“Hal did this.”
Drew and Harrison stood, shoulder to shoulder, mouths gaping, as they looked into the very small room, with one very big bed.
“You take the bed,” Drew said. “I’ll—”
“Sleep in the shower stall?” Harrison snorted.
Drew hesitated. “I could go ask for another room.”
“With what money?”
“I have money,” Drew said.
“Okay,” Harrison said, clicking his tongue against his teeth. “Or you could just share the bed with me.”
Drew fully turned his body away from Harrison, because he was sure that his face must have been tomato red. “I don’t want to—”
“Right, because I’m so disgusting, you couldn’t possibly share a bed with me.”
Harrison dropped himself onto the bed, throwing his signature pout in Drew’s direction, as if in jest, but Drew saw it: there was real hurt flashing in his eyes.
“That’s not it at all,” Drew said, quickly. “It’d just be awkward... wouldn’t it?”
Harrison looked him dead in the eye. “Why?”
Because I am so in love with you, I can barely breathe.
“I—” Drew let out a breath and then said, lamely, “I dunno.”
Harrison let out a long sigh, stretching himself across the bed. His shirt pulled up across his stomach, revealing a line of skin across his abs. Drew had to look away.
“It’s a big bed,” Harrison said. “There’s plenty of room.”
Drew didn’t say anything, his hand pressed against his mouth.
Harrison rolled his eyes, and then threw a pillow at Drew. “Just share the bed with me, you prude. I promise I won’t steal the covers.”
“Fine,” Drew huffed, dropping down onto the bed. “I’m not a prude, by the way.”
“If you say so.”
“And you’re not disgusting.”
“Truly a ringing endorsement.”
Sharing space with Harrison was weirdly intimate.
It was like a dance, a carefully navigated two-step, of— “Do you want to use the bathroom first or—” “I can, unless you—” “I’m good, unless you—” – until they’d established that Harrison was going to shower first.
Drew waited, awkwardly sat on the edge of the bed, while he waited for his turn. He’d already sent several indignant texts to Hal, who’d responded exclusively with ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ until Drew had given up sending empty threats and tossed his phone onto the bedside table.
Goddamn Hal. Drew had half a mind to go down to reception and make sure that there actually was a convention for college radio presenters and this wasn’t just an elaborate ruse to get Harrison and Drew to share a bed. He wouldn’t put it past her.
Instead, he stayed perched on the end of the bed, fingers drumming up and down on his knees, trying to get out all the restless energy he’d had since seeing that damn bed, doing his best not to think about Harrison in the room over, shower on, soap running down his bare torso—
--And then he had to slam the pillow over his head to stop himself from thinking dirty thoughts about his co-host, who definitely didn’t feel the same way about him.
He froze for a second when the sounds of the shower stopped, and then threw himself over the bed to grab his phone again, settling himself on one side of the bed and, in an attempt to look casual, scrolling through social media.
Harrison appeared a few seconds later, naked chest only half covered by a towel.
“Forgot my sleep shirt,” he said.
Drew was not gaping. His mouth was definitely not dropping onto the floor.
Was that dribble?
Drew wiped his mouth, grunted an acknowledgement, and then turned and pressed his blushing face into the pillow.
“...Aren’t you gonna take a shower?” Harrison asked, after a few moments.
“Yes!” Drew sprung up from the bed almost comically, hovering in place for a few moments before remembering that he needed his wash bag and pyjamas. He dithered about the room for a bit, all too aware of Harrison’s eyes, hot on his back, tracking him around the room.
Drew escaped to the bathroom, all but slamming the door behind him. He let himself stand for a moment, head bent back against the door as he let out a long sigh.
He showered slowly, zoning out as the water ran over him. He didn’t know how long he’d been in there, but when he stepped out of the shower, the room was filled with steam, the mirror fully fogged over.
When he finally left the bathroom, Harrison was on the bed, hair tousled and damp from the shower. There was something different about freshly-showered Harrison. His cheeks were pink, his hair fluffy, and Drew wanted nothing more than to pull him into his arms and never let go.
He pushed that thought to the back of his mind, trying to swallow the dryness out of his mouth as he slipped down onto his side of the bed. He was suddenly very aware of his own body, stiff and awkward. Harrison seemed both too close and impossibly far away. Drew’s heart thudded out of control.
“Sooo,” Harrison said, the first to break the silence. “I guess we should sleep?”
Drew swallowed. “Yeah. I guess.”
Mechanically, the two of them pulled themselves into bed. Harrison flipped off the light and then they both just lay there in the darkness, staring up at the ceiling.
A long silence passed between them.
“Drew?” Harrison’s voice was soft against the quiet.
“What are we doing?”
Harrison sighed. “Are you going to hang onto the edge of the bed and never get any closer to me all night?”
Drew stilled. “Do you... want me to get closer?”
“Drew,” Harrison said, saying his name in that way that always made goose bumps prickle up on Drew’s skin.
His fingers found their way to Drew’s cheek, and Drew’s heart thudded as they traced across his chin, tilting his face so that their eyes met. Harrison’s eyes were shining in the darkness.
