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Hej, kan vi snacka?”

Simon has paused stock-still in the middle of the hallway, and is racking his brain to remember whether it was today or tomorrow that Sara said she’d be ditching him for Felice and the girls, when he hears it.

Va- vad?” Simon glances up, mind still preoccupied (he’s sure she’d said today, right?). All thoughts skid to a halt when his eyes meet Wilhelm’s, and he finally registers it as Wilhelm’s voice that had asked the question.

Kan vi snacka?” Wilhelm repeats, now that he has Simon’s full attention.

With a slight nod Simon answers, “Ja,” gaze following Wilhelm’s as he turns to focus through an open doorway just across from them.

Simon watches as Malin moves from her near-permanent position over Wilhelm’s shoulder, stepping into this doorway to take a cursory scan of the empty classroom. She inclines her head at Wilhelm, who then gestures for Simon to enter. Simon swears the corner of Malin’s mouth flickers slightly as he passes the threshold, her new temporary station.

Wilhelm carefully closes the door behind them and turns to him (neither of them bat an eye at the open windows opposite). Simon notices that the pattern of green land mass on the large world map pinned to the back of the door is perfectly positioned to replicate cartoon thought bubbles over Wilhelm’s head. Wilhelm’s… oddly silent head. He still hasn’t said a word.

Simon looks quizzically at him and starts to ask “Vad händ-?”, but Wille closes the distance between them with a quick step, darting forward to plant a little peck on his half open lips and startling Simon into silence.

“Ah,” Simon recovers quickly though, smirking up at Wille, “I see…” 

Eyes twinkling, he curls his fingers into Wilhelm’s sweater cuff to drag him an inch closer, Wilhelm’s one, two feet shuffling towards him. Simon intends to make the most of this opportunity the universe has so lovingly dropped into his lap to make Wilhelm blush

He raises his voice just enough, and says with a shit-eating grin on his face, “You had poor Malin sweep the room and stand guard outside just so you could plant one on me, is that it?”, imagining the matching smile he’s probably given to the bodyguard just the other side of the door. Exactly as he’d planned, Wilhelm’s cheeks start to flush, but he doesn’t back down like Simon had anticipated. His shoulders round forward a tad and one raises in a half-shrug, but he just continues to stare steadily into Simon’s eyes.

Next tactic, then. “What if I’m...”, Simon begins, pulling Wilhelm’s left hand toward him with the grip around his sweater. He cradles Wilhelm’s palm in his hands, stroking softly up the back of his wrist and dipping his fingertips under the cuff, until they hit the smooth metal of Wilhelm’s watch. “What if I’m not in the mood?”

Wilhelm surprises him again, however, by calmly replying, “Then I just want to stand here and look at you,” Wilhelm lifts his free hand to pull at a curl by Simon’s ear, stretching the strand out of its spiral, “for a minute,” he lets go, watching as it releases back into a double helix, “if that’s okay?” He gently tucks the strand over Simon’s ear and says on an exhale, almost to himself, “Du är så fin.” He settles his palm at the back of Simon’s neck, pad of his thumb wavering back and forth. Big hands, Simon thinks dumbly, and he wants to laugh because fuck, Simon played himself, but he can’t - because, well - and what the fuck is he supposed to say to that?! 

Wilhelm’s gaze hasn’t once faltered. It feels electric, like Simon should hear crackling along its wavelength; like it should be scalding hot where it touches him.

He realises he doesn’t have to say a damn thing.

It likely bruises the both of them with how fast he moves, because in the blink of an eye Simon has connected their lips again in a jarring collision, and finally a surprised “Mmff,” falls from Wilhelm’s lips. Simon swallows the sound immediately with a slightly gentler kiss, too far gone now to gloat, to let anything separate them.

He takes Wilhelm’s hand currently held between his own and leads it up to his neck to mirror the palm already at home there, then threads his own arms around Wilhelm’s torso to get him closer. One sneaks under his sweater to the small of his back, the other up over Wilhelm’s shoulder. He stands taller as this hand rakes through Wilhelm’s hair, then pulls slightly to tilt his head back as he runs his tongue along Wilhelm’s bottom lip, meaning, open up for me, please. Wilhelm gasps, doing just that. He responds yes, with a soft hum caught in his throat, yes, with an arm wrapping almost the full circumference around Simon’s waist to pull him in and up; and to hold a little of his weight where he’s now straining on tiptoe to meet Wilhelm at his level.

