he wants to feel important. he wants to feel noticed. thats always been his thing. tho he supposes that could be said of anyone in his field. still, he wants to be interesting, taken seriously. center of attention, but never for the real things. he wants ppl to see him for the asshole he feels he is. the asshole he wants to be. oh, damn, look at the edgy guy. aint he so fucking cool? better than being someone's bitch boy. thats what gets him about joji, he seems so together, not overly insecure. he struggles quite a bit with image, making sure people separate him from frank, but that's understandable. joji himself is actually a really lovely dude, people dont see that. got himself all wrapped up in the toxic bullshit, they all did. ian thrives in it, but hes constantly afraid, of losing it, of being called out as the pussy he really is. with proof. joji hides, ian runs. max gets all fucked up over obligation. hes ians best reality check. trusted source of information. joji is ians everything else.
its just that, he fears they dont actually like him when hes being himself. no - he doesn't, actually. he knows they don't. hes annoying, and ridiculous, his laugh is fucked, hes too loud. theyve already got one max, they dont need another one. why do they keep him around? for the meme status? coz he plays gay retard? hes the friend they drag along just to laugh at. the rest of them are actually pretty normal, average dudes. hes the jester. everyone thinks its max. the audience. theyre fucking idiots, blind followers. max doesnt jump off of kitchen counters. ian does. on command. like a good dog. "im so glad ur here." liar. all they do is lie and he doesnt know why he even bothers. god, even his parents dont want him. tell him hes useless. warn every girl he ever had a chance with to stay away. he cant accept responsibility. maybe it had something to do with the fact that they taught him nothing and threw him to the wolves when he was old enough that they had no obligation to him anymore. hes lucky max found him, on this shitty website they call a business, that joji was willing to tolerate a couple of insufferable loud cunts like them. that he continues to, even when he doesnt have to anymore. maybe he never did, but then why? why does he still make ian feel so wanted and yet pay him so little attention? its cruel, to play on his hopes like that. its so fucking cruel. he doesnt belong here, he knows that. hes nothing but a fucking loser, under his wall of edgy jokes and stolen fans. hes nothing. they could take him down so easily. then what? would joji stay? fuck no. he'll leave, just like they all fucking do. he feels sick and tired and hes over getting shoved around. they aren't his friends. hes nothing to them. but, fuck. he.. really cares about them. hell yeah, hed jump off a bench for them, hed jump off a fucking bridge if they said so, promised him hed be okay. hed believe them. they're all hes got. joji is... all he fucking has. he really, really fucking.. well, he doesn't entirely understand it. but yeah, maybe he wants him. maybe he fucking does. maybe everything they say to him is true. cept the nigger part. hes a motherfucking faggot. gay retard. useless fucking pussy cunt. god.. he bets joji wouldnt give a fuck. nobodys business. hes always so sure. like it doesnt matter, nothing matters, doesnt factor in. ian doesn't know if he wants to be him or.. yknow. and look, he likes chicks, okay? but u know whats gayer than being a fucking faggot? being a goddamn bi dude. fuck that. they can never know. he can never know. its pointless. hes had too much to drink. they all have. jojis sloppy grin is beautiful. blinding in the best way. another bad memory spears thru his head and he resists the urge to react physically, waits it out, and then its gone like it was never there. takes a swig of his beer. when he looks up, jojis watching him. he doesnt look away. ian wonders what hes thinking. maybe hes laughing internally at what a fucking poser ian is. hes still grinning, lazy, laid back. hes gotta be hiding something, they always are. if they arent talking behind ur back, they're thinking it. its unspoken, probably. ians position in the group. they all know. that hes just an easy joke. jojis smile is nearly gone now, as he watches him, calculating, maybe. hes frowning. just a little. concern? nah, more like judgement, ian guesses. probably thinking 'what the fuck is this cunt staring at?'. ian drops his gaze, focuses on the condensation on the bottle, making the label peel at the edges. max, like always, drank more than everyone else. hes loud, slurring, belching, laughing. chad cuts him off, looking out for him, like always - hauls him up by the arm, makes him down a glass of water and drags him off to his room. he stops by the loungeroom to say goodnight before he heads back to his own room, tired, feet dragging on the carpet. ians about to settle in on the couch and call it a night when joji drops himself down onto the couch beside him. "dont tell me ur tired already, ian. past ur bedtime?" joji jokes, sprawling out beside him, too close. "fuck off cunt, im older than u," he jokes back, habit, falls easily into that role of the antagonist. joji laughs. "barely." he shifts, leaning a little closer to ian, so hes almost resting against him. ian goes tense. hes drunk. stop being fucking stupid, goddamn faggot. he still cant think of anything to say to break the tension only he feels. doesnt have to. "u were quiet tonight." its not a question. jojis looking at him, inquisitive but calm, like its not a big deal, hes just making conversation. ian can