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I'll Follow

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Chadwick throws the first party. It's brilliant, it sets the mood, creates Wakanda even outside of set, and Michael knows exactly what Chad's doing--being the leading man, creating an atmosphere, team building, and admires him even more. He's been learning the man from afar, keeping his distance but watching carefully the way Killmonger would. He takes another drink--he's drinking more than usual--not a lot because he's still working out three times a day and the role is to be surly and sullen and full of rage, but also to be sharp and deadly. So he's drinking as in focusing on the act of it, holding it in a fist, raising it decisively to take it all in one swallow before throwing the glass down, prowling onto the dancefloor, body moving like he doesn't give a fuck.

 

But then Danai and Florence bump into him, pull him into a dance along with some of the other girls from the Dora Milaje and hair and makeup and he hugs them, all smiles and "Let me get your drinks," as the Killmonger mood drops off his shoulders.

 

He doesn't go up to Chadwick after all, watching him throw his head back and laugh that full laugh, the little part in his front teeth, the way his eyelashes are so long they're visible even in these neon lights. Better for the role, he tells himself. And so you don't have to look him in the eye after jerking off thinking about how his lips looked tightened around the straw on his protein shake at lunch, a part of him responds back. Michael bites his lower lip, dancing back into the circle of women with drinks and dimples on display, staying where it's safe.

 

 

The second party is even more amazing. It's his birthday. And everybody else's. There's a theme, they have official costumes from set for Coming to America, and it's the very definition of for the culture.

 

So when the third is at Chad's again--though he hired one of his million cousins to do the actual organizing--Michael expects something similar. It doesn't disappoint, of course, but two months into shooting, they've bonded, they are Wakanda, and they've been going hard on shooting and training and having the weight of the world's expectations on their shoulders and at this point they're already living the culture and what everybody needs is to let loose. This one becomes a rager.

 

Chadwick shows up late to his own house, bringing Coogler and some of the people from set with him.

 

By then Daniel's on the bar with his shirt off, with Titia whistling and throwing dollar bills at him and it's obnoxious and it's beautiful.

 

"Man you got a lotta catching up to do," Winston helps Michael line up shots, waving a hand in welcome, and Lupita pulls Chadwick into their collective dance, a little less drunk than the rest of them.

 

Michael watches them for a minute, not sure what the twinge in his chest is about, but it calls for another drink, and more dancing. Definitely more dancing.

 

He's been working so hard there's been no time to meet anyone, and he's tried not to get distracted anyway--even now, weaving in and out of the circle of girls dancing up to him, dancing up to Chadwick instead, who smiles and puts his drink down to join him.

 

They dance off against each other. Don't try to compete, he tells himself, the man knows his shit too good. But Michael's drunk and he's been so good, he deserves to be a little young and stupid, dancing a circle around Chadwick and posing.

 

"This y'all's king?" He yells out, gets a laugh and some claps. But Chad's already dancing up to him, in his face, grinning, and it's on.

 

She want it I can tell she want it Want me to push up on it 'Fore she know when I'm all on it We get the party going liquor flowing this is fire 50 and Jeremih number one there's nothing higher

 

It's a throwback that's on the speakers, getting people out of their seats if they sat down. Michael laughs drunkenly and drops his ass with each beat.

Say you independent
Get it from yo mama

Lifts his shirt to show off the way his abs move with it. 

Tell me if you with it
Do you really wanna

 

The girls cheer and whistle as he backs it up at Chadwick who only encourages him. There are hands on his hips, steering. They're just playing and it's fun and so what if there's heat in his belly. He hasn't even had a chance to jerk off in a few days, it's been that busy. He just has to make sure not to get inappropriate.

 

Except Michael's a little more drunk than he should be--getting into Killmonger's head all those months hasn't gone away yet--and it's hard to care about what's appropriate. Chad's warm against his back, dancing him over to the side where it's dark and they've lost their audience, and the heat pressing up to his ass instead of backing away makes him grind even if he shouldn't and Chad still doesn't move away. Puts his arms all the way around him even, one hand sliding maddeningly up his chest, pulling him closer, until their bodies are touching all the way down, hips rocking against him, slowing and hot and it's dark, no one will think it's weird, they're just--messing around. Chadwick's mouth is brushing on the side of his neck and his ear when he talks. Michael has no idea what he said, shuddering boneless and needy and he's so fucking hard he can't think straight.
 

