This is set about three years in the future where basically anything I like can have happened and I can give Oscar noms and wins to anyone I feel like. Oh, the power!
Title: (Never Had A Choice) When It Came To You (also at AO3)
Fandom: The Social Network RPS
Pairing: Jesse Eisenberg/Andrew Garfield
A/N: with huge thanks to harriet_vane who let me write this to her in various emails and at no point told me to bugger off and stop interrupting her holiday. ♥
Andrew spends thirty-five minutes waiting for a taxi outside LAX while the queue grows longer and longer behind him. He didn’t know that airports had rush hours but he seems to have hit one here.
He gets a text from Justin when he’s three people away from the front of the queue:
dude! whr tf are you? were heading to a&k
Andrew sighs, props his suitcase against his thigh and sends a message to Joe:
It’s always easier to get information from people who are not Justin.
It takes a couple of minutes for Joe to reply and by then Andrew has moved one place closer to getting in a taxi.
CA 90028 the text says come quick justins singing
Andrew grins to himself and replies with be there soon. He doesn’t let himself ask if Jesse has arrived yet. If A&K is a bar then the chances are that even if Jesse is in LA already, he’ll have cried off going out.
His phone beeps again and, when he looks down, Justin has sent him a text that reads: krghskrghslths
is your pocket talking to me again? Andrew sends back and smiles to himself. The Social Network was three years ago now, but he still misses being on that set more than any other.
Eventually, two taxis pull up at once. The two girls in front of him slide into one and he runs around to climb into the other before anyone else can jump in ahead of him. He grew up in London and he lives in New York, he knows how to keep a cab.
He gives the driver the address of his hotel and they navigate LA traffic in silence. Andrew doesn’t mind, he always finds himself over-sharing with taxi drivers and then it all gets a little bit uncomfortable.
Traffic’s bad tonight and it takes them an hour to reach Andrew’s hotel. He’s exhausted and he’d like to crawl into bed but everyone’s out without him and it makes him feel a little lonely.
“Can you wait?” he asks, handing the driver a wad of notes that more than cover the journey so far. “I’ll be five minutes.”
It takes ten to get checked into his room but then he just dumps his suitcase on the queen-sized bed in the middle of the room, grabs a jacket and runs back into the lift and downstairs.
To his surprise, the taxi is actually waiting for him.
“Thanks,” he says, grinning at the driver in the rearview mirror.
The driver shrugs. “Can’t run out on Spider-man, huh,” he says and Andrew laughs automatically even though it will never stop being weird and a little awkward how many people recognise him these days.
“I need to go here,” Andrew non-answers, showing him the postcode.
“Sure,” the guy agrees and swerves them back out into traffic while entering it into his satnav. Andrew grips the seat in front and tries very hard not to go flying through the windscreen.
A&K turns out to be a bar called Angels and Kings. Andrew is fairly certain that there’s one in New York as well but that he’s never been.
Justin and the others aren’t hard to find. They’re crammed together in a booth in the back, making the most noise and drinking the most shots. To Andrew’s surprise, Jesse is there, squished between Joe and Patrick, looking a little lost but mostly amused.
“Andrew!” yells Justin as soon as he spots him, half-falling over Armie to high-five him.
“Hey, man,” Andrew says, returning the slap willingly. “Hey, everyone.”
Joe and Patrick and Armie all chorus greetings but Jesse just smiles at him, a little uncertain in that way that Andrew remembers from the early days of filming.
Andrew drops his jacket onto the empty slice of space next to Armie then reaches over and grabs Jesse’s wrist. “I need a drink,” he says. “Come with me?”
“Okay,” Jesse says slowly and picks his way over Patrick, treading on Patrick’s foot but not seeming to notice. Andrew keeps his hold on Jesse’s wrist, just because.
“Hi,” Andrew says once Jesse’s standing. Impulsively, he wraps his arms around Jesse.
Jesse huffs a little laugh into his ear, patting Andrew’s back carefully. It’s not quite the effusive, bone-crushing hug that Andrew realises he really wants, but hugging Jesse is so familiar that it still feels great.
“Missed you,” Andrew tells him, honest and not even needing a drink to make him so.
Jesse smiles and ducks his head onto Andrew’s shoulder for a second. “Yeah,” he says which will have to do for now.
Andrew slides his way through the crowd to the bar, still holding onto Jesse’s wrist so he doesn’t lose him. He orders a beer then yells over the music to Jesse, “Would you like anything?”
Jesse starts to shake his head then, “Yes,” he says, “Rum and coke.”
Andrew leans against the bar once they get their drinks, drinking his beer slowly and in no rush to head back to the booth. Jesse stirs his drink with its glowy plastic stick and shoots Andrew little looks from under his eyelashes.
Andrew doesn’t know how he feels about Jesse’s sudden shyness; it’s endearing but it’s also strangely distressing because they’ve never been shy with each other before.
“Hey,” Andrew says, setting his beer bottle down next to his elbow and nudging Jesse’s foot with his own. “You doing all right?”
“Mm,” Jesse hums. He’s quiet for another couple of seconds but Andrew knows to wait him out. “Possibly I shouldn’t have come out tonight. I wanted to spend time with everyone but it’s all a little...” He waves both hands and his drink, presumably indicating the bar and the music and the crowds pressing in on them on all sides.
Andrew has never had a problem with crowds but he knows that Jesse likes his space. “Well, I’m only planning on staying for one drink,” he says even though he hadn’t actually had a plan until ten seconds ago. “Let me finish this and we can head off.”
Jesse frowns at him like he can’t tell if Andrew is lying or not. Andrew keeps his expression easy, smiling slightly.
“All right,” Jesse agrees and drinks a little of his drink. He makes a face. “Ugh. That’s disgusting.”
Andrew bumps his ankle against Jesse’s again. “So why did you ask for it?”
