Disclaimer: If you're easily offended by anything of a homosexual nature, do not proceed past this point. This chapter isn't lemony like the others but if the idea of Rob involved in ANY kind of man-on-man action is repulsive to you, then you should probably skip this chapter. I just want to clarify that I am in no way suggesting that there is something going on between the two of them. I am more than a little bit in love with TomStu so I would rather he not have a thing for Rob, but if he did, I'd be cool with it.
A/N: Although all of the chapters are named after songs (and quite appropriately too), this chapter actually has a song to go with it. If you don't mind, please take a listen to it as you read. (couldn't post the link here so it's on my profile)
And if you're curious about the song/title for this chapter, you can take a listen to it (link is also on my profile)
Half Of You
"I still can't believe you did that!" Tom exclaimed as he and Rob drunkenly stumbled across the threshold into their loft. Rob barely made it to the sofa before he collapsed.
Chuckling, he struggled out of his jacket and attempted to remove his sneakers before giving up and lying back against the sofa. "Well, it's my last night home. I had to leave my mark. Who knows when I'll be back, right?"
"Right…" Tom agreed, his face suddenly serious as he leaned against the door, looking down at Rob.
Rob's smile faltered a bit and he rose to his feet, walking towards Tom. "What's wrong?"
Tom shook his head. "I just can't believe you're leaving tomorrow."
Rob grinned. "Yeah, but you'll come visit me so it's not like we're never gonna see each other again." Rob chuckled. "You'll probably have a different girl in here every night and for once you won't have me to worry about!"
He raised his hand to playfully punch Tom in the arm but was surprised when Tom caught it.
"It won't be the same without you," Tom said solemnly, his blue eyes clear as they bore into Rob's.
Rob sobered up immediately, his buzz gone. "Tom…" he began.
"It suddenly occurred to me just now that this is it. After tonight, this won't be our place anymore. It'll be my place…or if I get tired of being here alone, pussy out and go home, it'll be someone else's. But it'll never be ours again."
Tom brought the hand he held to his chest, just over his heart. "You're my best friend. Without you…"
Tom dropped Rob's hand and pushed away from the door, walking to the window overlooking the park across the street.
"Tom..." Rob walked up behind him and gently laid a hand on his shoulder. "Wherever I am, you'll still be my best friend. I won't be gone forever and when I come back I'll need somewhere to return to…and someone."
Tom turned around, resting his head back against the window as he considered Rob beneath half-lowered lids.
"You say that now but you have no idea what will happen. You might like it there. You'll end up buying a house and…" He smiled slightly. "You're probably going to fall in love with her you know. You've had a thing for her forever. Kristen Stewart…" Tom rolled his eyes.
Rob's cheeks flushed. It was true: Kristen had been a celebrity crush of his and now he was going to have the chance to work with her.
He scoffed, feigning indifference. "Please! She already has a boyfriend and really, I'm not gonna be there that long so what would be the point of getting seriously involved with anyone? If I have an itch, I'm going to scratch it but beyond a minor fling…" His voice trailed off and he shrugged.
Rob caught and held Tom's gaze. "Tom…I will be back."
The two continued to stare at one another as silence reigned. Suddenly, there was a subtle shift in the atmosphere; a new awareness of the other struck them both.
Tom straightened and his breath caught in his throat.
What the hell…Where were these thoughts and feelings suddenly coming from? Why was it that he suddenly noticed just how brilliant Rob's eyes were? The carelessly sexy way he ran his hand through his mussed hair when he was nervous. The crooked smile that he was certain sent the girls' hearts aflutter. They'd been friends for years and none of these things had ever made any kind of impression on him.
And why is it, he asked himself, I suddenly feel like touching him? Really touching him.
Tom was not alone in his newly awakened state. Rob's heart was beating awfully fast, his mind racing a mile a minute while he tried to figure out why Tom's beautiful blue eyes and pouty red lips were calling to him. In his mind's eye, he saw himself threading his fingers through Tom's thick, black hair and pulling his mouth to his.
He gasped in shock. What alarmed him most was not that he even thought it but the fact that he wasn't repulsed by the thought.
"Tom…" he breathed.
Without giving consideration to care or consequence, Tom leaned forward and gently, tentatively, pressed his lips to Rob's.
Rob's hands came up, fisting in Tom's shirt as he intended to push him away. Instead, he found himself pulling him closer, his lips moving against Tom's as the kiss deepened.
The kiss went on for several minutes. Tom was the first to pull back. He took deep, gulping breaths as he fought to calm his breathing and racing thoughts.
Rob seemed frozen: he didn't move, nor did he say anything.
A deep blush stole across Tom's face as his cheeks burned with mortification. He had just kissed his best friend! What the hell was wrong with him?
"Rob, I'm so sor..."
