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Only A Kiss

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Arrive at the Ministry. Give them your wand, tell them your name and let them judge you.

Walk into the Atrium and try to avoid the crowds. When people whisper, pretend not to notice. Walk faster and refuse meet anyone’s eyes.

Wait by the lifts until they empty, even if it means you’re going to be late for work. Don’t put yourself in small spaces with people who think you deserve to die.

Sit at your desk, work on your reports. Think about the mundane details of your wedding. Think about the napkins, whether to serve lamb or steak and make a mental note to enquire about a discount on the champagne if you buy in bulk.

Look at her picture so you can remember how lovely she looks when she smiles. Tell yourself you love her, convince yourself you could. When you think you can’t, try harder. Fight the voice that whispers his name. Be strong, for a change.

Check your watch. It’s time.

Walk with your head down. Adjust your cloak, adjust your robes. Check your hair is in place, make sure you look as good as you can. For you, not for him.

Pray to anyone who’s still prepared to listen to a man like you. Tell yourself to stop being a coward, remind yourself that you don’t need anyone to save you. Don’t cry. Even when it burns and twists inside you, swallow it down. Bury it.

Build up your walls. Build them strong, build them high. Make sure they don’t come crumbling down as soon as he says your name.

Knock on his door.

Remind yourself that you cannot, under any circumstances, try to kiss Harry Potter.

Don’t kiss him.

Don’t kiss him.

*

When Harry first kisses Malfoy, his mouth is hot and sweet like butterbeer. Malfoy is just as demanding in kissing as he is with everything else, lips insistent and eager. His hands slide over Harry’s body and his fingers twist in Harry’s robes, tugging him close. Harry goes easily, pushing Malfoy back against the wall and sinking into the heated kiss. He bites back a groan when Malfoy moves against Harry in a moment of wild abandon, their cocks pressing together as they try to seek out some blissful friction.

It turns out the taste of caramel and sugar are the only things sweet about the kiss, because Draco Malfoy is a twat of epic proportions.

“It seems like the articles were right.” Malfoy pulls back, flushed and breathless with a mean glint in his eyes. “You really do like cock.”

He’s more gleeful than he should be for someone whose hard-on was prodding into Harry’s thigh less than a minute ago. Not to mention Harry was minding his own business when Malfoy said fuck this, Potter and kissed Harry like a drowning man seeking air. You would think the—clearly ill-advised—kiss had been Harry’s idea from the mean slant to Malfoy’s smile, the triumphant tilt to the curve of his lips and his usual haughtiness.

“Seems like I’m not the only one,” Harry says. He gives Malfoy’s crotch a pointed look and folds his arms, to stop any more kissing in its tracks.

It certainly wasn’t Harry’s fault that another one of Malfoy’s twice-weekly complaints about Harry’s expenses claims was rudely interrupted by a bout of enthusiastic snogging. Not that Harry was exactly complaining about the unexpected turn of events. Malfoy might be a stuck-up prick at times, but his frequent visits to complain about Harry’s book keeping stopped being quite as unwelcome a long time ago. Harry is, admittedly, relatively new to this being interested in wizards lark, but ever since Harry started noticing everything from Malfoy’s stupid hair to his maddening drawl and the insolent curl of his lips, he’s starting to suspect he has very bad taste in men.

“It’s a purely physical reaction,” Malfoy retorts. “I like witches. Only witches.” He jabs a pointy finger into Harry’s chest, his skin pale and creamy. He’s a bony little idiot, as sharp and angular as his crisp turns of phrase. If Harry hadn’t responded with quite such unfiltered enthusiasm to Malfoy’s advances, he would have been perfectly within his rights to report him to Shacklebolt for being the horniest accountant Harry’s ever come across. Malfoy should think about that before he goes around kissing people and then insulting them for kissing back.

“Purely physical reaction my arse.” Harry gives Malfoy’s finger a pointed look. “You’re also still touching me.”

Malfoy prods his long finger into Harry’s chest again, with a low growl of aggravation. “Don’t think you can spread rumours about me, Potter. Nobody would believe you.”

Harry rolls his eyes. Everyone would believe him. If it’s a choice between believing Harry Potter or believing Draco Malfoy, he’s fairly sure he’s going to win, and he suspects Malfoy knows it. Because it might make him a knob if he pointed that out, Harry doesn’t say anything at all. Not least because Malfoy’s cheeks have a strange flush to them, his jaw tilting with bravado Harry doesn’t quite believe. He sighs and stuffs his hands in his pockets, looking away from Malfoy with a scowl. He has a horrible feeling he knows where this is going, and why Malfoy is being so insufferable.

“You’re not interested in wizards, then?” Harry keeps his voice heavy with sarcasm. “You were probably just trying to help me with my tax return. I hear attacking Aurors with your lips is a great way to get their self-assessments completed. Those strategy meetings in finance must be like a Hufflepuff post-N.E.W.T. party, discussing methods like that.”

“I wouldn’t know, Slytherins weren’t invited,” Malfoy says. He glares at Harry. “It was hardly an attack. I’m getting married. To a witch,” he adds, as if Harry might dare to presume otherwise, having just had his tongue down his throat.

“Bully for you,” Harry mutters. “Does your fiancée know you’re here? You’ve got a weird way of going about implementing amendments to Ministry financing practices, Malfoy. If you want me to change the way I’m accounting for something, you only have to ask. Better yet, send an Owl.”

“I’ll send a Howler if you can’t keep your books in order.” Malfoy’s face is tight and pinched, his expression sullen. “Astoria—my fiancée Astoria Greengrass, I expect you don’t know her as you’re hardly part of the same circle—is quite happy with the way I undertake my job.”

Harry raises his eyebrows. “Do you tell her you grind against wizards in their offices after yelling at them about their expenses?”

“I wasn’t grinding,” Malfoy snaps. His cheeks are duskier than before. “I was simply responding to your lascivious way of doing things.”

“Fine, whatever.” Harry resists the urge to point out that kissing someone first is hardly responding to anything. Nobody gets excited about accounts, so the only explanation is that Malfoy got off on the earlier kiss and is now backtracking spectacularly. He’s tempted to just throw Malfoy out on his arse, but there’s something about the way he looks so buttoned-up and angry that makes Harry’s chest tight. He swallows. “Look, err, I don’t want to pry but you know there’s nothing wrong with being—”

“—shut up, for the love of Merlin just shut up.” Malfoy has a wild-eyed look about him and he scowls at Harry. “I’m getting married and I don’t need any words of wisdom from you, thank you very much. Don’t expect an invite.”

