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You Could Always Count On Me

Chapter Text

“If you think you’re endangering yourself, you should travel separately.”

That was what Gyro had said to him after they fought Stroheim, but whether or not he meant it didn’t matter. The thought made Johnny's stomach lurch, and for the life of him he couldn’t figure out why. It had been weeks since and the words still returned to bother him, occasionally rearing their head to torment him with the very idea of leaving Gyro behind.

They sat together at their temporary campsite, playing cards as they waited for their freshly caught rabbit to cook. Boiling in a pot beside it was the wild carrot Gyro had found beside the stream.

“Johnny, come here.” He had called over his shoulder earlier that evening, crouching down to look at something. When Johnny reached him he pointed to two white flowering plants beside each other. “Can you tell the difference between these?”

Johnny looked puzzled for a moment. “They’re the same thing, aren’t they?”

“Wrong. This-” Gyro pointed to the plant on the left. “-is hemlock, which is incredibly poisonous and can kill you. And this-” He pointed to the one on the right. “-is Queen Anne’s lace. Otherwise known as wild carrot.”

Gyro pulled up the plant on the right, revealing a thick root Johnny could see as vaguely resembling a carrot.

“I’m gonna show you the difference so if you’re ever alone out here you don’t end up poisoning yourself. Look at the stems, the hemlock has purple spots and is smooth, while the Queen Anne’s lace has a hairs on the stem.” He pointed carefully to the differences and Johnny could see them immediately.

“Oh yeah.”

“And can you see the shape of the flowers? The wild carrot is flat, hemlock has separate groups of flowers that are curved.” Gyro picked one of the flowers from the wild carrot and held it up to Johnny, for a wild moment he thought Gyro was offering it to him like some mad gesture of affection, but he was simply trying to give him a closer look. “In the middle here, you can also see one tiny red flower. There are some other differences, but that should give you something to go on.”

“Jeez, Gyro, where do you learn all this shit?”

Gyro shrugged, tossing the flower over his shoulder and leaning down to harvest a few more carrots.

“I’ve led a long and complicated life, Johnny.”

“Oh shut up you dick, you’re only a few years older than I am.” Johnny rolled his eyes and scooted back over to the campsite. Gyro followed him.

“Johnny, you may criticize me but… do you think I carrot all?” Johnny blinked at Gyro for a moment, staring down his stupid grin. “Carrot all… care at all…” Gyro offered.

“Oh I heard you the first time.”

“Not gonna write that one down?”

“No, because that is shit. Your worst one yet.” Johnny snatched the plants from his hand and turned away from him to wash the soil off of them in a bucket of water, Gyro didn’t seem to mind that Johnny hated his joke, he just smiled at the back of his grumpy head.

The carrots were bland, not really anything like the ones they were used to, but they were starchy and filling, which is all that really mattered. They discarded their game of poker to eat, which Johnny was secretly glad about because Gyro was absolutely kicking his ass.

They ate in silence, stuffing their faces desperately; Johnny had never known hunger like it. Growing up in a wealthy family left little room for him to experience the hardships of life like hunger or lack of shelter, and although he’d been on his own for the last two years, this race was the one thing in his life that was teaching him real human experiences. Sharing those difficulties with Gyro made it all seem like an adventure.

After dinner they picked up their cards again and Johnny, sick of losing at poker, decided to teach Gyro how to play go fish.

“Do you have any queens?” Johnny asked.

“Go fishing.” Gyro said, getting it wrong for the fifth time.

“It’s not go fishing, its just go fish.”

“Whatever!” Much to Johnny's amusement he was getting frustrated, and when Johnny laid down his final four cards Gyro threw his remaining deck down, not used to losing for once.

Vaffanculo. I prefer poker.”

“And what’s that mean, huh?” Johnny smirked, collecting all the cards back together.

“It means ‘you're the best’, my dear friend.” Gyro said bitterly.

“Hm, somehow I doubt that.”

When the hour grew late enough to turn in for bed, the two of them squeezed into their small tent together, sleeping beside each other for warmth.

They had started in separate tents, but while the race wore on, necessity overrode pride, as it often did. The first time was a particularly cold night, Johnny woke up shivering, that wasn’t new, but this time was different, he had never felt cold like this before. It was a cold that reached inside him and grabbed him by the bones.

There was only one way Johnny knew how to warm up quickly, so with determination and his mind made up he threw his blanket around his shoulders and opened the entrance to his tent. It was still the dead of night. There was light snow softly falling, and it had been for a while judging by the layer on the ground around him. As quickly as he could manage he shuffled on his butt across towards Gyro's tent and slipped inside, shutting the fastening tight and turning around to look at Gyro's sleeping figure.

Whether or not Gyro would think it was weird remained to be seen, this was a survival tactic, and neither of them could afford to be fussy right now. This was a matter of life and death. Gyro woke immediately when Johnny laid down beside him, lifting his head slightly, and after a moment of confusion he settled down, allowing Johnny to scoot closer to his warm body.

They retained a respectable boundary at first, hands were kept to themselves, there was no cuddling, it was simply functional. Neither of them mentioned it that night, or any other night when it became a regular occurrence, until Johnny's tent remained packed away for good.

Fighting together, riding together, eating together and now sleeping together, it was a natural progression of things. Neither of them had felt so comfortable with another human being in their lives, and slowly, as they became more familiar with one another, as their bond grew tighter, they allowed the boundaries to be pushed. They faced danger together in the day and at night they held each other close, sharing not only warmth but also an appreciation for the other’s presence. The nights weren’t even so cold anymore, but the routine remained.

The feelings blossomed in Johnny's cold chest before he even realised it was happening, it was weak of him, he knew that. Gyro would hate Johnny if he knew how dearly he cared for him but despite the fear he just couldn’t let it go.

It was a particularly mild night, and the two of them lay tangled together, Johnny's hand running through Gyro's long hair. The older man was sleeping, but Johnny couldn’t. All he could do was lie there, sadly thinking.

It was quiet outside, the world was at peace, and there was nothing to be heard but the soft wind and crickets chirping, but Johnny couldn’t stop the racing thoughts that tripped over each other in his mind.

Gyro would be leaving soon. The race would be over and he would return to Europe, leaving Johnny alone to try and forget the enigmatic Italian with ridiculous gold teeth.

He would miss bickering over shitty jokes and having his ass kicked at poker. The way Gyro taught him all sorts of useless facts about things Johnny had never even known about his own country. The stupid songs he’d come up with to pass the hours.

Johnny turned his face towards Gyro's and squeezed his eyes shut, ignoring the tears that escaped to roll down his cheeks. In his sleep Gyro shifted, pulling Johnny closer and sighing out through his nose, even that tiny action made Johnny's heart ache with longing. How could he ever be apart from him? How was Johnny meant to go on without Gyro at his side?

He must have been squeezing Gyro back a little too tightly because he moved again and rubbed his face against Johnny's wet cheek.

“What’s up?” He asked, voice thick with sleep as he patted Johnny on the shoulder.

“Ain’t you gonna miss it here?” Johnny whispered. It was unspoken but both of them knew what Johnny really meant was ‘Ain’t you gonna miss me?’

“Well, sure.”

“I’ve got nobody, Gyro.”

“You’ve got me.” He mumbled. Being half asleep, he clearly didn’t understand what Johnny was saying, and he said no more before he was back to snoring in his ear.

It hurt. It hurt Johnny so badly. He yearned to be able to just cast aside propriety and simply tell Gyro how sincerely he felt about him, but a deep-set fear gripped his mind, a fear that spoke in his father’s voice. He couldn’t. It wasn’t right, it just wasn’t how things were done. He couldn’t do that to himself and he couldn’t do it to Gyro, so instead he forced himself to settle for quiet embraces and heartache.

Chapter Text

The heavy thud on the ground behind him told Johnny that Gyro had just fallen off his horse. He had been shot in the shoulder during their most recent scuffle with an enemy, and the wound combined with weariness and hunger had clearly gotten the better of him.

Johnny reached out and grabbed Valkyrie's reins in one hand to calm her, bringing both her and Slow Dancer to a stop. Gyro was still collapsed on the ground when he returned, but he was alive, and he was awake.

“You alright down there, partner?”

Perfetto.” Gyro mumbled, pushing himself up to his knees and taking the hand Johnny had reached down to assist him.

“Let’s stop and make camp here.”

“Sounds good.”

When the tent was set up and a fire was crackling underneath their cooking pot, Gyro finally peeled his shirt off and hissed as the air hit his wound.

“You mind taking a look?”

“Sure.” Johnny said, putting the wooden spoon down to move closer to Gyro. There was too much blood, both dried and sticky, to see clearly, so Johnny grabbed his canteen and a rag, ignoring Gyro's complaints as he began cleaning it up.

“Fuck!”

“This needs stitches I reckon.” Johnny mused, looking at the open gash up the back of Gyro's shoulder. Fortunately the bullet had only grazed him, it wasn’t lodged in his flesh, but the wound was deep and bloody.

“There’s a needle and thread in my saddle bag, think you can get it done?”

“What? Me?”

“Yes you, Johnny, you see any hospitals around here?”

“You’re the doctor! Can’t you do it?”

“I can’t reach. I can barely even see it. Listen just sew it up like you were sewing up a hole in your shirt. I’ll be here to guide you.” Gyro looked into Johnny's nervous eyes pleadingly. “Please, Johnny. I need you to do this for me.”

“Fine. Okay. But it ain't gonna be pretty.”

“Bullet wounds never are.”

“Fine, but you get the thread, I’m not dragging myself all the way over there.”

Gyro agreed and even threaded the needle for him, giving a brief explanation on where to begin, then grabbed their single remaining bottle of alcohol in an attempt to numb the pain somewhat. It did little to help.

“Ah shit, shit, shit.” Gyro muttered through gritted teeth as Johnny pinched the wound shut roughly.

“You’re gonna have to stop bein’ such a baby if you want me to get this done right.”

“I can’t help it, your bedside manner is terrible!” The older man grimaced and looked away, swigging cheap American whiskey to mask the pain, wincing as the needle pierced his skin for the first time. It hurt less than having Johnny manhandling him, but overall the whole experience wasn’t one he’d like to repeat.

He could feel Johnny hesitate as blood oozed out thickly all over his fingers two stitches in, making them slippery and hard to maneuver.

