Ethan isn’t anticipating Grayson to come barreling into his room like a very loud bulldozer in the morning - at ass o’clock in the morning, to be more precise - but that’s exactly what happens.
Grayson looks winded and is frowning hardcore, lips pursed tightly, holding out his phone to Ethan accusingly. “What the hell does this even mean, Ethan? Is this a freakin’ joke to you?”
Ethan groans weakly and puts his pillow over his head. He tries to cover himself with his blanket next but Grayson yanks it off of him. Grayson then yanks his pillow from his clutches too, and Ethan cracks his eyes open to glare at him sullenly. “You have no fucking manners, do you,” Ethan says thickly, mouth sticking.
Something flickers over Grayson’s expression but then he locks it away and throws his phone down next to Ethan’s head, crossing his arms over his chest.
He’s also glaring too, just great.
“I want you to explain to me, as clearly as possible, what you were thinking when you texted that shit last night,” Grayson says, slowly, with some impressive control. Ethan can tell that he wants to be yelling by the way that he’s fidgeting and by the way the veins in his neck are standing out.
Ethan flops onto his back and lets out a drawn out, long sigh. “Bro, I thought it was all pretty self-explanatory.” He quirks one eyebrow up, to say duh, get a clue.
Grayon’s hands fly to his hips then and he looks down for a few seconds, in some obvious confusion, biting at the inside of his lip with some distress. It sends a sharp pang shooting through Ethan, and he doesn’t like it. He doesn’t want to be the cause of it, but he can’t help it.
If they’re going to talk about it, then they might as well actually talk about it, instead of yelling accusations at each other. Ethan huffs before making his way to the edge of his bed and sitting down, his feet touching the ground. He sends Grayson a look and simply says, “Sit,” patting the space next to him.
It appears for a brief second that Grayson might not want to, by the way he very imperceptibly tenses up, but then he lets out a breath and sits next to Ethan.
But not too close, at least four feet between them. Ethan doesn’t know why that hurts him, but it does. This entire thing is one big confusing mess and it’s all his fault, and Grayson is right. So he’ll start with that.
“You were right last night, this is my fault,” Ethan admits, looking down at his feet. “I shouldn’t have done that, the first or the second time, and I won’t pretend that I even, like, fully get my real intentions behind doin’ it.” He taps his fingers to his knees, feeling like an idiot. “Honestly, I’m super fucking dumb, Grayson, you’re right about that, too.”
Grayson lets out a strained kind of sound and says with tired but easy reassurance, “No, you’re not, E. Stop saying that. I don’t want you to think that.” Ethan’s head snaps to him, and then Grayson looks up to him too, his face pained, and admits, “It’s my fault, I’m the one who fucked us up.”
Ethan frowns and wants to cut in but Grayson continues with, “I’ve been wanting to do that for longer than I care to admit, and it’s sick. It’s fucking twisted. I - I opened that Pandora’s box and fucked you up too.” Ethan places a hand on his knee and Grayson flinches and jerks back, shakes his head, Ethan’s hand falling between them limply.
Ethan’s chest feels tight and he can see Grayson making to get up, think about leaving, so he grabs a hold of his arm then, somewhat desperately.
“It’s not your fault, Grayson. I promise you it’s not,” Ethan tries saying, but Grayson just chuckles lowly and tries to shake Ethan’s touch off, but Ethan won’t let him.
Grayson licks his lips, his skin burning to the touch, and says, “Trust me, Ethan. This is my fault, it’s my baggage.” He holds Ethan’s gaze with some fire dancing in his eyes, some deep self-hatred shining through. “This is my fuck-up. You don’t want any of this, you really don’t, I promise you.” Ethan’s fingers tighten on his arm and he scoots closer, and Grayson doesn’t notice because he’s rambling, he’s unraveling.
“I made you confused, and I absolutely hate myself for it, I really, really do, but nothing needs to change, E, trust me. We can forget it ever happened,” Grayson says in a manic rush, his eyes feverish bright and intense, one of his hands resting on Ethan’s knee now with an urgent touch. “Please, please say that we can go back to the way things were, and forget about it. Please say you’ll forgive me, I can give you time, if that’s what you need. I - I can move out, if it will make things easier,” Grayson blurts out, looking like his anxiety is skyrocketing the more he talks, making Ethan dizzy with fear.
