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good for the ego, bad for the soul

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“I just don’t understand why of all the places you wanted to take me for turning 35, a nightclub was the general choice.” Ignis asked as he lit his cigar in his office. All of the members of Burning Rescue (save for Remi; he stood beside Chief while he watched them over his glasses in slight annoyance) stood around his desk much akin to a bunch of children showcasing a piece of artwork they all worked on. Galo was especially happy about the idea, along with Aina and Lucia. Ignis gave them a skeptical look over his shades as the room began to fill with the scent of ash. All of them were used to the scent, but were trying to encourage him to quit; lest he not make it to make more birthdays. 

“It’ll be fun. Besides, when’s the last time you met someone-” Aina started as she picked at a stray piece of lint on her shirt and Ignis sighed.

“Aina. You and everyone else knows that this job is my wife, and you guys are my kids. I can’t afford to have any distractions.”

“But, haven’t you ever wanted a companion? Maybe before you became Ignis the stern firefighter ?” Galo asked as he crossed his arms. It was ironic, really. Ignis saw himself in Galo: workaholic, always excited about saving people, never really concerned about his general well being (unless others scolded him for it). He never saw Galo with anyone either, but he figured since he was younger, he could get away with not dating anyone. Still, he had assumed that he and Aina were developing... something , considering she followed him around like he was the sun. She can’t have been another one of those girls that fawned over him, right?

His suspicions were confirmed when her eyes followed Galo’s crossed arms and she wet her lips in response. He sighed inwardly and shook his head, to get over the incredulous situation that was Galo’s obliviousness.

“At one time, yes. Back when I was in college and actually gave a shit about dumb things like connections to others in the romantic sense.”

“And now? Are you less cynical?”

Blowing out smoke, he snuffed the remains of the  cigar on a nearby ashtray. “Hardly. But , I’ll let you kids do whatever you think is right. Honestly, I was just going to have a celebratory drink right here in the office, but you guys wanna make it special . Were were at least going to dinner?” A lot of people blanched in the room. 

“W-We, didn’t think it’ll get this far.” Aina said as she messed with a strand of hair in front of her face. Ignis chuckled to himself and stood from his chair. 

“It’s perfectly fine. I’ll just head home, eat dinner and get ready. Meet you back here at 9?” Everyone looked at each other with collective grins. Maybe the chief wasn’t so stern after all-

“And if you think that a hangover is going to absolve you from work the next day, I have a few sure fire cures for it, so don’t try it.” He called over his shoulder as he left the room. A chorus of “Yes Chief!” was all he heard before he retired for the night. Galo was the first to respond positively. 

“Hell yeah! He actually went with it! I’m gonna go get ready so I won’t be late!”

“Do you know what you’re wearing?” Lucia asked as she messed with something on her phone. Galo smiled and shook his head, which caused Aina to facepalm.

“No idea! That’s why I’m getting ready early!” 

“Good luck.” Lucia said with a wave as she went in the direction of her room, while the others did the same; save for Aina. She instead followed him to at least his bedroom door. 

“Galo?” She called, just as he was about to shut his door. He turned around and met her with a bright smile that she fought a blush at. 

“What is it, Aina? You’re nervous about tonight?” More fidgeting. More lip biting. Galo just waited patiently until she finished her initial thought. 

“I...I hope you actually wear a shirt tonight.” He scoffed and barked a laugh that echoed down the hall. Aina smiled a little in response. 

“I won’t embarrass the chief by not wearing one. However, if it gets too hot and I have to take it off, then that’s different! I don’t think Chief will hold it too much against me if I do!” He said as he walked into his room to pick out an outfit for the evening. Aina stood there awkwardly as she struggled with what she wanted to say. 

Eventually, she grew frustrated; mostly with herself  and her horrid timing the fact that she wanted to tell Galo something important but figured the mood wasn’t right enough for her to say so.