“Wouldn’t dream of expecting one.” Harry glares at Malfoy, the familiar anger he tends to incite returning. “Enjoy your wedding, I hope you don’t choke on the cake.”

Malfoy leaves without another word, slamming the door behind him.

*

Considering Malfoy was very clear about the whole I’m straight and getting married thing, it comes as something of a surprise to find him half way through a bottle of red in the kind of establishment the Daily Prophet describes as undesirable.

“Of course you would be here, tonight of all nights.” Malfoy glares into his wine and doesn’t look up. “I suppose you want a glass of my wine?”

“I prefer pints, thanks all the same.” Harry orders a lager and takes a seat at Malfoy's table. It's a quiet night, he tells himself. It's not because he wants to spend the evening with Malfoy, or that he hasn't been able to get the annoying dickhead out of his head since that one unsettling kiss. “I didn’t expect to see you here.”

“Astoria left me.” Malfoy takes a sip of his wine. He looks more unkempt than usual, his hair ruffled and his Muggle shirt unbuttoned at the collar. It's odd seeing him out of formal robes, in Muggle clothing. His open shirt reveals a pale swatch of skin, his messy hair giving him a rakish look that makes Harry's mouth water.

Harry has an inkling he might know why Malfoy’s fiancée left him, but he thinks it’s better not to mention that. “I’m sorry.”

“Why? You don’t know her, or me.” Malfoy glares at Harry. “You probably think I’m like you.”

“Excuse me?” Harry raises his eyebrows at Malfoy. He doesn’t think anything of the sort. They couldn’t be more different.

“Because I’m here. You probably think I like witches and wizards, like you.”

“Oh. No, I don’t think that.” Harry takes a long drink of his lager. He suspects it would be a lot easier for Malfoy to live happily ever after with a witch if that were the case. Something about the whole sorry situation gives Harry the same, tight-chested feeling he had when Malfoy looked cross and unsettled in his office a month ago. They haven’t seen one another since, and the papers have been full of society gossip about the upcoming nuptials of the sole heir to the Malfoy family fortune. Harry’s been trying to put Malfoy to the back of his mind and get on with things.

Malfoy’s throat works. “Father is furious.”

“It’s your life, not his,” Harry replies. He tries not to sound angry at the mention of Lucius Malfoy. He’s not sure it would help. “Is it the money?”

Malfoy snorts and mutters a curse under his breath. “Hardly.”

Harry searches for something else to say. “Does he know why Astoria left?”

Malfoy winces, drains the rest of his glass of wine and pours a fresh one. “You don’t know why Astoria left, you shouldn’t just make assumptions.”

Harry glowers at Malfoy and bites back the urge to say based on Malfoy’s extra-curricular kissing habits, he has a fair idea. “If you stopped being so evasive, I wouldn’t have to try so hard to fill in the blanks.”

Malfoy sighs and finally meets Harry’s eyes properly, his thin lips twisting into a bitter smile. “Astoria decided that closets are extraordinarily uncomfortable places, even if they come with an overpriced property in Kensington, a significant increase in wealth and a husband that is highly unlikely to look at another witch for the duration of the marriage.”

“Fuck me.” Harry takes another drink of his pint, wishing he’d gone for something stronger. “Astoria’s a—”

“—lesbian, yes.” Malfoy looks down. “Laugh, if you must.”

Laughing is the last thing Harry wants to do. In certain circumstances the irony of it might be amusing, but Malfoy looks wretched.

“Is that why you kissed me?”

Malfoy’s eyes narrow. “Yes, Potter. I kissed you because my fiancée’s gay. I thought it might save our relationship.” He snorts and mutters under his breath. “Of course I didn’t kiss you because of that, you stupid pillock. I didn’t even know, then. For some reason she assumed I knew from the beginning.”

“I can’t imagine what might make her think that.” Harry resists the urge to roll his eyes and chooses his words carefully, even though part of him wants to say ha! I knew you wanted to get off with me. “It doesn’t matter anyway,” he says, aiming for breezy and unbothered. “It was only a kiss.”

Malfoy smiles wryly and tops up his wine, watching Harry over the rim of his glass. “That’s where you’re wrong.”

Something about Malfoy’s expression makes Harry’s heart quicken and he frowns at him. “Everything I’m saying seems wrong at the minute.”

“Not everything.” Malfoy shrugs. “But you’re wrong about that. It’s never only a kiss.”

At last, something they agree on.

*

Harry goes for a piss, full of questions about Malfoy's unexpected announcement. What's he doing here of all places? It's not as though the pub is subtle about catering largely to a crowd of wizards who like other wizards. It's featured enough times in sanctimonious press articles that Harry's sure Malfoy isn't oblivious to any of it.

He's washing his hands when the toilet door opens with a bang. Malfoy meets Harry’s gaze in the mirror, his expression somewhere between furious and desperate.

“I assume you remember the last time we were in a bathroom, Potter?”

“Clear as day.” Harry dries his hands on a paper towel, chucks it in the bin and turns to face Malfoy. “What’s the plan this time?”

“The plan?” Malfoy’s incensed expression is rich, considering he’s the one barging in on Harry and bringing up the past.

“Yeah.” Harry keeps his voice level, even as his heart drums with anticipation. “You’re either here to hex me or fuck me, and I’d like to know which if it’s all the same to you.”

“I don’t want to fuck you,” Malfoy says with sneer. He moves closer to Harry, his breath warm and boozy on Harry’s face. “Get over yourself.”

“I think you do.” Harry catches Malfoy’s wrist with his hand and closes the distance between them. Malfoy’s body is a tightly coiled line, as if he just needs one nudge and he’ll lose the last modicum of his control. “Why are you so scared of it? I probably wouldn’t say no.”

Definitely wouldn’t say no. Harry has been trying to avoid the fact that ever since their angry kiss in his office, a certain person has wormed his way into Harry's thoughts with alarming regularity. He might as well admit it, now. He hasn't been able to stop thinking about the kiss, the hungry press of Malfoy's lips and the persistent image of Malfoy unbuttoned, untidy and well-kissed, his face flushed with arousal.

“I’m not scared of anything. Least of all you.” Malfoy twists his hands in Harry’s jumper, his breath sliding over Harry’s lips. “I’m not surprised you’d say yes. You’re probably desperate for it.”

