16 October 2009 @ 09:59 pm
They stopped speaking to one another for a week, after the first time they clumsily and guiltily got each other off, teeth clenched and eyes tightly shut. It was easier not to look or speak; sharing a quiet language of searching hands, startled moans choked into hisses and gasps. Silence became habit for them even as they grew bolder, slipping in the dead of night into each other's beds. In time it became a practiced yet spontaneous ritual; an odd and easy contest of wills to see who'd give in first to the chill and their desires and close the distance between them.

At first, it was almost always Neil; not weaker in will but more given to adventure, less afraid of the gravity of their trespasses. Not to imply, of course, that Todd was less willing; he scrambled eagerly over to the far side of his narrow bed as soon as he heard Neil's covers rustle, the heavy breath spilled as bare feet hit the cold floor. As the weeks of nights went on he grew bolder, often slipping silently beneath his friend's sheets even before the sounds of stirring outside had wholly abated.

And so (much later) it was usually Todd who took the lead, hands on his friend's narrow hips. Always deliberate, by nature steadier and more focused than Neil. And though the dark-eyed boy always came quickly and wildly, as reckless and eager in love as in all other things, neither had any complaints. Except, perhaps, that this seemed to be something real; not a product of close quarters and a dearth of options, the comforting lie they'd both tacitly agreed to when this started.

It bothered Neil more; the whole future of the world rested on his shoulders, in his father's eyes, and doubtless finding out his firstborn and only heir was a faggot would crush Tom Perry, and he would lash out. And then, Neil knew, the cozy little world he'd built would descend around him. Neil had never hated his father; perhaps, Todd privately thought, he should. Every challenge, every outrageous expectation was a sacred duty for Neil, and though he'd already made up his mind that he wouldn't give Todd up, it was a difficult choice to live with. He feared and revered his father, withering in the face of his disapproval.

For now it would be easy enough to get away without saying anything. Secrecy was vital anyway because of where they were; if the administration learned of their deviance, separation would be the least of their punishments. But for once in his life, Neil took the long view of things; in a few years, doubtless, the question of grandchildren would be raised, and then what?

Todd was nearly as upset by these fits of doubt; they were the only times Neil ever failed to listen to him. In any other matter he would consider, if not defer to, Todd's judgment; but when it came to his future, his father, no argument could sway him from his apocalyptic moods. Todd understood; even if he mattered little in his family's eyes, he saw the same thing in Jeffrey-- the weight of being the hope for tomorrow, the responsibility conferred by favoritism. It was easy to forget, in light of his own quiet resentment... but at times like this, Todd was almost glad to be neglected.

So at length he stopped even trying to reason with Neil, pulling him out of his spiral with insistent distractions instead. And though this was arguably more problem than solution it always worked; in time Neil's shoulders would unstiffen and he'd fall into his roommate's waiting arms, reminded of what, exactly, defiance bought him.
 
 
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