Honestly, Connor doesn't even know why he took this guy home.
He thinks it's because he saw Alec, his first ex, on campus but that's impossible because Connor has it on good authority --- his sister always has the hottest gossip --- that Alec is a homeless dropout who wouldn't have been a homeless dropout if he hadn't broken Connor's heart. Maybe he does know why he took this guy home.
The sad thing is, or the usual thing is, he doesn't know the guy's name. Luckily the guy hadn't asked for his either. Connor had just been in the bar down the road from his college when the guy had slipped inside, all gleaming teeth and sly green eyes, and challenged Connor to a game of pool. He seemed pretty harmless, but Connor knew from his psych course in high school that guys who looked harmless were never harmless. Still. Connor had been pretty drunk and he always made bad decisions when he was drunk.
The guy had won the game, and Connor hadn't been shocked, but he was pleasantly surprised when the guy had slid around the table and rested his hip against Connor's. There were two somethings bulging in his pocket, one warm like his hip, and one cold. Connor had tried to convince himself it wasn't a gun. He tried not to go home with guys who could kill him.
But the guy had smiled charmingly and bought Connor a drink and they talked for like five minutes about pie, because Connor's sister is a chef and the guy has a weird fetish for pies. Connor hadn't known what to make of that.
He says they talked for five minutes because they actually did, and Connor left his half drunken drink on the bar top and had driven the both of them to his small apartment just off campus. The guy had whooped when he heard the cassette Connor had in his car, and sang exuberantly along to Black Sabbath and Connor tried not to think about the gun in his pocket.
They stumbled out of Connor's car and into his apartment and onto the bed and they fucked, or Connor fucked the guy and the guy let him and Connor knew the guy did this often, or had experience or something, because they finished in fifteen minutes and the guy had closed Connor's door in another five. It was honestly one of the weirdest encounters Connor had ever had but--- at least the gun had never made an appearance. Connor turned the light on and tried to search for his pants. He doesn't know how the guy had found his stuff in the dark, but Connor's imaginative mind muses that maybe the guy finds himself in the dark a lot. Connor tells himself to shut up and pulls on his pants and falls into his bed and tried to go to sleep. He has an important class the next morning, and he can't afford to be pining over Alec five years after they'd broken up.
It had only been a couple of weeks since that guy who had possibly had a gun on him when Connor fucked him, but Connor found himself in that same bar. He wasn't melancholy over Alec again, but he was feeling kind of mopey that his sister was engaged and he didn't even have a stable relationship. She had seemed vaguely apologetic when she told him but he'd shot her a bright smile over Skype and claimed the connection was too weak and hung up. He tried to convince himself it wasn't rude of him.
He sat at the bar and ordered the same drink the guy had bought him. It tastes really good, so what? But Connor had only been sitting there for a second when he seesa man wearing a dark overcoat and a baseball cap slide into the seat at the opposite end of the bar.
Connor wonders how insane the guy would have to be to wear a freaking overcoat in June, but the guy looks so sad Connor feels like a dick. The guy had ordered a Guiness that Connor notes sourly came before his own order, even though he'd been there longer, and the guy's hair fell in a shield around his head. He hunchees over his drink and is clearly sending out signals of 'do not fucking approach me' but Connor grasps his drink and saunters over because his life is a series of bad and worse choices.
The guy doesn't look up when Connor sinks into the seat next to him but he does tense. "Look at us," Connor aims for cheerful but doesn't quite get there, "Two miserable guys at a bar," Connor nudges the guy's arm and is momentarily shocked by the coldness of it but he picks up again quickly. God knows he's already met guys at bars who had weirdly cold parts. "I feel like there should be a punchline somewhere."
The guy finally moves but it's only to tip his head up slightly to reveal a sharp grin. "Maybe," he says, in a slow Brooklyn accent, and leaves it there.
"Who died?" Connor jokes, but he realises his major fucking error when the guy's head falls down and he hunches even further over his glass. The bartender shoots him an icy glare and Connor glares back. Okay, sure, that was pretty tactless, but....yeah there's no redeeming factor here. "Sorry man," he tries to apologise, "I--- I didn't mean to upset you, or anything, I'm a pretty big douchebag sometimes---"
"Sometimes?" The guy cuts in, and yeah he cuts in because his jaw is clenched and he looks two seconds away from pounding Connor in the face. "You've been a dick to me since you first spoke."
