weight on my back; familiar long legs latching around my waist and arms locking around my neck as his golden, auroral laugh sounds through the air and instantly brightens my morning.

"Happy birthday, old man."

His velvety purr low in my ear that lilts off into his usual giggle sends a shiver down my spine, eyes rolling at the unwanted reminder that I'm now another year older than him but leaning into his tingling kisses down the column of my neck anyway.

Reaching around with one hand to teasingly slap his ass, drawing a surprised squeak from those luscious lips, I nudge him back onto the ground and turn around to face him instead; my angel's delicate hands instantly pawing at my chest in a signal to climb back into my arms. I hitch him up against me and let him cling on once more, before stealing a tender morning kiss and sighing in quiet contentment when he smiles against my lips. "Morning, gorgeous. And thanks, but I'd appreciate it if we kept the mentioning of my increasing age to a minimum today, yeah?"

Tyler appears deflated, pouting "So what am I going to do with the big '28' banner and balloons and cake, darling?"

"You didn't..."

A sly smirk painting itself across his features, the kid shrugs "Nah, I didn't. You really think I'd be so basic with your birthday present, Joshua?" He reaches up to comb his long fingers through my hair affectionately, silently admiring me for a few, brief seconds in a way that leaves me flushing like a crushing school boy and then murmurs "I was gonna make you breakfast for once but it didn't.. go to plan. So I went out and bought donuts instead."

Trailing my hands from where they're resting on his itty-bitty waist and down to tauntingly grasp at his perky butt, I can't help but let out an airy laugh at his confession. "You make it really hard to not bring up this age difference all the time when you're literally the stereotype of an idle college student, Ty. But 'm not gonna complain about donuts."

Ignoring the offended yet still gentle slap I receive upside the head, I carry Tyler over to the kitchen and seat him on the counter; pretending I don't see the destructive mess he's made of the kitchen as I reach for the 12-pack of assorted donuts. Grabbing one at random and demolishing it within two simple bites, I can't help but to laugh at the disgusted expression the kid shoots at me.

"What?" My words are muffled around the food and my lips are smeared with the glaze, only causing him to scrunch his perfect pixie-nose up even more.

Tyler shakes his head and reaches for a sprinkled donut himself, stating simply "You're a pig."

"And you're asking for a spank, baby boy." I shoot back, lips twitching into a smirk as the gentle rose-tint that I adore so dearly makes a return to his cheeks; my angel knocking his foot against my thigh scoldingly as he nibbles on his food.

"Stop it, Joshua. It's way too early for that."

That definitely makes me scoff in disbelief, humour still lacing my tone as I quirk an eyebrow at him. "Too early? You've never said that to me before. Normally I'm the one turning you and your insatiable sex-drive down."

Tyler rolls his eyes exasperatedly, sharp-tongue swiping across his top lip and catching the stray sprinkles that rest there. "Yeah, well you've got to have a little patience today, darling."

"Speaking of today.." I begin cautiously, anxiously biting into my bottom lip. "You haven't made plans for us, have you?"

"Not necessarily. Why?"

Head tilting at him, I sigh "'Cause we're kind of going to my parents house. You know, for a family thing. My mom called me a few days ago and asked us to go down there."

"You knew a few days ago and didn't think to tell me?" The kid practically squeaks, pretty-fawn eyes widening and his mouth gaping open. "J! What the fuck? I'm not ready to meet your family."

Throwing my hands up in defeat, I lightly chuckle at the look on his face; resembling a deer in the headlights.

How fitting.

"This is why I didn't tell you, Ty. I knew you'd spend every second up until now freaking out and stressing yourself out about it." Resting my palms on either side of his flushed face and tenderly brushing his cheeks with coarse thumbs, I murmur "Baby, it'll be fine, I promise. I know this is new to you but it's really nothing to worry about. You're amazing with people, and it'd be near impossible for them to not love you."

"So.. they already know about me?" He asks, soft chocolate eyes glazed with uncertainty despite my assurance and only serving to make my inner flora flourish with the need to protect his vulnerability.

"They know I'm dating someone, but that's about it. I didn't get the chance to say much more about you because my mom was too excited to listen." I laugh breathily as he wraps his fingers around my wrists and holds me close to him, mind no doubt wandering off with an infestation of panic. "She can't wait to meet you, angel."

It really wasn't a lie to say that my dearest mother only knew the bare minimum about my TylerTylerTyler. When she'd called to invite me, and asked as per routine if I was seeing anyone, all I'd managed to respond with was a validating hum and a promise to bring him with me between her overly-excited shrieks and quiet mutters of what sounded to be 'finally' and 'thank god'. Though my flower-infested mind had been screaming 'yes I've finally met someone, the exact boy that haunted me for five months straight with his disappearance, who is a goddamn heaven-sent celestial being I am so undeserving of. He's the one that I want to protect with every inch of my being and make love to until my heart stops beating and kiss away the demons that haunt his beautiful mind and occasionally fuck until he's screaming beneath me. He's the one that I want to marry and make mine and spend the rest of my worthless life with because I am completely and utterly in love with Tyler Robert Joseph.', all that'd actually left my lips was the simple "Yes, I've finally met someone."

"She can't wait to meet the messed up, 21 year old near-alcoholic with a smoking addiction and lack of college education that her near 30 year old son somehow managed to bag? It's like I can sense the disappointment from here, Joshua."

"More like she can't wait to meet the gorgeous, witty and charming young man who makes her wholly undeserving son the happiest man alive." I grin in rejection of his self-deprecating comment, tongue poking out between my teeth and causing him to shift his gaze from my own out of embarrassment.

"Stop.."

Planting a quick kiss of the tip of his nose and breathing in his syrupy-sweet morning scent, I hum in response. "'M never gonna stop until you believe it too. Now come on, let's go and get ready."

|-/

One half an hour drive, a scattering of sweet kisses and a handful of reassurances later, the two of us are walking hand in hand up the steps of my family home's front porch; Tyler's grip on my hand being especially tight to the point where I'm sure I can't feel it anymore and his pretty face painted with a zoned out expression, the kid clearly deep in thought and most likely attempting to convince himself to just relax as my own feeble attempts during the journey here had gone in one ear and directly out of the other. Out of the corner of my eye, I see him quickly sliding the rubber band which usually takes residence on his delicate right wrist off and burying it in the back pocket of his jeans.

Ever since the first 'bad day', as we were now calling it, that I'd witnessed, things hadn't been much different for the two of us. If anything, things had simply gotten easier in a sense and were more positive than ever before in our short time having known each other. Of course, there were scattered 'bad days' between the our days filled with love and joy and happiness, but now we dealt with them together. Instead of going off the map and suffering in violent silence, Tyler now spoke to me about his problems and along with that came the coping method that he had previously taken to hiding from me.

Despite his claim that the tight band wrapped around his dainty wrist felt like a 'sign of weakness', the willingness to wear it around me now satisfied his urges more frequently and always left him feeling more at peace, in turn reducing the damage caused and more often than not leaving him sporting the overcrossed smile that made my flora-infested heart flutter wildly rather than those teary, broken fawn-eyes that left me feeling like I'd had the oxygen completely knocked from my lungs, making my inner blossoms wilt every time.

Gaze now eyeing up his bare wrist, I murmur soothingly "Ty, are you sure? You don't have to.."

My angel appears calm and collected for the first time since I sprung the sudden announcement of meeting my family on him, not quiet meeting my own gaze but shaking his head in rejection of my suggestion anyway and interrupting me quietly. "I know, J. But I'm okay today. I'm fine."

I lean down and press a quick kiss into his hair, Tyler letting out a quiet sigh in response, and pull back just in time for the door to swing open; my mother's sudden appearance making the kid flinch ever so slightly and curl further into my side as the smells of her favourite rose-petal perfume and lavender air freshener and freshly baked cake practically slaps us in the face and surrounds all of my senses.

Usually, that smell was overwhelmingly comforting. The smell of home. But now the smell of home to me was the sickening blend of unwashed hair and wild violets and bubblegum and cigarette smoke and bitter, black coffee.

And I was more than okay with that.

"Joshua!" The shorter woman excitably cheers, hands grabbing at my face and pulling me down to her height to plant kisses on each of my cheeks as though I'm 5 years old again, drawing the side of me that isn't being desperately clung to by my TylerTylerTyler into a loving hug. "Happy birthday, baby. I'm so happy you're here."

"Thanks, ma." I smile softly, untangling myself from her hold and reassuringly squeezing Tyler as she shifts her attention to him instead.

"And who might this handsome young man be?"

Forcing back the urge to simultaneously gag at the dear woman's cliche-ness and laugh at the rosy flush that blossoms on his cheeks, I clear my throat and introduce the boy that damn near made me lose my god damn mind. "This is Tyler, my.." I stumble for a few, brief seconds at the reminder that our relationship is yet to be made official but take the plunge anyway, "boyfriend." Perhaps I hadn't asked him formally yet, but considering the fact that we practically lived together at this point and that my commitment-hating angel was yet to go near another man, it was safe to assume he was mine. "Ty, this is my mom. Obviously."

Taking his free hand in between her own, my mother smiles "It's so nice to meet you, darling. I wish I could say I've heard lots about you, but Joshua didn't think to tell me you existed until a few days ago." She tuts in my direction with an exaggerated eye-roll oh-so-similiar to my own, earning a musical giggle from Tyler as he politely smiles back. "It's lovely to meet you too, Mrs. Dun."

"Come on, come on. You have to meet everyone, Tyler." She fusses, tugging him along gently behind her and out of my grasp; the stealing of my baby making me pout childishly despite the fact that I was well aware that this would happen. Obvious in the way that I'd fallen for him faster and harder than ever before in my life, the brown-haired beauty was charming without even trying and to assume that my already overly-affectionate family wouldn't smother him completely would've been foolish of me.

But hey, I was known to be an ignorant, oblivious fucking fool.

Trailing behind them and out into the back garden, I'm instantly met by the warm smiles of the rest of my family; being crushed between my sisters either side of me in a tight hug before I even have the chance to greet them. I can feel Tyler's lingering gaze on us all as we exchange endless 'missed you's' and 'happy birthday's' and 'how've you been's', Jordan ruffling my hair teasingly in lieu of a real hello and my dad leaving his place at the barbecue behind to join in on all of the fuss surrounding me. Our sights catch on each other briefly and despite the genuinely warm smile tugging at his soft, baby-doll lips at the familial sight, I feel a regretful pang run through my flora-filled vessel; we didn't often discuss the kid's family, but the few times we had, it'd been noticeable within his tone that he missed his own siblings.

Making a mental note to check-up on him later when we get some time alone, my mother interrupts my train of thought with the clearing of her throat, also grabbing the attention of my other family members and leaving each of their stares to turn upon my precious angel still wrapped up in her hold for the first time. "Everyone, this is Joshua's boyfriend-"

"You're not even gonna let me introduce my own boyfriend, Ma?" I smirk in interruption, tilting my head at her amusedly before she shushes me and continues.

"This is Tyler, Joshua's lovely boyfriend who he decided against mentioning until last week."

Rolling my eyes exasperatedly at the mention of my silence regarding Tyler once more, which I know she'll refuse to drop for a good while if we're going anything by past records of grudges the dearest woman has held, I take over from there and smile comfortingly at my baby. "Ty, this is my dad, Ash, Abbie and Jordan." I introduce, pointing out each family to which he greets them politely in return, and honestly? Seeing the kid so well-mannered and respectful is fucking weird.

I'm so used to seeing my witty, sharp-tongued and confidently graceful Tyler who holds no reservations against being truthfully upfront and transparent that this stripped back, overly-pleasant version of him even stuns me a little.

Stepping towards him, I reach out my hand which he instinctively latches onto almost immediately, snuggling into my hold as I wrap my arms around his waist and rest my chin on his shoulder; my angel blushing at the intimacy and the women of my family letting out simultaneous coos at the show of affection.

"I'm happy for you, J. We were beginning to think you'd be alone forever." Jordan grins slyly, hands tucked into his pockets as he signals towards the two of us with a tilt of his head. "But seriously, how much did you pay him to pretend to be into you today?"

The mocking comment makes Tyler laugh harmoniously, the golden auroral sound not only seeming to outshine the beaming sun in the sky but also bringing smiles to everyone else's faces; unsurprising to me as it must be physically impossible to not at least crack a small grin when you hear the sounds of the heavens coming directly from such a celestial being's mouth.

He is so fucking perfect.

"Fuck right off, Jordan." I sigh in response, snarking back lightheartedly "Wasn't the last time you had a girlfriend when you were 18?"

Earning a slap upside the head from my mother as she heads back into the house, she scolds "Language, Joshua," and adds unfairly "and be nice to your brother."

Gathering ourselves around the garden table, my angel settled on my lap of course, we find ourselves being bombarded with a flurry of questions; the usual, how did you meet, how long have you been together and another snide addition from Jordan directed at Tyler in the form of 'what do you even see in the asshole?' which earns him a middle-finger in his direction.

"We met at the bar while I was working, it's really not an interesting story." I shrug in response, failing to mention the whole spoke once, got his parting words of poetry tattooed on my hip, went five whole months of debating whether or not he was in fact real, damn near losing my mind and shooting myself out of insanity over him and then fatefully bumping into the kid again on the old, brick steps of a flower shop part of our tale.

They didn't need to know all of that.

"And I guess we've been together for like.. four months now?" I supply with uncertainty, as really, it wasn't necessarily true. We'd been seeing each other for four months now, but if we were getting technical, he'd actually only been my boyfriend for around half an hour now, ever since I made the decision for both of us and declared it upon our arrival. Regardless of the technicalities, Tyler nods in agreement, pretty-doe eyes trained on my face and his perfect, cherry-tinted lips pulling up into a coy smile at the reminder. Grinning up at him, smugness lacing my tone, I ask "So what do you see in me, baby?"

Eyes flittering back to my siblings and sparkling with a teasing glint, one that is a million times more confident than the dull stare which I'd witnessed during our journey here, Tyler shrugs half-heartedly and sighs "I mean, he let me get away with underage drinking all of the time in the bar so I guess he was good for that."

I slap his thigh gently out of offence for both the tease and his willingness to gang up against me with my brother, and he murmurs a gentle "'M kidding, J," and steals a quick kiss despite our watchful audience; the butterflies in my stomach going crazy with pure love and adoration for the kid.

Eyebrow raised curiously and an amused smirk riding on his lips, Jordan asks what I've been dreading and should've seen coming all along. "You said underage.. How old are you, Tyler?"

"Turned 21 in December," my baby replies with ease, though runs a hand through his soft locks and uses his delicate fingers to grasp at and play with a loose strand, how he usually does if he's feeling particularly nervous or anxious. Though our age difference wasn't drastic to the point of being a little creepy, it was still a slightly tender subject on my part when it came to telling other people that.

My brother chokes back a laugh, dimples forming on either side of his cheeks from grinning so wildly in my direction at the new revelation; the way his eyes shine with amusement telling me that he already has a rolodex of jokes running through his mind and ready to aim at me.

A sigh falling from my parted lips and a bored look being shot towards him, I plead "Don't even start.." though my attempt appears useless for Ashley is already interrupting with her own joking comment before I can put a stop to it.

"Jeez, Josh.. When did you become a sugar daddy? Is that what you were working on all winter?"

"Remind me why we came here?" I ask my angel with an exhausted sigh, resting my face against his chest and ignoring the amused commotion surrounding my siblings. "Let's just go home now."

Tyler tuts at me, perfectly crooked teeth on show as he grins and nudges me in the side gently. "Oh stop being such a grumpy old man, J."

"You too, huh?" I pout childishly, pushing the kid off of my lap and onto the chair, standing from my seat and stalking back into the house without looking back at their grinning faces; ignoring his melodic laughter-filled calls after me.

|-/

Later that afternoon I'm in the kitchen with my mother, leaning against the counter and watching Tyler through the window adoringly; he's sitting cross-legged on the grass with my sisters, the three of them plucking tiny daisies from the ground beneath them and my angel helping them to make dainty flower crowns similar to the one already resting on his fluff of chocolate hair and crowning him like the ethereal being he really is. Just the sight of his baby-doll lips parting in a giggle makes the unforgettable sound ring through my mind, as if I had it pre-recorded and branded to my memory forever more.

I only realise I'm subconsciously smiling to myself like the sappiest motherfucker alive when my mother speaks up softly and breaks the comfortable silence between us, her eyes following my own line of sight and resting on the angel in our back yard too.

"You really like him, don't you, baby?"

"No," I shake my head, begrudgingly tearing my gaze away from the kid to look back at the dearest woman with pure infatuation overtaking my features, and correct her "I really love him, Ma."

Pinching my cheek and shooting me a matching grin of approval that makes the flora in my lungs flourish more fervently than ever before, she announces "Well, I think I love him too. And your sisters definitely love him. We're all so happy for you, Joshua. You deserve someone like him." Despite the fact that I disagree with that statement completely, as no living person on this god damn earth is worthy enough of the love of Tyler Robert Joseph, I just nod in agreement; the happiness I feel in that tiny moment being truly astounding and making the winding vines he planted inside of me on the holy night of September 16th encapsulate my stolen heart. "But whatever you do, Joshua, don't break that boy's heart."

I'd said it before, and I'll say it again. If anything, Tyler will be the one slashing my flora-ridden chest open and ripping the greenhouse out of me, smashing and breaking and crushing the pulsing muscle that keeps me alive into tiny, unfixable pieces. But it's okay, because I don't need my heart to live.

The only thing I need is Tyler.

"I wouldn't dream of it, Ma."

Chapter Text

During the whole drive home from my parent’s house, my TylerTylerTyler doesn’t keep his wandering, dainty hands off of me; whether it’s brushing over the back of my free hand that rests between us soothingly, playing with my fingers or tapping absentmindedly against my upper thigh and dangerously close to my crotch with the occasional squeeze, he refuses to give me a break.

And I can see it all over his pretty face. He knows I’m close to losing my damn mind any second now.

And he loves it.

Tyler’s relentless teasing and the glint in those fawn-eyes that wordlessly tells me everything are exactly the reasons why I’m so confused as to why he doesn’t slam me up against my apartment door the minute we close it behind us, attacking my neck with his teeth and tugging at my curls needily as he usually does whenever he finds himself in a mood like this.

Instead my angel silently slides past me, shifts one of the dining chairs to the centre of the lounge and signals towards it with his head as he makes his way towards our bedroom; a barely noticeable sly smirk tugging at the corners of his baby-doll lips as he orders out a simple “Sit.”

I raise an inquisitive eyebrow in his departing direction, but listen to the kid anyway as I always do and slump down in the seat with a feeling of anticipation stirring deep inside of me; the vines of my inner flora twisting and turning out of nervousness and setting me on edge for whatever he has planned as his earlier request for me to be patient runs through my mind.

He’s so light on his feet that I don’t even hear him coming back into the room, or perhaps I’m simply too lost in thought, but the sudden feeling of his warm, coffee and bubblegum scented breath on my neck and a looming presence behind me makes me jump in place slightly; one of his hands resting on my shoulder and pinning me in place.

“Give me your hands, Joshua.”

Similar to every other time my baby has ever asked me to do anything, I obey without question; holding my hands backwards in his direction without even a second thought flashing through my mind. I do start to question it, however, when the feeling of cool metal encapsulates both of my wrists and a quiet clicking sound breaks the quiet lull of the apartment.

With a shake of my head at his antics that I really should’ve expected, I can’t help but teasingly comment in response. “It’s weird. ‘M not used to being the one in this position.”

Pressing a kiss to my temple before disappearing once more, Tyler responds with a lilt in voice that tells me he’s grinning again without even having to catch sight of the look myself. “Enjoy it while it lasts, darling.”

For a minute or so, all I can hear is the soft padding of his delicate footsteps across the wooden floor somewhere to the left of me that I can’t quite see; only catching occasional, blurry glimpses of him in the corner of my eye but still being unable to make out what it is he’s up to. I’m about to speak up as my patience begins to wear thin, with great thanks to Tyler’s all-day teasing ranging from soft touches beneath the table when my family weren't looking to brushing his perfect ass against my crotch whilst sitting on my lap, when the soft acoustics of Lana Del Rey’s West Coast break the dead air, surrounding my senses, and my angel re-appears in front of me.

The look on his face alone is enough to set off the wild butterflies deep in my stomach and leave me lightheaded at the thought of what’s to come; his lovely chocolate eyes are glazed with lust, seeming to darken to a shade comparable to an intoxicating mix of honey and the dark roast coffee he loves so much, and he’s biting down on his pouted bottom lip gently in the way that always makes me want to kiss him breathless.

I’d definitely be doing exactly that if I wasn’t handcuffed to the god damn chair.

He leans down so that we're practically nose-to-nose, pecks the corner of my lips tenderly and purrs lowly in my ear; the rich, velvety sound of his lowered voice sending a pleasurable shiver down my spine.

"Happy birthday, J."

With that, he resumes his position a good few inches in front of me; close enough to make me feel as though I'm drowning in his commanding and heavenly presence yet still too far from my touch for my liking.

If I even was able to touch him, that is.

