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Summary: Riley is the too shy, too smart 15 year old junior at Dalton High. Enter Austin, the older classmate who befriends him. Riley falls in love with Austin, and hope turns to ash. Part of the Second Star 'Verse.


Maybe the Sky Will Fall
By: Tony
Email: Batmanhater@aol.com

[part v]

It was simultaneously the best and worst car ride of Riley's life.

There was no reason the drive that was in reality six minutes warped into the longest stretch of time of his entire life. All he could think about was kissing Austin, Austin's hands around his waist, or the look in his eyes when he laid it all on the line. Every now and then Riley can't stop a delighted grin from breaking free, staring at Austin like he's best thing that's ever happened to him, before he got it back under the control, turning to stare out the window, with a barely hidden smile. His nerves were all over the place and it's taking more control than usual to tamp down his baser impulses.

It's hard now because Austin was here and Riley was here, and by some unexpected twist of fate this boy wanted him. Riley wanted to be the sole reason Austin smiled that big, ridiculous smile. He wanted to lay twined together in the bed in the late night and trade secrets, and tell Austin all the things he's made Riley think, wish and hope for. Even with all that, Riley wanted Austin's hands on him again. The brief session earlier felt like the beginning of something, and Riley hoped he wasn't so awful that Austin would quit them, before they even began because he's had experience with other guys and there was no way that Riley had anything to offer seeing that he was a neurotic virgin with –

Hey,” said Austin, watching him out the corner of his eye. He looked a little nervous and Riley was relieved to see he wasn't the only one. And when Austin moved his hand across the truck's seat laying his hand over Riley's, it completely quieted the loud stream of thoughts into a inaudible hum.

The house was dark and eerily silent when they made it inside. Riley's swallowing a lot because his throat was suddenly too dry. They stood in the foyer for a second as the darkness of the house shadowed their faces.

So, uh, where's your dad?” Austin asked.

Medical conference in Dallas,” said Riley watching Austin's fingers tap at the seams of his jeans, all anxious movements and uncertainty in the way he held his shoulders.

Riley wanted to say something, but the sight of Austin nervous because of the train wreck that was Riley made his tongue tie up into knots. It seemed so implausible but it was happening. Something unfurled in Riley's chest and he breathed a little easier. He tugged on Austin's sleeve a little come here gesture and they went upstairs.

The light in Riley's room washed over them when they wandered into the bedroom and there's a quiet surreality to it all. It was no more than twenty minutes ago they were in Austin's truck, confessing feelings and making out and now they're here. It's crazy how things have quickly flipped. Austin crossed over to the bulletin board hanging on the wall by the bookshelves, and his fingers reached out touching the papers tacked onto the board. Austin turned to Riley, a lopsided smile on his face.

You kept it,” he said, index finger tracing the penciled drawing. “That's—wow.”

Austin was talking about the Valentine's card. Riley's stomach went all weird at the note of happiness in his voice. “Well, you – you were my Valentine, right?”

I wasn't sure you saw it that way—Lee was the one that talked me into giving it to you.” Austin chuckled a little and he looked at Riley with a small but terribly pleased grin, eyes soft. “You know at first I thought you had a problem with Lee, because the whole gay thing made you uncomfortable-”

I was jealous,” Riley blurted out, ducking his head so Austin couldn't see his eyes. His chest felt stupidly tight.

I know that now,” Austin murmured. He took a step closer and grabbed Riley's hand. He gently rubbed the webbing between Riley's thumb with the pad of his finger. “Looking back on it—it's obvious, I guess—Lee saw it but I didn't believe him.”

I heard you two last year at your birthday party. In your room Lee told you that. I liked you,” Riley swallowed, staring down at their linked hands. Austin had musicians fingers, long and tanned and curled around his they felt like nothing else before. “And you said—”

Whatever,” Austin finished. He was smiling now kind of a mix between fond and wistful. “I remember that. I didn't believe him. I thought he was teasing me, because he's always said I talked too much about you... You scared me that night when you left without saying goodbye.”

I didn't mean to worry you,” Riley muttered, feeling his cheeks get hot. “I thought I was being too obvious. About my feelings. In case you didn't notice you make me kind of anxious and terrified and stupid.”

