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The first time Stuart kisses Vince, it's on a quiet afternoon. There's rain outside, gray clouds just beyond the windows. Vince is talking some shite about Doctor Who, mouth running ahead of himself, and Hazel's at work. Stuart has the option of working on his maths homework or he could be watching the twist of Vince's lips, the fall of his fringe over his forehead.

Stuart leans forward cupping his hands around Vince's neck. Vince goes still, but he doesn't pull away. His lips are soft. His breath is warm. It's almost like any other kiss Stuart has ever had. Almost. Stuart only stays a moment before pulling back.

"What was that?" Vince asks, his voice ticking up at the end the way it does when he's about to go down one of his spirals.

"I'm pretty sure even you know what a kiss is," Stuart says.

"Yeah, but why?" Vince asks, practically squeaking now. It's entirely unattractive and Stuart almost forgets why he bothered in the first place. Almost.

"Because I felt like it," Stuart says with a roll of his eyes. "Don't make this something it isn't just because the straights get all hung up on it."

And that's the end of that.

Except it isn't, not quite, because Stuart keeps kissing Vince, and sometimes Vince even kisses him back. It's actually kind of nice, kissing someone who knows how much tongue to use and who has a near-fanatical love of breath mints. With the other boys Stuart cops off with, there's a learning process involved, a period of adjustment as they figure out what they can both agree on liking and disliking. With Vince, Stuart can get to the good stuff straight off.

Which is how they end up going further than that over a copy of the Radio Times, because Stuart is a teenager and Vince is a teenager and it doesn't take much to get them both hard. He can see Vince's erection, the hard bulge of it unashamed in a way that Vince himself can't ever let himself be, and Stuart has always loved these little glimpses of who Vince is underneath his bluster.

He meets Vince's eyes, but Vince turns away, a blush high on his cheeks, chasing its way down his neck. Stuart has the mad idea of maybe putting his mouth there. Tasting Vince's skin.

But he wants to see more first. Stuart undoes the buttons of Vince's trousers, pulls down the waistband of Vince's shorts. Vince bites his bottom lip, muffling the sounds in the back of his throat.

Stuart loves the way cocks look, especially when they're hard, engorged, thick with blood. He thought that maybe it would be different with Vince, that maybe their friendship would leave Vince's cock boring and uninteresting, but that isn't the case here. He puts his hand on it, feels the way it twitches against his palm. Stuart's own cock throbs. He's dizzy with desire.

He gives Vince's cock an experimental pump of his hand. The skin is soft and hot to the touch, flushed as red as Vince's cheeks, leaking just a little bit. A noise escapes from behind Vince's teeth: a moan, perhaps. Stuart kisses him then, swallowing the rest of Vince's sounds.

But then: "Vince! Are you home?" a voice calls up the stairs.

Vince pushes Stuart away, scrabbles back. "Yeah, Mum, I'm in my room!" he calls back. His cock is still hanging out. His cheeks are still red. He still refuses to meet Stuart's eyes. "What was that?" he hisses at Stuart.

"It was just a wank," Stuart says. He feels his stomach roll in discomfort. It's not a real answer.

Vince's eyes flick up at him. He nods, once. "All right," Vince says, hands fumbling to do up his boxers and trousers again. His expression settles once again into the familiar pose of Stuart's best friend. Balance restored to the universe.

"Don't make this something it isn't," Stuart says. He feels a shaky, uncomfortable drop in the pit of his stomach, because he lost his head there for a moment. Wanted too much, too recklessly. Vince latches onto things, like a barnacle, and Stuart-- he wouldn't be enough for Vince. Vince can't see that yet, but he will.

Vince is the one to roll his eyes this time.

Stuart doesn't try it again. It's too much, too dangerous. But he doesn't stop kissing Vince. And Vince still sometimes kisses him back.