My angel's hips start to sway gently in time to the soft beats of the song resonating around us, those gentle hands that I would die to be touched by right now slowly working their way along the buttons of his shirt; my breath hitching embarrassingly each time Tyler gets further down and reveals more slithers of his beautifully tan chest. When he reaches the final button and throws his sheer button down out of sight, I can't help the gentle yet uncontrollable laugh that falls from my lips, instantly earning myself a glare from those pretty fawn-eyes and painting a visible pout on Tyler's cherry-tinted lips.

"Stop laughing, J." His complaint is accompanied with a slap to my chest; the pout on his pretty face only serving to melt my flora-ridden heart into a puddle of nectar and fallen petals. "This isn't supposed to be funny. It's supposed to be sexy."

With a bite of my lip, I manage to restrain my laughter and settle for smirking in his direction instead, reassuring "Baby, it is sexy. You're doing amazing. I'm super turned on right now." And really, that wasn't a lie. Having a shirtless, celestial being such as my TylerTylerTyler in front of you while you were handcuffed to a chair was bound to turn anyone on, and honestly, just looking at him made the heat deep in my abdomen burn so profoundly that I could've groaned out loud right there and then. "'M sorry. Kiss and make up?"

"You wish." Tyler scoffs with a roll of his eyes, a matched smirk tugging at the corners of his own lips as he turns his back to me. Hips falling back into his easy swaying motions, my baby unzips his jeans and slides them down past his beautifully thick thighs at a torturously slow pace; slipping to reveal a pair of white, lacy panties hugging his perfectly heart-shaped ass and making my cock twitch instantly in my pants.

"Jesus Christ, Ty.." I practically growl at both the sight and the realisation that he's been wearing them all day unknowingly, gaze pinned to the now bare soft curves of his body and shifting uneasily in my seat as my skinny jeans begin to feel uncomfortably tight.

"What's wrong, daddy?" The kid asks, syrupy-sweet voice dripping with mock innocence as he wiggles his lace-covered ass tauntingly in front of me, biting down on his lip coyly. "Do you not like them?"

Unable to even form a coherent response as my head swims with overbearing lust, all I can do is gawp in his direction, tugging slightly to test the strength of the restraints I desperately want to break free from. With a smirk of smug satisfaction at reaction he receives, my angel turns to face me directly, mouthing the lyrics to the sultry song as he trails his delicate hands across my thighs.

I can see my sweet boy swayin'

He's crazy y Cubano como yo, my love

On the balcony and I'm saying

Move baby, move baby, I'm in love

Fingers gracefully dancing their way along my crotch and making my hips instinctively buck up towards him, Tyler tuts at me disapprovingly and uses one hand to pin me back down against the chair; the other expertly unbuckling my belt, disposing of it and unzipping my jeans in record time.

Hey, he'd had a lot of practice already.

I lift my hips to help him tug my own pants down and the freedom from the tight restriction makes me sigh a little in relief; head falling back slightly as I try to focus on anything but my baby's teasing touches that are leaving me literally seconds away from losing it completely.

Any contact we have disappears ever so briefly, pulling shameful whine from my throat; a noise I never thought I'd hear myself make, but can't even bring myself to mind in the heat of the moment. And before I know it, those supple thighs are resting against my own; comfortingly warm and locking around either side of my waist as he settles himself into a straddling position.

I barely even have time to catch my breath before he's at it again; lips latching onto the column of my neck and leaving wet, biting kisses in his path and he simultaneously rolls his hips against my already hard crotch. As if those combined feelings weren't enough alone, the sensation of his own stiff cock straining against the tight lace and digging into my lower stomach with every jolted movement wipes my brain of any remaining coherent thought. "You're such a fucking tease." I just about manage to choke out between light breath hitches; my throat clicking with a gulp at one particularly forceful roll of his hips.

"Oh yeah?" I can feel his lips curving up into a grin against my jaw, overcrossed teeth nipping at my skin and no doubt leaving tiny marks in their wake to serve as a treasured reminder of this come the morning. Velvety smooth voice muffled against me, Tyler giggles "What are you gonna do about it, huh, daddy? D'ya wanna spank me?"

Gritting my teeth in a meek attempt at holding back the low moan of arousal building at the back of my throat, I comment with frustrated bitterness lacing my tone "Maybe I could if you'd unlock these damn handcuffs."

"Oh hush, Joshua." My angel tsks at my impatience, nibbling at my earlobe tenderly and finally pressing his palm against my crotch; thin, soft fingers dipping beneath the waistband of my boxers and setting my loins on fire. "Your complaining is gonna ruin my fun."

I can see my baby swingin'

His Parliament's on fire and his hands are up

On the balcony and I'm singing

Ooh, baby, ooh, baby, I'm in love

This time when the chorus rolls around, Tyler joins in with the singing; his husky yet heavenly voice of a siren sending a shiver down my spine and leaving my head so fuzzy that I'm sure I'd pass out had I not already been sitting down.

My only coherent thought was that this kid was definitely going to be the one to put me in an early grave.

And perhaps the chair was a good idea after all.

Seemingly sensing that in seconds away from opening my mouth to beg and plead that he just does something before I lose my damn mind, Tyler places a single finger over my lips and shushes me; sliding off of my lap and removing my boxers in a swift movement before dropping to his knees before me. Looking down at him with the damn flower crown still laced in his hair and his bubblegum lips all glossy and his fawn-eyes with those luminously long, fluttering eyelashes peering up at me coyly makes my stomach twist in the most pleasurable way possible; the blooming flora encapsulating my vessel gagging me at the sight and leaving me utterly speechless.

It must be a sin for one person to be so fucking beautiful and precious and arousing all at the same time.

It was an unstoppable mix, and god he was so damn dangerous.

Gentle hands gripping at my hips and holding me in place, my baby ducks down and softly kitten licks at the tip of my aching dick tauntingly before taking it in his mouth; the sudden, surrounding wet heat causing me to buckle beneath him with a low moan. Tongue pressed flat against the underside, he slowly sinks down lower and lower with each bob up and down; the warm friction and vibrating sensation of his contented hums around me making my eyes practically roll back and making the coil deep in my stomach tighten.

"God.. fuck, baby." Any attempts at holding back pleasured moans at this point were futile, the overwhelming heat pooling in my abdomen reaching an all time high when I feel the tip knock the back of his throat; a choke sounding above the low music in the apartment and a thin veil of unshed tears gathering in the corners of his shiny baby-doll eyes, leaving me weak in the knees and desperate to touch him. Pulling back with a resounding pop, Tyler gasps quietly to catch his breath, sharp-tongue sweeping across his drool and pre-cum coated lips in a display that really shouldn't be attractive but is making me ache so badly that I'm close to screaming.

"Fuck." Panting with a low laugh, I tilt my head and lock my gaze on my baby's flushed, messy face. "Have I ever told you how much I love you?"

He hums against my skin, slicked lips scattering kisses along the expanse of my thighs before nuzzling his face into their warmth with a soft purr. "Mmh.. but I'm never opposed to hearing it again, and again, and again." Climbing back onto my lap and whining with need, my TylerTylerTyler murmurs sweetly into my ear "Love hearing you say it when you're fucking me, J. You're so good to me. Wanna make you feel good. Wanna feel you inside me."

"C'mon, baby boy... fuck."

Not yet ready to give into my pleading that is verging on becoming pathetic given how little he's actually touched me, he shuffles backwards to give me a better view and hooks his fingers under the lacy lingerie, sliding the panties down his long legs and throwing them out of sight; already dripping cock springing free and standing against the plane of his flat stomach in a way that leaves me wanting to fucking devour him. Back turning to me and leaning forward on his forearms against the soft rug, my angel perks his plump ass in the air and spreads his legs, peering back at me with a look so innocent that it contradicts his sinful behaviour; pressing two fingers against his mouth and sucking right down to the knuckles seductively.

Cock throbbing almost painfully with the anticipation of his next moves, I have to look away briefly to compose myself and when my gaze returns to him, I'm sure every inch of my body buckles beneath me; he's two knuckles deep in himself, pushing back against each thrust desperately with his pretty mouth slack and releasing the most heavenly noises that would surely make anyone within hearing distance become a sinner. Tyler gasps at one particularly deep thrust, breath catching in his throat and he sighs out a "A-ah, daddy." Sitting up on the fingers he's fucking himself with and biting his shoulder as he gazes back at me with lidded-eyes, the kid taunts "Do you wish it was you, J? Wish it was you filling me up and making me moan like a whore?"

A low, near-primal growl slipping from my lips with no control, I pant "God, yeah, baby boy. Wanna fuck you so hard until you're crying and screaming my name, begging me not to stop." My instinctive words draw a soft cry from his pretty lips; Tyler looking like the absolute definition of lust with his messy hair and flushed cheeks and sweat-glistening chest as he appears seconds away from collapsing in on himself completely.

He murmurs a barely audible "Need you, daddy" before removing his fingers and whining instantly at the loss; wasting no time, he just about manages to push himself up onto trembling legs and grabs the key from beside us, reaching behind and unlocking the handcuffs that restrain me as fast as physically possible. They clatter to the floor and my hands instantly find his delicate waist, our lips locked in mere seconds and the taste of myself lingering on his lips that mixes with the usual, sweet-bubblegum taste leaving my stomach churning with desire; my angel's fingers tangling in my hair and pulling me as close as physically possible.

"Couch. Now." Tyler just about manages to breathe out between messy, open-mouthed kisses; domineeringly pushing me down against it as soon as I feel the fabric hitting the backs of my weak legs. After practically tearing my shirt off and scrambling to settle himself on my lap, I wrap my arm around him and press him up against my bare chest, his knees resting either side of my hips and keeping him grounded.

"Such a little slut, baby, teasing me like that." I hiss into his ear, causing his breath to hitch and his cheeks to flush even darker. "You been thinking about this all day, huh? Imagining me fucking you? Thinking about what I was gonna do to you after seeing those panties?"

With a near hysterical nod, the kid bites down on his lip shyly and grasps at my tattooed bicep for support. "Wanna ride you, J. Want you to make me feel s-so full." Mind fuzzy from the overstimulating sensations and tidal waves of lust that drown me, my only response is a grunt of agreement and within seconds his saliva-slicked hand is lining me up with him and he's sinking down onto me slowly; a delicious whimper slipping from swollen lips as those thick thighs rest flush against my own. Not even giving himself time to adjust, Tyler begins to bounce his body against me, the soft slapping sounds of skin on skin mingling in the air with his breath hitches each time he taps his prostate in succession.

One hand holding onto his hip, I run the other down his back slowly before pulling back and landing on his ass with a resounding smack; no doubt allowing a flushed, hand-shaped mark to form in place and making him whimper in delight as he speeds up his bounces against my body. Snapping my hips upwards to match his own tempo, my angel's back arches with pure pleasure and he practically squeals out loud; the precious sound going straight to my dick and fuelling the fire beneath my ass to fuck him harder. "You're doing so good, baby boy. So good. So fucking perfect."

"Fuck.. ah.. Josh. Daddy." With the praise and compliments hitting his weak spots, Tyler's plump thighs begin to tremble against me; his movements getting sloppier by the second and his sweat-glazed forehead falling to rest on my shoulder from a combination of overpowering bliss and exhaustion. "J, I can't. Please. You've gotta-"

Cutting off his breathless speech with a tender kiss to the column of his neck, I murmur "I know, angel. I know. I've got you." Coarse hands stroking down his waist gently in a way that makes him shiver, I hook them beneath his warm thighs and flip my baby onto his back; pinning his legs against his chest and immediately driving into him with no desire to stop until he's screaming out loud. Thick hips slamming against his glorious ass with every thrust, the kid searches helplessly for something to grab onto, latching his hands onto the furry comforter beneath us, white-knuckling the soft fabric and throwing his head back in utter ecstasy; his prominent adam's apple pressing against his honey skin that is practically begging to be marked up.

Licking a stripe across my palm, I reach down to grasp at his cock that's straining against his stomach and leaking onto the taut skin of his abdomen, sucking at the skin across his pulse point; a mark almost as pink as his flushed cheeks appearing in place and causing him to keen into my touches with a desperate whine that pierces the air. "'M close, J. Please. Oh, god, d-don't stop."

Thrusts beginning to falter with the building heat pooling deep in my stomach, I throw my last burst of energy into getting my angel off first; tangling my free hand through his mussed-up hair and tugging at it roughly to yank his gaze up to meet my own, forcing him to release a heavenly mewl and rock back against me with what little force he has left. I feel my TylerTylerTyler clench around me first, his melodic cry of pleasure coming shortly afterwards in sync with his release; the pearly, white liquid painting his own tummy as his thighs quiver against him and soft whimpers of overstimulation filter through the air. The feeling of him shaking and wrapped around me so tightly is my own final straw, pure white heat overtaking my every sense as I moan lowly, "Gonna cum, angel. You gonna be a good boy and take it?"

"God, yes." Dainty hands grasping at my waist and holding me flush against his heart-shaped ass, Tyler sobs out "C'mon, J. Harder. I- ah, wanna feel it inside of me. Fuck."

Locking my lips with his own in a kiss of clashing teeth and battling tongues in an attempt to muffle my own satisfied groans, my hips jerk forward in one last erratic thrust and I empty into him; the hot pulsing sensation making the kid squeal and shudder hysterically as I damn near collapse on top of him; body feeling completely boneless. With his own petite body falling limp beside me, he breathlessly presses loving kisses across every inch of my face that he can reach to ground himself before letting out a whine at the throbbing, full feeling.

Pulling out softly and exhaustedly dropping next to him on the couch, I feel my baby squirming against me as the sticky fluid seeps out of him and leaves trails down running down his soft honey-and-milk thighs; his face turning to nestle into the crook of my neck with a contented sigh. "Feels kinda weird. Good weird, though.. I like knowing it's you inside me. Claiming me. S'nice."

Laughing breathlessly, I press a tender kiss into his sweat-matted hair, the purr I receive in response making my heart flutter and my flora blossom so fiercely I could choke. "'M gonna go ahead and say that was without a doubt one of the best birthday presents I've ever received, angel."

"I aim to please, darling." Tyler smiles tiredly against my skin, eyes fluttering closed and his leg hitching above my bare hip to pull me closer. "Don't think I can move for a while now, though."

"You really wanna lay here all sticky and sweaty and reeking of sex?"

He giggles, lifting his head to gaze up at me and raises a perfectly arched eyebrow "Are you seriously complaining?"

"Not at all." Smiling at this celestial boy who I am so, so unworthy of, I peck his cherry-tinted lips tenderly and allow myself to simply bask in the sweet scent of him that surrounds me completely; the usual aroma of smoke and wild violets and bubblegum mingling with the distinguishable smell of sex and sweat and his boyish musk in a combination that really would make anyone else turn their nose up in disgust. But to me, it's the smell of my TylerTylerTyler, and that smells simply like coming home.

As my fingers run along his back and trace aimless patterns along his skin absentmindedly in a soothing gesture, my fawnlette hums "That actually wasn't your only birthday present, dear." Before I even have chance to question it, he's forcing himself to sit up beside me, despite the clear ache running through his whole body, and reaching for a small, white bow-topped box on the coffee table that I hadn't even noticed in the heat of the moment. Placing it on my lap, he smirks "It's more like a present for both of us, but.."

Lifting the lid and fumbling between the layers of silky tissue paper for the presents, my breathing stills and I'm sure that my flora-infested heart stops beating briefly when I catch sight of the contents. And the only thought that runs through my mind is god fucking damn.

I really should quit my shitty, low-pay bartender job and become a psychic right now.

My baby's cheeks flush ever-so-slightly when I pull the lavender coloured fetish collar and companion ball gag from their packaging, and I can't stop the laugh of pure disbelief that slips from my kiss-swollen lips; there is absolutely no fucking way that this is real, that this kid is real.

I'm beginning to think again that perhaps this is all just some lucid hallucination after all.

"What's so funny?" Tyler asks, an arched eyebrow quirking up at me inquisitively.

I shake my head, mouth slightly agape, before assuring him "Nothing, baby. I guess you could just say.. I saw this happening in a dream of mine once. Never thought it'd come true, though." Leaning up to steal a grateful kiss from him, I murmur "I say it a lot, but I really do love you Ty. Thank you for today. For everything."

"I love you too, old man. And I should be the one thanking you. For everything. Where would I be without you, huh?" Soft, clammy hands cupping either side of my face and caressing my cheeks gingerly, his lips pull back into a sinful smile to reveal perfectly crooked teeth and he shifts his gaze to the new toys in my grasp.

"Ready for round two?"

Chapter Text

Being only 9 in the morning, it's surprisingly early for me to be awake but for some foreign reason that I can't quite place my finger on, I simply can't sleep. Whether it's thanks to the ongoing chant of TylerTylerTyler running through my mind reminiscent of those torturous five months I spent without him, the vivid memories I'm desperately holding onto from last night or even just my always over-active brain wanting to me worry rather than rest, I don't know. But it's okay.

Not being able to sleep means I can admire my angel whilst he sleeps, as fucking creepy as that sounds.

It's already well-known at this point that I'm not one to turn down the opportunity to cherish and marvel at the brown-haired beauty with any single chance I get, but I've recently discovered that his dreaming and tranquil form is one of my favourites to watch over; whenever he's awake, no matter how genuinely content my baby is on a given day, there's always the lingering undertone of the festering demons that haunt him, usually present in the form of a certain glint in those fawn-eyes that refuses to leave completely.

He's getting better day by day, I know that. I can see it. I can feel it. But that doesn't mean that it no longer hurts to see him suffering on the occasional, especially bad days.

Of every single person in this godforsaken world, Tyler Robert Joseph is most definitely the least deserving of such pain.

Whenever he's asleep, however, my angel is thoroughly at peace; soft, chestnut hair all ruffled against the pillows, ridiculously long eyelashes fluttering against his skin, pretty pixie-nose twitching occasionally and those soft, baby-doll lips parted ever so slightly as his chest rises and falls in time with the gentle exhales of breath that are just about audible in the quiet lull of our bedroom. Perhaps those same demons still distress him within his dreamland, but he appears utterly harmonious regardless and the sight of him sleeping would surely be the single advertisement for heaven should there be one.

Resting on my side and ignoring the dull yet still noticeable ache that I can feel overtaking my whole body, I inspect the marks left behind on the kid as the early morning light illuminates his tanned skin; there's a scattered trail of freshly bruising hickeys running from the column of his neck and down to his prominent collarbones, all mixed shades of hued reds and deep purples and rosy pinks, and I'd be lying if I said that the possessive stains across his smooth skin didn't light a spark in my flora-ridden heart. On his shoulder, there's a half-moon indentation from his own teeth, and his dainty wrists are brushed with a faded pink tint so similar to my own thanks to the uncomfortable rubbing of the cool metal restraints. Both his hips and the perfectly rounded cheek of his ass poking out from beneath the thin sheets have matched flushed imprints on them in the vague silhouette of my hands, though these ones don't bring a contented smile to my face.

These ones make my stomach twist with a wave of nausea, as though my garden-infested body could throw up an unnatural puddle of nectar and fallen petals at any given second if I looked at the damage for much longer.

They don't feel satisfying to admire.

Instead, they just feel like a harrowing reminder of that dreaded day back in February that the two of us had wordlessly agreed against mentioning ever again.

I brush my coarse fingers fleetingly across the prominent bite mark that flaws his honey-and-milk skin with a quiet huff, and then slide out of the bed begrudgingly, snatching my lighter and the half-emptied carton of cigarettes from the bedside table. Typically I wouldn't have a problem with remaining in the comfort of the sheets and slowly ruining my lungs right there and then, but something deep inside of me just won't allow myself to infect my TylerTylerTyler's air with the toxic fumes.

Kind of fucking ridiculous given that the kid already smokes like a chimney on his own time, but I can't help it.

Pushing open the bay window and letting the warm breeze of the Ohio summer filter into the room, I slump down into the seating beside it and pluck a cancerous stick from the packet; resting it between my lips as I groggily fumble with the lighter.

I'm resting the back of my head against the wall and relishing in the bitter, burning sensation of the smoke that fills my blossom-filled lungs when I hear the faint stirring coming from across the room; Tyler's raspy, sleep-ridden voice that only serves to cause goosebumps to scatter across my skin breaking the peaceful silence.

"Baby, come back to bed."

I hold up the half-finished cigarette in a signal, murmuring "Just give me a minute, angel." and blow out another ring of smoke that swirls the air around me and leaves me basking in this version of our early morning heaven; perhaps this wasn't always the conventional future I'd imagined myself having back when I was his age, but it was unexpectedly perfect and I knew that I wouldn't trade it for the world at this point.

He pouts childishly and reaches out a hand in my direction, wiggling his delicate fingers and wordlessly asking me to return to his side once more. When I fail to budge and instead lean over to tap away the ashes on the windowsill, Tyler whines in frustration at my refusal to smoke near him so early in the day. "J, just come and smoke in bed. I want one anyway."

"Nope." With a simple shake of my head and a quick glance at his angelic face that melts my heart every damn time, I tell him "You really need to cut down, Ty. You smoke enough for the both of us."