Austin's eyes were wide and dark and despite that he fucking glowed. Riley wasn't good with people and sometimes he said the wrong things or nothing at all, but he must have said something right because Austin was looking at him like he hung the moon. His expression made him weak in the knees.

You know you're not as easy to read as you think,” said Austin, tightening his hold on Riley's hand. “Up until you kissed me I had no idea if you liked me. I thought you could but I was never sure, you know? When you're thinking so hard twisting yourself up into knots, it's not visible on the outside. You look calm and put together, and I used to worry I'd say something embarrassing in front of you and you'd think I was dumb.”

Flustered, Riley tried to disentangle their hands, but Austin held tight. “That's—I'm not.” He frowned. “But I'm nothing. I'm a mess. And you're. You.”

Austin wrapped his arms around Riley's shoulders pulling him in so their chests pressed together. Riley could feel Austin's heartbeat and they stood there for a moment until their breathing synced. Austin pulled away a little so he could look down at Riley while still holding him. Riley flushed and fidgeted wondering what exactly Austin saw when he looked at him like that.

You're smart, you watch old black and white movies on rainy days, you're good looking, you read books on Russian tsars for fun.” Austin shook his head. Riley stared at him, shocked. But Austin was still talking, words tripping over themselves. “I find everything about you fascinating.” He hesitated then a stilted, shy movement. “And just so we're clear, I broke up with my boyfriend for you.”

Riley forced himself to keep breathing. He hauled Austin in by the front of his shirt and crushed their mouths together.

Austin made a gorgeous, delighted noise and shifted forward. He pressed them together tangling his hand in Riley's hair. Riley's fingers rubbed the skin against the sway of Austin's back and it was all so lovely and perfect. This was the stuff of dreams and no matter what Austin said it's still hard to imagine that Austin wanted him, let alone like this, and Riley was treasuring every moan, touch, and feeling until he couldn't even think anymore or question it. He just wanted more.

Riley tugged Austin's shirt off revealing smooth, golden skin no tan-line in sight. His fingers grazed Austin's nipple drawing out a low moan. They continued kissing lazy, soft and fumbling at their clothes. Riley's mind was working faster than ever cataloging the way Austin smelled, the noises he made, and the placement of his hands, and what Riley wanted to do with him till it all blurred together in a crushing kind of want. They toed off their shoes and socks and Riley let out a tremble when Austin pressed him down onto the mattress for the first time.

Austin undid the buttons of Riley's shirt and it joined the growing pile of clothes on the floor. They were just in jeans and nothing else with Austin straddling Riley's lap. It was a recreation of another moment in time in this same room. It should feel like deja vu, but it felt more like a redo. A chance to revise history. Austin's fingers caressed the skin between Riley's pecs, slowly and kind of reverently, like he couldn't believe he was allowed to put his hands on Riley. He stopped then and pulled back his hands an uncertain tilt about the set of his lips.

Are we moving too fast?” Austin asked. “I didn't come over here with this purpose in mind. We can take it slow—dinner, movies, proper dates.”

Yeah, okay,” said Riley, because he would do whatever Austin wanted. Everything was getting blurry and he couldn't really think straight with Austin sitting on his lap like this. If Austin wanted slow, he could do slow.

We could just watch a movie? We never got through Wuthering Heights.”

Riley blinked. His fingers flexed against the comforter. “Cool. Okay.”

Great,” said Austin too quickly, nodding kind of absently.

So slow?” Riley asked, staring at Austin's lips.

Austin swallowed, “Slow,” he agreed with a hitch.

He started to rise and Riley suddenly grabbed his hips holding him in place. Austin stared down at him, startled. Riley wanted to do this right, too. There was no way he wanted this to turn into a failed mess. But being timid and afraid was why it took nearly two years for them to even end up here. He was done with slow.

I want you. I want this,” said Riley, trying to show everything he was feeling with a look alone. “I've waited for you since I was fourteen years old.”

The meaning of what Riley was trying to convey wasn't lost on Austin. He looked down at Riley with eyes round with wonder, and his face just—Riley concentrated on not kissing that expression off Austin's face and beg him to just take him right now. Then Austin kind of shuddered all over letting out a shaky breath, and he leaned forward placing a tiny kiss against Riley's breastbone. Riley's eyes slipped closed and he let out a soft sigh stroking Austin's hair. He kissed up Riley's neck warm air puffing against his skin, making him shiver and anticipate what may come.

