I: shut up and dance

trying to dance while sober is very hard for alexander to do. he feels awkward, watched, and not at all rhythmic. dancing in a house that he’s unfamiliar with, with people he doesn’t know except for luna, high on what he thinks might be x, is pretty easy, though. he lets go, finds the beat of the music, and yes, reaches out constantly for luna, who’s smiling, laughing dancing with him in this place, this party.

they came here for a bit of peace, for some quiet. classes have fallen by the wayside, the apartment is nice enough when they're both there yet empty when it's only himself, calls ignored for as long as he can manage, and always, always meeting whenever they can for snatches of moments. back on campus, things are so tentative, furtive, alexander waiting for the other shoe to drop no matter where he goes. but here, in this house party, music blasting, people around them, men touching men, women touching women, having a good time, anonymous as any other person, it feels freeing in a way that alexander will never have the words to describe. his fingers find luna’s cheeks, his mouth finds his mouth, and they dance, they move. trying to push feelings into words that never quite go right, trying to maneuver around glances and expectations, pretending as if they don’t fall into bed together, none of those things have any place here.

and still, as they part, as luna grasps the back of his hand, he still wants to, needs to say something, anything. there are still so many conversations they haven’t had, still so many emotions and thoughts he needs to exchange, to know.

he settles for this: his forehead on luna’s own, hand on his waist, and laughter pouring out of him.

II. stupid

he’s not sure when or how luna took his hand and moved up the steps of the house. his elbow is smarting a little bit; he might’ve smacked into a picture or a corner. it doesn’t matter much as they lie flat on the water bed, with the door shut and the lights low, passing a bottle of water between them, bumping fingers, making faces at each other, dissolving into giggles he’s sure that no one else has coaxed out of him since he was very, very small.

this is it, as luna looks at him, tongue out, eyes crossed, that alexander finds the words to say, “you know that partying isn’t enough for me?”

luna’s eyes settle back, and he leans his head against the headboard, expression curious. “yes,” he offers eagerly. and then. “no. not really. tell me.”

his hand reaches down, slides his forefinger down alexander’s wrist. any other time, he would be flustered at luna’s touch, but not now. now, he focuses on luna’s mouth, at the bit of grey on his stubble, at the sharpness in his gaze. “i feel stupid, saying it,” the liquid courage isn’t quite enough to keep his voice from trembling, but not weak enough to keep him from voicing his fear.

“then feel stupid,” luna pushes back, fierce as always, “and be sincere. i like sincere, stupid alexander.”

so he does: “i don’t want to party with you. i don’t want to just feel this way when we’re here, like we’re free to do anything we want. we’re bound together, at the soul, we said that, didn’t we? we said it, and i need…”

luna’s hand squeezes his. he does not call him stupid.

“i need you. i need this, making a world with you,” he feels foolish and hopeful, fingers grasping luna’s desperately as it all bubbles up, “i want to have more than an apartment with you-- more than touches and talks between classes. being with you, every day we can be with each other, every moment we can, wherever we can,without having to hide, without lying, i want that.” there’s more he wants to add, that are jumbled up images: how good it felt to make breakfast with luna waking up, complaining about how alexander made eggs; how relieved he was when luna picked up the words for him in conversations or could smooth out an awkward moment; when he first made luna laugh at something he said. and of all the things he could say, what comes out of his mouth, instead of all of that is a jumble of words, “and i want to go out, in the morning. go somewhere, get first morning bread with you. just eat until we’re happy.”

oh, he feels stupid. really, really stupid and exposed.

luna, though, he doesn’t laugh, just thinks it over. and says, “did you propose to me?”

alexander’s tongue goes heavy in his mouth. “...did i?”

“a home, together, where everyone can see us, seems like something married people have, no?” luna leans closer, and kisses alexander on the mouth before his brain kicks into overdrive to think again, to try and walk back the feeling of being stupid and exposed.

after that, there’s just them, in the bed, together.

III. bound at the soul

it’s five thirty am where they are, and luna hasn’t let go of alexander’s hand as they walk down the road. they didn’t speak when they got up, walking down a littered downstairs, bodies upon bodies. alexander stops halfway out the door to vomit up what he thinks is a martini and the remnants of party drugs, luna’s hand rubbing his back soothingly.

his mouth gets washed out, and it’s been nothing but silence since then. luna’s more weathered fingers are intertwined tightly with his, the prayer beads wrapped around his wrist making more noise than their combined footsteps.

the bakery they find is a little old, crappy. the woman who takes their order doesn’t seem to notice their hands so much as she’s annoyed at the big bill they give her. luna, in luna fashion, simply smiles back at her, shoves the rest of the money in the tip jar, and sits with alexander in silence.

the bread is the best thing alexander has ever tasted in his life, when luna says, “we can get married. in our own way.”