luciente: (Default)
Clare ([personal profile] luciente) wrote2009-05-30 01:06 pm

fic commentary

My plan was, when I eventually got round to it, to start using this account for being even more disproportionately Serious Business about Frivolous Shit than I am on lj, i.e. writing more formal, academic-y essays about fandom and modern media landscapes et cetera et cetera.

I am not sure fuck only knows how many words of self-indulgent analysis of the convoluted, overinvested, I-am-not-a-natural-writer-I-write-like-a-fucking-literature-student, thought processes behind over ten thousand words of character study disguised as porn (or porn disguised as character study, you pick) is really getting this off on the right foot.

But it was too long for lj.

Somebody really needs to save me from myself some time soon.

The fic is explicit, fandom Ace Attorney, pairing Klavier/Daryan, and sans commentary can be found here. Fic plus commentary in bold is under the cut.

***

General things, then, to start off with:

The song that the title's stolen from can be listened to here, assuming youtube doesn't go on another one of its music video deleting spurts in the time between writing and posting this (and tangent: oh my goodness does watching that video make me go all squirmy; this band had a, er, formative effect on me as a very young teenager, and may or may not have permanently imprinted floppy hair and pale skinny men with bad shirts and toothpick legs on my sexual makeup), and the lyrics can be found here. The connection between the lyrics and the fic is pretty blatant (and the lines well, he writes the lines / wrote right down my spine / says oh, do you believe in love there? has always, always made me think of this pairing, and the effect that Klavier has on Daryan), but there's a kind of surge and sleaze about the music as well that together with the lyrics makes this song feel like awkward-but-intense experimental teenage sex on a mattress in a bedsit probably filled with drug paraphernalia and unwashed clothes and dishes. Which comes pretty close to summing up the effect I was trying for in this fic :D

I did actually start writing it on the strength of wanting to write a particular atmosphere, setting, and type of sex - I think that the kinkmeme prompt that caught my eye was something about the two of them almost-but-not-quite getting caught as teenagers by Kristoph/Daryan's family members &c., and when I saw it, a scene appeared almost fully-formed in my head that was so vivid I almost felt like I was inside the characters' heads (this is very rare for me; it's one of the reasons I don't RP), a scene that was all about furtive, nervous, technically rubbish but at the same time pretty amazing, first-time-y sex. I really wanted to play with the bodiliness of that kind of scene, and how it mixes with the overthinking & self-consciousness of the mental and emotional side of things, and get something out that was above all else protracted, neurotic, awkward, disjointed, messy, but also hopefully intense and at least a little bit hot.

Then when I tried writing it, I realised that sorting out what they were both feeling and doing felt pretty much like sorting out my headcanon for this pairing - which is the other reason why I stuck with writing it, why I had so much fun writing it, and why it turned into what it ended up as. This scene is something that in my headcanon for them happened, and that contains in embryonic form an awful lot of what has happened to them already and will happen to them in the future. My interpretation of their relationship (and tbh this applies whether I think of them as sleeping together or not) and of 4-3 basically runs that right from the start, there were cracks in their friendship: they're too involved with each other's lives; they both have truly monumental egos; there's an imbalance in charisma, attractiveness (sorry, Daryan; not that you are not also gorgeous), and eventually success/fame; Klavier is thoughtless & oblivious and Daryan is not good at dealing with feelings, &c. &c. And then, as they grow up, those cracks deepen and widen, eventually alienating Daryan and putting him in a position where he wants to get away from Klavier, get away from the band, rebel and fuck him over and do something that's all about him, where he is the hero, where he is the one who pulled everything off. Over the course of this process, then, I imagine him pretty constantly looking back on the last seven or so years of his relationship with Klavier and looking for reasons for what he wants to do and does, looking for reasons to be justifiably angry with him, reasons to feel hard done by, reasons to think my life would have been better without you in it. This is one of the things I imagine him having to look back on - where it all started, where he first realised that this partnership was going to be something serious and life-changing. So I wrote it, then, to think about what teenage Daryan was like with teenage Klavier, and how that might have set the tone for their future relationship.

General narrative style-wise: I tried to go for the tightest third-person present I could possibly manage - because I wanted the whole thing to be as immersive as possible, with every single minute of how totally excruciating this is for Daryan followed through :D, but at the same time, I wanted to have that option of reader-distance that you can't get as much with 1st-person present. Given that my Daryan really isn't good with dealing with his feelings, and I wanted an avenue for getting out stuff that he wouldn't realistically admit he was thinking, and so would get lost in a whole lot of implicitness in 1st person narrative. There's always the option of pulling out a little even in tight 3rd-person, or going further and deeper than the character could, because you're positioning the narrator as "some unspecified person with privileged access to this one character's brain". I also wanted uber-tight 3rd-person because a big part of what I wanted to show about K&D's relationship in this fic is Daryan constantly second-guessing and constructing an image or version of Klavier in his head, and often not understanding him anywhere near as well as he thinks he does (which has always been a major part of how I saw Daryan sustaining the resentment and sense of injustice I imagine as necessary for 4-3 to happen - and part of the tragedy of my version of their relationship, too, that a lot of the friction was more about Daryan's issues than Klavier's cruelty) - so I wanted Klavier in this fic to come out pretty much exclusively in terms of how Daryan sees him. Plus, and relatedly, this fic is all about Daryan, at heart. If it's a character study, it's a character study of him, and what it is in him that was both susceptible to Klavier and poisonous to any relationship between them.

One of the reasons this thing took me so long to write is because I was trying to make it an epic exercise in show, don't tell. Idk if I succeeded in that, but either way I'm now ruining it with this commentary, so never mind :D

Picking apart the fic, then. Fair warning: commentary from here on in is put down as it occurs to me as I'm re-reading, in other words will be random, often tangential, oblique, not the most coherent I've ever been, definitely unstructured and probably kind of crappy. Also contains frequent references to my headcanon as if it's shit that everyone knows and not the result of far too many hours spent totally overthinking 4-3 and these characters IN MY MIND. If I haven't managed to put you off sufficiently yet, then read on!


Klavier's room's got kind of a cheap hotel feel about it. Observation partly coloured by Daryan's sensitivity to the fact Klavier Has Invited Him To His Room For Sex, and so the dirty-weekend-ness of the whole situation, partly just a way of getting exactly that dirty-weekend-ness atmosphere, right from the start :D Blinds drawing bars across the window, single bed, furniture that fell off the back of an IKEA truck. That slightly stale warmth of a thermostat that no one ever adjusts, and though it's not spare - au contraire, it's full of junk, mostly records and papers and lever-arch files I love the idea of Klavier as messy - it's canon, for one thing; his office was a tip, but I also think it's a nice balance to his uber-groomed image - not least because it indexes the passionate, genuine, artist-and-genius side of him that's right there with the bland, image-conscious poser, and he's more interesting when he's both - all the mess is stuffed in and spilling out of boxes, so it's got that temporary, just-passing-through feeling. Daryan's surprised. Klavier usually manages to leave an impression of himself pretty damn fast on whatever he touches. ...i.e. Daryan. Structured so that the tone is snide, but that's made ironic by the fact that obv. Klavier has left enough of an impression on Daryan for him to be able to say what "Klavier usually manages"... There's not a lot of him in this room.

Klavier's room in Kristoph's house = vague & not particularly thorough analogue for the nature of his relationship with Kristoph - there's an element of dependence, an element of Kristoph letting Klavier know he's doing him a favour while still being kind of alienated from him, an element of Klavier clearly wanting to get out and strike out on his own, and then the muting of Klavier's impression on the room intended as a sort of echo of how Klavier becomes shadowed and sort of subordinated to Kristoph at points in 4-4

Klavier is pretzeled on the floor at Daryan's feet, dithering over the stereo interface with practiced, speculative fingers. Daryan looks at the top of his bent head. So this is Klavier Gavin at home. Daryan's not so sure, himself. Indication that Daryan actually does care about Klavier, but a compromised and qualified one - he cares enough to give it thought, but the affectionate-ness of the glance down at his head is tempered by the fact that Klavier's not looking and Daryan knows he's not looking, and plus the "Klavier Gavin at home" construction is a first indication of Daryan constructing and distancing himself from Klavier.

Still. An empty house is an empty house. The familiar beep-whirr-click of Klavier finally one of those examples of Daryan's perception of Klavier and Klavier himself not matching up - Daryan takes it as, jesus you're fussy - the other interpretation being, Klavier actually gives a damn about making this go well, an interpretation which later bits should show as more likely making up his mind is loud in the quiet of it. The empty house = sex times, but it's telling that instead of getting excited at the thought Daryan's fixating on the silence and blowing it up into melodrama. That he's ambivalent about the promise of sex reinforced by the transition here, where he's not thinking about, yay, we can fuck and make as much noise as we want, but rather, we can play music as loud as we want. I also always like poking at the idea that music and fucking are v. closely related for these two.

And an empty house with a fucking awesome sound system, turns out. Better than Daryan's. Daryan comparing himself to Klavier, and finding himself wanting. This becomes a pattern of their relationship, as far as my headcanon is concerned. The speakers warming up around the first track make his hairs lift up in admiration.

Choice of record is smirk-worthy, though. Great record, a favourite record, and the bass is sinking hot and heavy down his throat and spine even sweeter than usual, but: it's Music You Can Screw To - Daryan said so in so many words, one of those nights there's been of late, to Klavier lain back on his bed sketching blueprints for world domination the future of the band. Which makes Klavier putting it on another case of, "Are you trying to seduce me, Mr. Gavin?", like all the other recreations of the kind of scene Daryan fast-forwards in films that Klavier's tried his hand at this evening. Which makes it, like the rest of them, faintly fucking ridiculous. Tying back in with previous paragraph: tried to get out here that Daryan is partly right, and partly not - Klavier is making a three-act play of this, because Klavier would; he's got an idea of how he wants the evening to go, and he's not going to let go of it easily. But at the same time: I tried to get a balance between Daryan's perception of Klavier as a showman - i.e. tying his behaviour in with films, remembering all the conversations they've had about how badly Klavier wants to be famous - and the fact that a lot of the images &c. in here are actually intensely private and about The Two of Them - the fact that Klavier remembered he loved the record and remembered what he said about it, all those late evenings spent just the pair of them in Daryan's room. So it is a play, but that doesn't necessarily mean it's an act. Relatedly: the other balance is between Daryan's ridiculing of the whole thing, and again, the little bits that make it personal, that he realises and is kind of touched by - which resolves itself into Daryan essentially trying to distance himself from it, uncomfortable, through mockery and the displacing of it into cultural references and Things That Happen to Other People.

They both know what they're doing there I made sure, though, that at no point so far - and actually not for a very long time, if possibly ever in the fic - does he actually say it out loud and in so many words. Setting up that he is epically uncomfortable with the whole situation, and reluctant to confront it head on; no need to make a three-act play about it (and yeah, while you're at it, Klavier, why don't you stop breathing?).

Least he's not said, "Shall we take this to the bedroom?", at any point, or anything like. First example of something I pushed at more later on: that often, Daryan is laughing at/judging Klavier for things that Daryan has only actually imagined he's done - suggesting that a lot of Daryan's judgement of Klavier says more about him than it does about Klavier Daryan would have to laugh, and then Klavier would pull out his It's Not Funny When It's Me face (except it is, oh it is funny, when Klavier is not as artless as he thinks he is), and nothing good ever comes of that.

Daryan decides he should probably stop twiddling his thumbs by the bedroom door, making explicit something I was trying to get out just from the narrative style: that until now, Daryan has essentially been standing like a lemon just inside Klavier's bedroom door, not knowing what the hell to do with himself and not entirely sure he wants to be there - Daryan's tone was intended as slightly self-deprecating, here; I've always imagined Daryan as with quite a lot of insecurities (not helped by being Klavier Gavin's best friend &c.), and as a teenager, before he's really developed the I'm-an-asshole defence mechanism he's got in canon, they're much more present and pronounced - another thing I was messing about with in this fic; what was Daryan like before he developed the jerk exterior? and takes his chance to commandeer Klavier's bed. Not going to give Klavier the chance to say, "Why don't you make yourself comfortable?", either. Klavier owes him the bed, after all those nights Daryan's spent sitting on the floor of his own room. Tried to make "owes" do a lot of work, here; this is the kind of relationship, where there's a perceived and sometimes real imbalance in investment, where it's a meeting of epic egos, in which affection and gestures etc. do get translated into a sort of competition, a system of "you deserve this because you did this to me" - very teenage thing to do, so comes out strong at this point in their relationship; sets the tone for the rest of it Not that this is exactly the most luxurious bed in the world. Still, it's not as spartan as it looks, and mostly what's uncomfortable is the close heat of the room, and the fact that Daryan's skin is hot and sore where it touches the sheets - and fuck Klavier's stupid fucking beach plan for that, alright for him, but Daryan's colouring can burn through sunblock, and has. Pure id stuff here, sorry :/ I did want to find as many ways as possible to add to the sheer awkwardness and infuriatingness of Daryan's body in this fic, and the sunburn/suntan lotion residue/&c. &c. is all part of that, but a big part of it is that I have kind of a thing for the feel and smell of skin after it's been in the sun all day. Cards on the table, &c. &c. On a more srs note, I like the idea of Daryan having agreed to put himself through discomfort at Klavier's word and then blaming Klavier for it - the afternoon they spend on the beach before this takes place was a much bigger part of the fic in the original structure I had for it, precisely because I thought it summed up the "I will follow you anywhere and really resent you for it while making no real effort to get myself out of the relationship" that I see these two having as teenagers.