He started to get anxious again, his mind jumping forward ten steps into the future, nervously fretting over his inexperience. Austin's fingers stroked up his sides and it must show on Riley's face, because Austin licked at the skin right under Riley's earlobe drawing a giggle from him, and he placed a featherlight kiss against Riley's temple.

I got you, Ry,” said Austin. “I got you.”

The look in his eyes was soft and full of unwavering sincerity. And just like that his fears evaporated and he let out a desperate needy moan when Austin took his face in his hands and kissed him. Riley tipped his head back and Austin placed wet, open-mouthed kisses along his jaw and down his throat, and Riley's legs wrapped around Austin's waist pulling him in tight without care.

Riley wanted to go into the past and pat that crying boy on the shoulder and tell him to just wait, because the pain wasn't eternal and one day he could have this. His fingers tangled in Austin's hair as he placed delicate kisses down Riley's chest, to his stomach, and then he undid Riley's jeans, sliding them down carefully, kissing down his thighs and it all felt incredible and amazing, and he let out a tiny airy breath of laughter because the emotions were just too much, the utter intimacy of it all.

Austin kissed back up his body, one kiss to each inside of his thigh and then another against the sharp bone of his hip. Riley's fingers moved to the waistline of Austin's jeans, and Austin helped him tug them down and off till they ended up at the foot of the bed. Riley worried his lower lip between his teeth and his fingers skimmed over the erection straining the inside of Austin's boxer briefs. He could feel the heat from it before his fingers touched and it's impossible but Riley's cock grew harder, almost achingly so inside his own boxers. Austin settled on top of him and their erections brushed against each other and the friction alone was heavenly. Riley let out a choked moan as Austin moved his hips just so, and he looked up at Riley through his eyelashes and he couldn't help but kiss him then, all tongue, warm and deep and sure. He knew they were going to be amazing together, but this feeling of completeness was beyond his realm of dreams and he felt so blissfully right.

This was Austin rubbing his cheek against Riley's stomach, kissing his navel and worshiping his body like it was something holy. And Austin was looking at Riley like could barely handle finally having this. That alone made his cock throb inside his boxers. The fact that this boy had dominated his thoughts for a year and a half, keeping Riley up nights, bringing him over the edge during long showers, was the cause of so many tears and it all boiled down to finallyfinallyfinallyfinally—so much that he just wanted to cry from sheer relief.

Austin mouthed at the length of Riley's cock through his boxers. Riley's fingers dug into the comforter and his mouth opened in a silent gasp. It felt electrifying, almost close enough. Austin's hand was hot against his chest, fingers splayed and pinning him to the mattress as Riley's hips bucked against his will. Austin put his hands on on the waistband of Riley's boxer shorts, and he looked up at him for permission and Riley nodded cheeks pink as Austin pulled them down. His eyes were glued to Riley's spread thighs and he felt self conscious under the steady gaze. Austin muttered something like, “So perfect,” and he took the tip of Riley's cock in his mouth. It was literally all he could do to turn his face into the pillow to muffle the surprised shout of pleasure. Austin's mouth was wet and hot and utterly hypnotizing when Riley looked down to watch his lips slide around his cock.

So good, Austin, feels so good,” Riley muttered in something like a chant as Austin worked him down deep, licking his tongue down the underside and then up again to engulf the length to the back of his throat. He hummed a little and the vibrations raced down his cock like extra tiny fingers, amplifying the pleasure. Riley stroked Austin's hair trying to keep his eyes open, but they kept falling shut, head rolling back and hips arching up as wave upon wave of hot pleasure broke over him.

Austin I'm—I'm going to—”

Austin swallowed him down once more then pulled away slowly, before Riley could go over the edge. He slid over Riley and kissed him then, slowly, and Riley panted into his mouth still feeling too hot all over. He trailed his fingers down Austin's side and they caught on the waistband of his underwear. Austin's hand slid on top of his and they pushed them down together. Riley moved his hand over the tight line of Austin's waist, down to the base of his cock tracing his fingers up the shaft, and when he circled the wet tip with one finger, Austin groaned bucking his hips into Riley's hand.

Riley,” said Austin, voice cracked and breathless. “Do you want to—”

Yes,” Riley said, still panting. He already knew what Austin was asking. “Yes, Austin, please. I want everything.

