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John was never really one for cuddling. It was something Alex couldn’t quite understand, but he was just a slut for physical affection. With John, he was really lucky he got as many kisses as he did. John never held hands, he didn’t really like it when Alex would try to put his arm around him, and he sure as hell was not a cuddler. Which was fine, Alex still loved him—he just wished, sometimes, that John were a tad more affectionate. But it was fine. Totally fine.

Because sometimes, John would cuddle. Some nights, some really rare nights, Alex would get into bed near three in the morning and as soon as he settled in he would feel John roll closer and wrap every limb around Alex as if he were the only thing that mattered in the world. In those moments, Alex barely dared to breathe just in case it disturbed John and woke him up enough to realize what he was doing. Though Alex was never sure just how asleep John was in those moments, he would let the other boy believe that Alex thought he was asleep.

And on some even rarer occasions, he’d find John’s head nestled into his shoulder, side, or even on his lap. He would get the sweet treat of running his fingers through John’s curls, the other not even caring how frizzy it was going to be in just a few minutes. Sometimes he would feel John’s breath grazing against his cheek, or tickling that one spot just above his hip that he swore John found any reason to touch or be near just because he knew it was a sensitive spot for Alex. Sometimes he would even get the opportunity to wrap both arms securely around John, feel the other nuzzling into his chest, and in those moments he would soak in as much of John’s warmth as he could.

Alex lived for those moments. He lived for the days John would touch him gently, brushing fingers over skin or running hands through his hair, in a completely non-sexual but still intimate way. Of course, he loved the sexy stuff, too, but that wasn’t as hard to come by. John wasn’t very feels-y and touch-y, but he was horny as hell. Alex really loved that, really loved when John did make it a challenge, but he knew that wasn’t such a rare side of John. He was well aware that he wasn’t the first person to see that side of his lover, many more came before him. But this sweeter side of John? The side that brushes his hair out of his face and pulls him closer when they’re watching a movie and plays with his fingers when they’re waiting in line. The side that drops soft kisses against his cheek before he leaves. That side? He couldn’t give an exact number, but not many people had seen that side of John before. He wasn’t naive enough to believe he was the first, but he liked to believe he didn’t share much company there. Maybe one or two other lucky men in the world, and hopefully he would be the last to witness it.

And maybe to say that John wasn’t feels-y or touch-y is unfair. John isn’t touch-y in the same ways that Alex is. Alex fully flops his body onto people, rubs his face against whatever part of John’s body is closest like a fucking cat, and kisses every square inch of John’s skin. Alex needs skin to skin contact at all times. Alex needs attention, direct affection. Alex is needy. John isn’t.

But John tries to give Alex what he needs, in the small ways he may know how. He’ll sit next to Alex when he’s laying on the couch and use Alex’s head as an armrest. He’ll let Alex hug him for a few seconds longer than he may want to. He’ll even initiate some of the hugs himself, and let Alex decide when to let go. John sits closest to Alex, he may not sit hip to hip but he’ll sit on the same cushion as Alex. Close enough that even if they aren’t touching, Alex can feel his presence. And he won’t move when Alex closes that gap.

Physical affection doesn’t come as naturally or fluidly to John. He feels strange and awkward with it, but he’s learning. Slowly but surely, he’s trying to get there, because he knows it’s something Alex craves. Sex and passion and aggression, those all come fairly naturally - but tender touches, what the hell is that?

And Alex knows he’s trying, which makes every small effort even more beautiful and magnificent in his eyes.

John was never really one for cuddling, but it was something he was willing to try out as long as it was Alex.