“Sorry.” Johnny said after unintentionally stabbing Gyro with the needle.

“You’re doing great, Johnny.” Gyro mumbled. “Really great.”

“This looks like real shit.”

“It’ll be fine. As long as it stops the bleeding.”

“It’s also kinda making me feel sick, lookin’ at the inside a’ your flesh like this.”

“Okay, let’s take your mind off that.” Gyro looked around the campsite and his eyes settled on the large pot that was starting to smell pretty good. “What’s cooking?”

“Soup. Figured it’d be easy for you to eat with one hand. You can just drink it.”

“Aw, shucks, and there I thought you were gonna spoon-feed me.”

“You wish, cowboy.” Johnny rolled his eyes, pinching the bullet wound a little rougher.

“Figlio di puttana! Quit that!” Gyro threw a dirty look over his shoulder. “God damn, if that’s how gentle you are with a poor wounded soul like me, I hate to think how you are with a woman, Johnny. It’s frightening.”

“You ain't a woman, dickhead.”

“But I’m fragile.”

“You ain't fragile, neither.” Johnny said, pulling his stitch tight. Gyro was quiet for a moment, thinking.

“You ever been in love, Johnny?”

“Naw.” His cheeks burned at the question, glad that Gyro couldn’t see his face just then. He tied off the last stitch and used his knife to cut the string nice and short, finding that he wasn’t too unimpressed with the job he’d done. “You?”

“No. I was just hopin’ I make it back home to fall in love one day.”

Johnny’s throat felt dry, he swallowed, wiping some blood off of Gyro's back and shoulder, just looking for any excuse to keep touching him.

“Who’s to say you won’t fall in love here?”

What?

What was he saying? What had gotten into him? Johnny didn’t know why his mouth had suddenly decided to start speaking without his permission, but Gyro was quiet. The silence scared him and spurred him on and before he could control himself, Johnny's hand had slipped off of Gyro's shoulder and down a fraction towards his collarbone.

Against his better judgment, Gyro turned his head and looked in Johnny's direction, noting how near he was, how he stuck his tongue out just a bit to dampen his lower lip. He didn’t say a word, and Johnny’s trembling heart took that as a sign to move just a hairs breadth closer.

Gyro wasn’t moving. Why wasn’t he moving? He was caught up in the thick tension of the moment, with Johnny's hand sliding ever lower towards his chest and the slight way he leaned in between breaths. This was so dangerous. The hot air balloons had landed for the night but who knows what enemies could be out there watching them.

When Johnny's lips were finally in range and Gyro could no longer pretend it wasn’t happening, spurred by fear and adrenalin he pulled away and stood up. He didn’t look at Johnny as he grabbed his shirt, going into the tent and muttering a weak “Thanks.”

Once the flap was closed, he sat in there, head in his hands furiously thinking. Gyro wasn’t a fool, he knew Johnny was growing more and more attached to him, he wasn’t so blind that he didn’t notice the gentle fingers Johnny weaved through his hair when he thought Gyro was asleep. The whole thing scared the life out of him. They could literally be killed if someone even had an inkling about this, and Johnny was playing with fire every time he made up a new excuse to draw himself closer to Gyro.

His father had taught him to avoid sentimentality, and Gyro recognised that the things he felt when he looked at Johnny made him weak.

‘A heart full of sentimentality is dangerous. It can set your future to eternal misery.’

His words echoed within Gyro, there was very little he could do without the image of his father looming over him, casting judgment, it took everything in him to steel himself and remember his teachings. He had been weak in the past, given in to temptation, but it wasn’t going to happen anymore. His cheekbone still stung from the first (and last) time he’d allowed his heart to be swayed by a beautiful man, he was extremely lucky his father hadn’t disowned him then and there, but something within him caved and he’d overlooked it. There wouldn’t be another chance like that, Gyro knew this, he realised how wrong he’d been.

Johnny was very dear to him, but he was becoming a distraction, one he couldn’t afford to be lured in by.

 

Johnny sat outside nervously with his fists gripping the fabric of his pants, staring at the tent that Gyro had just retreated into, and a pang of betrayal jolted through him.

He shouldn’t feel betrayed, Gyro had never committed to anything, but his heart was delicate and easily bruised. Johnny knew he should have learned his lesson when his father kicked him out, shouldn’t allow himself to be hurt by other people… Gyro was different though. They were a team, he put his life in Johnny's hands and protected him in turn, he held him close at night and allowed him to cry without calling him a sissy.

It didn’t mean anything though. A warm hug is not a promise.

Why had he done such a foolish thing? He’d really pushed a boundary here, and now Gyro was never going to talk to him again, he’d probably take Valkyrie and leave before Johnny even woke up tomorrow. The thought filled him with dread. Surely he wouldn’t do that to Johnny, no matter how angry he was.

He was distracted from his thoughts by the pot of soup bubbling loudly, and quickly reached over to stir it, occupying his thoughts with that rather than what an irresponsible and idiotic move he’d tried to pull.

Gyro emerged again a short while later to eat his soup and then returned to the tent wordlessly, scaring the shit out of Johnny with every silent second that passed. He really was angry with him, then. Johnny half debated putting his own tent up after seeing the stern look on his face, sure that Gyro wouldn’t want him anywhere near him, but it was dark and chilly, and Johnny wanted nothing more than to curl up beside Gyro's warmth.

The older man was pretending to be asleep when Johnny finally gave in and crawled inside, he could tell he was pretending from the way he tensed up when Johnny’s arm brushed against his back. He wanted to whisper an apology but he couldn’t bring himself to make a sound, so instead he settled for resting his forehead against Gyro's upper back, trembling a little, and trying to ignore the tears that threatened to escape from the eyes he kept squeezed shut.

After a long, hesitant pause, Gyro lifted one hand up to touch Johnny’s hair softly, a silent reassurance that everything was fine, they didn’t have to talk about it or acknowledge it ever happened. He wasn’t angry anymore, they could move on, and Johnny let out a breath he didn’t even know he’d been holding.

Chapter Text

Gyro could see Johnny was nodding off on the back of Slow Dancer, occasionally jolting his head up when it fell forward. They were half an hour’s ride from one of the towns affiliated with the race, and they were in no rush this evening.

“Sleep. I’ll wake you up when we get to town.”

Johnny welcomed the offer, and settled forward on his horse, appreciating her solid mass beneath his cheek as Gyro reached over to take hold of her reins just on the off chance she should bolt. But she would never, Slow Dancer loved being by Valkyrie’s side and Johnny supposed she must have been taking cues from her rider because that’s exactly where he felt most comfortable too.

Johnny woke up to two strong hands pulling him gently off of his horse and the sensation of being carried. His pride instinctively recoiled at the sensation. Gyro never carried him. No matter what scenario they were in, Gyro knew Johnny preferred to be independent, he didn’t need to be pandered to, but he realised after a moment that this was… nice. Having a warm, firm chest to bury his face into was a rare treat, and so Johnny pretended he was still asleep.

He appreciated the way Gyro acted around him. There was no pity, there was none of the uncomfortable, awkward way people would try to avoid looking him in the eye as if they were afraid of him. Or, and this was Johnny’s most hated thing, the way they would start speaking slowly to him as if he was touched in the head as well as being unable to walk.

Gyro treated him exactly the same way he would treat anyone else, he would assign jobs for Johnny around their nightly campsites, no making excuses for laziness. If they were to travel together Johnny was to put in just as much work, and that’s what he wanted.

Gyro put Johnny down gently on the bed, careful not to wake him, unaware that he was already awake. He had chosen a room for them with two beds to keep up appearances, but Johnny was glad when he felt Gyro's weight settle on the mattress behind him. It’s what they were used to. It’s what they knew.

 

Gyro woke in the small hours of the morning, it was unusual for him to stir before sunrise, as getting enough sleep was one of his priorities lately, but it didn’t take long for him to realise what had awoken him. He was hard, and there was a tight little ass pressed against his cock. In his sleepy haze he smiled and pressed his morning erection against the warm body tucked into his lap, tightening his arm around their abdomen.

He rolled his hips against the weight of their figure, appreciating the deep-set satisfaction that came with relieving some of the pressure between his legs. Gyro sighed out through his nose and rubbed his boner against them a little harder a couple of times. It had been weeks since he’d even had some time to himself to take care of things like this, so having another person there to help him out was his idea of bliss. He had no idea when they joined him but he wasn’t complaining.

Gyro's fingers drowsily trailed up a toned, flat tummy seeking out a handful of something to squeeze, he couldn’t feel a bra under this shirt and that made him smile wider, it just made access even easier. But when his hand took its place, in a position he was very familiar with, half a second of confusion washed over him replaced by a frozen cascade of realisation. This chest was flat. Hard, solid muscle was underneath his hand where he expected the soft swell of a breast.

There wasn’t a breast to grab because the lithe figure he was spooning against wasn’t a woman. It was Johnny.

What scared Gyro even more was the way he couldn’t even bear to stop, he didn’t want to stop, it had been so long without a scrap of intimate comfort that his body was just refusing to stop its shameless rutting against Johnny’s pert ass. What's more, he realised from the sound of the breathing beside him that Johnny was awake.

How much longer could he feign sleep? How long could he keep this up without alerting Johnny to the fact that he was wide awake and had been for several minutes? And why was Johnny letting this happen?

Enough was enough, Gyro pulled away from Johnny's warm body, a sick feeling coursing through his veins, knowing that what he’d just allowed to go on was wrong. They were both men. Plus, Johnny may be awake but he was taking advantage, sleeping bodily reactions were one thing, but this was crossing a line Gyro wasn’t willing to touch.

But Johnny's hand shot out at the sudden absence of contact and reached behind him to grab Gyro's hip, preventing him from leaving and pulling him back against himself.

‘Oh fuck.’ Gyro thought, and against his better judgment, stayed, pressing his nose against Johnny's skin and breathing hot and heavy down his neck. With explicit permission laid out in front of him, Gyro took hold of Johnny's hip, holding him steady as he pushed against him, grinding onto the soft cheeks he had long pretended he wasn’t fascinated by.

One fumbling, desperate hand hooked its thumb under the waistband of Johnny's pants and pulled them down sloppily to feel the crack of his ass. As long as there was the barrier of Gyro's underwear it was still fine, at least that’s what he told himself as he thrusted his thinly covered cock against the dip between Johnny’s ass cheeks.