My baby rolls his eyes and snuggles back into his pillow, an amused scoff falling from those baby-doll lips as he shuffles beneath the sheets. "I need to cut down on my smoking, my smoker boyfriend says as he sits across the room from me, smoking." With a kitten-esque yawn that sends shivers down my spine, he adds "You're unbelievable."

Completely ignoring his complaints and snide comment, I stub out what little remains of the smoke on the windowsill and turn to face him with a grin brighter than the sun beaming through the window; tongue pressed between my teeth and eyes crinkling with a wave of happiness. "I like hearing you call me your boyfriend."

"You like hearing me call you a lot of things," Tyler slyly murmurs, a smirk tugging at his lips as gazes up at me from where he's resting happily on the pillow. "..Daddy."

Leaving the carton of cigarettes and their accompanying lighter where I was sitting, far from the kid's lazy reach, I slide back onto the bed beside him and swoop down the latch my lips onto his already ruined neck, leaving a trail of warm kisses in place that makes him purr blissfully as he hooks his still bare leg above my hip. "I can't believe you're trying to start me again," I laugh tiredly against him, humming "You're insatiable. How are you not completely exhausted?"

"I am," my angel confirms, despite the contradicting force of him gently rolling his hips against me; lithe fingers reaching forward to brush against my bare chest and in turn forcing me to close my eyes in a weak attempt to gain some composure and not give into him and his teasing pursuits. "But I can't help it. Do you have any idea how hot you look in the morning? Especially when you're smoking shirtless."

"Stop it," I warn with the most serious look I can bring myself to muster when he's frowning up at me the way that he is; big baby-doll eyes pulling the needy puppy card and making it feel as though he had just ripped open my chest, grabbed my flora-ridden organ and was now tugging directly on my heartstrings. For something so small, saying no to my TylerTylerTyler was ridiculously fucking hard. "You've gotta rest, kid."

As if to emphasize my point, I shift to sit up on the bed and settle him on my lap instead; usually bruised knees knocking against my waist as I tenderly trail my touch across the marks that litter his exquisite body. Tracing each individual hickey, the distinct bite mark and then the rosy loops around his wrist, I stop at the imprints on his delicate hips that match perfectly with my hands; unable to prevent the look of guilt from painting itself across my face completely.

"J.." Tyler whispers to act my distracted attention, his surprisingly cool hand hooking beneath my chin softly and lifting my gaze to meet his own. "I know what you're thinking, but this is different." Shiny fawn-eyes glinting with sincerity, he presses his forehead against my own and murmurs in reassurance. "You're nothing like him, darling. I wanted this, okay? I wanted it from you. And I enjoyed it, because I love you. Please don't feel sorry for it, J."

I nod understandingly at him but he must sense the lingering uncertainty in my action, for my baby shifts to rest his hands on top of my own that hover over the light bruises; brushing our thumbs across them in sync before capturing my lips in a slow yet passionate kiss of clashing tongues and divine whimpers. A smile finally tugging at my lips and curving against his own, he pulls back to nestle his face into the crook of my neck; the two of us enjoying the languid moment and savouring each other's company.

Until a noticeable slam of the door sounds through the apartment, that is.

"What was-" Tyler lifts his head questioningly but is cut off mid-query by our bedroom door swinging open, Pete and Patrick appearing in the doorway and in casual conversation as if they hadn't just walked in on our affectionate moment; my sex-personified boyfriend still as naked as the day he was born and wrapped up in my hold. He lets out an instinctive squeak of surprise, cheeks flushing a shade as deep as those hickeys scattered across his skin like a constellation as I speedily fumble to pull the thin sheets up around his waist.

Shooting a glare in their direction that's a combination of annoyance and pure disbelief, I call out "What the fuck? What are you doing?"

Without a care in the world for the disheveled sight in front of them, the couple cheer in unison "Happy birthday, Joshie!", before Patrick rambles on "Well, happy belated birthday, but it still counts 'cause we didn't see you yesterday. It's basically tradition at this point that we spend the whole day pestering you." After a few beats of blundering silence between the four of us, Pete grins cheekily and salutes in my angel's direction.

"Morning, Ty."

"Uh.. hi," he responds meekly, clearly fighting the urge to bury his face back into my chest and pretend that this isn't happening right now.

Gazes briefly running across his exposed upper body, the other couple share an undecipherable look as Pete leans against the door frame carelessly; an amused smirk finding its way onto his lips. "Christ, Josh, what did you do to the kid? I feel bad for him. Looks like you're a fuckin' animal in bed."

I didn't think it was physically possible at this point, but Tyler flushes an even deeper shade of pink and curls further into my hold; murmuring an incredulous yet slightly entertained "Oh my god.." under his breath, and I'm honestly not sure whether I'm ready to laugh or scream at my so called friends at this point. I'm about to tell them to fuck off when the younger of the two catches sight of the shiny handcuffs still hooked to the end of our bed, and his hysterical, high-pitched giggle is filling the silence of the room. Looping a finger through them and showing them off to his boyfriend, Patrick slyly smirks "Wasn't expecting you to be a kinky fucker, Joshie. Can we borrow these? I mean, Pete's getting kinda boring in bed lately and-"

Cutting him off by throwing a pillow across the room and hitting him directly in the face, I let out a sigh laced with evident frustration. "Get the fuck out of my bedroom. Both of you. Now."

Despite the dismissive roll of his eyes, Patrick still latches onto his boyfriend and begins to pull him out into the lounge, but clearly can't resist embarrassing me further first as he calls out "You're acting as if this is the first time we've walked in on you in bed with someone. The amount of times I've seen your dick-"; the slamming of the door behind him cutting off the end of his sentence.

The second we're alone again, I turn to Tyler with an apologetic look in my eyes, but the auroral giggle that falls from his lips eases my anxiety, making my heart skip a few silent beats and bringing the butterflies deep in my stomach back to life.

"I'm sorry. For them. For that. Sometimes I can't remember why I gave them a key in the first place. I need to get it back anyway though, 'cause I mean.. I figured you'd want a key and-"

My angel cuts me off with a tender kiss, my words trailing off into nothing but a soft moan when he deepens it; tongue swiping across my lip and his hands tangling in the messy curls at the nape of my neck. For a brief second, I forget about our guests and allow myself to get a little carried away; coarse hands grasping at his ass and pulling him flush against my body, but this time, he's the one to put a stop to it with a smirk playing on his lips.

"Nu-uh," he tsks reprimandingly, sliding off of my lap with a teasing wiggle of his hips and one last chaste kiss to my cheek. "Normally I'd have no objection to you fucking me when there were people in the next room over, but you missed out on your chance earlier, daddy."

Now, it's my turn to pout childishly in his direction, and to internally curse myself for rejecting his earlier advances, as I just know that he'll use every tease in the book for the rest of the day to try and get to me. "You're the worst, you know that, right?"

"Oh, I know, darling."

Chapter Text

It's mid-August; the Ohio sun is shining brighter than ever, though still not as bright as the glint that frequents my angel's fawn-eyes, the temperature is at it's hottest yet of the year and leaving quite literally everything in proximity feeling as though it's seconds away from melting and Tyler and I are at our happiest ever at the 6 month mark of our newfound relationship. Our summer days together had typically been spent out on casual dates as per my TylerTylerTyler's request, ranging from the basic and expected to the slightly odd and unpredictable to satisfy his constant need to be doing something.

Some days, we'd go to the same park as always, finding the most vacant spot of grass possible and just laying with each other until the sun began to set and the cool evening air filtered in. My baby would, as per habitual routine, wind endless chains of any flowers within reach, looping loose wildflowers in the longer strands of his messy chestnut hair and batting his luminously long eyelashes flirtatiously whenever I told him just how beautiful he looked. On particularly taxing days, he'd settle against my chest and let the distant sounds of children playing and birds chirping sing him to sleep, his soft breaths slowing to a peaceful pace as I brushed my fingers through his flora-crowned locks and overlooked the strange glimpses passerbys shot in our direction.

On particularly warm nights, we'd revisit the lake of our first date and Tyler would forcibly drag me into the refreshing water behind him; splashing around like a child and giggling melodically as he clambered onto my back, chin resting atop of my messy, dripping wet curls and admiring the onset of nightfall in the distance and those glinting stars that appeared in turn. He'd noted, one time, that the luminous constellations that scattered the heavens above us were still enchanting despite their downfall that I'd once informed him of.

And to say that his change in attitude didn't bring a smile to my face and a flutter in my flora-ridden heart would be an outright lie.

We'd visited the art museum downtown one day, my angel wrapped up in my arms as we strolled languidly from room to room; Tyler getting captivatingly excited by his favourite pieces and passionately rambling on about various artists and inspiration and things I had no understanding or knowledge of in his syrupy-sweet voice, as I quietly listened and felt my heart swell at just about everything he did.

"J.. Can we go to Paris one day? So we can visit the Louvre?"

"I'll take you anywhere, angel."

Countless hours had been spent in the kid's favourite music store only a few blocks away from the tainted steps of the oh-so-familiar flora shop; the two of us flickering through endless stacks of old vinyls, gushing over our shared music taste and singing along to the radio floating through the store only slightly off-key. Tyler had set-up one of the in-store keyboards one day, showing me what he remembered from having learnt to play piano as a child and still filling me with an astounding sense of pride despite his technique being a little rusty. His favourite thing to do there, however, was watch me play the drums in the back room; sat on the floor, legs pulled up to his chest and his pretty eyes glinting with a combination of amazement and a little lust.

Other days, when he was frankly too sleepy or it was too muggy outside for his liking, we'd spend our time in the apartment instead; Tyler assuming the role of every kid his age by sitting on his ass all day, playing video games non stop and chain-smoking to the point of almost setting the god damn fire alarm off every single time.

"You do realise you just look extra hot when you're trying to be mad at me, right J?"

On those days, my TylerTylerTyler absolutely loved to taunt me whilst I was attempting to clean the apartment or cook for us or do just about anything else that resulted in my attention not being on him; some days that'd come in the form of him shamelessly sporting nothing but provocative lingerie around the apartment, while on other days he'd take his teasing to the next level by lounging on the couch, touching himself sinfully and allowing exaggerated, obscene noises to fall from those baby-doll lips that always went straight to my dick and were damn near impossible to ignore. Most of time my angel would wind up pressed into the couch beneath me and gasping blissfully, though sometimes it was more satisfying to leave him in the bedroom blindfolded, collared, perky ass high in the air, snarky mouth gagged, handcuffed to the bed, and a high speed vibrator buried inside of him.

It certainly freed up my time, and the sight was admittedly an impressive addition to my phone's photo gallery.

Scattered in between the days of fast and rough fucking with Tyler clawing at my back and biting along my neck and moaning crude things with his low, velvety voice in my ear were the slower, more romantic ones in which we'd spend what was probably reaching hours wrapped up in each other in bed; the glows of the oncoming sunsets filtering through the window and illuminating the kid's tanned skin as he lay stretched out beneath me. I'd take my time scattering constellations of kisses along across every inch of his skin from head to toe, murmuring sweet nothings that made him shiver and caressing our interlinked hands with my thumbs as those endless legs locked around my waist. With the only sounds filling the bedroom being soft whimpers and heavenly giggles and exchanged 'I love you's', I'd fall deeper and deeper into my love for Tyler Robert Joseph every damn time.

I was still unsure of how I'd gotten to be this lucky.

I'm reminded of my unimaginable luck every time I so much as look at the kid, and right now was no exception. The two of us are sitting on our balcony, me half-asleep in the crappy plastic chair as the warm rays of sun beamed down on us and Tyler resting on the floor between my legs, shirtless with the beloved moleskin notebook open on his lap; tongue poking out between his teeth ever so slightly as he focuses on whatever it is he's doing.

That book still remains a mystery between us, aside from the few pages I'd sneakily caught a glimpse of a few months back.

Snapping it shut in his lap, his hushed speech breaches the peaceful silence between us and I feel him begin to shift against me. "J? I want you to help me with something.. "

"Help you with what, baby?" I prompt with a yawn, the trailing off in his voice seeming hesitant and hinting towards uncertainty; I can't help feeling somewhat nervous myself at that.

Tyler turns to face me fully, resting his head on my thigh and peering up at me with those pretty doe-eyes that never hesitate to make me melt into a puddle of golden nectar and fallen petals, and hums contentedly when I brush his fluff of hair back from his heavenly face. He's quiet for another few moments, before he finally confesses timidly "I want to get rid of this book. Destroy it. Burn it or something.. Anything."

"What?" Raising an eyebrow in perplexity, I gaze at the notebook briefly before meeting his nervous stare once more. "Why, Ty?"

My angel reaches out for my hand, intertwining our fingers together and the ever-so-slight feeling of his hand trembling against my own is unsettling to say the least. I give it a comforting squeeze and lean down to press a soft kiss to his knuckle, to which he sighs shakily and begins to confess whatever is weighing down on his mind.

"I write in the book a lot when I'm having my.. bad.. days. Just things like, short poems and lyrics and different ways to express what I can't explain normally. Doing it helped me, it did but.. It's full now," Tyler murmurs in explanation, his free fingers gently brushing across the tattered spine of said book. "I know I'm still a little fucked up and broken and still have bad days but.. this just seems like I'm carrying bad memories around with me, y'know? I don't know how much I actually believe it, but I like to think I'm past my lowest point now. I just think it'd be.. healthier.. for me to get rid of it all."

"And I wrote something a while ago, for you. That weekend when you came looking for me."

That didn't come as a surprise, given that I'd already seen the beginning to the mysterious letter, but the question of what exactly it was had lingered in the back of my flora-ridden mind ever since that day.

Shiny fawn-eyes blinking up at me, he near-whispers "But I don't want to give it to you anymore. I don't think I need it anymore. And I can't stand looking at it every day."

"Angel, it's okay. It's not a problem. We can get rid of it." I reassure quietly with a gentle smile. With my blossom-wrapped heart thumping in my chest so hard that I was sure it could burst through at any given second as the apparent seriousness of the situation dawned on me, I lean forward to rest my free hand on his cheek and swipe across the warm skin tenderly. "The letter.."

"You want to read it first, right?" Tyler asks with a bite of those pouted, bubblegum-stained lips, proving once more that he can seemingly read my mind with just one look. Instinctively leaning into my touch, he lets out a barely audible sigh but nods against me. Fumbling with the moleskin, he opens it to a familiar page that is now covered in his inky cursive rather than those simple four words I'd seen originally and hesitantly rests it in my lap. "Just.. please remember that things are different now, okay?"

With my heart in my throat and a million and one expectations zipping through my TylerTylerTyler infested mind, I grip onto the book weakly and begin to read the dark scribbles.

 

To my dear Joshua,

I’ve had those four words written down for a while now, because I knew this day would come. I knew that one day in our near future I’d find myself writing this letter for you. Perhaps I didn’t see it coming so soon, maybe because I was foolish enough to believe that I could prolong the inevitable, but life is unexpected like that I suppose.

Unexpected like the way a nameless, cute, red-haired bartender with the most caring eyes and a smile brighter than the sun somehow became the most important and loved person in my life in the shortest amount of time.

I wrote this letter because there are a few things I want and need you to know.

1. You made me endlessly happy.

I don’t want you to ever think, not even for a split second, that this was because you couldn’t and didn’t make me happy enough. Never think that, darling. Because oh, how wrong you would be. During my whole 21 years of life, you are the only other living person who genuinely made my heart burst with the feeling of pure love and joy, and the only person who ever made me truly happy. You were the only one able to bring about good days in these endless bouts of darkness that I’ve been living in for years. Nobody else even came close. I could talk forever and a day about how much I love you, about how perfect every single thing about you is, about how you gave me the undoubtedly best few months of my life.

You gave me everything when I had nothing left, and for that I will always be thankful.

2. You deserve the world.

I hope you never forget that. You always said it to me, but it should’ve been the other way around from the very beginning. You are the one who deserves the world. You are the one who deserves endless happiness. You are the one who deserves the freedom you were destined for. But I know that I’ll never be able to be the one to give you those things.

People like me aren’t made for giving others the world, Joshua.

3. I love you so much, Joshua William Dun.

I’ve said it a lot already, but that’s only because I mean it so truly. You are the beat of my heart, the soul that encapsulates my body. You are me, Joshua, because without you I would have been absolutely nothing. Had I not found you, I’d still be empty and lost and unknowing of the feeling of love. In these past few months, you showed me what it was like to be alive again, and for that I love you with every inch of my being.

4. I want you to remember that this isn’t goodbye forever.

If you’re ever feeling lonely, just close your eyes and i’ll be right there beside you. And I know that one day we’ll see each other again on the other side, where things are happier and I can live free of my demons. Trust me when I say I’ll be counting down the days until I get to see your beautiful face again, darling.

But for now, plant seeds upon my grave so that when the wildflowers bloom, you can pick me once more and hold me again.

All my love,

Tyler.

 

By the time I reach the end of the letter, the words are a watery blur to me and the page is damp with wet spots; a sick, churning feeling deep inside my flora-ridden stomach and warm droplets trailing down my cheeks that I'd failed to even notice until now. The realisation alone that my heavenly angel had actually considered this before was more than enough to make me feel faint, as though my already stolen heart had been broken into two halves and as if my whole world was slowly crumbling beneath me.

As though my own life wouldn't be worth living anymore. 

When I look up at Tyler, I recognise that he's crying too; his flushed cheeks sticky with the remnants of stray teardrops and those pretty chocolate eyes all misty as he desperately swipes beneath them. Syrupy-sweet voice catching in his throat, he whimpers "I'm so sorry, J. I'm so, so sorry."

I throw the book onto the floor, push back the chair and drop to my knees beside him, instantaneously pulling him into my hold as he nuzzles into the crook of my neck; feeling his delicate body shaking against my own and hot tears pressing against my skin. The tidal wave of relief that I feel at the sensation of him alive and breathing and still here in my arms after reading the letter that felt so damn real is so overwhelming that it makes my head spin and my heart clench as though the vines this kid planted inside of me are gripping onto my organs for dear life.

Soothingly shushing his cries and rocking him gently, I blink away my own silent tears and murmur "It's okay, angel. Don't be sorry. You have nothing to be sorry for, okay?" Pressing endless kisses into his hair and across what exposed, honey-and-milk skin I can reach in a frantic attempt to ground both myself and my baby, I assure "I am so insanely thankful that you're still here, Tyler. You're still alive and that's all that matters to me. Do you have any idea how strong you are for moving past that? I'm so, so proud of you, baby."

"I love you so much, J. I could never leave you now."

That night, Tyler curls up in my lap and together, we watch the once treasured book burn before us into a mass of smoky ashes.

It feels exactly like smoking the weeds out of our garden.

Chapter Text

I'm woken in the middle of the night by the feeling of a gentle prodding against my ribs and cool fingers brushing through my bed-ridden hair delicately. Blinking up tiredly, I can vaguely make out the silhouette of my precious TylerTylerTyler sitting up beside me in the complete encapsulating darkness of the room; a few tiny glimmers of moonlight filtering in through the gap between the curtains and illuminating a scattering of light beams across his pretty face in a way that makes my baby appear even more angelic than I ever thought possible.

"Sorry for waking you up," he whispers, syrupy-sweet voice as equally serene as the sleeping world just outside of the window, still running his fingers through my curls distractedly and sending a shiver running down my spine.

"S'fine," I assure him sincerely despite the lingering grogginess in my voice and the murmuring in the back of my Tyler Robert Joseph infested mind that is just begging me to go back to sleep, rolling onto my side lazily to face my angel and reaching out my hand to rest on his warm, exposed thigh, stroking the skin soothingly. "You okay, angel?"

Though he appears sleepy as ever with his adorably lidded doe-eyes and mussed up hair that resembles a child having just woken from a nap, Tyler shrugs ambiguously as he continues to anxiously twist a strand of my hair between long fingers in lieu of his own. "Can't sleep."

With a languid, teasing smile tugging on my lips as I peer up at him, I joke "You want me to sing you to sleep?" 

He snorts quietly, the sound remaining harmonious simply due to the fact that it was being emitted by a celestial being such as himself, and turns his gaze to instead focus on inky, black cursive scrawled across my right hip; trailing the lines of each individual word that made up his parting warning to me on the holy day of September 16th delicately with his free hand. "And ruin everyone's day by making it rain? I don't think so, J."

I scoldingly swat the skin beneath my touch with a mocking pout at the jab, but drowsily sit up in the bed nonetheless with a yawn and a stretch of my muscles in an attempt to ward off my own sleepiness; pecking his cheek gingerly, I murmur lowly "Go and get dressed." 

"Get dressed?" Tyler asks, quiet tone laced with uncertainty as he arches a perfectly curved eyebrow at me with a hint of distrust. "Joshua, it's almost three in the morning." 

"I'm aware, Tyler."

Already out of the bed myself and pulling on the first sweater in reach, I gaze back at the kid not seeming to have moved an inch and watching me intently with those shiny bambi-eyes as if he was waiting for some sort of explanation at my sudden, mysterious request. Throwing one of my hoodies that Tyler appeared to wear more than I did myself at this point at him and resting a pair of his shoes beside him, I hum with a reassuring smile "Get dressed, baby. Just trust me, okay? Give me 5 minutes."

