He surfaced, groggily. Everything around him was muffled and quiet, but he wasn't sure if that was because there was no sound or if he just couldn't hear it. He was uncomfortable, sore in the oddest of places, and his head was killing him.
Where was he? The crumpled sheets of the bed that he was lying in didn't feel familiar, and the room was too pale and open to be his. Sunlight was streaming in through the windows and he rolled over, trying to block out the light. He was met by a face.
It wasn't familiar. What was it doing here? What was he doing here? He tried to focus his thoughts. That was right - he'd gone to a party last night. Alcohol was involved. A lot of alcohol. Which would explain why he was now looking at this unfamiliar face, who, from the way he was groaning right now, seemed to be as hung over as he was. The other man mumbled something incoherent, and draped a long, bare arm over his shoulder and buried his face into the pillow.
Very quickly, he realised three things: firstly, he did not remember most of last night; second, he was naked, with his clothes strewn about the room. And thirdly, he was in bed with a complete and utter stranger. Then, an appalled thought came over him. Had they...?
The man attempted to wake again, peering at him with confused eyes.
"Do I know you?" He finally asked, and his voice was hoarse.
"N-no. I don't think so," He tried to be logical about the whole thing. There must have been some other reason why he was here.
"Oh, alright then. Name's Marluxia," The other man said, closing the small gap between them. He didn't seemed to be at all concerned about his position. "Yours?"
"Vexen," He replied, baffled by the situation. "I-" But he was cut off by Marluxia, who pulled him into a deep kiss, tongue invading his mouth. He tried to pull back, but the other man pushed him against the pillow and didn't seem to be letting go any time soon. His hands were beginning to roam to places Vexen didn't really want explored, and he tried to brush them away. Eventually he managed to break away from the kisses long enough to speak.
"W-wait! I don't even know you!! What... What happened last night?" It all came out in a burbled rush because he didn't want the strange man to start kissing him again before he was finished.
"I'm guessing we had sex," Marluxia replied. Coming from him it almost sounded like it was normal, but Vexen fought to keep back a scream. "What's wrong?"
"F-first time," He just about managed to stammer. Marluxia's hands flew to his mouth.
"Oh! Shit!" He pulled himself away from Vexen's body, expression shocked and guilty. "I'm so sorry, I honestly didn't realise! I- Shit, I'm sorry. I promise you I don't have any STDs, I got checked out just last week-" He stopped because that probably wasn't helping.
Vexen's mind was screwed. He just couldn't think straight, not even form one single thought in his mind. He just managed to stare blankly into the other man's eyes, in total shock.
Marluxia wasn't actually that bad, physically. He had large, effeminite blue eyes, and hair that must have been brown, but in this light looked almost pink. His hands were soft, and his skin nearly flawless. Vexen found himself wondering what it had been like, last night, if he had been able to remember.
No. It was a horrible thought.
"At least I have good taste even when I am drunk," Marluxia was saying, but Vexen had long since given up trying to coerce his battered brain into comprehending what was happening.
"I... I should probably get going," He managed to croak, his mouth dry. He squinted up at the clock on the wall, but his vision was still too blurred to see the time. He dragged himself out of the warm bed, groping around for his clothes. Marluxia sat up and dangled his legs off the bed, watching him as he pulled his trousers back on and fumbled for his shirt.
"Nice hips," He finally commented as Vexen straightened out, still unable to find that top. Just how far had it been flung anyway? The remark from Marluxia surprised him, and he blushed in annoyance.
"They're awful," He looked down at his hips - they had always been unnaturally wide, making him look like a woman from the back when coupled with his long blonde hair. "I hate them,"
Marluxia rose from the bed, and he seemed to have forgotten just how naked he was, making no attempt to cover his dignity. As he came closer, Vexen found it very difficult not to glance down. He kept his gaze on the far wall instead, not wanting to make eye contact with the other man. Marluxia rested his hands on Vexen's hips, looking straight at the taller man with a quizzical expression.
"Do you want to stay in touch?" He asked quietly. "I can give you my number, maybe we can meet up again,"
"I don't even know you," Vexen protested weakly, backing away from Marluxia's soft grasp. Marluxia dropped his gaze, and then bent down to retrieve some of his clothes.
"Of course," He pulled on a loose pair of jeans and a pale t-shirt, a lot more casual than Vexen's attire. Suddenly, though, he stiffened again. "You don't have a boyfriend, do you? Or a girlfriend,"
"No. I'm single," Vexen quickly said. Truth be told, he'd never had a relationship of that kind with anybody, let alone somebody as beautiful as the strange man in front of him. He'd kind of given up with ever finding , and spent most of his time deeply involved in his work instead.
"Good. I was worried again for a moment there. I truly am sorry for last night, whatever I did," He'd found his jacket, pale pink to match his hair - now that Vexen was properly awake, he could see that Marluxia's hair was pink, and oddly, it suited him. "What do you work as?"
"I'm a scientist," Vexen said. "But I don't have a job right now,"
Marluxia looked a little confused.
"Why ever not? I thought that scientists were in short supply at the moment. I'm sure I read something about that in the papers,"
"Well, me too, but nobody wants to employ me. I'm new to the field, see. They all just say "You've got all the right qualifications, but we need somebody with more experience than you," So I haven't been able to find full-time work since I came out of university," Vexen explained, finally locating his shirt and pulling it on over his head.
"How old are you, anyway?"
Marluxia let out a long, low whistle.
"I really do have good taste," He murmured. "Only a year older than me. Sure you don't want my number?"
Vexen took a long, calculated look at Marluxia, only slightly fuzzy around the edges from the influence of last night's alcohol. He'd never met this man before, and he could be anything - a criminal, a rapist - he just didn't know. But he seemed to like Vexen, a rare enough occurrence that the opportunity to get to know him better should be taken. Don't get too hopeful, a voice inside his head reminded him. It's probably because doesn't know you that he likes you. Eventually he dug down into his pocket for a notepad and pen.
"Fine, then," He scribbled his down, pulling out the paper and passing it to Marluxia, who accepted it gracefully. "Here's mine," Marluxia studied the note, before taking the pen and writing his along the edge. He neatly ripped that part out and handed it back.
"I don't recognise the region. Where do you live?" Vexen asked. The first five numbers, the regional code, didn't look familiar to him.
"Near London. A little place called Traverston," Marluxia replied. He pocketed the slip of paper. "And you?"
"Just a few miles away from here, in Plymouth," Vexen told him. That meant that they lived at nearly opposite ends of the country, which couldn't have been a good thing. His sister had said something about long distance relationships, once. What was it? Marluxia had found his bag, and was about to leave.
"I'll call as soon as I get home," He promised, one hand finding its way to Vexen's, their eyes meeting. Somewhere outside, birds chirped in the lightening dawn, but everything else was silent. It was almost like time had stopped, just for a few precious, beautiful moments. Then, Marluxia leant up to lightly kiss Vexen on the lips. "See you soon,"
And he was gone, with only the faint smell of roses left to hint that he'd ever been there.
Vexen rubbed his eyes, fully expecting to wake up any minute now. There was no way that Marluxia could have been real, it must have all just been some sick fantasy that his drunken mind had conjured up. But when, five minutes later, he was still standing in the same spot, dazed, the horrible and amazing realisation hit him.
He'd woken in bed with a complete stranger, a beautiful stranger; he'd probably had sex with him; and more to the point, Marluxia seemed to be interested in him. Maybe starting a relationship. But he also knew nothing about the odd man, and vice versa. They lived nearly three hundred kilometres away.
And he had the most horrible hangover.