Wilhelm takes a step, leading them further into the room in a desperate imitation of a waltz. Simon is still on his toes, their lips hurriedly tangling together, apart and together again. Simon lets out a soft grunt as the backs of his thighs bump into the front desk, sturdy table legs travelling an inch across the wooden floor with an audible scrape. Both boys freeze immediately at the sound, and with an indecent suckling noise Wilhelm releases Simon's bottom lip he was worrying with his teeth, their warm breath now mingling together in the space introduced between their lips.

“Maybe we should…” Wilhelm barely breathes, sounding pained at the implication of his own words. But Simon’s not ready to let this go just yet. He plants his palms behind him, and with a small huff hoists himself into a seated position, reasoning that his weight atop the desk may help steady the table (he’s just warding off any further interruptions).

Their positions harkening back to their first kiss, Simon purposefully reaches out a hand, grabbing a fistful of fabric at the side seam of Wilhelm’s jumper. Wool now taut across Wilhelm’s chest, he uses this anchor to slowly draw him close, until his hips are nestled between Simon’s legs. Wilhelm places his two (big, Simon can’t stop thinking) hands on top of Simon’s thighs, and leans in. Their eyes are closer to level now, their noses parallel, their lips… 

Simon brings his nose to touch Wilhelm’s, feather-light, tracing the curve there. Smooths his right cheek along Wilhelm’s left and dots a kiss at his jaw, breathing him in. Leans back slightly, brings his hands up to frame Wilhelm’s face, leans in again to finally, finally

Wilhelm meets him in the middle this time, both folding so sweetly into one another; dancing, spinning, colliding in dizzying waves back and forth, back and forth. 

Simon shuffles forward to the edge of the table and tugs his right leg up around Wilhelm’s hip. Wilhelm’s hand finds this knee to hitch it up even further, then strokes a trail up the outside of his thigh, over his hip and around, down, four fingers slipping into Simon’s rear jeans pocket. He’s now pulling Simon into his body, fingertips digging into soft flesh through two layers of clothing. Simon tangles a hand in Wilhelm’s hair once more, so incredibly needy, just wanting, and he feels Wilhelm buck against him, just as desperate, breath heavy, chest heaving to meet his own. 

Simon arches up into their next kiss, which brings their hips together at just the right angle to do something wicked to Simon. He twists his head, pulling away with a breathless groan. But Wilhelm simply attaches his mouth to the skin of Simon’s throat, sucking a line of bruising kisses down to his collar. He rolls Simon’s hips forward to meet his own again, and then again (... and again). Wilhelm exhales, an aching "Uh, Si- Simme-" tumbling from him without permission and vibrating up the column of Simon's now-tender throat.

At this, Simon throws his head back, an audible “O- oh!” escaping his swollen lips, fingers tightening around short blond hair. Simon sucks a sharp inhale then lets out an airy chuckle, which is different enough to make Wilhelm pause his ministrations currently focussed on Simon’s pulse point. Simon loosens the stranglehold of his fingers in the hair at Wilhelm’s nape, and murmurs, “Wille…”

They’re so tightly entwined that even Wilhelm withdrawing his hand back to Simon’s hip causes them to shift against each other deliciously, Simon interrupting himself with a soft, “Ah-”  before he again whispers, “Wille...”

But Simon’s interrupted again, when a (big) hand softly takes the underside of his left knee, hoisting it up a fraction to join the other around his waist. Simon interlocks his toes together behind Wilhelm’s back on instinct, and grazes his knuckles down Wilhelm’s arm. He removes Wilhelm’s hand from his knee, interlacing their fingers together. 

His other hand finds Wilhelm’s cheek, using this to nudge his chin up as he tries a final time, “Not that I’m complaining,” and again Wilhelm shifts, this time to press a soft kiss to the palm of Simon’s hand, “but we do have to go back to class after this.”

“Ugh,” Wilhelm’s exclamation intensifies into a drawn out whine as he drops his forehead to land on Simon’s shoulder. He pulls in greedy gulps of air, breathing now reinstated as a top priority. “I know,” he says, again lingering too long on the end of the word. “I can’t believe I have to sit through two lessons after this.”

