Oh, The Places You'll Go

Not Waving

Notes: Written for Porn Battle IX - prompt: twist

Post-Sunset Ending and JP's subsequent brief return to Hollyoaks.

John Paul hadn't told Craig what flight he'd be on, but he's here anyway. It should be a relief, but it's not. Nothing is. Not now.

The familiar figure is standing a step or two back from the barrier, shoulders hunched and hands stuffed into the pockets of that stupid snowflake cardigan that John Paul's failed to magic into the nearest charity shop. John Paul half-checks his stride at the twisting knots that tie up his gut as Craig's searching eyes spot him and fill with the utter sorrow John Paul had never wanted to see there again.

If this were a movie, this is where everyone would start moving in a blur around them both, parting like the Red Sea so they can stare into each other's eyes as they come together, no one to dodge around or apologise to for bumping. And then they'd stop just a foot apart and John Paul would drop his bag, Craig would reach out and touch his face, and then they'd kiss and the camera would spin round and round them because their reunion is epic and roll-credits-worthy.

Only this is dirty, nasty, painful real life and John Paul and Craig negotiate their way through mothers hugging sons, through people stopping stock still right in their paths, patting pockets for wallets, through complex luggage redistribution, and then, finally, they're here, face to face, and no music swells. Craig just holds out his hand and John Paul puts his bag into it and they walk out of the airport together, no words exchanged.

They get a taxi, which is weird enough, because they're not exactly rolling in it and it's only two buses and a short walk that gets them to their place. John Paul shoves himself up against the door as close as he can manage--he doesn't want Craig to touch him like this. Not with the stink of brick dust and explosives on him. Not when the smoke still chokes him if he breathes too deep. He's tainted. Damaged goods.

Craig says nothing, and John Paul thinks it's pretty amazing how much they've grown up and changed, the both of them, and yet they've only grown together. It's a tiny miracle of light in the ocean of darkness these last few days have left him drowning in. It's why he came home. He needs to keep his head above water and Craig's the only life jacket he has.

The flat looks the same as it did before he went back to Hollyoaks. It's a surprise--like his life's all different now, how does anything get to stay the same? Craig makes him eat something. Soup. John Paul thinks about being a little kid half out of his mind itching from the chicken pox and Jacqui sitting him in a freezing bath and then shoving him down at the table, still naked as God made him, and putting a bowl of soup in front of him.

"You can fix anything with soup," she'd said. "Ask anyone."

He'd eaten it up and felt better.

Now, he mechanically lifts the spoon to his lips and swallows and feels...nothing. He pushes the half-finished bowl away from him and stands up. Craig watches him, careful, like he's afraid John Paul might explode or something. He won't. There's been enough of that.

"I need a shower."

"Sure." Craig picks up the bowl and pours the remaining soup down the sink.

John Paul showers with Craig's products, his own bright blue bottles that line the windowsill were a present from Tina and he can't...He can't. He stands under the showerhead until the hot water runs out, letting Craig's smell surround him, breathing it in, letting the stink of fire and smashed stone and disinfectant slough off him like dead skin.

Suddenly, it's not enough to be wrapped in Craig's scent; he needs to be wrapped in Craig. He turns off the shower.

Craig's sitting on the end of their bed. John Paul lets the towel fall from his waist, steps forward, pushing Craig down, and crawls over him.

"Lie to me," he says.

"John Paul," says Craig, his voice breaking.

John Paul can't bear to look at Craig's eyes, so he buries his face against Craig's neck. "Lie to me, Craig," he says into Craig's skin. "Everything's twisted up inside me and it's doing my head in. I need you to fix it."

Craig winds an arm round John Paul's back and presses a hand against John Paul's head and pulls him in tight.

"I can't," he says. "I can't lie to you, John Paul. It won't help."

John Paul wants to hit him--what good is he if he won't lie, won't take it all away?--but Craig is nudging John Paul's head with his own, kissing everything he can reach and it's the first time John Paul's felt warm in days.

He turns his head and meets Craig's lips and it's a hit, like it still is every time, the best drug, the best high. The way the world narrows to a single point, him and Craig, Craig and him. It's how it always was, how it always will be. Craig's hand comes up to cup John Paul's jaw and it's so familiar it hurts. But it's a good hurt and John Paul wants more of it. He rolls them over so Craig is lying on top of him.

