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It's Official

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A party.

Just a party. Nothing to hyperventilate over, not really. Even though this room was saturated with the same air Summer had probably been breathing all night.

Seth took a breath, trying not to make a whimpering noise.

He was cool.

It was a party, a beach house goddamned party, and that meant not being Seth fucking Cohen right now. And why, might he ask, was he so unlucky as to get saddled with such an utterly… uncool last name? What gods had his father angered?

Maybe the ones with a vendetta against eyebrows that belonged on no man.

Mentally shaking his fist at his father's heathen wooly mammoths, he sauntered across the room and very subtly took a seat on the couch. This felt like the perfect spot to tap into his inner cool. Couches were very chill.

Except the guys sitting next to him were exhaling smoke and filling up his personal airspace faster than he could blink, and he could blink pretty damn fast—he'd once timed himself at 12.76 blinks per second, when he really tried. While his eyes watered, he did his best to shift away from the highly illegal smell, looking around for Ryan.

Wait a minute.

The question he'd been asking himself since he'd walked in this door once more popped up at the forefront of his mind: What would Ryan do? Would Ryan scoot away from the illegal substances like a scared little kid who actually still had his D.A.R.E. t-shirt and wore it to sleep sometimes, remembering the fifth grade as one of the best years of his life? Would Ryan be so unchill as to let a little eye-watering and a burning throat keep him away from having a good time?

"Hey," he blurted out, partially to reprimand himself and partially to get the attention of the guy with the snakey looking thing dangling out of his mouth.

"Dude," the guy drawled, lolling his head over Seth's way.

"Would you be so kind as to let me partake of your…" Seth looked at the bong, thinking it would sound a little too gay right now to use that word, especially with the way this guy was staring at his lips, "stash?"

"Dude." He handed over the paraphernalia and then let his head fall onto his chest.

Seth looked at the guy, looked at the stuff in his hands, and shrugged. He was an expert in the language of dude and that was an affirmative if he'd ever heard one.

"Okay okay okay," he said, leaning closer to the huge instrument which looked like the fucked-up love child of a bong and a five-gallon water jug. He tried not to think about what he was doing—which wasn't so hard, since he didn't know exactly how to get that strange smelling shit from in there into his mouth—because he could practically feel his father's eyebrows waggling in disappointment over his shoulder. Thankfully sitting over the other one was his new personal savior, a certain blond-haired blue-eyed wonder boy.

And the way Ryan was smiling down at him, he knew that it was drugs or bust.

He tried to coax the lighter gently into life, ending up with a welted bright red thumb for his trouble. "You think you're smart, don't you? Smart little lighter? Well, I'll teach you to mess with Seth Co—Seth the motherfucking man, you insolent little piece of gas-ignited flame."

Four burned fingers later he woke up the guy next to him and made him do it.

The first puff went down surprisingly smooth—it even tasted kinda good. Nothing like the single puff he'd taken off half a cigarette Summer had dropped once Freshman year. He secretly believed that all smokers threw up after lighting up because it was the most disgusting thing he'd ever tried.

Though, come to think of it, Ryan didn't take more bathroom trips than usual.

"You gotta inhale deeper, man." Another guy with blood-shot eyes and a really nice polo shirt leaned towards the table and tapped on the bulbous glass base. "Look at how much of the shit's still in there."

"Right, right, inhale deeper, I don't know where my head was. Guess I was too busy thinking about that broad I banged last night." Both of them looked at Seth oddly so he made a quick save, "where'd you get that shirt, by the way?"

Five lights from the wobbly-necked guy next to him and Seth was golden. It tasted better each time he inhaled, and once he got over the body-wracking lung-bursting coughing part, it was actually pretty fun.

"Chill," he said, licking his lips and it was more than a word, he realized. It was a state of being. "I am chill. I am so. fucking. chill." He sat pondering this life-shattering sentiment for what might have been one or a hundred minutes, he wasn't really sure, but when he opened his eyes next, Ryan was there.

"Are you okay?" His brows were drawn together in that way that meant he was worried about something, or maybe he was brooding, Seth wasn't entirely sure. All he knew was that he liked it—more than liked it.