🔺🔺

 

The club bustled with people everywhere, loud music, a sticky floor, and something questionable going on in just about every dark corner. 

Aina looked on in mild disgust, Galo and Lucia were eager to dance, while Varys, Ignis and Remi just sighed and headed to the bar to drink. 

“W-Wait, Chief?! You’re not going to dance?!” Galo yelled as he saw chief wave over his shoulder, while simultaneously waving down the bartender. 

“Suit himself! Come on, Luci!” Galo said as she came back from the bar with two drinks that looked almost neon green. 

“Here! I got you something called The Incredible HULK.”

“Like the comic?” He asked with a grin as she had already downed her alcohol in two swallows. 

Exactly like the comic! Holy shit that packed a punch! I’ll go order another one. You feel free to do whatever! Catch you on the flip side!” She said as she navigated through the waves of bodies with her empty glass and ordered another drink. Galo sniffed the beverage before gulping down half and making a noise of satisfaction. The burn of the alcohol was pleasant, but the after effect was something he could get used to. 

As he swallowed the second part to his drink and went back to navigate for a second one, he spotted someone speaking to two guys. He honestly wouldn’t have seen them at all, if it weren’t for their neon green hair in the overhead lights casting something like a halo over them. Galo also saw that the stranger invited one of them - the longer haired one - to dance. The song started out with a rhythmic guitar riff that played about 8 times before a voice sang “do you love me? ” 

Then, their hips moved to the beat of the music. Galo was entranced at watching the couple dance; although most of his intrigue and attention was hyper focused onto the shorter of the two. Still, ever the gentleman, he doesn’t want to break up a reasonably good couple (in case they were one; since they looked really intimate dancing like that), but as the song drew to a close and the taller guy faced away from him, the shorter one looked at him, smirked and mouthed: “do you love me ?”

Galo was stunned silent as said stranger, kissed their dance partner on the cheek, said something in their ear and headed toward the bar. Galo swiftly turned around and tried his best to act like he wasn’t staring at him so heavily. 

“Galo?” Aina called, causing him to yelp and almost drop the empty glass he didn’t realize he was still holding. 

“H-Hey, Aina! What’s up?” Her eyes were a bit clouded and unreadable and her face was flushed. Had she been drinking with Lucia?

“I’ve been doing a lot of thinking lately...and I realized something really intense.” Turning to face her, he leaned into her general direction to really hear what she had to say. Unfortunately, this caused her to blush more, shake her head frantically and ran to the bathroom. Lucia saw the ordeal, downed her shot of something gold looking and ran after her. 

‘What the hell was that all about?’ He wondered as he scratched his head slightly before he finally flagged down the bartender for that other drink. 

“I think it was called HULK? I don’t know, it was green and really tasty!” He said excitedly as the bartender smiled softly and went about making the drink. Turning away, he saw the person from earlier, only they were heading this way, but talking over their shoulder.

“I’ll grab two beers for the two of you, and Absinthe for myself! It’s perfectly fine, I’ve had it before!” Galo heard a masculine voice say.  When they finally turned to look in his general direction, Galo could’ve sworn he was looking at an Angel. 

Their skin was smooth with glitter on their cheeks, eyeliner so sharp it could cut diamonds, a light sheen of lip gloss on their lips - as well as a smirk, their sheer shirt had dragons on it (lime green by the looks of it) and they put out such an air of confidence. They could probably get anyone in this club to sleep with them, or pledge their unyielding loyalty if they wanted. At any rate, Galo was ready to do both. 

'Okay, they're a guy after all. A really hot one at that.' Galo mused as he turned back around to a new drink. He tried all he could to keep his attention focused on the new drink, but the guy then climbed onto the stool next to him, with all the confidence of a skilled horse rider, waved the bartender over and requested drinks. Withdrawing a phone from his side pocket, he went to texting someone based on the frequency of the text bubbles. Galo tried not to be nosy, he really did, but there was something about watching the way his thumbs flew across the keys in a rapid pace. 