Austin stared at him with a gratifyingly dazed expression. He smiled a little cupping Riley's face and kissing him too slow and too gentle, like he'd just heard the most charming thing. Then he broke away quickly digging in his jeans for his wallet, plucking out a condom from the folds. At the same time Riley opened the bedside drawer open. When Austin came up to kiss him again Riley pressed a tube of lube into his hand. He looked down at Riley, eyebrows rising.

I've done this. To myself, sometimes,” Riley confessed, biting his lower lip, swollen and red from kissing.

Austin swallowed heavily, eyes changing. Something hot pooled into them and Austin pressed his forehead against Riley's head, kissing soft words into Riley's ear I've thought about this so much, and I'll make it so good, baby and he barely heard the cap popping open as Austin sucked wetly at his collarbone—then the pad of his finger pushed into Riley. And fuck, Riley made a tiny noise, tensing, then settled again as Austin kept kissing him anywhere and everywhere, mouth latching onto his neck, featherlight kisses against his cheeks, and deep kisses into his mouth. Riley's done this before, but it already felt better than anything he's ever done to himself. He's shaking as Austin gently worked him open with his long fingers. He was panting and writhing for it as another finger joined the first, sliding in and out, and the angle shifted and found the place that sent sparks shooting behind his eyes. Austin made an encouraging noise, his voice penetrating the white noise between Riley's ears, you're doing so good, take care of you, I got you, promise.

Riley's whole body arched off the mattress as Austin pressed against that spot again and again until Riley was mumbling against Austin's throat, sucking heavily against the pulse, like he was trying to crawl inside Austin and never come out.

Austin, I want, I want—I,” Riley said. “Austin please, now.”

Austin leaned down to smile against Riley's lips before kissing him. “Okay.”

There's a bit of fumbling as Austin tried to do too many things at once, sitting back on his heels to roll the condom on and trying to position a pillow under Riley's hips with one hand and slick himself up with the other. Austin's hair was a sweaty, tangled mess, falling in his eyes, and he looked gorgeous. This was it and it all seemed a little unreal—Austin above him and him spread out completely vulnerable and wanted, and afterward, he wanted to just lie awake and hold Austin forever, and then do this again, mapping every inch of him and take his time marking Austin's body with kisses that say, I was here, I was here.

Ready?” Austin asked, and when Riley nodded, he started pushing in very slowly.

Riley breathed through the pressure of being filled up completely. Austin stared down at him, eyes huge and dark. He stroked Riley's face, whispering reassurances about how well he was doing. Riley relaxed as much as possible, grateful that Austin was glowing slow because he was thick, and he bit down on his lip so he could focus on breathing. He placed a hand on Austin's hip, the other clinging to the sheets. Austin hooked his hands under Riley's knees, bracing himself so he could pump with shallow thrusts, going slow and so gentle. Riley blinked up at him dazed, feeling a hazy mix of pain and pleasure, as Austin sunk deeper and deeper until minutes passed and he was fully sheathed inside. Riley was shaking, a fine tremble that Austin could surely feel beneath his palms. They were face to face now, sweaty, flushed, and they stared at each other with unabashed awe, like neither could believe this was happening.

I'm glad it's you,” Riley said, voice thick.

Austin made a low, pleased sound smoothing Riley's damp hair away from his forehead. “I'm glad, too.”

Austin kissed his shoulder and moved again, just slightly. Then experimentally he pulled almost all the way out and then back in, right against that spot, and Riley let out a soundless curse as unbelievable pleasure spiked across his nerves. Austin did it again and he groaned and panted for it, and Austin picked up a rhythm and Riley moved with him, wanting more of that feeling, staring up at Austin, all tanned skin, golden and perfect, and red flush in his cheeks. He was ready to come at the sight alone. It was hard not to just let go, because it all was so insanely good. He was breathless, pushing back to meet Austin's thrusts that were coming faster now, making Riley moan and wrap his legs tighter around Austin's waist.

Riley's fingers dug into Austin's skin hard enough to bruise, and he wanted to lick at those spots, and make them last forever, proof that this was real and they did this and that Riley made him feel like this. Riley couldn't even process what was happening, losing himself in it and holding on tight to Austin's shoulders. It all felt so good and he could feel himself so close to the edge.