Jesse shrugs. “I, uh, I read a book and the main character always ordered them so I thought I’d try it.”
Obviously, Andrew thinks, what else? “Better in fiction?” he asks sympathetically.
Jesse nods. “Better in my head.” He tries another sip then gives up, putting the glass next to Andrew’s bottle on the bar. “Lots of things are better in my head.”
Andrew picks up his bottle, drinks half and leans further in toward Jesse. “What else?” he asks.
“Hm?” Jesse asks then clearly picks up the thread of the conversation. “Oh, um. Zombies, probably? Paris. Riding motorbikes. Public sex.”
Andrew chokes on his beer. “What?” he asks, still coughing. “Jesse Eisenberg, who have you been having public sex with?”
It’s hard to tell in the dark but he thinks Jesse is blushing. Still, Jesse is nothing if not open about, oh, everything.
“Anna,” he says, shrugging. “Years and years ago. It wasn’t very good; I kept worrying about getting arrested.”
Andrew finally catches his breath and laughs, leaning into Jesse and dropping his head onto Jesse’s shoulder while he giggles. “Of course you did,” he says softly.
When he straightens up, Jesse’s smiling like he’s pleased he made Andrew laugh. He always seems surprised when someone he knows finds him funny. Andrew’s glad that Jesse can talk about Anna and smile; he wasn’t sure where things stood with them and he knows he was a crap friend during their break-up, what with it coming so close to his own.
“Have you finished your beer?” Jesse asks Andrew and Andrew blinks, realising that he’s just been returning Jesse’s smile and completely forgetting to look away.
“Yes,” Andrew says even though he hasn’t. He puts his hand in the middle of Jesse’s back and steers him through the crowds and back toward their table.
Jesse stops half-way there and turns to Andrew. “If we go back to the others they won’t let us leave,” he says. There’s a smile turning up the very corners of his lips.
Andrew immediately falls into his game. “Maybe we should sneak out?” he suggests. “Before they spot us.”
Jesse nods seriously. “We’ll have to be very quiet,” he whisper-shouts.
Andrew tucks his hand into Jesse’s and tiptoes across the room toward the door. Half-way there, he spots Armie heading for the toilets and plasters himself to the wall.
“What?” Jesse asks, mouth directly to Andrew’s ear.
“Enemy spotted, six o’clock,” he says, tipping his chin in Armie’s direction, which may or may not technically be six o’clock; Andrew has no idea.
Jesse peers around him and then ducks back, pressing himself to Andrew’s side. “Do you think he saw us?”
The bar is hot and Jesse’s breath is cool on Andrew’s overheated skin. The way it flutters across his cheek makes him shiver.
“I think we’re okay,” Andrew breathes back at him, turning his head toward Jesse’s ear, “but we need to make a dash for it now.”
Jesse nods seriously and Andrew is reminded of the way they clicked immediately when they met that first time at the table-read, how they just immediately understood each other. “Now?” he asks and Andrew nods.
“Now,” he agrees and they run, ducking around people and sliding past the bouncers at the door, not stopping until they’re out in the dark night air, clutching each other and laughing and ignoring the way everyone around is looking at them as though they’re crazy.
“Where are you staying?” Andrew asks when he can finally talk.
Jesse shrugs a little. “The same hotel as you.” He says it apologetically, like that’s somehow a bad thing.
“That’s great,” Andrew tells him, pouring enthusiasm into his voice because sometimes Jesse worries about ridiculous things. “Come on, let’s find a taxi.”
“Sure,” Jesse says but doesn’t move. “Or we could walk?”
Andrew pauses; he likes walking but no one ever seems to walk in LA. “Okay,” he says, “Do you know the way?”
“It’s ten blocks,” Jesse tells him, “I’m sure we can find it.”
Andrew isn’t sure that he could find it, his sense of direction if appalling but he honestly has no objection to getting lost with Jesse so he agrees and they set off.
Jesse has never been a particularly fast walker so Andrew automatically slows his steps and they meander slowly down the backstreets, avoiding Hollywood Boulevard without having to discuss it.
“So,” Andrew says, breaking the silence, not because it was awkward but just because he likes to talk to Jesse. “How have you been?”
Jesse shoots him a look then looks forward again. “You email me every week,” he says like that’s a real answer.
“I do.” Andrew nods. “But sometimes you don’t reply.” He makes sure not to make it sound like an accusation.
Jesse stops, turning to look at Andrew. “That’s... That’s nothing personal,” he says. “Sometimes I just have no words.” Andrew nods; he knows. “And sometimes I have so many words that I don’t know where to start.”
He’s biting his bottom lip and Andrew feels bad for mentioning anything. He reaches out and smooths his thumb across Jesse’s bottom lip, freeing it form where it’s caught between his teeth. The skin of Jesse’s lip is incredibly soft, touching it sets off a little tingle in Andrew’s thumb, right down to the palm of his hand.
“I was only saying,” he says. “I don’t mind.”
Jesse nods, eyes locked on Andrew’s and Andrew tells himself to stop touching Jesse’s mouth but his hand completely fails to obey his brain.
“I missed you too,” Jesse says and the too throws Andrew for a minute until he remembers what he said back at the bar.
They’re one street away from Hollywood Boulevard but it’s quiet here, a gentle buzz of traffic but no one on the pavement with them. Andrew leans forward five inches and down two; he lets his mouth brush Jesse’s then freezes.
Neither of them moves for a couple of seconds and Andrew wonders if he should step back and pretend this never happened.
“Are you kissing me?” Jesse asks, voice muffled because he hasn’t stepped back either and their lips are still mushed together.
Andrew breaks away, wiping his mouth even though it’s still dry. “Yes, um, sorry about that.” He clears his throat. “Can we blame jetlag?”
Jesse grabs Andrew’s hand, fingers digging into his wrist. “No,” he says, “You only flew from New York.”