“Not particularly. I do alright, thanks.” Harry’s almost embarrassed by the way his voice gets low and sandpaper rough, but if Malfoy’s dark eyes are anything to go by, it doesn’t seem to be a problem. He slips his arm around Malfoy’s waist and keeps their bodies close together. It comes as a shock to realise Malfoy is already fully hard, his breath coming in jagged huffs. Harry takes a bold step and brushes his lips against Malfoy’s maddening neck which he's been itching to get his lips on all night. Malfoy shivers in Harry's arms, a light sound escaping him. Merlin. Harry mouths over Malfoy's neck as he practically trembles in Harry's arms, before whispering against his skin. “I don’t think I’m the one that’s desperate for it. I think you are, even if you hate yourself for it.”

“Fuck you,” Malfoy says. His voice is reed thin and shaky, and he pulls back. He stares at Harry and for one charged moment, Harry thinks Malfoy is going to start kissing him again. He doesn't. Instead he shoves Harry in this chest and keeps pushing, until his bony hands curl into fists which he thumps against Harry's chest, fingers clutching onto his jumper once more. “Fuck you, you fucker!” His voice rises, his lips stretched in a narrow line, cheekbones high and flushed. “You don’t know the first thing about me.”

“Stop,” Harry says. He catches Malfoy’s hands before he starts pummeling Harry's chest, and finds it’s surprisingly easy to still him. He deflates before Harry’s eyes, his anger draining away like the water that drips into the sink behind them. He heaves a breath, straightens himself and yanks away from Harry. He looks smaller than usual, his mussed up appearance making him seem more out of control than the Ministry Malfoy with not a hair out of place. There's something lost and young about his expression, and it reminds Harry of walking in on Malfoy back at Hogwarts. He clutches the sink and his face works as he battles with whatever demons are waging a war inside him.

“It’s okay,” Harry says at last. He knows it's just platitudes, but he wants Malfoy to believe it.

Malfoy laughs, bitterly. “It’s not okay just because you say it is.”

“I know.” Harry touches Malfoy’s arm, keeping his movements gentle in case the shoving starts again. “I’m just trying to let you know, you’re not alone.”

Malfoy runs the tap and splashes water on his face, using his sleeve to wipe away the water. He looks at himself in the mirror and brushes his fringe from his forehead before turning back to face Harry.

“You don’t know a thing,” he says. His lips twist into a strange smile, his face pinched and haunted. “I’m as lonely as I’ve ever been.”

Harry swallows around the lump in his throat. There’s something so raw and painful about Malfoy’s bitter confessions, he isn’t sure how to respond. In the end he settles for solidarity. “You’ve got me.”

“Do I?” Malfoy holds Harry’s gaze. Eventually, he snorts and pushes past Harry. “Come on, Potter. I’ve got a bottle of red to finish.”

Harry follows Malfoy back into the bar and sits back at their little table, even if he doesn’t know why he’s there, why he cares, or why Malfoy deserves anything other than his own company. Harry never been the sort to leave someone broken or wounded, and by all accounts that's exactly what Malfoy is at the minute. He can't tell if he's helping or making things worse, but he can't help but feel his company is better for Malfoy at the minute than no company, even if Harry is the last person Malfoy would ordinarily choose to confide in.

They drink in silence as the bar busies around them and the music starts to play in the background. The usual thump of popular dance tracks gives way to powerful ballads of love, loss and freedom. Harry watches Malfoy, who seems to be listening to the lyrics. He takes in the way Malfoy fiddles with his shirt collar, the hand he passes over his eyes. His throat works and his jaw tightens. It's as though he's trying hard to swallow back powerful waves of emotion as the music crescendos, fighting against the tumult Harry hasn't experienced with such powerful intensity, but he thinks he understands.

Harry can't say he knows exactly what Malfoy's going through, but he gets part of it. The heart palpitations, the fear when when it dawned on him that he wasn't looking at Quidditch magazines for news about forthcoming matches at all. He remembers sweaty hands and hot cheeks as he told his friends about his interest in wizards. His stomach still squirms when he reads another article in the Prophet that makes him feel like he's doing something he should be ashamed of, with comments about his lifestyle choices sprinkled into the piece with an air of judgment.

“Where’s home?” Malfoy asks, breaking the silence as the soaring, haunting ballad about secret love songs ends.

“Grimmauld Place.” Harry finishes the last of his beer and pushes his melancholy thoughts away. “Why?”

Malfoy’s throat works. “Take me there?”

Harry doesn’t have to answer because they both already know he will.

*

“Father used to tell me,” Draco says, unbuttoning his shirt with slow precision, “that there are things that men don’t do.”

“Did he indeed.” Harry huffs and tries not to stare too obviously at the way Malfoy’s fingers shake as he undoes his shirt. They Apparated to Grimmauld Place and Draco—Harry supposes he should think of him as Draco if there’s going to be more weird kissing—marched them straight into the bedroom, as soon as Harry pointed him in the right direction. “It sounds like your dad doesn’t know shit.”

“Don’t.” Draco’s eyes flare and his hands still. His jaw works. “I’m allowed to say it. You aren’t. You haven’t earned the right.”

Harry actually has every right to pass comment on the things Lucius Malfoy has done in the past that make this whole situation even fucking stranger, but he somehow feels pointing that out isn’t going to help anything.

“Fine. You’re not allowed to be a prick about my friends either.”

“Potter.” Draco sighs, his smile wan. “I’m always a prick. You should probably know that if you’re going to fuck me.”

Harry stares at Draco. There’s something impossibly sad about the resignation in his tone, and as much as Harry wants to do whatever it is they’re about to do, he’s not sure he wants to do it like this. He’s already had one person cry when he tried to kiss her, and he’s not that keen to repeat the experience.

“I’m not fucking you,” Harry decides. “Not like this. That’s what you want, isn’t it? You want me to fight with you, so you can put it down to anything that isn't wanting it, wanting me.” Wanting another man, Harry adds, silently.

Draco’s eyes glint in the half-light of the room. He shrugs off his shirt and places it tidily on a nearby chair. He kicks off his shoes, tugs off his socks and settles on the bed. He props his head up on the pillows, his pale chest and bony feet catching in the moonlight. His legs are long, lean and dark in his black trousers and he watches Harry with an unreadable expression.

