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(i'd be an anchor) but i'm scared you'd drown.

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There’s someone staring at him, the back of his neck prickling as the hairs raise, and that’s about all Adam is aware of. It’s all the attention span he has to spare at the moment, the rest diluted with the alcohol thrumming through his veins. He’s not even sure what they’re supposed to be celebrating anymore, but Gansey and Orla are dancing uproariously and Blue is clapping along, swaying with the music playing from the kitchen.

He thinks he saw the radio in the kitchen, when he was getting his last drink.

It had been red, violently red, like the color of his Coca Cola shirt. Calla had been the one to hand it to him, a devious look in her eyes that he clearly should’ve questioned.

But, still, someone is staring at him and Adam doesn’t want to look, doesn’t want to confirm that it’s Ronan, because no one else’s gaze has that weight. Not anyone that he’s so completely in tune with, anyways.

Someone sinks into the couch next to him, causing a brief panic in Adam, thinking that maybe Ronan removed himself from his self imposed exile, but it’s just Noah. “I miss getting drunk,” Noah whines pitifully.

Adam makes what he hopes is a sympathetic sound and sways to bump their shoulders, “Sorry,” he manages, hiccuping immediately after. He waves jauntily at Blue when she comes near them, blinking when she pokes his cheek.

“Your face is so red,” she intones, waving her hands as if to emphasize the color.

He frowns, cupping a hand over his cheek to feel that it is indeed warm, “Am I getting sick?” He asks suddenly in abject horror.

A derisive snort from behind Blue tells him that he is indeed not getting sick.

“Ronan,” Noah says warmly and moves suddenly, causing Adam to tip precariously. He watches Noah pat the space he vacated and nearly gets whiplash trying to see how Ronan reacts to the suggestion.

He doesn’t even notice when Blue and Noah suddenly wander off, just that Ronan’s thigh is really warm from where it presses into his when he takes Noah’s vacated seat. He hiccups... or, maybe, that’s just his mind, trying to figure out how to process.

“You shouldn’t have accepted the drink from Calla,” Ronan says absently, as if he’s observing the weather, but Adam knows, knows that he knows, that Ronan doesn’t do anything absently, not without some sort of reason. “Goodness knows what she’s slipped you.”

Adam blinks, because that’s not right. Calla would never - okay, maybe she would, but she seemed to be in good spirits. She and Gansey were engaged in some sort of conversation at the moment and Gansey kept unconsciously touching Blue where she was sitting next to him.

“I’ve not been drugged, Lynch,” he says as decisively as he can manage.

Ronan laughs, a harsh sort of sound that makes Adam dig his fingers in the couch cushion below him. Which actually turns out to be Ronan’s thigh. He jerks as if burnt and turns wide eyes to Ronan, whose face is stormy as ever, eyes dangerous.

Not their usual dangerous that promises violence, but the sort of dangerous that Adam could get sucked into and lost in. Dangerous to his carefully held together (with pieces of tape and gum and paper clips) peace of mind.

An arm curls around his shoulders and Adam regards it as one would regard a poisonous snake curling around them, before it tugs and he finds himself sort of sprawled across Ronan, unprepared for the sudden, strong movement. “Wha?”

“I wasn’t saying you’ve been drugged,” Ronan says conversationally, his thumb sweeping in distracting circles over the bit of collar bone exposed where Adam’s shirt is stretched too wide, “I’m just saying you’re drunk.”

Adam blinks and tries to pull his thoughts together, trying to figure out what it is that Ronan’s getting at, but it’s not coming together, so he intelligibly blurts, “So?”

Ronan releases a put upon sigh, freeing his arm to pat Adam’s thigh before he stands up, “Nothing, Parrish,” he says, “Enjoy your party.” And then he’s gone, the front door of the house, opening and closing with soft sounds. He briefly thinks it’s the calm before the storm before Calla is stomping over to him.

He can only stare at her bare feet, her toes painted some sort of dark purplish color. Like bruises. He thinks of Ronan and has to look away, dragging his eyes to her face, “Can I help you?” He says, sort of belligerently, unsure of why he’s at all belligerent.

“You’re just going to let him leave?” She demands, a hand on her hip. Her finger nails are blood red. Ronan, again.

“No one can stop Ronan from doing what he pleases,” he says, gesturing widely to the room.

She heaves a sigh and is suddenly dragging him off the couch, pushing him towards the door. When Adam looks for assistance, no one else is paying any mind to what’s happening. “I bet he’s still waiting for you,” she says, insistent, as if there’s something huge that he’s missing and she really wants him to know what it is.

“I don’t -” she doesn’t even let him finish, just tuts and points at the door.

He feels a little dejected, as if he’s being kicked out of the party, but when he opens the door, he nearly falls on his face because Ronan is at the end of the drive, leaning against the side of his BMW, as if he were waiting for Adam. Suddenly, he’s angry and stomping down the drive to jab a finger into Ronan’s chest, “You,” he says and has no idea what to say next.

Ronan laughs again, less harsh this time, hands falling onto Adam’s shoulders to balance him, “Me,” he says, as if there’s a joke Adam’s not in on.

“You were staring,” Adam accuses, lacking anything else to say. It’s humid outside, making everything feel sticky and heavy like molasses.

“I was,” Ronan returns simply, infuriatingly.

Adam stares at him, scrutinizing, “Why?”

Ronan tips his head back as if he’s trying not to laugh or possibly praying to the sky for some sort of patience. And all Adam can do is focus on the sharp line of his jaw, the length of his throat, and the urge to bite. He doesn’t do that though. “I’ll get you a mirror and you’ll understand,” is all Ronan says when he turns his gaze back onto Adam.

He feels the gaze to his bone marrow and shrinks down some, feeling stripped bare and still far too drunk for what he figures it going to be a Very Important Conversation. There might even be feelings involved. “I hope I remember this in the morning,” he says, once again lacking words in the presence of Ronan.

“Me too,” and then Ronan is kissing him. Not some sort of simple, chaste peck, but the sort of kiss that has him gasping, feeling it right down to his core. It’s sharp, like everything with Ronan is, but the slick slide of his tongue makes up for it. Adam doesn’t remember twisting his hands in the fabric of Ronan’s tank top, but that’s where they are when Ronan pulls away.

Ronan’s lips are red and swollen, leaving Adam feeling warm and shaky and like he wants more, so he uses the grip on Ronan’s shirt to reel him back in, kissing him this time, actually participating. It turns into a battle of wills quickly, but Ronan takes control with a sharp nip to Adam’s lower lip that leaves his mind whirling, even after they break the kiss.

He lets out a pathetic little sound at the darkness of Ronan’s eyes, pupils blown out, and presses his face into Ronan’s neck, taking the opportunity to bite like he had been considering. He pulls back to look at the red indent of his teeth before swaying away from Ronan, “I want this again,” he breathes out and adds, “Sober,” because it feels like an important piece of information.

A breath whooshes out of Ronan like he’s been punched and he simply nods. Adam nods as well, eyes falling once more to Ronan’s lip before he forces himself to turn and walk back up the sidewalk. It takes everything not to turn back and look, especially with the weight of Ronan’s gaze on him.

Adam briefly considers returning to Ronan, but he feels like he needs to thank Calla for some reason.