Before he can say anything else, Ethan just bites out, “Grayson, I just need you to shut the fuck up for a second and let me think.” Grayson leans away from him again and his mouth audibly clicks shut, his jaw clenching up, eyes looking down at where he’s clasping his hands between his knees now, in the imitation of a prayer.
Ethan’s mind is racing now, and he doesn’t know what to think. He had maybe - sort of, kind of, totally - lied to himself and downplayed it in his mind yesterday, because taking in the full scope and breadth of what he was considering was just very… dramatically life-altering.
The set of Grayson’s pressed lips looks grim with some dark satisfaction, as he lets out a humorless laugh, when Ethan doesn’t say anything for a silent minute.
“See, I told you it was a bad idea,” Grayson says, voice heavy and low with some deep regret, and that makes Ethan come to focus enough to say, “Honestly, just shut up for a second and stop with what you’re doing with your… your face.” It helps snap Grayson out of his dark contemplations and veer towards annoyance because he rolls his eyes at Ethan and settles on a frown next.
He’s poised to get up again, a few seconds later, but Ethan shoots a hand out and tugs him back by his wrist. “I didn’t say you could leave.”
Grayson scowls at him but sits down. “So what, I’m just supposed to just hang around here while you figure things out?”
Ethan flicks him on the arm. “We’re figuring things out, Grayson. The two of us.”
“I’ve already figured it out! I just told you! We can forget about it and -”
“And I already told you that this thing isn’t as, like, one-sided as you think it is.” Ethan wants to strangle him, but that’s not the best move to make.
That brings Grayson jumping to his feet and has his hands flying out and wind-milling all over the place. “And I told you that I was sorry for putting it in your head! It’s not what you want, Ethan. It’s just that you’re hard-up ‘cause we haven’t been getting laid in a while. Sex with me isn’t, like, the most sane or normal way to take care of that problem...” Grayson trails off, his face red now, but his gaze unwavering, hands on his hips.
Ethan cringes and looks down, his feet starting to tap on the ground. “I know.”
Surprise crosses over Grayson’s features and he relaxes for a second. “Well, good. Good, then.”
There’s no easy way to say what he wants to next without, like, completely making an idiot of himself, but Ethan’s got to try. So with some new determination, Ethan falls back on his bed and addresses the ceiling.
Ethan clears his throat first, then says, “You know that I love you, like, an unreasonable amount, right?”
It’s silent for two seconds, before Grayson unsurely responds back with, “Yeah, I do.”
Ethan chuckles at his hesitation, feeling the nerves starting to course through him, shaking him. “Do you know that I love you more than I love anyone or anything in this entire world?”
Grayson sighs now. “Yeah, I do, Ethan. You know it’s the same for me, dude.”
“Then it’s no surprise that sometimes I’ve wished that we weren’t related, because… Because in you, I have everything that I want to find in a partner. And it’s nuts, it’s absolutely crazy, that I know, like, deep in my heart,” Ethan says with a hoarse voice, getting emotional and trying to bite it back, “that I’m never going to be complete with whoever I choose to take your spot. Because that spot’s been taken since we were babies, Gray, by you. There’s no room for anyone else.” Ethan rubs at his chest and tries to soothe the hurt and ache moving through him like a freshly cut wound, something that he hasn’t acknowledged at any real length, like, ever in his life. Because what was the point of it?
Still feeling raw, he jerks when he feels the bed dip and then Grayson just pulls into his side, his arm going around him like a tight vice, his breath hot for a second before he drops a kiss onto Ethan’s shoulder, before he hides his head in the crook of Ethan’s neck.
Ethan’s arms go around him and he feels Grayson shaking against him, a fine tremor moving through him. His face is warm, and Ethan noses at his stubbly cheek to get him to lift it, but Grayson just softly mumbles, “No, leave me alone.”
In contrast, his arms automatically tighten around Ethan and Ethan laughs and kisses the side of his head, slowly cards a hand through his slightly sweaty hair, as they both settle and calm down.