The silence between them helped, they didn’t say anything, and all that could be heard was the sound of two heavy sets of breathing. The illusion was intact and both of them could pretend if they wanted to. Gyro was so painfully hard, desperately humping Johnny as he tried to achieve some sort of satisfaction from this sordid act. Could Johnny even feel this? Could he feel how hard Gyro's cock was, and how perfectly it slid between him? Or could he just feel the urgent movements of a man using his best friend like the degenerate he was.

“Gyro…” Johnny murmured, breaking the spell a little bit, but to Gyro's horror the sound of Johnny's voice breathing his name like that was what pushed him over the edge and he came hard against Johnny's ass, letting out a deep moan against the back of his neck. His fingers squeezed into his hips, thrusting shallowly as he rode it out, and collapsed against him when it was over.

They didn’t move. Several seconds passed as Gyro gasped for air, face sticky against Johnny's skin, until Johnny worked up enough courage to half roll over, pushing his face towards Gyro's in an attempt to capture the kiss he’d been waiting for.

He didn’t anticipate Gyro pulling away from him harshly before their lips could meet, putting his trousers on quickly and leaving the room. Johnny simply lay there, not exactly sure what he was feeling, and pulled his pants back up.

Gyro threw open the front doors to the inn, kicking an upturned bucket that happened to be in his path. He felt so guilty and wrong, using Johnny like that. Never mind that he was a man, he was his friend, and just when Johnny was looking for some reassurance he’d fled like the fucking coward he was. Gyro kept walking, tearing at his hair, he’d forgotten his hat back at their room but there was no way he was going back to get it. He just needed to keep walking, keep walking and trying not to think about the cold, sticky mess in the front of his underwear.

He stayed out until the sun came up, when he had finally built up the nerve to return to the scene, and found Johnny awake, sat on the bed brushing his hair with his back to the door. Gyro had no other plan than to pretend nothing had happened, and breezed in, grabbing his bag.

“You ready to go?” He asked, refusing to look at Johnny.

“Mm.”

“Horses are hitched out front.”

“Gyro.” Johnny's voice stopped him in his tracks, and with dread filling his bones he turned from where he was stood in the doorway to look back over his shoulder. “I… I ain't got a wheelchair here. You mind carrying my bag so I can get myself outside?”

It took everything Johnny had in him to ask for help like that, and Gyro knew it, he could see it in the humiliated scowl and the slightly flushed face, and after thinking for a moment he made a decision.

He turned around fully and grabbed Johnny's bag, slinging it over his shoulder alongside his own, with his other arm Gyro reached down to where Johnny was sat on the bed and picked him up so his butt was perched on his forearm. Johnny let out a yelp of fright and clung to Gyro's neck.

“What the hell do you think you’re doing!? Huh?”

“Simmer down, it’s quicker this way.”

“Put me down.” Johnny growled, but Gyro was already heading for the door. “I don’t need you to carry me. Besides, I’m too heavy.”

Gyro snorted. “Oh, please. I carried you in, I can carry you out.” That was the last he had to say on the subject, they both knew Gyro was strong enough to hold him with one arm and he carried a still protesting Johnny out to where Slow Dancer was hitched, lifting him up just enough that he could slide onto the saddle. Johnny did so with a frown on his face and somehow Gyro knew it wasn’t down to last night’s dreadful occurrence, but he couldn’t help but be secretly pleased for the distraction. They had something else to argue about, Johnny wouldn’t keep it bottled up for long.

When their bags were attached and Gyro had swung one leg up and over Valkyrie’s back, Johnny finally spoke.

“I’m not a kid.” He mumbled angrily.

“I know you’re not a kid.”

“And I’m not useless. I can get around.”

“What’s your point?”

“Don’t carry me about. I’m capable.”

“I was just being practical. But if you really feel like that, I won’t do it again.” Gyro said in a clipped tone, riding off. Johnny flicked his reins and caught up behind him.

“No, you don’t get to be an asshole about this. You don’t understand what it’s like, being this way, everyone looks at you like you may as well be dead already, or they go over the top pandering to you. It makes me feel like they see me as some kinda overgrown infant. I'm a grown ass man and I can do things for myself.” Johnny sighed, releasing some of the irritation that was built up inside him. Gyro just listened. “That’s why I like being on a horse, no one knows the difference.”

“I didn’t know you felt that way.” He said quietly.

“Listen, I know you didn’t mean anything by it. I know you respect me, and you don’t think of me any different, it just took me by surprise.”

“Yeah… I’m sorry, Johnny.”

“’S alright.”

“You know you can always ask me for help, though, right? Don’t be too proud not to ask when you need it. I promise I’ll only ever see you as Johnny the hard-faced bastard.”

“Yeah, I know.” Johnny said and he couldn’t help the smile that wormed its way onto his face. He was still mad at Gyro for leaving last night, but could put it behind him for now in favour of a companionable silence as they rode. They were lucky in that there was another town a solid day’s ride from where they were, and they were aiming to hit that by nightfall, so they simply rode, listening to the thudding sound of hooves and the gentle morning breeze blowing Autumn leaves to the ground.

Chapter Text

The first thing Gyro did when they arrived was procure a wheelchair for Johnny from the local doctor. They were slightly ahead of schedule and the sun was still going down, so he left Johnny to arrange the use of a stable while he went to pick it up.

He hadn’t told Johnny where he was going, just said he’d be back shortly and the look on Johnny's face when he saw Gyro wheeling himself into the stable was priceless. He was leaning back, balancing on the rear wheels only and had an intense expression of concentration.

“Ta-da!” He grinned. “Johnny I think I just invented something. I'm gonna call it a wheelie.”

Johnny rolled his eyes at this ridiculous man that had somehow stolen his heart long ago. He couldn’t deny the rush of warmth he felt towards Gyro for prioritising this, it just showed that he truly listened to what Johnny had said, and he was even ready to forgive him for his behaviour last night. It was clear Gyro was trying to apologise.

“Very impressive. Hand it over.”

Gyro wheeled himself over to where Johnny was still sat on his horse’s back and offered him a hand getting down, which Johnny thought about before accepting. When he was comfortably settled Gyro grinned at him.

“On my way over I noticed two things, one: a saloon, and two: some beautiful ladies hanging around that saloon. Let’s go.”

His eagerness didn’t really give Johnny much of a choice, but he went along with it. With any luck the presence of some women would set him right, and take his mind off of the increasingly illicit thoughts he’d been having lately. They had spent too much time alone, that had to be the reason why, and he just wanted those feelings gone.

Over at the bar Gyro booked a two-bed room for them upstairs and ordered them each two fingers of whiskey, which they slammed together.

“Another one.” Gyro said to the bartender.

“Leave the bottle.” Johnny added, topping up his drink. Gyro grinned and raised his glass to him.

“Yeah! Great idea.”

There were a couple of women nearby whose interest was piqued by the sound of Gyro's voice, immediately Johnny felt defensive as he noticed them sidling closer. They didn’t meet a lot of people along their journey so Gyro's accent felt like a special secret only for Johnny's enjoyment, but he tried to swallow the feeling away along with his whiskey as they came up and introduced themselves. He needed to try and move past this sort of thinking, and female company was the best way of doing that.

“You’re part of the race?” He heard one of the girls say as he snapped out of his distraction.

“Sì, Johnny and I are indeed on this long, lonely journey.” Gyro said, holding his heart dramatically.

“And you came all the way from Italy to race?”

Gyro confirmed this, and then launched into a long, theatrical story about his sick mother and how he needed the money to pay for her heart surgery or something, Johnny stopped listening, he knew it was all bullshit, but it kept the ladies on the edge of their seat.

He wanted to join in, he could have easily played along and topped Gyro's sob story with one of his own, but something was holding him back, he’d lost all confidence with women ever since the accident and he found his natural Joestar charm hard to come by lately. He just wasn’t visible to girls anymore. His insecurity was made worse by watching how leisurely Gyro flirted, playing drinking games with the girls as the evening went on, and how easily Johnny slipped into the background didn’t help.

He kept drinking, letting his irritation grow as slowly their numbers thinned and Gyro was left with one girl, who was hanging off his every word, and judging by the low whispers he pressed close to her ear he was clearly very interested as well.

Johnny lost his patience; he wheeled himself away without getting so much as a glance in his direction, and went to bed extremely annoyed.

He knew Gyro was likely embarrassed about the night before, but to pull away from him this much felt personal. He had hoped everything was back to normal by now, but Gyro was clearly overcompensating. Well, if he wanted to act a fool then Johnny wasn’t going to stop him, no way in hell.

The bed was cold when he climbed under the sheets, pulling them up close to his chin and facing the wall, Johnny felt humiliated as his thoughts turned only to how much warmer it would be if Gyro was there to hold him. It had been a long time since he’d last gone to bed alone, it was lonely and he had too much room to himself. How was he meant to sleep without Gyro's hair getting in his face? It took a while, but he eventually managed to drift off into a shallow, restless sleep.

The door burst open, waking Johnny with a fright, the loud bang was immediately punctuated by Gyro's gentle shushing.

“Hey, you didn’t say you had a friend in here.” Came a female voice from the doorway.

“Oh, don’t worry about him.” Gyro's voice was thick with alcohol and his words stung. Johnny hadn’t moved, so they didn’t know he was awake, but they were doing an awful job at keeping quiet. He could hear the quiet smack of lips and the creak of Gyro's bed as they collapsed onto it together. Johnny hoped and prayed they were too drunk to do anything, he wasn’t a particularly religious man but he was speaking straight to God tonight. Please, please let them fall asleep.

As usual, God ignored him.

There came a moan from the other side of the room.

Johnny felt sick. A cold chill ran through his body and a type of unspeakable sadness he’d never felt before quickly accompanied it. Listening to Gyro fuck this woman beside him was worse than the lowest point in his life, if he could turn back time and spend another year in that awful hospital he would do it in a heartbeat, he would do anything to avoid being trapped here. Johnny was so confused, so hurt, Gyro had never done anything to wound him so harshly before.

No matter how ashamed Gyro was, he was meant to be his friend, he thought they were a team, but this was beyond the pale, all Johnny could do was cry quietly into his pillow and try to pretend it wasn’t happening.