"Ryan, you look awesome when you brood." He wasn't sure if he'd just thought it or said it aloud, but when Ryan's eyes narrowed, he decided he must have spilled the beans.

"I think it's time to go, Seth."

"You hate me, don't you? You're like Jesus, and I'm like one of those stupid disciples who asked you to turn my bread into fish. I don't even like fish, Ryan. I swear I don't."

One of Ryan's arms came up under his and before his brain could catch up, they were moving.

"Do you remember how much you smoked, Seth?"

"I didn't throw up."

"That's very good." Ryan was smiling and Seth smiled back, stumbling closer to him. "But do you remember how much you smoked?"

"Oh, you know."

Ryan stopped them. They were outside now, and there were cars everywhere. It was a little cold, except for where Ryan's hands were on his shoulders; those felt like fever, even through Seth's shirt.

"No, I don't know. That's why I'm asking you."

"The couch-dwellers told me that I held it in longer than anyone they've ever seen. Do you know where that guy's shirt was from? It would look really sexy on you. Jesus in a polo shirt. Could have been a really good look for him, don't you think?"

Ryan's mouth worked a few times before words emerged, or maybe Seth's brain was still doing its film-with-lagging audio thing. "How long can you hold your breath, Seth?"

"I swim like a fish, dude. Even though I don't like them."

"A minute?"

Seth waved his hands and emitted a pfffffffting noise. "Yeah, when I was like, five."


Ryan's face disappeared and Seth wove after him; they got into the car with relatively little fuss. Ryan gave him another weird uncatalogue-able look when Seth squirmed as his friend got his seatbelt on.

"Well. I can't take you home."

Seth's eyes widened and his heart pummeled a little louder in his ears (which he was forced to keep touching, because if he stopped he was sure they'd light on fire). "Are you going to kidnap me?"

"One look at you and they'll know you're stoned out of your mind." Ryan tapped his fingers on the steering wheel, getting all thoughtful-broody again. Seth approved.

"Let's go to the beach."

"We were just at the beach."

"Not that beach. That beach is all… sandy. Let's go to the one by my house."

"That one has a lot sand, too," Ryan said far too reasonably.

"Yeah, but that sand respects me, man." He held up one of his feet, pointing to his sand-encrusted toes. "You see this? No respect for the S. motherfucking Cohen." He blinked. "Or is it Cohen motherfucking S.?"

"Whatever you say," Ryan sighed, and Seth laughed and laughed and laugh, and didn't stop until they'd gotten there.


"So, Ryan."

"So, Seth."

"…I got nothin'. I think I just like the way letters feel on my tongue."

"I've noticed that about you."

"Oh, yeah? Ryan the observer? Ryan the amazingly astute? Ryan with eyes like daggers?" Seth ran his tongue along his knuckles, contorting his face when he rapidly realized that salty knuckles did not taste as good as letters.


"Yeah, they're weirdly sexy for daggers, did you ever notice that? Oh, wait, they're your eyes, so I'm guessing you wouldn't have. But they are."

"That's the second time you've called me sexy." Ryan threw the beer in the sand and rolled onto his stomach. Seth carefully monitored his change in positioned and adjusted himself accordingly (thankfully the rest of the universe shifted with him, this time), until they were hip to hip.

"You want to make something of it?"

Ryan was hovering very close to Seth's face, all ethereal-like and even a little angelic in the moonlight with his glowy skin and the hair falling into his eyes.

"And what if I did?" He asked, licking his lips in a way that was wholly unfair. Who could resist a lip-licking Ryan Atwood?

Not Seth.

Ryan touched a single finger to Seth's face, tracing his cheekbone. Seth briefly died, resurrected, remembered what had just happened two seconds ago and died again.

"Well, Ryan." He looked at Ryan's recently-bitten lip, eyes practically tingling at the sight of it. "I'd have to say that the awesome factor of this night just climbed into triple—perhaps quadruple—digits."

"Consider it made," Ryan whispered, and just as Seth was deciding that perhaps he might physically fucking implode from how—damn, he needed another adjective, but this one was just so across the board applicable to Ryan—sexy his voice sounded, he leaned in and kissed him.