As Wilhelm slouches even further into his arms, Simon pulls his elbows up to rest on Wilhelm’s shoulders. His hands echo the position of his feet and interlace behind Wilhelm’s head, Wilhelm now well and truly trapped in his embrace as Simon smacks a kiss into his hair. “Yeah, you really could have planned this a little better. How long ‘til our next class, anyway?”

Wilhelm moves to detangle himself to check his watch, but Simon makes a small noise in protest and locks his limbs, doesn’t let him have an inch. Nej, nej," he says, and then quickly follows, a little louder, “Malin! How long do we have, please?”

A beat of silence. And then, through the wood of the door, they hear, “The Crown Prince has just over ten minutes before his next lesson.” Simon’s mouth is opening around a thank you when a second statement follows, “The Crown Prince also wears a watch… Simon.”

Simon loses it at this last statement, and with such peals of laughter bubbling up and huffing into Wilhelm’s hair, he can barely breathe enough to get out a, “Tack- Tack Malinoch ledsen.”

To Wilhelm now he whispers, “Oops…” and with a last small giggle adds, "You know… I quite like Malin, can you keep her around?” He starts to detangle their limbs, doesn't give Wilhelm a chance to answer his question as he continues at a normal volume, “Perhaps next time you’d better rein in your overwhelming desire to get your hands on me until at least workies.”

Simon has shuffled back enough now to press his legs together again. The sharp points of his knees nudge gently into Wilhelm’s stomach, their four hands tangled in Simon’s lap.

“Honestly, I thought I showed enough restraint just getting you into an empty room,” Wille deadpans, seeming completely serious. “I have an overwhelming desire to kiss you everytime I look at you.” 

“Wille…”

“Simon, I’m serious.” He sounds it. 

Vad fan, Wille-”, Simon squeezes Wilhelm’s hands, “Jesus! First before, with that absolute… cheesy line-”

“Was it really that cheesy if it worked, though?” Wille interrupts, “I mean, you like, literally threw yourself at me." Simon makes a disgruntled noise at this entirely unnecessary slander, gaze focussed down on where he's now massaging the space between Wilhelm's index finger and thumb. "And besides,” Wilhelm brings a pair of their joined hands up, brushing Simon’s knuckles gently against his cheekbone, “it wasn’t a line.”

Simon tries his best to look stroppy at this interjection, and starts again, “Firstly, that absolute cheesy line, and now all of this! What the hell has gotten into you?” But by the end of his faux-outburst the tension in his tone had faded completely, leaving behind only a sincerity; perhaps a touch of actual concern clouding the last question.

“Ugh,” Wilhelm repeats the drawn out groan from before, shifting to hide his face in the crook of Simon’s neck again. Simon’s knees fall apart at once, welcoming Wilhelm back into the cradle of his legs again. His arms hug around to clasp at the small of WIlhelm’s back. “I don’t know, I can’t help it, I don’t seem to have any sort of filter when I’m with you. When it’s just us.” 

Simon nods in understanding.

Wilhelm shakes his head, massaging his brow back and forth, and says “I can-”, then pauses, a soft restriction at the back of his throat. “If you want, though, I can stop?”

Nej,” Simon’s response is immediate, “Nej, never.” He hugs Wilhelm tighter, hooking an ankle around Wilhelm’s calf. “This is just… a little different, coming from you. But for the record,” he tilts to murmur his next words directly into Wilhelm’s ear, “I’ve had that overwhelming urge to kiss you ever since that moment when you didn’t kiss me, that first weekend at the party.” He hears Wilhelm snuffle a laugh. “You must have known I wanted you to.” And now curious, he asks, “Did you?”

“Did I know?”

“Did you want to?” 

“I-” 

But Simon, second guessing himself now, cuts him off, “You don’t-”, he hurries, “you don’t have to answer.”

Wilhelm simply goes on, “Nej, I-”, but pauses here, struggling to find the words. In fits and starts he explains, “The way you were looking at me was so- but- of course I wanted to do something, but I- think I just didn’t know I was allowed to… to want you? Like-” He illustrates this by searching for where Simon’s collar meets his warm skin, “To kiss you.” Places an open mouthed kiss there when he finds it. Lingers, places another kiss a smidge to the left. “I was also a little scared of how terrifyingly much I wanted, already.”