Grayson’s growling stomach gets them moving again, and Grayson pulls back after a few minutes, still a little pink in the face, still a little bright-eyed, but also smiling a little, mouth quirked up.
Ethan starts poking him in the cheek. “Go make me breakfast, bitch,” he says, teasingly and good-naturedly, and Grayson rolls his eyes before slapping at his hand and jumping out of bed.
“Honestly, I don’t even know why I like you,” Grayson comments airily on his way out the room and Ethan yells in response, “Because I am fucking delightful!”
Ethan gets up too to brush his teeth and change, and feels pretty good about things. He’s sure that he’s going to have an anxiety attack later on in the day or in the week, because what they’re doing is absolutely, like, not chill, in the viewpoint of the world.
But he’ll cross that bridge when he gets to it.
“You know that incest was like, all the fucking rage back then, right? For thousands of years?”
Grayson starts choking on his oatmeal and his hand flies out for his coffee.
Ethan casts him a curious glance before going back to his phone. “Yeah, so it says here, the biggest issue with it was the fact that relatives would be boinking, and then have deformed babies. And it would lead to a lot of health issues. Not good for the species genetically or something.”
Grayson is now coughing fairly heavily in the background. Ethan mildly thumps him on the back, without looking up.
“Since neither of us has a uterus, that is one potential issue avoided.”
Grayson’s hand flies to cover Ethan’s mouth before Ethan can say anything else. Grayson’s voice is raspy from coughing when he begs, “Please, please shut the fuck up, alright?”
Ethan scoffs and knocks his hand aside. “You’re so dramatic. And you say I’m extra? Oh please.”
Ethan continues scrolling in silence.
Grayson lets us a relieved breath.
Ethan knows that he’s more disorderly and spontaneous in the way that he sometimes thinks and acts, while Grayson is more organized and plan-oriented.
It’s like this revelation has brought out the most chaotic and foot-in-mouth side of him, and Ethan can’t help it. He’s trying to understand things and build bridges between the spaces in his head where everything seems miles apart.
He is very aware that Grayson might deck him if he continues on in the way he’s been going, though, for the past few days.
But again, he can’t help it, and they’re in it together, so tough shit for Grayson.
They’re in the car heading out for lunch, and he casually asks Grayson, “So what do we do if, let’s say years down the road, mom keeps asking about why we’re not married? Do we go full Hollywood and get beards? Pay chicks on the side to give us a cover story?”
“Oh fuck, not this again,” Grayson says on a loud, frustrated groan, as he knocks his head against his passenger side window. Loudly and multiple times. Repeatedly. “Fucking hell, Ethan. Can you just chill out with this shit for a bit?”
Ethan huffs out a, “What?! These are valid questions, Grayson,” but one glance at Grayson’s tight, pinched face has him dropping the topic with a short breath.
“Fine. You’re right. It’s too soon to discuss that.”
Grayson mumbles out a, “Thank you,” and they drive the rest of the way in silence.
They’ll cross that bridge when they get to it, as well.
That seems to be the theme so far.
Grayson is building a chair and he’s got his serious face on, as he’s bent over a piece of paper and finishing up his touches on the outline for it on the outdoor table. He’s not wearing a shirt, which doesn’t seem smart. They’re in the backyard.
“You’re gonna get splinters in your nips if you don’t cover yourself up, dude,” Ethan tells him, helpfully. Grayson laughs underneath his breath and casts Ethan a look with a raised eyebrow. “Thanks for your concern, E. It’s been noted.”
“I’m bored,” Ethan then whines, and suddenly feeling a strange mixture of bravery and stupidity rushing through him, he sidles up to Grayson and right behind him, places his hands on Grayson’s waist lightly. Grayson, for his part, immediately tenses and straightens up so fast he almost headbutts Ethan. Thankfully, Ethan’s got ninja reflexes and that doesn’t happen.
“Uh, what do you think you’re doing?” Grayson asks, his voice kind of high-pitched. His hands coming to a rest on Ethan’s, almost like he’s about to shove them off and bolt. Ethan knows him too well, though, so he circles his arms around him next and drops his chin on his warm shoulder, gets a firmer grip, doesn’t give him a chance to dance away. Grayson sucks in a breath and his arms fall limply at his sides.
