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The Missing Road

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Vlad probably hadn’t meant to kiss Danny. Maybe. It was possible he had meant to strangle him, or at the very least just intimidate him with some show of force, but he absolutely had not intended to kiss him. Probably. 

It was hard to tell through the haze of repressed feelings that were now cascading against his core. 

He was aware that his hands were back on Danny’s shoulders, forcing him against the wall again. A slower, smarter part of his brain pointed out that this was probably maybe definitely a bad idea when he felt Danny’s hands on his chest, but then they were grabbing at his shirt and pulling him closer and that part of his brain promptly shut the fuck up. 

Vlad ducked his head and reveled in Danny’s gasping as he kissed and bit at the cool skin of his neck. He could feel Danny’s pulse hammering away under his lips. 

“Fuck you,” Danny breathed in his ear and Vlad bit at that frantic heartbeat in response, making Danny gasp again. 

Vlad pulled away slowly and looked down; Danny’s hands were still gripping his shirt.

“Okay, wow, really?” Danny said. He was blushing bright red, breaths coming quick and short. “That was great and all, but answer the fucking question.”

“I- Which question?” Vlad asked, unable to focus on anything but the way Danny was biting at his bottom lip.

“Do you want me to leave?” Danny asked, softer this time, and Vlad felt something inside himself start to ache.  

“I…” Vlad trailed off, the heat in his core rising up the back of his throat in a way that made it hard for him to speak. “I’m sorry. No, I- Please. No.”

Danny blinked and bit his lip again. 

“Okay, so what do you want? Because this is… I… This has been awful, and you can’t just… I don’t…”

“I know, and I’m...sorry…” Vlad choked, even the thought of an apology leaving a bad taste in his mouth. 

“Yeah, me too,” Danny sighed, one of his hands slipping from the front of Vlad’s shirt to cover his mouth. “Wow, this fucking sucks, huh?”

“Just a bit,” Vlad groaned. 

“Okay, I have more, just...give me a second. I had, like, a whole thing planned, and this is...this is not what I was expecting, so just...hang on,” Danny said, looking away. 

Vlad let his hands slip from Danny’s shoulders and move to rest on his waist, but Danny didn’t give any indication he’d noticed, too lost in thought. It felt as though something in him had snapped. He had given up after all, and it was liberating. Still, Vlad was trying to be careful. 

The fire in his core burned with a smug satisfaction that made him feel like he should smile. So instead, he made himself frown. Danny’s head was still turned away, a far-off look on his face that made Vlad want to lean forward and kiss him again. It took more willpower than he remembered having to resit that urge. 

Eventually, though, Danny cleared his throat, breaking the quiet spell. Vlad nimbly pulled his hands from Danny’s waist and crossed his arms over his chest. 

“Okay,” Danny said, squeezing his eyes shut, one hand still clutching the front of Vlad’s shirt. 

“Yes?” Vlad replied, careful not to rush him, uncertainty turning his frown genuine. 

“I’m sorry, this is just… Okay, you have to admit this is weird, right?” Danny opened his eyes and half-grinned up at him. Vlad opened his mouth to respond, but Danny continued in a hurry. “I-I just mean, like, I really wasn’t expecting this. And it’s, like, okay, cool, great, wow, okay, but, like...why?”

“Why what?” Vlad asked, forcing his voice to sound calm. He hoped the arms crossed over his chest would block out the obvious sound of his frantic heartbeat. There was a storm of anxiety trying to make guesses at what question Danny might ask next, and Vlad was racing to think of answers to all of them. 

Danny gave him a meaningful look. Right. Right. That. Vlad cleared his throat. 

“I don’t know, Daniel,” he sighed. One of his hands tried to reach up reflexively to smooth itself over his hair, but he kept it firmly clutched to his side. “I...wasn’t thinking. I’m sorry.” He looked down at Danny, waiting. 

“Okay,” Danny nodded. “Okay, but, like...why?”

“I don’t think I know what you mean,” Vlad said, his hands curling into tight fists. Danny was not asking the kinds of questions he’d predicted. Danny groaned and let his head fall back to thump against the wall. 

“I mean…” he trailed off, covering his face with his hands. “You didn’t do it ‘cause you...felt bad for me or something...right?” he asked, his voice soft and strained. 