With my angel finally nodding in acceptance of my request, I promptly rush around the darkened apartment and fill one of the kid's backpacks with an array of essentials before slinging it over one shoulder and returning to his side with a disguised yawn. As per routine now, I only have to outstretch my arms and Tyler is clambering into them; his long legs wrapping around my waist and his head resting on my shoulder in an action so adorable that the warmth of his delicate body pressed against my own melts my heart into a sticky puddle of floral remains.

He's curled up in the passenger seat of my car, head rested against the window and gaze following the dimmed streetlights which pale in comparison to the glint of the stars above us, when he finally speaks up again. "J, where are we going?" 

"Secret," I smile, only-half focusing on the desolate roads in front of us as I watch my baby; the swiftly passing flashes of light making his face glow in the darkness as though he was something from a god damn teen romance movie. Soft and luminous. "Gonna be a long drive though. Play some music?" 

No longer questioning my seemingly early-morning insanity, Tyler nods with a matched soft smile of his own; his left hand reaching out for my own and tangling our fingers together in a soothing gesture that was a constant for us at this point whilst his right fumbles with his phone, switching the volume to its highest and selecting our shared playlist. 

Tyler's sleepy smile transforms into a heavenly grin of cute dimples and crooked teeth when the instantly recognisable sound of Grouplove fills the car; the kid bursting into song with his melodic voice and throwing our linked hands up in the air with a precious giggle that could play on repeat for the rest of my godforsaken life and never once bore me. 

A sound so syrupy-sweet that I'm sure he's going to rot every single tooth in my mouth one day.

If he doesn't kill me completely first, that is. 

The whole car journey goes that exact way; the two of us breaking the serene silence of the summer night with our singing.

Maybe one of us is slightly off-key, but it doesn't matter who.

Occasionally, my angel unbuckles his seatbelt to lean across onto my own seat, pressing an unstoppable scattering of sloppy kisses across my beaming face distractedly and cheerfully performing the cheesiest 90's love songs at the top of his auroral voice in a way that leaves my flora-ridden heart thumping as hard and fast as the beats of the music that surround us.

Just over two hours of singing and giggling and lingering looks of love later, we're pulling up our destination; the revelation causing Tyler to gaze over at me with disbelief, his golden laugh falling from those baby-doll lips and fawn-eyes shining with a soft glint more impressive than the starry heavens above us. 

"You drove for two hours at 3 o'clock in the morning to bring me to the beach?" My baby grins, head tilted at me ever so slightly as I cut off the engine and slide out of my seat. 

Walking to other side of the car, I open the door for him and scoop him out of the seat; Tyler locking his arms around my neck and muffling his giggles into my still messy hair.

"Mhm.." I confirm, locking the doors behind us and heading towards the start of sand. "What's a better distraction than the beach?" 

Taking my face in his hands and bumping  his perfect pixie-nose against my own ever-so-softly, he whispers "You are insane, Joshua William Dun." 

At this point, I'm unable to even fathom disagreeing with him. 

It was undeniable that I was completely and utterly insane for him.

But that's just what love is, apparently. 

"Are you happy?"

"Of course I'm happy, darling." 

"Then that's all that matters to me, baby," I murmur, lifting my hand to tenderly brush my thumb against his cherry-tinted lips; shifting to hold his chin and pull the kid into a sweet kiss that makes me head spin and my inner blossoms flourish so profoundly that I'm sure my vessel is on the edge of bursting any day soon. 

Though the words remain generally unspoken between us in the silently sweet moment, the overpowering adoration translated by his pouty lips alone assures me that he knows. 

He knows that when I say I'll do anything for him, I mean quite literally anything. 

No matter how ignorant or oblivious or foolish.

If it meant putting a smile on that heavenly face, I'd take him on a tour around every inch of this god forsaken world to see the sights he only dreams of. I'd learn to fly the fucking plane myself if I had to. If the kid asked me to, I'd rip open my own chest, reach into the gardens blooming inside of me and tear out my flora-ridden heart to place inside a jar for his own safekeeping. If my TylerTylerTyler wished for it, I'd sacrifice my worthless soul to the god damn devil in exchange for his own entry to heaven in which a cherub like himself most certainly belonged. 

I say I'd live for my archangel, and I do. Every single day of my undeserving life.

And isn't that one of the hardest things to do? 

Tearing myself away from the captor of my lips despite knowing I could happily spend the rest of my life kissing him breathless, I place him back onto solid ground with another irresistible peck to his temple. Kicking off our shoes, I loop a tattooed arm over his shoulder and latch our fingers together once more as we walk; my angel wiggling his bare toes in the cool sand that is as as soft and silky as his own skin and unknowingly releasing a relaxed sigh from those rose-petal lips. 

Nudging me softly in the side and pressing his head against my chest, Tyler purrs "Look, J. The sun is starting to rise." 

Looking out to above the slow waves of the sea, the darkness of the sky was slowly being overtaken by comfortingly warm blends of reds and pinks and oranges in an auroral glow almost as golden as my baby's laugh; the sun peeking out ever so lightly on the horizon and already leaving a warm tint in the early summer air as the reflecting rays rippled along the water and filled us both with silent awe. 

"Pretty, right?" 

Humming contemplatively, I shift my gaze to lock on his peaceful face instead; doe-eyes brimming with childlike joy and his chapped, bubblegum-stained lips painted with admiration. "Very pretty, but nowhere near as gorgeous as you." 

The kid rolls his eyes exaggeratedly and makes a quiet gagging sound, burying his face further into the material of my sweater with a muffled giggle. "You're so fucking cliché, J, honestly. You're going to make me sick one of these days." 

Pulling back and beginning to walk backwards so to face me, he tilts his head and grins tauntingly. "What next, huh? If you're a bird, I'm a bird? It would be a privilege to have my heart broken by you? How about..uh.. nobody puts baby in a corner?"

"You know what?" I sigh with a matched roll of my eyes, despite the fact that an amused smirk is also playing on my lips. The second I speed up towards him, my angels takes off running towards the water; his soft, chiming giggle transforming into a breathlessly harsh laugh that is as joyous as ever and fills ever inch of my nectar-infested veins with adoration so pure that I could never fathom the feeling into conceivable words. 

I catch up to him easily, grabbing his itty-bitty waist and hoisting him over my shoulder in one swift movement that makes him squeal and squirm resistantly. "What are you gonna do to me, daddy?" Tyler giggles low in my ear, giving up with his attempts to wriggle around in my hold and squeaking when I land a playful slap to his pretty little ass. 

Rather than supplying him with a verbal response, I simply pad forward a few steps until the chilly water of the sea is brushing against my shins and loosen my hold on my delicate angel. Dropping him forward ever-so-slightly in a teasing fake out, the kid whines in panic and clings onto my sweater as tight as his dainty hands will let him. "J, don't you fucking dare."

I raise my eyebrow as if to challenge him, leaning forward even further until the water is mere inches away from encapsulating him completely.

"You wouldn't."

"Wouldn't I?"

"If you drop me in this water, I'm going to be cold the whole drive home. And I'll get ill," Tyler informs matter-of-factly, a sly smirk tugging at his soft lips because he knows he's right and winning once more. "You could never let yourself do that to me." 

Planting him back down safely on his feet, the sudden shock of water against his bare toes making him gasp quietly, I mutter bitterly against his warm honey-and-milk skin "I hate it when you're right." 

He appears amused at my loss, sighing happily "I love being right. And I love you too, I guess." 

"Sucking up to me now, huh?"

"Not sucking up," my baby dismisses with a gentle slap to my chest, though adds cheekily with a sparkle in his eyes that tells me he isn't quite joking "I'm willing to suck something else though." 

"I bet you are, baby boy," I grin in response, unable to stop the low laugh that falls from my lips at both his suggestion and the way that the pet name affects him; making him pout needily and paw at my chest in a signal for further attention, as always.

We spend another thirty minutes or so settled on our own isolated paradise, sharing cigarettes, exchanging endless tender kisses and whispering sappy confessions of love as the sun rises fully and morning greets us silently, simply enjoying the peaceful moment that we don't always have the chances of experiencing together. If I had it my way, every single morning for the rest of my life would be spent this way; the boy I loved more than anything in the entire world curled up in my lap as we watched a view that was unable to even rival his own beauty. Back in the car, Tyler curls up in the passenger seat with the furry blanket I brought along and purrs happily when I begin to trace soothing, indistinct patterns along his thigh with my free hand in the way that always makes him relax, no matter what.

And on the way home, he is finally taken by sleep. 

Chapter Text

The story continued at a bar on September 16th.

Sleazy, dark and smoky, the bar was, as always, home to a plethora of gallant free spirits in the form of greasy hipsters and broke college students and affair-seeking older men who cruised in with their unwashed hair and bitten nails in desperate need of cheap liquors and a release of their stories. 

But you know the story by now. 

No different to every other weekday, the night was quiet at the bar aside from our oh-so-familiar regulars; the short blonde who talks way too loud about her kids with her more plump friend, the greasy Armenian man who most definitely runs a drug emporium following his divorce and overall downfall, and the Uni professor who is still cheating on his wife with one of his anatomy students that now accompanies him on the lonelier nights. There was the other regular too. The one that doesn't deserve to be classified with those messes of matter.

My favourite.

Looking up across the poetry-scattered bar, he's sitting there looking celestial as always; his soft fluff of chestnut hair having been cut shorter at the sides, yet still remaining long enough on top to run his anxiously twitching fingers through, those swoon worthy fawn-eyes focused with an intent glint on the copy of Lolita in the hold of his delicate hands, adorably overcrossed teeth biting down into his pouted, baby-doll lips in concentration and as always, a halo laced with freshly picked wild violets resting in place and crowning him as the ethereal nymph every single person within his presence knew him to be.

Leaning onto the bar that separates us, and eyes briefly scanning over the very poetry he left in place a year ago to the day, I rasp with a teasing lilt in my voice "What can I get you?"

Not shifting his focus from the worn down pages before him for even a millisecond, the kid's kissable lips switch up into a smirk; no longer one filled with disguised yet noticeable angst, but with effortless amusement instead as his oh-so sharp tongue darts out and slicks his bottom lip smoothly. "You know exactly what I want."

Almost by instinct, I pour him a vodka soda on the rocks as he settles the book face-down atop of his own slanted writing ingrained in the wood, and he begins his routine. He sucks on a piece of ice, draws a pretty wildflower on the dew of his glass, and then sips his bitter devil's juice with a somewhat disgusted grimace on his face.

Even after all this time, it is still terribly cute.

Wiping the sour remnants from his sweet mouth with the back of his hand, my angel tilts his head at me inquisitively and cocks a perfectly arched eyebrow in my direction; even the feeling alone of his loving gaze lingering on me being more than enough the leave the butterflies of my inner garden fluttering so recklessly that it makes me nauseated in the most oddly, pleasurable way possible. Voice syrupy-sweet and no longer bluntly intimidating like our first interaction, he smirks "Can I get you something, darling? You've spent an awful lot of your time watching me rather than doing your job."

I'm unable to even deny his exact claim, given that I've been scolded far too many times tonight already by demanding customers for paying no attention to anything other than the beautiful brown-haired boy across the bar, so a roll of my eyes in regards to his teasing suffices. Humming in mock contemplation and scrunching my nose, I finally decide with a quiet sigh and an underlying smile on my chapped lips. "How about a kiss?"

My request draws an all too familiar rosy blush on his dimpled cheeks; a soft and gentle glow that I'm sure rivals the beauty of the endless flowers growing inside of every damn inch of my vessel, as he tuts and releases the tiniest, twinkliest laugh that feels like an onslaught of jagged thorns digging straight into my flora-ridden heart. As damn painful as that sounded, the pleasure of having Tyler Robert Joseph be the one to slowly kill me day by day was far too pleasurable to feel anything but pure infatuation. Velvety voice overflowing with wit and sarcasm and grace, he wistfully sighs "I tend not to kiss on the first date, dear."

"Don't kiss on the first date, huh?" I question, an amused scoff falling from my lips as I refill his drink and watch closely as his tinted, rose-petals wrap around the straw seductively, making the nectar in my blood heat up profusely. "If I remember correctly, we fucked before we'd even had a first date so.."

Perfect little pixie-nose scrunching up in disgust at my words, he mindlessly swirls the straw around in his drink and reaches across the bar with his free hand to slap my chest reprimandingly. "Don't be so crude, Joshua." A barely noticeable pout playing on his soft lips, he scolds "We didn't fuck on Valentine's day, you asshole. That makes me sound cheap." With a sip of his drink and a gentle sigh, he corrects "I asked you to make love to me. It's different."

"I know, baby. I know," I murmur, hooking a finger beneath his chin so to lift his fawn-eyed gaze to meet my own. Despite the fact that it was sometimes a sensitive subject for my angel, somehow being annoyed with each other was a skill either of us were yet to master. If I ever, very rarely, found myself growing frustrated with Tyler, all he had to do was pull out the sad puppy card, with those big, shiny eyes, adorable pout and delicate hands pawing at my chest for attention. One simple look at him in those situations made my heart melt into a sticky puddle of dew and nectar and wilted leaves. And on the few situations in which I was like culprit of annoyance, a tender kiss to the underside of his jaw was more than enough to put me back into his good books. "'M sorry for being an ass."

Tyler accepts my apology wordlessly, leaning across the short-distance of the bar between us and pressing his lips against my own in a compassionate kiss that was probably more PDA than any of the regulars had bargained to see on their quiet night in the bar; the usual sweetened bubblegum taste of my angel blending with the bitter vodka soaking his tongue in an infusion that was so enchanting that I felt the tips of my toes tingling and my mind beginning to feel fuzzy with both arousal and authentic adoration.

When he pulls back, baby-doll lips all slicked and his luminously long eyelashes fluttering flirtatiously, it finally hits me for the first time all day that this is so fucking real. 

I'd acknowledged long ago that my TylerTylerTyler was in fact real, and not simply a fictitious angel formed in the depths of my insane mind to sate my loneliness or some beautifully lucid hallucination from smoking too much weed one night, but the gravity of our situation only seemed to hit me like a sharp slap to the face in this very moment; as though all of the oxygen had been forced from my blossom-filled lungs in one swift action, leaving me all starry-eyed and weak in the knees. 

Here I was, one year later to the date, with my oh-so mysterious favourite fawnlette sat in front of me; his dainty fingers playing with my own atop of the scratched up bar and his kissable lips pulled back into a contented smile as he watched me. 

Definitely a far-cry from the original holy day of September 16th, in which Tyler was all angst-ridden smiles and colder doe-eyed stares and sharp words with his razor tongue that sliced my skin mercilessly and branded his initials onto my falling heart.

Had some higher being informed me way back when that I'd still be so ridiculously in love with the mysterious archangel that nothing else in my godforsaken life mattered anymore exactly one year later, it probably wouldn't have surprised me. Tyler Robert Joseph most definitely captured my heart in a glass jar of his own when he spoke those parting words to me, the very poetry that embellishes my right hip in an inky cursive almost as elegant as the kid himself. 

And I think we both knew that.

It would've been a different case, however, had someone suggested that the glorious, crowned nymph who graced the murky hole-in-the-wall with his flawless presence would now be my boyfriend. Tyler Robert Joseph was a disappearing enigma. He was a lost soul. A precious wildflower who despised the concept of domestication, and simply lived and breathed his self-proclaimed destiny of growing from garden to garden, from field to field, from man to man with no committed restrictions. My TylerTylerTyler was an angel sent from the heavens above, one of which I was so, so unworthy of sharing the same air as that had someone informed me of our near-future, a disbelieving laugh would've been my only appropriate response.

But I managed to do it.

I tamed the wildflower.

"What're you thinking about, J?" His sharp-tongue slices through the lingering silence between us, despite the contradictory tone of his voice that remains as silky and sweet as ever, and brings me back into my reality that is no longer dull and lifeless and filled with endless nights of vodka shots and rolled eyes; one that is instead filled with tender kisses and harmonious giggles and the consistent feeling of overpowering love pumping through my flora-ridden heart. One of which I'm happy to face daily so long as my baby is by my side.

"You." I reply candidly, a dumb lovestruck grin painting itself on my lips and making my already dopey face look even more punchable than usual. Tangling our already touching fingers together into one, I lift his hand and press a soft kiss to his knuckles, murmuring against his warm skin "About how lucky I am. About how I really don't deserve you. About how unbelievably beautiful you are. A little bit of wondering how the hell I actually managed to get you to love me back. But mostly, how fucking in love with you I am, angel."

"Oh stop it, Joshua," my baby tuts with a teasing, slightly crooked grin that makes him appear unaffected by my charm, although the soft flush of his glowing cheeks and the instantly recognisable glint of fondness in those deep fawn-eyes in which I would happily drown give him away instantly. "Now you're just trying to woo me into bed with you."

An over-exaggerated sigh falling from my lips, I half-smirk "You caught me. What can I say?", though sober up when his auroral giggle sounds harmoniously above the familiar radio song floating through the bar, causing my heart to thump thunderingly and my inner-blossoms to flourish more ferociously as always. He rest his cheek against our intertwined fingers and bats his eyelashes, and I murmur lowly as to keep our conversation private from the eavesdropping inhabitants of the shithole, "I can't wait to show you just how much I love you when we get home."

My angel releases a pretty whine that lights the flame inside my abdomen, almost igniting a god-damned forest fire within my internal garden of tangled vines and thriving flora, and complains "J, don't say shit like that when your shift isn't over for another hour. You're not allowed to just put images in my head and turn me on but then not do anything about it." Ignoring the breathy laugh he draws from me at his own misfortune, Tyler adds "And anyway, I've got something to show you first. When we're home."

"Can't wait, baby."

|-/

Just over an hour later, we're sat in our bedroom together; me on the floor, legs pulled up against my chest and chin resting on my knees as I eagerly await this surprise, and Tyler nestled into the furry comforter covering the bed, wearing nothing but a pair of sweats and the wild violet crown which is still looped within the longer strands of his fluffy hair, cross-legged and a beaten-up ukulele in his tattoo-adorned arms.

"It's dumb," he mumbles, plucking the strings experimentally and leaving a visible dent in his pouty, bottom lip with his teeth as he anxiously gnaws on the already chapped skin. "But I kind of wrote a short song for you. About you. Just don't like.. laugh or anything."

The unexpected confession causes the twisting vines inside of me to loop themselves around every single organ in my vessel, squeezing so hard that my body is engulfed with a tidal wave of haziness that leaves me feeling a little faint, in the best way possible. In a way that makes me truly believe that the only thing keeping me grounded and helping me to avoid being washed away completely by my awe is the euphonious and honeyed sound of TylerTylerTyler's mellow vocals surrounding my every sense.

 

We don't believe what's on TV,


Because it's what we want to see,


And what we want, we know we can't believe,


We have all learned to kill our dreams.

I need to know that when I fail you'll still be here,


'Cause if you stick around I'll sing you pretty sounds,


And we'll make money selling your hair.

I don't care what's in your hair,


I just wanna know what's on your mind,


I used to say, "I wanna die before I'm old,"


But because of you I might think twice.

 

Syrupy-sweet voice trailing off into the peaceful silence of the night with the last chord, Tyler peers up at me breathlessly with those innocent baby-doll eyes; a nervous smile tugging on his lips as he turns to nuzzle his face into his own shoulder out of embarrassment. 

"You really wrote that?" I grin, the loving words of his melody still sinking into my already Tyler Robert Joseph infested mind and the echo of his angelic voice playing on repeat in my ringing ears like some kind of enchanting music box. When my baby nods silently, clearly still apprehensive for feedback, I supply him with a simple "..And just when I thought you couldn't get anymore perfect."

Placing his worn-down instrument aside, the kid slides off of our bed and pads over to me; my legs slipping down and Tyler crawling into my lap as soon as the space is freed up, his tan arms latching around my neck and his flushed face nuzzling into messy curls of red hair. Voice muffled against my skin and causing goosebumps to appear along every inch of my skin, he questions "You really liked it?" 

"Loved it, angel. It was amazing, and now I kind of want you to sing it to me on repeat until the day I die" I confirm with full sincerity and a low chuckle despite the seriousness of my claim, dipping my head forward to scatter a constellation of warm kisses against his exposed collarbones and along the column of his neck. "Loved it almost as much as I love you." 

"You gonna show me just how much you love me like you promised, Joshua?" Tyler smirks, the combined feeling of his velvety-smooth lips curving up slyly against me and hot bubblegum and vodka breath brushing against my cool skin causing me to shudder with need. 

"Like never before, baby boy."

Chapter Text

Arms wrapping around Tyler's waist to keep him steady against me as he clings onto my hold, I push myself up off of the floor and stumble across the short distance to the bed, laying him down onto the furry blanket as softly as possible and pulling back briefly to admire the ethereal beauty beneath me; the sight of his angelic face really never gets boring to me. If the only thing I could see for the rest of my godforsaken life was this kid, all deeply flushed cheeks and wide fawn-eyes and bitten cherry-tinted lips and messy curls of chocolate brown hair, then I would absolutely consider my life having been worth living.

To see that face on my deathbed would only serve to make my inevitable passing glorious, if the otherworldly sight of my TylerTylerTyler didn't kill me first anyway, that is.