After a lifetime of waiting, trying desperately to think of anything else that would distract him, it was finally over. Johnny had no idea how long he’d been lying there in his own personal hell but it was done, he didn’t have to suffer any longer. Gyro walked her to the door, and as soon as the room was quiet again, shared only by the two of them, Johnny spoke.

“You’re an asshole. You’re a fucking asshole.” He tried to keep the angry tears out of his voice, but he was sure Gyro knew. The older man said nothing. He stood where he was for a moment, and then settled back into bed, rolling over to face away from Johnny and went to sleep.

Johnny hardly slept, his fraught mind wouldn’t allow it, and as soon as the sun rose he was out of the room, not sure he could take it if Gyro carried him again. The man was incomprehensible, one moment he’s tender and the next he’s cold, the constant back and forth was tearing Johnny's heart asunder and he couldn’t cope with the idea of shedding one more tear over him.

His feelings were complicated and stupid and Gyro's callous treatment of them wasn’t doing him any good, there was no doubt in his mind now that Gyro knew, he just couldn’t work out why he was doing so many things to intentionally hurt him.

Johnny waited in the stables for Gyro to join him, taking the opportunity to brush his horse. She nuzzled him affectionately, which warmed his heart a little, but it wasn’t enough.

Eventually Gyro showed his face, and Johnny had resolved not to talk to him, barely looking in his direction as he saddled up Valkyrie. He’d been hoping for the opportunity to ignore a direct question or something but Gyro seemed just as determined not to talk to him either, so they unhitched their horses, left the stables and rode out into the grasslands without a word.

Johnny’s heart thudded anxiously in time with Slow Dancer’s hooves, the silence increasing his uneasiness with every passing minute. Occasionally he’d sneak a glance over in Gyro's direction, trying to ascertain his mood, but his face was blank, unreadable, until finally he spoke.

“God you're a sour little bastard.” Gyro growled, barely under his breath, and something within Johnny just snapped.

I'm sour!?” Johnny yelled, slowing to a stop, Gyro turned around to face him.

“Yeah, you are. I've never met someone with such a chip on their shoulder before.”

“Then go! I ain’t making you stay! I don’t need you no more!” Johnny wished he could take the words back as soon as they left his lips, but there they were, hanging in the air between them like a rattlesnake waiting to strike.

“Y’know what, Johnny? I’ve just been waiting for you to say that. Good luck with the race.” Gyro muttered, turning Valkyrie and riding off ahead of him, getting further and further away as the young American’s heart ached and stung, but if Gyro wanted to leave he wasn’t going to beg him to stay.

He didn’t want to entertain the possibility that he’d made a mistake, but Slow Dancer gave a sad little whinny as her friend left them behind and Johnny gave her a sympathetic rub behind the ears, wishing that he had someone to comfort him just the same. But he was right, he didn’t need Gyro's help, he knew how to set up camp and do things for himself, the company he provided no longer outweighed the sorrow his actions could bring.

Chapter Text

The first night Johnny spent alone was the loneliest he’d ever felt. Even the two years following his injury had never felt like this, because no one had ever made him feel the way Gyro could before. The whole situation was a mess of unresolved feelings and shame combined with male pride and the stigma around these things. As much as it hurt him to think about, he couldn’t completely blame Gyro for the way he had reacted, any man would have responded the same way.

Johnny knew he was coming on far too strong, but in the moment, having Gyro so near but so far, it was difficult to keep his head on straight. He craved intimacy, a connection, and right now all he wanted was to have that soft Italian accent to keep him company beside the crackling campfire he had built.

Earlier in the afternoon he had managed to shoot down a pigeon, which was now roasting nicely over the flames. His stomach was growling from the long ride today, hardly stopping at all, the longer he rode, the further away from Gyro's last known location he got and the thought scared him, but Johnny pushed on through the heat of the day. Running from his feelings was the only thing he could do.

The pigeon sizzled, it was clearly finished cooking, and Johnny hungrily pulled it off the stick he’d speared it upon and immediately turned to offer Gyro one of the legs.

But Gyro wasn’t there.

A sharp fist squeezed around his heart.

The reflex of sharing food was something he would have to train himself out of, as he told himself again and again that this was the right choice, no mistakes had been made, nothing could be done about it now. His mouth tasted like ash, though, and he hardly tasted the meat as he bit down into it, at this point it was simply functional. He had to eat to keep going, but as he forced down bite after bite even that seemed pointless. What was he even riding for anymore?

The thought of turning around and going home tempted him, but they had made it so far together, if he gave up now it was truly like throwing away all of the hardships they had pushed through, and Johnny wasn’t ready to do that yet.

It had been a long time since Johnny had put up his tent on his own, and he was ashamed by how much he struggled without Gyro's help, but determination and sheer force of will helped until, exhausted, he crawled inside and collapsed. He noted how cold the bedroll was without Gyro beside him, and remembered feeling the same way in the lumpy saloon bed, squeezing his eyes shut to avoid remembering the other emotions he had felt in that damn room. But his efforts throughout the day to convince himself being alone was better were all for nothing because he was finally too tired to pretend.

What was Gyro doing right now? He was a chronic cuddler, so how was he coping on his own without Johnny’s warmth as they slept? Had he managed to find something to eat, or was he lying awake hungry?

Was he thinking about Johnny right now?

Was he missing him too?

Was he looking up at the same moon that Johnny could see through a hole in his tent?

No matter how he tried he couldn’t attain any sort of comfort as the voice inside his head berated him over and over for being a jealous fool. The most important friendship of his life had been lost over nothing, and Johnny slipped into a restless sleep that brought him absolutely no relief from the pain.

 

Johnny woke up at sunrise, ready to get moving, he had come to the decision that he would journey to the next checkpoint at least, and turn back after that. There was no need to continue this farce, but he couldn’t bear it if this leg of the race had been for nothing, he still wanted to prove to himself that he could complete something, even if that wasn’t the entire Steel Ball Run.

He spent another full day riding, running from his thoughts, stopping only for bathroom breaks and for Slow Dancer’s sake, the only comfort was the knowledge that at least he was making good headway.

Finally his horse decided she’d had enough, she stopped running, breath came hot and steaming out of her nostrils and Johnny felt guilty for pushing her this hard because of his own selfish whims. The sun was just going down and there was a lake nearby that he took her to drink from, catching his own breath too as he observed the red glow shining off the surface of the water.

Johnny froze.

Over the lake he saw the silhouette of a familiar looking horse drinking from the water.

His chest constricted tightly upon seeing the mask covering her face.

It was Valkyrie.

He couldn’t breathe. He couldn’t think. For a heartbeat Johnny was conflicted, seeing her here surely meant something, but what if Gyro didn’t want to see him anymore? What if the sight of Johnny just encouraged more hurtful words and actions? The fear of that kept him hesitating, but before his mind could decide what to do his heart had already chosen.

“C’mon, girl.” He encouraged, needing his horse to push on just a little further, but unable to explain to her why this was so important. She obediently indulged him though, and for that he didn’t deserve her.

Slow Dancer’s hooves thudded across the ground as she galloped around the lake Valkyrie was drinking from, he didn’t want to lose sight of her but between them was a small woodland, and it would take several minutes to reach the other side. Nevertheless, Johnny pushed on, riding through the woods as quick as he could to catch up to Gyro, fear and distressed need spurring him on. He could hear his breath loud in his ears, his racing pulse a frantic drumline to this desperate endeavor.

Johnny exploded out from the trees, pulling back on his reins as he tried to control every precise movement of his horse. Valkyrie was gone and he looked around wildly, unclipping his stirrups, ready to drag himself all over this prairie looking for his estranged companion if necessary.

“Gyro!” He called, trying to spot where he could have gone. “Gyro!”

His heart ached, how could he have been such an idiot, why did he have to be so stubborn as to let Gyro leave like that? His eyes stung at the thought of never reuniting. It was too late, he’d never find him at this rate, it was sheer luck that their paths had crossed today and now-

Behind him he heard the rattle of a saddle and two feet landing heavily on the ground, he whipped his head around faster than he could turn Slow Dancer and two of the tears that had been threatening to form ran down his cheeks at the sight of Gyro striding across the grassy land towards him.

In a blur Gyro's arms were up and around Johnny, pulling him from the saddle so he was held tightly in Gyro's embrace. He clung to him, hands fisting in his cape, letting a single sob and few more heartbroken tears slip out. He could only tremble in his arms.

“I’m sorry. I’m sorry Johnny.” Gyro's voice was shaky and muffled in Johnny's shoulder, hands adjusting their position a little bit to get a firmer grip on the younger man, one arm slipped under his butt to support most of his weight. “I didn’t mean any of it.”

“I thought I’d never find you again.”

“I was a fucking idiot.”

“You were.”

Gyro collapsed down to the ground, holding Johnny tightly in his lap, he finally pulled back so he could look down into his blue eyes, and realised just how much he had missed them. With one hand he brushed Johnny's hair out of his eyes and tucked it underneath the pale blue hat.

“Never afraid to tell me how it is, huh?”

“Never, you fucking bastard.”

Gyro laughed, scared to even glance away from Johnny in case he forgot what he looked like, his heart ached inside him, would he finally stop being a coward and admit to himself what this feeling meant to him? Johnny's lower lip began to tremble and he threw his arms around Gyro again, sobbing against his shoulder.

“I missed you.” He cried, paying no mind to how foolish he was being right now.

“I missed you too.”

“Don’t leave me again, Gyro.”

“I won’t. I promise, I wont.” He hushed Johnny, stroking the soft hair at the nape of his neck, and in one swift movement, Johnny pulled his head back and pushed his lips against Gyro's, sick of the waiting, sick of the mind games. He just needed this connection and to his surprise Gyro didn’t pull away from him for once.

Gyro's mouth opened wider, deepening their kiss, cradling Johnny's head in his large hand and holding his waist softly as if he was a china doll about to shatter. Johnny could sense him holding back.

“You’re not gonna break me.” He whispered against Gyro's lips.

“Shit… Shit…” Gyro squeezed his eyes shut, trying to understand any of this, and kissed Johnny again so he didn’t have to think. Their lips fit together like this was the moment they were born to experience and for once the dark cloud of anguish lifted from Johnny's heart. This was a feeling he wasn’t sure existed until now.