At that, it was a deafening silence. Well, as much as it could be with the thumping bass going around. 

"Enjoyed my dancing, did you?" The guy asked with a smirk as Galo broke out of his daydreaming, turned away and blushed. He hadn’t even noticed he’d put away his phone! How embarrassing!

"Oh, shy are you? I like that. Haven't seen you around here before, handsome. I'd definitely remember you. " Galo was speechless. He'd been flirted with, sure. But this guy was brazen and highly intentional with the attempt to undress him with words alone. 

"You have a name, sweetheart? Mine is Lio~ Lio Fotia." He introduced as he tapped a manicured black nail on the bar in time with the music. Galo turned to face him and the smirk on the smaller man's face was sultry and held so many interesting promises. 

It made Galo's dick stir with interest, but he'd never admit it. 

At least not now. 

"Galo. Galo Thymos." He said miraculously without stuttering.

A once-over from his bar companion had his entire body flushing. "Thigh -mos is correct. They look quite biteable. Has anyone ever done that to you?" 

“D-Done what?”

“Bite them.” Lio asked, teeth snapping in demonstration. Galo didn’t think it was possible to flush any more than he already has, but he’s done so.

"B-Bite them?" His smirk turned into a predatory grin and Galo began to sweat. 

"Of course. You look like you'd like it." Truth be told, he'd never even kissed anyone before, but he'd be damned if he lets himself reek of inexperience. 

"Lots of times! Women can't keep their hands off of me!" He lied, confidently. The stranger's eyes flashed with an amount of doubt (that Galo started to visibly sweat from), before turning reasonably defeated and crestfallen. 

"Ah, so you're into women. Well, that's too bad. I was hoping we could have a bit of fun…unfortunately, I'm not into the habit of turning straight men. Too much hassle, not enough payoff.." He said as he took his drink and tossed it back with a slight wince. 

Truth be told, Galo actually wasn't too sure. He was confident that he was into women for a long time; what with them practically swooning over him with each rescue he'd done at the firehouse, but he'd never done anything with them. There had definitely been offers to go out with them on dates (the sheer amount of emails he gets would both shock and amuse people), but none of them felt right in his eyes. There wasn't any passion behind it, he reasoned. He would be nothing but a status symbol for them - then when they got bored of him (or if his personality shooed  them away) and they wanted nothing to do with him anymore, then what? Back to square one? 

People keep assuming something's going to happen with him and Aina, but he… just can't bring himself to look at her in an unprofessional way. It would be too awkward the next day if something were to transpire, of the..carnal nature. 

He couldn't do that to her. He refused to do that to her. 

Now, with this stranger flirting with him so boldly, he isn't too sure where he stands with his sexuality, really. He was under the impression that bombshell he was staring at earlier was a lady, but after hearing a masculine voice address him, he knew it was the opposite. Ever the open-minded, gentle giant, he never shied away from the freedom to appreciate self-expression, no matter what it may be. 

Still, he wondered, what it would be like to...kiss him since his mouth does look inviting. 

“W-Well, I don’t think I’m completely straight-”

“I’m not into being an experiment for your fetishes either.” He said, an acidic bite to his words. The sultry eyes from earlier, suddenly blazing with irritation. Galo...didn’t know how to respond to that. Was that something that happened before? 

The stranger scoffed and tipped back the beer he was supposed to bring to his friend in response. Shit, he said that aloud, didn’t he?

“I don’t wanna talk about shit that depresses me. You don’t know me well enough yet. At any rate, we can be drinking friends, since...it bums me out that I can’t fuck you. I really wanted to.” He said with a sad smile. 

Galo realized he no longer wanted to see that face anymore. The need as so prevalent that the earlier comment about him being fucked went over his head. He’ll put a pin in it for now, he supposes. 