Dainty hands reaching out to dance along the hem of my t-shirt, the cool sensation of his lithe fingers making me shiver when they brush against the skin of my stomach, he peers up at me with silent request and following a faint nod, he's pulling the fabric over my head and throwing it onto the floor carelessly. Tracing along the lines of my muscles gingerly before smoothing his hands along my tattooed bicep, my angel giggles to himself sweetly with a tug of his pouted bottom lip.

"What's so funny?" I question with a matched smirk, ducking down to attach my lips to the treasured spot on the underside of his jaw that never fails to make him whimper in surrender.

Blunt nails digging into my upper arm at the sudden thrill of my tongue swiping across his sensitive skin, my baby's breath hitches noticeably as he huskily giggles "J-just wondering how on earth I got someone like you. Have you seen yourself, J? Ah, y-you literally look like a fucking model, I swear."

Soft laughter muffled against his velvety-smooth skin, I peck another gentle kiss in place and reach up to hold his pretty face in one hand; thumb brushing against his cheekbone soothingly and simply soaking up every single contented hum he releases in response to the loving touches. Tyler nuzzles his face into my hold, a mischievous glint appearing in the doe-eyes gazing up in my direction and making my stomach butterflies flutter manically with anticipation. "And I've got another surprise for you too," he whispers, voice trailing off into a intoxicating grin of crooked teeth and dimpled cheeks.

"Oh yeah?" I inquire with a tilt of my head; my Tyler Robert Joseph infested mind running wild with possibilities and my flora-ridden heart thumping in apprehension so loud that I'm sure he can hear the speedy heartbeat even above the late-night traffic commotion sounding through our opened window.

One hand resting directly above my heart now claimed as his own, the kid pushes me up to sit back on my feet and shifts onto his own knees with an expression illustrating his face that represents nothing but pure sinfulness and only serves to peak my curiosity at this so called 'surprise'. Wordlessly satisfying my interest, he takes one of my hands in his own and slips them underneath the loose fabric of his sweats, trailing my fingers across his curves in passing before pressing them up against the firm rubber base of a plug buried between his cheeks. Drawing an instant growl from my lips at the realisation, as well as a tidal wave of arousal rushing over me and making my head swim with unstoppable lust, Tyler leans in to nip at my earlobe and purrs "Wanted to be ready for you, daddy."

"Such a good boy," I murmur in praise, the approval as always compelling him to glow with a dangerous mix of both pride and oncoming coyness. With a swift peck to his temple, I begrudgingly tear my hand away and unlatch his lips from me, leaning over to the bedside table and shuffling around in Tyler's possessions for a certain birthday present that my angel adores wearing almost as much I adore that exact sight. Doe-eyes sparkling with desire when he catches sight of the pretty lavender-coloured collar, my baby settles into my lap obediently and tilts his head in indication of a heart-shattering kiss.

Fastening the accessory around the bronzed skin of his neck with practiced precision, I loop a coarse finger through the heart-shaped loop and tug him forward until our lips are melting together as one; the remnants of cigarette smoke on my own breath mixing with the bubblegum and vodka on the kid's own in a nauseating infusion that makes me want to simultaneously gag and soak up the taste until I'm incapable of savouring anything other than the homely taste of my TylerTylerTyler. A syrupy-sweet moan reverberating into my mouth from his own as our tongues clash with urgency, he needily bumps his hips against my own and that's all it takes for me to give in.

I hook my fingers beneath his sweatpants and slip them off with ease, revealing the tightest pair of boxers he owns that hug his perfectly heart-shaped ass and makes my lower abdomen burn with a flame of desire so fierce that the sensation alone was enough to make me ache. A soft pat to his exposed thigh is enough of a signal, and with silent understanding he flips over and settles himself onto all fours; head resting on the nearest pillow and his perky ass pushed high into the air, legs spread wide and a mockingly innocent look lighting up his angelic face. Sliding the last barrier that covers his creamy, honey-and-milk skin down to his ankles, the sudden perception of my cool hands caressing him compels him to jolt forward in shock; a subtle gasp leaving his baby-doll lips.

And though the greater part of my desperate mind was begging me to make love to him right there and then, teasing him was always far too much fun.

Especially when it resulted in sobbed out begs that wiped my mind of the ability to form any coherent thoughts.

The concept of time is lost on me once I begin; licking hot stripes against his trembling thighs, marking them up with gentle nips and hickeys in a blossoming pattern of artwork across his velvety-smooth skin and scattering endless constellations of nimble kisses across every inch I can reach. My only indicator of having lost track of time is when Tyler's heavenly whine cuts through the silence and captures my attention, the kid fussing and nudging his ass backwards to press against me "J, hurry up. Stop teasing me, you asshole."

With a cursory eye-roll at his restlessness, I swiftly land my hand across his creamy skin in a sharp spank that sounds through the room and makes him yelp melodiously, leaning over his delicate body and growling low in his ear "What was that? Wanna repeat it?"

"I s-said please stop teasing me, J," my angel manages to choke out after catching the breath previously swept from his lungs, nuzzling his flushed face into the pillow to avoid meeting my dominant gaze.

"Funny, 'cause I don't remember hearing the please the first time around," I hum, swatting another ruthless smack directly above the last; forcing myself to ignore the pained cry Tyler releases in response. Every single time we're in a situation like this and my baby makes even the slightest sound of distress, the thorn-ridden vines that grow ferociously inside my vessel instantly dig into my heart painfully and overpower me with an overwhelming need to drop everything and care for him tenderly, but after endless reassurances that he knows his limits, I have to brush it off and focus on the lust-craving side of my heart instead. "Are you lying to me, baby boy? Good boys don't lie."

"'M sorry, daddy," he whimpers, perfect little pixie-nose scrunching as he ignores the deep throbbing sensation running through his veins. "B-but please, J. Need you. Please."

"Need what, angel?" I murmur in forgiveness, planting soft pecks and brushing over the imprinted skin with my thumb soothingly as he rocks back into the gentle touches.

Peering back at me innocently from where his head is rested on the pillow, the pure image of lust with his shiny baby-doll eyes and feathered hair still laced with wildflowers and parted lips in desperate need of kissing, Tyler breathes out softly in request "I need you to make love to me."

With the kid's syrupy-sweet words sending a shiver down my spine and pumping my flora-ridden heart with a divine boost of both intense sensuality and inconceivable adoration, I purr warmly in response "Anything for you, baby boy." With that I clasp both of his dainty hands together in my hold, firmly pinning them to the small of his back and grasping at the smoothed edges of the plug's base with my other hand; easing it out gently and savouring the deprived mewl he's unable to hold in at the newfound emptiness.

I shush his cries with a flurry of compassionate kisses to the smooth skin between his shoulder-blades, the feeling of my chapped lips and hot breath brushing across the expanse of his upper body grounding him as I slide into him with ease; Tyler's feet scrambling to hook around my legs for some form of support for his already weak body and a guttural moan almost as deep as the swirling pools of his fawn-eyes echoing around our bedroom as I bottom-out inside of him. "You good, angel?"

"Fuck. Better than good, J." Rocking his hips back against my own as much as he can manage in the restrained position, my baby gasps with what little of a laugh he can form in such a breathless state "Christ. Has your dick gotten bigger? I don't think I can feel my legs anymore."

My own chuckle is muffled against his skin, giving a sudden harsh thrust to accentuate his point and smirking in satisfaction when the slamming of my hips against the kid's pretty ass causes his back to arch with immeasurable pleasure, Tyler groaning a barely audible "A-ah, daddy," into the pillow he's biting down on; the muttering of the nickname alone going to straight to my dick and kickstarting the passionate tempo of deep, slow thrusts that slam into his sweet spot with succession every single time and leaves him handing over every last drop of control to me, only serving to fuel the dominant fire I was so unaware I even had until meeting my TylerTylerTyler.

Tattooed arm wrapping around his itty-bitty waist for support, I reach down with my free hand to hook a finger through the shiny loop of his collar once more, giving a gentle warning tug before sitting back on my legs and pulling him upwards with me; the short, thrilling bout of oxygen loss making him choke and grasp backwards for my hips; delicate fingers pressing into my skin as he seats himself fully on my dick and adjusts to the new positioning.

Using my hold on him to tug jerk Tyler's lovestruck gaze towards me, I purr low in his ear "You like it when you lose control, kitten? You like letting daddy take care of you?", as he bounces against my body to the best of his ability with shaky legs and a twisting coil deep in his stomach; his soft breath hitching at both the new pet name and every damn time I snap my hips upwards to meet his own increasingly sloppy tempo.

"Fuck, oh god, J. Y-yeah," he rambles almost incoherently, throwing his head back to rest on my shoulder with an overflow of ecstasy followed by a series of soft, pleasured sobs. "Love knowing I'm yours. A-ah, you're so.. so good to me, daddy." Releasing one hands grip from my waist, he reaches it up to tangle through my sweat-matted curls; gripping on as he whimpers so heavenly that the blossoms inside of me flourish frantically, and guiding my head towards his exposed neck. 

Message received, I lock my lips onto the stretched out column, sucking a constellation of possessive hickeys in all shades of bruising pink along the untouched canvas of his skin around the collar and nipping at him tenderly in exchange for velvety whines that I wish to wrap myself up in forevermore. Obscene sounds of skin slapping against skin, my angel's risqué moans and the wet melodies of my lips marking him up engulf the room, and if that wasn't enough, the quick glance sideways at my TylerTylerTyler with his burning cheeks and bliss lidded-eyes and destroyed neck leaves me screaming internally; the building heat pooling deep in my stomach and my abs beginning to clench up in warning.

"C'mon, baby boy. I want you to cum without being touched," I growl, voice coarse, one hand lifting his hip with every bump flush against his ass, the other ghosting along his sweat-glistening chest and tauntingly brushing across his sensitive nipples in a movement that draws a soft cry from his pretty lips. "Can you do that for me, angel?"

Tyler hums in submissive compliance, throwing what little energy he has left inside his delicate body into slamming himself down on me harder; dragging out each thrust torturously with a symphony of melodic whimpers that pierce the lust-filled air surrounding our every sense and leave my loins burning so profusely that I'm certain he won't be the only one unable to move afterwards. Feeling his already tight ass beginning to clench around me desperately, I push him over the edge with murmured words of encouragement and praise against his neck between biting kisses. "Doing so well, kitten. Almost there. 'M gonna fill you up and make you mine."

"'M already yours, J," my angel pants, breath hitching mid-sentence and a soft gasp of shattering pleasure sounding through the air upon his release; the pearly, white liquid painting his smooth tummy as his thighs quiver against me from overstimulation. Despite the fact that his body goes limp against me, Tyler still rocks gently against my final erratic thrusts and shudders with joy when he's hit with the full force sensation of filled with the hot and sticky liquid; my vision being overtaken by pure, hot white heat and my legs falling weak beneath me. We sit there silently for a brief moment, both racing to catch lost oxygen before the flora in my lungs begins to dissipate and wilt with neglect, and the kid's head still resting on my shoulder; turning to press his bubblegum-and-vodka tainted lips against whatever skin he can reach in a loving and thankful gesture.

"I love you s'much, Joshua," Tyler weakly mumbles against my skin, syrupy-sweet voice broken with exhaustion like cracked honey yet still sounding like a celestial melody to my own ears.

"I love you too, baby." My response is instant, almost routine at this point yet still not lacking truthfulness and meaning, and I duck down my own head to meet his rose-petal lips in a tender kiss; one overflowing with so much pure love and affection that I'm surprised I haven't died from the overzealous sweetness of the situation. Usually sharp-tongue swiping against my bottom lip briefly, he shifts himself to slide off of me with no care for the slicked liquid running down his thick thighs, and settles himself more comfortably in my lap with a noticeable hiss of pain when his sensitive and reddened ass presses against me a little too forcefully. "Want me to run a bath?

"Only if you're gonna carry me to it," my angel smiles, contented face nuzzling into the crook of my neck and his legs latching themselves around my waist in the oh-so familiar move that tells me regardless of my answer, I'm going to be carrying him around anyway. Not that I minded though. Shifting off of the bed proves to be a strenuous activity thanks to my already aching muscles and the weight of my TylerTylerTyler resting on my hip too, but I manage it with only a muttered curse under my breath that makes the kid giggle against my skin and provokes him to trail his delicate fingers along my skin soothingly in intricate patterns as his own way of comfort.

Five minutes later we're settled into the steaming water, both squished against one end of the tub despite the mass of space given that my baby unsurprisingly chose to tangle himself between my legs; head resting against my damp chest and his hand tracing soapy trails across my abdomen with a soft and exhausted yawn so heart-wrenchingly adorable that I'm confident my flora-ridden heart had just been torn into two at the sight. Wet fingers coiling in Tyler's own feathered hair and scratching his scalp lovingly in a way that elicits feline purrs and makes his nimble back curve in a kitten-like way, I murmur with a gentle smirk "I can't believe it's been a whole year since you ruined me for everyone else."

With an auroral giggle he grins tiredly and blinks up at me with those swoonworthy fawn-eyes that melt my garden centerpiece of a heart into a puddle of flowing nectar and vibrant petals. "I'm so thankful you didn't fall in love with another young, lost alcoholic during those five months we were apart, darling. I didn't realise how much I needed somebody else until I found you."

"I could never love someone else now, angel."

Chapter Text

Now when October 31st comes around, unlike the time spent in my Tyler Joseph Fantasia during those torturous five months apart, I don't have to imagine what my TylerTylerTyler is for Halloween.

Now, I get to see it in person and live out my wildest fantasies.

Though his outfit was the most basic and predictable of all halloween costumes, and a frequent among college-age girls looking to get utterly shit-faced and laid before the clock struck midnight, my baby unsurprisingly wore it better than every other person in existence and didn't fail to make my knees go weak and my flora-ridden heart skip a beat when he stepped out of our bedroom all dressed up; it mainly looked like something he'd wear everyday, consisting of the skin-tight leggings that hugged and almost lifted his perfect heart-shaped ass and a simple, loose black tank top that revealed peeks of his striking chest tattoos that contrasted so well with his golden honey-and-milk skin. The beauty, however, came within the smaller details that made up his effortless look - a furry tail pinned on his backside, a pair of precious kitty ears buried in his soft, chocolate locks and that very same lavender collar wrapped around his neck, now adorned with a jingling bell on the main heart-shaped metal loop.

I let out a low whistle as he approaches me in the lounge, earning a musical giggle from his pretty baby-doll lips and a wiggle of his itty-bitty hips. Turning his back to me but still peeking over his shoulder slyly with a flutter of those luminously long eyelashes, Tyler wiggles down his leggings ever-so-slightly to teasingly reveal a pair of sheer, frilly panties colour-matched to his collar and winks in my direction before snapping the black fabric back into place and leaving my desperate mind begging for more.

"That's what you've got to look forward to later, if you're lucky," my angel smirks, settling himself onto my lap and trailing his delicate fingers along the buttons of my shirt in a way that honestly makes me consider ditching this party completely to stay home and fuck him senseless while he wears nothing but the collar and damn kitty ears. That did seem like his intention, after all.

Stealing a quick kiss that tastes extra syrupy-sweet with thanks to the stacks of candy that he'd been devouring all day long despite my scolding, as anything that lasts longer than a few brief seconds will surely be the final straw in me losing my dismal remainder of willpower and tearing his clothes off right there and then, I smile adoringly "You look amazing, kitten."

Clearly the kid is unable to not be seductive for more than a minute or so at a time, for he responds to my compliment by purring low in my ear and tapping the bell on his neck gently with a pretty grin that reveals his exquisitely overcrossed teeth, before murmuring "You don't look so bad yourself, daddy." Reaching up to play with the cheap devil horns resting in my ruby-coloured curls, he giggles "I think we might just win the award for most basic couple tonight, darling."

"And here I was thinking we'd win the hottest couple award."

"Oh, we're definitely getting that too, Joshua," Tyler assures with an amused grin, shrugging "I have no doubts about it. I mean, Pete is pretty hot but.."

"Please never call Pete hot again." Slapping a hand over Tyler's mouth that muffles his teasing laugh and sends a cool shiver down my spine, I sigh "And don't say it to his face or you'll never hear the end of it. His ego doesn't need to be boosted any more."

"You're such a grumpy old man, honestly," my baby tuts tauntingly, catching my thumb between his teeth and biting down on it playfully in a carelessly arousing move that causes a stirring deep in my flora-infested stomach. "You're still my number one, darling." With his reassurance, he presses a tender kiss to tips of my fingers and murmurs with his voice all syrupy-sweet in the way that I adore so dearly, "Now kiss me so I can take a cute picture of us."

|-/

Pete and Pat's Halloween parties were always ones to remember; their house resembling a boozed-up college frat party already despite the night still being young, with crowds of tipsy guests practically overflowing from every door, couples sickeningly sucking each others faces every direction you looked and more girls wearing shorter than short skirts than you could even begin to count. Just one quick scan of the hallway as we entered told me that at least 90% of the girls here would describe their costumes as 'slutty something or other', not that I was judging them though.

How could I when I had my very own kinky kitten latched onto my arm?

Shuffling between the hordes of greasy-haired hipsters and Pete's overly punk-rock friends and college kids of Tyler's age who I'm positive must've just crashed the couple's party upon hearing the words 'free booze', we make it into the slightly less crowded kitchen and are instantly met with the sight Patrick pinned up against the kitchen counter, and his boyfriend's hands fumbling around under the proximity of his pants. It wasn't necessarily a surprising sight given some of the scarring shit I'd witnessed within my 6 years' of friendship with the two of them that I'd never wish to repeat, but the substandard matching Batman and Robin costumes definitely made it a more amusing display and only slightly more fucked up.

"Wow," I smirk, voice just about audible over the booming music running through the house as my angel giggles in succession and nuzzles his face into my side to hide his amusement. "Couldn't even make it up to your own bedroom, huh? Or y'know.. waited until everyone else was too drunk to notice the two of you essentially fucking a few feet away from the food."

Tearing away from Pete's sloppy kisses with an annoyed huff at the disruption, the younger of the two turns to me with a raised eyebrow and taunts "Oh, you want to talk about getting caught fucking in public, Joshie?"

His comment makes my TylerTylerTyler peer up at me with an inquisitive glint in his eyes and an entertained smirk painting his cherry-stained lips that wordlessly tells me I'm not getting away with not sharing that story at some point, but his insistence to hear the embarrassing anecdote behind the quickfire allegation right now is thankfully cut-off by Pete finally noticing our arrival; the older man seeming weirdly out of it as always despite the fact that he was probably one of the only sober people in the house right now, given the fact that he was a recovering alcoholic.

How he had the willpower to hold parties such as these and remain sober, I'd never know.

How he even had the willpower to deal with our customers whilst remaining completely sober was unknown to me.

"Ty! You look fuckin' adorable," Pete coos in awe of his proclaimed favourite half of our couple, patting my baby's cheek softly and teasingly ruffling the hair between his faux cat ears; making him blush softly at the praise and return the usual toothy grin that makes my heart beat so profoundly every damn time that I'm sure I can hear it pounding against my chest even over the deafening music thumping through the whole street. 

Stepping around the two of them and snatching a beer from the cooler resting on the counter, I warn only half-jokingly "Keep your hands on your own boyfriend, Wentz,", though my caution is ignored and cut-off before it even fully leaves my lips by the sound of Tyler's heavenly squeal ringing through the air, instantly alerting my attention to him where the kid is being hitched over Pete's shoulder; his rosy cheeks flushed and his perky ass high in the air.

"I'm just taking the little kitten to meet some of our friends, don't lose your shit Joshie," the older of the couple smirks upon seeing the ever-so-slightly murderous expression that paints itself across my features, sighing wistfully "You can't keep him locked up in a cage forever." Patting Tyler's thigh with his free hand in a way that makes his felicitously, golden giggle ring out, the older of the two backs out of the room slowly, one finger-gun pointed towards Patrick playfully as he winks "I'll be back to finish what we started, babe."

With a defeated sigh, I call after them with a typical eye-roll that has never felt more appropriate despite the fact that I'm bound to be ignored "Just please bring him back in one piece." 

"Oh, you'll get him back in one piece." Pat assures with a smirk, taking a sip from whatever messed up concoction of alcohol he has sloshing around in his red cup. "It'll definitely be one drunk or extremely high piece, but still one piece regardless. That was your only condition, after all, Joshie."

"If you could get your boyfriend to stop tainting mine, that'd be amazing."

His usual high pitched giggles that are typically reserved for Pete alone fall from his lips, most likely induced from the tipsy state he already found himself in, and he scoffs almost disbelievingly with an arched eyebrow, "Are you forgetting that when you met Tyler, he was a sex-addicted alcoholic with a side smoking problem? I mean, he still kinda is Josh. Kid's nowhere near as innocent as your delusional mind has you believing. He's also only twenty one. Let him live a little, old man."

Far too used to my attacks, Patrick ducks out of the way with a satisfied grin when I reach out to smack him upside the head, both in response to the ongoing age joke despite the fact that we were the same age and to his words about my angel, though I knew them to be all too true anyway. Of course the claims were undeniable, but it was incurably tough to not worry about the kid and be on constant alert around him when I'd witnessed him hurt far too many times for my liking already during our considerably short time of knowing each other.