He pulled back and pressed his face against the soft skin of Gyro's neck, feeling the rough stubble of his beard against his temple and melted in the way Gyro's arms felt around him.

“I'm so ashamed of my behaviour, Johnny. Can you forgive me?”

“You don’t have to ask me that.” Johnny mumbled, embarrassed by how weak he was for this man. “It’s always going to be yes.”

“I’m sorry.” Gyro whispered again. “I don’t want to lose you.”

“Just try it. You ain't getting rid of me that easy.”

Chapter Text

They sat together in the dry, rough grass until the sun was completely gone, holding on to one another as if the slightest gap in their embrace would tear them apart, until Gyro finally noticed goosebumps on Johnny's bare arms.

“Come on, we need to make camp. A fire.”

Johnny nodded, pulling away but feeling as though the act might kill him, and he didn’t object when Gyro lifted him up across both arms and put him back on his horse like he was royalty. He was reverent in the way he held Johnny, truly understanding what a mistake he had almost made, and Gyro kissed the back of his hand before mounting Valkyrie.

They found an outcropping of rock nearby that would serve as a decent shelter for their camp, and conversation was minimal as they set up but both of them appreciated the company. One night apart had sincerely helped their feelings hit home.

They shared a pheasant Gyro had hanging off the side of his saddle, after which Gyro made them both Italian coffee, and while the thick liquid warmed Johnny's belly he truly appreciated what it meant to have Gyro back by his side. There was an awkward quiet between them this evening, both of their thoughts were consumed with the kiss and wondering when it would happen again. Johnny sat a little nearer to Gyro than he’d normally dare, but he hadn’t yet built up the courage to cross that line again.

Gyro was determined not to fuck it up, and when he finished his coffee, he set his cup down and pulled Johnny in closer with an apprehensive hand on his waist until he was fully leaning against him. Gyro's heat was nice, a comforting, solid mass Johnny could press his full weight against. They didn’t need to speak to understand each other. Johnny fiddled with the hem of his shirt and tried to think of what his next move should be, but Gyro beat him to it, he pushed his nose up against the side of Johnny's head and breathed in deeply. There may have been a tiny kiss there, but who could tell?

“I love the way you smell.”

Johnny laughed uncomfortably at the compliment, feeling like an inexperienced idiot. It seemed like this was the first thing that had been spoken between them in hours.

“What, horse stink?”

“Nah, it’s not the horse. It’s just you. I missed it. God, I missed you so much, Johnny.”

“Yeah… me too.”

“I’ve been such a fool.” Gyro mumbled, pressing a more distinctive kiss to Johnny's temple. Now that they were together again the fear felt incredibly far away. “I couldn’t bear to face this and I don’t know why.”

“It’s fine. It’s… scary.” Johnny was shaking and he couldn’t explain it.

Gyro turned Johnny’s face towards him and leaned in closer, Johnny's forehead pushing the brim of his hat back and off of his head, and in a far more terrifying way than the first time their lips met softly.

Before it had been frantic, heady, they were acting on instinct and hadn’t had time to stop and think. Now, however, it was slow and frightening, there was every chance to get their hearts crushed, but they treated each other tenderly, silently promising not to damage one another anymore.

Gyro's big hand came up to cup the side of Johnny's face as he kissed him over and over, passion deepening with every one. The firelight illuminated Johnny's face beautifully and he was torn between pulling back to admire it or continuing showering the young man with all the kisses he deserved.

“Do you want to go into the tent?” He said quietly, moving his kisses down to the side of Johnny's neck.

“Y-Yeah.”

In the privacy of the tent the heat grew between them, Johnny's hands held Gyro's face, brushing his facial hair with his thumbs, and with a bold stroke of inspiration he let his tongue slip past the edge of his lower lip, an action he had no idea he would soon regret.

A quiet moan came from Gyro at the feeling of Johnny's tongue and it zapped a memory into Johnny's brain of the last time he’d heard that sound. He’d been in tears, trying to avoid listening to Gyro making love to a woman, and immediately he recoiled.

“What? What’s wrong?”

“I… uh…”

Johnny’s couldn’t elaborate and after a pause his lack of response had Gyro leaning in again, and Johnny pulled back for a second time, squeezing his eyes shut.

“What’s going on with you? Talk to me.” Gyro was worried now, smoothing Johnny's hair back out of his face.

“I don’t know what to say.”

“I thought you wanted this.”

“I do!”

“So what’s holding you back?”

“I can’t stop thinking about you with her.” Johnny admitted, feeling like he was crumbling away as the words left his lips. These were the things that women said, he wasn’t supposed to think and feel this way, it was a man’s responsibility to hold onto these thoughts, not spew them out into the world like a young girl in her first affair.

He’d tried to put it behind him, God knows he’d tried. It was a blessing that the two of them had been reunited this way, and he’d been blinded by that, but so much had already happened between them.

“You said you forgive me.”

“I do, I ain't mad anymore. At least, well, I didn’t think I was. But I just… I can’t get it out of my head.” Johnny chewed his nails because it gave him something to do besides look in Gyro's direction and think about the sound of them together. “Why did you do it, Gyro?”

Gyro paused, really thinking on his answer as he felt out each stitch in the brim of his hat.

“I was tryna hurt you.”

The admission stung, but at least the honesty felt refreshing.

“I don’t understand you. I don’t understand what you’re ever thinking.” Johnny said, looking down at Gyro's hands working along the edge of his hat. “You act like I’m your best friend one moment and nothing but shit the next. I can’t keep up with how I’m meant to be around you.”

“I’m scared out of my mind, Johnny. This isn’t how I’m meant to feel. I’m not supposed to be this way but I am, and the only thing I could think of doing was taking out all my anger on you because I didn’t want to face it myself. I wanted to push you so far away I could stop hurting both of us. Men ain't supposed to do this kinda stuff.”

“You think I don’t know that? You think it isn’t killin’ me every fucking day having this shit inside me and trying to ignore it, but having you there… going between thinkin’ you want me and thinkin’ you hate me? You got me all kinds of fucked up, Gyro.”

Johnny had thought he wasn’t mad, he’d thought he was over it, but the bottled up hurt and rage were spilling out of him faster than he could catch it, and Gyro was just sitting there taking it like he knew he had to.

“I know. I’m sorry. I’ve never acted this way before… I can’t even believe I went that far. It kills me. It hurts so bad knowing I made you feel that way.” Gyro took a leap and reached out to hold onto Johnny's hand, and for once he didn’t flinch away from the contact, finally their eyes met and Johnny could see the sincerity in Gyro's face. “Johnny, I’m so fucking sorry. I don’t expect you to forgive me. I know you already said you did, but you don’t have to.”

God. For fuck’s sake… I do forgive you. Just… gimme some time to trust you again.” Johnny mumbled, afraid that he was pushing too hard, but Gyro backed off.

“Yeah. Of course. Yeah.” He said, holding Johnny’s hand tight.

Johnny let his forehead fall against Gyro's shoulder, wishing everything could just go back to normal. Anything would be better than this confusion.

 

“Y’know what, Johnny? I’ve just been waiting for you to say that. Good luck with the race.” Gyro muttered, turning Valkyrie and riding off ahead of him, getting further and further away as the young American’s heart ached and stung, but if Gyro wanted to leave he wasn’t going to beg him to stay.

The further Gyro rode, the harder the stone of regret in his belly felt.

Why had he said that?

Why was he riding in this direction when the only person he’d ever truly cared for was behind him, thinking that Gyro hated him. It was so easy to lash out but so painful to imagine Johnny waiting there, hoping for him to change his mind and return.

He shook his head. It wouldn’t do to be dwelling on Johnny, this was for his own good anyway, Gyro wasn’t willing to allow Johnny to be murdered out on the road should anyone find out about this. The situation had gone too far, Gyro was here for a reason and that reason wasn’t to fall in love with the wrong person.

Gyro rode for hours until Valkyrie protested, almost bucking him off, and he took the hint. There was a creek nearby and some trees to shelter his tent, so he jumped down, crouching to take a sip of water from the stream and bathing his face with what was left on his hands.

Immediately he felt his stomach lurch, and he stood, turning away from the water as he vomited over the grass. Gyro squeezed his eyes shut, hoping that was the last of it, but he fell to his knees again, puking violently until tears stung the corners of his eyes. It was a struggle to catch his breath through the dry heaves his body was still inflicting on him, but finally it was over. Gyro spat and grimaced when he saw some of it had gotten in his hair, which he would now have to rinse in the creek. What a pain.

What was wrong with him? He needed to get it together now. It’s not like he’d even known Johnny that long, why was this shit affecting him so much? Why did his actions make him feel so sick?

He couldn’t face eating tonight, so he crawled, exhausted, into bed. There was too much space in his tent without Johnny, and as much as he tried to convince himself the American didn’t make him happy, all he could think of was how seriously he’d fucked it.

Flashes of Johnny's face haunted him, the hurt in his eyes as Gyro spat angry words he didn’t mean, the pain in his voice that Gyro remembered from last night even through his drunken haze… they stung… how could they affect him so heavily? He’d already made his decision to leave. It was time to shut off his heart the way his father had always encouraged him to, so why did it seem like every time he closed the door Johnny came knocking once again?

No matter how hard Gyro pushed him away, no matter how uncharacteristically cruel he forced himself to be, Johnny wouldn’t take the hint. He kept up his persistent attack on Gyro's cold exterior, slowly chipping away until he managed to set up a permanent home in his weak, sentimental heart.

Gyro missed him.

Even admitting that to himself was difficult, like swallowing a bite of food that was too big, the feelings stuck like a lump in his throat. It wasn’t right to feel this way. All that was going to happen was Gyro would get hurt, and Johnny would get hurt, so running was the only option. Pushing Johnny back was the only option. He couldn’t bear to hurt Johnny any more. Every shove was like acid burning his hands but it was necessary, he had to show him how much of a mistake it was to get close to him.

That following evening he’d seen Slow Dancer disappear into the trees, heading in his direction and he knew he had to go. Letting Johnny see him wouldn’t be right, no matter how much he wanted to gather him up in his arms and promise him everything would work, that wasn’t how things happened. If one of them was a woman, maybe it could be different, but as it was it was dangerous, it was wrong, it was deadly.

