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Your Place Not Mine

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-

 

Adam hadn’t intended to be the type of person to get a dating app, let alone a dating app that was very much more of a hook up app, but - 

 

It wasn’t that he looked down on people who did use them, that was their prerogative, but - 

 

No. Maybe he did look down on them a little. He had always thought that the best way to meet someone, especially someone you wanted to connect with, was through real life. Maybe that made him old fashioned. He liked meeting people out in the fresh air, seeing them in real HD, sunlight, hearing their voices raw and un-staticked, touching

 

Which made it all the more… shameful that he had caved, had downloaded grindr onto his shitty phone. He’d been almost surprised that he could get it on his phone, some small part of him hoping it wouldn’t work so he wouldn’t end up getting it. 

 

But it did download. And a larger part of him was relieved it worked. Because. 



Because sure, he loved the idea of meeting someone naturally. Of making friends with someone and then letting it just tumble into something more. But. 

 

But he’d just spent the last eighteen years of his life clawing and scratching his way out of Henrietta, out of a shitty, leaky trailer, out of bruises, and broken fingers, and unavoidable pity, and now? 

 

He had thought that when he finally got here - university - Harvard University no less - that things would become easier. He had known, logically, that he would still have to work insanely hard. He had a scholarship, but that hung on his grades staying perfect. He had accommodation, but that hung on him squeezing as many hours of sweaty, grimy mechanic work in between his classes, and study, and sleep. He had friends, but - 

 

Truth be told. 

 

He had never really had a friend before. Sure, he had work mates. Guys at his various workplaces in Henrietta who’d clap him on the shoulder and include him in their gossip. But that was all they were, there were no after work hours conversations that didn’t include covering a shift, not intimate knowledge shared - except what each others farts smelled like.
He didn’t have friends at school. Too many of his classmates shared the trailer park with him. Knew what his home life was like.Too many of his classmates thought he was odd, and stand offish. He hadn’t cared. He hadn’t. His goal in Henrietta had been to get out. It would have been harder to get out if he had connections he cared about. 

 

But it made it difficult to make friends here. 

 

His goal here was to thrive, but. He didn’t want to just thrive in his classes, thrive just by having unbroken skin. Thrive by making money. He wanted all of those, but he wanted to actually connect to people as well, and there was something horrendously difficult about that when making friends apparently involved talking about yourself a bit as well and he had nothing about himself that he wanted to share. 

 

He wanted to be a blank slate, he wanted to be Adam from Harvard, doing bio med, living up the hill. 

 

Which meant. Which meant that the friends he had right now were somewhat one dimensional. They were people he sat with in class, or at lunch. Had group assignments with. People who talked about the coursework with, or about politics with, but closed his mouth and edged away when the the group conversation turned to families, parents, home town, high school - 

 

He needed - 

 

He missed - 

 

No he didn’t miss touch . He hadn’t ever really had touch so he couldn’t miss it, could he? 

 

He could. He could miss it. 

 

When he was young - very young, maybe four, maybe three - his mother had held him in her arms during a thunderstorm. Robert was out, in the next town over maybe, he had the truck. The thunder had been so loud in the trailer, and the lightening so bright and close, and his mother had bundled him up and held him tight. 

 

He didn’t have any other memories of her being… tender towards him, and he was pretty sure he would have remembered if she had been after that. 

 

When he was seven he had fallen in the school yard, tripped on his shoelaces on the way in from recess. He hadn’t cried, no point in crying over a split knee, and his teacher - Miss Avery - had told him that he was so brave , had given him a hug and a plaster. 

 

He could still faintly recall her perfume - flowery and smokey all at once. 

 

From then, touch in his life - good touch - got somehow even more sparse. He’d begun to crave the shoulder pats from work mates, the accidental brush of people moving past you, the press of shoulders in a too small room.

 

He knew it was unhealthy, knew it from the way he wanted it so much. Knew from the way he recalled memories of being touched just to cheer him up. Knew it from the way he sometimes felt physically sick on the long weeks when no one even came close enough to accidentally graze him. 

 

When it was like that, even the back of Robert’s hand was better than nothing. 

 

So. 

 

Coming to university he was constantly surrounded by people. His shoulders were brushed against daily, hands shaken or fists bumped, he was getting touch but this was where it got even stupider. 