Tyler Robert Joseph had been a wilting, stepped on violet when I first found him, and we'd worked far too hard on helping him to flourish once more over the passing months of our relationship for me to let one small, avoidable mistake trample him back down into the ground.

"C'mon, Josh. Stop worrying." Pat's light words, as though he can almost read my thoughts, and the weak slap to my upper arm snap me back into reality once more and only serve to make me sigh in passive obedience. As long as it got him off my back, I'd probably agree to anything at this point. "Hey, I think Ash and Hayley are out back. They're dying to see you again, come on."

|-/

We're all gathered out in the back yard on the terrace when Pete makes his return little over an hour later, the exceedingly upbeat man sneaking up behind his boyfriend and instantaneously attacking Pat's neck with his lips; earning a surprised squeal from the younger of the two, a mocking gag from myself and an adoring coo from the girls who were somehow still not bored of witnessing their overly-affectionate displays of love just about every damn time they were in arms reach of each other. His tacky Batman mask is still in place, he's still sporting his cocky smirk that never seems to leave his face and he has a red cup filled with soda in hand, but one thing is missing.

My TylerTylerTyler.

"I asked you to return my boyfriend in one piece, yet you're incapable of even returning him at all?" I laugh in question with a raised brow, stretching out my leg to kick Pete chidingly and taking pleasure when he stumbles back with a pout. "Where is he?"

"Hey," the older argues, raising his hands in defence towards me as he settles himself between Patrick's legs on the ground, "Technically I did nothing wrong. Your boyfriend is still in one piece. I just don't know where he is. Lost him about twenty minutes ago 'cause someone said Ryan was fuckin' someone in the bathtub and I had to go and see for myself so-"

Interrupting his rambled story mid-sentence, I sigh "I don't even want to hear about that," and with a shake of my head, I stand from my seat and ditch the drained beer bottle beside me, warning with a pointed look that could be interpreted as a joke but is completely and utterly serious in the case of my angel, "'M gonna go and find him, and if he's not okay then you're gonna get it, Wentz."

Not sticking around to hear his response, I disappear back into the looming crowds of the swarming house, pushing my way through small gaps between rowdy college kids and not even giving a second glance to the group of shirtless punk rockers cheering over god only knows what in the lounge as my gaze scans between the hordes of guests in search of the one angelic face that I knew wouldn't be hard to find, given that my wildflower would always stand out to me. He could be lost in a swarm of other fawn-eyed, creamy-skinned, chestnut-haired and flora crown-sporting twinks and I'd still be able to pick out my baby's glowing face in a heartbeat.

I turn the corner into one of the emptier hallways of the house and he's finally within my line of sight.

My TylerTylerTyler is right there.

And he's pressed against the wall, his baby-doll lips being captured in a kiss by someone who isn't me. 

Chapter Text

I'd always supposed, theoretically, that my TylerTylerTyler would be the one to one day slash my flora-ridden chest open, rip the flourishing greenhouse out of me and crush the pulsing muscle that kept the nectar-infested blood pumping around my veins into tiny, worthless pieces that were so frantically scattered it was almost beyond repair. And I'd always supposed, theoretically, that it'd be okay, because I didn't need my heart to live. 

The only thing required to keep me functioning was Tyler Robert Joseph.

But right now?

Right now, I can't fucking breathe.

The feeling is indescribable. As if every damaging sensation that exists in this godforsaken world is crashing into me at once, less like a tidal wave and more comparable to a fucking tsunami that sweeps me off of my feet, knocks every last ounce of oxygen from my blossom-filled lungs and leaves me without even a fighting chance of survival. It feels exactly like my angel just lit a flame deep inside my stomach, igniting a that very same god-damned forest fire within my internal garden of tangled vines and thriving flora, except this time, it's the opposite of pleasurable. This time, every last wild flower and dainty violet and flawless rose knotted inside of my worthless vessel is ablaze, and they're fucking screaming and clawing at my insides and bursting through every conceivable cavity of my body in a frenzied attempt to save themselves before they're smoked out completely. Before they become nothing but a pile of charred petals and scorched vines. 

The excess smoke damn near blinds me, and my head grows so fuzzy that it feels virtually impossible to see straight anymore. But god, did I wish I was fucking blind right now.

Everything is blurred but him, and the sight alone of someone else's lips capturing his own is so sickening that I don't even have the urge inside of me to knock this other smug prick out. All I can feel is the churning in my gut that overwhelms me with the need to spew up a perpetual fountain of bitter nectar and wilted leaves and every last wild violet that Tyler Robert Joseph planted inside of me.

And I know I'm an ignorant, oblivious fucking fool.

I know that because the voice in the back of my mind is telling me that it's okay. It's repeating over and over again that it could be worse, that I could've just walked in on my boyfriend getting fucked against the wall and screaming out some other guys' name instead in a desperate attempt to not lose it's falling grip on my sanity for both my own and Tyler's sake.

But his very own words, spoken to me on the original holy day of September 16th, are screaming much louder and blocking it out.

"Apparently, you aren't supposed to sleep with your married boss when you're in a relationship. Is that a rule or something?"

"I hate committing when I comes to the people I have sex with."

"I'm a wild flower, I don't like growing in one place." 

It feels as though, perhaps, I was screaming those very words out loud, for something catches my baby's attention and with a quiet gasp, he's pushing the other brunette away with an expression painted across his pretty face that I can't quite distinguish or place my finger on, and when he turns ever so slightly and locks his gaze upon my own, all of the glowing colours he typically holds appear to drain from his face in an instant. He's no longer healthily tanned with that charming rosy blush on his cheeks, but just as pale as lustrous moon in the night sky.

Usually syrupy-sweet voice choked with both horror and pure frenzy at my sudden appearance, Tyler frets "J. Fuck. Look, I swear this is not-"

"-what it looks like?" I interrupt in completion of his cliché and expected defence, bitterness lacing my tone as I storm straight past him and the mysterious drunkard who seems to have already lost interest in the kid and the mess he's gotten himself into; my swift exit being hindered by the fact that I can already feel my knees going weak beneath me.

I don't need to turn around to know that he's chasing after me, because as light on his feet as he may be, I can still hear the ridiculous chiming of the bell that adorns his collar ringing through the air and feel his warm, dainty fingers grasping at my bicep in a desperate attempt to slow me down. "Wait, J. Please. Please let me explain-"

Tugging my arm away from his hold and walking as steadily as humanely possible when I'm sure I'm only mere seconds away from fainting completely, I retaliate, voice completely drained of emotion and frustratingly monotonous, "You've got a minute to get in the car before I go home without you."

I speed ahead out front and just about make it to the car without vomiting my inner flora across Pete and Pat's front yard, settling into the driver's seat with a slam of the door and watching expectedly through the window as Tyler stumbles after me as quick as his delicate legs and no doubt booze-soaked brain will allow; my heart still feeling the instinctive urge deep down to melt at the cuteness of his bambi-esque movements despite the fact that I can barely stand to look at his face for more than a few seconds without replaying the image in my head.

The kid settles into the passenger seat silently, as if he can sense that speaking up right now will only serve to make things worse, and pulls his legs up to his chest; head resting against the window and a sorrowful look ruining his usually joyful, angelic face. It's almost like some sort of harrowing mirror-image of the night we drove to the beach with swiftly passing flashes of light making his face glow in the darkness and leaving soft glints in those gentle fawn-eyes. But this time, we aren't filled with unbeatable joy and devastating adoration.

This time, I have a feeling that pulling the sad puppy card, with those big, shiny eyes, adorable pout and delicate hands pawing at my chest for attention won't be enough to melt away my frustration and fix our problems.

The tense silence lingers between us until we make it back up into the apartment, and I'm willing to bet that it's the longest Tyler and I have spent around each other without even a hint of contact. And as much as I hate to admit it, it's absolutely killing me. Head spinning and heart aching, I rest my arms on the kitchen counter and bury my face into my hands; palms digging into my eyes with the wishful thinking that perhaps I can just wipe away these memories and erase the night completely.

I'd give anything to turn back the time.

Seemingly taking his chances from where he's stood only a few feet in front of me, my angel whispers brokenly "Josh, can you please let me just-"

"Just what, Tyler? Explain?" I sigh with gritted teeth, looking up to meet his saddened gaze and using every last faltering inch of willpower inside of my burning vessel to stop myself from losing it completely with him despite the fact that my TylerTylerTyler infested mind is encouraging me to let it all out. "Is there even anything to explain? You kissed someone else. End of story."

"Baby, I swear, it wasn't like that," he pleads softly, tiptoeing around my anger that's comparable to a ticking timebomb right now. With a melancholic frown tugging at his cherry-tinted lips and his brows furrowing as he anxiously twists a finger through one of his loose curls, Tyler explains desperately though the occasional word is noticeably slurred thanks to his tipsiness "That was Brendon, my ex. I-I lost Pete at some point and bumped into him and he was really out of it 'cause.. I don't know, he always drank a lot. And he kept telling me he missed me and that he made a mistake leaving and.. then he kissed me."

"And you kissed him back."

"J, it was just instinct, honestly. I was about to push him away but-"

"No, Tyler. No fucking 'buts'," I shout, cutting off his excuse with a resounding slam of my hand against the kitchen counter, having lost the last ounce of my patience for the night as the flames inside of me only serve to grow feistier with each passing second. The unburnt part of my flora-ridden heart aches with a pang of anguish and almost makes me regret raising my voice when I see the kid flinch away with a glint of intimidation in those doe-eyes, but the undying fuel of my anger is far too prominent to extinguish now. "Honestly, I'm not even sure whether or not I'm fucking surprised. All that you did before you met me was sleep around with any guy that'd even so much as glance in your direction, right? Does the word faithful mean anything to you? You cheated on your last boyfriend for like.. two years straight! What's stopping you from doing the exact same thing to me, huh, Ty? What's saying you haven't already done it to me before? Christ knows I wouldn't be fucking shocked if you told me you'd been fucking, I don't know.. Pete behind my back ever since we started dating!"

I'm not sure at which exact point during my booming rant he started crying, but when I take a break to catch my breath and focus on his pretty face, all I can see is the damage done; his wide, fawn-eyes are glossier than ever, luminously long eyelashes sticking together wetly and hot streams of gentle tears running across his freshly flushed cheeks. With each gentle breath he chokes back a whimper, pouty lips downturned with pure agony and serving to tear my bruised heart into two. Half of me knows that I have every right to be mad at the kid, and wants to let out every single frustration on my mind whilst the other feels nothing but heartbreak, wanting to wrap my terrified angel up in my arms, kiss away his tears and apologise for the poisonous words fired towards him only moments ago.

I'm such an ignorant, oblivious fucking fool.

Bottom, bubblegum-stained lip quivering and his breath hitching, Tyler chokes out through his tears "What's s-stopping me from doing that to you is the fact that I-I love you, J. I wouldn't.."

In lieu of taking out the remnants of my anger out on my baby with another flurry of sharp words that would cut into his skin in the exact same way he was so used to doing to me when we first met, I reach for the nearest inanimate object to hand, which just so happens to be my phone, and launch it towards the wall behind the kid with a burst of unabashed fury; the phone landing with a forceful smack that echoes through the walls of our apartment and leaves him cowering away from me with another shaken whimper.

Closing my eyes in frustration and leaning back against the kitchen counter, I mutter lowly "Go to bed, Tyler."

Syrupy-sweet voice all broken and shaky in a way that gave me distressing flashbacks to every other time I'd ever seen my wild flower trampled on, he asks quietly "Are you coming too?"

"No."

"I'm sorry, please," he cries with a sniffle, and I feel him take a cautious step closer to me; making my heart thump so wildly in my chest with a feeling unknown that it makes me sick to my stomach. "I can't sleep without you next to me, J."

"Go to bed, Tyler." I repeat simply though with more force this time around, begrudgingly dismissing my angel's plea despite the fact that it feels like a dagger cutting directly through the tangled vines that keep me together, as it's obvious that we both need this time apart. "Now."

That night, I force myself to drift off to sleep on the couch, pretending as if I can't hear his tortured sobs sounding from the other side of the bedroom door.

Chapter Text

When I'd originally envisioned our November way back when Tyler Robert Joseph was simply a perplexing, disappearing enigma that haunted my thoughts to the point of near insanity, or just a lucid phantom conjured up within my intense mind from smoking too much weed on my own late at night, I'd imagined us to be living the ideal relationship that others could only hope to achieve. We were the kind of unconventional couple that everybody envied. I'd imagined us curled up on the couch together, savouring each other's soft touches and tender kisses as Tyler only wore a huge open cardigan and thick framed glasses, and I was shirtless but wearing loose joggers. I'd imagined us messily making pumpkin cookies together and drinking coffee with pumpkin cream in it, though Tyler would still drink his coffee black, as we'd watch out of the balcony window as the silly tourists below got hyped for the Thanksgiving parade. I'd imagined us getting high together, and watching the Charlie Brown Thanksgiving special as we ate Thai food and tried to take the ugliest pictures of ourselves on my phone.

Tyler had never won. It was seemingly impossible for him to be ugly.

But apparently, life wasn't always as perfect as you wished for it to be.

What I hadn't envisioned, within those deluded fantasies of my TylerTylerTyler obsessed mind, was that I'd be waking up on November 1st on the couch of my own apartment, with nothing more than a throbbing pain in my back, a pounding headache worthy of screaming out loud, a deep ache within my flora-ridden heart and a vague feeling of complete emptiness throughout my whole vessel; as if every single blossom and vine and pretty little wild flower planted inside of me on the night of September 16th by the angel himself had been smoked out and were now wilting dismally, to the point where I wasn't sure whether I could save them or not.

But really, I probably should've expected it. He had warned me, after all. Countless times.

"A wildflower, I may be, yet I am trapped by weeds. I'm poisonous, darling.”

"People like me aren’t made for giving others the world, Joshua."

My beautiful TylerTylerTyler had warned me from the very beginning that one day, I'd find myself painfully tangled within his overgrown garden of weeds and poisonous vines, trapped in the  unforgiving and inescapable loop of unconditional love and completely and utterly crushed when he fell from his pedestal so high that he destroyed everything in his path, including myself. We'd finally reached that inevitable downfall, but I stupidly hadn't seen it coming.

Because I was, as always, an ignorant, oblivious fucking fool.

The feeling of warm, delicate fingers playing with my own ever so gently is what wakes me from my dreamless slumber, and though the sensation alone of him touching me makes my hand feel as though it's burning like the very flora inside of me had the night prior, I'm so worn of energy that I can't even bring myself to snatch my hand away from his hold. It's simply easier to suffer through the pain instead. Eyes sleepily adjusting to the dimmed lighting of the early morning, with the winter sun having not yet fully risen in the sky just outside the window, I have to silently count to ten before I can even attempt to shift my spiritless gaze to his ruined face.

I peer down at him curled up on the floor beside me, and the sight that would've felt like a sharp dagger to my heart on any normal occasion elicits no emotional response whatsoever. I just feel completely numb when I take in his distressing appearance; his soft, honey-and-milk skin still remains drained of the glowing tints and joyful life it usually held, the only colour visible being the patchy pink that surrounds his watery fawn-eyes and trails down his cheeks in place of harsh tear tracks. His soft, feathered hair is disheveled, though not in the typically endearing way he usually sports after taking a nap, but in more of sleepless way that suggests his chestnut locks have been victim to being anxiously tugged throughout the night, and his baby-doll lips are bitten to hell; not with their natural cherry-tint but purely red raw from agitation. 

Low, gravelly voice breaking the tense silence between us, I ask almost lifelessly as our equally pained gazes land upon one another "What are you doing?"

"Couldn't sleep without you," Tyler whispers with a tired shrug, voice all syrupy-sweet and broken like cracked honey, yet somehow not appealing to me at all in the slightest in the moment as he continually tangles our fingers together weakly; as though he can't bring himself to let go for the fear that it'll cause the our remaining, worn-down string that holds us together to sharply snap.

"How long have you been there?"

"Since you fell asleep." My angel sniffles and blinks away the freshly formed veil of tears glistening in his pretty-eyes that he just can't seem to rid away completely, his answer so quiet that it would have been inaudible had our apartment not been dead silent already. My response is nothing more than a bored, cold stare in his direction, but I can't quite place my finger on whether I have no words due to the fact that I don't want to talk to the kid right now, or simply because my burnt-out mind can't even fathom anything worthwhile to say to him in the situation. 

Taking my dead silence as a cue to carry on talking, he pulls my hand up against his chapped lips, pressing desperately tender kisses along my knuckles as he whimpers "I love you so, so much, J. I promise, I do."

Of course, I still love him too. How could I not?

I'd always said that he could rip my already fragile and flora-ridden heart from my chest, shatter it into a million irreplaceable pieces and make my whole life feel unworthy of living and I still wouldn't regret sacrificing my whole heart and being to the ethereal kid in front of me. And it was true.

Because I am so, so in love with Tyler Robert Joseph and every single god damn thing about him. I am in love with his divine smile and auroral laugh that could surely cure diseases. I am in love with every single inch of his exquisite body, and the way he always smells like an intoxicating mix of wild violets and bubblegum and cheap cigarette smoke in a blend that'd very quickly become my home. I am in love with his poetic grace and his quick wit and that sharp-tongue that could slit my fucking throat and leave me thanking him regardless. I am in love with the way he wakes me in the morning, with soft kisses and murmured exchanges of infatuation that always made me feel like the luckiest man alive. I am in love with the way he inspires me to do things I never would've, and the way he makes me a better man than I ever could've been without his presence. I am in love with his beautifully, broken mind and just about every other god damn thing about him. 

I wouldn't change him for anything else in the world.

But right now? Right now, the thought alone of saying those precious three words back to him makes me sick to my stomach; the phrase tasting nauseatingly bitter on my tongue and dissolving into decayed remains of what could've been before they even have the chance to voice themselves aloud. Tugging my hand away from him and instead running it across my face in exasperation, I sigh dismissively "I'm not in the mood for this right now, Tyler."

"Y-You're not even gonna say it back to me?" My baby hiccups, choking back another broken whimper building in the back of his throat as he brushes away the few stray tears that managed to break free.

"No," I snap, voice regrettably raising once more and my dull stare finally transforming into a fiery glare at his words. "What did you expect, Tyler? I walk in on you kissing your ex and you just think things are magically going to be fine the next day? Did you think you could just bat your eyelashes at me and the problem would go away? Because it's not fucking happening."

He flinches once more at the shout and an instantaneous look of anguish paints itself across his already pained features as he cries silently, choking out "I get that I fucked up, Josh. I get it, okay? But cheating on you wasn't my intention. I swear, it wasn't. You've got to believe me."

"Then why the fuck was your ex-boyfriend's tongue down your throat? God.. I don't even want to think about what else would've happened if I hadn't interrupted your reunion," I scoff, tone laced with overpowering bitterness and disgust that I can't even bring myself to attempt to disguise.

"I've already told you, J!" Tyler shouts hysterically, for the first time since our ongoing argument began, his typically soothing, velvety voice feeling more like having sandpaper painstakingly dragged across my skin and leaving me torn for whether to scream back or feel nothing but pity for the kid. "We'd both had too much to drink and I didn't see the problem with just talking to him, but then he got touchy with me and before I knew it, he was kissing me. And yes, I kissed him back, okay? Are you happy now that I've admitted it? I kissed him back. Not because I wanted to hurt you or cheat on you, and not even because I wanted to fucking kiss him. I didn't want to kiss him. I just did it because it was my instinct and I didn't even realise what I was doing until it was too late."

The confession, despite not being news to me in the slightest, still makes my head spin with a tidal wave of repulsion; the persistent image of my angel pressed against that wall, unworthy hands grabbing at his ass needily and his pretty, doe-eyes fluttering shut with bliss running through my mind on replay like a broken record that makes me think that perhaps taking one of the mounted guns from the wall of the bar and blasting my own brains out wouldn't be such a bad idea right now, if only it meant wiping that memory from my mind. I don't even realise that I'm crying too, until I feel a familiar warm and wet thumb swipe across my cheek shakily.

"Baby, please don't cry," my angel whispers, pressing his forehead against my knees and resting in my lap with a stifled sob; the combined feelings of his own hot teardrops dampening the material of my jeans and his dainty body trembling against me overwhelming me with dejection. Pressing bold, burning kisses against my lower thighs, he whines "Please forgive me, J. I'll do anything. I love you so much. Please believe me. I don't want anybody else, I don't need anybody but you and I-"

"I think we need to have a break."

My interruption comes out surprisingly steady, given both the fact that my bruised heart is thumping so madly that it barely gives me the chance to breathe, and the fact that I was hesitant to say those very words anyway. Never in my life since meeting my TylerTylerTyler had I ever thought, even for a split second, that I wouldn't want the angelic boy near my side; he was the keeper of my heart, the sole person that kept me living and breathing every god-damn second of every day and the beaten-down wild violet I had dedicated my whole being to loving and caring and protecting. But right now, I can't even stand to look at him.

"No. No, no, Josh, please don't," he whimpers, shaking his head and no longer even attempting to stop the flow of tears leaving shiny tracks along his blotchy cheeks. "Please."

