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'are you okay in there? let's get you to bed.'

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“Are you okay in there?” George raps on the door to the bathroom, where Owen has been for a fair while. George hasn’t heard any vomiting, thinks they’re safe on that front, and he doesn’t really think Owen was drunk enough to pass out - but he’d rather be sure. “Let’s get you to bed,” he goes on, taking half a step back when Owen opens the door, is abruptly right in front of him.

Owen grins, leans against the door frame. “Why, Georgie,” he teases - George rolls his eyes, instinctive, just at the tone. “I thought you’d never ask."

Then Owen leans in, and kisses George.

George stands frozen with shock.

And Owen keeps kissing him, wraps an arm around George’s shoulders, presses their bare chests together. He’s not holding back, it’s not a teasing peck, not a mockery the way his tone had been. This is a real kiss, a kiss with emotion, a kiss with desire.

George has just about processed this fact when Owen abruptly reels back, eyes wide. He stares at George, fear written across his face, lips still parted.

Owen has just outed himself, essentially - oh, George knows full well that Owen is drunk, isn’t so arrogant as to think there’s anything personal to the kiss - but that fear tells him what the desire already had. Personal or not, regardless of what other emotions may or may not be there - Owen is attracted to men, to George.

George could tell Owen that it’s fine, that he’ll never tell anyone, that Owen doesn’t need to worry. But he’s not sure he can string the right words together - and can’t stop looking at Owen’s lips.

So George gives into the temptation, to the desire within him, and does what he should have done from the first moment their lips connected - he kisses Owen back.

~

George is laughing as Owen lets the two of them into their room after the second test, after the series win.

“I can’t believe it,” he says, still laughing, as he falls backwards onto what was, at the start of the series, his bed. It’s all a bit less clear, now.

George laughs again, thinking of that, of how ridiculous and unexpected it had been, of how well it seems to be going. He and Owen haven’t talked about it, sure, and George is sure it won’t last - but for now he’s enjoying himself. He’s enjoying himself so much.

“You have a cute laugh,” Owen blurts, immediately looks like he regrets it. He pulls his shirt off, stood at the foot of George’s bed, in a failed attempt to hide his blush.

George sits up, chuckling gently, and shakes his head.

“You don’t need to say that to get into my pants,” he tells Owen, guiding him closer with a hand on his hip. “I’m all yours.”

~

It’s the day after their last test in Australia, George lying out by the pool trying to soak up the last of the sun before he returns to an England that his family have told him isn’t half as warm, never mind the opposite seasons. He’s trying to soak up the last of the moment, too, if he’s honest - he’s enjoyed the tour, enjoyed the time with the lads, the time rooming with Owen even more. George shifts, deliberately putting pressure on a bruise he’d swear to his last breath was from the match. It’s been good.

And it’s about to be over.

“Hey, good looking,” comes a low call.

George snaps his eyes open, sits up. “Owen,” he hisses, scolding, when he sees the culprit.

Owen shrugs loosely. “No one else around,” he promises, sinking onto the end of George’s sun lounger. His eyes flick over George’s body, George feeling himself flush in the heat of them as much as the sun.

“Come back up?” Owen invites. “We’ve got a few more hours.”

“Owen,” George starts - doesn’t know how to finish.

“What?” Owen asks.

George bites his lip.

Owen laughs, hollowly. “Oh, you want to do this here?” he asks.

“I don’t want to do this at all,” George tells him, voice dull.

After the first Test win, in the privacy of their room, after the drinks and celebrations with the squad, Owen had kissed George. He’d frozen, afterwards, looked terrified - George had done the only thing he could, the only thing he wanted to, and kissed him back. They’ve carried on, since then, most nights if George is honest - but they’ve not spoken about it, not a word. They’ll have to, now.

Owen eyes George again, thoughtfully this time. “Come back up,” he repeats, holding out a hand.

George takes it.