Beautiful, Austin panted in his neck, perfect, and you're the best thing to ever happen to me, Ry, Ry, Ry, over and over, and each word felt like a promise and a imprint against his skin, branding him with every feeling and moment that led to this. Riley's own voice answered back with things he's always felt but never said, gorgeous, and only you and be mine, and it's words on top of words and he didn't recognize his voice or the noises he's making. Austin called his name helplessly, turning his head to kiss him, sloppy and wet, and biting at his mouth. They couldn't even find the rhythm anymore, everything was building up and intensifying, and Austin took a hand off Riley's hip to wrap around his cock. A few jerks and that was all it took and everything exploded. Riley screamed when he came, vision going white, his face buried against Austin's neck. Austin let out a wordless noise as he pumped one last time, body shaking and he followed close behind. He sank against Riley, body weakening, and they both fell into the pillows.

Austin pulled out slowly and Riley's too tired to even move. He wasn't aware of how much time had past, and the quiet of the room and the sound of his own breathing lulled him into lethargy. Austin got up and went into the bathroom, and Riley was only dimly aware when Austin returned, cleaning him up carefully with a wet towel.

When Austin crawled back into bed Riley rolled into him, pulling the sheets up and over them. He stared at Austin across the pillow smiling at him. Austin smiled back and his hair was a wreck, and his lips were flush and he looked half asleep, utterly blissed out. And Riley hadn't ever witnessed anything more beautiful in his entire life. He stowed this moment away, because he'd never seen this facial expression before and he wanted to remember it. He wanted to know all the faces Austin made and what each one meant.

Okay?” Austin asked, palm sliding over Riley's cheek.

Riley smiled and nodded, feeling worn out and boneless and content. Austin moved closer wrapping his arms around him, and Riley sighed against his neck. Austin pressed a kiss into his hair, and Riley hid his smile in Austin's shoulder. Their legs twined together and it was skin on skin, perfect, and that's how they fell asleep. Austin first and then Riley right after, the small smile never leaving his face.


The early morning sun streamed in through the window when Riley woke up, groggy and disorientated, feeling like he had just woken up from a restful dream. Once he wiped the sleep from his eyes, the first thing he noticed was miles of tanned skin beneath him. He blinked at his hand resting idly underneath a nipple, and his head lay in the curve of Austin's chest and bicep. He sucked in a breath as it came back to him and he froze, afraid to move.

He laid there letting it all sink in. Austin's hands, his mouth on him, blistering kisses, and take care of you, promise, promise, and something uncoiled inside him and it hurt him in the best possible way. Austin was here in his bed and everything was all out in the open now. It happened and it was real. And okay, he wasn't going to freak out, but there's the initial panic rising right on queue. However, the panic was different it was good, so very good, and it came from low in his stomach and made his heart soar. When he used to think about being with Austin, the morning after always seemed like some awaited golden paradise. A smile that he couldn't fight split across his face, because he hadn't been wrong.

You suck at pretending to be asleep,” murmured Austin sleepily, and turning to embrace Riley. He wrapped his arms around him and buried his face in Riley's neck, one leg slung casually across his hip. “Do you want me to go make breakfast? And by breakfast, I mean grab you a bowl of cereal or heat up some poptarts,” he laughed, voice muffled against Riley's sleep warm skin.

Riley groaned, “You think you're so funny,” but his smile was brighter now, inexplicably happily. Warmth pooled in the center of his stomach.

I think I'm so lucky,” Austin corrected, bending down to kiss him hello. He leaned back and his face melted into an enormous, sunny smile.

Riley smiled back reflexively. “Good morning.”

Morning, baby” Austin said back, still smiling. And it's such a transformation from the dark cloud that had been around him for the last few months. The change was startling, but it was refreshing and long awaited. It wasn't like he was a different person, but more like himself again more than Riley had seen of him in a long time. This was the Austin he had been missing, rested and easy and relaxed. And now the reason behind it all was so clear now and it's boggling that Riley was the reason Austin had been so depressed. It's unbelievable that he could cause so much strife in another person. It was like Riley was the kite strings to Austin's heart, thin and painful when wrapped too tightly, and when loosened and flown right it was able to soar into clear blue skies.