He goes on, “And now I just- I just feel so, I don’t know, I can’t focus on much of anything except- You know how I told you, how sometimes my brain can get too… fast? For me?” Wilhelm waits for Simon’s hum of acknowledgement before continuing, “I got so used to my thoughts spinning too quickly, doing their thing to me, but with you it’s almost… quiet. And instead of my churning thoughts making me say silly things, now it’s this big, warm bubble, or... something.” Simon can tell he’s running out of steam, but Wilhelm finishes softly (so softly), “It’s this enormous feeling, right...” he drags his forehead lower on Simon’s shoulder, nudges the tip of his nose forward, “here.” He touches his lips weightily to Simon’s left breast pocket.

When he breathes out, releasing the kiss, Simon can feel the loving warmth of Wilhelm’s exhale through the linen and then soft cotton of his clothing. Thinks, what heroic act did I perform in a past life, that I deserve this, here, now?

Simme, some days- It’s like I’m going to burst at any moment, there’s too much and I can’t possibly...” The end of his statement is hushed; trails off into nothingness.

Simon knows the feeling.

It’s as if the blank space that existed between the electrons, protons, and neutrons circling in every atom of his being is no longer empty, but filled with a glowing honey-gold liquid that sloshes and swirls around inside of him. With every word from Wille - every look, every kiss, embrace, soft touch; every yearning reach - a drop of syrup is added to this concoction, flowing through his bone marrow, rushing through his bloodstream. So bright that picturing it makes him dizzy, yet he’s unable to look away. Unable to dim the light, unable to empty himself of the feeling. Not a drop ever escapes, so the longer he exists in Wilhelm’s arms, in his presence, his world, in this lifetime, the more the feeling tightens like a loaded spring, latent energy bunching up inside of him, vibrating off his very cell walls. 

So surrounded by the feeling, he could burst at any moment.

He feels this rich… radiance… flowing between them, though. It may never be released back into the ether, but he senses it also fills the atoms that make up the boy snuggled in his arms. It’s as if when they’re together like this he can picture the silken thread, connecting them where Wilhelm’s lips still rest over his heart space, where his forehead’s nestled at Simon’s collarbone. His hand weaves ribbons of gold into Wilhelm’s hair, five pinpricks of warm light glimmering every time he rakes his fingertips through to flatten the strands. Every point where they’re fused together is an overflowing dam, a river running wild, a whistling wind tunnel where this gleaming, blossoming warmth surges between them - growing stronger, blooming into something steady, willing, ready.

Wilhelm unconsciously makes a sound at the back of his throat, and Simon feels his lips purse into a thin line. Wilhelm, ever so slowly, lifts his head for the first time during this conversation, eyes searching. Simon’s there to catch his gaze (always). He looks steadily between Wille’s eyes, with a softening of his own when he notices their glassy sheen. Brings a hand up to lightly trace where the stitching on his shirt has indented a dotted pink line on Wilhelm’s forehead. 

Doesn’t blink, can’t look away. Can’t imagine ever wanting to. 

With a small twitch of Wilhelm’s lips, causing a crease to blink into existence at the corner of one eye, his expression steadies. Simon feels another, single drop of honey settle behind his navel, at the knowledge that Wilhelm can understand a little of what he’s thinking.

Simon knows he’s been silent for too long, though. And maybe he’s just not as brave as Wilhelm, because he’s still a little terrified at how much he wants, at this moment. It all seems so… new? Too soon? Feels too… fragile, to share in that way. (He wonders, in a cobwebbed corner of his mind, whether his parents ever felt this same syrupy golden intertwining at their beginning.)

So he breaks their gaze, injects a dash of teasing into his tone, and says to Wilhelm’s chest, “A ‘big, warm bubble’ though... really?”

He looks up again and can sense an honest retort sitting on the tip of Wille’s tongue, given his knowing look and the slightest flash of… hurt across his face. Fuck. Simon quickly brings a hand to frame Wilhelm’s face, his other coming to land flat and warm against the left side of his chest, eyes darting rapidly between Wilhelm’s own, saying I’m sorry, pleading not yet, please, repeating I know, I’m sorry, promising, soon.

