He wants to remember this forever, and he knows he won't, due to a weird shitty mixture of weed and cheap beer going to his head, but in that moment he thinks that he wants to remember it forever, even if he won't. It's the want that matters.

The city is always kind of silent in the loud way at this time of night — the train screeches above them but the sound is ambient and background, everything sort of fading into the air, and Ian likes this part most, the no-words walk from underneath the overpass, where they're both acting like the world is cacophonous in all its deafening quiet.

Mickey's house is on the way to Ian's, six blocks down and a right turn at the 7-11, and there's the perfunctory few seconds of awkward idling around on the pavement. Mickey's eyes are looking anywhere but at Ian and Ian is studying his shoes and they're both waiting for someone to do something and no one ever does.

It's starting to get cooler in the air, the first signs of autumn, when Mickey takes a fistful of his shirt and kisses him hard and brief and full of promise because he doesn't know how to say that Mandy is at a friend's and his dad hasn't been home in weeks.

And Ian doesn't know how to say yes, so he kisses back, biting and sloppy and stupid, and they're not paying attention to the yellow lights down the street and the watchful eyes and the screeching train.

And Ian wants to remember, but his head is buzzing and he knows the details will fade with the coming morning, and there's something bitter and soft in the way he tucks his head into Mickey's neck and kisses his throat. There's a secret there that no one talks about and they fuck the way lovers do, face-to-face, kissing slow and rough and full of words.

Ian gets home late, when the first lights of dawn are turning up pale blue beyond the tracks, and Lip is waiting up for him, smoking a joint down to a stub on the kitchen table.

He says, "Fuck-buddies never really stay fuck-buddies," an answer to an argument that hasn't started, and Ian knows he's right, and kind of hates him for always being right.

Ian doesn't talk about the way Mickey looked underneath him, scared and scared and scared, in the only way he can be, terrified of what it means to kiss and look at each other like that when Ian's whispering his name and swallowing the sacred truth behind the motion. But Lip looks at him like he knows, like he gets it, like at some point it stopped being quick hard fucks when her boyfriend wasn't around, like it started to mean something that scared both of them, like Lip fell in love the way Ian is about to.

Ian says, "I know."

"You can't fuck around like that and not end up hurting something," Lip says, and Ian knows he means someone, that Ian's going to get hurt and he's going to get torn to pieces and Ian knows, he knows, but he's too scared to stop.

He passes him the joint in between his fingers and Ian sucks until it withers and crumbles in the tight fold of his fingertips, and Lip doesn't ask about the half-moon marks on his shoulders, and Ian doesn't tell a word.