Chris leaned back against the couch, running a hand slowly through his hair. The ceiling spun above him, and then became spirals – two at first, and then hundreds of thousands, like stars, all wheeling around above him, spinning this way and that. It began to make him dizzy so he looked forward again, his head rolling slightly on his shoulders in the way of the very drunk. Paul's voice was in his ear, bubbling with laughter and Chris had to smile. He leaned towards him, one of his hands sliding up the black leather clad thigh, feeling Paul's muscles clench before he raised his leg a little, moving unconsciously closer.

Chris couldn't register what Paul was saying to him so instead he tilted his head down, pushing his fingers into the other boy's dark hair, damp with sweat, and pulling him down to kiss him. He didn't remember twisting around, but soon he was leaning against Paul's bent legs, and it was the best thing ever. Paul had so much affection, so much attention, so much love to give him, Chris wondered, in his inebriated state, whether he saved any of it for himself.

Then he began to consider, as Paul's mouth opened once again against his own, and they were so tangled up in each other, he wondered if they would ever get free, that there were lots of things better than this: Singing, drugs. Drugs like heroin that wrapped around you and felt So. Fucking. Good. Better than any sex he would ever have. And cocaine – yes.

Oh, and Laura Ashworth... that was a new one.

His brow furrowed and he began to pull away. Paul's hands seemed to harden against him, trying to keep him there, but they relaxed again almost instantly. "What's the matter?" Chris heard him ask, so he shook his head, and stopped quickly as the room swung about him. For some reason, this made him laugh. He felt suddenly like he was wasting this alcohol that thrummed through his veins.

He grasped for Paul's hand, missing twice until Paul reached up and caught his. "Come out with me, Paulie."

"Paulie?" Paul asked, wrinkling his nose a bit. They stood, Chris stumbling against him and bursting into wild giggles as Paul staggered back and they were on the couch again. They both dissolved into laughter, and then they couldn't stop because neither was sure why they were laughing in the first place. Chris felt a sudden pang. This was what it had been like before... sometimes, with Paul now, he felt a little smothered. It was different with Laura. She wasn't so... oppressive.

He tried to remember if everything had changed with Laura or before her.

"Chris?" He focused on Paul's eyes, still delighted and dark, and pushed Laura from his mind. Paul was the one he was with. He shouldn't think about her. He shouldn't think – it would spoil his night.

He snorted slightly, another laugh, and stood up again, holding the back of the couch for support. They made their way up the basement stairs, miraculously without mishap and staggered out into the hall, their arms around each other for support and comfort... and for the assurance, on Chris's part, that seemed to be failing.

It was pouring rain. The droplets took on strange shapes and colours as Chris watched them, but when he blinked it was gone – just normal rain. He pulled Paul out into it, realizing vaguely that Paul wasn't nearly as drunk as he was... or no – he was – but he hadn't taken any Acid. "Paul, Paul, Paul," he said, shaking his head, the way older people do when they can't quite believe that the person in question would do such a thing.

"I didn't leave anything for you, did I?"

"What?" Paul asked, over the pouring of the rain. "What are you saying?"

Chris stumbled and realized that they were still walking. He had known but he hadn't paid any attention. For some reason, this made him start laughing again. He turned to Paul, grabbed the sleeves of his jacket, and just let himself fall. Paul staggered, and then landed on the ground beside him. The grass soaked through their clothes, but the rain was so heavy they hardly realized. It spilled down their faces and from the ends of their hair. Paul watched a tiny rivulet run from Chris's bottom lip before the younger man attacked him playfully, trying to pin him down. To both their surprise, Paul won, but it wasn't until Paul's soaked thigh was pressed against Chris, their legs entwined awkwardly and their hands clutching at each other that Chris stopped struggling. There was a lull, their breathing deeper than normal. Paul's grip on Chris's shirt and shoulder relaxed instantly, but Chris just seemed to hold on tighter.

"Do you think we'll get electrocuted?" Chris leaned up and whispered against Paul's neck, his arm looping around Paul's neck pulling him down. Paul ran his hand through Chris's hair, shivering a little. "I can't hear you," he answered, before he lowered his head and began to kiss his throat. He knew Chris liked it when he used his teeth.