Wilhelm looks down at the hand over his heart, bringing up one of his own to cover it, before slowly drawing it away from his chest and back between them. Holds Simon’s stare as he brings it up to his lips, kisses the middle knuckle. 

Wilhelm takes a deep breath, letting him off the hook with an exasperated, “Heeeej,” and Simon muses, thousands, I must have saved thousands of lives in a past life, as Wilhelm carries on, “I’m trying- fan, I’m trying to be sweet.”

“I know, honey, I know,” he placates Wilhelm, the endearment falling from his lips without a conscious thought, Simon’s mind still caught on golden thread and glimmering light. When he realises what he’s said, he braces himself for Wilhelm’s eye roll, huff of laughter and tender rebuff, as has accompanied every affectionate term Simon’s previously let slip.

But this never eventuates; Wilhelm surprises him once again as he simply ducks his head, fighting a shy smile. And this, this is what Simon’s been waiting for.

“Oh, we like that one!” he brightly teases, “You never liked any of the others! Always nej... to mi cielo, mi cariño, och mi corazón, even mi bebé, men-”

“That’s because I want to understand what you’re saying-”

Men,” Simon’s eyes are sparkling up at Wilhelm now, “we like ‘honey’, ja?”

Wilhelm nods once, picks at a loose thread on Simon’s jeans, confirms, “Ja.”  

He timidly lifts his chin, allowing Simon to see the fresh scarlet flush gracing his cheeks. He looks so uncertain. Simon lifts the back of his palm to rest on one of Wille’s burning cheekbones, as if checking his temperature. Yet another moment, another word, another avalanche where they touch, another slide of golden brightness into his belly.

“Okay, honey,” he says, just to see the contented way Wilhelm melts into him. Simon wonders if Wilhelm, too, can feel the gilt thread weaving between them, smoothing toffee-sweet honey over and around them. Coating their insides. Wonders if that’s why he doesn’t mind this one.

Simon shifts to run two fingertips over the outline of Wilhelm’s lips, still reddened and swollen from… before. He can almost taste a syrupy sweetness in the air.

A third time (for luck), he says, “Honey,” and quirks a smile at the reaction this elicits from Wilhelm, “Can you…”, he’s laser focussed on Wilhelm’s mouth now. Simon sees his tongue dart out to wet his lips, and feels it catch on his fingers still poised there. Then, slow and deliberate, with eyes locked on his, Wilhelm parts his lips and leans forward, capturing the tips of Simon’s two fingers in his mouth.

Wilhelm’s tongue circles Simon’s fingerprints, a wet heat, before he bobs his head forward in one considered movement, taking in the complete length of Simon’s fingers to the first knuckle. Now a tight wet heat.

Simon can’t breathe.

He whimpers out a hushed, “Hnng...”, and then, somehow recalling he was interrupted, exhales whatever air is left in his lungs around the end of his original question, “... kiss me again?” 

But Wilhelm just sucks once, hard, on the digits caught in his mouth (the little shit, thinks Simon, as this raises goosebumps down the back of his neck), before slowly tilting his head back, leisurely releasing them. 

Dumbstruck, Simon repeats his trace around the outline of Wilhelm’s lips; now frictionless, a smooth glide. “Please?” he whispers, and Simon’s not begging, he’s not, but even he has to admit the word comes out breathless, a little wrecked.

“But, Simon,” and there’s mirth dancing on Wilhelm’s face as he speaks an echo of Simon’s earlier words, “what if I’m not in the mood?” However, he immediately belays any truth to this idea as he moves in to peck a kiss on the tip of Simon’s nose.

Simon’s hand drifts from hovering between them to gently rest around Wilhelm’s throat, two spit-slick fingers painting an equals sign over his adam’s apple. There’s that electricity in the air again, as Wilhelm moves tenderly to cradle Simon’s face, so close now, breathing in his exhale. He kisses Simon’s top lip once, then his bottom lip, each lingering touch swirling heavy through Simon like treacle. Simon presses in, closing his eyes as Wilhelm (finally) brings their mouths to meet proper, and it’s dirty, deep, and wide open, yet somehow still a sickeningly-sweet caress. 

A kaleidoscope of burnt sugar, caramel and dripping honey swirls golden behind his eyelids.

I’ll have to move mountains in my next life to deserve this, is his last conscious thought, but what a sweet deal.