Author's Note: I don't own Skins nor any of the characters therein.
Tony pushes him up against a wall and they're both drunk, they're so drunk, but that's a reason, not an excuse. It's hot and stuffy and there are partygoers passing by, but Maxxie doesn't care—he doesn't care about anything beyond the hot slick messy slide of his lips against Tony's and the way Tony's hands are tugging at the hair at the base of his skull.
It's not the company he likes, really. It's the kissing. Max could kiss forever if he had the chance.
"Bugger," he gasps against Tony's mouth, and Tony bites his tongue, his lip, anything to keep him anchored right here. "Oh, fuck."
"Wish, command," Tony says, which isn't quite what Maxxie was getting at but—that's not something that matters right now either.
They're stupid, that's all that Maxxie's thinking. They're so, so stupid. This is a terrible idea, awful, because Max might be okay with being gay (and has been for ages) but that doesn't mean Tony is, not to mention that—well, if there's one thing he's learned from being around Tony all these years is that Tony picks up interests lightning-quick and drops them even quicker, and Maxxie's tired of being dropped.
"You'd better mean this," he says, when Tony's fingers slide harshly up the skin of his stomach. "If you don't fucking mean this, Tony—"
"Relax," Tony says, his nails digging into Max's back. "'S just a shag."
It's nothing more than exactly what he'd been expecting, but for some reason it still stings—"I'm not your hobby," he says, not for the first time and with a little more venom that he'd intended, and pushes Tony away. Pushes him hard, to give them some real distance, and then again just because he wants to. "Piss off," he says, and instead of waiting to see if Tony obeys, takes his own advice and makes like a tree.
It's always been like this.
It's not hard for men to fall for Maxxie and fall hard—he's pretty, he knows that, but there's something else, some little innocence about him that makes people want to debauch him. Something about the curve of his lips, maybe, or the way his smile is lopsided when he really means it—the way he looks out from under dark eyelashes, or the line of his wrist and the bones that show there. Maxxie isn't vain, he's just honest.
He knows he was meant to break hearts.
At fifteen he was warding off advances and ignoring catcalls; now he's pushing his (former?) best friend away from him and leaving parties early to get some room to think. And he knows Tony hasn't fallen for him—Tony doesn't fancy him, Tony just fancies dirtying pretty things, and Maxxie is a pretty thing that begs Tony's attention.
It's not that he doesn't want Tony, precisely. It's just that for every time someone calls him a slut, he feels an answering burn low in his stomach—guilt, mostly, and shame that he's internalized. For anyone else, 'slut' is fine. For anyone else, Max doesn't give two shits what they think of him behind closed doors and between the sheets; it doesn't matter, not with anonymous strangers.
With Tony, it matters. With Tony, 'slut' matters—and he won't be Tony's cheap whore, won't be his hobby, won't let Tony shove him up against walls and kiss him until his knees go weak.
Maxxie doesn't love Tony. He doesn't even fancy Tony, not really—not beyond "Isn't he pretty, I bet he'd be good in the sack". It's just that Tony is his mate, one of his best, and he doesn't want to take a chance on that. He doesn't want to fuck up a friendship because he couldn't keep his knees together, or whatever (or keep Tony's knees off the floor, as it were).
It's just frustrating.
Because yeah, Tony is pretty, and yeah, there are moments when Max wonders if maybe it couldn't work out. Tony's a wanker, there's no two ways around that, but he's clever, and smart, and when he puts his mind to it he can be genuinely kind—
And then he does shit like this, and Maxxie remembers.
He doesn't want to be an early-morning booty call. He doesn't want to be a hobby, or a fuck-buddy or anyone's right hand. He sleeps around because he's looking, because Max wants to believe that someday, somewhere, he'll find someone worth quitting for; he wants to believe that someday he'll stop being the third (or fifth or seventh) wheel and find someone worth keeping around.
Okay, so his methods are a bit fucked. Sue him.
So Maxxie gets around. He gets around a bit with Tony (enough to find out that there are some things Tony's mouth isn't good for); he gets around with Dale a bit, though it's mostly just rolling about and kissing. And he gets around with drunken bar paramours who buy him one too many drinks and them press him into corners and suck bruising kisses onto the skin of his throat.
Sometimes they're kind, considerate; other times, they're not at all what Max needs. Sometimes he comes out sated, other times bleeding, and none of those times he ever tells his friends about. It's killing him, maybe, one little death at a time, but it makes him feel so alive.
So let them call him slut. Let them judge and catcall and jeer until their faces turn blue and their breath runs out. Maxxie doesn't care. He knows what he's doing.
she is the words that i can't find
how can the only thing that's killing me
make me feel so alive?
and i couldn't speak
i couldn't breathe to save my life
all of my chances swim like sinking ships
this time it's this:
i'll drown or make her mine.
—She (For Liz), Parachute.