The thing is, Michael's only ever dated one person. Slept with a grand total of three and none of them have been guys, and he's great at taking his shirt off but maybe it's because he never goes farther than that.

 

The thing is also that Chadwick is always busy, always working, and that's not fair because so is he but when the man looks at you, when he laughs, or leans in for your selfies, you feel like you accomplished something. It's some hero worship mancrush bullshit he has for an awesome older guy. That he sometimes jerks off to when he can't sleep. Or can't wake up. Or needs a distraction from post workout soreness in the shower. Ok so it's a pattern--whatever. It's 2018, he's sure he can handle whatever direction his sexuality's headed in. Chad's a beautiful guy, it's normal to feel this way. He just has to be cool about it when he's actually in front of Chad and not make it fucking obvious by--moaning and letting his head fall back on the man's shoulder just because--just because he's what, putting his mouth all over the side of his neck?

 

So this part. It's not Michael's fault at all. He was just dancing. A little more extra than he had to be with the shirt lifting and twerking in Chadwick's face, but just. Dancing. He wasn't the one who put hands on Michael's hips, danced them over to where they were totally in the dark, pulled him close until their bodies were touching, mouthing--definitely biting, those are teeth, jesusfuck--

 

He's as scared as he is turned on, adrenaline setting his heart on a deafening sprint in his chest, mouth dry and wordless, he tries to keep moving with Chadwick's arms around him, hips matching rhythm like they know each other and what to do whether Michael's paying attention or not.

 

The song changes.

 

His back is cold, and he tries not to embarrass himself by losing his balance just because Chadwick's not there to hold him up anymore, and he's got a plan. He'll get another drink--go to the bathroom--or maybe duck out to his car and put a hand down in his jeans, real quick, and.

 

A hand tugs at his wrist, "You coming?" He hears Chadwick this time, and follows without knowing where he'd agreed to go. Without needing to know anything more than it's Chadwick.

 

Chapter Text

He follows Chadwick down the hall to the office.

Can't quite look up, meet the man's eyes. He doesn't know what's happening, but he feels like he did the wrong thing somehow--

Chadwick is running both hands through his hair, hands over his head. The air shifts in the room. So no more touching. Ok.

 

"I'm sorry," Chadwick starts.

"Look man, it's cool, whatever it is."

"No, it's not, I shouldn't have--"

"Yeah what the fuck was--" Michael stops himself, running a hand down his face, "Nope, nevermind dude. It's all good. We good. Imma go, and we can forget all this, ok?"

"Okay," Chadwick's eyes are dark and earnest and--too much, frankly. Michael walks out.

 

Then walks right back in.

 

"Okay, but you wanted to kiss me, right?"

"What?" Chadwick's backing away as he steps forward until Michael has him backed into his own desk.

"I just gotta know. You wanted to."

"Michael, you're very young, you--"

"Nope, not what I asked, I asked if you wanted to kiss me." He's looming despite being just that tiny bit shorter and Chadwick's face starts tipping down the barest inch it takes to line their mouths up, like magnets finding each other as soon as they're close. Michael smirks, the burning in his chest flaring with painful triumph. "Thought so."

 

And then he leaves. 

 

-

 

The Warrior Falls scenes are scheduled to be shot over the course of a whole month. A whole month of being mostly buttass naked in the freezing cold, now with added sexual tension. Not that there hadn't always been sexual tension, but now Michael knows there's sexual tension and it's worse.

Chadwick's getting some close up shots in front of the green screen, ducking under the stunt guy's staff sweep, when Michael enters the set and shrugs off his blanket. He winces as Chadwick looks up at him and stares instead of remembering to duck the staff, angry at himself for the gratified flare of heat in his belly and the way he's already stepped across set to where Chadwick's on his knees in the water, holding fisted hand close to his chest, jaw working from the pain.