Daryan props himself up on his elbows. Klavier's still dicking pointlessly about with the balance, like he knows what he's doing, except if he did, he'd realise that he wasn't making a blind bit of difference.

Two possible explanations: On the formatting: I debated the bullet points, but in the end liked the idea of Daryan trying to get a hold on the situation by schematising and organising it. This thing's full of Daryan's various attempts to get a hold on the situation :D
1. Keeping him waiting is All Part Of The Effect.
2. Klavier Gavin is not quite as sure of himself as he would like to seem. even when Daryan's conceding that Klavier might not be the smooth operator he for some reason thinks he is, he's still using the derogatory, defensive, well-aren't-you-Mr.-Big-Shot construction of his full name. Use of Klavier's full name throughout was put in to mark points where Daryan sees Klavier as the figure that Klavier eventually wants to and will be, the star, Klavier Gavin full name and capital letters

Tougher call than it would maybe normally be. Daryan's not reached a conclusion by the time Klavier eventually stands up with an idle stretch, and turns to face him.

Now he's got other things on his mind.

He's not even sure if Klavier's looking at him. The room is too dark for him to see Klavier's face properly from this distance, nothing but cloudy sunset light coming in slats through the window. But all at once, Daryan is very conscious of the angle his legs are making, crooked and stretched against the bed. Of the curve of an arch that hasn't quite happened yet drawn by his neck and back. It makes his skin tighten, and his cheeks get hot and dark (probably can't tell under the sunburn). It turns his swallow into a gulp. Straightforward enough in what it's trying to say, but also: first example of something I was trying to achieve and may very well not have done with the tight 3rd-person thing - loosening the tight 3rd-person when Daryan becomes more aware of his body and is less explicitly trying to process things - so in a weird way, the less tight narration is less distancing than the tighter bits, because at these points, we understand more and better than Daryan, and not just what he is willing to admit to himself. Idk, just messing about with narrative tricks, really.

His train of thought sputters and chokes and dies on its ass.

For fuck's sake. It's not like they haven't done this before.

But.

And so another attempt for Daryan to get control over the situation: reminding himself of the experience he does have, trying to get his confidence and bravado back up - at the same time, I like the idea that these first few times, Daryan has thought about enough to be able to marshal them into neat little stories, package them up and frame them in the way he wants - and then hide in them, hide in the ones he's already had time to deal with. Offset in a way that probably doesn't work all that well, by in the first little story having a contradiction between Daryan's version here (that Klavier kissed him) and the version that Daryan more honestly remembers (that he started it, because he couldn't stop himself) in my fic that tells the story in more detail.

The first time: it's been a pretty wild night out, they're both out of their skulls drunk, Klavier kisses him and Daryan lets him. With hindsight, Daryan knows he saw it coming - at the time, it came as a pretty fucking big shock.

The second time: Daryan's too strung out, euphoria and adrenaline, to know it's happening while it's happening, let alone anything much about it beforehand. Doesn't really sink in until he's standing weak-kneed in that alley with sweat drying cold on his arms and come drying sticky on his hand. Damn I have to write this story one day. First gig, and the night after. I think the main reason I haven't is because I'd want to do both POVs, i.e. concurrently not alternating, and I always feel like that's either gimmicky or redundant. Hm. The story's lurking in me somewhere, though.

The third time - well, the third time may not even have happened to start with. Seems about as plausible he could have dreamed it as that while he hovered on the edge of sleep in the dark of the morning, crashed out on a friend's sofa after a too-long party, Klavier slid between his legs and sucked him off, fast and almost silent and for no reason other than that apparently he couldn't help himself, not even with a handful of other people strewn sleeping and comatose on the floor of the room.

This time: they are alone, in a house, on a bed, and it is a perfectly respectable hour of the evening. Daryan is wide-awake, stone-cold sober, and well aware of what is about to happen. Klavier has asked for, not taken taken's an interesting way of phrasing it, on Daryan's part - taken's not the necessary opposite of asked, the other option is that Daryan gave it to him without being asked...one of those things that says more about what Daryan thinks of himself and what happened than what Klavier did, what he wants What Klavier Wants is kind of a nagging issue through this, and never really defined - partly because What Klavier Wants is sort of abstract in Daryan's head, part of the version of Klavier Gavin Flash Git Extraordinaire that he holds in his head and something that he would actually struggle to put his finger on - empty signifier, sort of thing - and then the other thing about What Klavier Wants is that What Klavier Wants, here and all through this scene, is Daryan, to a more or less straightforward degree - which should in theory be what Daryan wants? But he's desperately uncomfortable with it, or at the very least unable to deal with it for a value of asked that's as close as he's ever going to get to straightforwardness: "Do you want to come back to my place?", older than his years and undemanding, as he looks all fake-casual out through his sunglasses at the sun going down over the water. Daryan has understood what's at stake, and consented: "Yeah, alright." There is nothing spontaneous about this; it's been coming from the moment Daryan lay down on the sand beside him when the sky was still blue and endless.

Notice the break in the pattern? Re-emphasising: Daryan trying to control the situation by getting a handle on his experience and making it make sense. Which sits in tension with his deriding of Klavier for making everything into a scene, an act, &c. - Daryan is just as guilty of that all the way through; he constructs and narrativises what happens and what he wants to happen just as much as Klavier does, which was something I was trying to poke at all the way through. I like messing about with the idea that they are so devastatingly, incompatibly similar, and that's why it doesn't work.

What this is, is the first time they have ever done anything quite this deliberate. This, and the paragraph starting 'This time:', are at the heart of the whole fic; that's why I picked this line as the summary quote. Because not only was the awkwardness of 'oh shit we set aside sex time and now we have to do it' one of the major things I wanted to mess around with in this fic, in terms of what it's trying to say about their relationship, this is all about the fact that there are no excuses, there is no dodging it, there is in the end no rationalising it away: this is the start of a relationship of some sort. Which Daryan isn't comfortable with now, on oh so many levels, and is never going to become comfortable with at any point over the next seven years (although, that said, I actually like the idea that there was a period maybe after this - until the band really made it big, perhaps, and things changed accordingly - where they were together in an almost romantic sense of the word, and that made the dissolution and collapse of what they had even more ouch).

So for the first time, Daryan actually knows that something's going to happen between them. They've meant it to; they've put themselves in this place. And maybe it shouldn't, but that makes things different.

For one thing, Klavier's never just stood and looked at him like this before. Openly and obviously, and in that way that Daryan totally hasn't looked back covertly and reluctantly since they first met k, serious pretentious wank alert here. Formatting-wise, square brackets + italics are obviously things that Daryan's feeling but isn't fully acknowledging or articulating - but I didn't just pick them to make it look arty (not that the reason I did pick them is much better). I'm used to seeing square brackets to indicate something that's been either inserted into or elided from a text, something supplementary, something paratextual. What I thought would be fun (because I am an EPIC EPIC LOSER) would be to have the square brackets actually contain the main thrust of the emotional narrative - the real story is being told in these brackets, whether Daryan likes it or not, underneath all the awkwardness, underneath his attempts to organise it into a version that he's comfortable with and makes sense to him, underneath the disjointed everydayness of what's actually happening. And then conversely, I liked the idea of having all those bits that don't work, all the bits where narrative fails, all the bits that you wouldn't get in the Serious Dramatic Film Script &c., be the body of it - because that in itself is story enough, that's the real meat of experience. So, er, in essence it's just playing games with destabilising the frames of the narrative (yes, in porn, I TOLD YOU I HAVE A PROBLEM OH GOD), which is v. important with these two - given that they're all about showmanship and building stories of their lives and selves that may or may not match up with reality. Especially if I'm writing them as teenagers, which is a point at which they'll both be trying to define their own identity and experience to themselves and to each other. [ at the strength in his wrists when he plays, at the bliss on his face when he sings, at the way his thighs fit his jeans ]: at the space between Daryan's legs, at his hands where they're curling slightly in the sheets, at the slight close of Daryan's eyes as he watches him - and letting Daryan see how he Wonders and Speculates [ like Daryan has never been able to, like he always stops himself just short of doing, so the feeling stays latent and amorphous, even late at night when the picture-memories sit before his eyes and dry his mouth as he jerks off ]. So this is the first time Daryan's ever really thought about his body in terms of cause and effect: if I move like this, I can make him think like that.

This is probably what it feels like to be Klavier, all the time. Except a terminally fucking awkward version. Tangent: I'm noticing as I'm reading this that the lines I'm happiest with are the lines I have least to say about. Which makes me think that a lot of this commentary is about compensating for weaknesses I'm seeing in my writing :/ Anyway, I really like this line, and the whole little section surrounding it.

Eventually, Klavier moves. Picks his way around to the side of the bed. Even when he's trying not to trip over all his shit he moves in time with the music, loose and kind of mannered. Daryan stares up at the ineffectual ceiling fan, doesn't think.

Obv. there's a contradiction between the fact that Daryan says he's not thinking any more, and the next paragraph, which is another exercise in overthinking - tried to structure that to give an indication that although Daryan is coming across here as obsessive and thinking about what he's doing constantly, doing that is just a way for him not to think about a whole lot of other stuff - mostly, any feelings he has for Klavier that he can't be pseudo-mature, distanced, or slightly snide about.

It definitely does something to you, all this intention. All the promise in the invitation home, the empty house, the music. Puts your head in a funny place. Clearly, for Klavier, that's bad film territory, which, you know, fair enough. For Daryan, it's more getting ahead of yourself a bit, but at the same time feeling like you're always kind of behind. Like forgetting to talk on the way home, and not noticing because you're too busy thinking about what's going to happen when you get there. And then now, looking sidelong at Klavier and being so sure that there's some kind of script for tonight written in his body language. You just can't read it yet. As what they're actually about to do is starting to creep up on Daryan, I wanted to change the tone of his overthinking from the mocking, I-understand-you-better-than-you-do (which is where this bit starts off, with the 'Clearly, for Klavier...', and is a HUGE part of how I see Daryan, that he believes he understands Klavier better than Klavier knows himself - and I'm not sure if it's sadder that often he does, or that often he doesn't) tone, to something a lot less sure of himself, and a lot more genuinely nervous and keyed up, even if he only admits it to himself briefly (see 'Anticipation is something else', that's as explicit as he'll get about it and that's not very). So tried to get some words creeping in that would get that shift in tone - tried to make 'can't read it yet' do a fair bit of work, with the double meaning of "you're not letting me" and "I don't know how". Daryan's shift into second person is both accusatory and a way of deflecting from actually saying out loud and owning it: I am nervous and I don't know what I'm doing.

Funny thing to say, but surprise, Daryan was starting to get used to. Anticipation is something else.

Maybe he should have come up with some kind of plan of action. Klavier probably has. Kept this very spare to keep the tone of it ambivalent - you can read it either as sneering, or as envious, or as just kind of despairing, and it's probably all three.

Daryan is not a natural overthinker.

Klavier is standing now at his side, looking down at Daryan on the bed. With the light now behind him, his expression is still difficult to make out. It's probably for the best. The moment sits on top of them and between them, still and heavy with expectation. Except it's less a moment than a combined effort to suffocate each other with the power of "you go first". Daryan is not sure that two people have ever taken so long to do so little in the whole universe ever.

Klavier reaches up, pushes his hair back from his face. It's a familiar habit, but made slow and graceless with more self-consciousness (the bad kind - or a different kind of bad kind, maybe) than Daryan would ever have thought Klavier capable of. Daryan's not sure if that's reassuring or not. It carries over into the half-laugh that half-swallows the question Klavier half-asks, some jumble of can I, and do you, and shall we?

There's three points in this where Klavier asks for Daryan's consent - Daryan sees it as one for every time he didn't ask the other times, but from my perspective it's just a structural symmetry, I didn't really want to do more with it than that - Daryan noticing it later is more about again, the kind of emotional balancing act, turnabout-is-fair-play thing that he sees going on in their relationship because of the sort of person he is. Mostly, I just wanted Klavier asking to be a recurring theme - partly b/c of the fact that the idea of this being deliberate and purposeful and explicitly consensual is so important, partly b/c it kind of sums up how they communicate, for me - unspoken understanding that occasionally results in misunderstanding, each expecting something from the other that doesn't always get through and come out, each being either reluctant or unable to be completely open with each other and about themselves, but still having that level of trust underneath it. And then partly also because I like the tension between the fact that actually, Klavier is being remarkably sweet and self-conscious when he asks, each time - but Daryan sees it as an epic source of stress: he's stressed because it's a sign that Klavier is slightly more confident and in control, he's stressed because obviously it means he has to be honest and explicit about his own feelings and take some fucking responsibility for them - and so every time Klavier does ask you get a maze of contradictions in Daryan: he's fucked off that Klavier doesn't normally ask, but he can't deal with the fact that he has, &c. &c.

For the second time tonight, Daryan tells him, "Yeah, alright", and dies a little inside at the catch in his voice when he does.

He's not much time to dwell on it. Klavier kisses him at the invitation, neat and almost clinical, hands not on his thighs or his hips or his chest cheapish trick I end up using a few times, but it says a lot about Daryan: Daryan thinks an awful lot about what Klavier doesn't do to him - which not only indicates that his judgement of Klavier is skewed and often unfair, but also that despite him mocking Klavier for doing it, despite the fact that he Really Does Not Want To Confront the fact that he does it, Daryan has actually spent enough time thinking about screwing Klavier to have his own idea and expectations of how it's going to play out, but splayed on his shoulders where the muscles are bunched and straining from how he's sitting. All tied up with the unfamiliar please/wait of expecting it, it's seriously disarming.