hear the undertone. it contradicts. he shrugs. joji nudges him a little. "any particular reason? whats on ur mind?" he presses, looking at ian now with his full attention pointed right at him. now that hes got it, ians not sure he wants it anymore. "nothing important," he responds, dropping it casually like he doesn't care. joji goes quiet for a sec, but he doesnt try to keep digging, instead shrugging and settling into ians side properly, head on his shoulder. ian can feel his heart pounding in his chest and he hopes joji cant too. hed much rather be alone right now - an entire day surrounded by people to embarrass himself in front of has started to take its toll and he feels uneasy, on edge. like at any given moment hes gonna say or do something mildly retarded thatll haunt him for years to come, always when he least expects it, leaving him angry with an aching head and a brief, very strong urge to throw himself off a tall building, headfirst onto the pavement below. joji laughs a little. "dude, chill, i can hear ur fuckin heartbeat thru ur shoulder. plus ur sitting like a statue, its freaking me out. relax. i got weed, u want?" ians whole body freezes ice cold, panic setting in his stomach. he takes a second to get his shit together, trying not to breathe too obviously, a dead giveaway that hes really really not chill about anything right now. he makes his limbs lax, slumping back into the couch a little. hes fine, hes okay, and he needs to stop acting like such a damn pussy. he frowns. "how the fuck did u manage to keep that from max and chad?" he asks, genuinely impressed. joji laughs. "the aussie stoners? theyre such a fuckin stereotype, man. everything in excess. ive been saving it. u in?" ian thinks about it. jojis shit is always top quality. that might be an issue, considering ians already just about buzzing out of his skin with anxiety. "uh.. nah, man. not right now, not feeling it," he tells him, thinly veiled nervousness making his hands shake a little. he subtly grips the fabric of his pants to make them stop. joji shrugs, unphased, and pulls his hand from his pocket, empty. he ends up resting it casually on ians thigh, palm up, and ian decidedly does not make a big deal out of it, relaxing his own hands a little, trying so hard to not be so fucking obvious. "..so, ive been thinking. yknow how we're heaps close yeah? this is probably the drunk talking, but how good are u at keeping secrets?" ians blinks into the dark, wondering how they got here. "... uhm. yknow, pretty decent. havent yet revealed ~howtobasic's true identity~. havent told chad anything i wouldnt want the rest of the world to know. keepin it tight," he jokes in that fucked voice he does, drunk and trying stupidly to break the tension. he shakes his head at himself a little. fucking dumbass. joji laughs, and ian huffs out an awkward little chuckle at himself, glancing at him briefly. when he does, he catches jojis gaze dropping from his eyes to his mouth, and staying there, lips parted, this look on his face like... nah, fuck off, absolutely not. ians booze-soaked brain is fried right now. he opens his mouth to speak, but cant find any words. joji licks his lips, then his eyes flick up to ians like hes suddenly aware that ians watching him. theres a weird pause where the atmosphere in the room has shifted and neither of them are willing to address it. ian clears his throat, feeling like hes got a big rock stuck in his airway. "uhhh.. so. a secret, huh?" he gets out, trying desperately to bring it back to a place where he almost felt semi-comfortable. joji blinks, frowns, not looking at him directly. "u-um.. i..." he pauses, breathing coming kinda weird, voice shaky. its the first time ians ever seen him like hes, well, almost.. nervous? uncomfortable. he doesnt know, something like how ian feels all the fucking time. his eyes go kind of unfocused for a sec and then he meet ians eyes, expression sure. "fuck it." and then hes, he fucking... he kisses him. and all sense of humour leaves ians brain like someone parachuting from a crashing plane, and hes left, defenseless, mind shutting down and fizzling out as he just sits there, shocked and unable to do much of anything, useless. joji pulls back after a couple seconds of non-response from ian. he.. hes just. he cant fuckin.. /believe/, what.. /what/? what the fuck just /happened/? "uhhhhh..." he gets out, like a fucking moron, stuck, like a computer overheating and freezing mid-video, stuck on the same horrible fucking sound until u shut it the fuck up. "shit, dude.. thats super fucking embarrassing, u wanna just forget i did that? booze making me do some weird shit, dont worry about it," joji rushes out, awkward laughing breaking up his words. his face is bright red. his eyes are a little wide, like hes in shock. the feeling's starting to come back in ians face and his hands and he blinks, feeling jojis spit going cold on his lips, making it real, and he feels this surge of fucking want propelling him forward as he leans in and kisses him back. joji makes this startled sound against his mouth, nose kinda smushed against ians from the shitty angle, before hes kissing him hard, hands holding the back of his head as he just fuckin goes for it, and ian fucking /lets/ him, head swimming, grabbing at jojis shoulders and moaning when jojis tongue finds his. he doesnt really know whats going on but theres no way hes ever stopping, holy fucking shit, he could cum in his fucking pants just from the feeling of jojis mouth on his, what the fuck, he never.. he never even let himself think that maybe- that this could /ever/ fucking...