 

"Here," Michael pulls out swabs from the pocket of his Killmonger BDUs, starting to clean Chadwick's hand and check the damage before Ryan manages to call "Cut!" and one of the ADs comes over to check on them, trailed by assistants and first aid kits and ice.

He's been living in the costume as much as possible and at this point with all the boxing training he's been doing, his pockets carry everything from a ringside gauze kit and steri strips to a mini cold pack. He takes out a tube of ointment and rubs it into Chadwick's knuckles--the rest of the world, the way the rest of the crew and cameras move on to work on something else while they wait--fades out with the slide of his thumb on Chadwick's skin, the way his mouth opens when Michael rubs into the ridge between each knuckle, wet eyelashes catching sun and making Michael's insides soft like a candy bar left out in summer.

 

"Will I live?" one side of Chadwick's mouth is curved up in a smirk that would look infuriating on anyone else. On him, with that raspy southern lilt, it's just--sweet. Warm.

Michael swallows, letting his hand go instead of holding on any longer, or doing anything even more stupid like, maybe kissing it--he's not even horny, he just wants to make it better. "Maybe don't be so busy checking me out next time," he shoots back, keeping his voice too low for anyone else to overhear.

Chadwick's eyes flicker down over his chest, shirt cut open to show off the prosthetic kill-count scars, come slowly back up like a palpable touch trailing up his skin, and Michael shivers. Shakes his head before sauntering away as if to say yeah I like it when you look at me. We know that already. You're the one who won't do anything about it.

 

-

 

Michael's never been a big fan of wearing clothes to start with. Winter's trailing on a little still, but by the time they've been shooting for an hour, he's soaked in sweat and really everyone's lucky he keeps these long pants on. He can say it's got nothing to do with making Chadwick shift uncomfortably in his purple loincloth costume and pulling shorts over them, but that's more than just an added bonus.

 

Chadwick is almost visibly antsy today, and for once it's got nothing to do with him.

No, Michael knows--hates that he knows, hates that Chadwick's become more than just a tight body and a great ass and is now an actual person saved into his phone with his whole ass middle name and a thermometer emoji. No, he knows Chadwick's moods, his stressed look, the way he's clicking and unclicking his pen over a section of his script instead of writing anything, checking his phone during every break in shooting--someone he's supposed to call, someone to reassure him about this. His brother this time, judging by his body language, shoulders scrunching down, making him look smaller somehow, like a younger sibling--takes one to know one--but comfortable. Fuck all of this, really.

 

He goes to stand over Chadwick, waiting for him to look up.

"You're wearing a shirt." Chadwick blinks up at him consideringly.

"I'm like 31. You should fuck me."

Chadwick chokes on his protein shake and spits it out. It's a mess.

Michael hands him a sheaf of napkins, shrugging. "Anyway, think it over, lemme know," he mutters and walks away, unzipping his kale-soaked hoodie and balling it up in one hand. He'd almost said date.

 

Date me.

 

-

 

So it didn't work. He didn't think it would, but shoot your shot and all that. No one ever said he was the type to play it safe. And now he can finally, by the grace of the lord, take someone from this party home tonight because he has the weekend off from shooting and nothing else scheduled.

He eyes a tall guy with army tattoos with a relatable aversion to wearing a shirt, probably to show off the tattoos, and takes a sip of his drink. The guy looks back at him--Production assistant? Location guy? Brian something, maybe--and Michael tilts his head and smiles slightly, knowing the dimples are doing all the talking for him.

 

He turns around to face the bar when a familiar arm comes to rest against his side, body pressed too close behind him, chin resting on his shoulder as another arm reaches around him to put a drink down on the bar.

"Thought you didn't wanna fuck me," he doesn't whine, exactly, but Chadwick smells really fucking good and he wants to maybe throw something in his face or nose at his neck and breathe deep and never move away.

"Do you just offer that to everyone that looks at you, in exactly those words," Chadwick's wrinkling his forehead at him when he turns to look and Michael honest to black Jesus almost punches him in his not-cute spaced out front teeth.

"Don't slut shame me man, your loss is everyone else's gain," he leans back into that warm body, making sure his ass is snug against Chadwick's thigh, hungry for a reaction, and there it is--Chadwick sucking in a breath fast with his mouth open. It sets him on fire.