Andrew can feel his face getting hotter. He doesn’t really know what he thought would happen but he’d definitely thought Jesse would kiss him back, if only to be polite. Not that he wants polite kisses from Jesse. At least, not exclusively.
“Temporary insanity, then?” he says desperately.
“Andrew.” Jesse sounds firm. He tugs on Andrew’s hand. “It’s okay. Come on, let’s go back to the hotel.”
“Right.” Andrew hadn’t seriously considered kissing Jesse until ten seconds ago but in the secret thoughts at the back of his mind he’s wanted to do it for years and he feels empty, sad even, that nothing came of it.
They carry on in silence and now it is awkward. Andrew is cursing himself because what the hell was he thinking? Their friendship is incredibly important to him; he really hopes he didn’t just mess it all up.
Then Jesse clears his throat. “Oh hey,” he says, like nothing happened. “Did you know that when LA was founded, it was called El Pueblo de Nuestra Senora la Reina de Los Angeles de la Porciuncula?”
Andrew makes a concerted effort and focuses on what Jesse’s saying. He forces himself to laugh. “El Pueblo...?” he asks.
Jesse repeats it and Andrew tries to say it and they spend the next few blocks with Jesse mocking Andrew’s Spanish and Andrew trying to tell himself that this is good, nothing has been fucked up, they’ll just go on as they always have.
Then they reach the hotel, get in the lift and Jesse says, “All right, okay,” apropos of nothing.
“Okay?” Andrew asks, which is as far as he gets before Jesse walks toward him, backing him into the corner. “Jesse?”
Jesse puts a hand on Andrew’s shoulder, palm warm through Andrew’s jumper, and leans up to kiss him. Andrew’s brain skitters but he’s aware enough to memorise the soft drag of Jesse’s lips, the quick flicker of his tongue against Andrew’s, the way he tastes sweet like rum and coke, before the lift stops at Andrew’s floor and Jesse steps back.
He backs toward the opening doors then frowns. “That was okay, right?” Jesse asks quickly. “I mean, with the whole -” he waves a hand, “thing back there, I kind of figured.”
Andrew exhales shakily. “Yes,” he says sincerely, “that was absolutely okay.”
The lift doors start to slide closed and he reaches past Jesse, putting his hands between the doors so they spring open again.
“It would be, um.” He wants to say that it would be okay if Jesse were to kiss him again but that would sound like a line. It’s true but it would still sound like a line and Andrew never wants to give Jesse some cheesy line. “Come back to my room with me?”
Jesse’s eyes flicker a little wider but he nods and follows Andrew out of the lift.
Andrew has only spent two minutes in his room so far so it takes him three tries to remember which direction it’s in. Jesse very politely doesn’t mock him, just follows him up and down the corridor and lets their shoulders bump when Andrew considers giving up and kissing Jesse again right here.
Finally, he spots numbers that look familiar and manages to get the door open after only his third attempt. Considering Andrew’s usual relationship with keycards, that’s actually pretty good going.
“Okay, so this is, um. Me.” Andrew trails off, lets the door close behind Jesse and then sticks his hands in his pockets, smiling a little at how supremely awkward he feels.
Jesse smiles back, looking just as rueful as Andrew feels. “We could -” he starts to say at the same time that Andrew says, “Would -”
Andrew laughs softly. “I was going to say would you like to sit down. What were you going to say?”
“Oh.” Jesse bounces a little on his toes. “I was going to say that we could pretend this never happened, but I like your idea better.”
Andrew waits for him to sit down on the bed then sits next to him. The duvet cover is strangely slick in that way that they only ever are in hotels.
“Do you want to pretend this never happened?” Andrew asks, not feeling too panicked because he doesn’t think Jesse would have sat down if he didn’t want to be here.
“No.” Jesse shakes his head. “Really not.” He leans forward hesitantly, not closing the distance all the way and Andrew suddenly can’t stand the suspense, bridging the gap and kissing Jesse rather harder than he means to.
“Sorry,” he says, drawing back a hairsbreadth.
“Don’t be,” Jesse says and brings their mouths back together. He licks Andrew’s bottom lip and Andrew can’t do anything but brace a hand on the bed and lean into him, sharing kisses and trying not to smile after every one of them.
Jesse’s hand drifts up to the collar of Andrew’s shirt, stroking first his throat then his collarbone. “You’re wearing a lot of clothes,” he says, when he breaks off from kissing Andrew’s mouth to kiss his jaw.
Andrew blinks. “Would you like me to take some of them off?” he asks. It’s a little fast but he’s game if Jesse is.
“Oh.” Jesse pulls back, hands falling to his lap and flailing there. “That wasn’t what I... I mean, not that I don’t want, but that wasn’t what I was saying. I was just. It was an observation.”
Andrew laughs and finds he can breathe again. “Okay,” he says. He grabs hold of both of Jesse’s hands, stilling them. “Then, in answer to your observation, yes, I am. It was cold in New York and I didn’t take the time to change.”
Jesse turns his hands over in Andrew’s, trapping it and stroking his thumb over Andrew’s knuckles. “Were you in a rush?” he asks.
“To see you, yes,” Andrew answers honestly then realises that fuck, now that definitely sounds like a line. Jesse smiles, rolling his eyes but, “No, no,” Andrew says desperately. “I meant that. I mean, god, pretend I didn’t say it, but I definitely meant it.”
Jesse squeezes Andrew’s hand. “Maybe we should stop talking?” he suggests which is an excellent idea.
“That’s an excellent idea,” Andrew tells him. When they lean it to kiss this time, it already feels more natural, both of them somehow knowing which way to tilt their faces so their noses don’t collide.