He managed to hide in the forest before Johnny came bursting out of it, searching for him. Turning away was like a knife to the heart but Gyro's conviction was solid.

Until he heard him.

Crying out his name, despair ringing loud into the open prairie, it made Gyro stop in his tracks. He couldn’t. He couldn’t.

He couldn’t.

Johnny called his name again, he was desperate, he was afraid, and all at once Gyro found himself out of the woods and on his feet beside Johnny's horse, pulling him from the saddle and holding him like he was the last fragment of happiness Gyro would ever find in this cold world.

“I’m sorry. I’m sorry, Johnny.”

Chapter Text

Seeing Gyro disappearing into that wall made him feel sick. Real sick.

There was a moment, half an awful second in time that Johnny actually contemplated letting him go, the temptation of his mission too great, but hearing him quietly gasp Johnny's name with his last breath broke his heart. He realised that there was only one option.

Clutching the opened wine bottle in his hand he’d thought it was too late, Gyro was still gone, and heavy sobs wracked Johnny's body. The freezing snow was sinking into his clothes but he could barely feel it over the internal torment, why had he hesitated? How could he even consider doing that to his only friend? And now he had nothing, not even the corpse parts to show for it. He was a coward and a fool and he deserved the loneliness he’d inflicted upon himself.

The moment the stranger rode away from him, though, and he heard Gyro's voice behind him it was like all the snow in the world melted away and he could breathe clearly again. All that remained was adoration and appreciation that they could spend one more day together, and Johnny clung to him, trying to convey this with contact instead of all the words he couldn’t bring himself to say.

“Oh God… Gyro… I’m sorry.”

“You got nothing to be sorry for.” Gyro kissed the side of Johnny's neck, witnesses be damned, he needed to show this boy how much he cared. “We need to get out of this snow. I saw a hotel back that way. Come on.”

Gyro grabbed Johnny’s wheelchair from where it had fallen over at the bottom of the steps and helped him into it before giving him his cape to protect him from the heavily falling snow.

It had been over a week since their schism and eventual reunion, and so far they hadn’t done any more than share chaste kisses before bedtime and hold each other close as they slept. In the chaotic chase of their daily lives and the calm reprieve of the night Johnny slowly learned to trust again, allowing Gyro to court him properly, but now in the dim light of this hotel room Johnny couldn’t take his eyes off the other man and the way his underwear clung to the round shape of his ass. The hotel room had a fireplace, which they took advantage of by hanging their snow-drenched clothes up to dry in front of, leaving them both only in their underwear and spare shirts.

Johnny had a perfect view of Gyro from the bed as he bent down to add another log to the fire, and the fear of losing him from today was still coursing through his mind, quickly turning into something else.

“Come over here, Sugar.” Johnny said quietly, piquing Gyro's attention with the low tone in his voice. He discarded the fire poker and made his way closer to the bed with a smile on his face.

“Never took you as one for pet names.”

“Can’t help it. You’re just as sweet.”

“Try not to make me sick, Johnny.” Gyro grinned, throwing one leg over Johnny’s waist and sitting down into his lap.

“You don’t like it? Fine. I’ll never say it again.”

“Hey now, I never said I didn’t like it.” Gyro leaned in and kissed Johnny, slow, savoring the contact, and his heart skipped a little when two hands came up to tangle themselves in his hair.

“Gyro…” Johnny murmured against his mouth as he let his eyes flutter closed. “I’m sorry for making you wait.”

“Ain’t nothin’ I wouldn’t wait for when it comes to you.”

Johnny leaned up again to press his lips hard against Gyro's, letting one of his hands slide down his back, finally taking a handful of the ass he’d had his eye on for weeks. He pulled his hips down against himself, crushing their groins together to give Gyro a hint of how he wanted the night to play out. A quiet huff of breath left Gyro's lips as he pulled his face back reluctantly.

“Are you sure, Johnny?”

“Never been so sure of anything in my life.” The wine was warm in his belly, he felt confident and determined in a way he’d forgotten how to feel, Gyro was there, waiting for him to make his move and he was all too ready to give him what he wanted.

His hands laid flat against Gyro's hard abs, digging his fingertips in just a fraction to show him who was in control tonight. The man above him wasn’t fully hard yet but Johnny knew it was now or never as he pressed his sweaty palm against the bulge forming in front of him.

Is this right? Is this okay? Johnny's thoughts were disorderly and nervous, he tried not to second-guess himself, this was what he’d been dreaming of, and the beautiful way Gyro's eyes slid closed was all the encouragement he needed. His cock felt heavy and hot through the fabric, getting firmer with each gentle stroke, Johnny used this slow tease as a way to buy some time as he built up his nerve. He wanted this. He wanted this so badly it scared him, the type of relationship he’d been craving to share with Gyro was one thin layer of fabric away, and the thing that frightened him the most was that he’d fuck it up irreparably somehow. It had taken them so long to get here, the final step was simply the hardest.

Gyro could sense Johnny's anxiety, and his hand came down to cover Johnny's, pressing it harder against himself, showing him it was okay. Johnny swallowed and looked up at him, borrowing his self-assurance as his thumb hooked under the waistband of Gyro’s underwear and pulled them down just enough.

Johnny had never touched another man like this before. His heart leapt into his throat as soon as his fingers made contact, wrapping shyly around Gyro's slightly leaking dick. He didn’t quite know what he’d been expecting, but somehow it wasn’t anywhere near as terrifying as he’d built it up to be, it just felt natural and real. Gyro's breath came shaky and low.

“Call me that name again.”

“What, Sugar?”

Gyro shivered and kissed Johnny. “I love your stupid accent, Caro.”

Johnny wanted to retort with some scathing witticism but he was too distracted by the tongue pushing its way into his mouth. He fell back against the pillows, pulling Gyro with him, and tightened the hand still around his cock. Gyro responded with a gasp and two hands firmly planted either side of Johnny's head on the pillow.

This was the furthest Johnny had gone in years, but he remembered what it was like immediately, having a heated body on top of him, rutting slowly against his fingers. The anatomy was different, but the excitement was the same. No, it was more exciting, he’d never felt this way about a partner before, Gyro was special, he was important, and now nothing was standing between them.

“Johnny…” Gyro's voice was in his ear, face framed by a curtain of soft blonde hair, the needy sound of his voice made Johnny smile and he used his free hand to sweep one side of Gyro's hair back, holding the side of his head and kissing him deeply. Johnny knew he was a good kisser, he’d had enough practice in the past, but he’d always wondered whether the girls he’d hooked up with were actually captivated by his technique or if it was all a show put on to impress this once famous jockey. Gyro's reactions, however, confirmed it for him. Gyro had no reason to pander to him, he would tell Johnny to his face if he was lousy at kissing, but the way he was melting above him told Johnny everything he needed to know.

He was glad his kissing was still up to par because he wasn’t so confident about his handjob skills. Johnny didn’t touch himself anymore, so he barely had that to draw inspiration from, he just hoped he didn’t seem too inexperienced in front of the man who consumed his whole world. He pulled his hand up slowly, relishing how hard Gyro's cock felt, surrounded by unbelievably soft skin. It was hard not to worry about how his rough, calloused palm felt against it, but Gyro however seemed to be enjoying the sensation, his breathing increasing in pace as he fucked into Johnny's tight hand.

They didn’t talk, all they could do was look at one another in between heated kisses, both pairs of eyes locked as they experienced pure feeling. Johnny could see Gyro becoming progressively more agitated, his movement erratic, fresh sweat clinging to his skin, it was clear he was close but what he was holding out for Johnny didn’t know.

“Come for me, Sugar.”

The low rumble of Johnny's voice had Gyro squeezing his eyes shut and thrusting irregularly into his fist once, twice more until he was coming, spilling into Johnny's hand and over his bare abs. It was hot, Johnny noted, lust spiking within him with each shot hitting his skin, finally Gyro took a breath, gasping at the shared air between them.

“Fuck…” He breathed, Johnny decided he loved him like this, sweaty and debauched with nothing else to do but hang off Johnny’s neck. He felt like himself again, like he was once again Johnny Joestar, not only a phenomenal jockey but also a phenomenal lover. It felt good to pretend for a moment as Gyro recovered, before his fingers began to trail down towards Johnny’s waistband, ready to return the favour. Johnny quickly stopped him with a firm but gentle hand.

“Don’t.”

“What about you?”

“Don’t worry about it.”

“But you’re hard.”

“Gyro.” Johnny silenced him with a kiss, trying to communicate that tonight was just about him. It’s true that Johnny was half-hard beneath him, but that was a whole can of worms he wasn’t willing to open tonight, so he just had Gyro climb off of him and cuddled up real close, appreciating the feeling of his bare chest against him.

“I’m mad about you, Johnny.” Gyro sighed sleepily.

“Feeling’s mutual.”

Chapter Text

Johnny awoke to the strong smell of coffee under his nose and a perfect smile on Gyro's face.

“Sorry the hotel only has American shit.”

“Good for me, I like American shit.” Johnny said, sitting up in bed and gratefully taking the mug from Gyro. He took a careful sip of the hot coffee and placed it on the nightstand to let it cool because there was something else that was capturing his attention at that moment.

Johnny pulled Gyro down onto the bed beside him, and with light fingers caressed his face, smoothing down his stupid facial hair and tracing the lips he hadn’t yet painted green.

“Boy, you’re beautiful.”

Gyro rolled his eyes for show but was clearly savoring the affection Johnny gave him, pressing their foreheads together like they were sharing a secret.

“Johnny, you sure have a way of makin’ me feel a million bucks.”

“Just a million?”

“Hmm?”

“Not… fifty million?”

“What’re you trying to get at?”

“You’re worth more to me than this race, Gyro.”

“Johnny…” Gyro didn’t like where this train of thought was going.

“We’ve already lost everything. We don’t need to do this no more.”

“I do, though. I’ve got stuff back home, I… as much as it’s tempting to drop out and spend the rest of my days just lovin’ on you the way you deserve… it’s not possible for me.”

Johnny leaned forward and rested his forehead against Gyro's chest.

“I won’t ask you to continue with me if you don’t wanna do it, but you gotta know how it’d kill me to leave you behind.”

“I know. I know. I do want to keep going, I’m just tired.”

