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Hidden Music

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For John, it's impossible to think of love without using musical terms and metaphors. To him, music has always been synonymous with love, and just like music, love has always had its own styles, genres and structures. Every love affair in his life has had its own melody and rhythm, from the raunchy little riffs on the side to the detailed symphonies he's been working on for years. Everybody he knows has a tune, a pitch, and when he's bored on set, like now, he often passes the time matching personalities to instruments and styles. That technician there is jittery and twitchy and speaks in random energetic bursts; he's definitely a jazz man. That big-name star is an opera baritone, menacing and commanding, dominating the stage. The husky-voiced clapper girl leans back against a wall, hands in the pockets of her jeans, and John is willing to bet that after a few shots of whisky at the wrap party, she'll be crooning the blues.

Of course, he then catches a glance of David from across the room and all his neat little categories come tumbling down like a house of cards. Fuck it, it's impossible to assign David a genre, no matter how he tries. When he kisses David, fucks David, it's different tune each time. On a good night, it builds up like a slow classical piece, and John is the virtuoso, even if he says so himself. He takes his time and plays David, listening with a patient ear to the sounds he makes. He experiments with different techniques, lets his fingers fall, tap, press, and curl against David's skin, inside David's flesh. He presses his ear against David's chest and follows a moan as it reverberates, judders and crescends as David comes into his hand. On other nights, it's less like a symphony--it's the hard percussion of bruised lips, clicking teeth and his face thudding against the carpet; it's spit, it's sperm and it's punk as fuck.

It's when David looks back that John realises he's staring. He tries to look away, but he's already seen the grin on David's face. "Tonight", David mimes from across the room.

Tonight, John's bent in half under David, shivering as he's filled, as David enters him deep, so deep and it hurts. It's not the penetration, far from it. They've taken it slow tonight; David has led the dance with long, wine-drenched kisses, undressed John with the utmost care and tenderness, and it's the tenderness that's the problem. It's a new, last-minute addition, it's off-key and doesn't fit into his pattern of David and John. John squeezes his eyes shut; a million thoughts are flying through his head, a screeching cacophony of panic. This is new for him, and he knows it shouldn't be like this; when David looks into his eyes and caresses his cheek with concern, it shouldn't make him shake. He's in too much pain and he's lost control, he's lost the rhythm and--

And then David laces his fingers with his, smiles and leans down. "Shh". David kisses him, moves his hips slowly, oh so slowly, and John dares to breathe, breathe against David's stubbled cheek. It's he who is being played now, although he still falters, trying to learn this new and tender key, not recognising the noises he's making. But he's nothing if not a fast learner. Slowly, he moves back into David's thrusts, feeling for David's rhythm and matching it. Again, he breathes, and lets that rhythm undo the knots inside him, opens up to David, to what he's being given, with such care and affection it makes him ache. He reaches out and takes in the heavy heat of David's cock moving inside him, the wonderful variations of friction and pressure as David rolls his hips, snaps them. He takes in the sweat on David's neck and presses his mouth against it, takes in David whispering "John" into his hair. And he understands, laughs. He leans his head back, moans unashamedly as David moves through him like music, his whole body vibrating with sound, with pleasure, and he is set alight. Finally, finally it's a harmony, and he hooks his legs around David's waist as he comes, in a brilliant clash of kisses and colours and noise. And he's grateful, so grateful, carrying David through it all as he too bucks and writhes, catching him as he falls.

He holds on to David long after, holds him and listens, with his head pillowed on David's chest. In the darkness the sheets cool down and the noise fades, and as he drifts off to sleep, the only rhythm he can hear is David's heartbeat.