Jesse’s kisses are soft and generous. Andrew has never given a lot of thought to how Jesse might kiss - just the idea of getting to kiss Jesse had been enough for him, technique hadn’t really factored - but if he had, he would have thought Jesse’s kisses would be less smooth, more jerky, matching his natural nervous energy. Jesse doesn’t seem nervous right now though, licking the corner of Andrew’s mouth and pressing the tips of their tongues together.
“Jesse,” Andrew breathes and is about to follow that up with something that will probably sound horribly sincere and embarrassing when his mobile vibrates in his pocket.
“Fuck,” Andrew snaps, jumping and only just managing not to bang his forehead against Jesse’s. “Sorry.”
“S’okay,” Jesse says, letting go of him.
The text is from Justin. where did you go??? :((( it says and Andrew feels a little bad.
sorry he writes back knackered. See you in the morning. :)?
“Justin,” Andrew tells Jesse then looks up and stops, blinking. Jesse has kicked his shoes off and pulled his feet up onto the bed and he’s leaning back against Andrew’s pillows. He smiles crookedly when he sees Andrew staring at him.
“I’m really bad at sitting upright,” Jesse tells him with an apologetic little shrug.
“Right,” Andrew agrees because he knows that and then he’s crawling across the bed, stopping when he’s beside Jesse.
Jesse tugs on Andrew’s arm and Andrew moves it obligingly, putting his hand flat on the duvet next to Jesse’s far shoulder so that he’s bracketing Jesse with his arms.
“Is this okay?” he asks, suddenly breathless because he has Jesse underneath him, fully dressed but flushed and a little rumpled.
“It’s great,” Jesse says and Andrew has to kiss him again.
Things get lost and foggy then, the whole world narrowing down to the slick drag and press of their mouths. Jesse’s hands move up and down Andrew’s back, exploring and making Andrew want to arch back into the touches. It’s harder for him to know where to touch Jesse because Jesse’s lying on his back and touching his chest feels like he’s trying to get too intimate too quickly. He compromises by tracing the soft line of skin where Jesse’s t-shirt ends and his bicep begins.
“That tickles,” Jesse tells him, twitching and laughing.
“Sorry,” Andrew says, chagrined. “I just don’t know where to -” He flutters his fingers against Jesse’s shoulder helplessly.
“Ah.” Jesse nods and then, in a move that takes Andrew completely by surprise, he flips their positions.
Andrew stares up at him, bemused. He’s the one with his back pressed to the bed now; Jesse’s the one bracketing him.
Jesse makes a face. “I live alone in a big city and I worry about everything,” he says, “so I took some self defence classes.”
“You’ve learnt well,” Andrew tells him, trying to keep his voice level and not let on just how much getting manhandled around the bed by Jesse apparently turns him on.
“Not really.” Jesse shrugs. “That’s the only thing I remember how to do.”
Andrew laughs, curling up and kissing Jesse’s cheek, right where the soft brush of his stubble is starting to come through. “You’re marvellous,” he says, which is nothing that he hasn’t told Jesse a dozen times before, but it feels more important this time.
Jesse makes a face. “Not really,” he says, “but you like me, so I must be doing something right.”
“I do like you,” Andrew agrees, secretly thrilling because that’s one of the least self-deprecating thing he’s ever heard Jesse say.
Some more kissing happens then because it turns out that it’s really hard to be lying on a bed with Jesse and not be kissing him. When they break for air this time, Jesse touches the corner of Andrew’s mouth. “You smile every time I kiss you,” he says, wonderingly.
Andrew feels his cheeks get hot but he’s still smiling so it’s not like he can deny it. “Maybe I like it when you kiss me,” he says.
Jesse ducks his head. “I hope so,” he confesses to Andrew’s chest.
Andrew wraps his arms around Jesse and for one blinding second, he’s absolutely terrified because this feels too good, too right. It feels important and he only came to LA to catch up with his friends; he didn’t come for any life-changing realisations.
“How do you feel about sex?” Andrew blurts out, just to distract himself, and then he cringes because oh god, did he honestly just say that?
Jesse doesn’t look repulsed though. He tilts his head as though he’s genuinely considering it. “I wouldn’t say I was a connoisseur,” he says thoughtfully, “But as an amateur, I’m definitely enthusiastic.”
Andrew laughs, the coiling tension in his stomach springing loose. This is Jesse he reminds himself; he isn’t going to stop being Jesse just because Andrew may be a little in love with him.
“I was really just thinking aloud,” Andrew tries to assure him, tracing the line of Jesse’s spine with his fingertips. “We don’t have to have sex tonight.”
Jesse hesitates as though he wants to be brave and seriously suggest sex but can't bring himself to. At least, that's how Andrew's feeling. Then, “More making out though?” Jesse asks.
Andrew nods, tangling his fingers in Jesse’s hair to pull him back down. “Oh yes, definitely more making out.”
Andrew wakes up to the static-y blast of an untuned radio right by his ear. He groans and tries to roll over only to find that he’s pinned to the bed a warm, clinging weight.
“Jesse,” Andrew mutters, pulling his arm free and rolling over to deal with the radio before his brain wakes up and he realises that wow, yes, he is sharing a bed with Jesse right now.
First things first, Andrew deals with the radio, slapping all the buttons until the static stops and then glaring at the bright red clock display which tells him that it’s only 7:34 in the morning.
“Wha’?” Jesse slurs sleepily and Andrew can hear him shifting around on the bed behind him.
“Someone left the alarm on but the radio’s not tuned,” Andrew tells him, rolling onto his back and staring up at the ceiling. His eyelids feel gritty, heavy, but he’s awake now.
Jesse, apparently, is not, because he mumbles in response and presses his cheek against Andrew’s shoulder, rubbing his morning stubble against Andrew’s bare skin like a cat. Andrew makes a help me face at the ceiling because, seriously, he is in so far over his head right now, and rolls onto his side to, well... There’s no way to describe what he’s planning to do other than watch Jesse sleep.