 

It made him want so much more. He wanted more than this accidental touch. He wanted someone to purposefully touch him. To touch him and have it mean something. Friendship. Lust. Anything. 

 

Which is how he got to be here. Too scared and stupid to let himself make any real friends, friends who might hug him. Resigned to downloading a hook up app because he was also too scared and stupid to date, to open himself up to any kind of knowing that wasn’t physical. 

 

-

 

His profile was as basic as he could bear. He didn’t want anyone to know him, he just wanted someone to know him. He didn’t show his face, didn’t want anyone to swipe past him and then see him in public and know how desperate he was - although, yes, he knew that if someone saw him on there they were on there too, and therefore no one in the same boat should judge, right? 

 

His arms were well toned from years of physical labour, tanned and freckled from working in the Henrietta sun. He took his profile picture in his shoddy shared bathroom on his shoddy phone, taking it in the mirror, capturing his torso and his arms, his hipbones and the beginning curve down from his navel, reflected in the tarnished mirror, face blocked out by his hand and phone. 

 

He wrote; Adam. 18. Dtf. your place not mine. 

 

-

 

He got his first response that wasn’t just a dick pic on Friday, right after he’d gotten out of class. Their screen name was ‘uwannacumbro’, their profile placed them as a Harvard Law student, nearby, their photos showed that they were well muscled, big dicked, and liked facial anonymity as much as Adam. 

 

He didn’t even have his name on his profile, but he had written; ‘hey handsome. Dtf too. You live near campus? I’m a block out w/ a nice bed if you wanna come over tonight.’ 



Adam… kind of did want to go over tonight? He’d just handed in an assignment. He didn’t have anything else hanging over his head. He had work only until eight. He had been day dreaming all through class about resting his head on someone’s shoulder. 

 

‘Be there at 9. What’s the address?’ 

 

-

 

The apartment this guy lived in was technically attached to Harvard, but it was the type of university housing that was only available to those whose families had connections to Harvard. It was clean, warm, beautiful. The elevator worked properly, dropped Adam off on floor five with a melodic ding. 

 

He had messaged to let the guy know he was coming over now, but hadn’t heard back by the time he got to the door. He knocked and waited. No answer. Wondered if he ought to message again. Gritted his teeth. Knocked again. Heard faint movement through the thick looking door. 

 

The door swung open, and Adam realised he knew this stranger. Didn’t know him know him, but - 

 

One of Adam’s ‘group friends’ was a charismatic individual who went by Gansey. He seemed to like Adam well enough, and seemed content to only talk about academic things with Adam, which Adam appreciated enough that he considered Gansey one of his closer friends despite the fact that he didn’t even know what his last name was. What he did know about Gansey though, was that he was almost constantly with a shaved headed, broad shouldered, scowling, walking, mountain named Ronan. 

 

Ronan was the one who was glaring down at him now, his expression so unnerving, that it prompted Adam to just blurt out the first thing that came to mind. 

 

“We can fuck, or I can just go home.” 

 

Ronan’s eyebrows lifted so high, that Adam was pretty sure if he actually had hair they would have disappeared underneath it. That had obviously been a stupid thing to say, but like, he’d never done this before, and Ronan could have at least tried not to be so intimidating. Maybe he’d forgotten that Adam was coming? 

 

“You want to fuck?” Ronan asked. 

 

Now Adam raised his eyebrows. “Obviously,” he said. “Are we gonna, or what?” 

 

Maybe switching straight from meek to aggressive wasn’t the best move but it didn’t seem like the worst move either. Ronan stepped aside to let Adam in. 

 

He wondered if Ronan even remembered who he was. If he’d even taken notice of Adam the few times they’d seen each other with a Gansey buffer. Adam had noticed him. Had noticed him a lot. Obviously hadn’t noticed him enough to be able to pair him and his grindr photos up. 

 

Ronan shut the door behind them, and Adam remembered he actually had no idea what to do next. 

 

Not about the sex thing. He’d actually done a stupid amount of research (yes, he was aware that doing theoretical research was not the same thing as practical research) before even downloading the app, and he’d prepped before he came over, and he felt reasonably confident that him being a virgin was not going to be an issue. It was something the majority of humans did. He could do it too. It would be fine. 