Not much time to dwell on that, either, though, because Daryan's been feeling these touches hovering over his skin all day, nerves crawling with all the potential in the way time passed fast-slow and private, in the building sleepy heat of the weather, in all Klavier's weighted movements and the way they sat heavy in Daryan's idiotically slack mouth. Realising it at last is like releasing a breath, except that Daryan collapses under the force of it, arms giving way and head falling back onto the pillows. These bits don't really do anything all that interesting stylistically, but they stand as attempts to get out a less oblique version of the kind of relationship I think these two had when they were young (or maybe rather, the relation in which Daryan positioned himself to Klavier): that mix of infatuation and resentment and denial and projection, almost wishing you WERE them not only that you could have them, and getting totally caught up in someone else to the point that you aren't even aware you're doing it. I wanted that to come out a lot more strongly than I think it did in this, in the end :/

Klavier takes this as a sign of encouragement. He's not always totally fucking obtuse.

And then the two of them are on the bed, kissing to the writhe of the music on the stereo, and Daryan's at last on more familiar territory.

New with Klavier, sure - deflection deflection deflection - stuck a dash in instead of a comma to (probably over-) emphasise the fact that Daryan's trying to sidestep and cut off all his nerves by reminding himself that he is sexually experienced, that he is not new to this, that he does know what he's doing. And of course, this isn't just about dealing with his own nerves, but also about compensating for the fact that although he actually has no reason to be entirely sure (though he is, as it turns out, right), he is convinced (although won't let on) that Klavier is far more sexually experienced than he is - so this is also sort of a personal oneupmanship type thing (against an opponent who's not actually fighting back), to make himself feel better but Daryan wasn't exactly a virgin when they met; had a girlfriend for almost six months when he was fifteen (and spent most of that time screwing her), and this is more like the kind of stuff he used to do with her. Seeing what you can do with just kisses, letting them get slow, and careless, and drawn out like candy between your fingers, sliding in wet and messy over cheeks and chins and jaws, mouths opening wider and tongues pushing deeper, teeth catching and closing on bits to suck on and lick at. Enjoying the weight on your thighs and the constant undertone of sounds murmured into your mouth, the way your lips feel pulpy and overused and the skin around your mouth gets sticky-dry with spit, the damp patch where your girl's straddling your thigh. also: always thinking about it in terms of girls. I've never really wanted to write Daryan with epic Gay Panic, because slash is my utopia space where Queerness Is Normal, but I've always had him in my head as at least a bit disconcerted by the guy thing - taking a bit of time to get used to it. And possibly, when he's older and more bitter and less rational about his relationship with Klavier, maybe using it as more fuel for his anger towards him ('you perverted me', &c. &c.). At the moment, though, it's just Something Else He's Not Used To Yet.

No blood trying to escape at your pulse points, no franticness, no loss of control. Combined effect of the no...no...no.../Just - trying to hint that Daryan can protest all he likes, but he enjoyed those frantic, terrifying previous encounters, and that's why he's back here for this one. Also, that he's getting a bit nostalgic for them, because this one's scary in its own way. Just Klavier's mouth on his, over and over again, until Daryan's starting to sweat and prickle, and there's something like an endless sighing groan settling in his bones.

Making out for the sake of making out - almost but not quite. Obv. the 'almost but not quite' is the transition to the next bit and connecting back to the fact that the Purpose of this encounter is Sex - but leaving it isolated like this I wanted to try and get it to do more work than that, maybe; Daryan thinks of it here in very abstracted, generalised terms - and one of the things I did sort of want to get out through this is that when all's said and done, although there is this epic emotional drama running through and behind this scene, when you get down to it it's essentially two teenage boys who are after a fuck, and who genuinely do want sex for sex's sake - but at the same time, there is something very intimate about this, very specific, very much about THEM - so making out for the sake of making out almost but doesn't quite describe it accurately

That not quite's where the problems start to creep in.

Problem #1: If you know that you're doing this, you really need to know what you're doing. This isn't autopilot sex, where you don't have to think about what you're doing because every bit of your body and his is telling you, over and over again until you listen. And so Daryan is on the back foot. This sentence unravels oddly, when you think about it - Daryan is stressed, b/c he's having to think about what he's doing, and in doing that he's trying to hide behind what's more familiar, what's more normal to him - but at the same time, what comes out of this thought is that fooling around with Klavier actually comes very naturally to him, and on a deep-ish level he knows what he wants and what to do. There's a lot that's contradictory and conflicting about this scene; one of the things that made it both extremely difficult and extremely good fun to write Three fumbles that ran mostly on gut instinct have not taught him Klavier Gavin's body I sort of feel like there's an implicit ...yet, here, which I like the idea of - because the other aspect of Daryan's kind of obsessive schematising and strategies for making sense of his relationship with Klavier so far is that it shows him turning it into a relationship, realising that there is something there, starting to think about things in terms of A Relationship or at least A Pattern or A Future of sorts - also, full name thing again: the other side of Daryan's construction of Klavier is a pedestalising of him - or maybe even idolising, in the sense of turning him into an idol rather than explicitly worshipping him - i.e. when Daryan builds this version of Klavier in his head, it's not only worse/crueler than Klavier is, it's actually also a version of Klavier that's far More Awesome and Impressive than he actually is - being as, whatever Klavier's various merits at this point, he is still just a bratty teenager with big ideas and a pretty face (except the way his eyes widen, not close, when he comes, and that he bites when he gets worked up, and makes a lot of noise unless you find a way to shut him up, but none of these things are helpful right now), and though Daryan would like to think he's got moves in his repertoire they're not exactly transferable.

Princess he may be, but Klavier is not a girl. Vaguely related to the not-quite-gay-panic idea, this bit informed by the idea that when Daryan thinks about things in terms of relationships, or in terms of this kind of intentional, purposeful sex, i.e. not screwing around, he associates it with and compares it to heterosexuality. Not too important a note in the grand scheme of things, just a thread pulled at, I suppose Too many of Daryan's reflexes are embarrassingly and frustratingly useless.

He's reached up to touch tits that aren't there more than once by now (and that's not helping his game, that Klavier has somehow ended up on top for the first time). And then his hands and thighs keep twitching short of sliding up between Klavier's legs - like they forget they're not going to find a cunt there, or they haven't yet decided what they think about that.

Problem #2: Daryan's pretty new to this whole apparently being a bit queer thing. So in the absence of any better ideas he can't even fall back on some burning desire to get a cock in his mouth or a tight ass under his hands. He's not settled on whether he does yet.

[ a sudden crowd of memories: of his leg hooking around Klavier and pulling it closer against him, of Klavier's shoulderblades shifting under his hands, of Klavier's come inbetween his fingers

he knows

because it's Klavier? something that Daryan will probably always wonder about, I think, in my mind - I normally hate the kind of one-person-sexual sexuality that turns up a lot in fic, but I can see Daryan being the sort of person who, as a function maybe of internalising kind of fucked up attitudes towards valuing same-gender friendships vs. devaluing heterosexual romances does very much see what he has with Klavier as different from what he could have with A Woman (and he would collectivise Women and individualise Klavier) - I actually always imagine Daryan as sleeping with a lot of women once (as inevitably happens in my head canon) it becomes clear that Klavier has no real intention of treating his and Daryan's relationship as exclusive), and doing it because he feels he's getting something different out of it - something with less emotional investment, something with less significance, something maybe in his head where he has more control or power over the situation. Idk, half-formed thoughts here, mostly; I'm not sure I'd stand by them in court :D

and that's the real problem, isn't it, with being here and doing this: the light it casts on every other hour passed unnoticed in Klavier's company, and every other night Daryan's lain awake feeling like an evening sitting two feet away from him has left him thoroughly fucked, and every other time Daryan has said, "yeah, alright", to Klavier Gavin this anticipates the end: I wanted at least in a couple of places to try and get out the idea that for the last however long, it would be really fucking obvious to everyone except Daryan that he has been head-over-heels for Klavier, totally infatuated with him - and that now, doing this, he has to wake up to this and confront it - which by the end, he does relatively explicitly - tangent from that: again, as I think I said somewhere else in this that I now can't find, I sort of like the idea of Daryan having Epic Stress about Oh God I'm In Love With My Best Friend that eventually he steels himself and Deals With and accepts that ok, we are more than just friends maybe I can learn to cope with that...and then gets roundly disabused of the notion that this is going to be any kind of great romance as it develops. This is probably because I'm a horrible person who likes torturing her favourite characters, though.

and how does Daryan look in this light tried to make this do a lot of work: not just the idea that Daryan's identity for a long time is going to be coloured by How He Looks Relative to Klavier, but also trying to give a twist on the idea of Daryan being in Klavier's shadow - because part of the stress of being what he is to Klavier and having Klavier be what he is to him isn't just that Daryan is overshadowed by him, it's the fact that actually, Klavier throws a lot about him into very sharp relief, a lot of stuff that maybe he wouldn't otherwise want to think about - 4-3 is kind of the ultimate example of this - also, vague semantic resonance: it appeals to me that Daryan sees Klavier and his relationship with Klavier as a 'light', despite it all - again, tying back in with the idea of pedestalising him, and who is he, and how should he understand himself
Worried when I was writing this that it might sound too melodramatic - left it b/c this is, in the end, about finding your identity and set at a time in Daryan's life when he would have been trying to figure out who he was, and Klavier in my headcanon was a big part of this - how Daryan feels about Klavier does define him; not entirely, but it does Say Something about him, it says what kind of person he is, it says what's going to happen in the future - and right now, he's at a point in his life and in their relationship where that's felt so acutely and at the same time so unsurely and uncertainly, where he can sense that this relationship is going to have a hugely formative effect on him and his life but he's not quite sure how - and also even in just an immediate sense, he's spent the last year or so letting this friendship become part of his life and adjusting to that, and now it's threatening to change ]

Klavier moves on top of him, hand skating up the crook of Daryan's arm. Daryan wakes back up. He must have been lying underneath Klavier like a fucking corpse for who knows how long; embarrassing, and awkward: either he looks like some petrified virgin, or he looks like he's not into it, and that's not fair and not true. It's not that he doesn't want to do this. He wouldn't be here if he didn't want to do this. This is honesty. There's not all that much of that in this fic, especially not in this first bit; it's kind of an exercise in How Many Different Ways Daryan Crescend Can Dissemble His Feelings - but I want that wavering in the same way I want Klavier's confidence and self-awareness to waver - by the time you get to 4-3, when they each snap out of the persona they're usually operating through and behind it's pretty fucking drastic, they fall to pieces; here, I wanted that wavering between their images of themselves (and each other) and their ingenuous, unfiltered and honest feelings to be more frequent and less dramatic, to reflect their age and also to reflect the fact that they haven't yet been through the kind of shit that must have led to the hardening and refining of their persona-selves as we see them in AJ (this is probably one of those points where my headcanon would make people go wut; for my own possibly unfathomable reasons I am unable to accept the idea that Klavier in AJ is either a transparent or ingenuous character or that Daryan's complete assholish-ness isn't a front for serious insecurity and shattered-ego-ness, and am instead convinced that both personalities are carefully developed fronts - which crack, as 4-3 goes on, which is one of the reasons this is how I see the characters, you can't have a crack without a smooth surface to begin with, &c. &c.)

It's just not easy.

The track changes (7 into 8, christ, they've been there nearly half an hour - probably longer than all the other times put together). In the pause, the only noise is the erratic hum of the fan and the tiny wet noises of kisses, the slow hisses of their breathing and the sound of Daryan's blood in his ears. intensity and minute-ness of the detail to signify the sudden intense consciousness of where they are and what they're doing, trick I probably overuse - tried to reinforce it here too by really easing up the pace and trying to kind of arrest the momentum

Fuck this shit.

How hard can it be?

He's figured out harder shit in his time than how to show Klavier Gavin a good time in bed. The full name thing comes up a lot wrt sex, which makes sense, given that of all the things that Daryan implicitly or explicitly perceives Klavier as Doing Better Than Him, right now, sex is going to be the one he's most conscious of. It occurs to me now staring at this (idk why, maybe the vaaague resonance of this line with the idea of a groupie or someone similarly desperate to impress) that in a way Daryan's already seeing Klavier as the rock star that he hasn't yet become - which is painful, because it says a lot about the depth of Daryan's investment and the weird complexes of self-esteem that go with them (seeing as he really isn't seeing himself the same way, yet - it actually kind of recurs throughout that when talk of the band comes up, it's Klavier with the big dreams, and Daryan's just sort of drinking them in) - but also kind of sweet, in a sick, car crash-y way. Just how I like my ships, sigh

His hands find Klavier's pockets, flat slits against his hips because his jeans are so ridiculously tight. Still room for Daryan's thumbs inside them. He presses them along the blunt spurs of Klavier's hipbones, down in a sweep to the very tops of his thighs. Klavier mumbles something into his mouth that only the hairs on the back of Daryan's neck understand partly just a flash and kind of wanky turn of phrase, but also a genuine attempt to get out the idea that what Daryan actually wants and understands, and what Daryan is prepared to consciously admit he wants and understands, are two very different things, and Daryan does it again, and again, until Klavier's hips are angling heavily down against him and bending Daryan's fingers in ways they're not supposed to bend.