Vlad didn’t know what to say. He uncrossed his arms, but didn’t know where to put his hands after that. He wanted to put them on Danny’s shoulders again to shake that ridiculous thought out of him, but it was hard to judge whether or not that would make things worse. Danny was looking up at him through his fingers, his blue eyes big and sad and Vlad knew he had to do something to make that wretched look leave Danny’s face. 

“No,” Vlad finally said, reaching forward to pull Danny’s hands away from his face. He held them tightly in his own and frowned internally at the chill that pierced at him from Danny’s fingertips. He tried to think of something more eloquent to say, and ended up just shaking his head as Danny looked away. “No,” he said again, “absolutely not.” 

“O-okay, but why then?” Danny asked. It looked like he was trying not to cry. Vlad wasn’t particularly good with tears, but he didn’t let the uncertainty stop him from dropping Danny’s hands so he could wrap his arms around him instead. Even through layers of clothing, he could feel how cold Danny was, so he held on tighter. 

“I told you before, didn’t I?” Vlad said, trying to keep his voice soft and even. “I... I’m allowed to want things.”

“And what? You want to kiss me?” Danny asked with a strangled laugh. He lifted his hands, then dropped them.

Yes, ” Vlad said before he could stop himself. 

Danny stiffened in his arms, then his shoulders started to shake. Vlad stepped back slightly, just far enough to see Danny’s face. He was laughing. 

“I just don’t get it,” Danny said, his face twisted up in a way that filled Vlad with dread. “If you want to… If you wanted… Then what the fuck was all this about?” 

“I know,” Vlad groaned. “I’m sorry.”

“No, I mean it. What the fuck? ” Danny was scowling up at him. Vlad watched a single tear slip halfway down his cheek before crystalizing. 

“I know, ” Vlad growled. “Do you think this is something I’m good at?”

Yes! ” Danny shouted, and Vlad stepped further back. What the fuck indeed. There had been a number of things he’d planned for a Friday night, and this was not one of them. 

But...it did make more sense to him now. Vlad knew who he was, how he appeared, and it was only logical that Danny would see him that way too, even if it hurt a little to realize Danny couldn't see through the charade. He let the anger flare up inside him then die back down before he spoke. 

“Well, I’m not,” he said, struggling to keep the indignation out of his voice. “And again, I’m sorry. None of this has gone how I wanted it too, and I didn’t mean for it to...affect you.” 

“How did you want it to go, then?” Danny asked, his voice still showing his anger, and Vlad struggled not to take it personally, even though the whole situation was very personal. 

“I don’t know,” Vlad sighed. “I don’t know what I expected.”

“Well I definitely didn’t expect this!” Danny said, his voice rising again. “If I would’ve known this would happen, I never would have asked you to fucking kiss me!”

Anxiety clutched at Vlad’s core. He was losing this fight and Vlad Masters didn’t lose at anything.  

“What do you want me to do, Daniel?” he asked, exasperated. “Do you want me to take it back? Just pretend it never happened so we can move on with our lives, acting like there isn’t this...this tension?

“Oh god, what tension? ” Danny laughed, unamused. “There’s no tension, there’s just me, a fucking dumbass who somehow tricked you into feeling so fucking sorry for me that you actually fucking ki-”

He didn’t realize that he was kissing Danny - again - until it was too late; Vlad just couldn't take it anymore. He pulled away, and Danny’s cheeks were blushing bright red.

“What are you-”

Vlad kissed him again. 

“C’mon, I know how pathetic I look, so you don’t have to-”

And again. He was wild with it, his hands against the wall on either side of Danny’s head.  And when it finally seemed to click for Danny that Vlad wasn’t doing this out of pity - or so it seemed, so Vlad hoped - Danny kissed him back. 

Danny’s lips were cool, and his hands reached out blindly, landing hesitantly on Vlad’s hips. Vlad bit back a groan and moved closer, one of Danny’s legs slipping between his own. 

“You don’t...don’t have to…” Danny breathed during the moments his mouth was free.

“I know,” Vlad murmured, kissing him again. “I want to.”

He hoped Danny could hear or feel or see just how much he wanted to be doing this. He hoped that, somehow, he could impress into Danny just how badly he had been wanting to do this all week; the simple act of kissing threatening to send a shiver down his spine and reigniting that fire in his core. 