"Tyler, go home," I sigh exhaustedly, wiping my own face free of the destructive evidence and avoiding his heartbroken, bambi-eyed gaze, pinned to me so sharply that the sensation feels like being stabbed with a flurry of tiny daggers; each one digging and carving into my skin painfully, covering every damn inch of my vessel in his bloody initials. "For the weekend at least. I need space." His next whispered words are agonising enough that they almost make me change my mind without a second thought.

"My home is wherever you are, J."

Shaking my head in dismissal, as if to battle off his heart-wrenching words that are attempting to venture deep inside of me and take back the control of my flora-ridden heart that was lost the second his lips locked with someone else's, I softly shift from beneath him and instantly feel weak the second we lose contact; grabbing my jacket from where it's thrown carelessly over one of the dining chairs and pulling it on with little care for the fact that I'm in no fit state to be seen in public right now. "I'm going out. Please just be gone by the time I get back, Ty."

The last thing I hear is his weeping call of my name.

And I'm more than certain that both of our world's shattered when I slammed the door shut behind me.

Chapter Text

The next time I see Tyler Robert Joseph is exactly a week and a half later.

I'd spent the passing days akin to a teenage girl who'd just been dumped by her boyfriend; holed up in my apartment and flat out refusing to leave, even letting other people at work cover my shifts with no explanation to Pete and Pat, laying in bed all day mopingly, binge watching awful indie Netflix movies and trying to ignore the niggling voice in the back of my TylerTylerTyler infested mind that rambled on about how much my baby would love them, foolishly crying late at night when I thought about him for just a second too long and sulkily scrolling through endless, cute photos on my phone of my angel turned devil that made me simultaneously want to murder him in cold blood but also melt into a puddle of undying adoration and unstoppable love. Not once had I opened his texts, let alone responded to them, and every attempted phone call had gone ignored, for my constantly wavering state left me unsure of what I'd even say to him in the heat of the moment.

It was ridiculous, really.

I was a 28 year old man, spending my days crying over some kid with a distorted view on the meaning of the word 'faithful'.

But the fact was that he wasn't just some kid.

He was my TylerTylerTyler.

He was the angel that I'd jump off a bridge for if I knew he was waiting for me in the river. He was the angel that I'd do heroin for if it meant that I'd be high enough to reach him. He was the angel that I'd sacrifice my worthless soul to the god damn devil for, in exchange for his own entry to heaven in which a cherub like himself most certainly belonged. And if he requested it, I'd most certainly chop my stomach open, let those blooming flowers and my bloody nectar spill out, and weave him a flower crown to wear like the glorious fawnlette he is. I'd always said it, and I still stuck by saying, that I'd do absolutely anything for that boy.

Because I was just an ignorant, oblivious fool who was so, so in love with him.

And that's what made it all so damn hard.

One half of my bruised, flora-ridden heart was ready to forgive him. It was the half that missed him so profoundly that even waking up without the brown-haired beauty beside me or wrapped up in my arms as per routine was overpoweringly painful, as though every tiny dagger buried inside of my vessel was digging deeper and twisting frantically in the initial wounds to the point in which I felt ready to scream. This half of my heart craved nothing more than having my baby back, kissing him breathless and never letting him go again, for it constantly reminded me of how unbelievably fortuitous I'd been to find him again in the first place, and how blessed I'd been to even earn the love of such a difficult wild flower to tame. This unrelenting half ran the same, incessant thoughts through my mind every single day, telling me that it was just a mistake, it was unintentional, that my TylerTylerTyler loved me and would never even think about making the same mistake again. 

The other half, however, felt nothing but pure betrayal and revulsion upon the thought of the doe-eyed devil alone. This was the half so beaten and crushed by Tyler Robert Joseph and his infidelity that it left me feeling sick to my stomach and ready to spew up endless fountains of ashen leaves and wilted petals and destroyed vines when his name so much as crossed my train of thought or his harmonious giggle sounded like a haunting echo in my mind. It was the half that had no desire to see my baby again any time in the near future, and spent the nights that were painstakingly silent without him by my side whispering ruinous reflections of the situation to me, telling me that it wasn't a mistake at all, that if he did it once he'd probably do it again and that I never should've trusted the kid with a distaste for commitment and a love for freedom in the first place.

I'd never felt this torn before in my whole twenty eight years of life.

My only effort to make a move from the apartment for the first time in ten days is when I get a late night text from Patrick, claiming there to be some sort of emergency at the dusty shithole of a bar that required my presence urgently, emphasis on the urgently, to which I couldn't refuse no matter how badly I had originally wished to spend my night lounging on my couch and watching the sappiest of rom-coms. And the second I step foot into sleazy, dark and smoky hole-in-the-wall, a nauseating twisting feel deep inside my gut alongside the destroyed floral remnants tells me that I probably already know what to expect.

"You look like shit," Patrick tells me, catching my dazed attention as he approaches and looks me over with an expression that I can't quite place my finger on. It appears to be a frenzied mixture of exhaustion, confusion and slight disappointment. And honestly? He's not the only one feeling those things. 

"Thanks." I can't even bring myself to disagree with his statement and defend myself, because I know it's the complete truth. Despite not having looked in the mirror at any point today, I know that I probably do look like shit; my loose curls are untamed and messy from repeated naps during the day, just about disguised beneath the first snapback I could find, my eyes are sure to show giveaway signs of crying if they look anywhere near as raw as they feel, and after having not shaved in just over a week, my jaw is covered with the familiar coarse and uncared for stubble that Tyler always claimed he adored so greatly whenever it made an appearance. "The emergency?"

"Right, that," he sighs, looking back over his shoulder briefly. "I think we have something that belongs to you."

I don't even need to ask to clarify what he means.

"First though, do you wanna tell me exactly why your precious boyfriend is completely pissed out of his mind, sobbing in Pete's lap and rambling about you leaving him?" Pat raises an inquisitive eyebrow sharply in my direction, and though his tone is light, I can tell from the look alone that he's now seriously concerned about whatever it was exactly that he'd been kept in the dark about up until now.

My only response is to shake my head in silent rejection of the offer to expand on what little information my drunken angel has already revealed for the time being, as not only will talking about it out loud seemingly make it seem more real and only serve to fuck me up within my indecisiveness even further, but I'm also not even sure whether I can find the right words within my crazed mind or even form fathomable sentences in explanation. "It's complicated," is all I supply him with as I slide my hands into the pockets of my camo jacket distractedly, and the younger nods understandingly and leads me to the further corner of the bar without another word.

For the half of my heart that wants to grab my TylerTylerTyler once more and never let go, the sight I'm met with is a particularly painful one; the kid wrapped up in one of my stolen hoodies, that arguably makes my heart ache a little with overbearing fondness, sporting the blotchy, reddened and watery fawn-eyes that've regrettably become a far too familiar sight lately for my liking, endless wet streaks painting his usually dimpled cheeks and a noticeable split brushing his chapped lips, most likely from redundant, anxious biting as he leans into Pete's hold; the tired whimpers shaking his delicate body and chipping away at my defiant willpower ever so slightly.

"Why did you serve him in the first place?" I sigh in quiet frustration, running a hand across my eyes exhaustedly and focusing on Pete and Patrick instead of the heart-wrenching sight of my destroyed boyfriend.

Pete holds one hand up in defence, the other still wrapped tightly around Tyler's waist in an attempt of comfort. "We didn't. Ash was covering your shift and thought he was just like every other college kid who comes to this place to get shit-faced on cheap booze, so she practically let him drink the fuckin' place dry. Pat stopped him when we got here, and he's been like this ever since."

Pete's response to me is what finally seems to catch the attention of the kid's inebriated mind, and he turns from where his face is pressed against the older man's chest to peer up at me; tear slicked doe-eyes glinting the instant his gaze lands on me, and a choked-back and inaudible sob of what appears to be my name falling from his lips in his shattered, yet still syrupy-sweet tone that undeniably causes a tiny flutter low in my flora-ridden heart. Voice laced with fatigue and colder than the night air of November, I ask "What the hell do you think you're doing, Tyler?"

Given the fact that I know he won't be able to provide me with a valid and plausible response as a result of his intoxicated state, I cut him off with a continuation before he can even so much as open his mouth to answer me. "Do you even think about the consequences of some of the shit you do? Anything could've happened to you while you're like this. God knows where you would've ended up if these two hadn't been here. This is ridiculous, Ty, and as long as you keep acting like a kid, then I'm gonna keep treating you like one. Now get up."

The other couple stay completely silent during our exchange; the older of the two only shifting to help my TylerTylerTyler shakily stand from his seat at my demand when he mumbles out an ashamed and slurred "'M sorry", as he's probably a hazard to his own health right now with his blurred vision and bambi-legs that make me sigh aloud at the sight.

I can't even tell if my sighs are drawn from pity or frustration anymore.

As soon as I open my arms and hold them out towards him, Tyler is unabashedly letting out a relieved cry, stumbling towards me, sloppily wrapping his long legs around my waist when I hitch him up against my side and nuzzling his pretty face into the crook of my neck as though he's dying to soak up and savour every ounce of my scent and every warm touch I'm willing to give; the fresh tracks of his tears dampening my neck and the intense scent of vodka radiating off of him making my stomach twist distastefully, yet the warmth of his dainty body melting into my own not failing to fill one lone half of my flawed heart with tenderness and respite for his known safety. With that, I thank Pete and Patrick for calling me and for watching over the kid who clearly is unable to care for himself, and leave with an empty promise to explain more the next time I'm around.

The whole short walk back to my apartment in spent in silence as I try to ignore the feeling of my angel running his lips across every inch of my neck that he can reach in a flurry of loving kisses, the action simultaneously lighting a spark of both undeniable adoration and equal annoyance inside of me, while my own wanted avoidance of arguing further tonight stops me from speaking up until we're back home; Tyler humming in contented pleasure as I lay him down on his claimed side of our bed and begin tugging his shoes off for him.

"Don't think that this means everything is okay again. Because it's not," I assure him with a defeated exhale, though I'm not quite sure whether or not my words are even processing within his booze-soaked brain. "I'm still beyond mad at you."

With a saddened pout at my words, he makes grabby hands towards me; pawing at the material on my chest and pulling me down to lay beside him. I barely even have time to scold him with a warning before he's shuffling closer, his usually homely but now just sickening vodka and cigarette scented breath filling my senses and making what's left of the flourishing blossoms in my vessel gag me. Luminously long eyelashes fluttering, Tyler whispers "I love you s'much, J. Please just kiss me back. "

Too drained to provide him with a verbal response, I simply shake my head and brush off the gaze that is usually capable of convincing me to do just about anything, turning to face away from him and ignoring the distressed whine that fills the air between us as he nuzzles his face needily into my back and tangles his tattooed arms around my waist.

I don't know what I'm going to do.

The only thing I do know is that having your heart quite literally ripped into two fucking sucked.

Chapter Text

Waking up alone had not been an unfamiliar feeling as of late, given the absence of my TylerTylerTyler over the passing week, but it certainly hadn't been what I'd been expecting when I was sleepily woken from my light slumber naturally by the ever-so-slight chilly breeze of the morning air, creeping in through the barely noticeable crack in the window which had been accidentally left open and washing over my exposed skin, making me shiver bitterly and lazily reach out toward the other side of my bed for the warmth of Tyler's delicate body.

Being met only with the disheartening feeling of equally cold sheets beneath my fingertips, that sends an unexpected pang of disappointment through my bruised, flora-ridden heart, I begin to wonder whether the events of the night prior were simply those conjured up within my imagination, similar to every single thing I'd envisioned within my own deluded fantasies every day for the whole five months Tyler Robert Joseph and I originally spent apart. I'm beginning to think, perhaps, that being away from the angelic kid for more than a few days at a time automatically sends my mind into a frenzy and starts to slowly chip away at my sanity, blurring the lines between my Tyler Joseph Fantasia and the sometimes tedious reality. At this point, I'm unsure which is the more preferable option between last night being actuality or just a convincing reverie.

Really though, I'd favour whichever one meant that he was safe.

My much needed confirmation of our reunion comes in the form of a sudden, gut-wrenching gag sounding from the en-suite.

Though still drowsy and sluggish in my actions, I practically jump up from my space in bed at the abrupt sound, speeding across the short distance to our bathroom while narrowly avoiding tripping over my own languid legs that are yet to catch up with my newfound vigilance and am instantly met with a sight that really shouldn't be shocking to me; a teary, fawn-eyed Tyler fallen to his knees, hunched over the toilet and throwing up a spewing gush of distinctly coloured vomit oh-so similar to the blend of fallen leaves and wilted petals and golden nectar sloshing around within my own stomach. I crouch down beside him on impulse, one hand rubbing his delicate, shaking back in soothing circular motions as the other runs through his feathered and somewhat sweat-matted hair, brushing back particularly unruly strands from his forehead; the radiating heat of his body seeping into my own touch in a way that is far more concerning than comforting.

Apparently he can't handle his liquor anywhere near as well as I first thought.

"'M sorry," he just about murmurs between short heaves, lifting his head and closing those pretty eyes in a meek attempt to block out the bright lights of the room as he wipes the back of his hand over his usually syrupy-sweet mouth; now bitten anxiously and slicked with the putrid evidence of his obvious mistake. 

Honestly, I can't quite distinguish what exactly it is he's apologising for this time, both the throwing up in the bathroom so early in the morning and the whole cheating fiasco itself being considerable contenders.

Shaking my head with a gentle scratch of my angel's own that draws a relieved sigh from his swollen baby-doll lips, I murmur in response regardless of where the apology is aimed "S'fine, Ty. I'll go and get you some water."

I barely hear his softly whispered 'thank you' as I leave him behind to tiredly walk to the kitchen, but the clear gratitude is painted all over his destroyed yet still heavenly face when I return; handing over the glass of water and slumping down against the wall beside him once more with a disguised yawn.

It'd be a straight out lie for me to say that the sight of him so pained didn't hurt me, especially considering the fact that I most definitely contributed towards the damage, as even the reappearance of his shiny, tear-ridden doe-eyes alone was enough to shoot a flying arrow directly through my heart; simultaneously stabbing both the side that wanted to kiss him and the side the wanted to kill him, leaving behind an unbearable ache.

Dainty fingers tapping against the side of the glass and serving to be the only sound between us, other than my speedily thumping heartbeat that is surely audible to him given that it feels seconds away from tearing it's way through the ruins in my chest at our proximity alone, he makes a quiet request that is laced with unmistakable nerves. "C-can we not.. argue.. today, please? I know I probably deserve it, but I can't stand it when you shout at me." 

"I don't want to fight either," I sigh, running a hand through my bed-ridden hair and leaning my head back against the wall with a dull thud of exhaustion. Swallowing both my lingering pride and festering annoyance for the situation at hand, I continue "'M sorry for shouting at you. I stand by the fact that I have every right to be pissed at you, and hurt, but.. I shouldn't have said half of the things I did, and I probably didn't even mean the majority of them but.. It was just heat of the moment kind of stuff."

Cautiously shifting to rest his head on my shoulder and giving me a few, brief beats of silence to push him away if I wished, Tyler rests the emptied glass on the cool tile floor and anxiously tugs at the sleeves of my own stolen hoodie he is sporting to cover his hands; the laughably cute action and sight from the corner of my eye of his dainty sweater paws tucked up in his lap making the cracked remains of my bruised heart flutter with adoration and only causing my guilt for upsetting him so deeply over the passing week to multiply. 

"It's fine, J. You don't have to apologise," he assures softly, the feeling of his feathery hair tickling my neck and sending a pleasurable shiver down my spine. "I don't blame you for saying the things you said, because most of it was true. I think I probably needed to hear some of it to put things into perspective. And.. I guess I don't blame you if you want me gone either." 

Despite the fact that his comment causes the two, torn halves of my heart to wage a war deep inside of my blossom-filled chest, a poisonous battle of forgive him, don't forgive him, kiss him, kick his ass out, I decide to instead ignore the pulsing muscle that serves to keep my vessel living and voice the first words that come to mind as staying in this constant state of purgatory for much longer will either ruin what we have completely, push me off the brink of insanity, or perhaps both. 

"I don't want you gone."

Peering up at me with those shiny, butterfly inducing baby-doll eyes that make me swoon as if I'm falling in love with him all over again every damn time we lock gazes, the kid blinks in shock as though he was expecting the complete opposite to come from me and his own reddened lips part ever so slightly whilst he very obviously processes my words and attempts to find the words to say back. The quiet lull between us remains momentarily, before Tyler finally whispers "You don't?"

"No," I confirm, leaning down my head to rest on his own without a care for the sweat matting his hair and the nauseating blend of day-old booze and vomit that he gives off, unable to stop myself from foolishly admitting "I've missed you."

"I've missed you too.. so fucking much," my angel whispers authentically, using the gathered sleeve of his hoodie to swipe away the forming dampness already clumping his luminously long eyelashes together, before turning to nuzzle his face against my neck like always, murmuring into my skin in a way that sends shocking vibrations throughout my whole body and shoots a burst of energy through the wilting flowers that scatter my inner garden deep inside my stomach, "..Does this mean I'm allowed to come back?"

"Mhm.." I hum in confirmation; despite the fact that I know we still have problems to work through thanks to this bump in the road that came along in the form of my TylerTylerTyler's ex-boyfriend, and that the broken trust is going to have to be carefully rebuilt in the same way that my damaged, vessel filling flora will depend on being nourished back to life and cared for in the most delicate way, the thought of having the boy that I was so, so in love with back in my arms was one that washed over me like a tidal wave of unexpected relief. The prospect alone of no longer having to wake up to an empty space and unnaturally freezing sheets beside me was enough to bring the faintest evidence of a smile to my chapped lips for the first time since the night of Halloween itself.

"J, I promise you won't regret it. I swear, I never even want to look at another man again and-"

"Ty.." I interrupt almost warningly, pressing a quick kiss to his forehead in a soothing attempt to calm his panicked rambling; the sensation of my lips against his smooth, honey-and-milk skin once more somehow feeling like coming home to a heavenly warmth after spending far too long pacing the streets in the torturous, winter snow. "That doesn't matter right now, okay? We'll talk about it later." When I feel him nod against me with silent obedience, and let out an angelic purr at the first sweet touch between us after what felt like the longest time apart, I mumble lowly "Why don't you have a shower? It'll make you feel better. And smell better. I'll make you some breakfast and find some pain relief tablets."

Pulling back slightly and peeking up at me from where his chin rests on my shoulder, Tyler asks with a hint of a cheeky smile playing on his bitten, bubblegum-stained lips that are really less bubblegum and more puke-tinted right now, "Would it be pushing it for me to ask you to shower with me?"

"Absolutely," I respond instantaneously without even missing so much as a single beat, shooting the softest and faintly amused smirk I can muster in his direction before standing from my spot on the floor beside him with a comforting ruffle of my baby's greasy locks. "I'll be in the kitchen."

When he returns to the lounge little under half an hour later, wearing one of my oversized sweaters and a pair of his fleece-lined leggings he must've left behind, pretty face seemingly more refreshed and revived of it's glowing colours and rosily flushed cheeks, usually fluffy locks still damp and messy, and smelling of an intoxicating mix of his usual violet and bubblegum scent mixed with hints of his coconut shampoo, I can't deny that I feel my heart swell so profoundly that it makes my whole chest ache. But this chest ache doesn't feel as though he is cutting me open with his sharp tongue and tearing apart the beautiful garden that encapsulates my unworthy vessel.

This ache feels hopeful.

As if it's telling me that we can get through this.

Chapter Text

To say the next couple of weeks weren't a little difficult for the two of us would've been a lie.

As much as I wished that we could instantly leave this dismal past behind us and fall back into our familiar routine of being so, so in love and careless and free around each other with complete ease, that was obviously never going to have been the case.

Though I missed his constant warmth pressed against me whenever we were in touching distance of one another, his soft, biting smooches scattered across every inch of my exposed skin, the feeling of his bubblegum-tinted lips locked against my own in deep kisses of undying passion and especially the sensation of his dainty fingers slipping beneath my pants whenever the chance occurred, I knew it would've been foolish to allow ourselves to return to normal instantly.

For quite possibly the first time ever, I stopped myself from being an ignorant, oblivious fucking fool.

Impressive, really.

Our touches, as of late, had been reserved to the basics; intertwining our hands between the two of us on the couch as we watched a movie, tender kisses to the backs of knuckles and into my angel's feathery hair when he lay on my chest late at night, and real kisses that were reduced to a fleetingly simple peck to his lips as either a good morning, goodbye, or if the kid just so happened to do or say something particularly adorable in a way that tugged at my healing heartstrings.

Yet it was glaringly obvious that my TylerTylerTyler craved more, and longed to return to how things had been before the night of which we no longer discussed, evident within the way he would dip forward during a kiss in a wordless attempt to deepen it before I pulled away, how he'd tilt his face upwards whilst we lay in bed and expand the exploration of his baby-doll lips against my cool skin along my jaw and then down to my collarbones, and in how he'd always shift that tiniest bit closer to me whenever he found the opportunity; tangling his long legs with my own beneath the sheets, pulling me in closer and nuzzling into my chest whenever we hugged, and on the days when he was feeling especially brave, shuffling along the couch to wrap himself tightly around my waist.