“I need a smoke,” Draco says at last. “That or a large Scotch.”

“Tough.” Harry yanks off his boots and sits on the bed. “I’m not doing this because you’re angry or because you’re pissed. Kreacher’s going to have my arse if you light a cigarette in here.”

Draco’s lips twitch. “I didn’t know you and your house-elf had that kind of relationship.”

“Shut up.” Harry rolls his eyes and stretches out, propping himself up on his elbow and looking down at Draco. “What the fuck are we doing here?”

“I don’t know.” Draco closes his eyes and his chest rises and falls, his breathing unsteady. “I think I’m coming out.”

“To me?”

“Who else?” Draco opens his eyes again and wets his lips with his tongue. “Who else would I possibly choose?”

“Literally anyone else, I’d have thought.” Despite himself Harry smiles at Draco. “You have friends. I’m new to this. I’ve only just started doing those interviews with the Prophet because Hermione made me.” Harry pauses, his smile fading. “Anyway, you hate me.”

“I don’t hate you.” Draco sounds tired. “I haven’t hated you for a very long time, I’m not sure I ever did.”

“Okay.” The confession brings with it unexpected relief and Harry runs his fingers down Draco’s chest, taking in the way his breathing falters. “I’m glad you don’t hate me.”

A soft sound escapes from between Draco’s lips and it sends a pulse of need through Harry’s veins. He doesn’t know what it is about Malfoy that’s got him so sensitised to every flicker of his eyes, every small confession. It’s Draco and it’s Harry and he’s got no right to feel this overwhelming urge to make things better.

Draco’s breath leaves him in a soft hiss and he rubs a hand over his jaw. “You must have known something was going on. I came into your office twice a week, for months.”

“I didn’t,” Harry replies, honestly. “I’m rubbish at admin, Hermione’s always telling me that. I just thought you liked complaining about it.”

Draco laughs under his breath. “I did, I suppose. I didn’t give a fuck about your admin though, not really.” Draco blinks, tipping his head to the side to look at Harry. “Just you. I’m really very gay, Potter. Despite what I might have told you—or myself—in the past.”

Saying it out loud has an immediate impact on Draco’s physical appearance. The tension in his body that kept him in a rigid line on Harry’s sheets just slips away. His face contorts as if he wants to pull the words back, but then that too relaxes. His eyes brighten, the hint of the first real smile of the evening ghosting over his lips. His cheeks bloom pink, not with the flushed spots of anger from before, but a light dusting of colour that suits him. He sighs and it’s like the exhale unburdens him entirely, the weight of his secrets ebbing away from his body. He goes in one heartbeat from tense and pale to rakish and relaxed, and he’s never been more attractive to Harry.

“Don’t you talk to your friends about this?”

Draco’s throat bobs and he shakes his head, a cloudiness crossing his features before slipping away as if in a gust of wind. “I think you’ve overestimated my charm. I haven't been kind to a lot of my friends .” He closes his eyes and the silence stretches, thin and fragile between them. “I’ve been angry. Angrier than I’ve ever been. I don’t know why they call it a closet. It’s more like a coffin, and I’ve spent years trying to bury myself alive.”

Harry clears his throat and leans in to place a kiss to Draco’s jaw. His capacity for tenderness with Draco Malfoy surprises him. There’s so much unhappy history between them. Pulling Draco from the furious flames of Fiendfyre, slashing his pale belly with hexes, chasing after the Snitch and wanting to hate Malfoy, to hurt him, in Harry’s darkest moments. He pulls back and looks at the ashy Mark on Draco’s forearm, the angular slant of his hipbones, the hard nub of his nipples and the trail of light blond hair that slips from his belly button beneath his trousers. Draco is undeniably gorgeous, but there’s something more. The way he's struggled with himself, his fury and the hints of a lost, confused boy that's trying to understand how to be the kind of man he thinks he's expected to be. Harry finds an empathy he never anticipated when he thinks of Draco's attempts to be better in a world that despises his family, his name and consigns him to closets.

“It’s shit,” Harry says. “It shouldn’t be, but it is.”

Harry’s lucky, with his warm-hearted Weasleys. Charlie off with his dragons and falling in love with wizards paved a way for Harry’s own revelation after too much sherry one Christmas that erm, I think I like wizards too. Harry’s lucky that he’s surrounded with people who would literally lay down their lives for him, no matter who he is, or who he loves. He can’t imagine being Draco in a world of arranged marriages, wonky notions of blood purity and hatred of difference. Draco never had a Charlie or a Ginny, beautiful, feisty and the first person Harry thought he loved when he was seventeen and spent most of his time working his way through Muggle sandwich shops with Ron. This one’s for Fred. In those days he was more interested in working out how to quell the dull ache of grief than romance.

“I still don’t understand why you told me,” Harry says at last. “But I’m glad you did.”

“You have no idea, do you?” Draco opens his eyes and stares at Harry. “No idea how easy you are to trust. You don’t give a fuck about gossip or what people think of you. You save people who would sooner kill you than put themselves in harm’s way. It’s impossible to lie to you. You make people want to be better.”

Harry winces, because he’s not sure he wants Draco to think of him as this infallible hero. “I’m human, I fuck up too.”

Draco laughs under his breath. “You’re more decent than most, but I never said you were perfect. Arrogant tosser.”

Harry laughs too, the tension broken. It’s a relief, to know Draco doesn’t see him the way some people do. He’s tired of being painted as a hero with all the right answers.

“You’ve changed too,” Harry says, his mouth suddenly dry. It’s true. He’s noticed the changes in Draco since he started work. He’s not sure how to say I heard Dawlish pinned you against the wall and said you should be in Azkaban. He’s not sure Draco wants to be reminded of the whispers, the stares and the anonymous petition started to keep former Death Eaters out of the Ministry. He’s watched Draco come into a place he wasn’t welcome every day, buttoned up, with a sharp, determined grit that took Harry by surprise. He knows with utter conviction that Draco’s changed, even if he thinks he hasn’t. “I know it’s not easy being at the Ministry.”

Draco puts his hand behind his head and stares at the ceiling. “I expect to have to do my penance. It’s nothing less than people with associations like mine deserve. I could have been in Azkaban, mother and father could have been stripped of their assets. I’m lucky the Ministry even agreed to employ me. I don’t expect an Order of Merlin for coming to work.”

“No.” A peculiar thought makes Harry’s stomach twist. “Is this penance too?”