He was suddenly very aware of the fact that he was naked underneath the sheets. Austin was, too, and there's something kind of thrilling about the whole thing, sexy and too intimate and he wanted every morning to be like this. Austin wrapped around him like a quilt, limbs twined and tangled with Riley's own. Riley ran a hand up his back, smiling involuntarily when Austin made a happy sound and burrowed closer. For one quick second it felt like a dream or a peek into someone else life, some twisted reality where great things happened to regular people that didn't deserve it.

Austin's hand dipped down below the sheet to stroke the small of Riley's back, and Riley arched into the touch. He caught Riley's chin with the tip of his finger and kissed him on the corner of his mouth, and then went in again for a fuller kiss. He kissed Riley soundly, limbs moving together lazy and warm.

When I said goodbye to you last summer to go work at camp,” Austin said hoarsely.

The kiss must have short circuited his memory, because he was seriously confused. Riley pulled back and squinted at him. “What?”

That's when I first realized I wanted you as more than a friend,” Austin continued, still stroking Riley's back. “When you took off at my party last year I was scared to death, and then I found you outside in the street—I knew I wanted something but I couldn't name it. It started to build up after that, I think. Then the day I left to go to camp is when I finally thought, oh.”

Oh?” asked Riley sitting up, feeling his heart trip.

Austin smiled, and it looked like he was glowing. And he's so beautiful that Riley's insides twist. “I thought, oh, I'm leaving my heart behind. Then the summer came and I kept picking fights with Lee, I guess—I was mad he wasn't you. He knew it, too. That's why I broke up with him.”

I,” Riley tried to say, but his throat lodged up and he bit his lower lip, choked up. “Can I keep you? I don't think I can give you up.” He buried his face in Austin's chest, so Austin wouldn't see his lip trembling. “Just... Okay.”

Austin moved down so Riley couldn't hide his face anymore. They were face to face and their noses brushed against each other. Austin looked at him with a faint, high flush on his cheeks and was toying with a stray curl around Riley's right ear, beaming at it.

Considering I love you that works out great.” Riley jerked, his face falling open with surprise, and Austin stared at him a cautious smile. “I—Is that—”

I love you so much that sometimes it makes me stupid,” Riley blurted out before Austin could doubt saying those words, or God forbid, take it back.

Austin stared at him, eyes round and his face was quickly transforming with a smile bursting free big, ridiculous and so damned happy. “You—uh, that's.” He let out a little giddy laugh. “I've never said it before. So cool, yeah. We're on the same page then.”

Riley stared at him, biting the inside of his cheek to not mirror that smile. “You're lucky I'm a sure thing. You just sucked out all the romance.”

Austin let out a sound between laughter and surprise. “Ry!”

Yes,” Riley said angelically, putting on his most innocent face, even though he was freaking filled to bursting inside with so much happiness. If he was tested for drugs it might show positive, because he'd never felt like this before.

A soft growl rumbled from Austin, and suddenly Riley was on his back and Austin had his wrists pinned to the pillow above his head. Riley looked up at Austin straddling his lap and he attempted to look threatening, but Austin's gorgeous mouth kept tugging up into a beaming smile and Riley let himself think that Austin must love this position, that he dreamed of always wanting to do this—just like Riley.

I love when you do that,” said Austin, smile finally breaking loose. “When you get really happy, it's like, you don't want to show it so you make a joke. It's positively adorable.” He hummed a quiet, delighted noise. “Every time I just wanted to kiss you—like this.”

He leaned down, almost in slow motion, and brushed their lips together. Riley's heart was pounding so hard he shook with it. Then Austin pulled back beaming down at him, and Riley felt affection curl around him, warm and lasting.

I love you,” Riley murmured, and it sounded so small and quiet but it was true and he meant it, with every part of him, and he was glad he could say it now anytime he wanted.

Austin looked at him with those soft eyes and said, very seriously, “I love you. So much.” He cupped Riley's face with both hands. “And I'm going to tell you everyday.”

Riley reached up to curl his hand around the back of Austin's neck pressing their lips together, and it's quickly apparent that they're still very much naked, and their bodies naturally begin moving on instinct. It's only minutes before they're writhing and sweaty, bodies pressed together so tightly that there's no air between them.

