Disclaimer: Title belongs to Pet Shop Boys- it's a wonderful song. The interwoven poetry belongs to me.

Warning: Rated M. Sexuality, language, and porn. Oh, and it's got slash.

For Scott. (What's amazing is that all the songs that came on during shuffle as I've been writing this have either been really gay or very ghetto.)


Paninaro '95

In approximately twenty-two hours and thirteen seconds, this will all be like a dream they really liked but couldn't remember, like flying over London or walking naked to school. But right now it's nothing more than a kind of intriguing position. It's not been tainted with too many words yet. Dudley was never good at saying anything meaningful, and Piers was never good at saying anything that wasn't meaningful, so together, they are silent. Because it's not time for small talk, that's for sure. And analyzation is definitely out of the question.

The house is quiet and judgmental.

"I'd never… I'd never done that before," Piers can't help but put in, desperate to say anything to make sure this isn't one of those dreams.

Dudley laughs, a firm, grunting sound and Piers' shoulders clench at the sound. "Wot?" Dudley demands, but his voice is much more shaky than normal. "You think I do it often or somethin'?"

Piers bites his lip and shakes his head. Even his imagination isn't that good.

///I was here///

They never climbed trees. Hell, that was for sure. Dudley was too big and Piers was uncoordinated. They hung back like David and Goliath and watched the athletic boys play energetically. They made snide jokes about them and pretended they were much better than that. Soon enough, they started to believe in it.

Piers admired Dudley's strength and stature. He was even jealous for quite a few years, but that was before he deciphered what his feelings of envy really meant and rocked himself to sleep on the couch, hoping no one could see.

///But I couldn't piece together you///

in Year Ten when the teacher assigned them to map out their "future goals", Piers couldn't think of anything besides Dudley Dursley making tea in the kitchen of a modest flat with his sleeves rolled up to show thick muscle and making eggs beside him and reading the paper and talking without talking. He'd give Dudley a hard time about eating right and he'd call Petunia 'Mum' and they'd roll their eyes about her and laugh.

Piers crumpled up the paper and wrote down some sensible things, like go to college and be successful.

(He added be straight in the bottom corner just as a facetious, snot-assed little joke to himself, and erased it in a fury)

///We faced the world alone with our lunchboxes///

The chicks in porn are unrealistic. Dudley's seen some pretty good tits in real life, but not of that fucking Double-XYZ shit. Plus, the blonde bitches are always smiling and none of it is ever RIGHT!

Frankly, girl parts are scary. But since jacking-off is a mandatory part of living, Dudley pulls out his cock and thinks about the weather.

///You took a stab at bravery and made a bruise///

Guys in porn don't look like the guys Piers finds attractive, and it honestly frightens the living shit out of him. The guys in porn are sculptedand very pretty, with fresh features and lisping voices and very pert pecs. They don't look real enough to touch, like they're Plastic People or something. Aliens. Gods.

Where are the crooked, Burberry cap-wearing scallies with nasty accents and narrowed eyes? Where are the cigarettes? Where's the sodding chest hair?

Piers panics, and looks away from the magazine. I'm doomed! he thinks, and the worst of it is, it cost me twenty quid!

///I wanted to understand///

"Why don't you have a girlfriend?" Dudley asked.

Piers felt like he'd been doused in ice water. He grabbed the bottle of whiskey from Dudley and took a drink to give himself time. All the time in the world couldn't buy him a good answer.

"Because I don't," he finally replied, not rude enough to cause a fight but cold enough to be uninteresting. (He could feel the sweat forming on the back of his neck.)

Dudley shrugged. Piers waited.

"Oh," said Dudley. "Cool." He took back the bottle.

Just like that, Piers thought dismally. Well no wonder he's (I'M) my (IN) best (LOVE) friend.

///The porcelain cups were always so chipped ///

"Dad says I ain't supposed to cry," Dudley explained, but he was bawling. Piers was always equally sucky at emotions, so he just stood against the door and nodded, as though Dudley was saying interesting things instead of sobbing.

They were thirteen. Dudley had punched a pole when they were walking home from the park, but Piers had thought nothing of it. But now, they were at his house, and for some reason, Dudley was completely freaking out about something he wasn't explaining. He was good at that.

For some reason, Piers edged forward. He could hear a thousand voices telling him he was stupid, but at the moment, he didn't care. He sat next to Dudley on his bed and put an arm around his back. Surprisingly, Dudley made no reaction. He neither cringed nor embraced Piers, but Piers (later would admit) took the opportunity to move a bit closer.

He lifted his shoulders up and dropped them down. "I—don't mind if you cry," he said in a whisper. "I mean, you should tell me what's wrong and then maybe I could help or somethin'."