“I know you are.” Gyro said, kissing the top of Johnny's head. “But, Johnny, we’re gonna win this race. Together. I promise you that.”

“Yeah. We are.”

Gyro's heart was heavy seeing Johnny get so serious so to change the mood he scooped a hand up under his chin and leaned in for a kiss.

“What’s that name you were calling me last night?” He asked.

“Sugar?”

“Yeah. I like that.”

“It’s what we call all the girls down in Kentucky.” Johnny smirked, playing with Gyro's hair.

“You’re such a dog.”

“What’s sugar in Italian?”

“Zucchero.”

“Zucchero, huh?”

“Johnny, your awful pronunciation is a real turn-off.”

“Doesn’t have the same ring to it anyway.”

“Listen, as much as I’d love to lay here all day and hear you butcher my language, we need to get moving, it looks like more snow today.”

They packed up and headed out, and as they rode in companionable silence Johnny couldn’t hold back from basking in the soft glow Gyro left on his heart. He’d never felt this way before, and he knew if he wasn’t careful he could actually find himself falling in love.

 

“Gyro, I can see a barn over there.”

“Where?”

“Behind those trees, it looks empty.”

Gyro looked down at his map. “Well, we haven’t gotten as far as I would have liked today, but with the rate this snow is coming down I don’t think we’ve got a choice. Let’s go.”

Johnny led the way over and as he’d suspected, the barn appeared to be abandoned. There was a small farmhouse behind it, but the windows had long been blown in and frankly the barn looked warmer.

“Better this than just the tent. C’mon, hopefully by tomorrow the snow will have stopped.” Gyro jumped down off of Valkyrie and with minimal effort opened the doors to allow them access. Johnny pointed one finger around as his eyes adjusted, but there was no danger inside, just a whole lotta hay.

Gyro picked up a lantern that was on its side by his feet. “We can’t light a fire in here unless we wanna get smoked out, so this’ll have to do.”

“It’s gonna be real cold.” Johnny flipped down off of Slow Dancer and began unpacking the tent.

“I can think of a few other ways to keep warm.” The look in Gyro's eyes didn’t go unnoticed, and although Johnny felt a familiar giddiness behind his navel, he pretended to be unamused, rolling his eyes at the comment.

“Keep dreaming, cowboy.”

They sat close together inside the tent, wrapped in thin blankets and drinking cold leftover soup out of Johnny's canteen. It was passed back and forth until it was empty and then they cuddled even closer.

“Wanna play cards?” Johnny felt the rumble of Gyro's voice against his back and a strange rush of adoration flowed through him, a sudden appreciation for this man and how much he meant to him.

“Too cold to play cards.” He said, turning slightly to press his cheek against Gyro's broad chest. Truth be told, he was happy enough to do nothing but lie there sharing company and body heat, thinking quietly about how happy he was. He rested one hand against Gyro's abs, remembering how beautiful they looked in the lamplight, covered in come.

“Your ears have gone pink. What are you thinking about?”

“Nothing. Fuck off.” Johnny pushed his face further into Gyro to hide any further blushing. “You never tell me what you’re thinking so why should I?”

“Fair point.”

Johnny stayed quiet for a moment, thumb rubbing softly against the fabric.

“There’s so much I don’t know about you.”

“There’s a lot about me I’m not sure you’d like.”

“I could say the same about myself, but that don’t stop you askin’.”

“Well, how about you ask me some questions and I’ll answer them as best as I can.”

“Alright, uh…” The realm of possibilities was so endless that Johnny found himself struggling to choose. “How old are you?”

“Twenty four. I thought you knew this. Why, how old are you?”

“I’m nineteen.”

“Damn. No wonder you’re such a brat.” Gyro smirked, kissing the side of Johnny's head.

“Kiss my ass.”

“With pleasure.”

“Have you ever…” The question was on the tip of his tongue, the subject was out in the open, but he found himself shy when trying to form the words. “Have you… y’know… kissed a… man before?”

Gyro took a little longer to answer the question.

“Yeah.”

“Really?”

“Yeah. It was a long time ago.”

“What, with some Italian guy?”

“Yeah. My father found out about us. Damn near disowned me.” Gyro lifted a hand to touch his cheek where the pain still resonated sometimes. “I swore I’d never look at another man again.”

“Sorry to make you break your promise.” Johnny said,

“I’d break a million promises for you, Zucchero.”

Johnny rolled over and pretended to vomit.

“Johnny, promise me you’ll always stay as sweet as you are.” Gyro couldn’t help but laugh at this fool of a man beside him.

“Well I ain't changing, so you better get used to it.”

“Oh yeah? Is that an invitation to stick around?”

“Maybe.”

“Maybe?”

“Maybe.” Johnny closed his eyes and tilted his head upwards to catch Gyro's lips, he would never get used to this sensation, it resonated in the back of his brain and his gut and his dick, sending excited shivers through every nerve in his body. Simply kissing had never turned him on this much before, it caught his breath and refused to let go, keeping him lightheaded and dizzy every time their mouths made contact.

He pulled back and pressed his forehead against Gyro's, winding his fingers through his long hair.

“Damn…” Johnny breathed.

“You’re one in a million.” Gyro mumbled against his lips, and it was a testament to how overpowering his charm was that Johnny didn’t lay into him for spitting out that cheesy line. Instead he felt the sentiment squeeze around his heart, he was completely enraptured by this man.

Their lips met again, hot and eager, neither of them felt the cold anymore, too preoccupied with one another’s body. Johnny was vaguely aware of Gyro moving lazily beside him, no doubt rutting against where the sensation had long been lost, but the idea of Gyro getting pleasure out of his useless legs sent white hot shards of lust through him. Johnny moaned quietly into Gyro's mouth, he’d tried to stifle himself but it was pointless, the noise escaped him and he burned with shame.

His partner was spurred on, however, the tiny sound of enjoyment was enough to prompt his hand to go wandering, sliding up inside Johnny's shirt and finding one of his nipples. It was like a burst of electricity zapped Johnny’s brain, and if he was ashamed of the noise he’d made before, that was nothing compared to now.

“O-Oh!” Gyro licked into his open mouth and continued gently swiping his thumb across the sensitive area. The feeling was incredible, like his body was trying to make up for his other shortcomings with heightened sensation. “Hah… Gyro…”

Gyro didn’t respond with words, he simply left Johnny's mouth and ducked down to Johnny's neglected nipple where he flicked his tongue and drove Johnny insane.

“Fuck!”

“That good?”

So good. So good, oh my God…”

Gyro sucked and licked, switching back and forth between both nipples until they were pink and raw, and Johnny was just a puddle underneath him.

“You’re so hard, Johnny.” Gyro said around his mouthful of Johnny’s swollen chest. “God, I wanna touch your cock.”

The idea of disappointing Gyro flooded Johnny with a sick, cold feeling, but it was overwhelmed by just how horny he was. Gyro’s fingers trailed down Johnny’s flat tummy towards his waistband but before they made contact Gyro sensed his hesitation and pulled back to see Johnny’s face, flushed and nervous. He remembered how Johnny had stopped him before.

“Have you… I mean, can you…?”

“I don’t know… I haven’t really tried since it happened. I was scared in case I couldn’t.”

Gyro looked up at him, affection and sadness for the other filling his eyes. But not pity, never pity.

“I want to try.” Gyro said quietly, a soft determination in his voice that Johnny had become familiar with.

“…Okay.”

With Johnny’s permission, Gyro moved his hand to cup him softly through his pants, feeling just how hard he was already. His dick twitched under Gyro's slow rubbing, and when he gained the confidence to slip his fingers underneath the fabric Johnny let out a soft moan.

“Can you feel it?” Gyro murmured, kissing his neck.

“Mm… yeah…” Johnny replied shakily, his voice hot and quiet. The sensation was dull, muted, but it was enough. Gyro tightened his grip around Johnny’s cock a little, pulling upwards and twisting his hand around the head before pushing back down.

“Oh God.” Johnny’s eyes closed and he clung to Gyro's shirt, burying his face in his chest. “That’s real good, Gyro.”

“You like that?” Gyro nudged Johnny's hidden face with his nose, encouraging him up for another kiss and speeding up the pace of his hand.

“Y-Yeah.” His voice was trembling with the nerves and excitement of his breath, and Gyro responded by squeezing him just enough to draw out another moan. “Fuck…

Gyro pulled his hand out briefly to spit into his palm before resuming working Johnny’s cock, the younger man let out a sigh, barely containing his moans, and pulled Gyro down to claim his lips. The only sound that could be heard for miles was the quiet slide of Gyro's hand and the frantic meeting of mouths.

Johnny was desperate to be able to thrust up into Gyro's grip, growing frustrated with his own inability to move the way he wanted to, only managing shallow little nudges with his hips and becoming agitated with himself. Gyro could sense his irritation.

“What’s wrong?” He whispered, kissing down the side of Johnny’s neck.

“Nothing. Don’t you concern yourself.”

“Tell me what it is.”

Nothing.”

Gyro pulled back to look into Johnny’s eyes, slowing his hand for the first time since he started.

“Caro, let me help.”

“Quit it, alright? Just sick of being a fuckin’ useless cripple is all.”

“Johnny…”

“Just forget about it.”

To Johnny’s irritation, Gyro didn’t forget about it, he took his hand out from Johnny’s pants and held his face softly in his palms. “You are not useless.”

“I told you to quit!”

“You’ve saved my ass many times. More times than I can count. You’re my fucking hero, y’know?”

Johnny could feel the familiar sting of tears, and furiously blinked them away, not wanting to look in Gyro's direction or have him see how deeply his words were affecting him.

“Don’t know why you’re even doing this with me.” Johnny grumbled, letting the barrage of angry tears break through. “Who could be attracted to someone broken like this, huh? You some kind of pervert or something?”

Gyro didn’t answer the question, he simply leaned down to kiss Johnny even deeper than before, pulling his body closer and holding him tightly.

“You’re perfect to me.” He breathed against Johnny’s lips. “You ain’t broken, Johnny. You’re resilient and brave and damn if I don’t love you.”

“You… what?”

“I love you, Johnny, I love you more than words can say. Just the way you are.”