And then there was Danny’s thigh pressed agonizingly between his own legs. It felt so juvenile, but it absolutely thrilled him. Vlad leaned into it and Danny’s grip on his hips tightened. His chest was pressed against Danny’s and he half-hoped that the heat of it wasn’t too telling while half-hoping it was.  

He wanted Danny to know, wanted Danny to feel that all of this was borne from desire rather than duty. He let the tip of his tongue swipe against Danny’s bottom lip and begged him to know. If only Danny would understand that he wasn’t the one at fault; that Vlad had been the one who fought against this so vehemently. 

And why was that? he wondered. Why had he been so adamant about avoiding Danny when this could have been the result? This, this feral obsession of lips and legs pressed together in such a crude way. He kissed Danny harder and hoped that would show just how desperate and childish he felt. 

“I want to,” Vlad heard himself say again and again in despairing pants against Danny’s mouth and jaw and neck and anywhere else he could find skin to kiss. 

“Me too,” he heard Danny reply once or twice with equally frenzied breaths in his ear. His hands were still on Vlad’s hips, then his back, then chest, and then it was too difficult to keep track of them. 

He mouthed apologies and promises against cool, soft skin and hoped Danny could understand him; hoped Danny believed him. It was all parts liberating, unthinkable, terrifying, and again Vlad cursed his pride. He pulled away, wanting to explain as much to Danny, but as his lips left Danny’s neck, there was his mouth, quickly taking up that bit of space. 

A whisper of regret pierced through him again, and Vlad wondered if Danny was thinking about the same things. He wanted to know if Danny was also coming to terms with the aching loneliness he’d managed to ignore for so many years. Then he remembered the circumstances of Danny’s arrival, and he moved closer, kissed him harder, as if there was any more space left between them. 

Of course Danny knew this feeling; Vlad would be a fool to assume otherwise. He had been in Danny’s position before, he knew that fear and desperation and that endless, consuming sadness that weighed on Danny during their every interaction, and Vlad felt himself swallowed up with desire. He would do anything to keep Danny from feeling that way again. 

He slid a hand from the wall, trailed it down Danny’s chest, and gripped at the bottom of his shirt. He was rewarded with a gasp from Danny, and in his frenzy, he jerked it up to slide a hand around the cool skin of Danny’s stomach to grip at his hips and bring him closer. 

The angle of his hip felt perfect in Vlad’s hand, and when he pulled, Danny responded without hesitation. Vlad was enraptured with the way Danny moved against him, finding heaven in the way Danny’s hips rolled against his own. He’d never been what one could consider a ‘religious’ person, but pressing himself against Danny, kissing him like this, hearing him gasp at each new touch, it made Vlad want to believe. 

He found Danny’s hands then, on his stomach, tugging up at the shirt he’d so meticulously tucked in that morning. He swallowed the growl threatening to slip out, a small bubble of shame rising up in his chest. It was reprehensible how much of an affect he allowed Danny to have over him. 

But he couldn't fight it, even if he really wanted to; he was too busy grinding up against Danny’s thigh like some depraved high schooler. Not that he’d done much of this in high school, and it almost felt as though his body was making up for lost time. His frustration seemed to overflow, and he bit gently at Danny’s lower lip in a sort of retaliation. 

That elicited a stronger response than he’d anticipated, and with another straining roll of Danny’s hips, Vlad felt like he was heartbeats away from doing something far more bold than he imagined he’d normally be able to, not with Danny. He worried again that he was being more forward than he needed to be. 

But Danny was acting just as eager for this, if the sounds he was making against Vlad’s lips were anything to go by. It thrilled him, knowing that he was having as much an effect on Danny as Danny was for him. It made him want to push Danny further, made him desperate to know what else he could do to make Danny respond this way. 

He moved his other hand from the wall and ran it blindly through Danny’s hair, gripping it in his hand at the base of Danny’s neck. Yes, there it was, that breathy whine, and he swallowed it whole, begging Danny for more. He made a mental note - sloppy and staggered - to try that again, and soon.  

He kissed Danny once, twice, and then pulled away, hoping his cheeks weren’t as red and telling as Danny’s. 

“I… Do you want to...want to continue..?” Vlad asked, breathless. Danny looked back at him, eyes wide and blushing fiercely. He was quiet for a moment, then nodded, and with a wave, they vanished into black smoke.