"Fuck… off…" sniffed Dudley, wiping his eyes on his sleeve. "There's nothing wrong."

"It seems like there is—"

"I SAID FUCK OFF, OKAY?" Dudley shouted, and punched Piers in the jaw.

Piers didn't feel the throbbing jaw, but he felt something shatter inside of him. He got up. He turned on his heel and stormed out, slamming his bedroom door and then the front door. He was halfway down the lane when he realised that he had just walked out of his own house.

God damn it, he thought, and kicked the grass.

Dudley shuffled out the front door and stared at him, pointing and grinning like nothing negative had just happened. Piers had to hand it to him—it didn't even look like he'd just been crying five minutes ago.

Piers snorted. Dudley laughed. They broke into guffaws and punched each other's arms and went inside to watch football on telly.

///You were fifty feet tall///

"Come on, have a smoke," pressed Dennis, holding out a blunt. The usual gang was standing just outside the gates of Privet Park. It was the summer before their fifth year at Smeltings.

Piers shrugged lamely. "No thanks," he replied.

Dennis laughed. "Dick! Take it." He waved the blunt around in Piers' face.

"I don't… feel like it," Piers said quietly. He was afraid of getting high with the blokes. He was afraid he might say or do something really mental.

"You're a sodding pouf!" Dennis said. "Just take a smoke, whatchu afraid of?"

Piers shook his head, but his eyes widened. 'You're a sodding pouf!' he repeated in his head. Was Dennis onto him?

"Come on, Polkiss, take it—"

Dudley stepped between them and cracked his knuckles one by one, his trademark move before brawls. "If 'e said 'e don't want it," Dudley croaked in the chavvy new accent he'd been using lately, "'den 'e don't want it."

Dennis stepped back. "A' right, Dud. A' right."

Nobody fucked with Dudley anyway, but especially with that accent!

///We quickened our pace like rivers///

Piers straightened his book bag and took a deep breath. He was returning from the shopping centre downtown and he had to cross the street between Cutter's Road and Cunningham Ridge. All down the lane, against the old brick building that used to be a shopping mall, stood at least thirteen scallies. He hated them for being such stupid tossers. All were in their early twenties, yet they acted worse than Piers' mates—knocking back their hard cider with their Burberry and track pants.

He also hated them for being hot.

"Oi! Oi, you 'dere, yeah!"

"We're talkin' to you—"

Piers ignored the voices and broke into a run. Behind him, the blokes cracked up.

It was a little pathetic, but more exciting than going to the mall.

///Please say you remember///

Dudley looks over his shoulder to make certain the bedroom door's locked. The last thing he needs is Petunia walking in on him. That would be special. He goes to his usual website, the one with the three options on the homepage—straight, both, or gay. He clicks straight as usual and browses the selections, looking for something besides smiling, busty girls.

He finds one of the summaries interesting: Cutie gives ace oral sex and more!

He clicks it, and waits for the video to load. As soon as it starts, his eyes widen in horror. There's some sort of mistake. The so-called cutie is a bloke. A bloke in tight shorts with soft, straight hair. Wearing eye make-up.

As though watching a horror movie, Dudley grips the chair but can't look away.

Another bloke enters the picture. He's normal. He has stubble, and is wearing a wife beater. He's not as twiggy as the other guy, but he's still pretty slim. He's got dark, short curls.

The video is shit. It looks like it was made in an alley. Like something the eighties wanted to forget. Normal-Bloke leans against a wall. Poufter-Bloke gets on his knees.

Dudley can't stop staring. His breathing is getting hard. Poufter-Bloke almost looks like a girl; maybe that's why. The oral sex melds into another scene, with the same blokes. But this time, it's on a bed. The Poufter-Bloke is on all fours, and--- what!?

Dudley wants to be disgusted. But it's interesting. He's never considered it before. Yeah, that's it! It's interesting! Like science, or something.

Except, science never made him imagine having sex with a bloke. And science never got his dick hard.

He vows to never go back to that website again. He believes Dad now: Technology is evil!

The next day at the park, he can't look at any of his mates in the eye. He hardly speaks to them. He feels like a failure.

///Worlds and worlds away///

So now it's eight years past the point when they didn't climb trees

and one month since Year Ten ended

three years of looking at unrealistic pornography and wondering what do I do

two years since Dudley couldn't understand why a bloke like Piers with an average, skinny build couldn't get a girlfriend

three years past that day when Dudley cried

one year since Dudley chav'ed up and defended Piers' choice not to smoke

five years of Piers being in lust with blokes who were obviously trouble and obviously not gay

and one week of sheer terror when Dudley Dursley realised that guys could give blow jobs to other guys, and that it could be interesting.