It also would've been a lie to say I didn't crave more too.

But, unlike Tyler's own, my heart had needed that time to heal, or at least attempt to begin the pursuit of picking up the million shattered pieces and patching them back together like one of the world's trickiest jigsaw puzzles, and we were slowly but surely getting there. With each gentle kiss and beaming smile shot in my direction and murmured 'I love you' from his lips, the heart-stabbing memory slowly began to fade into the back of my mind and the darkest parts of my thoughts, while my baby's auroral, golden laugh acted like rain in the middle of a destroying drought; showering down on the wilting blossoms scattering through every inch of my vessel and the deprived wild violets that filled my lungs, nurturing them back to their original, vivid life and once more brightening my unworthy self with flora planted by the real life angel himself.

And now every time I look at the archangel of my dreams, I wonder how on earth I ever could've even considered leaving him.

By the time December 1st rolls around, things are beginning to look up for my TylerTylerTyler and I; with things having returned to as much normality as possible given that the honeymoon period of our relationship was unregrettably beginning to come to a close after almost 10 whole months, it only filled me with positive thoughts of our future to come as a serious, committed couple. And though for some, an unforeseeable and unpredictable future seemed daunting, the thought only served to leave me overflowing with unstoppable elation at the possibilities every new day could bring for us and an overpowering feeling of love at the idea of spending the rest of my worthless life with Tyler Robert Joseph by my side.

I'm mid-daydream about our upcoming fate when I hear my baby's usual, barely audible stirring sounding from beside me, and feel the shift of the sheets as he naturally shuffles closer; his head switching out the fluffy pillow that he rests on for my chest instead, his leg nudging my own open and slipping between them snugly and his delicate hand reaching up to grasp at my bicep needily.

"Mhm.. J, pull the sheets further up," Tyler sleepily mumbles into my chest, refusing to open his pretty doe-eyes and face the early morning that he held such a distaste towards. "S'cold."

With an amused roll of my eyes at his demand, I loosely tug at the edge of the comforter and pull it directly over his head in a swift movement; smirking ever so slightly when I hear him grumble from beneath and weakly land a slap to my arm. Within seconds, he's popping his head out from under the cover, looking unfathomably adorable with his soft fluff of hair ruffled in every direction, his fawn-eyes lidded with sleepiness and a pout of exaggerated annoyance tugging at his kissable, cherry-tinted lips. 

"You're an ass."

"Debatable," I shrug with nonchalance, smirk still evident as he shuffles closer, leaving us face-to-face and feeling my heart begin to swell as I quietly admire every little feature that completes the heavenly face mere breaths away from me; the tiny dimples pressing into his cheeks, the damn near perfect curve of his pixie-nose, the gentle arch of his eyebrows and even the faint scattering of barely-there freckles that litter his tanned skin similar to a constellation of stars in the night sky. "Baby?"

"Yeah?"

"Happy Birthday." Lips pulling back into a beaming smile seemingly brighter than the winter morning just beyond our window, I untangle one hand from beneath the sheets and take his flushing face in my hand; pulling my angel forward to meet me halfway and locking our lips as one, the faint taste of bubblegum always lingering on his lips proving to be the perfect wake-up call. Finally giving in to him, and my own suppressed urges, I tilt his head back ever so slightly and deepen the kiss; tongues clashing and Tyler's hand gripping onto the messy hair at the nape of my neck for dear life, a muffled heavenly whimper sounds from him and the feeling on his own silky lips curving into a satisfied smile against my own is enough to make me question why the fuck I'd made us both wait so long.

The kid begrudgingly pulls away to catch his stolen breath, though his hesitance is evident, and swipes his sharp-tongue along his still saliva-glossed lips with a content smirk before asking "Was that my birthday present? 'Cause it definitely felt like one."

As I let out a breathy laugh in response, the way my warm breath brushes across his cool honey-and-milk skin sends a visible shiver down his spine that only serves to make my flora-ridden heart swell with adoration, and I hum teasingly "If I would've known you'd be happy with just a kiss, I wouldn't have bothered thinking of anything else."

With a murmured "Shut up..", the usual deep blush that puts even the loveliest of roses inside of my vessel to shame makes an appearance on his cheeks once more, Tyler nuzzling his nose against my own lovingly as a distraction from my joking. Wistfully sighing, he mutters "God, being 22 means I'm like.. an actual adult now. I kinda don't like it. I like being young and using it to my advantage so that you look after me."

"Angel.." I chuckle, swiping my still resting thumb across his cheek soothingly, "You're 22. You are still young. And being dramatic. I'm still gonna be looking after you even when you're like 60 or something."

My baby tilts his head ever so slightly with a bite of his baby-doll lips and an affectionate glint in those heart melting fawn-eyes, and asks "Do you think about stuff like that a lot? Us being all old and stuff together, darling?"

"Sometimes." Shifting my hand from his face and instead intertwining our fingers between us, I plant a tender kiss to the back of his knuckles and murmur admittedly against his skin "Sometimes I imagine us just getting out of Ohio. Travelling the world and seeing all of those dumb wonders of the world and taking you to every art exhibition we can find. Living out our days near the beach in some exotic country. But other times, I imagine us staying here. Moving into some stereotypical, white-picket suburban house, having big family dinners at Christmas and garden parties in the summer. Maybe getting a pet. Having a cat would be sick. I'm not sure about kids, though. I think you might be enough for me to deal with on your own."

Tyler appears thoughtful for a few, silent moments, in which the only sound filling the quiet lull of our bedroom early in the morning is the faint sound of our thumping hearts, before he whispers with an expression of overwhelming awe painting his pretty face, "I honestly don't know how I got so lucky with you sometimes. Seriously, J.. When I was like, still a teenager, this is never how I would've imagined my life to be now. But even though I never would've predicted it, I wouldn't change it for the world. You are so, so insanely perfect that sometimes I question whether or not you're fucking real." Squeezing my hand gently as a soft smile tugs at his bubblegum-tinted lips, my angel continues "Sometimes when I look at you I just wonder, where would I be if I hadn't ran away from home that night. If I hadn't started going back to that god awful bar. If you hadn't found me again last February. If you didn't like me back. I just.. I love you so much. You're everything to me, darling."

His words make the re-blossoming flora inside of my healing vessel practically double in size, once more filling every niggling crook of my body with their lustrous petals and assisting their vines in wrapping around every single organ that fills my body and squeezing so hard that things begin to feel a little fuzzy. The lovestruck kind of fuzzy that I could only feel blessed by getting to experience every damn day of my life when I looked over at my archangel of a boyfriend. 

Noticing the sudden glassiness of his big, baby-doll eyes, I laugh softly and reach up to scatter a constellation of tiny, comforting kisses along every inch of his perfectly sculpted face, grinning "Hey, hey.. No tears today. Not on your birthday. Show me your pretty smile instead, baby boy." 

With a harmonious giggle, and that oh so familiar pretty smile of imperfectly perfect crooked teeth instantly drawing on his lips at my comment alone, Tyler buries his face into the crook of my neck shyly and murmurs "I really do love you, though."

"I love you too, baby."

|-/

Despite the kid's initial whining and sleepy refusal to leave the comfort of both our bed and my warm hold, I'd somehow, against all odds, managed to get him out of the apartment for the morning; the two of us not doing anything particularly special for his birthday, but simply enjoying the other's company as we strolled hand in hand through the snowy winter streets of Columbus and visited all of our favourite places. He'd snuggled into my arms as we walked, Tyler wrapped up in an oversized grey sweater, my new fleece-lined camo jacket and with a dark beanie pulled over his precious head, only a few loose strands of messy hair peeking out from beneath and making him the singular image of effortless beauty. 

We had visited the contemporary coffee shop a few blocks away from our apartment, one that is seemingly all too familiar with our presence now; the two of us curled up together on one of the plush corner couches, my angel essentially sitting in my lap as he sipped at his bitter, black coffee and watched the newest of glinting snowflakes fall from the sky from beyond the window with a look of pure childlike joy shining in his eyes. He'd requested to taste my own seasonal appropriate gingerbread latte with extra whipped cream and syrup, to which he'd scrunched up his dainty pixie-nose and let out a soft noise of detestation the second it touched his tongue, questioning how I could stomach something so syrupy-sweet.

My romanticised, and of course, cheesy response had been to simply tell him that I must just have a weakness for all syrupy-sweet things in the world, for he was my favourite.

We'd stopped by the homely bakery on our walk as per my angel's wish; the sickeningly sweet yet delicious aroma of the freshly baked pastries surrounding our senses and overpowering the suffocating scents dissipating into the air from Mr. Weekes' little flora shop only a few doors down. In lieu of purchasing a real birthday cake, Tyler had instead requested we buy a range of assorted donuts and cupcakes and sweet pastries, all of which we'd taste tested there and then, much to the amusement of younger girl working behind the counter whenever my baby teasingly swiped cream along my face or kissed away remnants of powdered sugar on my lips with a melodic giggle.

On our tranquil journey back to the apartment, the descending snowflakes dusting our flushed faces and somehow only serving to make my TylerTylerTyler look even more like a living and breathing work of art, we'd peered into the windows of the stores already littered with Christmas decorations of every size and shape and colour and shared a wordless look of unstoppable excitement. Now, I had realised, I was no longer simply imagining the two of us choosing ridiculous presents for our friends and giggling foolishly as we ran through the aisles like a couple of crazed children on a damn sugar high.

Though really, that's exactly what we were.

And as for our trip to Macy's, and the purchase of more seductive panties that practically made Tyler swoon with delight? Well, that wasn't just in my imagination anymore either.

We're settled back on the bed in the apartment snuggled beneath endless furry blankets, the sun having already set beyond the window and leaving only the twinkling fairy lights lining the streets below us visible, when I finally give Tyler his birthday present, earning a skeptical look from the kid when I place the large package on his lap with a ruffle of his feathered hair. Dainty fingers dancing along the shiny wrapping paper curiously, he arches a soft eyebrow in my direction and earns a breathy laugh from my lips.

"Ty, just open it."

Peeling back the gift wrap and discarding of the obnoxiously big, lavender coloured bow, the instant shine in his doe-eyes at the realisation, that could oh so easily match the beauty of every glinting Christmas light in the world, makes both my flora-ridden heart and the newly born butterflies deep inside of my stomach flutter simultaneously with a feeling of love and joy so damn pure that I'm sure my body would be cleansed completely had I been a sinner.

"J.. You didn't.." The kid murmurs softly in awe, before turning to me with a toothy, overcrossed grin that instantaneously melts my heart into it's usual puddle of golden nectar and vivid petals as he rests his palm flat atop of the newly revealed keyboard on his lap; the exact one that he found himself being drawn to every time the two of us visited the music store downtown. "This is.. not what I was expecting at all. It's amazing. You're amazing." Reaching to gently rest the gift on the floor beside the bed first, Tyler throws himself onto my lap with a flurry of sloppy kisses across my face and a giggled "Thank you, thank you, thank you."

Returning the soft kiss, though this one directly planted against his cherry-tinted lips, I smile "You're welcome, angel. Anything for you."

"Now you're making me look like an awful boyfriend," he mutters against my skin, though I can still feel the overbearingly happy curve of his lips pressed against me. Before I can even question how, he answers my unspoken question with "All I gave you for your birthday was a strip-tease and sex."

"And that was the best birthday present I could've asked for, baby," I grin, breathy laugh muffled against him though soon cut off by the locking of his baby-doll lips with my own; his tongue slipping it's way between my parted, chapped lips and licking into my mouth languidly before I barely even have the chance to process what is happening. My mind seemingly not caring to contemplate the logistics, and instead remaining more focused on the intoxicating black coffee and bubblegum taste of my TylerTylerTyler that overtakes my senses and leaves me dizzy with love.

One tattooed arm looping it's way around my neck and somehow pulling me even deeper into the kiss, though I thought it to be impossible, his other delicate hand trails softly down the length of my chest, stopping briefly at the hem of my hoodie before dipping beneath the material and pressing flat against the warmth of my stomach; the contrastingly cool feeling of his silky hands causing goosebumps to prick up along my skin in the most pleasurable way imaginable.

It only takes one gentle roll of his hips against my own and a quiet, heavenly moan into my mouth for the weak remainder of my slowly-rotting barrier to crumble from between us completely, the newfound freedom causing my inner flora to burst from my chest in a desperate attempt to grab at the angel that they've missed so dearly as my hands find his hips in a possessive hold. The second our lips disconnect, his own are latching onto the untouched skin of my neck once more; licking and sucking and biting down tenderly just about everywhere he can reach, as if he's set on making up for every lost second over the passing month right here, right now.

"Baby.." Hand squeezing his hip gently to catch his distracted attention, I murmur softly "We've got all night. You're gonna give yourself a heart attack or something."

"I know, I know.." His syrupy-sweet breath brushing so closely against my skin makes my stomach drop with desire, even more so when he sighs "I've just missed this, a lot. Nothing else feels the same as you, J."

One bump of my hips up against his own, dainty body pressing against me, is more than enough to show our joint urgency for each other after what seemed like forever, given that the kid is half-hard from the kissing alone, and I'm embarrassingly on my way too as though we're two horny teenagers who've never touched another human being before in their lives. Giving him a clear hum of approval, Tyler wastes no time in tugging my hoodie over my head and tossing his own sweater aside; one hand teasingly ghosting along my crotch whilst the other pulls me closer by the nape of my neck, and our lips instantly melting together in a burst of passion so overwhelming that I'm certain the room spins around us.

He lets out a harmonious giggle, one that reverberates into my own mouth and naturally paints a soft smile on my kiss-swollen lips, as he begins to one-handedly shift my sweatpants down as far as he can manage in our restricted position, causing me to pull back briefly both to catch my breath and raise a questioning eyebrow in his direction.

Cheeks flushed rosily, though from coyness or just simply arousal I'm not too sure, my angel smirks as his auroral laugh sounds off quietly. "I just hope you know.. this is literally going to be the shortest sex we've ever had. I mean, finally getting it after a whole month.."

"You're telling me," I laugh, mouth finding his collarbones and leaving a long awaited mark in place, shifting to help the removal of my sweats as I revel in the heated moan he finds himself unable to hold back at the simplest of touches. The sudden feeling of his long, soft fingers dipping beneath my underwear and wrapping around me sends a jolt through my deprived body, hips bucking up against him beyond my will and my teeth faintly biting down into his tan skin as if to muffle my own groan threatening to ring through the air. Though I know the simple touch alone is pushing it in terms of my lasting, given the fact that one month without touching this ethereal boy was god damn torturous and left me with little to no willpower to hold back, the sensation is far too blissful to even consider putting a stop to it.

My angel begins to duck his head down ever so slightly, but when even the provocative image of his pouty lips wrapped around my dick, my hands tangled in his silky locks and those damn bambi-eyes blinking up at me flirtatiously manages to cause a stirring heat deep in my abdomen, I know I'll never last; hands latching onto his itty-bitty waist, I catch him before it's too late, locking our lips in a kiss and nudging him onto his back beneath me. "J.." He whines with an endearing pout, one hand still lazily exploring beneath the confines of my boxers, "I want your dick in my mouth. Like, now."

"Are we really already at that stage in our relationship where the bedroom talk goes to shit?" I smirk, rolling my eyes at his childish insistence and distracting him instead by moving to suck at the skin above his pulse point; the one spot always guaranteed to make him squirm and whimper to the point of heavenly begging. Opening his mouth to retaliate, the words instantly dissolve from the tip of his tongue into nothing but quiet gasps; his pretty mouth parted and his eyes fluttering shut with a tidal wave of euphoria as I tear away his own barriers of clothing in record time.

Breaking away briefly, I fumble around carelessly in the bedside drawer for supplies, turning back to the celestial sight stretched out beneath me with a raised eyebrow, trying to ignore the fact that my flora-ridden heart feels about ready to burst through the garden that encapsulates my whole chest at any given second as I slick up my fingers. "You gonna be okay, baby? It's been a while."

Tyler scoffs, biting down on his kiss-swollen lips and naturally spreading his legs wider to allow me to settle between them comfortably. "It's been a while since your dick has been inside me, but.."

Simultaneously ducking down to nip at his earlobe teasingly and working two fingers inside of my him slowly, I take pride in the hitch of his breath and purr lowly in his ear, "Oh yeah? What've you been up to on your own, baby boy?"

"I.. A-ah.. When you were at work.." He begins, reaching up to hold my bicep for support and pushing back against my slow movements, "I fucked myself and imagined it w-was you, J. God. More."

Practically letting out a growl of overbearing lust in response to his confession, I barely even have the time to process his demand of more before he's impatiently pushing me onto my own back with a force quite shocking coming from such a delicate, dainty looking cherub of a boy; one hand pinning me down by the shoulder as the other coats my dick with the cool gel as he expertly lines himself up, leaving me mere seconds to catch my breath and readjust to the situation at hand. "Can't tell if you're just really desperate right now, or if you secretly love being a power bottom," I smirk, my teasing trailing off into a choked out moan when he starts to sink down slowly.

"Little bit.. fuck.. of b-both," my angel manages to pant out between short gasps, eyes damn-near rolling into the back of his head and his blunt fingernails digging into my exposed chest as he adjusts to the newfound fullness. Leaning down to rest against my chest, his pretty face nuzzled into the crook of my neck, he rolls his hips back experimentally causing a matched moan from both of our lips in response to the relief of finally fulfilling our cravings. "Jesus Christ, babe. Please move before I lose my mind."

More than willing to oblige, for both of our sakes, I wrap one arm around his waist to keep him pressed into place against me, beginning to trail my free hand across his every impeccable curve of his glorious body and working up a rhythm of slow, deep thrusts that make him shiver against me with unabashed pleasure. The complimenting sensations of his hot mouth scattering tender kisses across my neck, his gentle whimpers filling my ears like a melodic harmony and his thick thighs shaking against me with every new thrust are more than enough to kick start the white, hot heat already building low in my stomach.

I'm pretty sure if heaven had a defining feeling, that would be exactly it.

"Missed this so much, baby boy," I murmur into his sweat-matted hair in sync with a syrupy-sweet mewl leaving his bubblegum-tinted lips, hips bumping up against his perfectly heart-shaped ass sharply in a passionately languid tempo that makes him writhe with need. "You're so gorgeous. So, so beautiful. And mine."

"Yours," Tyler confirms with a gentle purr against my lips in a way that my heart completely and utterly burst with an overflow of adoration so pure that I can feel the golden nectar exploding from the veins inside of me and showering down on the vibrant flora like god-damn confetti. Though I was beyond needing reassurance at this point, despite our unspoken mishap, the reminder never failed to nurture the flora that owned my vessel, allowing them to thrive so tremendously that I was unsure as to how they hadn't stopped my breathing yet, as my TylerTylerTyler had once warned.

Capturing his lips in a celebratory kiss, the only sounds disrupting the quiet lull of our apartment are the obscene skin slapping against skin and lovingly, wet-kissed melodies, right up until he presses back against me particularly hard with one thrust; drawing a near primal moan from my lips and forcing the deep heat building in my abdomen to lose control completely; hips jerking up into him sloppily with a few final thrusts and my whole body falling weak beneath my angel with my release. Whining with slight shock and increased need, Tyler rocks slowly against me to work me through every last pulse before snickering teasingly, "Well, that's never happened before."

Though exhaustion is rattling through my vessel like a frenzy of butterflies attempting to break free, and falling straight to sleep sounds like the perfect option right about now, the feeling of the kid's still achingly hard dick digging into my stomach reminds me of my other duties, and with every last drop of energy I can muster, I shift our positions and carelessly wrap my lips around him; his soft hands running through my mussed up curls with each jerk and the weight of him against my tongue making my stomach burn pleasurably once more.

"Oh, fuck.. J.. Baby. 'M gonna cum," Tyler warns as the sudden wet heat seems to push him over the very edge he'd been so close to, gripping onto me so tightly that I'm sure there'll be some form of mark there come the morning and jolting his hips up with a sharp gasp. "God."

Only seconds after his final warning is my angel hitting his own climax; his body visibly tensing and his head falling back with an overload of ecstasy as the warm, bitter spurts of pearly liquid shoot down my throat and leave my head spinning with unadulterated lust. As soon as I pull back, usually chapped lips all swollen and glistening with slicked remnants, he bonelessly collapses on top of me with a tender kiss; his usual taste of bitter black coffee and bubblegum and now sweet pastries mingling with the cigarette smoke and taste of him in my own mouth, in one simultaneously nauseating yet divine combination that I wouldn't trade for the world.

Long legs tangling with my own and his head sleepily finding my chest, he yawns in visible exhaustion "Jesus Christ, you're amazing.. That was definitely worth the wait."

"Anything for the birthday boy," I murmur teasingly, a languid grin finding it's way to my lips as I kiss his precious head and allow the scented blossoms to overtake my body once more as the two of us appear on the edge of falling into a dreamless sleep. "And I know I haven't been saying it s'much lately but I do love you, Tyler. Never forget that."

"I know you do. And I love you too, old man. More than anything."