Still feeling incredibly stupid, Ethan blurts out, with zero cool points, “What are you attracted to? About me?”
Grayson pushes him back a little, dislodging Ethan’s hold, and spins around, his face flushed but also kind of nervous, his arms crossed tightly. Looking tense. “You are literally way in over your head right now, Ethan. I suggest you back off, bro.”
Once again, Ethan just goes with his gut and continues walking forward, until he’s all up in Grayson’s space again, arms bracketing him against the table. Grayson’s eyes widen and he leans backwards a bit, his arms falling open and one of his hands winding up on Ethan’s chest, to hold him back. Falling back into an old wrestling move.
But Ethan doesn't really pay attention to that, because Grayson’s eyes are pretty, Ethan thinks kind of dumbly and suddenly, and he’s got a nice, expressive mouth.
Also, Ethan’s gut instincts tend to lead him to good places and he’s relying on that now, despite the fact that his heart has started jack hammering inside his chest. He’s one hundred percent relying on that, as he leans forward for a kiss and Grayson pushes him away with enough force to send him stumbling back and almost onto his ass.
Ethan gets pissed off in the space of a second as he catches himself. “What the fuck was that for? I thought we were on the same page here.”
Grayson’s mouth falls open unattractively before he clicks it shut and shouts, “We are not on the same page, Ethan! You have no idea what you’re even asking for.” He’s gesticulating wildly with his hands. “None!”
“Well, then why don’t you tell me, show me?! Fill me in, Gray, ‘cause I’m just wingin’ it, here, dude. Flying blind,” Ethan says, with a frown and a pout. “Unless I’m totally wrong, and you really don’t want to…” A strange, gripping fear cuts him short at the thought, and Ethan holds his breath.
Grayson's eyes then narrow and he stares at him with a searing look that could kill - and would kill, if the recipient where anyone but Ethan - before he takes a deep breath in and storms towards Ethan and right up into his face. Ethan gulps and unintentionally raises his hands to Grayson’s chest, his pecs, needing grounding.
Grayson is like an inferno. The heat from his body is suddenly intoxicating and all that’s happened is that Grayson has a hand in Ethan’s hair, at the back of his head, holding him still, filleting him alive with his scorching gaze, and anchoring him to the spot with another hand on his hip.
He moves his head in slowly, Ethan unable to look away from his mouth. “What I want, Ethan, is to kiss you until you can’t breathe. I fuckin’ love your mouth, your lips, so I want you to be stupid with my kisses, dizzy from my lips and, and my tongue, begging me for more.” Grayson’s hot breath hits him in the face, and Ethan drops his eyes down like a pussy, face going hot and shocky, all thoughts disintegrating in his head - not being able to hold Grayson’s gaze. Fuck. The hand on Ethan’s hip squeezes and moves lower, over the top of his ass, bites into his flesh.
Ethan whines low in his throat in surprise and jerks forward into him, drops his head down onto Grayson’s shoulder.
It’s not over because Grayson’s lips trail along Ethan’s cheek for a second, super fucking intimate, before he whispers with strained longing, “I want to fuck you until you don’t even know your own name. Until you’re crying. Totally out of it. You’re begging me, just begging for release. Aching to come. Desperate to come. I want to break you, E, I want to break you and put you back together with my touch. I want you so sore after, that you can’t sit, that you cry out and remember, that I did that. I did that to you.” Ethan might actually be panting and holding onto Grayson’s arms at this point, but he can’t really tell.
Grayson’s voice, his words, have set him on fire and he’s getting hard in a way that shouldn’t be possible.
The last soft whisper of, “I wanna ruin you for anyone else,” into Ethan’s ear has Ethan done with this shit. He roughly grabs Grayson’s face and surprises him with a bruising kiss.
Grayson is a little stiff and slow to respond, tentative in kissing him back, so Ethan pulls away in frustration and demands, “What the fuck, Gray, are you all talk?”
Grayson bites his bottom lip and looks shy all of a sudden, looks over Ethan’s shoulder. “I thought I’d scare you off for good, dude. I didn’t expect for you, to like, be into it, too.”
Ethan groans out, “You stupid bitch,” and drags Grayson’s face in for a kiss again, feeling hot and needy and aching with want. He doesn't need to prompt Grayson a second time.