 

“You wanna just get straight to it?” Ronan asked, sounding oddly nervous. 

 

Maybe Adam was misreading him. Maybe he was frustrated. Maybe Adam was supposed to have already moved to begin by now.  He nodded quickly, stepped towards Ronan. Hesitated a bit. 

 

God. 

 

Fuck. 

 

He had made up his mind already that he was just going to do this. He wanted to be touched, he wanted to touch, so he was going to fucking get touched and touch as well. He was going to do this. 

 

He stepped forwards again, wished Ronan would make this easier on him by meeting him half way. Pressed his chest against Ronan’s, caught Ronan’s jaw with his hands, pulled him down into a kiss. 

 

Adam’s first kiss. 

 

Kissing, he realised, like a fucking shock of electricity straight to the heart, was fucking fun. It was… 



It was easier than he’d anticipated, and harder as well. The mechanics of it - getting their mouths aligned right, their heads tipped right - that bit was a bit difficult, a bit clumsy and awkward to get right at first. 

 

The heat and breath and need of it? That felt like it had been built into his DNA. It was his instinct. 

 

Ronan wasn’t as confident in the kissing as Adam had expected, wasn’t leading the kiss like the name ‘uwannacumbro’ lead him to believe he would. He was responding with enthusiasm, yes, but he seemed just as clumsy about it as Adam was. 

 

“Do you have condoms?” Adam breathed once they pulled apart, a movie worthy string of saliva connecting their mouths for a bare millisecond. “Lube?” 

 

Ronan shook his head. Adam wondered how someone who asked another guy to come the fuck around to fuck could be so woefully unprepared. 

 

“I have a couple of condoms in my pocket,” Adam mumbled, “but I only have the lube they come with.” 

 

Ronan appeared unphased. Or. He simply swallowed and shrugged, apparently not into the whole talking while hooking up thing. That was okay. That was fine. 

 

“Do you wanna go to your bedroom?” Adam suggested. He ran his hands down from Ronan’s jaw, to his neck, to his shoulders, felt out the lines of Ronan’s clavicle through his thin shirt. 

 

Ronan nodded again, then finally took the lead, which was good because otherwise Adam would have had to guess which room was his. He took Adam by the hand, his palm sweaty, lead him into a hallway, and then into the first room on the left, the door wide open and revealing his dark room. 

 

His light was off, curtains pulled. There was a lot of clothing on the floor, clothing, and random pieces of who knows what, a couple of canvases, heavy looking books. All difficult to make out in the gloom. Maybe people always hooked up with the lights off. Adam didn’t mind. He didn’t particularly want anyone to get a good look at how rough his body was, anyway. Didn’t need anyone asking questions. 

 

The bed looked clear and clean, and that was the biggest thing, really, so. 

 

Ronan was still just standing in the door way, so Adam walked them forwards towards the bed, released Ronan’s hand as they got to it, turned to kiss Ronan again, to press himself bodily against Ronan until Ronan was pressing himself back. 

 

After they’d kissed for a while - long enough that Adam’s heart was burning - Ronan pushed against him until Adam was sitting down on the bed, until he was lying down on the bed, until Ronan was crawling up over him on the bed and leaning down and in to keep kissing him and kissing him and kissing him and -

 

Adam felt like he could get lost in the kissing. Would get lost in the kissing if he didn’t focus. Ronan was heavy on top of him, but in a comfortable way. Like, he wasn’t squashing Adam down onto the bed, just covering him like a heated blanket, his legs bracketing Adam’s, his elbows on either side of Adam’s head, his mouth on him, and on him, and on him. 

 

He broke free of the kiss, reveled for a hot second in the sound of Ronan’s vaguely confused definitely accidental huff of complaint, tipped his head up so he could mouth at Ronan’s jaw, to nudge his head up so Adam could kiss his neck. 

 

He’d watched… a reasonable amount of porn since moving, since he was in a place with Wi-Fi and some privacy. It hadn’t really been as an assist for jerking off - he wasn’t - he didn’t - he had never really got into the habit of jerking off in any sort of luxurious way. It had always been in the quick quiet moments he could grab in the shower, rough and too fast, a release rather than a relief. But. He had watched the porn so he could have some idea of what to do in bed that he hadn’t gathered from just reading about it. He’d seen the actors kiss and bite, suck and lick, and it looked good. Had made him feel good to watch. 