Jesse sleeps like he’s crammed into a very small single bed rather than one half of a large double. He’s on his stomach, his arms folded underneath himself and his face pressed straight down into the gap between their pillows. It doesn’t look at all comfortable, which is the reason why Andrew touches his back, stroking his curls off the nape of his neck and replacing his fingers with his lips.
“Jesse,” he whispers.
“Mm,” Jesse agrees, voice muffled by the pillow. “That’s me.”
Andrew’s smile rushes up before he can control it, spreading his lips wide and leaving him with just his teeth pressed against the back of Jesse’s neck. They’re probably not at the stage where biting is acceptable, he thinks, and sits back a little.
“You don’t look comfortable,” he says, tugging lightly on Jesse’s shoulder. “Come on?”
“Where am I going?” Jesse asks, allowing himself to be moved and letting out a little, “Oh,” when Andrew urges him around to curl into Andrew’s side, put his head on Andrew’s chest.
Jesse goes stiff and he seems to be holding his breath. Andrew isn’t sure how he messed this up, but he thinks he might have done. Jesse was supposed to relax not freak out.
“I just thought this would be more comfortable?” Andrew says, hearing the way his voice rises at the end, an uncertain question.
He feels Jesse physically force himself to relax. “Yes,” Jesse says, “Yes, it is.”
“But?” Andrew strokes his hand down Jesse’s back. Jesse’s wearing a t-shirt together with his boxers, but Andrew is only wearing underwear and Jesse’s breath huffs warmly across his bare chest.
Jesse sits up, looking down at Andrew with sleep-puffy eyes and his hair falling into his face. “I can’t just casually cuddle you in the mornings. It literally doesn’t occur to me,” he says in a rush, sounding much more awake and like he’s confessing to something that he thinks is going to change Andrew’s mind about him. “I’m terrible at easy affection.”
“Not with me,” Andrew reminds him because he sounds like he’s woken up mid-panic attack and Andrew knows that if he doesn’t nip it in the bud, Jesse will work himself up horribly about this. “You’ve never had a problem being affectionate with me.”
It’s true: during the press tour for The Social Network, Andrew’s mum used to text him every time a new picture hit the internet asking if he was sure that he wasn’t having an affair with his co-star - and only half of the hugs in those pictures were initiated by Andrew.
“I...” Jesse deflates. He drops his head back onto Andrew’s shoulder and curls his hand around Andrew’s side so hard that he’s treading the line between clinging and clutching. “Sorry. Sometimes I suck at mornings.”
Andrew turns his head and kisses the corner of Jesse’s mouth. “It’s okay,” he says. He waves a hand at the now-empty side of the bed. “If you need your space, I completely respect that.”
“Mm, no.” Jesse’s voice is sleepy again, missing the panic-induced clarify of a minute ago. It makes Andrew feel like he’s navigated something important. “I’m here now.” He presses in closer, moving his head around Andrew’s shoulder like Andrew is a pillow and he’s looking for the most comfortable spot. “Wake me up in a couple of hours and I’ll give you a blow job.”
Andrew had been letting his own eyes drift closed again but they spring open now. “Wait, really?” he asks but Jesse only snuffles and doesn’t answer.
Andrew doesn't get back to sleep, but he's happy to lie in bed, semi-dozing and listening to Jesse's soft snores against his chest. (He's not going to tell Jesse that he snores; he'd probably get self-conscious about it. Or announce it to the world the next time he's on a red carpet. You never know with Jesse.)
He's definitely not counting down two hours because he's not going to hold Jesse to that blowjob promise, it just so happens that he finally has to give in to the urge to pee around the time that Jesse has been sleeping for two hours and three minutes.
Carefully, he eases out from under Jesse, which is hard with Jesse's hand still clamped tightly around his side, just above his hips. Jesse rolls straight over into Andrew's space once Andrew has finally slipped free, rubbing his nose against the fitted sheet and muttering to himself.
Andrew tells himself firmly that if he's going to stand here watching then he's not allowed to have a dopey expression on his face and then, luckily, his bladder reminds him why got out of bed in the first place so he makes himself walk away.
Once he's been to the loo, he stares at his reflection in the mirror over the washbasin, inspecting the corners of his eyes for clumps of sleep and his teeth for any unattractive gumminess. He looks okay but he splashes water on his face anyway and has a quick gargle with some mouthwash. Somehow, that feels less like he's making assumptions and banking on getting laid than cleaning his teeth would.
Jesse's awake when Andrew walks back into the bedroom and Andrew suddenly can't think of anything to say to him. Andrew always has something to say even if it's mostly inane so this sudden choked feeling in his throat isn't very pleasant.
Jesse smiles, eyes uncertain. "Um," he says, "If you were planning to sneak out then sorry for being upright and I can totally pretend to be asleep, if you want."
That's all it takes to break Andrew's sudden shyness. He laughs. "Where would I go?" he asks. "It's my room." He holds up a finger before Jesse can say anything else. "And no, I don't want you to go, either."
He moves back to the bed and crawls over toward Jesse, leaning straight in for a kiss before this can get any weirder. "Good morning."
Jesse kisses him back for two seconds then pulls away. "Oh," he says, "That's not fair. You cleaned your teeth; now I'm the only one of us who isn't minty fresh."
Andrew thinks about telling him that he didn't technically clean his teeth but he knows that isn't really the point. "I don't mind," he says, "Minty fresh is overrated."
That doesn't seem to sway Jesse. "Now that was just a charming and politely English way of confirming that my breath stinks, wasn't it?" He ignores Andrew's laughing denial and swings his legs out of bed. "Stay there; I'll be back."
"You can use my toothbrush," Andrew calls after him, watching him walk to the bathroom. The back of his boxers is rucked up over his arse on one side and it's ridiculously hopeless and endearing.