He licks into Grayson’s mouth, their tongues touching, making Grayson whimper and push into him until their fronts brush together accidentally-on-purpose. They’re both getting hard, already a little out of breath.
It’s not sexy, how bad Ethan wants it and how desperate they are, but it’s what’s happening. It kind of hurts, the way Grayson is lightly tugging on his lower lip with his teeth and pulling at his hair and angling his head, his fingers like bruising points on his face, but it just drives the coiling need tighter and higher up in him, spiraling out of control.
Ethan drops his hand and palms at Grayson through his shorts, then, gets curious, and Grayson breaks the kiss and breathes out a whispered, “Fuck, fuck yeah, E,” his hands suddenly ending up on Ethan’s ass, squeezing, grinding them together.
It’s a full-blown make out sesh.
Somehow they wind up heading inside and Ethan gets pushed down onto the couch, with Grayson straddling his lap, their lips still connected, more tongue-fucking now than anything else, their lips red and slick. Dizzy with a lack of breath, with need. With everything.
There’s nothing gentle about the way they drag their clothes off with rushed hands. There’s nothing gentle about the way that Grayson kisses him, touches him. It lights a fire down Ethan’s spine in a dangerous way. He feels all molten inside.
Ethan tries to keep up with him, tries to store all of Grayson’s little - or big - tells for later exploration. Like how he arches with a gasp when Ethan’s lick on his nipple turns into a sucking kiss, pulling on the nub lightly with his teeth. Or how he leans forward with a grunt and a shaky, “Fuuuuck,” into the spread hand that Ethan has on his ass, fingers digging into the cleft of it, squeezing, pulling him closer.
They have just enough time to get a hand around their cocks, messy with precome - Ethan can’t look up from the sight of their cocks pushing against each other, slick at the tips, it’s sort of mesmerizing - and get a few strokes in before they follow one another over the edge, their heads coming to a rest against each other, sweaty foreheads touching, once they’ve come down from their highs.
Their breathing is labored as they come down, Grayon’s weight really heavy now since he’s boneless, and Ethan tries to catch his lips in another kiss, this one softer, unhurried, chaste in a way that makes Ethan’s heart flood with warmth and a deep, disconcerting affection.
Grayson doesn’t open his eyes for a few moments, his dark lashes fanning over his cheeks.
Ethan brushes a gentle thumb along his cheek and places one last kiss to the red, wet bow of his bottom lip and slowly pulls back. Grayson’s nose wrinkles and he blinks his eyes open and then bites his bottom lip and starts blushing, when he catches the open, unguarded way that Ethan is staring at him.
Turns his face away into his shoulder. “Fuck, don’t look at me like that,” he whines, voice wrecked, and he’s right.
It’s too early for all of this glowing hearts bullshit, so with a hard, last kiss to Grayson’s jaw, Ethan slaps him on the thigh to get him to move off of him. “Up, up, dude, my legs have gone numb.”
Grayson yelps and shoots him a glare and then stands, wiping his hand down his stomach with his shorts nonchalantly.
Ethan raises an eyebrow up at him, enjoying the display, and knowing that Grayson knows it too, by the small, smug smile on his face. With a self-satisfied last look to Ethan, Grayson saunters to his room, evidently totally chill with being nude and not putting any clothes back on immediately.
Ethan watches his ass disappear around the corner before gets up next and immediately feels like tipping over because the pins and needles start. “Fuck, remind me next time that that’s a bad idea,” Ethan remarks to the empty space, through clenched teeth, hopping from one foot to another as he gets feeling back into them and braves going to the kitchen for a paper towel.
Once clean, he stops by Grayson’s room on the way to his, and sees the bathroom door closed.
When they’re both showered, Ethan bites back on the hysterical commentary that kicks up in his head when he cuddles next to Grayson on his bed, and takes a nap with him.
This shit is getting out of hand, and they’ve only just started messing around.
Ethan digs his chin a little into Grayson’s shoulder and mutters out a resigned, “I hate you. You’ve turned me into a little bitch.”
Grayson is near sleep, but he still giggles a little and scoots back farther into Ethan’s arms, their limbs tangled. “You are what you are, bro,” Grayson breathes out sleepily.