It's an evening, on a day, in a week. Nothing's important except for the raw sensation in the air.

"I just… had to… tell… someone," Dudley shrugs, almost as lamely as Piers all those other times, which is why Piers is very scared at the moment. He's supposed to be the one who's tripping out all the time, all nervous and shaky and goofy. Dudley's supposed to be a stoic fucker. That's how Piers likes Dudley to be: stable, steady, no-nonsense. If Dudley starts crying again, Piers might cry too, because that's like, so opposite of how the world is supposed to go.

Piers stares at the television, which is still playing some rap music video. All kinds of slaggy girls are making out and dancing. It's like a bleeding hip hop orgy. He's not sure how to respond without getting socked in the face again. But it doesn't seem like something he should just ignore.

As though to prove this, Dudley shifts uncomfortably and clears his throat. "Well, wot' do you make of it, then?" he asks hoarsely,

Piers has no idea what to say. He's half-excited that Dudley looked at gay porn, and half-afraid, because this means he'll either have to admit he's gay or pretend he thinks it's an abomination. And Piers is not a good actor. He clears his own throat. "I… er… I don't know, Dud."

"Shit," Dudley says.

"Yeah," Piers agrees, but not for the same reason.

"I'm not one!" Dudley says. "I'm not a queer!"

Piers tries not to look at him and although he's not surprised, he still feels that little something shattering inside him. "Okay!" he says back, and it sounds very harsh.

"Well, wot's that mean? You don't believe me?" Dudley barks. It would be scary and threatening if his voice wasn't shaking so badly. Piers cringes when Dudley's voice breaks ever so slightly.

Stop freaking, stop freaking, please, prays Piers over and over again. He can't deal with this. There's only room for one worrying psycho. "I believe you, Dudley," he says, as firmly as is possible, because it's the truth.

"I didn't even mean to look at it!" Dudley confirms.

Now he's just stretching this out. Which is not his style. Piers throws him a discreet glance but keeps his eyes on the telly. He takes a deep breath.

"WOT?" Dudley yells. "Don't you believe me!?"

Piers stares wide-eyed. He wasn't expecting this kind of outburst. He wants this to stop. Dudley needs to be reassured somehow. And just like that, Piers blurts it out:

"I've watched that kind of thing before!"

Dudley stares back. "You have?" he whispers.

"Yes," says Piers, and it's his turn to have a quavering voice. "Read it in mags, too."

Dudley raises an eyebrow. "Wot?"

"Yeah. So… I don't think you're weird or somethin'," Piers finishes with a brisk nod.

"Do you—" Dudley breaks off. "Uh. Do you like it?"

Piers shrugs at the television. "I… Hey, this is a good song!" he says. Too bad it's a commercial.

Dudley doesn't look amused. He looks something between panicked and frustrated. "Piers!"

"No," Piers says.

"Oh," Dudley says, but it's dense and sad-sounding.

"Dud?" Piers asks in wonder. "Did you?"

Dudley mutters something that can't be interpreted.

"What?" Piers asks.

"The bloke looked sort of like a chick," Dudley says, sounding defeated.

Piers can't help it. He laughs. He cracks up like the scallies downtown.

Dudley looks furious. "I'll kill you."

This makes Piers laugh harder. It's the amazing fact that Dudley liked the gay porn, but he'd still beat everyone's ass. "I know," Piers says through his laughter.

"You're fucked up!" Dudley shouts.

Piers shuts up then. "I like it, too," he says.

"Don't mess with me, I swear to Christ," Dudley says through gritted teeth.

"Dudley. I buy it. I don't watch it on bloody accident!" Piers cries out.

Dudley stares. "Are you…?"

"Maybe," Piers shrugs and stares at the television. "Please don't tell Dennis. Or anyone."

"Are you fucking kidding? No way."

"I won't tell them about you, either," Piers says, sort of cockily, as though informing Dudley he has leverage, too.

Dudley shoots him The Look. "I know you won't. 'Cause you'd die."

Piers sighs. So much for that.

"Well, what do I do?" Dudley inquires. "I mean… I watched it—and… I still like girls… so…"

"Just 'cause you wanked to gay porn, it doesn't mean you're queer," Piers says quietly. "I mean, that doesn't magically turn you gay—"

"Don't say that."

"What? Queer?"

"No," Dudley says gruffly. "Magic!"

Piers cocks an eyebrow. "Okay?" Dudley comes out with some weird ideas sometimes. "Anyway, you know what I mean?"