Like a magnet, Drew found himself pulled towards Harrison, his hands fumbling in the dark to get himself closer, until they were inches apart.
“Harrison,” Drew whispered, almost reverently. “Can I...?”
Harrison answered by closing the gap between them, meeting Drew in a gentle kiss, the barest brush of their lips together.
They parted for a mere second, a looking flashing between the two of them, before Drew surged forwards, his fingers carding their way through Harrison’s hair, kissing him fiercely. Harrison responded by wrapping his arms around Drew’s waist, pulling him flush against his chest, feeling like, no matter how close they got, it wouldn’t be close enough.
Eventually, they pulled apart, breathless, still clinging onto each other, their foreheads pressed together.
“Thank God,” Harrison quipped as soon as he could speak. “I’ve been waiting for you to do that since we saw the bed.”
Drew let out a laugh. “I’ve been wanting to do that since the first radio show.”
“I’ve been wanting you to do that since I first heard you on the radio.”
The two giggled, holding onto each other for dear life, all the tension from earlier leaking out and dissipating into the air.
They let themselves sink back into a bed, and for a while, sat in contented silence, Drew running his fingers through Harrison’s hair and looking down at him like he’d hung the moon.
“Can I ask you something?” Harrison said.
“What took you so long?”
Drew sighed, bending his head to rest in the crook of Harrison’s shoulder, brushing his lips against the skin there, his arm looping around Harrison’s waist to hold him close.
“Never felt good enough, I suppose,” he admitted.
Harrison’s grip on Drew tightened. “You know I think that you’re worth the world, right?”
“Sometimes,” Drew confessed, “you’d talk about Cal, like he was everything you wanted, and that was nothing I could be so I just—”
“Hey,” Harrison said gently, stopping Drew before he could finish his sentence. “Cal represented a lot of what I thought I wanted. But it wasn’t Cal sitting next to me every Tuesday and Thursday. It wasn’t Cal who laughed at my jokes, argued with me about the silliest things, saw me, the real me. Cal couldn’t do that. Cal isn’t you.”
“Actually,” Drew said, the confession he’d been wanting to make for months finally burning on his tongue. “He is.”
Harrison blinked. “What?”
“I’m Cal. Humans of Sidlesmith is written by me.”
Harrison just stared.
His heart seizing up like he suddenly felt like he’d said the wrong thing, Drew began to babble. “I know I should have told you but I was just so scared that if I did, you wouldn’t want me for me, not all the bad bits anyway, not all the flawed messy parts of me, not that part of me that’s grumpy and jaded and belligerent, you’d only want the flowery, romantic part of me, and I couldn’t stand it—”
Harrison cut him off by pressing their lips together, kissing him gently until the tension flooded out of Drew.
“I want you, Drew,” Harrison said. “I want you. I want the good days, and I want the bad days. I want all the messy parts of you, as long as you’ll have all the messy parts of me. I want romantic Drew, I want non-romantic Drew, I want tired Drew, I want sad Drew, I want every part of you that you’re scared for me to see. I want you because you’re you, because you’re smart, and funny and because you get me, and you see me, and when I’m with you, I feel like the best version of myself. I don’t want you because of some column you write. I don’t want Cal. I want you.”
“Harrison,” Drew whispered, heart pounding hard in his chest.
“So, that’s what I want,” Harrison said, brushing their foreheads together again. “What do you want?”
Drew couldn’t answer – for all those columns he’d written, all those moleskines he’d filled with his scrawl, this time, he just didn’t have the words.
Instead, he pulled Harrison close and kissed him hard, not so much kissing as it was pressing his obnoxious grin against Harrison’s lips. Harrison responded in kind, the two practically giggling as they kissed, and kissed and kissed, caressing each other, hands roaming everywhere.
Eventually, they needed air, the two settling down in the bed, Drew’s arms around Harrison, holding him close to his chest. Their legs were entangled, their fingers twined together. There wasn’t a part of Drew that didn’t want to be connected to Harrison in that moment, perfectly, wonderfully intertwined.
“Drew,” Harrison whispered, a smile in his voice, “who’s gonna tell our radio audience?”
Drew groaned. “Hal is going to be so smug.”
“She’s been dropping hints about me and you since the very first broadcast.”
“Oh, really?” Harrison said, with a grin. “You know what that means, right?”
“What does that mean?”
Harrison’s fingers tightened around Drew’s. “That we’re inevitable.”
There was a pause.
“That was so cheesy I can’t even take you seriously,” Drew said, flatly.
“Ha,” Harrison said, grinning wide. “You can’t hide it from me anymore, not now that I know you’re a secret romantic. You probably love cheesy lines like that. I bet they make you swoon.”
“I don’t swoon,” Drew said, indignantly.
“Maybe not,” Harrison said, “but you do blush.”
He twisted around in Drew’s arms and pressed a kiss to his nose, triumphant grin on his face.
He wasn’t done.
“Hey,” he said, that grin of his stretching wider that Drew thought possible. “You know, There’s Only One Bed is the biggest trope of all.”
And for that, Drew had to kiss him.
Just to shut him up, of course.