“Oh there you are, honey!”
The words barely even registered in Leon’s mind, as there was no reason they should’ve been directed at him. Only then there suddenly was an arm wrapped around his shoulders and he was pulled close against a wall of muscle, his mind reeling from it and trying to figure out what was going on. His first instinct was to shove the man away, but then he realized that it was Chris and he relaxed minutely.
That didn’t mean he was any less confused, though, and before he could filter himself he blurted out a “What the hell, Redfield?”
“I didn’t know you could make it tonight, why didn’t you call me?” Chris said, oddly loudly even with the music and the chatter around them. It was almost as if he was yelling, trying to make someone other than Leon hear him. And as predicted, right afterwards he leaned even closer, his breath hot against Leon’s temple as he whispered. “Play along, okay? Please.”
Had it been a stranger, Leon would’ve politely excused himself and removed himself from the situation, as he didn’t exactly want to go out and look for any kind of drama. But Chris was his friend, and he thought that no harm could ever come from helping a friend in need.
Easily Leon leaned against Chris, even tilted his head a little to practically rest their temples together. “I wanted to surprise you,” he answered, equally loudly, hoping that whoever it was that Chris was putting the show on for was listening in. He smiled as sweetly as he managed, hoping that he pulled off the smitten-significant-other well enough. Then, just like Chris had done, he dropped his voice so low it was barely audible above the noise around them. “Wanna explain what’s going on?”
“A persistent admirer,” Chris answered in a low mutter, nodding his head a little bit. Leon followed the movement and searched the crowd, and it didn’t take long before he noticed the woman standing a little further from them, looking absolutely murderous. She was objectively beautiful, her dark curls falling around her face and the dress accentuating all the right places, but the frown wasn’t the most flattering expression.
The realization of what was going on made Leon burst out laughing. “Couldn’t turn her down gently?” he asked, amusement evident in his voice. He could so imagine it, too, Chris trying to be all polite and gentlemanly, while spectacularly failing to make her understand he wasn’t exactly interested. For some reason Chris never seemed to know what to do with being flirted with, Leon had seen it before – hell, he might have even tried flirting with the man, just to see him so flustered.
True enough, there was a tiny blush adorning Chris’ cheeks, and he ducked his head a little bit in embarrassment. “She said ‘Are you a sprinkler? Because you’re making me wet’.” He grimaced a little. “What do you even say to something like that? C’mon, who uses lines like that! And she kept trying to cop a feel, so I… figured you could save me?”
That was so adorable Leon was absolutely certain that he didn’t need to pretend to look at Chris fondly anymore. It was right there, clear as day, all of his warm feelings towards the other man broadcast to everyone looking at them. “You want to convince her once and for all that you’re here with me?” he asked suddenly, before he could talk himself out of it.
Chris looked a tad confused, but only one glance towards the woman who was now slowly approaching them had him quickly nod. “Yes, please.”
Slowly Leon turned around, so that Chris’ arm was still around him but they were facing each other properly, chest to chest. He tilted his head until there was only an inch between their mouths, and he could practically feel the way Chris inhaled sharply. “I’m going to kiss you.” He gave it a long enough moment, waited so that Chris had ample opportunity to pull back if he wanted to. Because even if this meant nothing to Chris except a means to an end, Leon wasn’t going to force it on him.
Chris didn’t pull back, didn’t even hesitate. He only nodded a little, and instead of waiting for Leon to close the last gap between them he did it himself. He sealed his mouth over Leon’s, and it was as if he had been waiting for permission to do that because he blew right past all the hesitation and the awkwardness, kissing him like he meant it.
Truth to be told, Leon hadn’t expected anything even remotely like this. He’d thought that it would be the perfect thing to throw the woman off and make her forget about Chris. And maybe there had been a part in him that had really just wanted to do that, because he had been fantasizing about kissing Chris for years by now. Yet even in his wildest dreams he hadn’t exactly expected to be kissed like this, like Chris was drowning and he was the air he needed to breathe.
Only distantly Leon realized that he was the one making those needy little sounds in the back of his throat and he tried, he really tried, to get a grip and not broadcast his feelings so clearly. It was all in vain, though, as all he could do was cling on to Chris’ shoulders as the kiss damn near swept him off his feet.
When they finally broke apart for air, neither of them was willing to pull back very far and they kept sharing the same breath, foreheads touching as they both took a minute to just get a hold of themselves. “Did it work?” Leon asked after a while, voice so low it was a goddamn miracle Chris even heard him. Not that either of them really cared to find out the answer to the question, though. It would’ve taken too much effort to look.
Chris reached up, carded his fingers through the long strands of Leon’s hair. The touch was so unbearably gentle that it made something inside of Leon’s chest constrict almost painfully. Sure he had known he was harboring some kind of an unrequited crush but he hadn’t realized he’d been in quite this deep. Besides, it was beginning to look like his crush might not be as unrequited as he’d thought.
“Yeah, I think it worked,” Chris answered after a pause that was honestly so long it made it awkward to even reply. He licked his lips slowly, as if considering, before he leaned in again and went for another kiss. This time it was slower, more exploring, but no less toe-curling.
“So,” Chris started as soon as he’d caught his breath for a second, “Was that an earthquake or did you just rock my world?”
A laugh startled out of Leon. Usually lame jokes and even lamer pick up lines were his forte, something that his friends teased him about and he’d in turn just kicked up a notch. So having Chris look at him like this, so earnest and even… hopeful? While simultaneously going for the cheesiest, stupidest line he could come up with? That was the most direct way into Leon’s heart, no lie. “Are you seriously hitting on me?” he asked, unable to keep the disbelief off his voice.
“Yeah.” Chris shrugged a little. “What, you need something cheesier?” His hand was still cupping the side of Leon’s face and he brushed over his cheek with his thumb, looking for all intents and purposes like all he wanted to do was to just kiss him again. “Can I follow you home? Cause my parents always told me to follow my dreams.”
What else was there for Leon to do but to say ‘yes’?