 

He was determined, that even if this whole hook up thing was a selfish desire of his to get to be touched without having to commit to being known, that he was going to give as good as he got. He wouldn’t be selfish in bed. If he couldn’t give himself, he was definitely going to give as much pleasure as he could. 

 

Ronan let out a breathless noise that sounded punched out of him, and Adam felt it all the way in his gut. He wanted Ronan to make more noise, dragged his hands down Ronan’s front until he got to the bottom of his shirt, hooked his fingers under the hem, pressed his knuckles against Ronan’s stomach. 

 

God. 

 

He felt like he was going to explode. He’d never been - never been so close to a single other person. Had definitely never touched anyone like this. His hands were under Ronan’s shirt, smoothing across his stomach and hooking around his hips. Fuck. 

 

Ronan made another noise, higher pitched, and his stomach caved upwards away from the trail of Adam’s thumb by his navel - ticklish. 

 

Adam huffed out a laugh of surprise against Ronan’s shoulder, tucked his thumb safely away. 

 

“What do you want?” Adam asked, needed, needed Ronan to speak to him more, to tell him what he wanted, what to do, if he liked it as much as Adam did. 

 

“You’re in charge,” Ronan said, as if this was a fact and not a sudden shift of power, “I don’t - what do you want, Adam?” 

 

Adam hadn’t been entirely certain that Ronan had even bothered to remember his name, so it was kind of nice to hear him say it.

 

Maybe kind of nice was an understatement. 

 

Maybe it made his stomach literally feel like it was buzzing, like hearing his name said to him so soft and so close in this scenario was the best fucking thing he had ever heard. 

 

What did he want. What did he want. What did he want. 

 

“Can we take our jeans off,” Adam tried, “I want to - I want to touch you.” 

 

Ronan nodded, his forehead pressing against Adam’s as he pushed himself up a little to kiss Adam again on his way to sitting up and then sliding off onto the bed next to him. 

 

Adam fumbled with his own jeans, undid the button with shaking fingers, pulled them off and dropped them on the floor. Heard his phone thunk onto the floor, still in his jeans pockets. Shitty phones were still a little brick like, even in this day and age. He left his boxers on, wasn’t really sure how this worked. Did you take them both off at once? Did you get straight to it? Or was there - was there like, grinding first? 

 

His porn research hadn’t given him a very solid answer about this.

 

Ronan had taken his jeans off now, his shirt too, was sitting there mostly naked, his chest heaving in the dim light. There was a dark mess of ink on his shoulders - a tattoo crawling from his back and slipping over the edges. 

 

“I didn’t see that before,” Adam breathed, moving almost unconsciously back towards Ronan, like a magnet, climbing onto his lap with a confidence he hadn’t realised he possessed. 

 

Maybe it wasn’t confidence, maybe it was just adrenaline. You could do a lot on adrenaline. He reached out, trailed his fingertips across the tattoo, exhaled want heavily when Ronan twitched underneath him, reached out to grab onto Adam’s waist, to dig his hands up under Adam’s shirt. 

 

“When would you have?” Ronan grunted, bit at Adam’s chest through his shirt. “It’s not like we’ve done this before.” 

 

Maybe Ronan’s selfies had been before the tattoo. Or maybe Adam had just overlooked them. Either way, it wasn’t something he was about to focus on, not with Ronan’s teeth and tongue at his neck, Ronan’s hands slowly dragging Adam’s shirt off of him. 

 

It was almost unbearable - the tightness in his stomach, the growing hardness of his cock trapped in his boxers, the heat of Ronan underneath him and around him, Ronan’s mouth on him. Every second was like its own little torture of sensation . It was nothing like he had imagined this kind of thing would be like. It was gentler than he had supposed. Hungrier. 

 

He reached down, between his own legs, pressed the heel of his hand against Ronan’s fabric covered dick, already a little damp like he as just as overwhelmed with all the sensation and touch as Adam was. 