Ryan tasted like beer and vodka; his tongue, rough, exploring, overlaid the lingering flavor of smoke in Seth's mouth and replaced it with something that got all the blood in his body rushing to three extremities: his right hand, his left, and, well, Cohen Jr.

Seth's hands thanked him for the sudden infusion by slipping their way inside Ryan's open shirt and pushing up his wifebeater, sparking and sending his dick a very pointed message as he touched the skin underneath: sex Ryan must now holy freaking homosexual urges, Batman!

Pointed, but not entirely clear.

"Oh," he groaned as Ryan started focusing his attentions on Seth's neck, and he didn't care if he was Jewish and Jesus wasn't his thing, because if this was what the Second Coming was going to be like, he was converting as soon as Ryan finished—

"Oh my God!" There were black spots, Ryan's wifebeater was bunched in his fists, and he wasn't entirely sure what just happened except it involved Ryan's tongue somewhere near the vicinity of his chest, maybe some teeth, and if he didn't do it again, Seth might have to kick his ass. After he got over the intense need to touch it. Which he gave in to as soon as the thought entered his mind, gasping when Ryan straddled him in response.

"Like that, Seth?" Ryan's eyes were hooded and by the grace of Seth's new favorite deity, he'd removed his shirts, goose bumps rising up on his bare chest from the cold sea air.

"Can't… words… need…" Seth swallowed, trying to wiggle out of his own shirt but he forgot what he was doing halfway through. Ryan came to his rescue, grinning and scraping his fingers down Seth's front. Seth arched underneath him, breath catching and teeth digging into his lower lip, acutely aware that he couldn't be screaming already, surely there was some rule against that, and if the look in Ryan's eyes was anything go by, he'd only just gotten started.

When Ryan's fingers paused just beneath his belly button, he took a split second to think about perhaps, oh, inhaling or exhaling or whatever it was he needed to do—

And then he screamed. Loudly. So loudly that he forgot his own name, only knew that there was a "fucking" in there somewhere, but he couldn't forget Ryan's name, forget the fact that Ryan's hand was wrapped around his dick, or that it felt like not only were his ears on fire, but his whole body, the whole inferno started at five of the sexiest fingers he'd ever seen in his life wrapped around his goddamned dick.

"Shit, are you okay?" The voice filtered in slowly through all the emergency alarms going off in what was left of his brain.

"Did I tell you to stop?" He managed to gasp out, surging up and throwing his arms around Ryan until they tumbled to the ground, all tangled up. Ryan kissed him again, a little gentler this time, running his hands along Seth's thighs and pulling his pants progressively lower. The second time that Ryan got Seth onto his back, he gave up trying to form coherent sounds and let his very drawn out syllables speak for him.

Ryan traced the path his hands had seared earlier with his mouth, doing that thing with Seth's nipple again which nearly undid all his chiropractor's hard work. Biting at Seth's ribs and hips, he pulled Seth's boxers down with his teeth and that was about the time that Seth's world narrowed down into one point: Ryan's. mouth. on. his. body.

Ryan's tongue swirled hot spirals, and Seth's dick was throbbing like all the twenty times he'd been hit in the face with a basketball put together. When Ryan levered up his arms and braced his hands on Seth's hips, he started to croak a plea out—God, don't stop, I'll be a good boy, I swear, just don't stop—but everything, everything else was drowned out when Ryan lowered his mouth over Seth.

Seth arched up like an overextended bowstring because Ryan's tongue was doing things that Seth felt dirty even thinking about, much being the recipient of, and blinding white spots built behind Seth's eyes, tension nearly snapping his joints and pulling his skin tight until it couldn't hold and he shattered into a million pieces under Ryan's touch.

What felt like lifetimes later, when his consciousness deigned to return to his mortal body, Seth opened his eyes, and turned his head with Herculean effort to face Ryan lying in the sand beside him. Ryan had a slight smile on his face, eyelids fluttering tiredly.

"It's official," Seth croaked, throwing his arm over Ryan. "You totally are Jesus."