“Of course it’s not fucking penance.” Draco turns to glare at Harry. “Are you going to make me say it?”

“Probably,” Harry replies, easily. “I’m bloody sick of trying to guess what you’re thinking.”

Fine. I’m attracted to you, Potter.” Draco’s gaze flicks to Harry’s lips. “I have been for longer than I care to admit. And I wasn’t the only one doing the kissing.”

“No. You weren’t,” Harry concedes. He can give Draco that at least. “I wanted it too.”

“See?” Draco slides his hand into Harry’s hair, pulling him close and murmuring against his lips. “It’s never only a kiss.”

Harry sinks into the kiss, relishing the slick, hungry heat of it. Their mouths open and this time it doesn’t feel like fight. Instead the intensity comes from somewhere else—a place of pure desire, instead of animosity. Not for the first time Harry thinks that Draco kisses like a man starved and in some ways, perhaps that’s what he is. Harry pours himself into the kiss with unflinching passion. He kisses to say fuck all the people that tell you men can’t love like this, to say I’m sorry for this shitty world and to tell Draco I forgive you. He kisses with the fire and fight he puts into everything, scraping his teeth along Draco’s neck and biting down on the flesh of it in a way that makes Draco whimper and writhe beneath Harry.

With a low groan, Harry pushes his hand down Draco’s body and presses the heel of his palm against Draco’s cock. He’s so hard from the kissing, his trousers and pants an irritating barrier between them. Harry plans to unbuckle Draco’s belt, to slide down his body and take him into his mouth but Draco mumbles no, don’t stop when Harry releases his cock to access the zip. With a growl, Harry moves over Draco and bites down on his neck again drawing a hiss and a yes, gods yes from Draco’s parted lips. He sucks at the spot on Draco’s neck that seems to drive him to distraction, grinding their cocks together as best he can despite the layers of clothes between them. He tastes every exposed part of Draco’s flesh, running his tongue and teeth over the hard line of his collarbone, biting, sucking and moving against Draco. He shoves a hand beneath Draco’s backside, urging their bodies closer together and fists his other hand in Draco’s hair, kissing him fiercely. In a matter of moments, Draco cries out Harry’s name in a desperate, broken sound that’s half moan, half plea and tapers away into nothing as Draco shudders beneath him. He shoves at Harry, who takes a minute to realise Draco’s pushing him away.

Harry rolls off Draco and notices the angry flush has returned to his cheeks, the cross, tight, mean line of his sneer back with relish. Harry swallows back the heat of his own arousal that thrums through his body. He cups the dampness of Draco’s trousers and leans in for another slow kiss that Draco accepts, pushing up into Harry's hand.

“Don’t,” Harry says. His voice is gruff and low and he traces a line of kisses along Draco’s jaw. “Don’t push me away. At least, not because you think you should.”

“I couldn’t even if I wanted to.” Draco’s voice is thin and unsteady. “I’m sorry.”

Why?” Harry removes his hand and stares at Draco.

“Because.” Even Draco’s neck is flushed, and he gestures downwards, scowling. “I came like a fifteen-year-old.”

Harry shrugs. “I don’t care. I liked that you were into it. So was I.”

“You’re so peculiar.” Draco rubs his hand over his cheek, but his face has lost the fury bubbling beneath the surface when he first pushed Harry away. “I’m sure you have better things to do than have sex with someone who hasn’t done any of this before.”

“Not with Astoria?”

Draco gives Harry a tight smile. “No sex before marriage, Potter.”

“Oh.” Harry grins at Draco. He genuinely doesn't have anywhere else he wants to be as much as he wants this. He doesn't know what he is to Draco, but if he can be something that makes it less scary that's good. It's brilliant. “Do you want to muck around some more?”

Draco looks as though he’s about to say something else, but then he licks his lips and nods, his eyes dark in the room’s soft light. His stomach growls.

“Or I can make us food, then we can come back to bed?”

Draco looks torn, but eventually he speaks. “I wouldn’t mind food.”

“Come on, then.” Harry reaches into his drawer and pulls out a t-shirt and some pyjama bottoms, pulling a fresh t-shirt over his own head. He keeps his voice light, not wanting Draco to feel weird about coming so quickly. “Put these on, if you want. Might be more comfy.”

“I can manage a cleaning charm, Potter. I’ve just had my first sexual experience with a man, not been Obliviated. However good you think you are, I do still remember my name, basic magic and the fact your grasp of numbers is appalling.”

“Good.” Harry laughs and gets off the bed, stretching. He doesn’t miss the way Draco watches him, hungrily. “I’ll put the kettle on. Wear what you like.”

“I intend to.” Draco takes the offered clothes despite his protestations and Harry makes his way downstairs, whistling.

*

There’s something about seeing Draco in his clothes that does peculiar things to Harry’s insides. The way his trousers hang loosely over Draco’s hips, the soft flannel of the gold and burgundy pyjamas—I look like a Gryffindor mascot, these clothes are hideous—and the plain white t-shirt suit Draco. It makes Harry’s heart beat harder in his chest and arousal thrums through his body, which he tries to push to one side in the interests of making ham and cheese toasties without slicing his thumb off because he’s horny and distracted. They make small talk about the Ministry as they finish their food and drink piping hot mugs of sweet tea, before lapsing into a comfortable silence. Draco seems more relaxed than he usually is, his frame lacking the earlier tension and his face no longer set in angry lines. He’s still snarky and annoying, but Harry finds he’s interesting, too. Well-travelled, with some opinions on Ministry politics that Harry is surprised to find he agrees with.

Harry’s tidying their plates away when he senses Draco behind him. He turns, about to make a joke about creepy Slytherins and snakes, but the look in Draco’s eyes takes his breath away and the punchline leaves him completely as a bolt of arousal short-circuits his brain.

“Hi,” Harry says instead. He reaches for Draco, tugging him closer by the bottom of his t-shirt. He smells like fresh laundry and the remnants of his posh cologne. “Everything okay?”

Draco rolls his eyes. “You don’t have to keep checking if I’m okay. I’m not going to break.”

“I never said you were.” Harry thinks back to Draco unbuttoning his shirt with shaking hands and talking about the ways there are to be a man. “It’s okay, though. To not feel okay.”

Draco takes a breath and nods. “I know.” His lips curve into a small smile. “Time, Potter. People don’t just unlearn the things they’ve been taught in one night. I don’t need somebody to save me.”