Daryan moves his hands to Klavier's sides. One of those points where I try and make a point with something I didn't do, which I'm not really sure is ever going to be a successful way of writing :/ Anyway, I didn't put any kind of causal connector in between 'bending Daryan's fingers...' and 'Daryan moves his hands', and left the paragraph break separating them - because I wanted to leave it open whether Daryan was moving his hands because, you know, Klavier was about break his fingers, or whether he was moving his hands because what he was doing to Klavier was making things go further and faster than he was comfortable with Thin, lean Klavier is softer than he looks here, or maybe it's just because of the ungainly bend in his back, and Daryan walks his fingers over warm skin and relaxed muscles. This makes Klavier shiver and suck in breaths that Daryan feels beneath his hands, but he's got a feeling he's just tickling him. He stops.

Paragraphs above and below = first real attempt in this to write sex that manages to be unsexy without being bad or badly written :/ It's hard (hur hur). It kept ending up either as too much id-fuel, or as just excruciating to read as well as it must have been to experience. Method I went for in the end is mostly chopping the sentences right down to jerkiness and spareness, isolating, magnifying, and worrying at movements until they just give up and die, and trying to include shit that really does happen but you kind of wish it didn't, in a narrative sense (frustrating narrative momentum, changing tone &c.) as well as in terms of the actual sex. So in that sense, hopefully the description style = analogue for how the sex went :D Idk if it worked, but it was bizarrely satisfying to write, possibly more than it must have been to have :D

Klavier just kisses him, still, as Daryan tries things. Hands wandering a bit, nothing too purposeful, just the kind of instinctive, unthinking touches typical of his normal complete disregard for personal space.

But he's breathing all shallow and erratic against Daryan's lips, and every now and then his hips bear suddenly down in a convulsive, compulsive movement and a shudder runs all over him.

This is a stage of proceedings that Daryan recognises, and he knows what to do next. Daryan can't win, really...he's stressed when he doesn't know what he's doing, and he's stressed when he does. Tried to get weight behind the "knows", here, as compared to when he's thinking before about autopilot sex and his body "telling him" what to do - knowing implies awareness and self-awareness, as well, and so this situation and the fact that it is demanding complete and total consciousness is awakening any extra dimensions of horror and panic and confusion and self-scrutiny that Daryan might feel when he confronts the fact that his gut knows what to do with a turned-on Klavier

But his hands are hovering, not on the bed and not on Klavier, and his brain is hovering, somewhere just short of that unthinking impulse that drew his hand to Klavier's cock like a magnet that night after the show, and his pulse is a hard sick lurch.

Fucking ridiculous. Daryan can't believe he has to psyche himself up for this. Klavier would be in fits if he knew. I sort of imagined that there were two sides, in essence, to the fact that Daryan is so panicky about tonight and about this new, "deliberate" kind of sex - the first being the fact that he believes (and this actually says far, far more about him than it does about what's going on; one of the things I was trying to play with with just how Awkward and Teenage this sex is was to contrast the genuine deep emotional narrative, with Daryan's perception of the momentousness of the situation, with the fact that when you strip it down it's just a couple of guys screwing and not particularly successfully - so that Daryan's perception comes out as partly a genuine acknowledgement of the enormity of his feelings, but partly also as reflecting that he is making this what it is, it's a sign of the investment he is placing in it that it seems as important to him as it does), damn fucking long parentheses, anyway, that he believes that there is an awful lot riding on this emotionally and that frightens him (because he is not good at dealing with feelings), and secondly, then, pure insecurity - he is worried he's going to do it wrong, he's worried Klavier won't like it, he's worried it's going to be awful, he's worried he won't look good enough - this really is a major part of my characterisation of Daryan, and one of the reasons for writing this was to see it in embryo in young!Daryan, where it would be more pronounced and transparent

Daryan pushes a hand up the inside of Klavier's leg, firm and not particularly slow, following the inseam of his jeans until his knuckles drag obliquely along where Klavier's cock is starting to strain against them.

Klavier jerks against Daryan's hand and bites down hard on Daryan's bottom lip, and makes a noise that runs through Daryan like he touched him back, leaves him short of breath and draws all his nerves up tight. Daryan remembers, he remembers the other times, remembers the ache that clenched in him every time Klavier moaned, against his neck or around his cock, and shoved himself needily against him, and let his head fall back, remembers how it pushed him over the edge and made him come hard. He remembers it all tangled up in those nights' collisions of feelings, just another part of it. Now it's stripped down to the fact of it that's the work that this scenario does - the breathless, confusing, all happening in a rush times, Daryan can't deny that they happened, but he can keep them amorphous and confusing in his mind - on a night like this, pretty much everything he's feeling is going to become painfully transparent: he gets off on getting Klavier off. kept thinking about that discussion in gyaku_meta a while back, writing this - how do you decide what a character's personal kinks are in bed? This was kind of a no-brainer for me, came extremely naturally and spontaneously while I was writing - thinking about it now, it's very intimately tied up in how I see Daryan's character and their relationship, it's a definite analogue: there's a lot that getting Klavier off can represent to Daryan - doing something for Klavier (the sweetest interpretation), having control over Klavier (the far less sweet interpretation), and being attractive and hot and talented enough to be able to do that for someone whose attractiveness, charisma, sex appeal etc. he finds that mix of desirable and enviable and sometimes unattainable (the interpretation that says most about Daryan, imo)

A wall breaks in Daryan's head. [ and a couple of new ones come up ]

The bit underneath was horrendously difficult to write, but was probably the most vividly felt bit of the whole thing, for me - and exactly the kind of atmosphere and feeling that I so desperately wanted to be able to write about when I started this fic - I'm still not happy with it, still don't think I got it out how I wanted, which is frustrating, because even re-reading it now I can put myself right inside Daryan's head and know what it felt like. Never quite got the description right, though, idk.

It lets him be a different kind of aware lots of this fic is about different kinds of awareness - and probably the main one is the disconnect between Daryan's awareness of his body and engagement with his body, and Daryan's conscious processing of experience - I don't like opposing body to mind, going down the lines of "his body tells the truth even when his mind lies" kind of thing - the disconnect is more along the line of Daryan sinks back into physicality either when he's reluctant to think too hard, or when he actually doesn't really need to - it's more a case of immediacy vs. distance, I suppose, than body vs. mind /wankery of where he is and what he's doing. He feels the soft darkness of the room, and its stale warmth, and the thick sweet vacation smell of sunscreen and outdoors coming off them both, and the sleazy twist and surge of the music, all pulled in together around him, and there's a pleasure in that [ uneasy, though: so private and confidential, so easy to lose yourself in v important - this is probably the bit in this description that I'm happiest with, having that liiittle break in what's going on to acknowledge that slight creeping note of anxiety at realising that the kind of enjoyable this is is one very tied up in affection, and closeness, and conspiratorialness, and trust, and all those other things that are more than a little scary to Daryan ] that winds through and knots into the pleasure of Klavier moving against him, the gestures that show Daryan he wants him, tell him he likes that, make Daryan want him in his turn. He feels how every new trick of Klavier's mouth (and some of the old ones too) pulls more of a reaction from him, reaches down deeper into him and spreads further through him, until just a kiss, just a fucking kiss drags a whine he never wants to hear himself making again from his throat, makes his body gravitate up towards Klavier. Until every sweep of Klavier's tongue feels like it's applied down the side of his neck, and and over the inside of his wrists, and along his inner thighs.

He doesn't think.

He understands that one reason he is so still beneath Klavier, so tensely, strainingly still, though by now he is overhot and restless and sore, sweating, going numb where Klavier's weight is too awkward and too heavy on top of him, is that he does not want to move, and risk breaking the escalating run of kisses, and risk disturbing the incidental pattern of points where his skin is singing because Klavier is touching it. Klavier's hand is on his face, in a spidery cramp over his jaw and ear, fingertips tracing the sharp line of the bone and the soft edge of the lobe.

Maybe he could get used to this. Yeah, because even though I am a terrible angst-monger underneath it I'm a bit of a sap, hence juxtaposing the 'maybe he could get used to it' with the point at which Klavier is being obviously, explicitly affectionate - although, of course, you could argue that that's angst-tastic too, seeing as it's not exactly a pattern that looks likely to continue, based on the state of things in 4-3 - and hence the cheap double meaning trick with the juxtaposition of the next line...

Klavier has other ideas. Klavier always has other ideas. I quite like this way of phrasing it, the ominousness of the "has other ideas" idiom compared with the actual relative weakness of what it suggests (Klavier can think what he likes, right?) - because it gets at something that I was trying to make more or less explicit all the way through this, that Klavier really doesn't, at any point, make Daryan do anything he doesn't want to do (there's actually pointedly very little of Klavier explicitly saying or doing anything in this - it's all about Daryan's perception of him - and then, the relative invisibility of Klavier not only foregrounds Daryan's perception but also undermines it and points at the faultlines in Daryan that underpin it, given that such a big part of how Daryan sees Klavier is that he is dominant and forceful and everywhere he looks) - and he's not even really that coercive, although he can be at times - if Daryan feels like he is being led around by the nose or forced out of his comfort zone, well, a lot of that is very much in his head

Though Daryan's embarrassingly slow on the uptake; by the time he tunes in to Klavier's hands pushing at his t-shirt it's obvious his insistence is impatience. So Klavier thinks it's time for less clothes instead of more kissing, fine; Daryan lets him have his way, contorts himself enough to let Klavier pull the shirt over his head. His hair goes all over the fucking place, so do his arms; it's a miracle he doesn't catch Klavier in the face. He has no idea where his shirt goes. Experiments in showing not telling: trying to get out Daryan's horrendous and kind of self-chastising embarrassment without having to say, good god I'm an idiot that I didn't realise what you wanted and now I'm kicking myself for a fool - tried to get it in the abruptness of the tone, the swearing (Daryan swears more when he's embarrassed, in my mind), a couple of the words he uses to describe his body being kind of self-deprecating and disgusted, like "contorts", having him imagine having caught Klavier in the face to suggest that he's in the sort of state of mind where he is mired in what could possibly go wrong

Klavier sits up, legs slipping out to straddle Daryan's hips like an accidental gymnast, and twists out of his own t-shirt. In a similar vein to above, notes of Daryan's unarticulated ambivalence re. apprehending Klavier - there's a lot of grace and beauty in the way Daryan describes and thinks of Klavier, but there's also a real impression of artlessness and not being quite as together Daryan usually thinks of him as - and there's something gorgeous in that to Daryan, not only in a sweet sense, because it's a change from the constant artistry and self-construction that even at this age Klavier is painfully guilty of, but also in a kind of vindictive sense, Daryan enjoys it and notices when Klavier screws up - there'd also be a lot of frustration in there for Daryan, thinking about it now, in that Klavier is still obscenely sexy even when he's not trying - not anything I tried to get out here, but maybe I should have done Daryan's body's meh, cheap-ish trick: showing Daryan's reluctance to own his own desires by distancing himself from his body clearly not big on this loss of contact idea, arches up a little to follow him like Klavier's knotted strings 'round his ribs. I like this :D Because it's kind of gruesome and unpleasant as an image, which touches on some of the absolute fucking devastation that hits Daryan sometimes, and also because I think it says an awful lot about Daryan's state of mind when he thinks about his relationship with Klavier and and not anywhere near as much (although still just enough) about what that relationship is actually like

Lets his head clear a bit, though. Just enough to be thoroughly aware of what an absolute fucking state he's in. He sinks back down against the pillow, blinks up at the ceiling. Fuck only knows what he must look like right now. Mouth overripe like someone punched it; hair like he's already slept on it; too much blood beneath his skin; breathing like he's only just remembered how. Again, epic self-consciousness, self-deprecation, and general not-in-a-good-place-ness about Daryan's perception of himself, "too much", "over", the punching image, &c. &c. - general sense that he's in too deep, things are going too far, he's too lost, Klavier is too much, and so on and so forth

His senses don't feel like they're working right. Half aren't firing on enough cylinders; his vision's hazy-dark like coming inside from the sun, and there's interference in his ears fucking with the music. The other half's working overtime; he's hot like he's back burning on the beach, and he can feel every little place where the sheets, his jeans, his hair, are sticking to him and peeling off when he moves. O HAI MY ID LET ME SHOW YOU IT. No, I don't know why I have this weird thing about sunshine and sweat. But I do.

He's uncomfortable yeah, 'uncomfortable''s doing pretty obvious dual work here. Does its job, though, not that it really needs to since I think four fucking sentences of balancing physical discomfort with emotional discomfort no wai is pretty much overkill. Sometimes I have problems leaving well alone when I think of something that seems vaguely neat and clever to me. After this long he's pretty damn hard, and with his jeans still on that's uncomfortable. The way his mouth feels open and heavy and kind of liquid is uncomfortable. Tangent: I really fucking love the word liquid. It is a sexy word. Especially when used to describe things that you wouldn't normally think of as being liquid. Om nom nom words. The funny surges where his skin feels like it's trying to crawl off his body towards Klavier are uncomfortable. The fact that hardly any part of him is being touched is uncomfortable.

Daryan looks up at Klavier looking down at him. Relating back to the Invisible Klavier! idea: when I did bring him in, I tried to make it so that every time you saw him unfiltered by Daryan, he was doing something to destabilise the image of him we're getting through Daryan - here, it was supposed to be the idea that Klavier doesn't pay him enough attention/is too caught up in what he wants; actually, while Daryan's been stressing about himself and what he looks like Klavier's essentially been sitting on top of him looking down and thinking, fuck, I want you - there's a funny kind of narcissism in extreme insecurity (and a funny kind of insecurity in extreme narcissism; in that respect, RANDOM HEADCANON CHARACTERISATION TANGENT I've always sort of seen Daryan and Kristoph as two sides of a coin - which possibly says a lot about Klavier, having both of them in his life, idk...) It doesn't help much.