That's how they spent the early morning, trading kisses, and skin on skin, and sweat and moans, and they didn't part until the afternoon crept up on the morning. They stopped when their hunger couldn't be ignored any longer, and they ate toasted waffles in the middle of Riley's bed. Austin fiddled with Riley's laptop so it streamed the fifth season of Lost from the internet, and it was reminiscent of last summer except they couldn't stop smiling at each other, and this time when Austin laid his head in Riley's lap at the end of the second episode, Riley leaned down to kiss the line of his throat, carding his fingers through his hair. There was nothing left to hold back, and it wasn't the same yet not completely different, but it was better, so much better.


They showered for an hour and a half until the bathroom went all steamy, and Riley would have died from mortification if his father were home to hear the moans that probably shook the walls. After, it took Riley stepping on his phone for them to remember there was an outside world. So it was mid afternoon when they finally got around to checking their phones. They both laughed at the where are you texts Marco and Katie sent last night, and Austin fired off a quick phone call to his dads about hanging with Riley, they think you're the cutest thing, Ry. They're going to freak when they find out we're together. Like seriously.

Riley was giggling at Austin's Jack Shephard impersonation, live together, die alone, when his phone started to ring. He took his head off Austin's shoulder to grab the phone, hitting the accept button to Katie's call not realizing it was a Facetime until he heard Katie's squeal not even a second later. She's treated to the sight of Riley and Austin pressed together, shirtless, and staring at her with horror, while her smile was like she'd seen an adorable puppy or a litter of kittens all heaped together, and rainbows were practically shooting out of her eyes. Riley panicked and cut the video call.

Katie called right back and Riley begrudgingly put her on speakerphone. She screamed for a solid minute before there was a coherent stream of babbling, “Oh, my God. You two. I can't even. It's like Christmas come early. And the conclusion of a really long Lifetime movie. I think I'm tearing up.”

Did you enjoy the view?” Austin asked.

It's forever burned into my eyes,” she replied, sounding like she was a second away from squealing. “I feel like a proud parent right now. I'm so happy for you. Riley did you finally man up and make the moves on Austin, you sly dog!”

Please be more embarrassing,” Riley muttered. He can imagine her hands flailing around while she talked, and from the sheer excitement in her voice she was probably still smiling that larger than life grin.

And it turned out she could be, because Katie immediately shot back with, “Did you two engage in some much needed relief of sexual tension? So who topped and who was the bottom?”

Austin made a noise that sounded like a squeak or a moan, more dolphin like than anything human. Riley stared at him, his own cheeks red. “Did—you. What was that noise?” Austin reddened and Riley poked his ribs. “Seriously, like—you've never made a sound like that before.”

Did you just have an orgasm?” Katie's voice came through the phone's speakers, sounding pleasantly scandalized. “You two are dirty.

Austin laughed, one hand over his face. Jesus, I didn't realize I was talking to Marco. What is wrong with you?”

Katie snorted. “Please do you know how much Logo I've watched, and how long I've waited for this day. Let me have this.”

Riley stared at the phone trying to mentally coerce her into just hanging up now. There's no way to really die from embarrassment but if there were he would have done it approximately twenty nine seconds ago.

You're enjoying this far too much,” said Riley.

It's like seeing Michael Jackson moonwalk for the first time.” she said promptly, and Riley's really glad he couldn't see her expression right now. Austin however looked stupidly charmed by this. “I want them to make a movie about you. It'll be like Brokeback Mountain only less angst and more tent sex. I want Kristen Bell to play me. We like her.”

You're not Ellen Paige,” Austin said pointing at the phone, like she could see it. “And I'm ending this phone call.”

For real, I'm happy for you guys.” There was a pause and then she asked, “And in all seriousness, if they did make a movie of this—would they have to use a CGI deer to play Austin or could they train a real one up?”

Austin lunged for the phone and Katie's cackling so hard she might cry when Austin smashed his finger down on the end call button. He glared at the deactivated screen with dark eyes. “Katie...” Austin hissed to himself, “Just you wait until you outlive your usefulness.”

Riley blinked. “So that went well.”

What.”

I expected her to be more smug,” said Riley. He shrugged at Austin's raised eyebrow. “She's been trying to get me to tell you how I feel for a year. I think the last time we went to the bookstore she told me, I either had to nut up or shut up.”

Austin smiled then, a small dopey grin. It was kind of ridiculously endearing. “What can I say, she does give good advice. I've always said so. Lovely girl Katie is.”

And with the way he was smiling it wasn't like Riley had the willpower to argue. It's ridiculous how a smile could still make him completely tongue tied. He could get used to this.