“Good, because I’m not looking for someone to save.” Harry shrugs. “I don’t have a hero fetish.”

Draco laughs, his eyes shining. “I think I might,” he murmurs. In one swift movement he sinks to his knees, pushing Harry back against the kitchen counter and working open his belt. “Yes?”

“Yeah—ah—yes, fuck yes.” Harry clutches onto the counter and drops his head back, closing his eyes as Draco pulls down his pants and trousers until they’re gathered around his knees. It feels as though he’s been half-hard since they came down here and it doesn’t take more than a couple of strokes of Draco’s hand to bring him to full hardness.

“Any tips?” Draco sounds amused and the warmth of his breath over Harry’s cock makes him shiver.

“Nope.” Harry runs his thumb over the nape of Draco’s neck and looks down at him. “Don’t bite,” he adds, hurriedly. He wouldn’t put it past Malfoy.

“I’ll leave that to you,” Draco replies. He stops talking and keeps his hand wrapped around the base of Harry’s cock, before taking him into his mouth. The movement makes them both groan, the hum of Draco’s lips around Harry’s cock making him clutch the counter harder.

Despite not having had any practice, Draco takes to his task with an enthusiasm that surprises Harry. Part of him expected Draco to be prissy about some of the finer details of sex, but just as he with kissing, in this too he’s a force to be reckoned with. There’s a pure, shameless enjoyment in the way he licks along the line of Harry’s cock, the way he takes him into the hot circle of his mouth. He tries to go too deep—or Harry bucks into his throat without warning—and he splutters and gives Harry a disgruntled look, but he quickly gets back to it. He seems to learn quickly, his mouth slick with saliva and his obvious enjoyment turning Harry on almost as much as the act itself.

He wants Draco to be able to do this. Obviously, he wants it because it feels bloody brilliant, but he wants to see him enjoying sex without inhibition. He wants him to know how good it feels and tells him in quiet murmurs how good he looks on his knees, how hard he’s making Harry. Harry’s never been good at talking dirty, but his whispered words seem to send small shivers of pleasure through Draco’s body. They make him intensify his actions or cause him to moan, which sends delicious vibrations through Harry’s cock.

Harry tangles his fingers in Draco’s hair and that too seems to make him even more turned on. He wonders if Draco needs the connection—needs to be reminded Harry’s there. It makes his heart thrum fiercely as his pleasure peaks and sparks, his need humming through his veins like magic. It doesn't take long for Draco to bring Harry to the edge. Although he tugs at Draco’s hair and mumbles a word of warning, Draco’s keeps his mouth insistently on Harry’s cock until the pleasure pulses through Harry’s body in a white-hot burst.

Harry catches his breath, watching Draco pull back. He has a puzzled look on his face and he wipes his mouth with the back of his hand, saliva and come smeared on his lips and chin. He tilts his head upwards and meets Harry’s eyes, his cheeks turning a hot red. Harry tugs Draco to his feet and kisses him fiercely before he can start to panic about what he’s done—what they’ve just done. He lets Draco know with his kiss how hot it was, how good it was, how there’s no shame in any of it. He rubs the heel of his palm against Draco’s hard cock and draws a low moan of pleasure from Draco’s lips. His mouth is salty and the filthiness of tasting his own climax in Draco’s mouth is almost enough to get Harry hard again. He moves his hands to Draco’s backside and slips his hands briefly under the pyjama trousers which makes Draco’s breath catch. He brushes a tentative finger through the crack between Draco’s buttocks, before returning to massaging his backside and kissing him again, hungrily.

“Do something.” Draco grinds into Harry, breaking the kiss. His words are clipped and impatient. “Fuck, do something, will you?”

Harry Apparates them to the bedroom and it makes Draco groan as he shoves Harry back on the bed and climbs over him.

“You’re such an unbearable show off.”

“It seems pointless not to use magic if we can.” Harry smirks against Draco’s mouth and lets himself be pushed back against the pillows as Draco straddles him, kissing him hotly.

“I want you to fuck me,” Draco says. Any earlier inhibitions have gone completely, and he presses his backside onto Harry’s cock, creating delicious friction.

“Can I finger you, first?” Harry sits up and wraps an arm around Draco’s waist, fisting the other in his hair and trailing kisses down his neck. “I like doing that. I like that a lot. I want to finger you and rim you.”

Draco makes a sound which is almost a squeak, quickly masked by him clearing his throat.

“Whatever you and your filthy brain want, Potter. Just fucking do something, you insufferable tease.”

Harry snorts and bites lightly on Draco’s neck—he’s quite into that he’s finding—and then topples Draco off his lap and onto his back. He reaches for his wand and spells both of their clothes off, groaning when he finally settles over Draco and gets to feel skin against skin along the full length of their bodies. It seems to make Draco similarly turned on, his kisses messier with every shift and push of Harry’s body against his own. He digs his blunt fingers into Harry’s back, tugs him into a deep, open-mouthed kiss and then shoves him back. He doesn’t say anything, but the look he gives Harry is positively pornographic. His lips are red and kiss-bitten, his neck and cheeks flushed in a good way. He has an insolent smile and a small mark on his neck from Harry’s enthusiastic sucking and biting. His hair is rumpled—all styling products completely disappeared—and he has a louche, expensive elegance that goes straight to Harry’s cock. Draco Malfoy is quite honestly the fittest fucking person Harry’s ever had in his bed, not that he plans to let Draco know that when he’s looking so smug and pleased with himself.

Harry nudges Draco’s thigh and looks up at him. “Want to turn over?”

“If you want.” Draco hesitates. “Isn’t it a bit…filthy?”

“Oh, very.” Harry winks at Draco. “In a good way, though. I like eating people out. There are spells and stuff, don’t worry about being clean. I can teach you.”

“Harry Potter, Auror, terrible book keeper and professional rimming artist,” Draco mutters. “Thank you, I think I’m fine for lessons for the time being.”

“Okay.” Harry tugs his bottom lip between his teeth and he studies Draco. “We don’t have to do anything you don’t want. I don’t mind doing something else if it makes you uncomfortable.”

Draco scowls. “It doesn’t make me uncomfortable I just can’t see how it’s enjoyable.”

Harry clears his throat. “I can show you if you like.”

“But it’s my arse.” Draco pushes a hand through his hair, looking slightly wild-eyed. “It’s so peculiar.”