 

Ronan had been ravaging Adam’s neck, but he broke off at this simple touch, made a noise which Adam was pretty sure could be classified as a groan, pushed his hips up against Adam’s hands, against Adam, his whole body rocking with the movement. 

 

Adam was clumsy with his own dick, his own jerking off, so he concentrated extra hard as he slipped his hand into Ronan’s underwear and pulled it up and out. Ronan had given up on Adam’s neck, was sitting slumped back, his shoulders and head against the wall the bed was pushed against, his gaze on Adam’s hand at his crotch.

 

When Adam stroked him, a little awkward, Ronan’s whole body tensed. 

 

“You too,” he said, his voice all ragged around the edges, sounding as crazily close already as Adam. “Touch yourself too.” 

 

Fueled by adrenaline, Adam tipped himself forwards, smashed his mouth against Ronan’s, kissed him hard, managed to say; “You touch me,” in a moment of gasped air before the kiss continued. 

 

Ronan was maybe a little hindered by not being able to see around their kissing, but that didn’t stop him. And anyway, Ronan’s hands pressing between Adam’s legs and feeling their way around the edge of his boxers and into them was probably far better than if he had been able to just go straight for Adam’s cock. This involved so much more touch. So much more feeling. Once Adam’s cock was out too, Ronan seemed to have gotten his own burst of adrenaline, because he batted Adam’s hand out of the way, used the both of his hands to circle around both dicks, stroked them clumsily, but clumsily together, pressed into each other, touching, and touching, and touching, and - 

 

Adam was rocking on Ronan’s lap without even meaning to, was kissing him very much meaning to, was dragging his hands up Ronan’s ribs, his fingers pressing into every crevice he could find, feeling out the shape of him, ending on Ronan’s shoulders and curling around to hold on tight, tighter, tighter. Ronan moving under him too, their mouths barely moving against each other’s, breath being panted out in a humid mesh of lips and teeth. 

 

Ronan bit him when he came. Not hard enough to break skin, just hard enough to surprised Adam into cumming harder than he had ever cum in his entire fucking life, and he was pretty sure his vision whited out, and his hearing dropped away in his one hearing ear, and then zapped back into both for just a second, and that he was warmer than he could ever remember being, even in the hot Virginia sun. 

 

They were collapsed against one another, Ronan against the bed and the wall, Adam against him, face on Ronan’s shoulder, hands at Ronan’s waist. Ronan’s hands were still against Adam, there , his fingers warm and cold at the same time on Adam’s still trembling thighs. 

 

This was definitely over shadowing every single other carefully framed and treasured memory of touch in his lonesome life. It was overlapping him entirely, sensations still running through him, sunning his body in the warmth of human contact, human intimacy, sex, sex, sex - 

 

“I don’t think,” Ronan breathed, “I don’t think I can do - I don’t wanna - this was my first time.” 

 

Adam exhaled, hard, peeled his sweaty face from Ronan’s shoulder, squinted at Ronan’s face which was crumpled into a hard to read expression. 

 

“What?” He asked. Ronan’s face shifted further into incomprehensible, and Adam added on quickly; “That was my first time too.” 

 

“Okay,” Ronan said, his tone saying that he either didn’t think Adam was telling the truth, or that he didn’t care. “I don’t wanna do anything more right now.” 

 

“Oh,” Adam said, though honestly, neither did he. “Was that not - that wasn’t good for you?” 

 

“Fucks sake, man,” Ronan snorted, shifted under Adam, recalling his hands from Adam’s pubes and thighs and wrapping his arms around Adam’s waist instead, suddenly clinching him in a tight hug. “It was fucking great, but I - Jesus, Mary . Fucking out of the shitting blue.” 

 

Ronan was apparently a lot more talkative after cumming. 

 

“I just meant,” Ronan continued, voice basically a grunt right now, “that I’m fucking - fucking tired man. I don’t think I have the energy right now for you to fuck me.” 

 

“Oh,” Adam said again, had thought that he was probably going to be the one getting fucked, anyway, but, also - “No, same. I - yeah. That’s fine. Obviously.” 

 

“Obviously,” Ronan said, mouthed at Adam’s shoulder, bit it, and then released him. “I need a fucking shower. You do too. We’re covered in spunk. It’s disgusting.” 