“I guess if...we’re going to at least be friends, I should be honest.” Lio turned to face him, beer bottle dangling between his fingertips and hesitating taking another sip. In turn, Galo sheepishly rubbed the back of his head and instead of continuing his point, he grabbed his drink, Lio’s other beer bottle and walked off. Lio looked at Galo incredulously, before he saw the notion to follow. Glaring  with his drink in hand, he followed him to one of the back rooms that were located close to the bathrooms. They also served as rooms where couples could be undisturbed for conversations...between mouths or bodies

“In here.” Lio heard Galo say as he nudged the door only open that was slightly ajar. It smelled like cheap alcohol, cheaper perfume and the aftermath of several gyrating bodies, but with the door being left slightly open, it gave it time to air out. The lamp had an old lightbulb in it that gave a dim light, that was apparently perfect mood lighting for whatever went on in here prior to them visiting. Galo looked like he was barely handling the gravity of what transpired here however long ago, however Lio didn’t seem phased. In fact, if you had to pinpoint what his exact expression is, it looked like a mixture of annoyed and confused. Then again, if you knew Lio personally, you could say that that’s his default expression.

“You dragged me here and grabbed one of my drinks, for what purpose? There had better be a valid reason.” His feet were beginning to feel fatigue from being on them since he got here - let alone since his job demands he be on them for hours on end. His perfume was slowly fading. His drink of Absinthe wasn’t refilled. But most importantly, his patience was starting to thin. Nevermind the fact that he had a joint waiting for him in the car, or the fact that Meis and Guiera hadn’t buzzed him to see if he was fine or anything (those two were probably making out somewhere - not giving a shit about him). Nevermind the fact that he hadn’t found anyone to satisfy him in ages. He was in dire need of a good fuck and he typically picked them up in bars.

While those things were definitely important, they paled in comparison to his patience dwindling. 

“I just wanted somewhere where we can talk, so we wouldn’t have to yell. I wanted to say what I needed to without a bunch of people hearing by proxy. Besides,” Galo said as he put the beer down and cupped his own drink before finishing it in three gulps. Lio tried his damndest to not be transfixed by the way his adam’s apple bobbed with the consuming of the liquid, but he was so high strung and turned on that he couldn’t help but bite the inside of his cheek in order to gain some semblance of self-control.  It worked, even if temporarily. 

“I can hear your voice now, even if you’re pretty pissed at my actions. I gotta say, it’s kinda hot.” A blush crept its way up Lio’s neck in the dim lighting and he cleared his through before making his way to where his - what would’ve been Guiera’s - other beer rested. Luckily it still held a chill so he chugged as best as he could, before the need to breathe was apparent.

“You dragged me here to compliment my voice?! You would’ve gotten the same result outside!”

“No, no, no...that’s not-look, there’s no easy way for me to say this without me sounding like a complete tool , but...I’ve never... done anything before...like this.” 

Lio felt his blood pressure skyrocketing

“AND JUST WHAT THE FUCK IS THAT SUPPOSED TO MEAN, GALO THYMOS? LOOK IN CASE YOU HAVEN’T NOTICED, I REALLY HATE HAVING MY GODDAMN TIME WASTED AND THIS IS A PRETTY CLEAR EXAMPLE OF-”

“I MEAN I’M A VIRGIN, OKAY?!”

Lio stared at him, eyes wide in shock as the color drained from his face and seemed to have went straight into Galo’s. 

“Th...THA’T DOESN’T MEAN I’M PROPOSITIONING YOU OR ANYTHING! I just wanted to make myself clear as to what I meant when I hadn’t done anything like this before...I didn’t want you to think I was saying it to..make you feel bad or try to con you or play with your feelings. I’m...inexperienced and was embarrassed as shit to tell you. It’s just that...you were coming on to me so fast and so boldly -”

“And your first instinct was to lie?” Lio said; voice gravely as if he’d been screaming for hours. In a way, he had, but only briefly, and even in that, he felt like an ass to think that this literal ball of sunshine was anything other than just that. 