“Like I said, we can do something else.” Harry sits back on his heels and works steady hands over Draco’s legs, up his thighs. The downy hair on Draco’s legs tickles his palms and he rubs his fingers over Draco’s hot skin.

“God.” Draco closes his eyes and then nods, seemingly having reached a decision. “Well if you like it so much, I suppose I’d better see what all the fuss is about.” He rolls over onto his front and when he speaks, his voice is muffled by the pillow. “You’ll stop if I don’t like it?”

Harry frowns, even though Draco can’t see him. “Of course. What kind of dickhead do you think I am?”

“I don’t think you’re any kind of dickhead.” Draco’s backside clenches and he sounds cross. “Go on, then. I’m waiting.”

Harry grins and shakes his head. Bloody Malfoy. One minute he’s looking uncertain, the next he’s demanding Harry put his tongue to work faster.

Harry grabs his wand and mutters a couple of cleaning charms which made Draco shudder.

“Is it supposed to feel like that?”

“Like what?”

“Good,” Draco replies, voice still muffled. He shifts against the bed and Harry doesn’t miss the way his movements seem designed to get friction against his cock. “Is it supposed to feel good?”

“I suppose cleaning charms can if you like the feel of someone’s magic.” Harry slides his hands over Draco’s backside and gets himself into position after nudging Draco’s legs apart. “I haven’t really noticed.”

“Maybe you haven’t been with the right person.” Draco sounds far too pleased about that, so Harry decides he’s going to stop talking and get on with it.

“Lift up a bit,” Harry murmurs. When he has proper access, he mouths over Draco’s balls and the underside of his cock, until the sounds Draco makes tell Harry he’s enjoying himself. He moves up, sliding his tongue over Draco’s hole and biting back a groan at the way it twitches beneath him. He can almost feel the tension seeping back into Draco’s body and his lifts his mouth momentarily. “Relax, love. I promise you’ll like it.”

Harry’s words make a small sound escape from Draco’s throat, a barely-there, swallowed back cry and something about it makes Harry’s heart clench. With gentle movements, giving Draco every opportunity to tell him to stop, he gets back to working his tongue over Draco’s hole. It doesn’t take long before Draco begins pressing up into Harry’s mouth for more, his breathing harsh in the still room. Harry works his tongue into Draco and begins to slowly fuck him with it as he moves his fingers over Draco’s balls and gives his cock a steady stroke to keep him sensitised everywhere.

“Please—” Draco sounds choked, and Harry pulls back instantly, wiping his mouth with the back of his hand.

“Do you want me to stop?”

“No, I—” Draco trails off and Harry notices how his legs are trembling as he tries to hold himself up. He urges Draco down and onto his back so he can see him properly again. His cock is so hard, leaking at the tip and slightly curving against his pale belly. Harry slides a steady hand over it, watching as Draco bites down on his bottom lip, a choked sound leaving him in an unf.

“What do you want? You can say it.”

“Fingers,” Draco spits out. “More. Merlin, do you ever stop talking?”

Harry laughs and murmurs a spell to leave his fingers slick. He shoves a pillow under Draco’s backside, before rubbing the pad of his thumb over Draco’s hole. Draco’s fists gather and twist in the sheets, as he arches his neck.

“Do it. Please.”

Harry returns to Draco’s hole with one finger, pushing it slowly inside. He can’t believe how tight Draco is. He's hot and lovely, his whole body arching as he clenches around Harry’s finger.

“Fuck, fuck—don’t stop.”

“I won’t.” Harry slides his finger back into Draco and brushes his lips against Draco’s cock, mouthing over the base of it and back down to Draco’s balls. The sounds Draco makes are brilliant. He presses back into Harry’s finger and when Harry is sure he’s ready, he adds a second making sure there’s plenty of lube. He fucks Draco with them slowly and watches Draco’s chest heave, the way his back arches from the bed and the vice-like grip he has on the sheets that leave his knuckles even paler than usual.

“You’re so fucking gorgeous,” Harry murmurs. “Do you have any clue how handsome you are?”

Potter, fuck, I—”

“You should really call me Harry—”

“I don’t care about your name you idiot—Harry—just ah!” Draco trails off with a cry as Harry curls his fingers and pulls them back, aiming for where he knows Draco will get the most pleasure. He returns with another push of his fingers, curling, pressing, fucking until the room fills with the dirty, glorious sound of Harry’s fingers fucking into Draco and Draco’s whines and pleas.

Finally Draco lets go of the sheets, his limbs loosening. He pushes back against Harry’s fingers and reaches out a shaking hand as if he wants to touch Harry. In one swift motion, Harry moves up just enough to let Draco push a hand through his hair before taking the long, hard heat of Draco’s cock deep into the back of his throat.

The motion makes Draco cry out sharply and Harry continues to fuck him with his fingers as he uses his mouth to give Draco every pleasure. He doesn’t even mind the way Draco holds him down, twisting his fingers into Harry’s hair like he did with the sheets before. He doesn’t care that Draco bucks up into the back of his throat, or the way he squirms and shifts beneath Harry. It’s dizzying, seeing Draco fall apart like this and Harry wants it to be good for him. So, so good that there’s no way he could ever think something this pleasurable could be wrong.

After another minute, Draco comes without warning and Harry does his best to swallow down what he can as Draco clenches around his fingers. With a groan of pleasure, Harry pulls off Draco and gently slips his fingers out of him. He straddles Draco’s chest and strokes himself to a frantic climax as Draco watches, eyes lidded and pupils blown with arousal. With a grunt, Harry comes over Draco’s chest and slips off him, kissing over the mess he’s just made on Draco’s torso. He slides his tongue over the dusky peak of Draco’s nipples and bites down on one, using his teeth to draw a grunt and groan of pleasure from Draco. He works up to Draco’s neck, tugging on the lobe of his ear with his teeth and finally capturing his lips in a heart-stopping kiss.

Draco returns the kiss with all the eager enthusiasm of their first kiss, but none of the angry pain of it. He holds onto Harry as tightly as he can, his slim fingers hot and firm against Harry’s skin. They roll together on the bed as the heat of their pleasure gradually wanes. Eventually, Harry tugs the blankets around them and pulls Draco into the circle of his arms.

They don’t say anything more, and Harry holds Draco close as his breath gets heavy with sleep. It’s only when Draco has finally dropped off that Harry closes his own eyes, and whispers into the night.