 

Adam snorted, rocked back and forth a little, his thighs squelching unappetizing (or, though he wouldn’t admit this out loud, very appetizingly), and sticking to Ronan’s somewhat unpleasantly. 

 

“Yeah,” he agreed. “Um. Do you mind if I - may I -?” 

 

“Yeah, fuck, dude,” Ronan snorted, tipped Adam off of him and onto the bed. “You can fucking shower here. Come get in with me, if you want. I’ll help you, uh, clean up?” 

 

“Smooth,” Adam laughed, smiled as Ronan stood up and held his hand out to Adam, took Ronan’s hand, let himself be pulled up and off of the bed. “You do this a lot, huh?” 

 

“Uh,” Ronan frowned at him, but didn’t release his hand. “No? I literally just told you this was my first time.” 

 

“Right,” Adam said, nodded quickly, remembered to tuck his dick back into his boxers before Ronan opened the door. “Uh, do you have flatmates?” 

 

“Oh yeah,” Ronan snorted, “Don’t you know Gansey’s my flatmate? Chill though, he’s out.” 

 

“Oh,” Adam said, because he hadn’t known, and also thank god Gansey wasn’t here to get to witness Adam’s fucking first time and his awkwardness surrounding this whole thing. “Cool.” 

 

“Bathroom’s through here,” Ronan said, sounding awkward himself again as well. 

 

They did shower together, the shower miraculously big enough for two bodies, the stream wide enough to keep them warm. Adam hadn’t even thought about the after of sex, which was stupid because he ought to have, but - 

 

But it was almost as good as the before , almost as good as the during , because it was also so - so gentle. It was Ronan’s hands on his lower back while they kissed in the water. It was Adam soaping Ronan’s front, feeling suddenly all together too shy to rub the soap down past his waist, and Ronan laughing at him. It was Adam realising how quickly he could get hard again when presented with something so visually appealing, so physically stimulating, so - 

 

It was Adam being the one to jerk them off this time, getting to watch Ronan’s face in the light, only blurred by the water in Adam’s eyelashes. 

 

It was Ronan not commenting on Adam’s scars, on his dents. 

 

It was Ronan kissing him again once they were dried off, a softer kiss, a deeper kiss, a more… quizzical kiss. 

 

-

 

Back in Ronan’s room, the light now on,  they both dressed again, and Adam pulled his phone out of pocket to check the time, made an audible noise of confusion at the amount of grindr notifications he had. Was there a little light that went off on his profile that he was no longer a virgin? Was he about to be inundated on terribly angled pictures of dicks? 

 

He clicked into the notifications while Ronan pulled his shirt on. All the messages were from ‘uwannacumbro’. The last one from ten minutes ago. 

 

-ok i’ll c u soon, pretty boy. 

-oh wow, shit, just realised I put the wrong floor in! Im 4th floor

-dude did u get murdered?

-hello?

-hey, i’m waiting.

-u seriously ignoring me?

-fuck you

-fuck u

-i wouldve made u cum so good, man.

-loser.

 

-

 

“Um,” Adam said, was suddenly very aware of the fact that he was standing in a near stranger’s room with his jeans on but undone, his shirt only pulled over one arm. “Are you not - uh - are you not ‘uwannacumbro’” 

 

“What?” Ronan snorted, “The fuck did you just say to me?” 

 

“Um,” Adam said, thought about how he could rephrase that question, and then just handed Ronan his phone, the string of messages still open. 

 

“What?” Ronan said, frowned at the phone, then took it and scrolled through the messages slowly, his face sliding from confused, to pissed, to confused, to pissed realisation. “What the fuck .” 

 

“Oh my god,” Adam said, tugged his shirt down, shoved his arm through the sleeve. “Oh my god , I just - shit - I just -” 

 

“You thought I was this fucking wanker?” Ronan demanded. 

 

Adam sat down on the edge of the bed, a very different type of adrenaline running through his veins, stinging him. 

 

“Oh my god,” Adam repeated. “I just - just turned up and asked if you wanted to fuck. You didn’t - I’m so sorry, oh my god, I’m so sorry.” 