Honestly, his inexperience was cute; even if the lying bit was upsetting. 

“I panicked! I definitely didn’t want to scream that I’m a virgin in a nightclub with tons of people listening in to our conversation! I’m a firefighter-”

“Who no doubt absolutely got noticed at this club and is swimming in pussy as we fucking speak, right? Face it, honey. Here? People are aware of everyone’s identity here; we just don’t give a shit.” 

Was that true? Was he seriously the only person that cared about people’s perceptions of him? He didn’t think he cared before, but thinking back; he guessed it was pretty stupid to worry about. 

“I guess you’re right. That was pretty pointless to worry about, huh?” Lio swallowed the remains of the beer and nodded. 

“Completely. I mean, who cares if you’re a firefighter? While, it is impressive, it’s not your occupation that gets you a ticket to my bedroom. And  who cares if you’re a virgin? I don’t. I mean, if you want your first time to mean something and you’re saving it for something cheesy and sentimental like marriage or whatever, then be my guest.”

“That’s the thing,” Galo said as he grabbed one of the only seats that didn’t have any mysterious stains of odors and sat. “I don’t know. I mean, it’s not like I’m saving myself or anything...and it’s not like there’s a religious reason or emotional reason behind it. It just hasn’t happened before. And besides, there’s no way something like... that happens naturally between two people-” Lio stomped over to him, grabbed his chin to force him at eye level and planted a kiss there. 

Sure, it was mostly surprise and filled with sloppy lips and too much teeth, but he got the gist of it. 

Pulling away, a line of saliva connected them until it broke. “Did that feel natural to you?” 

Galo was at a loss for words. For starters, he didn’t expect that. 

Second, if he was fighting a boner before the kiss; he was struggling to do so afterward.

“I...I guess? I don’t really know--”

“What are your current feelings? Are they good or bad?” 

“Good. Definitely good.” Well, that’s a good sign. Great, even. 

“Do you want to leave?” Lio asked, rubbing the pads of his thumbs across Galo’s cheeks, eliciting several shivers. 

“The room, or the club?” He asked with a small smile. 

“Both, sweetie.” 

It took a few moments of hesitation on Galo’s part to decide if he truly wanted to take this big step with a stranger and Lio found that to be completely understandable, considering he was the same way forever ago. 

How long has it been…he wonders, before Galo’s voice breaks him out of his thoughts.

“Yes. I think you’ll treat me well. Besides, there’s so much of you that I don’t know that I want to explore.” 

‘He’s so... innocent , it’s emotionally crippling.’ Lio thinks as he smiles softly. 

“It’s not good to be so trusting of everyone you meet, you know. It’s often times the people you trust with everything that end up hurting us the most.”

“Well, yeah...but you wouldn’t, would you?” 

I remember being this naive...this gullible that I thought I could just let anyone in...He has no idea what I’m capable of...how I could completely destroy him in every way.  He’s giving me that right; placing it directly in my hands. I could give it back, say no and leave empty handed, but…’

No, I wouldn’t dream of it.” 

What’s the harm in having a bit of fun while I’m here? After all, this isn’t going to turn around and bite me on the ass. I’m in complete control here. Whatever happens from here is the object of my own doing.’

As Lio lied, he placed another soft kiss on Galo’s all too eager mouth. He picks up things fast; which is good. He’s not in the mood to give Galo lessons on kissing, much less anything else intimate. It’s like learning to swim: sometimes the best teacher is experience. 

 Pulling away a second time, he felt his phone vibrate in his pocket. ‘That had better be Meis or Guiera, ’ he thought as he pulled it out to check. 

Guiera

Hey Boss! Meis and I are gonna split soon! If you managed to get that big ass hunk's attention, just remember that there's rubbers in the glove box along with your J. We're gonna catch a Lyft home xx

Well, at least they’re considerate…’ Lio thought as he moved to respond.