"I love you," Chris said, even softer, arching against him. He wasn't sure he believed it. Paul pulled back, unable to hear over the rain. "What?"

"I'm sorry." Chris said, and he watched Paul's face changed from confusion to worry.

"Chris-" Paul began to pull away.

"Don't sit up, you'll get hit by lighting," he answered, and pulled Paul down again.

They made their way inside after only a few minutes and stumbled all the way to Chris's room where they shed their wet clothes and fucked. That was what they called it – fucking – but it meant so much more.

It wasn't until morning, when Paul woke up to Chris's impossibly pale limbs spread over him, his hair dried stuck out in all directions from the rain and dark circles under his eyes from his eye-liner that he wondered what exactly it was Chris had said to him.

Then he wondered, as he stroked Chris's arm, fingers tracing the bruises where the needle went in, why he remembered that when he couldn't remember anything else.

"Morning," Chris whispered, reaching up to touch his face with a cold hand, and Paul smiled at him. Everything was all right.

Paul looked up from his spot on the couch as Laura and Chris tumbled into the room, laughing hysterically. Laura's hair was tangled and falling into her face, and Chris's liner was smudged from the outer corner where he had rubbed it.

He felt slightly annoyed that the two of them had run off and left him here, and was being too stubborn to go off after them. Neither one of them had hardly spoken to him all night, so if they wanted to be like that, fine.

They collapsed on the couch on either side of him, Chris's lips immediately finding Paul's neck, just under his ear. Paul relaxed slightly. Chris was impossible to stay angry at.

Laura ran her fingers through her hair, untangling it. She was watching Chris. Paul didn't like the way she was always watching Chris. When she met Paul's eyes she tilted her head a little, her expression becoming inquisitive. Paul quickly looked away, turning to the boy beside him and tilting his head to speak in his ear. "Where were you?"

Chris didn't answer. He reached up and kissed Paul almost hurriedly on the side of the mouth, then pulled back. It was like a consolation. Paul felt something was wrong. It was so strong that he actually had to pull away from Chris to look at him, but Chris didn't give anything away.

Paul stood and walked to the table to get another beer which he uncapped and turned to watch the other two. Chris had moved closer to Laura, taking Paul's spot on the centre of the sofa. They were laughing again and Paul wondered if he shouldn't just take the case of beer up to his room with him and get sloshed by himself. It wouldn't make any difference, especially not to them.

His eyes flickered between them, drinking the liquor quickly, hoping it would set in soon. He should have done this earlier. Then he wouldn't feel like shit. He watched the way their hands were always on each other. Always touching. Always... fucking looking at each other. It was like they couldn't look away. He put the empty bottle down, caught up two more and crossed the room, falling back on the couch again, Chris's back to him.

He lit a cigarette and wondered when they were going to notice him. Half him told him to leave and half of him was being a masochist and told him to just sit there, suffer, wait...

It was the wrong thing to do, he thought, at the time. But when he looked back on it, years later, he was glad that he had stayed... at least he wouldn't have been living a lie.

Chris leaned back, pulling Laura with him, and then they kissed. That wouldn't have hit Paul, really. It was when they didn't pull away that spread hot anger and shock through him like rapid fire. And then he thought I should have expected this, which made no sense, because he had always stood up for Laura when people said all those things to her...

He couldn't do anything but watch them. Whether it was his imagination or not, it looked like it was familiar. Not new to them at all. Suddenly Laura turned her face slightly, and caught Paul's eyes and he thought he saw something like guilt there, but then it was gone. She laughed and that drove the knife deeper. He couldn't look at Chris, but he knew he was watching him.

Laura reached out, leaning over Chris and pulled Paul forward just slightly and kissed him, as though that would make it better, her pretending that it was just a joke. He knew it wasn't.

He turned his face away and thought that he might have shoved at her shoulder, but it didn't matter. He didn't look at them as he quickly transferred the fag from his hand to his mouth, caught up his beer and left the room.

He heard Chris call his name, but he didn't turn back.