Connor raises his hands in surrender. "Yeah, okay, I can be a pretty big douchebag a lot of the time, but, I'm sorry?' He tries, and angles his head to show his good side because if his past boyfriends taught him anything, it's that sex can get you out of almost any trouble.
It seems to work because the guy's eyes smooth out and he looks at Connor from under his cap. "Water under the bridge," he says, and turns back to his drink. Connor waits a second but he's not saying anything else.
"Most guys don't order Guiness when they come to a bar," he says wryly, "usually it's vodka on ice, or something."
The guy's shoulders lock up but his face remains relaxed. "I have a lot of good memories about Guiness," but then his face darkens, "I don't drink Russian drinks, though." Connor swallows and maybe it's time to give up, some guys don't take to his charm sometimes, but the guy speaks again. "We shouldn't talk about sad shit like that though. My name's Bu--- James. My name's James."
Connor relaxes and extends a hand. "Connor. Pleasure to meet you." He smirks and shakes the drink in his hand. "You know what they say about men named James?"
"What?" James asks, guilelessly, but there's a curve to his smile that tells Connor he's not completely on the wrong page.
"That they're strong," Connor says, and then he drops his voice, "That they shake things up." Connor lifts his head. "That they're good looking."
James tilts his head, "They're not wrong."
Neither was Connor apparently, when he finds himself being fucked into a hotel room mattress twenty minutes later. He hadn't protested when the guy had insisted on going to his place, because he'd seemed kind of panicked and Connor hadn't wanted the mood to drop. He hadn't protested when the guy refused to take his overcoat off, because Connor was vaguely apprehensive of finding out what was beneath the jacket that was so cold. His hair had fallen like a glove around Connor's head and it smelt slightly of Head and Shoulders Shampoo. It was over soon, and the guy looks at Connor when he stands in the doorway.
"Can I have your number?" He asks, because maybe this is the guy, maybe this is it.
The guy smiles sadly. "I don't have a number to give you," he says, confusingly, and shuts the door. Connor berates himself when he gets home because he's not going to be one of those guys who end up married to their dream guy, because he can't commit, and that's so glaringly obvious even to people who only fuck him.
The next guy he takes home he doesn't meet in a bar. And they don't have sex, because Connor is too busy trying to keep the guy alive. Its not one of the weirdest things he's ever done, but it makes his top five. He leaves the guy under bloodstained sheets on his couch and when he wakes up the next morning, the guy is gone.
He doesn't sleep with the next guy either, but, that at least isn't his fault.
This guy's name is Mike and he looks cute and Connor can recognise a fellow lawyer (even though Connor is still a student, and he doesn't quite understand how Mike can be a lawyer and look 23) when he sees one, even if his suit looks inexpensive and his hair is poorly cut.
Mike laughs and his hand is warm when Connor covers it with his own and they're making out in the hallway in front of Connor's apartment when Connor can feel a cool metal phone buzzing through Mike's suit jacket.
"Oh my god," Mike says as he pulls away and Connor misses the warmth. "I fucking hate you Harvey," and Connor hopes Harvey isn't a boyfriend, but the exasperated yet fond look on Mike's face is obvious in itself.
After half a minute Mike hangs up and turns a not altogether sad look on Connor. "I'm really sorry about this, but I've---"
"Got to go, yeah, I guessed," Connor says, and yeah, maybe it is a bit bitter, but he can't help it. Mike's face falls a little.
"I am really sorry," he says again, but he's gone before the sincerity can kick in. Connor sleeps in a cold bed that night.
He sleeps with the next guy because he's doing it for his job, so there's not much passion in it but the guy is hot so there's something. Connor is still riding the high from being chosen as Keating's Five, so he doesn't notice the complete warmth Oliver wraps him in when they fuck. It isn't like any of the other guys before him, and Connor kinda pauses in the middle and thinks about that, but Oliver blinks down at him and his glasses are slightly askew. "Are you alright?" He asks, and shifts his weight to one hand.
"Yeah," Connor says finally, and grins, "Yeah, I'm alright," and he fixes Oliver's glasses and Oliver blushes and Connor thinks about how this guy could be it.