Klavier says, when he's drunk, when he's honest, when he's shameless, when he's not pretending it's All About the Music not particularly relevant here tangent: I always imagined, just to have another crack in their relationship (because obviously they need more), that Daryan was much, much more serious about Being An Actual Musician than Klavier was (Klavier being more about the performance and fame &c.) - and that that actually got exaggerated almost as a defence mechanism as they got all the fame, and Daryan realised he wasn't getting quite as much or enough of it (the famous, yeah, well, I didn't want it anyway defence :D), that he wants his face on magazine covers, smiling out a hundred times in neat rows in record stores, flirting in tv interviews. Sometimes Daryan can see it; he's got those poster-boy good looks, Klavier - blond hair, blue eyes, tan, nice proportions - and he's got a gallery of faces that are bland enough, safe enough, blank enough, inane enough.

This isn't one of them. Daryan would like to see the marketing campaign fronted by this picture, lit up seedy-dark and red-tinged against the backdrop of a fuck motel. Legs spread - splayed - and jeans drawn down over his hipbones, so far there's curly pale hair visible over the waistband and you can see the tops of the creases that point like arrows to his half-hard cock. There's a louche sort of attitude in his arms and shoulders, but it reads I want you to do that again not you want to fuck me. The slicks of sweat on him are in odd obscene places: his temples, his collarbones, the crooks of his arms. One kind of feeble bicep is ringed around with livid finger-marks (that Daryan doesn't at all remember making) that look like something only he and the person who made them should ever see. Daryan can't say he's ever seen a guy in an advertisement with his eyes dilated and his mouth twisted like Klavier's are right now.

This is the Klavier that the magazines are never going to get to see. The one who can run on nothing but enthusiasm and self-belief for 48 straight hours. The one who thinks he can reform the legal system after one day as an intern. The one who gets on his knees at 3am for no reason other than he wants to. The one who treats fucking as a vocation. The one who knows he's a star even in a piss-stained venue the size of his own living room. The one who is more vital, more dangerous, than most people are ever going to know. All sorts of things going on in the paragraphs above this, or so I hoped - firstly, a genuine point of headcanon characterisation for Klavier that I was trying to work through: that although Klavier does have that very careful, controlled, and yeah, bland and inane image that he presents most of the time, someone who is as precocious as he is, as intelligent, as talented, as charismatic, will almost certainly have the constant risk of the off-the-rails-ness of genius running underneath it - the wild passions, the ridiculous ambitions, the enormous ego, the constant threat of complete burnout running alongside the constant possibility of shining better and brighter than anyone else - I love poking at the cracks in Klavier (hur hur), and I think I sort of developed this one to counteract the fact that normally, when I pick at him I end up uncovering selfishness, or dysfunctionality generally, and I wanted a kind of positive counterpoint to that - the corollary to that is then developing that that makes him a very different kind of attractive, one that is more powerful but also more devastating - and then probably the most important thing that I wanted to try and get out here is having at as a moment that reveals that sometimes, Daryan really does know Klavier better than anyone else, and he sees more of Klavier than anyone else - and that's both astonishing and completely awful - and also kind of related to that just very broadly establish the idea that Klavier does have two sides, and will probably always have two sides, and that that is something that Daryan will always be aware of and will always be ambivalent to - because it's not just that Klavier's other side is more attractive because it's seriously fucking hot, it's attractive because only Daryan gets to see it (and I do think the idea that there are bits of Klavier (no sniggering, you) that only Daryan gets to see has grounding in canon, based on the switch you see in Klavier right at the beginning of 4-3 when he's arguing with Daryan and later being serious with him, versus his flippant turning-on-the-rock-star-thing when Apollo and Trucy turn up), and that makes him feel special &c. - but at the same time, when Klavier changes his mind and only lets him see the public side, well, that's going to be epically fucking crushing and frustrating

Daryan has no fucking idea how to look at him right now. ...which is obviously belied by the structure of the paragraphs above, where he's been staring at him open-mouthed like an idiot

He was getting used to wanting Klavier. But that's the thing: those sudden breathless rushes, those idiotic sentimental floods of warmth, those awful sinking oh shit moments, he'd started to get comfortable with how they're all tied up in that precarious intensity of their still-new friendship, that sympathy that lets them make music together, the rush they both get from doing it. Right here, right now, all that want's undiluted. Unqualified. Unmistakeable.

Daryan thinks he maybe liked sex better when it was all over in a kind of blur. the non-blur-ness reflected in how the next few bits go isolated and stark and unavoidable

One of Daryan's hands is clutching painfully at his own hair. The other is somehow on Klavier's thigh, so tight it looks like he's trying to claw through it.

He is shaking with how much he wants Klavier to touch him.

"Fucking hell," he says, uselessly. His voice comes out too high, like he's a kid again ...like he's not now, he's seventeen, for fuck's sake. Stuck this note in to exaggerate the gulf between Daryan's actual maturity and how mature he thinks he is. But then, that's something that I liked playing with in this and have liked playing with in other fics and other fandoms, dealing with the very fine line and tension between the silliness, melodrama and kind of insignificance and immaturity of a lot of things characters who are this age are dealing with, and the fact that these teenagers, because of the seriously fucking off age rules in videogames (17-yr-old lawyers, wut), actually are being forced to deal with huge situations and massive emotional upheavals - so the maturity of Daryan and Klavier in this is kind of an odd point to be developing and teasing out - and sort of related to the general structural point about the non-event that is this sex vs. the potentially huge significance it has. Idk, this whole thing is full of odd conflicts that I sort of intuitively felt while writing and still feel now, but am having difficulty getting out, and he colours up. Klavier smiles, but it's slantwise and unexpectedly sweet, so Daryan reckons it's probably about something else. ...because Daryan can't cope with the idea that Klavier might find his incoherent uselessness anything other than laughable

Daryan closes his eyes, and pulls Klavier towards him by his belt-loops. He swallows the noise that Klavier makes into his mouth, a little incoherent sound of surprise and delight, and fits his hands tight around the marks they left before.

It's probably the most control Daryan's had of the situation all day.

It doesn't last long.

It seems to flip a switch in Klavier this is actually a bit where Klavier fulfils Daryan's expectation of him, although Daryan's not really up to processing that because it requires acknowledging that Klavier really really wants him - Klavier is kind of galvanised by the fact that Daryan does want him, really does, enough to actually get past his mental blocks and really get stuck in with things - it's always been part of my Klavier characterisation that being wanted does funny things to him, and that's something that Daryan usually perceives (and is frustrated, although of course that's terribly hypocritical of him - I like writing hypocritical characters, though - actually, the more I think about it, the more I realise I like writing characters whose identities are kind of a mess - that's even true of writing Franziska and Ema, both of whom are going through massive identity upheavals at the age I'm trying to write them at - it's probably because I like writing contradictions, idk) in him too, turns his dial up a notch I like that Daryan thinks of Klavier so much in terms of music, but now that I'm re-reading this I'm just thinking of the bit in Spinal Tap with the amp that goes up to eleven :/ (goes to show he does have more than one setting). His softly softly let's make a night of it plan's going out of the window a bit, and he's shifted into his I mean business gear; no more careful positions and tactical pacing Daryan consistently convinced and assuming that Klavier has some kind of masterplan, whether or not it's actually true - and the 'unexpectedly' at the end of the sentence suggests that even he knows it's not, now it's all movements, implausible twists and writhes that land his mouth and hands in unexpectedly fun places. Klavier's starting to leave him behind, as per usual; all Daryan's doing is reacting ...so this is Daryan kidding himself: made a point all through the next bits of framing Daryan's responses in very active verbs, no matter how much Daryan may not want to own his movements: Klavier frames his neck in bites, Daryan presses his hand around the base of his skull; Klavier grinds his hips down, Daryan's lift up; Klavier scrapes his fingertips from Daryan's knee to his hipbone, Daryan just fucking groans. Sometimes he can't even manage to react fast enough: his hands keep flying out in pointless flailing gestures, finding bits of Klavier by accident.

It's not hard. If Klavier was sort of arranged on top of him before, now it feels like he's wrapped around him; Klavier's got a knack for taking up space [ or Daryan's no judge of his proximity: Klavier is always present, and always too close, when he's all you can - ], but this is impressive even for him. All bare skin and denim, Klavier is warm and close like a blanket tried to make 'blanket' do a lot of work: something comforting, but at the same time something smothering and covering and all-encompassing - Daryan's more aware of that latter aspect of the image he chose as what's going on becomes more explicitly erotic, indicating his discomfort with the pace things are going at and how much he's kind of suffocating under the weight of what they're doing, more aware of the former in the closeness of Klavier - tried to make the details he notices very intimate, very almost affectionate, and slipping over and around him, so close that when Daryan's eyes come open they can see how the skin is tight around Klavier's half-closed eyes, how the corner of his mouth is bitten and wet, the faint scratched trails that cut across the lines of his face beneath his hair. And when Daryan breathes in, he can smell the familiar cold sweet smell of Klavier's shampoo or cologne or whatever it is, gingery or aniseedy I can get exasperated with too much of a character's appearance or smell or tastes &c. being symbolic, but OTOH Klavier seems like the type of character who would pick a cologne &c. based on how it contributes to the self-image he's constructing, so I don't feel too bad about admitting that Klavier smelling cold and sweet does kind of come from how I see his character, all soaked in sweat and leather and the smell of concrete baked in the sun so there's the id thing again ¬_¬, and the thick layer of sex that Klavier likes to leave on for effect In original drafts of this, I was trying to make the point a lot more explicitly that Klavier is the sort of person who really relishes sex, and is very explicit about his own sexuality, in almost an intrusive, lack of personal boundaries kind of way, the sort of I really don't care if you know I just had sex, in fact, I actually kind of want you to know that I just had amazing sex, kind of attitude - that's the more dangerous, unhinged side of his confidence and self-awareness coming out. Daryan's tucked in by Klavier's thighs squeezing his hips, so tight it's hard to move.

Daryan's starting to get kind of shivery. It's beginning to feel like they've been there a really fucking long time (though Daryan's frame of reference's probably kind of skewed), and all this pissing about, drawing shit out, holding off and stretching things to breaking point's starting to take its toll on Daryan's body. He's feeling almost feverish deliberately unpleasant point of comparison: like there's something built up in you that you know's going to have to break, but in the meantime you're sweaty and shaky and hypersensitive. Or almost like he's already come once, and Klavier's just not bothered to stop, where the smallest thing can feel like a sharp twist on your nipples or teeth scraped over your cock, but it all just bleeds into a level stream of sensation; nothing's going to push you over the top any time soon.

Daryan's never thought he was one for instant gratification, but he's pretty sure he's never spent this much time standing on the edge and looking down before. Again, not exactly a positive way of thinking about it - trying to get Daryan's panic out without being too obvious about it, although maybe activating connotations of jumping off a fucking cliff doesn't exactly count as not being obvious :/

It's getting frustrating now. Need to fucking go one way or the other.

[ or the other?

which way?

there's only one direction this is headed

except it's too far

ridiculous - he has come: on Klavier's leg, over Klavier's hand, down Klavier's throat

are they going backwards, now, that Daryan wants to run from the point of no return

like some chick saying she doesn't want to go all the way

why is there a part of Daryan that's starting to want to up and fucking bolt?
There's an awful lot that's genuinely frightening about the idea of coming from this. Not just the embarrassment of coming soon and without much stimulation, as outlined in hopefully suitably excruciating detail below :D But also stuff like, once he's come, well, then what are they going to do - you have all the awkwardness of postcoitalness, when you're not the kind of people or in the kind of relationship where there's going to be much of an afterglow - and the fact that previously his orgasms have genuinely, not just Daryan excusing it, not just been from Klavier, but from the intensity of whatever situation he's found himself in as well, whereas here it would not only Just Be Because of Klavier, it wouldn't even be because of Klavier doing anything all that special - just kissing him a lot and groping him a bit and looking kind of degenerate. And that says a rather frightening amount about the depth of feeling Daryan has for him...]

The matter's kind of taken out of his hands.

With a lot of leverage and his weight on one hand, Klavier translates himself so that one knee is positioned in between Daryan's. He drags his thigh up between Daryan's legs, and Daryan comes, abruptly and unexpectedly and in one quick shuddering rush, into his pants.

None of Klavier's skin-prickling, ball-tightening moans. Just a choked sort of grunt. No clutching at Klavier, gouging nail tracks down his back and thighs, leaving bruises on his hips and shoulders. It just happens. One of Daryan's feet flexes out and gets stuck in a cul-de-sac of sheet. His other knee collides with Klavier's.

As a release, it's somewhat disproportionate to the build-up.

Klavier is still shifting restlessly against him, almost twitching, as Daryan sinks useless into the mattress underneath him. Daryan stares up past his shoulder, at nothing in particular. The room is very dark now, and quiet; the record's long since wound to a close. The only sounds are the crackling signs of life from the unused speakers, and Klavier's little clamours for attention against his hair. Daryan's pulse rings loud in his ears. Now his hands twist tight and sweaty in the sheets.

Klavier's face is buried in his neck, murmuring something that Daryan's not inclined to listen to and following it up with kisses that prickle shiver-sickly and too-much into the front of his head. The furious colour in Daryan's cheeks burns out unnoticed.

Klavier sits up again, this time heavy and unbalanced across one of Daryan's thighs. Daryan brings his eyes back to him. Klavier's wound up so tight he's almost trembling, and he's staring at Daryan with that bright terrible look that says I want, and if I don't get, then -

Of course. After all that, there's still Klavier to take care of.