 

"Am I bothering you?" Chadwick husks in his ear.

"Yeah, yeah you botherin’ me, I'm tryna get laid, not die from sexual frustration."

"So sorry," Chadwick presses into him more to reach around him to the bar to hold his drink for no reason, "Didn't know you were so frustrated."

"I wouldn't be if you would just--" he shifts his ass against him, feeling for the ridge of heat--there, fuck, he's hard too and it makes Michael shameless, even knowing he's practically grinding and it's dark and crowded but it's still public--he can't seem to stop responding to the way Chadwick's touching him, finally, even if it's just to ward off anyone else, because he's so far gone that that's hot too, and his body's taken over and speaking for him with yeah, do you feel my ass on you do you like that do you wanna be in it-- 

Chadwick grabs his wrist and he doesn't know if he's in for another talk or what but what's he going to do, not follow?

 

"Listen--" Chadwick's dragged him into a literal coat room and is closing the door behind him.

But Michael is shaking his head, already nuzzling at his neck and putting his hands all up under Chadwick's shirt so all he gets out are some satisfyingly choked noises as Michael unbuttons his pants and drops to his knees to nuzzle his face on Chadwick's dick like they couldn't be walked in on any minute. And Michael just mouths his cock through his boxers and pushes his whole face on it before doing his pants back up and walking away, leaving Chadwick standing there hand in his own hair, with any luck, wondering where he went wrong in life.

 

And if later that night he gets a video message from Michael just putting his hand inside his boxers, not showing anything other than the bulge and then Michael's hand moving under the cloth, and a "I came thinking about the face you made when I was rubbing on you," well, he brought that on himself too.

 

Because Michael could've gone home with someone else, maybe multiple someones if he wanted--but no. He kissed the man's fucking dick through his boxers and went home alone to jack off and send a tastefully R-rated video like he's got nothing better to do. Because he doesn't even want all of that anymore, he just wants to kiss Chadwick's stupid smile and make him laugh and touch his hair and suck his dick. So.

Yeah.

 

-

 

His first fight scene with T'Challa is wrapped. There'll be callbacks at the end, he's sure, knowing Ryan. Warrior Falls is the centerpiece and it'll get a revisit after everything else is shot and will probably be where they wrap the movie, but for now, they've moved on, and he's on set more. Trying to hold on to the Killmonger sullenness in between takes instead of noticing how Chadwick is antsy again. That his big afterlife scene with John Kani is today, and he's doing the pen clicking and phone checking thing again that Michael's trying really hard not to focus on.

 

A bottle of Martinelli's lands in front of him. Chadwick joins him at the table.

"Oh, we friends now?" is what comes out of his mouth, light and teasing, eyes trained on his phone and refusing to look up for at least a minute.

Chadwick rolls his eyes at him, long fingers twirling his pen before starting back up with that incessant clicking.

"Okay," he says at Chadwick who looks up, "Sure you're not the good guy in the throne room scene. You knew who I was and didn't acknowledge me. But you only found out the night before. You didn't have time to process. You had a lifetime to love your father and look up to him. He's your hero, your whole world. One night of knowing he did something unthinkable isn't enough time to overwrite that." Michael gestures, almost vibrating from the way Chadwick seems to be hanging on to his every word, resisting the urge to puff his chest out like an idiot. "But you played the fight like you didn't want to win, and it got you killed. So when you see him this time, and he's welcoming you, you gotta keep in mind that you weren't mad at me or yourself, you were mad at your daddy."

"I'm mad at T'Chaka. Hm." Chadwick frowns, turning away, absorbing, "When I'm fighting you, I'm mad at him." He walks off.

 All that intense focus gone just like that.

The sudden loss makes Michael crave it, think crazily that he'd do anything to get it back, go after him, fuck up his own afterlife sequence that he has to shoot in an hour with Sterling, where he's gotta be able to cry himself. Which suddenly doesn't seem that hard. And finally, finally, somewhere inside the Killmonger persona he’s been wearing like an armor around himself all this time, it hits him why he needs to fucking stop.

Stop all of this.