When Dylan enters Tyler’s apartment, he’s immediately struck by how silent the space is. Hoechlin isn’t one for quiet. If he’s not in the kitchen cooking loudly or blending a disgustingly healthy smoothie, then there’s usually a game playing on the television. (Dylan had never realized the sheer number of sports in existence throughout the year or that one person could enjoy watching literally all of them.) Last resort, an iPhone would play music lowly from its jack near the bedroom door.
But it was never quiet. Never.
Hell, Tyler even needed the sound of his little nature app to create soothing melodies as he drifted off to sleep. Not that Dylan finds that cute. Really. He doesn’t. (He totally does though. He’s grinning like an idiot just thinking about the whale setting and how he’d pretended to speak humpback once until the two of them were a giggling mess under the blankets. They couldn’t sleep for hours, but the waffles at the 24 hour diner next door were delicious.)
If he didn’t think something was wrong before, he knows it is the moment he steps into the bedroom and sees a Tyler sized lump curled beneath the covers at the center of the bed.
“Well hello there handsome,” Dylan chirps, draping his jacket across the back of the desk chair. The lump grumbles in malcontent as though Dylan has already said something wrong.
He pokes what he thinks might be a leg. “Why are you hiding?”
The only response is the foot shaped lump squirming more toward its owner and away from Dylan’s prodding fingers. He eyes the blankets warily. He knows Tyler’s not sleeping. The man is abnormally sunshiney at any stake of wakefulness. When he talks in his sleep, it’s always happy little mumblings about Dylan or his family or pizza. Most commonly pizza, if they’re being honest.
Dylan toes off his shoes and circles the bed until he’s standing on the side he thinks Tyler is facing. He lifts the blankets, crawling and squirming beneath them until he’s lying just a foot or so from Hoechlin’s face. The blankets are already warm with body heat. His ass is precariously close to the edge, but he ignores it.
“Why are we sad?” he asks the sweet, open countenance in front of him. The muted light streaming through the comforter brings out the pink in his skin, makes his eyes pop green. Tyler is not Derek. His face is rarely hard, his mouth still tilted up around the corners even in moments like this.
“I’m not sad,” but he’s looking at Dylan’s chin without meeting his gaze. Their voices are low even though there isn’t really a reason for it.
“I don’t know,” Dylan replies speculatively. “This feels a lot like a pity part that we’re having here.”
Hoech’s brows draw together then. Dylan’s thumb reaches to sooth the crease between them.
“It’s not a bad thing, babe,” he pacifies, settling his palm on the rough stubble of Tyler’s cheek. “Everyone needs a pity party every now and again. You don’t have to be happy all the time.”
“I know,” comes the response as Tyler gently grasps the hand on his face, kissing the heel of it and then settling their intertwined fingers in the space between them.
“You wanna tell me why we’re having one though?”
“It’s…petty. Stupid.” Hoechlin’s eyes are trained on sheet beneath their thumbs.
“Mm, I don’t know. Seems like it’s pretty important to you.”
Tyler keeps his eyes trained on the fabric as he worries it halfheartedly. He’s an open soul on the surface. Face relaxed and happy, posture approachable. But Dylan knows the deeper stuff is hard. He doesn’t doubt that Tyler will answer honestly though.
“I—” he stops. He’s not going to look at Dylan, which gives the other man free reign to examine all the ticks in his face as he works through a thought. “I work really hard on acting, you know. I know it’s just a dumb werewolf show on MTV, but I…I take it really seriously, I guess.”
“Mmhmm,” Dylan acknowledges, encouraging him to continue.
“And sometimes it gets really—not ‘upsetting’ but um…”
“’Disheartening’?” Dylan tries, because Tyler isn’t actually that good with words when they aren’t written down for him and Dylan can already sense the direction the conversation is going to take.
“Yeah. It gets disheartening when you’re proud of something and all anybody wants to talk about is…how you looked when you did it.”
Dylan is quiet for a moment. He knows—knows—he can be the biggest offender of this at times and that he’ll likely continue to be in the future. He can be an asshole, he’ll admit that openly. He thinks he probably doesn’t deserve the beautiful person in front of him.
“Well…you know you’re gorgeous.” Tyler glares a little from under his lashes. “But. You’re also kind and accepting and strong and hardworking and—hey. Look at me for this one.” Hoechlin obliges, chin tilting up and eyes hopeful. “A fantastic actor.”
He bites back a smile, “Yeah?”
Dylan knows he could stop there. Tyler is ridiculously easy to please. A few kind words to balm his wounds will leave him with a pep in his step for days. But Dylan also knows that while he is bombarded with compliments on his acting and talent and potential, Hoech is starved for praise about anything that isn’t in line with how he looks.
“Dude,” he trucks on, “you are like…the embodiment of sunshine, and you believably portray one of the most dark and broody characters on television. Without you, that’s all Derek Hale would be. You bring him to life.”
“Really?” Tyler says. And if it’d keep that beaming smile on his face, Dylan would continue on for hours.
Instead, he pushes forward to kiss that grinning mouth and assures, “Yes really.” He starts to pull back but Tyler reels him in until their lips are slotted back together, coaxing his mouth open just enough to imply intent.
“Mm so I guess we’re not getting out from under here then, huh?”
Tyler is silent for a moment too long.
“…it’s too quiet. Can I turn my nature sounds on at least?”
“Oh my god.”