Ethan doesn’t say anything back and they both fall asleep like that and it’s definitely not the worst thing in the world, Ethan must admit.
The next two weeks, they move from handjobs to blowjobs with impressive speed. At least to Ethan.
Each time Ethan thinks about freaking out, about how it’s going to flip on them and get weird, they hurtle past his mental projections like rockets. The intimacy between them is next level fucking hot, and feels better than it logically should.
It stuns Ethan stupid, again and again, as he watches Grayson lap at the head of his cock, going down on him, his eyebrows furrowed, his fist pumping slowly, that it should be this sinfully good.
Ethan tries to return the favor after and not choke on Grayson’s dick, and when Grayson comes and Ethan pops up fast enough to miss catching it in his mouth but gets a shot of it on his eyebrow and cheek - it lands wet and warm and weird - Ethan wants to glare but can’t, when Grayson wheezes out a laugh after his orgasm fades. Looking all fucking glowy and giddy, his chest heaving and his abs obscenely glistening with sweat. Porn personified.
After catching his breath, he lazily drags Ethan up for a soft kiss and gently swipes his thumb over the wet spots and collects them, and Ethan’s mouth locks shut tight with another hit of crushing desire when Grayson wraps his lips around his thumb all seductively, looking at Ethan beneath his lashes, and sucks.
They make it to round two like round one didn’t even happen.
Ethan considers upping his protein and electrolyte intake in order to keep up with his intense and exciting sex life the following morning.
Ethan also comes to find that he's been having some very vanilla sex up until now, and that Grayson is his introduction to like, a very diverse and exploratory world of intimacy. He'll never tell him that, though, obviously.
He can't handle Grayson that smug.
Dude's a freak in the sheets and a gentleman on the streets.
It’s been three weeks into whatever it is that they’re doing, when Grayson asks him, out of the blue, if he has any regrets.
Ethan is setting up the camera for their intro shot, and looks up quizzically, noticing the way that Grayson’s staring at him, trying to be chill but failing spectacularly at it, arms crossed tightly over his chest.
“Regrets about what?” Ethan asks, just to be a tool, even though he’s got a good idea what Grayson’s talking about. He’s been thinking about it before going to sleep every night, whether what they’re doing is worth any future drama and heartache they bring upon themselves.
Grayson rolls his eyes and says, “You know what I’m talking about, E. Just answer the question.”
Ethan stands up from where he’s crouched, his hands on his hips. “What do you want me to say?”
The hard lines of Grayson’s face softens, and so does his voice, when he says, “I just want you to be honest with me, so that I’m not making a fool of myself here.” His eyes are seeking something in Ethan’s expression, kind of hopeful but also kind of scared, his mouth pursed up, tensed in his seat.
Ethan takes in a deep breath and sits down close next to him on the couch, knocks their knees together.
“You’re lookin’ at me like I’m about to break your heart,” Ethan gently says, feeling his own heart doing the samba suddenly.
“Well, are you?” Grayson counters back with hesitation, casting his gaze down, and literally turning into a stone-like, android-type person before Ethan’s very eyes. Slowly closing off.
Ethan’s chest continues to ache and he reaches out to tip Grayson’s face up, being softer than he has ever known himself to be, and leaning forward for a kiss. Suddenly his answer seeming so obvious, so clear.
Grayson lets out a soft sigh into the slow brushing of their mouths and his hands wind up in Ethan’s hair, softly pulling at the strands.
Ethan’s used to a different kind of love with Grayson, so this new one, with all of its layers and details, all of its complexities, floors him. He’s never known them to be like this, like they’re both made of glass, like they’re precious. He didn’t know they could be so achingly soft with each other, so tender.
With a final peck to Grayson’s lips, he pulls back to look him in the eyes, feeling all kinds of corny and cringey, to sincerely say, “No regrets. None. Never. I promise.”
Grayson’s nose crinkles up as he ducks his head down to smile, and it’s the most beautiful thing that Ethan’s ever seen.
Grayson asks him one last time if he regrets it a few months later, and Ethan has to effectively shut him up with a kiss again.
It’s not a terrible hardship, all in all.