How considerate of you. Remember to clean up after yourselves. I don't run a maid service, you know. And remember to open the windows after you're done. My apartment reeked of weed for a week. You know I don't smoke in my place.

“Huh. My roommates are actually being considerate.  How nice.” At this point, Galo’s arms were wrapped around Lio’s midsection as he responded to more messages.

 "My" apartment? I recall the three of us splitting the cost of rent and other shit 3 ways lmao

At any rate, make sure you don't get attached to this one. It seemed like there was some real chemistry between you two, but maybe we were reading those interactions wrong. Wouldn't be the first time!

“That’s nice.” Galo remarked as Lio managed to escape the bigger man’s grip. There will be plenty of time to joy his embrace, but in this room that smelled like mildew and regrets, it made Lio’s stomach roll slightly. 

“They’re nice guys. Been dating for about 5 years.”

“Was that who you were dancing with?” Galo asked as Lio smiled softly. 

“Yeah. One of them. The longer haired one you saw me dancing with is Meis. He’s hilarious. Makes amazing fish tacos. He’s always trying to fatten me up, but I constantly tell him that it’s not necessary.”

“And the other one…?”

“That’s Guiera. We were just texting. He just reminded me of where the condoms were in the car.” Galo blushed hard and Lio barked a laugh.

“Calm down, dear. I promise,” Lio stood a bit closer to him, cradled the back of his head to travel to the side where it was the longest and pulled - although not very hard, but just enough to get a response. Galo’s mouth was just where he wanted; hot and eager. Lio tasted the desperation in his sudden moan and he swore  he'd never regretted his outfit choice until this very moment. 

His dick was so hard it hurt

“It’ll be the best pleasure you’ve ever felt.” Lio smiled against his lips as he kissed them; his (traitorous) heart starting to pick up speed the more they stayed attached. 

🔺🔺

After a while, they did eventually leave the room, Galo hot on Lio’s heels. In the corner of his eye, he saw the pink-haired girl that was vying for Galo’s attention smiling sadly at something her friend was saying, but when she spotted Galo trailing after Lio like a horny puppy, she glared. 

Lio simply threw a smirk over his shoulder, as if to say: “You lose.”

Galo had been none the wiser, instead choosing to keep his eyes glued to the way Lio’s ass looked in his shorts and the way his hips swayed. 

They made it to the car in record time; all thanks to them wanting to escape the sticky summer evening heat. After unlocking the car, they got in and after he started the car, he blasted the air for a few seconds to cool themselves off. Apparently, the sudden shock of air, sobered Galo up enough to start to act shy again. 

Not on Lio’s watch, he isn’t. 

Switching off the air, he leaned over to the glove box, fished out his joint and a lighter and after fighting with the damn thing (that he consistently forgot to replace with a better one), he managed to spark up without any problems. It even stayed lit!

Galo looked visibly uncomfortable with the sudden smell in the car. 

“Come’ere, handsome.” Lio purred as he took another hit and held it in his mouth. With a pinched voice he told him to open his mouth. Shotgunning the smoke into his mouth, he felt Galo slightly struggling to breathe. Coughing continuously, he saw Lio chuckling. 

“It always hits hard the first time. Give it time. What’s your address?” After a few more moments of coughing, he told him his address as Lio input it in the GPS, since his phone was already in his hands from checking why it was vibrating so aggressively. Apparently, Guiera had more to say. 

Just take care of yourself. We wouldn't want another incident like that fucker from before. 

He elected to ignore Guiera’s last message since Lio’s a big boy and can take care of himself. If he failed to properly read someone ( it honestly wouldn’t be the first time) , then that was on him. He’ll simply lick his wounds, pick himself back up and keep moving. He was used to this shit. He’s been doing it since college. What captured his interest instead, was the fact that Galo lived only 20 minutes away. 

“Buckle up, handsome. Can’t have you dying on my watch.” He said as he switched gears and headed towards Galo’s apartment complex; deciding to take hits between lights.