“Please still be here in the morning.”

The night doesn’t answer, Draco murmurs something unintelligible against Harry’s chest and Harry allows himself to drift off to sleep in a room that smells like sweat, sex and Draco Malfoy.

*

When Harry wakes in the cool light of the morning, he finds Draco watching him sleep. His heart gives a kick of happiness that Draco didn’t Apparate away during the night. He blinks at Draco, smiling.

“Morning.”

“Good morning.” Draco kicks Harry lightly. “You snore.”

“I know,” Harry says, cheerfully. “Sorry.”

“Doesn’t matter.” Draco looks rumpled and uncertain. “I should go.”

“If you want to.” Harry reaches for Draco and pulls him against his body. He’s half-hard and his breath leaves him with a stutter as Harry takes Draco’s nakedness as an opportunity for a quick grope of his backside. “Or you could stay? No work today.”

“Mmm.” Draco groans and presses against Harry. “I’m expected at home. I have to deal with everything. Mother wants me to cancel the caterers.”

“Okay.” Harry gives Draco a slow, sleep-warm kiss. “Or,” he murmurs against Draco’s lips, “You could let me fuck you and then go home and deal with everything and come back when you’re finished?”

“You’re such a kinky fucker.” Draco doesn’t sound like he minds. He pulls back, his brow furrowing. “I suppose you expect me to tell them.”

“Tell your parents you make me horny?” Harry shudders. “No thanks.”

“Oh.” Draco’s voice is tight. “It’s a secret, then?”

Harry shakes his head. “I didn’t say that. I’m out, Malfoy. I don't know what you want from this, but if we start spending time together—and I'd like to—the papers will start rumours. They always do. They had me shagging Bill Weasley the other week, Fleur was fuming.” He sees Draco’s mask slip back over his face again, and he reaches up to brush a stray strand of hair from his forehead. “Take your time. I’m not in any rush. Let the Prophet say what it likes.”

“Why do you make it feel so easy?” Draco’s voice is quiet. “It’s not going to be, not for me. There’s so much I could lose. My family, financial security, even my job. You know how the Prophet writes about these things. You’re Harry Potter. They wouldn’t offer me articles to try to raise awareness—they would sooner see me thrown into Azkaban for giving you love potions.”

Harry snorts, but he doesn’t try to deny it. He can’t help but feel that whatever Lucius Malfoy might have told Draco in the past, he no longer holds a position of power in wizarding society and any alliance between Draco and Harry would ultimately be acceptable on political grounds, even if he didn’t want to know about the finer details. Harry has a feeling Lucius might be prepared to revise some of his principles if it served a strategic purpose. He also can’t imagine Lucius turning away his only son if push came to shove. He can't imagine Narcissa would, either—not after the risks she took at the end of the war.

“Your parents love you,” Harry says at last.

Draco gives him a brittle smile. “My parents don’t know me. Although I appreciate your confidence in them.” He pulls a face. “I want to stay, but I really have to go.”

There’s a sudden, desperate ache in Harry's chest as if everything that’s just within his grasp is going to disappear as soon as Draco leaves Grimmauld Place. He's not sure he can pinpoint the moment wanting to shag Draco became wanting more, but Harry's learned to trust his instincts and he's not unfamiliar with diving into things. He's never been one for caution, and seeing how the burden of Draco's secrets weighed heavily on him, Harry's damned if he's going to add himself to the list of things Draco Malfoy buries. He wants to get to know Draco even better, he wants to hold his hand in the open air and not keep their kisses hidden behind closed doors. He's prepared to stand up against the world if that's what's around the corner for them, if that's what Draco wants.

“Just a kiss,” Harry murmurs against Draco’s lips. It's like Draco doesn't want to leave the comfortable ease of the moment either, his arms wrapping around Harry as he moves closer, their bodies pressing together under the sheets. Harry grins against Draco's mouth, sliding his hands down their bodies to rub their cocks together. “It's only a kiss.”

“You're insatiable, Potter.” Draco snorts with laughter then groans as Harry squeezes his hand around them both. “Anyway, I’ve already told you. It’s never only a kiss.”

With his heart in his throat and their bodies moving together as if their time together is already slipping through their fingers like sand, Harry’s never been more convinced of the truth of that statement.

*

Leave his house. Look up, to see him watching you walk away. Understand that he thinks you won’t come back.

Walk through the streets of London and try to avoid the crowds. Keep walking until it starts to rain. Don’t use magic to keep yourself dry. Let it wash away the scent of him from your skin, even if you already miss it.

Wait until you find a quiet spot. Take out your wand and remember how it feels to taste his magic on your tongue.

Go straight to your study when you get home. The house is empty and still. Sit at your desk, cancel your wedding. Take the photographs of Astoria out of their frames and put them in an envelope.

Write her a letter. Tell her you’re sorry and mean it. Tell her your secret. Let her know you understand how much those closets hurt. Be proud of her for being free of it.

Close your eyes. Picture his smile. Let yourself smile with him. He told you he wanted you to come back. Allow yourself to believe it.

Check your watch. It’s nearly noon. Shower and put on something Muggle to go for a walk. Unbutton your collar, remember how good his clothes felt against your skin.

Walk with your head down. Stop. You’re in no rush. Take a moment to look at the clouds.

Pray to anyone who’s still prepared to listen to a man like you. Let yourself want. Tell your voiceless gods that you want to be a better man. Tell them about him. Ask them to help you be strong, because you don’t think you can bear another minute of this lonely, cold world where you live in the shadows and bury part of yourself in graves.

Tear down your walls. Taste the tears on your tongue, and don’t be ashamed of them. Allow yourself to feel. Trust your heart while it still beats. Trust his. Notice the rainbow. See how beautiful it is? Live a life in colour. Let your heart beat in red, orange, yellow, green, blue and violet.

Apparate to London even though he’s not expecting you yet. Let him see the tracks of your tears before the rain washes them away. Needing him hurts, but you want him to know. You want him to understand that you’re going to come back. Again, and again and again. You’ll keep coming back for as long as he lets you.

Knock on his door.

Remind yourself how good it felt to kiss Harry Potter. Notice how he smiles when he sees you. Allow yourself to want him. Tell him how handsome he is one day, when you're brave enough to say the words out loud. Keep that image of him opening the door to you. Treasure it like something more precious than gold. Hold it close to your heart. Let his courage make you braver.

Kiss him.