Jesse whips his head around to stare at Andrew. "That's a terrible practice to get into. It increases your risk of contracting hepatitis C by something like eight percent." He actually waggles his finger at Andrew. "So don't do it."
Andrew holds up his hands. "All right, Mum," he promises and doesn't tell Jesse that he's never offered to let anyone do that before, not even Shannon.
“Okay,” Jesse says five minutes later, when he’s back in the bedroom and smelling so strongly of Andrew’s mouthwash that Andrew wonders if he took shower in it.
It’s not beyond the realms of possibility that he did.
“Okay!” Andrew says brightly, no idea what they’re talking about but liking to be agreeable.
Jesse’s slightly worried expression wobbles into a smile. “I mentioned something about a blowjob, I think.”
Andrew’s coherence takes a dive through the floor. “Y-yes,” he stutters, “but you were at least two thirds asleep so it wasn’t a binding commitment.”
Jesse looks at him closely for a minute then folds down on the floor between Andrew’s knees.
Andrew gulps so loudly that he nearly inhales his tongue.
Jesse puts his hands on Andrew’s bare knees and leans his weight into Andrew’s thighs. “I want to say something suave here about how I always keep my promises but, well.” Jesse is stroking his thumbs along Andrew’s inner thighs as he speaks and it makes it hard to concentrate on what he’s saying. “There was this one time when I was seven and I promised my mom I’d stay right next to her in the grocery store but I didn’t and this nice lady had to carry me to the security guard because I was lost and crying so hard that I was choking on my own snot and -”
“Jesse.” Andrew usually loves it when Jesse rambles but he’d really rather not hear about snot right now.
“Right.” Jesse clears his throat. “Blowjob, right.”
“Or,” Andrew hears himself say and his dick starts demanding to know what the hell he thinks he’s doing - which is a strange experience in itself. “We could just kiss some more?” (He likes the term making out better but, unless he says it with an American accent, he thinks it makes him sound like Hugh Grant trying to be cool.)
“Hm,” Jesse hums. “Later. I want to do this first.” His hands are steady-ish on Andrew’s hips, steadier than Andrew’s feel anyway, as he coaxes Andrew’s boxers down.
Andrew flexes his thighs, lifting his arse off the bed long enough for Jesse to pull his boxers down to his knees. He’s half-hard and the sudden rush of cool air against his dick makes him shiver and gets him all the way there.
“Oh,” someone says and Andrew thinks it’s him until he lets himself look at Jesse’s face and takes in the wide-eyed way Jesse is looking at Andrew’s erection, the careful way he reaches out to trace the shape of his circumcision scar.
“Jesse,” Andrew groans. Jesse ducks his head, breathing carefully on Andrew’s belly until Andrew’s voice disintegrates to a quiet, “Please.”
“Okay,” Jesse agrees, just as quietly then closes his lips around the tip of Andrew’s cock.
Andrew swallows back half a dozen expletives, the only sound making its way out of his mouth a high-pitched groan that he would be embarrassed about if he could think of anything but the hot, tight suction of Jesse’s mouth.
Jesse doesn’t take him particularly deep but what he does take, he does marvellous things to, tracing patterns with his tongue while his hand takes care of the rest. His other hand is lying on Andrew’s thigh and Andrew grabs it, lacing their fingers together, probably holding on too tightly but Jesse doesn’t complain.
“This is going to be embarrassingly fast,” Andrew warns him, grabbing hold of the duvet and locking his knees so he doesn’t thrust up into Jesse’s throat.
Jesse pulls off with a pop. His lips are dark and wet when he looks up at Andrew and it makes Andrew’s stomach turn all the way over. “Fast would be good,” Jesse tells him, biting his lip which only makes his mouth puffier. “My knees hurt. Or can we move this up onto the bed?”
“Absolutely,” Andrew agrees quickly, propelling himself backwards up the bed. That turns out to be too far away from Jesse though because Jesse is slower to get to his feet, so Andrew bends forward, touching Jesse’s face, bringing him into a kiss.
“My mouth tastes like your cock,” Jesse warns him, kissing his chin instead of his mouth.
“A minty fresh version of my cock,” Andrew reminds him and kisses him properly, licking Jesse’s teeth and the secret space below his tongue. Jesse gets his hands on Andrew’s shoulders, pushing him back. Andrew goes easily because Jesse is following, pressing Andrew’s back down into the pillows and climbing on top of him to kiss him deeper still.
“You’re very bendable,” Jesse says, hands still on Andrew’s shoulders but thumbs stroking his collarbones now.
Andrew shrugs. “A little,” he agrees. He’s slept with a few people who were only interested in how many directions he could bend himself and what he could do while he was down there. He’s pretty certain Jesse isn’t like that though; Andrew tried to show him how to do the splits once and Jesse’s eyes watered so hard that one of his contact lenses washed out.
Jesse tips his head to one side. “Can you give yourself a blowjob?” he asks.
“Not since I was fifteen,” Andrew answers immediately because he’s tried and his back just doesn’t flex like that any more.
“Good,” Jesse says, smile spreading. “I’d hate to be unnecessary.”
"You're always necessary to me," Andrew tells him and means it.
“Shh,” Jesse tells him. His cheeks go wonderfully pink and he bends his head, kissing his way down Andrew’s chest. Andrew fists his hands in the sleeves of Jesse’s t-shirt - why is he still wearing his t-shirt? - and tries not to swear too loudly while Jesse kisses and licks his nipples.
“Do you like that?” Jesse asks, looking up and propping his chin on Andrew’s stomach. “Nipples do nothing for me.” He ends the question by biting Andrew’s left nipple and Andrew thinks that the way he swears and groans and comes probably provides all the answer he needs.
His orgasm feels like being punched in the stomach but in a fantastic way, but then it’s over and there’s nothing for Andrew to do except drop an arm over his eyes, thinking that his whole face is probably pillar box red right now.