No one had ever told Johnny Joestar that they loved him before, not his girlfriends, not his parents, not even Nick. He didn’t really believe it at first, but the honest look in Gyro's bright green eyes set him off crying again but this time for entirely different reasons. He flung his arms around his neck, sobbing against his shoulder.

“Shut up. Shut up, you asshole.” Johnny mumbled into Gyro's shirt. “God damn it, why you always tryna make me feel things, huh?”

“If you don’t feel it too, then why you cryin’?” Gyro teased, kissing the side of Johnny's head.

“You know I feel it too. Shit, I always felt it.”

“So quit blubbin’ about it and keep kissin’ me.”

Chapter Text

Gyro shoved Johnny’s trousers down to mid thigh, taking hold of his flagging erection and coaxing it back to full size, pressing hot, open-mouthed kisses to Johnny’s jawline and neck.

“I wanna fuck you, Johnny.”

The words sent a chill down Johnny’s spine, and made him even harder than before.

“Oh God, Gyro.”

“I wanna fuck you so hard you’re gonna have a tough time riding your horse tomorrow.”

The things Gyro was saying made Johnny's face burn with arousal and shame, he couldn’t even reply he was so embarrassed. All he could manage to do was shove a trembling hand down to take Gyro's off his cock and move it further back towards his virgin entrance, silently urging him to continue and giving him permission to proceed.

Gyro took the message, running one finger up between Johnny’s cheeks until he found the hole he was looking for, circling it painfully slowly. Johnny shuddered. It was faint, but it was there.

“Can you feel that?”

“Y-Yeah, I feel it.”

Gyro licked his middle finger, and the gentle glide of his spit made the sensation even more intense as he teased the opening, not pushing inside just yet, but it felt incredible to Johnny nonetheless. He’d never been touched there before, never even considered it. He knew how homosexuals made love, but the thought of trying it out for himself hadn’t dared cross his mind until he met Gyro.

“You got that petroleum jelly?” Gyro mumbled against his lips.

“It’s in the med-kit.”

Gyro reached up behind Johnny’s head to where their bags were, rummaging around until he found the small tin. He repositioned himself between Johnny’s legs, throwing them over his thighs after removing Johnny’s pants and tossing them somewhere in the tent. Johnny looked up at him nervously as he coated his fingers with the lubricant.

“You want me to stop?”

“Hell no.” Johnny whispered, trying to sound brave, but internally he was terrified. Of what? Pain? He’d already felt all the pain in the world. Was he afraid of taking this step with Gyro? Afraid of intimacy? Maybe of what this all would mean about him if he went through with it? All of those things and more swirled around his head but as if by magic as soon as Gyro's slick fingers touched him again they all went flying out of his brain, replaced only with sensation and desire.

The jelly made a world of difference, Gyro's fingers glided over his hole, hard enough not to tickle, and after a few moments of teasing he pushed a little, feeling resistance until Johnny’s body gave way, allowing him entrance and his finger slid inside up to the first knuckle.

“Oh… Oh fuck…” Johnny’s breath hitched at the sudden intrusion, the unusual feeling was quickly masked by pleasure as Gyro retracted his finger and pushed it back in a tiny bit further, then again until he reached the second knuckle. Johnny’s mouth hung open like a fish, trying to wrap his head around what he was feeling. He’d never experienced anything like this in his life.

“Amore mio, how is it?” Gyro murmured, bringing Johnny back down to earth.

“Good. Real good.”

“You want more?”

“Yeah…”

“Ask me nicely.” Gyro smirked, and Johnny could have punched him if he wasn’t so far gone already.

“Please, Gyro… m-more…” Johnny gasped, clinging to Gyro and letting out a low whine as he added another finger. With both fingers inside him, Gyro moved them faster; pushing deeper now there wasn’t as much resistance, taking cues from Johnny’s reactions as to what he liked and what felt good. He pumped his fingers a few more times before curling them, pressing them towards the front and grinning when Johnny jumped beneath him, grabbing his shirt tightly and muffling a loud moan within it. He covered his face with one arm in shame, falling back against the bag he was using as a pillow.

“That feel good?”

Johnny could only nod desperately, not understanding what caused that jolt of pleasure but sincerely hoping Gyro would do it again. He obliged, stroking his fingers upwards and smiling down at the trembling man beneath him.

Gyro took his time, spreading the lubrication around plenty and finally stretching Johnny out with a third finger.

“Are you ready for me?” He asked once Johnny was reduced to nothing more than a boneless puddle.

“I think so.” He was scared, but he was as ready as he was ever going to be. Johnny peeked out from under his forearm, seeing Gyro's flushed face and kiss-bitten lips reassured him, and Gyro reached down to touch Johnny’s cheek gently.

Gyro was painfully hard as he freed his ignored erection from the confines of his tight trousers. His eyes slid closed as he stroked himself a couple of times, spreading around the petroleum jelly and the pre come that had leaked out of him already.

He touched the head of his cock to Johnny’s asshole, appreciating how good it looked down there, resting just above the swell of his soft cheeks, until he couldn’t hold back any more. With a firm, slow push he entered Johnny, who immediately gasped, scrabbling his hand around to find purchase in the blankets. Gyro pushed in deeper, watching his inches slowly disappear inside Johnny and memorizing the sound of the fraught moans falling from his lips.

“Ugh! Gyro!” Johnny cried out as their hips finally met, flush against one another. They were both breathing hard, getting used to the new sensations of each others bodies, and Gyro leaned down to kiss Johnny, pushing his sweaty hair out of his eyes.

“Are you okay?” He asked quietly.

“It hurts…” Johnny clung to him, squeezing his eyes shut as their foreheads pressed together. The pain was dull due to the limited sensation Johnny had there, but it was enough.

“Relax, Caro.”

“Gyro, you know I ain't got a fucking clue what you’re sayin’.” Johnny forced out, trying to ease the tension he felt, and slowly, as he released his clenched muscles his body began to adjust. Before he knew it, Gyro's cock didn’t feel like such an imposition, instead it felt incredibly right, like he was exactly where he should be.

“Feels a little better now…” He said, still refusing to let go of Gyro's shoulders, and while they were chest to chest Gyro began to slowly pull his hips back, sliding out of Johnny half way before filling him again, drawing out a grunt from him.

The movement still stung a little, but Johnny was finding himself starting to enjoy the slight sharp pain alongside the deliciousness of the pleasure Gyro was giving him. He picked up the pace, thrusting into Johnny at a slow, but regular speed, falling even more in love with the noises he made as he was fucked.

“Yes…” Johnny gasped. “M-More…”

Gyro happily indulged him, sitting back up to his previous position on his knees and pulling Johnny’s butt more onto his lap. He was sprawled out obscenely beneath Gyro, cock red and leaking, face burning, looking so God damn tasty Gyro didn’t know how he’d resisted him until now.

“Fuck, you look so good, Johnny.” Gyro couldn’t take his eyes off him, reaching out to start working his neglected dick again.

“Gyro…” Johnny reached up to cover his face again, but Gyro refused to allow that, grabbing his wrist and pinning it to the ground.

“No. I wanna see you.” With his other hand, Gyro released Johnny’s cock and grabbed his waist. “Touch yourself.”

The older man’s authoritative voice made Johnny’s head swim, he didn’t feel like himself anymore, he felt wild and crazy, willing to go along with anything Gyro told him to do. He took a handful of himself; it felt unfamiliar after two years of trying to pretend his cock didn’t exist, but the relief he felt when his fingers closed around it was unparalleled.

“Tell me what you want, Johnny.”

“…Harder.”

“Harder what?”

“Fuck me harder… please…”

Gyro was more than happy to comply, snapping his hips against Johnny’s at a rate that made Johnny want to scream, he held it in, afraid of who might be lurking out there waiting to ambush them, but Gyro could see him holding back.

He pulled out of Johnny, flipped him over onto his front and reentered him in one swift, fluid movement, pushing his cheek against their makeshift pillows.

“Let it out, Johnny.” Gyro gasped against the back of his neck, leaving a trail of sloppy kisses there and returning one of his hands to Johnny's chest, rolling one of his nipples between his fingertips.

“But-”

“We’re alone. No one but us and the horses. Let go.”

That voice was so hard to say no to, and Johnny didn’t want to say no. He started quiet at first, little whimpers into the fabric in front of him, but as Gyro began to pick up speed again, fucking him hard enough that he found himself being shoved up the bedroll with each thrust, he couldn’t stop the moans from tumbling out. Johnny was panting like a dog, his cock pinned between his belly and the blankets, sweet friction bringing him closer and closer alongside the head of Gyro's thick cock hitting that amazing place inside of him.

“Gyro…! Ah… ah…”

“You gonna come, Johnny?”

“Th-Thinkin’ about it…”

“I’m getting close.” Gyro's halfhearted warning seared through Johnny's heart and he reached back to grab Gyro's wrist, preventing him from going anywhere.

“In… Inside.”

With all the permission he needed Gyro shoved his other hand underneath Johnny, pulling him off at a painful speed, pinching and squeezing his nipple, trying urgently to reach his own climax inside his tight hole until Johnny couldn’t hold off any longer. His orgasm was like a punch in the gut, he felt it rolling through his whole body, clenching his muscles and drawing God-knows-what kinda sounds from his mouth. Gyro wasn’t far behind, fucking desperately into Johnny and shooting his load deep inside him, thrusting jerkily through it until the two of them collapsed, exhausted, on the bedroll.

The night was deathly silent with nothing but soft snowfall and heavy breathing to punctuate it.

Gyro reached out a sweaty arm, pulling Johnny closer and clinging to him tightly, peppering lazy kisses through his hair.

“I ain’t ever come like that in my life.” Johnny breathed, once he could speak again. “God… I love you, Gyro.”

“You’re just saying that ‘cause you had my cock in your ass.”

“Don’t be vulgar.”

“Hard not to be with you lookin’ like that.”

Johnny chose to ignore that comment and asked Gyro something that had been on his mind for a while.

“You ever done that before?”

“Twice.”

Johnny tried not to feel jealous; he’d asked the question.

“With the same guy?”

“Yeah. God, if my father could see me now I think he’d have a heart attack on the spot.”

“Mine too, but I’m used to disappointing him so I don’t care. I don’t mind disgracing my family, as long as it’s with you.”

Gyro gave an exhausted laugh and fell asleep sweaty and naked against the only person he’d ever loved.