Another fucking thing to throw Daryan for a loop. Because Daryan would have been just too fucking lucky, wouldn't he, if somewhere in the last fuck knows how long Klavier had managed to get off. Quite deliberate phrasing in this last bit: adding to Daryan's embarrassment over having to actually think about and confront finding a way of making Klavier come, is another level of shame and embarrassment: that it wasn't good enough for Klavier that he hasn't already - he would have been 'lucky' if Klavier had come, not just because it would have saved Daryan the trouble of trying to figure out what the hell he's going to do with Klavier's erection, but also because it would have reflected well on him and what he'd been doing already

[ as if that wasn't awful enough, when he opened his eyes out of a ground-back cry with his head in the sky and all his nerves lit up and burning and Klavier blinked back at him with big drug-heavy eyes and blood pushing at his skin and a lost sort of smile

as if the absolute fucking enormity of that didn't cut the breath right out of him again, didn't make him want to vomit until the bile burns his throat and punch something until his knuckles hurt and run until his legs won't hold him

it's nothing compared to this
]

He needs to pull himself together. This isn't all about him, is it? He's not some jerk only in it for what he can get out of it; that's not his style.

structured to make a vague connection thread between Daryan thinking about 'some jerk only in it for what he can get out of it', and 'wouldn't do to keep Klavier waiting' - to suggest some kind of unconscious connection running under there, possibly, but not pushing it too hard

Time to get on with it. Wouldn't do to keep Klavier waiting, after all.

Daryan releases his grip on the sheets. Runs his fingers through his hair, lifting it where it's sticking and clumping.

If he's got any bright ideas in him, they're struggling to get past a big dark blank wall stretching round and across his head.

Godfuckingdamnit. This should be easier now, easier than it was before, now it's not like his own body's got any demands left to make on his attention, now all he has to focus on is Klavier, and all Klavier's doing is waiting.

transition here intended to show that Daryan comes to a kind of dawning realisation that oh god, it's not easier at all, it's SO MUCH WORSE because he came too soon and now he can't get away from thinking about Klavier and Klavier is expecting things from him, etc. etc.

Daryan is starting to feel an unexpected nostalgia for those old kinds of not knowing what the fuck he's supposed to be doing.

Klavier clears his throat, the noise huge and heavy in the near-silence of the room, and Daryan's eyes slide up to his mouth. It's open in an arrested kind of way, like he's about to say something. Like for the third time tonight (one for each of the other three times he didn't?) he's going to ask. (That he doesn't often ask is no surprise, but funny that Klavier doesn't talk much; Daryan's always had him down as a dirty talker wanted this in here to sort of belie Daryan's earlier vague claims that he doesn't think about this kind of thing, honest - also again to show that Daryan is so fixated on things that Klavier isn't doing, figured given half a chance he'd make like a porn soundtrack, all god please and I need and fuck me, but though he's got the moans and groans down pat like his lyrics he says hardly anything, not even now there's no worry of anyone hearing, if there ever was for him.)

Part of Daryan is curled up hot and tight and squirming.

[ part of him says yes, tell me, please, help me ]

Part of him feels a little bit sick.

That's the part of him that figures there's only one thing that Klavier would want from him that not even he would just assume he could have, that knows before Klavier speaks what those lips are parted around.

"I want to fuck you." Deliberately put: Klavier really doesn't like asking for what he wants, for one thing, but I also wanted it to be as plain and honest as possible a statement of what Klavier's after, to make it clear that anything else Daryan reads into or thinks about it is coming from him - and also, trying to make sure that it's NOT coercive, but nor is it exactly "I totally respect you and am only concerned with what you want" - I always think Klavier occupies something of a middle ground, there...

Also: I doubt it'd be too surprising if I told you that I don't believe and really resent the idea that penetrative sex is the Ultimate Goal and Final Point of Progression of a sexual relationship - the reason why, though, it's the climax of this fic, is firstly because I do think Daryan's the kind of person who would have hang-ups about it and would see it as A Big Deal (and there's all the oh shit first time-ness tied up in it for Daryan, too, and First Time-Ness is v important for what I was trying to get out characterisation- and talking about their relationship-wise), secondly because a big part of the kind of sex I wanted to write about was the experimentation angle, and thirdly because fucking, as Daryan is so acutely aware, provides the greatest opportunity for maximum mess, self-consciousness, and Epic Sex Fail :D Which, because I have a brain sickness, is exactly what I felt like writing.


Klavier sounds old again having Daryan associate age with Klavier when he takes some measure of control sexually intended to indicate that Daryan has very definite neuroticism about not being mature or sexually experienced enough when he says it at last, like he did before on the beach, even though his voice is thin and breathless like the horny hormonal teenager that he is. Something about the focus in it, maybe, the purpose. Klavier has always been precociously driven.

This is probably where things have been supposed to be building up to the whole time. The Next Step. The next thing on the checklist. ...all of which is IN DARYAN'S MIND; even though he's not wrong, and Klavier as I wrote him did intend for this to happen, there's actually no real indication of this until a little later. It's Daryan who's constructing it like this

And Daryan's actually almost impressed at the weight Klavier's managed to get behind his proclamation, into the silence where it's now sitting obscenely; it's a gift, to make it seem as momentous as it does so it seems momentous to you, does it, Daryan?, in the hot thick darkness of this piece of shit room in the house of the brother he's mooching off after the last hour or so of kind of awkward fooling around. He's not exactly got much to work with; no candles or rose petals or four-poster beds, just tangled sweaty sheets and streetlights bleeding in through the windows. Anyone would think, wouldn't they, that it was actually Daryan who had a clear and almost god forbid romantic idea of how he wanted this evening to pan out...Then, too, there's the contrast between the Bad Film Version, which Daryan perceives as more of a "real" story, and what actually happens, which has its own resonance and depth and emotional layers - trying to pull at conflicts between experience and expectations, all the way through this

Does it drive him mad?

Or is it sweeter to pull it off regardless? Two questions, no answers: another way of reinforcing the idea that most of what Daryan is thinking here is just speculation, it's second-guessing, putting words and thoughts into Klavier's mouth/brain

The words are sitting high in Daryan's chest, over the base of his throat. Tried to make this both erotic and awkward: there's the immediate impression of choking and suffocation, but if you imagine that it's not the words that are sitting there but Klavier, well - His eyes have fallen shut, and he's breathing in sighs. He is very still, but there's movement latent in him, from his fingertips to his toes.

Most of him is saying, in whatever way it has to do it, well, tough shit, Klavier.

This is not high on the list of sexual experiences that Daryan has ever hoped he would have.

It's not that he's worried about it Magically Turning Him Gay or anything like that, it's just - all the break-offs here structured so there's an implicit connection with the point that follows, but not an explicit one - so technically speaking, the points that follow never explicitly refute or totally counteract the points before

People naturally resist new shit, and this would be new shit; like if Klavier had wanted him to suck his cock, he'd have been kind of apprehensive too, because he's never done it before and he doesn't know what it would be like or if he'd like it. Normal reaction. Same with this.

And it's not that he's worried about it hurting, either, it's just -

He knows, more or less, the mechanics of what Klavier wants. And you can't just sort of think, hey, I want to take it up the ass now, and then get stuck in. You've got to actually work at it.

He has been painfully aware of everything he's been doing for the last hour, and it was fucking agonising. Add to that the time - and the concentration - and the mess - and fuck it the general unattractiveness of even getting started on this -

Yeah.

And it's not that this Next Step is one step too far -

[ along what road?

the relationship they don't have?

trust?

intimacy?

what he, in the final reckoning, will do for Klavier Gavin?

fuck this; it's just fucking; it's not -

it doesn't mean -

it's just -
]

It's just that Daryan can't seem to bring himself to take it.

But he hasn't told Klavier to fuck off yet.

He opens his eyes, looks up at him. There's no conflict on Klavier's face. There's not much of anything, really, beyond what he's already said: I want to fuck you, spelled out in languid blinks and shaky breaths, and an odd kind of settled-ness that adds and now I've told you, what are you going to do about it?

Daryan realises that he honestly does not know.

He's not capable of knowing. Certain key faculties have all of a sudden shut down: his ability to process his surroundings, his ability to make sense out of a string of events, his ability to reason out the consequences of his decisions. He's stuck in right now; he's stuck in feeling.

He doesn't know where his answer's going to come from when it comes.

"If you're not - " Klavier starts.

The fingers of the hand he's balancing with, dug into the bone of Daryan's thigh, are making absent, coercive little movements.

Fuck him. [ look at him ]

Fuck him for thinking that Daryan's scared. [ look at him waiting ]

Fuck him for knowing how to get what he wants. [ look at how badly he wants this ]

Fuck him for getting it. [ look at what Daryan can give him ] I'm not sure I like the formatting here, but it was the best way I could manage to get out, that consciously, Daryan says yes because he wants to prove that he's not a coward, because he won't let Klavier see him scared, because he'll try anything once - and at the same time, there's an unconscious part of him that says yes because he realises, a slow sinking realisation, just how badly Klavier wants this, wants him, and that's utterly intoxicating

Daryan is consumed by his attempts to control his own breathing.

"Go on, then," he says.

Klavier doesn't ask if he's sure. Because he wouldn't. And though Klavier Gavin is Not A Rapist, and would neither proceed without consent nor fail to stop if he was asked, he's the sort of person who would have the kind of confidence in himself to expect a yes and not doubt it when he gets it. Which could raise dubcon issues, in a different context, but I ended up sidestepping that here. And he doesn't thank him, or kiss him, or groan with relief not just another extension of the Things That Klavier Does Not Do Idea (it's a version of it here that directly ties in with and reinforces Daryan's subconscious 'I'm doing this because you want me', thing; the things that Daryan expects Klavier to do, here, suggest that implicitly he expects Klavier to be grateful for Daryan letting him fuck him, &c.), also kind of meta; directly in dialogue with a lot of smut fic and not criticising it, but distancing this from that kind of narrative - distancing it from something that might actually be sexy, let's be honest :/; he just smiles, slow and delighted and only a little smug, the sort of smile that goes to Daryan's cock and his fist in equal measures I always like trying to get the familiarity between the two of them out as much as possible, the "I am used to this even if I hate it/love it" kind of angle, because I always feel like the fact that they must have been pretty much in each other's pockets for so long (I really could do with thinking more, actually, about the timing and the effects of the point where canonically, they don't work as much together anymore, hm) is a big part of why their relationship turned out the way it did, then vaults off the bed (using his hand on Daryan's leg for leverage fail on Klavier's part, to contrast with Daryan's god I hate that smug git sometimes note just before; Daryan almost kicks him from the reflexive pain).

Leaving Daryan alone again, and waiting, with nothing to do except think about where he is and what he's doing.

And so it begins.

Klavier flicks the music back on as he rummages around his room contrast between Klavier trying to get the mood back (which is what Daryan of course focuses on - here, with the structure of his thought, and also in the latter half of this paragraph, where the thing he fixates on is the "so he did plan this" aspect), and the fact that what he's doing is kind of ridiculous and unsexy - at least he's not naked, for added lulz, but he is sitting on the floor trying to find lube and condoms and not being able to because he bought too many hair products when he stopped off at the pharmacy. I may have something of a soft spot for fail!Klavier. Small mercies, etc. Daryan lets it run through him, lets his fingers itch through its chord progressions. He watches Klavier out of the corner of his eye. He's sorting through a shopping bag sitting on the surface of the mess, a pile of hair products mounting up next to him as he searches for what he's after. So he did plan this. Or expected it, at least. Telling that Daryan thinks of it in terms of "expecting" it - says a lot about what he thinks of Klavier.

Daryan had better get on with his side of things, then. What's left of his clothes is going to have to come off, and he can't leave everything to Klavier.

Cards on the table: tbh I actually find the theoretically gross bits of sex (up to a point; I draw the line at, idk, traces of shit or anything like that. But most fluids and textures and smells I am a-ok with) really kind of hot in fic. Which means the following paragraphs are a little bit of an id-splurge, but their more important function is to show Daryan's intense self-consciousness and insecurity about his body and the horrendous physicality of the whole experience, by really, really niggling at kind of disgusting details. I'm oddly proud of the sand-gritty come bit. I am aware that I am a very strange individual. In fact, these next few paragraphs are actually among the bits I'm most proud of in the whole fic.

His jeans and underwear are sticky with sweat and come; they peel, rather than slide, off, and cling round his ankles as he tries to push them free with his feet. He kicks them off the bed and out of sight once he's able.

His body stretches out in front of him, a narrow naked streak down the centre of the bed. He stares at the dips under his ribs, at his limp cock, at his bare legs. His legs look even longer and skinnier than usual, and very pale against the dark sheets. They're imprinted with a faint design from the seams of his trousers, where Klavier was pressing against them, where they were tight and stretched against his skin. There is an uneven stripe of sunburn running along the welt marked by the waistband, where his shirt rode up this afternoon and he didn't notice.

Getting his trousers off has dragged traces of come across his cock, through the hair above it and down where his thighs meet beneath it. Daryan scrapes his fingers through it, tries to wipe it off. It's gritty where it's almost at his stomach, from the sand, Daryan realises, that every now and then he feels grinding into his sunscreen-greasy skin when he shifts. He really needs to shower.

Does he?

Would Klavier expect - ?

Is he supposed to - ?

Daryan screws up his eyes and his fists, and does not let himself panic.

"Daryan - " Daryan's never heard Klavier so inarticulate. Deliberately not phrased like the "three-act play" bit before, i.e. deliberately not "God, so for once Klavier's actually lost for words" or anything like that - the derision that could have been in this statement is lost in the wonder of it - also, tried to start introducing more "never"s and "first time"s &c. here, to work at the first time angle His name breaks off Klavier's tongue, evaporates into the air between them.