“Oh my god,” he groans, “That’s not an indication of my usual staying power. Honestly.”
Jesse doesn’t say anything and Andrew risks a glance up at him. Jesse is staring down at his stomach where the bottom of his t-shirt is splattered with Andrew’s come.
Oh yes, Andrew is both suave and debonaire. Crap.
“You got come on my shirt,” Jesse says, sounding perplexed and, underneath that, edging toward amused.
“I did,” Andrew agrees, pushing himself up on rubbery elbows and crawling over to put his head on Jesse’s thigh, watching Jesse flap his t-shirt curiously. “You bit my nipple.”
“I wanted to see what would happen,” Jesse says then laughs.
“Which you did,” Andrew agrees, laughing too. He turns his face into Jesse’s leg, toward his knee because the t-shirt flapping is getting a bit vigorous and Andrew doesn’t particularly want to get hit in the face by his own come.
Jesse stops flapping and then there’s some shifting which Andrew is too hazy to pay much attention to until Jesse clears his throat and says, “Just to warn you, I’m now shirtless. You know, just in case you wanted to put on some shades to ward off the blinding glare or something.”
Andrew sits up and turns around so quickly that he makes his neck crack. He’s known Jesse for years by now, but he’s never seen him without a shirt on. It’s thrilling enough to take his remaining breath away.
“No, no, don’t stare,” Jesse says, crossing his arms across his chest. His skin is pale and hairless, his nipples small and pink; Andrew presses his palm right in the centre and strokes carefully with his fingertips.
“What would you like?” Andrew asks, watching Jesse’s skin dimple under his fingers.
“World peace?” Jesse asks then, “Sorry. I mean you could, um, just touch me?”
Andrew smiles. “Yeah, that’s okay.”
He curls an arm around Jesse and walks his other hand down from Jesse’s chest to his belly. Jesse sucks in his stomach then giggles, sagging against Andrew’s side and whispering quiet words that Andrew can’t hear while Andrew slides his hand into Jesse’s boxers and pulls out his cock.
“What are you saying?” Andrew murmurs, starting to stroke Jesse’s erection, touching the damp-sticky head.
Jesse shakes his head, tucking his face against Andrew’s neck. “Just telling myself not to come.”
Andrew grins. “You should,” he says, squeezing harder to match his words, “I did. It was great.”
Jesse chuckles breathlessly and pushes his hips forward into Andrew’s hand. “I’m savouring it,” he says and Andrew loves how his voice has dropped lower, how it breaks on every other syllable. “You’ll find this hard to believe, but this doesn’t happen to me every day.”
“I do find that hard to believe,” Andrew says. “I think -”
He breaks off when the tinny sound of Radiohead fills the air. Jesse lifts his head. “Radio alarm again?” he asks, confused.
“No,” Andrew sighs, “that’s my phone.” He strokes his thumb over the head of Jesse’s cock. “Ignore it.”
“Can’t, I’ll worry forever,” Jesse says regretfully, patting the duvet then pulling out Andrew’s ringing phone with a pleased sound.
He answers it before Andrew can stop him, pressing it to his ear. “Hello, Andrew can’t talk right now, we’re having sex,” Jesse says and drops the phone on the floor.
“Who was that?” Andrew asks, not taking his eyes off the way Jesse’s dick is still pushing through his fist.
“D-don’t know,” Jesse huffs. “Justin, hopefully. Not your mom.”
Andrew laughs, dropping his head onto Jesse’s shoulder, still watching. “Let’s not talk about my mum right now.”
“Only, only your hypothetical mom,” Jesse tries then gives up. He curls his hand around Andrew’s wrist. “That’s great, that’s really, really... Please don’t stop.”
“Not stopping,” Andrew promises. He’ll do this forever if that’s what Jesse needs. Apparently it’s not though because it isn’t much longer before Jesse is making the most amazing noises and shaking against Andrew’s side, coming wetly over Andrew’s fingers.
Together they sort of flop sideways, tangled up in each other on top of the bed.
“Phew,” breathes Andrew eventually, just to make some sound.
“You know,” Jesse says conversationally, turning his head lazily, “the first time I had an orgasm, I was sure I’d broken my dick.” He pokes lazily at his lap. “This time though, I think you might really have managed it.”
Every time Andrew thinks he couldn’t get fonder of Jesse, Jesse manages to one-up himself. Andrew rolls across the bed and sits up, bending low to kiss Jesse’s soft cock. It twitches.
“I think you’ll be okay,” he promises. Jesse smiles so Andrew has to kiss him too.
By the time they’ve finished kissing, Andrew has his head on Jesse’s shoulder, tracing shapes across Jesse’s remarkably smooth chest. “You’re marvellous,” Andrew tells him.
“You always say that,” Jesse says, but he sounds pleased not as though he’s criticising Andrew’s lack of originality.
Andrew shakes his head because Jesse honestly has no idea. “That’s because I’m too nervous to say what I really mean,” he blurts. Jesse raises his eyebrows and Andrew feels his courage slip away. “Um, that I...” he flounders. He takes a deep breath. “When I say that, I really mean that I love you rather a lot. Okay?”
Jesse’s mouth and eyes go perfectly, identically saucer-like. He nods his head slowly. “Okay,” he says faintly. He swallows, reaches over and squeezes Andrew’s hand. “Definitely okay. Yes. Definitely. Oh, I said that already, didn’t I? Yes.”
“Jesse,” Andrew starts, embarrassed.
Jesse darts forward, cutting him off. He kisses him hard, once then shifts back. “I love you too,” he says so fast that Andrew would ask him to repeat it if that wouldn’t be horribly cruel, then, “Sorry, I need to be facing this way, now.”
Andrew watches him while he rolls over, curling onto his side, presenting his bare back to Andrew. It isn’t cold in the room but Andrew still reaches over him and pulls up the duvet to cover him to the shoulder. “Okay?” he asks, kissing Jesse’s shoulder.