he goes easy when joji pushes him back, his thigh settling between ians, and ians hips rut up against him like he just cant fucking help it. the kiss is drunk-sloppy and so, so good, and ian cant even /think/ right now, hes so turned on and fucking amazed and beyond comprehension. he clings to joji like he needs him, kissing him like his life depends on it, as joji ruts against him, the friction perfect, joji giving back just as good. god he wants him, for real. wants to fuck him and hold him and tell him he.. fuck, he fucking loves him. joji keeps going like that, hard and rough and unrestrained, ians hips bucking up against his, until he cums, breaking the kiss to muffle his groan against ians neck, and ian bites his lip real hard and hopes that they cant hear him as he cums in his own pants, like a teenager, after practically humping jojis leg, like a dog. he laughs to himself, incredulous. what the actual fuck just happened? joji huffs out a laugh where his mouth still rests over ians throat. he props himself up to look at ian. ian goes quiet, watching him, trying to read his face, wary. "hey, cmon, dont get all freaked again. i like u, u know? its all good." ian sucks in a shocked breath. jojis face is genuine and open and post-nut relaxed. hes smiling, sweet, and ian doesnt know what to think. everything in his brain is contradicting right now. "uh.. u... /what/? but uv never.. i didnt even think that u..." ian trails off. 'liked me at all, as a friend'? 'were into dudes'? he doesnt know. hes never been so confused in his life, what the /fuck/. "as if i was gonna be obvious about it, especially around chad, fucking gossiping drama queen. i just.. i dunno, i couldnt help myself. too drunk to talk myself out of it, yknow? plus, yknow, u were.. less obvious. i dont think the other guys know, but i figured it out. either ive always got something on my face, or u wanna fuck me. i took a chance, and hey, look, u were into it... i care about u ian. i dont know what goes on in that head of urs, but dont doubt that, okay? u think id fly down to this shithole if i didnt know u were gonna be here?" joji laughs, words lighthearted and still so meaningful, squashing all ians fears like they were nothing, like they didnt keep ian up at night, every night, for /so/ long. "i.. i dont know what to say. fuck, joji, i.. what- what does this.. mean? i mean, what do u want?" ian cringes, wanting to take it back as soon as the words leave his lips. fucking dumbass, so needy, joji probably just wanted a nut. joji smiles. "to date u, dickhead. as if i woulda made a move if i didn't. as long as u can do long distance and i dont have to move to fucking california. unless u dont wanna, which is fine, i can settle for a benefits kinda deal if i have to." ians genuinely gonna have a fucking heart attack if joji throws any more surprises his way. "um. yeah, no, absolutely. i mean, yes, fuck yes, i wanna.. date u." joji grins. "cool. im glad... well, im gonna go wash the jizz off my dick, ur welcome to join me. just, yknow, quietly, coz max and chad sleep heavy but like, i still dont really want them to know yet, if ever." ian smiles, leans into it when joji kisses him. "yea, um.. yeah..." he stammers uselessly, still just so disbelieving and amazed and terrified but in a good way. like skydiving or some shit, thrown out of his quiet, ignorant comfort zone into a dream hes had a million times, a million different ways. joji is kind of all the things hes always wanted to be, to hear, to look at, fuck, what the fuck, hes never been so lucky in his life. and yeah, he wants to doubt it, but joji straight up shot down any room for disbelief, and hes just really fucking happy for a change. hes had all these doubts for so long and now hes just... dumbfounded. joji grabs his arm and pulls him up from the lounge and he laughs, letting joji kiss him slow and thorough and really fuckin gay and he fucking loves it. he decides right then that its better to be quietly happy than quietly afraid.