His head turns like a reflex. Klavier's closer than he was expecting, and Daryan's eyes find his hand, first, white-knuckled, denting and crumpling strange-familiar packets that make Daryan sweat. He follows the tension in Klavier's arm up to his face, through the fall of hair that's caught and turned the cold bright gold of streetlights. Klavier is staring, at him, at something Daryan can't make out. This is the first time, Daryan realises, that Klavier has ever seen him naked.

That feeling settles in Daryan like you usually only get in dreams, like every cell of your body is on the brink of bolting but you can't move a goddamn inch. His skin is burning off his face, and he can't swallow right. He feels like he's about to be sick.

"You - " Klavier falters again. He shakes his head, a little pointless convulsion as Daryan comes to realise that Klavier is not completely composed, the words he uses to think about him through change, and start hovering on a line between derisive and sympathetic, and flicks his hair out of his face. His gaze strays up to meet Daryan's, and Daryan nearly chokes on it. "You'll want to turn over," he says, at last.

Actually, no, Daryan's not sure he does. He's not sure he's too keen on the idea of not being able to see Klavier. The fact that this follows a couple of paragraphs where Daryan has been looking very closely at Klavier and enjoying it, in a terrible kind of way, and is being looked at very closely by Klavier and enjoying that, in a nauseous kind of way, hopefully gives this a double meaning: I don't like not seeing him because I won't be able to tell what he's about to do to me, vs., I don't like not seeing him because I'm kind of getting off on looking at him and on the way he's looking at me. There's a lot of looking in this fic, actually; I'm coming to realise that a major, major part of how I've come to see the sexuality of both these two rests on looking and being looked. Which makes sense with them being a pair of performers, I suppose.

Klavier breaks eye contact, tosses what he's holding onto the bed between Daryan's legs. "It's more comfortable that way, the first time," he says, back in that old-beyond-his-years voice. With time, Daryan thinks, he's going to grow to hate that voice. Or it's going to bring him to his knees every time he hears it.

As he always does, as he always will, he turns over. He presses his face into the pillow, buries himself in a hundred ways that Klavier might have learned that it's more comfortable this way, the first time. A hundred vague impressions of schoolfriends and workmates and random guys picked up at bars, of hotel rooms and club toilets and back seats of cars, drawn from memory of the stories, casual and inappropriate, that Klavier tells and writes and sings for Daryan to swallow and taste and spit out. Each one feels like picking a scab, like someone reading your diary, like jerking off.

He breathes the same breath over and over again, out against the pillow and back through his nose, the air spreading hot and stale across his face. He is light-headed, and starting to get hard again, even though Klavier's not touching him. His pulse is skittering, rapid and shallow.

Like this, Daryan has no idea what Klavier is about to do, beyond what he can put together from sounds: a zipper coming down, the crackle of foil and unfolding of a cardboard box; from the way the weight on the bed shifts in sudden imbalanced lurches and settles into dips; from Klavier's hands on his right leg, guiding it up towards his chest into a taut and straining right-angle. He has no idea what Klavier is looking at, beyond what he can put together from the way his fingers track over the muscles of Daryan's thighs and ass like they move over his records and hover over a rhyme he hasn't found yet. [ he has no idea what Klavier is looking like, beyond what he can hardly even let himself imagine from the thin halting noises that break the beat of the music in clumsy erratic patterns ]

Like this, Daryan is going slowly insane from not knowing what is about to happen and not being able to not think about what is about to happen.

Like this, Daryan is not only naked, he is spread out and stretched out and arranged exactly how Klavier wants him. Klavier is looking at him in a way that Daryan has never looked at himself. This is kind of hilariously literal, and intentionally so, but also has a more serious note in terms of Daryan's self-esteem: he is not quite able to cope with Klavier looking at him with as much desire as he does

Daryan's not sure what the fuck's supposed to be comfortable about this.

And now Klavier has stopped again, dragging the time out. Fuck that; no, not this time. Daryan is not playing that game, not now. He struggles up on his elbows, tries to look over his shoulder.

General point about the introduction of Kristoph: it's mostly there, tbh, to just really ramp up the awkwardness of the whole situation - add a couple of extra things to be worried about, and also reinforce the "awkward teenage sex" angle at a point where the narrative was starting to get stuck in Daryan drowning in the horrible enormity of what's happening to him - so to bring it back to earth and be a reminder that this is two teenagers shacked up in big brother's house while he's out of town, and to be a device for then repeatedly bringing it back to earth - but originally, it was the source of the whole dubcon issue - because when the point of it was more Daryan's epic Do Not Want than exploring all the dimensions of the situation, Kristoph was supposed to turn up just as Daryan was about to up and leave, and essentially trap him there and trap him into doing something he didn't necessarily want to be doing - I never liked how that turned out when I tried to write it, though - what I do like, though, is the fairly cheap symbolism of Kristoph getting in the way of what they're doing - there's a pattern to be set for the rest of their relationship; I've always imagined that Kristoph was an obstacle to them getting closer, partly because I think Kristoph's the sort of person who would try and have explicit influence over his brother's friends, and would be especially wary of one who was as close to Klavier and exposed to as much of Klavier's life as Daryan - and partly because I think the influence of Kristoph would be felt indirectly; in any secretiveness that Daryan would perceive in Klavier as a function of his involvement in Kristoph's plans, in any respect that Daryan might lose for Klavier in the face of the control his brother have over him, in the fact that Daryan might perceive Klavier to be closer to Kristoph than to him (or might perceive Kristoph to have more power/influence over Klavier than he does), either of which Daryan might very easily be jealous of, &c.

"For fuck's sake," he starts [ though he doesn't know where he's going with it, and all the endings that come to his tongue scare him, in what they say ].

He doesn't have to finish. There's a hand, all at once, over his mouth (a hand; Klavier can be such a fucking cunt sometimes). Daryan is very tempted to bite it. And then once Klavier pulls his fingers away, ask him what the fuck he thinks he's doing.

Then he hears it too. Floating in from the other side of the bedroom door, just about audible over the music, a faint call: "Klavier?"

Klavier's brother was supposed to be away for the weekend. At a conference, Klavier said. Flying back tomorrow.

Daryan is not supposed to be here. Klavier's brother doesn't like having guests in his house; that's why this is the first time Daryan's ever seen where Klavier lives.

Daryan is not supposed to be in Kristoph Gavin's fucking house, and he is about to be fucked on the guy's goddamn guest bed by his little brother. And he is standing right outside the door.

Daryan's panic level goes from mild to abject.

He twists violently round and stares helplessly at Klavier. Klavier's eyes are wide and fixed on the door handle. He is chewing on his bottom lip. He looks utterly horrified.

That makes two of them, then.

"Kristoph?" Klavier replies, at last. His raised voice is clear, if not completely steady. You can always rely on Klavier to be able to turn something on when he needs to.

Daryan wishes he could remember where he took his shoes and socks off. Or if he even touched anything as he made his way to Klavier's room; the rest of the house was scrupulously, obsessively neat, and Daryan's got a feeling that someone who keeps their house like that is the sort of person who'd notice if you left even the slightest trace of your presence on it.

"You're home early," Klavier says, lightly. Daryan doesn't hear Kristoph's reply; he's too busy taking a quick inventory of the room, of likely hiding places in the event of an emergency. Because as he's just realised, following Klavier's eyes to the door, this room has no fucking lock.

Any minute now, Klavier's brother could turn that handle and walk in on the pair of them.

Daryan hates everything in the entire world.

"Just finishing off a little work," Klavier says, in answer to a question that Daryan missed, on account of being too busy trying not to hyperventilate. He catches Daryan's eye as he says it - and unbelievably, unfuckingbelievably, he smiles, a faint, lopsided smile with his lip still caught between his teeth.

Even more unbelievably, Daryan finds himself smiling back. This is the other reason why, although I considered it multiple times, I didn't just axe the bit with Kristoph once I changed my mind about the essential structure. Because I wanted something to break the tension between them and reconnect them, reawaken that aspect of their relationship that is two best friends, in this together - remind them that it can be funny, that it's not such intensely srs bsns - remind them that they are actually close - partly, because I sort of got to this point and realised that not only was the sex dying under the weight of Daryan's epic fail, but the narrative was, too, and it was just getting stuck and boring and repetitive - and partly because I really did want something to change over the course of this, really did want Daryan to get to a point where he was More Comfortable With This Than He Was Before (which, alright, isn't really saying much), and I wanted something to set him on that trajectory - and this kind of bringing it back to earth works well, because it not only deflates the situation, it deflates, as I tried to get out in the next bit, their inflated opinions of themselves and each other - because they are being ridiculous, and they're not these great and tragic idols, and once they've got past that then they can actually start relating to each other again

All of a sudden, he's struggling not to laugh. Because it's awful, oh it is awful, and Daryan can only imagine what kind of deep shit they're going to be in if they get found out, and it's so goddamn wrong that Klavier's sitting there talking to his brother with a raging hard-on and somewhere to put it spread out in front of him, but fuck, at the same time it's so completely ridiculous that you have to laugh, you just have to. At Klavier, trying to carry on a conversation stark fucking naked and with his blood struggling to get back up to his brain, at the thought of Daryan shutting himself in the wardrobe with the sheets around his waist like the other man of a woman whose husband just walked in.

It's a hysterical kind of laughter.

It's strangled when Klavier suddenly scrambles off the bed, by cold hard fear rising in his throat - but the door stays shut; "Of course," Klavier is calling, "is this better?", he is asking, and all he is doing is turning the music down, presumably at Kristoph's request.

There is one last moment where all Daryan can do is will the door handle not to turn. Then - "Guten nacht, Kristoph," and the sound of footsteps moving away down the hall.

Was there ever a sweeter sound.

The thread of tension pulling Daryan's body into a twist snaps, and he drops back down onto his stomach. Klavier follows him - literally, jumps back onto the bed and lands in a sprawl of heat and weight across Daryan's back, almost winding him. His mouth lands against Daryan's ear, and Daryan can feel his shoulders shaking against him and hear his hiccuping gasping breaths and useless dissolving shushes, and Daryan wants to point out it's not me making all the fucking noise here but he can't, all he can do is shake his head and smile as he lets Klavier silence himself in his hair, lets him hook and grasp at Daryan's fingers with his own, and fills his mouth with pillow as all that pent-up laughter starts trying to get out again, as relief and adrenaline pools and runs out where their skin meets.

Of course, when there's none of that left -

They're back where they were. Except now you've got the extra major turn-off of Klavier's brother a couple of rooms away, and the extra fucking stress of making sure he never finds out that Daryan's even here [ and the extra horror of knowing that if he wants to leave, if it turns out he can't take it, it's going to be pretty fucking difficult ].

Except -

Daryan breathes deeply, feels the changes in the plane on which he's touching Klavier as his chest rises and falls. Something's different in the way Daryan's body's responding, to the aimless movements of Klavier's tongue through the sweat in the hollows of his neck, to the interlacing of their fingers, to the press of Klavier's cock against the small of his back; they still crawl over his skin in prickles and sit hot and dark in his head, but it feels less like watching Klavier get off with a chick in the toilets of a club and more like watching him get off behind his microphone as Daryan feeds him riff after riff.

Klavier still wants to do this. That's obvious enough; his hips are starting to shift and slide, and he's let his leg slip back down between Daryan's thighs. Even though his brother's back in the house; even though there's no lock on the door; even though they'll both be screwed if they get caught; even though Daryan's going to have to be silent as the grave underneath him the whole time. Point of transition/development, here: Daryan still has this thread, that runs through all these "even though"s, of lurking suspicions about things about Klavier that he doesn't understand and doesn't like - things like the fact that he might actually enjoy the chance of getting caught, that he might have a slightly bizarre relationship with his brother (which, though I've kind of abandoned Gavincest as part of my headcanon for now, I still think is true on at least some level), that he might enjoy having complete control over Daryan - but that he's more uncertain and less explicit about them, and he's willing to give him the benefit of the doubt. And, of course, because I clearly hate these characters and want them to be miserable, I brought this trust in at a point where personally, from my headcanon, I'd say Daryan's suspicions may actually have a point

Klavier still wants to fuck him. And Daryan finds the thought creeping in, that for once, maybe, there's actually not much more to it than that.

Daryan closes his eyes, and lets it happen.

From here until the end, the basic modus operandi was just to get the sex sounding as jerky, awkward, unsuccessful yet still oddly satisfying as possible, by as many means as I could find. Don't know how well it worked, but again, it was a surprising amount of fun to be trying :D

It always framing what's going on in terms of "it" - because it does two kinds of work: it's Daryan not really wanting (or maybe not being able?) to describe and find words for what they're doing, and it also gives it imo a funny kind of importance and momentousness; it's definitely a capital-I It when he thinks about it starts with three lines, drawn down Daryan's body: the first wide and broken, marked by the drags and catches of Klavier's skin on his as he moves over him down the bed; the second a thin wavering streak, left by the leaking slickness of Klavier's cock sliding against Daryan's thigh.