“What, yes,” Jesse says, turning his face into the pillow. “Just if I look at you right now I’m going to blush so bright that airplanes will divert from LAX. Give me a minute.”
I love you, Andrew thinks but doesn’t say again. “Okay,” Andrew says, “Take your time.”
He slides into bed too and spoons up behind Jesse, fitting their knees together.
“If it’s okay with you,” Andrew says, “I’m going to use the back of your shoulder as a pillow.”
“That’s okay with me,” Jesse agrees. He sounds like he’s smiling.
Andrew presses his face into the back of Jesse’s neck. He curls his hand around Jesse’s hip and tries to even out his breathing. This should feel weird, he thinks, the sex wasn’t weird and the kissing wasn’t weird, but this is when it should definitely get weird. Except it doesn’t; he’s lying in bed with his best... with Jesse - with his best Jesse, yes, that’s a good way of putting it - and nothing feels weird at all.
They eventually manage to crawl out of bed around mid-afternoon and then they have to give in and answer some of the nine million texts that the others have sent them since last night.
“Patrick wants to know if we’re making it to dinner tonight,” Jesse reads from his phone.
Andrew looks up from his screen. “Joe wants to know if we were really having sex.” He grins. “At least we know for sure that it wasn’t my mum who called.”
Jesse smiles too and puts his phone down, starting to reach across to Andrew then aborting at the last moment, dropping his hand back down to his side. Andrew sidles up to him and takes his hand.
“Maybe it was your mom,” Jesse says quietly, “and maybe she called Joe once she’d gotten over dying of shock.”
“Maybe,” Andrew agrees and nudges him in the thigh with the back of his hand. “If I were to hold your hand throughout dinner, would you object?”
Jesse hums. “Not object, exactly, but it might make eating difficult.” He chews on his lip for a while then says quickly, “So you want to go to dinner then?”
Andrew squeezes his fingers. “It is why we came here, after all,” he says. “Plus, don’t you want to see the others?”
“Yes,” Jesse says determinedly after a minute’s thought. He looks from Andrew to the bed once, wistfully, then straightens up. “Let’s go.” He leans in close. “But we can have more sex after, right?”
“So much more sex,” Andrew assures him. He doesn’t let go of Jesse’s hand, just uses it to drag Jesse across the room and through the door. It’s sort of a shock to remember that there’s a world out here populated by more than just the two of them.
“You’re not going to be lame again tomorrow, right?” Justin asks, pushing aside his glass of wine to lean right into Andrew’s space. He’s wearing his Serious face so Andrew adopts his Listening one. “Universal Studios, baby.”
Sometimes, Andrew wonders if Justin is really real. He laughs. “We- I’ll be there,” he promises, hesitating for a second when he nearly says we’ll be there. He’s not sure if he and Jesse count as a ‘we’ yet, although he’d very much like them to.
Justin nods solemnly. “Had to check, man. You totally disappeared on us today. Can’t have that happening tomorrow when I need a buddy for the Simpsons ride.”
Under the table, Andrew squeezes Jesse’s hand and wonders if it’s too soon to explain exactly what they were doing today instead of being sociable.
Joe saves him before he can make up his mind, or try to read an answer into the tap-tap of Jesse’s thumb against his wrist. “Justin, man,” he says, throwing an arm around Justin’s neck and dragging him back out of Andrew’s space. “It’s okay. Next time we’ll know that Andrew and Jess need an extra day for tearful reunions before the rest of us descend.”
“Sure.” But Justin still looks rather put out. Andrew would definitely feel more guilty if only he’d had slightly fewer orgasms in the last twenty-four hours.
Joe gives Justin a little shake. “It’s a special club for Oscar nominees.” He winks exaggeratedly at them. “An intimate and exclusive club.”
“Do you have a club for Oscar winners, then?” Jesse asks innocently and Joe blushes exactly the way he’s blushed ever since winning for supporting actor last year.
The others turn on him, laughing and teasing him, and Andrew relaxes. He turns to Jesse, grinning, and Jesse smiles back, just about letting Andrew see that he’s pleased with his deflection techniques.
“What I don’t get,” Armie says, aparently not as distracted as everyone else since he’s looking from Jesee to Andrew and back again, “is why you guys don’t see each other all the time. You both live in New York now, right?”
It’s something Andrew has wondered too and something that he’s tried really hard not to get upset about. They had dinner when Andrew first moved to New York but Jesse has managed to avoid agreeing to any of Andrew’s suggestions that they hang out since.
“I don’t like to inflict myself on people,” Jesse says. “They might get tired of me.” He sounds like he’s joking and Armie laughs but Andrew knows, the way he knows Jesse, that Jesse isn’t just making that up.
Armie snorts. “Right, like Andrew ever gets tired of you,” he says which, huh, is exactly what Andrew was about to say too.
“Exactly,” Andrew agrees, tucking himself in tighter against Jesse’s side and putting his head on Jesse’s shoulder. He tips it back to make it more of a show since they’re in public, rather than pushing his face into the warm space below Jesse’s chin the way he would if they were alone. “When we get back to New York, you should show me Central Park.”
Jesse turns his head, looking down at him with his eyebrows raised. “You’ve lived in New York for four months; you could have taken yourself.”
Andrew has, in fact, but that’s not the point. “That’s not the point,” he says and hopes Jesse gets that it’s him Andrew wants to see not a park.
Jesse stares at him. “All right,” he agrees eventually, not quite meeting Andrew’s eyes, “I’ll show you around New York.”
Andrew beams up at him. That’s step one. Now all he has to do is convince Jesse that no matter how much time they spend together, Andrew will never get bored of him, and then they can be happy forever in New York together. Easy. He’s warm and content and curled up against Jesse while their friends have a great time around them and it all feels like it’s going to work out exactly as it should.