 

This was why he shouldn’t have gotten grindr. This was why he wasn’t suited to having friends. This was why he should have never left Henrietta. He fucked up. He was a fuck up. This was so stupid. All the warmth in his stomach and his chest had dissipated, cold flooding in to fill him with hollow cavities instead. He was vaguely aware that he was still speaking, just repeating his ‘sorry’s’ like he was on a loop. 

 

Ronan sat down next to him, his hand coming up to grip Adam by the shoulder, and by instinct, always by fucking instinct in moments like these, Adam ducked away from him, pulling away and bunching up to make himself small. 

 

“Jesus,” Ronan said, his hands up in front of his chests in imitation of surender. “God, Parrish, chill out. Stop apologising, for fuck’s sake!” 

 

Adam closed his mouth tightly, his eyes tighter. He wished Ronan would just hit him and get it over with. 

 

“You didn’t do anything shitty,” Ronan said, his voice sounding like he was speaking through gritted teeth. “I didn’t fucking turn you down, did I? Sounds like your other hook up buddy was a fucking shit head, so really, I think this is what people with no brains call a fucking happy mistake.” 

 

Maybe Ronan wasn’t going to hit him. Maybe his body was being a fool for flooding with fear and certainty that that was what was going to happen. 

 

“C’mon, Parrish,” Ronan sighed, didn’t reach out to touch him. “Fuck. This is fucked up, but, God man. It’s not on you. It’s on that fucking loser, and me.” 

 

“It’s not on you,” Adam mumbled, lips slowly regaining the feeling that fear sucked out of them. “This wasn’t your fault, Ronan.” 

 

“Uh,” Ronan snorted, rubbed his hand down his face, bit out a quick laugh. “Shit man, I thought you had just - I thought you’d noticed how I’d been looking at you the last few times we hung out, I thought you were just real straight up about it all.” 

 

Adam frowned. “The way you were -?” 

 

Jesus ,” Ronan groaned. “Fuck me. And here I was thinking I was - God. Never mind. Listen. I made a fucking stupid assumption that you had come here for me because it was me. I should have questioned it. I didn’t because I didn’t wanna fucking push my luck. I should’ve pushed my fucking luck.” 

 

“Oh,” Adam said, his stupidity hitting him like a brick. “You think I’m hot?” 

 

Ronan groaned again. 

 

The realisation that Ronan knew his last name also hit him like a brick. Oh

 

“Fuck,” Adam said, “shit, I’m sorry, Ronan - I didn’t - I honestly didn’t think you’d even noticed me.” 

 

“For a fucking crazy smart guy,” Ronan said, “you’re a fucking idiot.” 

 

Ronan thought he was smart

 

“I’ve never done this before,” Adam said, his words slipping and tripping over each other in his haste to speak them. “I only got grindr the other day. This was the first - first guy I talked to.” 

 

“Okay?” 

 

“Just,” Adam shrugged. “If you - I liked… hooking up with you. And seeing as you - shit. Seeing as you liked it to, and uh, well, look. I thought you were hot too. When we saw each other the last few times. I didn’t see you looking at me, but I was looking at you.” 

 

“What the fuck are you saying, man?” Ronan grunted. He sounded tired. 

 

“I could delete grindr,” Adam said quickly. “If you’re looking for like… a hook up buddy, then we could be. For each other. Uh. Yeah.” 

 

Ronan looked at him somewhat blankly. “A hook up buddy.” 

 

Adam shrugged. 

 

Ronan sighed, heavy, ran his palm, flat handed, over his scalp, scratched at his nape. 

 

“Okay,” Ronan said eventually. “Let’s do this again, Parrish.” 

 

“Okay,” Adam repeated, warmth coursing through his chest, flooding up into his cheeks. 

 

“You’re gonna fucking delete grindr?” 

 

“Yeah,” Adam  nodded hard, “if I - I kind of hated the idea of - of being with … strangers. I like this idea much better.” 

 

“Shit man,” Ronan said, snorted a little, tipped his head back so his face was to the ceiling. “You’d better give me your number then, huh?” 

 

“Mm,” Adam said. 

 

-

 

They had swapped numbers, joked a little more, still awkward, about the miscommunication. Adam had deleted grindr. Ronan had kissed him again. Adam had gone home, the press and warmth of touch and touch and touch, repeating over and over in his mind.