The third is a warm wet trace of open-mouthed kisses, all tongue and teeth, that begins in the mat of his hair at the nape of his neck and continues even and methodical along the path of his spine -

- and Daryan has a good brain for patterns and should see where this one's going but disbelief is a powerful thing -

- and it is shocking, when Klavier's fingertips press into the thin curls straying down the creases at the tops of his thighs and he licks at him, experimentally and unceremoniously [ though maybe not surprising; has the shape of Klavier ever been better defined than by this line of his tongue from Daryan's ear to his ass? oh look, it's cards on the table time again: yes, this is id-splurging again - but, I also wanted the rimming to happen firstly, to have an example of successful sexual experimentation in this story :D (of course, it has the added bonus of also being potentially HUGELY embarrassing and oh god I can't believe you just did that, so best of both worlds really :D), and secondly, because I wanted more of that idea I think I already mentioned that Klavier is the sort of person who is capable of both being extremely sweet, i.e. with the line of kisses down Daryan's back, and then really quite obscene and just relishing sex - hence Daryan feeling that that line drawn down his back pretty much defines Klavier, or at least the two sides of him that seem most apparent to him right now].

It's awful; Daryan pushes at Klavier with his feet and tries to squirm his hips out of reach [ because he can't let Klavier do that; it's just so -

and oh god what if he -
].

Or:

It's the hottest fucking thing again, trying to make a point with what I didn't write, I really need to stop doing that: this isn't just, oh god what you are doing feels amazing, it's also, the fact that you are doing this is really, really hot - this phrasing makes clearer that it's not just about the physical sensations, it's about the fact that Klavier even thought of doing it to start with, it's the fact that to Daryan it's dirty and kind of wrong and therefore exciting, it's the fact that Klavier is clearly really loving doing it, and all that is as much a turn-on as how good it actually feels; Daryan bites down on his wrist and lifts his hips to Klavier's mouth when he's not just fucking them into the sheets [ and he has never, nothing Klavier has ever done to him has felt like this

has brought maps of nerves he didn't know he had into livid, aching relief

and Klavier's grip on him is skin-breakingly tight and Daryan can feel the moans that he's not making in the heaviness of his breathing
].

It's messy. The sheets are a mess, where Daryan has caught them in his flexing feet and dragged them into lumps and twists, where spit and sweat have run down Klavier's jaw and between Daryan's legs, where Daryan has ground his cock into the mattress. Klavier has made a mess of him, slicked up his skin, filled his mouth with bruising flesh, left his muscles strained and limp and his nerves screaming.

It's clever. Keeps Daryan open and weak, and already a few stages past utterly fucking mortified, so when Klavier replaces his tongue with shaking slippery fingers it barely registers. There's a burn, and a stretch, but all tangled up in the blur of violent sensation still hammering through him.

It gets more awkward. Oh, it gets every bit as awkward as Daryan knew it would, once he's come down from the shock and pleasure of Klavier's party trick. Once all he's doing is lying like a book with its spine cracked, weighted down by the heel of Klavier's hand lodged at the small of his back, swallowing his hair and the sweat on the inside of his wrists as Klavier's fingers push and rub in graceless thrusts over and inside him, and make noises [ oh god the noises ] that make Daryan sort of want to kill himself every time he hears them.

And Klavier is taking his sweet time. He's not careful; his nails are too long does it make me a massive loser that I mostly included this detail because I really liked how the fact that it's nails that are a source of stress and fuck-up tied in with AJ? and sometimes his hand slips too fast and too hard Daryan perceives these things as not taking enough care, but actually they're both just unfortunate accidents and little bits of fail on Klavier's part - and they could also be intepreted as signs of just how worked up and turned on Klavier is by now. But he is thorough; he doesn't stop until his wrist is making nauseous clicking cramp noises and the movement of his fingers is almost smooth and easy, like they're supposed to be up there and he didn't have to spend fuck only knows how long and what feels like an entire tube of lubricant getting them to stop getting stuck.

And though it doesn't feel bad it's too slow, too much like work for there to be anything other than the quiet hum of skin-on-skin stimulation to distract him [ from the quiet private shame of his own physicality

and the quiet private wonder at the gut-clenching intimacy of the touch
].

An interlude, once Klavier extracts his fingers, in three parts:

The relaxing of stretches: the lock of Daryan's jaw around his arm; the inverse hunch of his shoulders; the perpendicular angles of his thigh; his ass around Klavier's fingers (and the realisation that he is not fully elastic, that the effects of Klavier bending and pulling him out of shape linger in residues, burns and aches and tingles like a patch of skin that's just been scratched).

A conversation that never has to happen (and thank the fucking lord for that), in the crackle of Klavier fumbling with a condom.

A conversation that can't happen, even under cover of the music:

"Are you ready?"

"Yeah, I am."

It doesn't hurt, not too much. The problem's mostly that despite Klavier's best efforts, it's still kind of a matter of forcing things, at least at first - and plus Daryan's not comfortable, Klavier be damned; his legs are really starting to hurt, and he's sweating so much you could probably wring it out of the sheets, and he hasn't breathed fresh air in a very long time. And there's no room between his hips and the bed for a hand on his cock, to take the edge off it.

[ and Klavier curved over him, eyes wide open and hair all over his face, is just a picture drawn by his screwed-eyes and swallows against the pillow ]

The silence, too, is driving him mad, that all he's got to say stop, wait, shift your legs, you're going to dislocate my hip is a hand scrabbling across the bed for Klavier's, and a foot hooked around Klavier's ankle that he can only move in weak sorts of pokes and caresses.

[ and that he can't say yes, fuck, keep going

and he can't hear Klavier tell him, what he wants, if it's good, what it's like
]

Daryan's not sold on it, not quite. Maybe it'll get better with practice i.e. he's already thinking about doing it again, whatever else he may be thinking, but he can't see himself ever desperate for it, like he gets for a mouth or a hand or a cunt, like he needs Klavier's cock in him right now. He wonders what it is that girls like about it, being fucked, that Klavier likes about it enough to have done it more than once.

[ and then he wonders what it would be like to fuck Klavier

to see him biting his hand and curling his toes

does he fuck face to face?

would he arch his back and throw back his head or cling with damp hands and damp thighs?

what would he look like stretched out like Daryan is, drained and laid open?

and then he wonders what Klavier sees

looking down at him now
]

It's not earthshattering. It feels like scratching an itch, that same kind of satisfaction without relief. But it's sex; it's skin and friction and warmth and limbs and movement, and Daryan is enjoying it [ and it's sex with Klavier, who trails his fingertips from the pit of Daryan's knee to tracing the circle Daryan's making around his cock, whose rhythm hiccups and falters when Daryan flexes his hips or his thighs or his fingers, whose jaw is aching and wet, and Daryan would do this again, oh he would ].

It doesn't last long enough for Daryan to come again from it. But when Klavier's thrusts go shallow and ineffectual, when he tenses and shudders and lurches forward to bite so hard at Daryan's shoulder he'll be covering it for a month, it sort of feels like he does anyway - and when he does come, when he's let Klavier rearrange him enough to jerk him off with a hand still tacky with lube, it's weak and drawn-out, like an aftershock.

That's it, then.

So what now?

Klavier's Bad Film version: Daryan turns over; they kiss; Klavier drapes himself over Daryan's chest; thank you and was it good for you and falling into boneless sleep. The thing I tried to add here to yet another incarnation of the "actually, it's Daryan's who's got the sort of romantic ideas about this happening" is the comparison with the next bit, that "Klavier's Bad Film Version" doesn't say anything, doesn't tell a story at all, whatever Daryan may think - it's the next bit that does, the non-narratable bits - so I wanted this bit to seem spare and kind of flat, while the next paragraph seemed vivid - and again, we're back with the idea of fucked up expectations, which I think is maybe another thing that you could use to define both of them, and especially Daryan - if you take what he does in 4-3 as a weird screwed up bid for attention and personal success and personal validation and maybe even an attempt at heroics, then I reckon you could make a decent case for having part of his characterisation be that the kind of identity he tries to forge for himself, and the kind of stories and narratives he tries to insinuate himself into, aren't really anything he should be wanting to be part of - he loses sight of things in trying to construct an image and a life that portrays him in a particular light. Idk, getting tired and incoherent now, but I'm sort of grasping after the fact that there's this discrepancy in both their characters between sensible, grounded moral and emotional orientation and the images and constructs of personality they build for themselves (think about Klavier's truly ridiculously flippant reactions to everything that happens to him). Not even half-formed thoughts these, though, more quarter-formed.

But Daryan thinks they've fallen off the edge of the film scene (or maybe into a different film). Into the bits that don't make a story: where you wipe yourself clean with the sheets or on your thigh, where you rub out the pins and needles in your feet, where you have to go looking for your clothes with your ass aching and your cock flapping about and lube smeared down your thighs, where you pick up talking about all the pointless unromantic crap you were talking about before you decided to have sex, where you drag your trousers on over all the sex that's clinging to you and walk home on legs that feel like overcooked noodles, and you're crossing your fingers the whole time there's going to be nobody up at home to see you turn up looking like - well, like you've just been thoroughly fucked. I sort of want to make this film. And when I say sort of, I mean really. If I could do it without being a dirty old woman exploiting teenage boys. I really wish this wasn't something that ever had to concern me. I wanted to make this whole thing as a film, actually - there was a lot of it that I think could have been better expressed by looking at the right expression on someone's face, or the right look between the people, or similar, than I managed in words. Most of what I write has a film I don't have the

[ and at the same time -

as Daryan lies there, letting the fuck burn out of him and his heart-rate calm and quiet, Klavier half-on half-off him and with his hand still stuck between the mattress and Daryan's cock, he can feel a narrative start to resolve itself from tonight making explicit, I suppose, what I've been trying to do all along: that there's this balance/tension here between the non-story-like-ness of what actually happens, and the fact that there is this emotional narrative running underneath it, this resolving of everything that's been going on into something that makes sense: essentially, a relationship. I wanted Daryan to realise that, eventually, but only on a deep level, a kind of dawning realisation that he feels and understands, rather than thinks or processes, and that he isn't sure, at this point, what to make of - because I wanted to end it with him coming to some sort of understanding, i.e. going through some kind of change over the course of this (so it wasn't completely an exercise in aimless self-indulgent character study and writing awkward teenage sex :D), and also with reconnecting to what I was trying to do with the fic, i.e. writing something that relates to and explains what the pair of them are like in the future

backwards, back through the last almost a year now, ordering:
another hour with liquid exhausted eyes in front of a chat window actually related to another fic on the back burner for now, talking about how they first met, which posits (a way of getting around at least some of the ridiculous dilation and compression you have to do to make the canon timeline for the story of these two meeting and forming the band even remotely seem plausible :D) that they first met long distance through a penpal scheme, Klavier being bored and lonely as a ridiculously young student at a German university, Daryan being an overachiever with Interpol in mind (and hence a concentration in languages) even from a young-ish age - so in my head the first stages of their friendship are actually conducted via correspondence, email & IM chat &c. , even though it's 3am because clearly I'm incapable of actually letting them have sweet and touching moments, the common things recurring through these moments that Daryan's thinking about and thinking oh fuck me, all this shit makes sense, I'm actually in love with him (not that he would ever ever consciously admit that, but that is the essence of this bit), are imbalance, one-sidedness, and also the idea that even in trivial ways, Daryan sort of suffers because of his infatuation with Klavier. But then again, because I also find this pairing horribly romantic as well as a total car crash, there's some genuine memories of togetherness to temper it. Which I genuinely think would have been there throughout their relationship; you couldn't have them presented the way they are in 4-3 and have Klavier's emotional state be the way it is in 4-3 without there being elements of genuine affection, attraction, and probably love, too.
the knot that drew up tight on first sight of a kid drowning in too-big sunglasses and a too-heavy leather jacket
the numbness in his foot where he wouldn't move his leg because Klavier had laid his head on it
every single time they've played together
a catalogue of stares: at Klavier under stage lights, at Klavier outlining his Plans, at Klavier telling him about That Time When, at Klavier dancing and drinking and writing and falling asleep on his bed
and laughter
and sudden unexpected confidences, when Daryan told him about his sister, when Klavier admitted he was being treated like shit at work When I still had this in the form where it included the afternoon on the beach, a huge part of setting the tone of the Genuine Friendship side of their relationship was having Klavier actually share something with Daryan that he probably wouldn't tell anyone else and that doesn't necessarily make him look cool or grown-up or anything - because I've always had it (just as a bit of extrapolated head-canon, a kind of corollary to the basic clash of personalities that is Daryan-the-kind-of-insecure-attention-seeking-asshole and Klavier-the-kind-of-self-obsessed-smile-through-the-pain-and-don't-let-on-represser) that the presence or lack of that kind of sharing plays a big part in how Daryan feels towards Klavier at any given time, and because I liked the idea that some things in Daryan's past with Klavier he looks on with resentment that they're no longer the case, rather than resentment that they've always been the case - and I thought the idea that when they were younger, Klavier maybe shared a bit more with Daryan than he comes to in the future, could be something to set out in that respect

into something that makes an awful kind of sense

and indistinctly forwards, too, as far as Daryan is prepared to look
]

Daryan doesn't know what's going to happen next.

But he figures he should probably start trying to get out. Cheap and obvious double entendre ending is cheap and obvious. I'm so very sorry, I hate trying to come up with decent endings for things. I could wank my way out of it by saying that my inability to bring the story to a satisfying conclusion works as an analogue for the sex :D and as a reflection of the fact that I was deliberately trying to write a non- or awkwardly-narratable story (the latter is actually possibly sort of true - when I was trying to bring this to an end, I kept getting more and more lost in a maze of all the awkward shit that would be happening once they've finished having sex, all the stuff that, as Daryan says, doesn't make a story: all the silences, all the conversations that don't really go anywhere and just take up time and space, &c. &c. And eventually I just had to truncate it somehow, because although it made the point I wanted it to make it wasn't particularly interesting). It would be epic authorwanking, though, and the more honest explanation really is that I suck at ending things. Sob.