"Well… yeah… but… how do you… I mean… how do you know…?"

"Dudley… let's just change the subject. You're not gay," Piers says a little harshly.

Dudley nods slowly. "Well… uh… okay. Right."

End of that problem, Piers thinks begrudgingly. It's pretty damn exciting this even happened, though.

But it's not over.

"Is a bloke the same as a girl?" Dudley asks a few minutes later. "I mean, like, snogging… wise… and everything?"

Piers doesn't even have to look at him to know he's gone bright pink. "A bloke is a bloke. A bloke isn't a girl. But I'm sure snogging a bloke is a bit like snogging a girl. But with different, erm, parts." As usual, Piers' explanation to the ever-so-thick Dudley is delivered in a very calm, sincere tone, unlike the tone Dudley's cousin uses to make a point.

"Yea'," Dudley says thoughtfully, as though Piers has just made a very brilliant statement.

There's a very copious silence, filled only by some slow rhythm and blues song on telly, and somewhere inside the silence, Dudley does something very strange. He puts his arm up on the back of the couch and looms over Piers. Piers looks up, expecting to be smashed in the face or some shit like that, but instead, Dudley inclines his head down and parts his lips. Piers' stupid, fleeting thought is that maybe Dudley got hammered before coming over and he's just hiding it well, but seconds later, he's not really thinking much because their mouths are pressed against each other's.

It's better than Piers expected.

It's more normal than Dudley expected.

When they pull out of the kiss, it's a sharp sound like paper tearing, so Piers gets adventurous and kisses Dudley again. Dudley breathes in and out heavily like he's boxing with Piers' lips. Dudley cups his huge hand over Piers' ass as they kiss and then moves it up inside the back of his shirt. Piers has his hand placed lightly in Dudley's lap, and he moans when he feels the area harden beneath his touch.

Dudley moves away with a jerk.

"Sorry!" Piers puts in, flushing.

"I dunno," Dudley says, going redder than Piers, looking around as though pretending he doesn't notice his erection.

"If you dunno, then I dunno," Piers replies. It's something they used to say when they were kids, but he doubts Dudley remembers. This is beginning to feel like something very odd, like one of those Twilight Zone episodes.

Dudley's still blushing but he gives Piers something that's like a smile. "Well, I dunno," he finishes.

Even though it's a stupid primary school joke, it seems to ground the situation. They've known each other for nearly fourteen years. They aren't other people; they're the same as ever.

"What time's your mum coming in?" Dudley asks in a mumble.

"Not 'till tomorrow," Piers says, pretending he doesn't know what's going to happen.

He knows that Dudley means business when he turns off the telly.

///I never took your picture because it couldn't sound like you///

Piers' arms begin to ache, but it's in a good way. Dudley nibbles his bare shoulder, his strong arms underneath Piers' shirt, grabbing his abs. It's steady and short. It isn't very professional, but they do a hell of a job for what it's worth.

They pull up their sagging trousers and fasten their belts again, and Piers nestles into the crook of Dudley's arm. It's so quiet, but it's not a movie, so no one's asleep or being cool and smoking an old-fashioned cigarette. Nope. They just stare at the ceiling, where a Playboy model is laughing at them.

"I'd never… I'd never done that before," Piers says, even though he wishes he could have stayed silent.

Dudley laughs and Piers winces. "Wot?" Dudley demands, gripping Piers' side tighter. "You think I do it often, or somethin'?"

Piers bites his lip and shakes his head.

"I know," Dudley says off-handedly, "Maybe I'm just that good."

"Twit," Piers replies, and as though he's been doing it all his life, he leans over and kisses Dudley on the forehead.

///You won't be someone else's masterpiece///

"Jesus! What's it say in there?" Piers inquires sharply with a grin.

Dudley stops laughing, and lowers the newspaper. "Nothing really. Some stupid knobhead drove his car into a cornfield." He sniggers again.

Piers shakes his head. "It's not all that funny!"

"A cornfield!" Dudley repeats. "It's bloody funny. Stupid sod," he replies.

"If you don't shut it, you're going to be late."

"Yeah, yeah," Dudley mutters, but grins, taking a sip of coffee and getting up, wrapping his arms around Piers' back.

Piers presses into the smell of cigarettes and strong cologne and kisses Dudley on the lips. This goes on for quite a bit, until Dudley indicates the clock on the microwave and snickers.

"Gonna be more than just a wee bit late now, in'it?"

"Twit," Piers says in mock-annoyance.

"Yeah. Well at least I don't go driving into cornfields."

As though to shut Dudley up, Piers kisses him again.

Neither of them makes it to work that day.

///cause you'll be mine///