His words were cut off as Rob fisted his hand in Tom's hair and dragged his mouth back to his, just as he had imagined. This time the kiss was passionate and rough as his tongue plundered the soft recesses of Tom's mouth.
While one hand still threaded Tom's hair, the other wound round his waist and pulled him closer until their bodies were pressed together. The hand at Tom's waist slid just under the hem of his shirt and slowly stroked the warm, sensitive skin there, sending shivers up Tom's spine.
Again, Tom pulled away, his eyes intense as they bore into Rob's.
"Rob…what are we doing?"
Rob took a deep breath and expelled it slowly. "I don't know," he said honestly. "What I do know is that I have this strong urge to touch you… To hold…to taste…and I don't feel like fighting it. I don't want to." His eyes flickered to Tom's kiss swollen lips before meeting his eyes again. "Maybe we're crazy, maybe it's just me but…tonight is our last night 'til who knows when. At least this way it will be…memorable."
Tom gasped as a wave of hunger crashed over him at Rob's words. Pressing his advantage, Rob backed Tom up against the wall, tore his shirt off and was kissing him again before Tom could even think about stopping him…
Not that he had planned on it. Rob's words had completely robbed him of any hesitancy and he didn't spare a thought for possible regrets in the morning.
Tom slid his hand up the front of Rob's soon-to-be-famous Stoli t-shirt, his fingers boring holes into the thin fabric as he sought to get to the skin underneath.
Rob pulled away and took Tom's hand, leading him to the nearest bedroom.
When they were standing at the foot of Rob's bed, Tom reversed their roles and became the aggressor. He pulled Rob's t-shirt over his head, threw it aside, and pushed him down on the bed before climbing on top of him.
They gazed into each other's eyes, wonder and curiosity evident in both their depths, but foremost was desire and love.
Tom lowered his face to Rob's as Rob raised his to Tom's and with their lips they conveyed what words, in that moment, could not.
The next morning…
He had been awake for a while, sitting up and staring at the ceiling, the coward that he was afraid to look at the sleeping boy beside him. He could not believe what he had done…what they had done.
They weren't gay, neither of them had exhibited homosexual tendencies before, yet what they'd done the night before was definitely not 'straight' behaviour.
Tom stirred in his sleep, muttering softly.
Rob chanced a glance at him. His features were relaxed and peaceful in sleep.
He really is quite beautiful, he thought, as his eyes skimmed along the sharp, angular planes of Tom's face and jaw, noting the way his long eyelashes brushed the pale skin beneath.
Tom lay on his side, his back half-turned toward Rob, and as Rob's eyes slid over him, he found himself noticing even more things about his friend that he'd never picked up on. Like the sprinkling of moles on his back and shoulders, or the fact that for such a little guy, his shoulder-frame was pretty wide.
He could have had a rather developed figure if he'd wanted, I suppose, Rob thought absently.
Just then, Tom peeked up at him. He didn't say anything, staying quiet as he expected accusations and recriminations to be forthcoming.
Rob merely stared at him for a moment before a smile tilted the corner of his mouth. "Hi."
Tom instantly knew everything was okay. He felt the tension drain from his body and he was able to smile back. He still felt like he should say something so he cleared his throat.
"Rob…" he began, his voice husky.
Rob pressed a gentle finger to his lips. "Don't. What happened last night…it doesn't change anything. You're still you and I'm still me. We're still us. We're not suddenly gay or anything, we just…took our friendship to the next level."
What the hell does that even mean? Rob wondered, pausing for a second.
Taking a deep breath, he continued. "Neither of us had ever been with a guy before so now we know!"
Tom chuckled, mischief twinkling in his eyes. "Well, there was that time in Harrodian…"
Rob playfully thumped him on the arm, his own eyes glittering with laughter. "What happens in Harrodian stays in Harrodian."
They shared a smile but all too soon the jovial mood died and Rob could see the worry return to Tom's eyes.
"We'll be okay, Tom," he assured him, his tone urgent as if he was also trying to convince himself.
Tom sighed deeply then rolled onto his side, away from Rob once more. Rob snaked his arm across Tom's waist and linked his fingers with Tom's where his hand lay on the bed. He pressed a kiss to his shoulder then rested his head on the pillow beside Tom's.
Rob knew that these were stolen moments: they would never speak of it again. The moment they left the bed, it would be as if it never happened. They would go back to being RobStu: best friends shooting the shit, getting drunk, having fun. Except, they wouldn't be doing that again…not for a while, anyway. Rob finally acknowledged what he'd been avoiding for so long: when he left, he'd be leaving Tom. Tom, his virtual other half. He hadn't wanted to think about how desperately he'd miss him but he couldn't ignore the crushing despair in his heart just then.
His fingers tightened where they held Tom's. In that moment, he knew with absolute certainty that when he left, he'd be leaving a piece of himself behind.