His hands scrabble at Craig's torso, one tugging his t-shirt upwards, the other scrabbling at his belt buckle. Craig gets the hint and it's the work of seconds to get him naked, whatever he loses out on in style points, he makes up for with speed. And then they're pressed against the length of each other, exchanging urgent, deep kisses and John Paul knows why he's so desperate but why is Craig?

"John," murmurs Craig against John Paul's lips. "John, John, John, don't leave me." And it dawns on John Paul through the haze of his own need that maybe Craig has been through something, too. Waiting here alone and unsure if he'd ever see John Paul again. John Paul tightens his grip, digging his nails into Craig's back.

"I'm here," he says. "We're here."

Craig sucks in a sharp breath and bucks his hips against John Paul's. His dick nudges John Paul's leaving a wet trail on his skin and it's another sucker punch of desire. In the bedroom, John Paul's always been careful not to ask for more than Craig can give, since that first time when he'd been so scared that one wrong move could have frightened Craig away forever. And they haven't really been together that long, not properly. But it's different today--everything's different today--and he needs so badly that it's out of his mouth before he's had chance to fit the words together right.

"You have to fuck me," he says. "I need it, Craig." He forces himself to look at Craig, to see the reaction. He's not sure what he's expecting--shock, maybe, or the faint echoes of gay panic--but Craig just looks glazed and leans down to kiss him, little thrusts of his groin sending shivers down John Paul's spine.

It's not like they haven't done this before, John Paul thinks, as Craig rolls off and rustles through the drawer for lube and protection. It's just he usually lets Craig instigate it, that way he knows he's comfortable. But Craig seems just fine with the whole thing and John Paul lets the fizz in his belly drown out his thoughts as Craig comes back, kneeling between John Paul's leg and sucking in his dick as if he were born to it. And maybe he was.

By the time Craig pushes in, John Paul's way beyond caring about anything, lost in a haze of pleasure. The sharp burn cuts through it, though, and he's back, a zooming focus on that one spot, the barrier between keeping Craig out and letting him in.

"Do it, Craig," he says, pressing his heels into Craig's back to urge him on. "I wanna let you in. Do it."

"God, John Paul," says Craig, and pushes harder. It's like everything inside John Paul gives way all at once and Craig's there, he's inside him and it hurts and it's beautiful and it's not enough. He wriggles, trying to take more of Craig in but he's flush against him and there's nowhere but out. And in. And out.

"Fuck me, now," he says.

And Craig mutters, "Jesus, were you always this bossy?"

And John Paul is going to say something about not taking the Lord's name in vain, especially when perpetrating a mortal sin, but Craig is, for once, doing what he's told and it's possible John Paul's going to be in heaven soon enough to apologise in person anyway because god.

It hurts, it hurts, but with the sweet ache and spikes of pure brilliant bliss that leaves John Paul begging in half-sentences of nonsense for everything. Everything. Craig has already pulled one orgasm from him with his mouth and now another one is building and the closest his dick is to Craig is the warm waft of air as Craig's body shifts over him.

John Paul wraps his hand around his dick and strokes in time with Craig's thrusts, each jolt of pleasure slicing through another knot inside him. Craig's breath is harsh now, matte skin sheened to a satin shine with sweat.

"Harder," says John Paul and his toes curl up as Craig obeys. He can feel it everywhere, what's coming, he can feel it from Craig moving inside him to the tips of his ears. In this moment, he's utterly alive. He comes in a rush, too stunned by the force of it to do more than force out a sound that's closer to pain than anything else. Seconds later, Craig comes, too, his eyes going wide with amazement and love and if there's a place for John Paul to get lost, this is it.

It comes slowly, the tidal wave of realization he's been building mile-high barriers against. Slowly but surely until the salt water he's been holding back is pouring out of his eyes and he clings to Craig, sobbing his heart out. But it's okay, Craig holds on.

"Don't let me drown," John Paul manages to gasp.

"Not gonna happen," says Craig. "I love you, you idiot. Besides, if you get to be Leo DiCaprio, that means I have to be Kate Winslet and I don't fancy the corsets."

John Paul hiccups a wet laugh. If this were the movies he could say something like, 'Tomorrow is another day,' and stop existing after the projectors are switched off. It's not, though, and tomorrow's going to be bad. The day after, too. But at least there's the two of them, and if there's no magic last words maybe it doesn't matter.

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