-

It's not difficult as Riley predicted it to be, this falling into a relationship with Austin. He panicked that it would be hard and trying, and they would self destruct trying to figure out the new definition of them. Instead it's easy and surprising, as days at school remained—their last month in fact—that they spend stealing kisses in hallways, and Austin's hand resting on his thigh under the table at lunch. They still go to their coffee shop, but sometimes they start kissing before they get there and they detour through the park to stroll through the grass holding hands and reminiscing on how they got here to this moment. And the sex, it's impossible to be alone for a long stretch of time before Austin would give him this look, and Riley's self control flies out the window, and then they're against a wall, jerking each other off fast and hot—and it's all so amazing and new, sometimes Riley became drunk from giddiness. Riley felt unlike himself a lot now, but in a good way and he wanted it to stay like this forever.

Austin's right, his dads reacted like it's every holiday wrapped into one when they got the news dropped on them. Austin mumble they like Riley more than him, but he doesn't look terribly put out by this if his smile was anything to go by. Riley's certain that Austin's aunt Miriam had tears in her eyes when he saw her again the following weekend. Riley can't prove it, but he's sure she thinks Austin's older than he really is, like mid 30's or 40's, because she goes on about Austin being forever alone until Riley came along, rambling about spinsters and cats and it's all funny until she started talking condoms and then Riley felt that his embarrassment would last the rest of his life.

Now that there's a them it's still weird sometimes that things have changed, that they can hold hands and kiss, and it's all okay now. It's only weird because Riley hasn't ever had a boyfriend before, so he's unused to it all, fumbling a kiss now and again, and he couldn't completely erase the doubt of Austin dropping him for somebody better looking, with more personality, someone that wasn't so lame. It makes him freeze up sometimes until Austin shyly takes his hand and reality sets in that he wasn't the only one in this, gambling their hearts, and taking a chance that was paying off every single day.

Austin was serious when he meant he wanted to do it right. They were having sex, and kind of a lot, but there was also cuddling together in Austin's basement, an honest to God picnic in the park, and talking late into the night on the phone until they fall asleep. It's cheesy but it's mostly adorable and he wouldn't have it any other way. When they have their first real date they go to a nice restaurant near the UCSF campus that Dean recommended. It's not dimly lit or swanky, but it's quiet and nice and the waiter gave them this look like he'd just seen puppies cross his path, smiling at them like they were sweetest thing. Austin insisted on paying the bill, so Riley picked up the tickets for the movie after, which they don't even watch because they sit in the back row making out. He saved the ticket stubs, pinning them on the board between the Valentine card and concert tickets.

Riley's dad took the news surprisingly well, actually Greg gave Riley a blank look and had the nerve to yawn a little, (“Oh. Is this where I'm supposed to act surprised?” Yes!”Subtlety isn't exactly your forte. I was just waiting for you to tell me. I'm happy for you, kiddo.”). The conversation brought on a mild panic attack and Greg dropped a kiss into his hair, rubbing his back while he took deep breaths into a paper sack. Riley recited the story to Austin who was sitting on the floor behind Riley in his bedroom, chin on his shoulder and smile pressed into his neck.

I was wondering why he kept smirking at me,” Austin confessed.

Riley snorted. “At least we don't have to be sneaky anymore.”

Speaking of us,” said Austin, scooting around from behind Riley. He took Riley's laptop from his lap and moved it up to the bed, and then laced their fingers together. “I wanted to talk to you about college.”

He went stiff, finally face to face with this secret dread. The fact remained that Riley was going to Stanford next fall and Austin was going off to school, too, and they had to go their separate ways. He's never done a long distance relationship but Riley knew they were hard, but he wanted this, he wanted it to last. The thought of not seeing Austin everyday stressed him out, but he just didn't know how Austin felt about it all and whether he wanted to make it work. The entire scenario made him terrified.

You finally heard back from a school?” asked Riley, picking at a loose thread in his shorts.

Austin took a breath, and Riley stared determinedly at his lap unable to look him in the face. “Well, yeah. They wait-listed me for awhile, but I finally got legit admitted. Guess who'll be thirty two point seven miles away from Stanford at the University of California, Berkley.”

Are you serious?” Riley demanded, and he's a little frantic, so his words come out razor sharp and fast.

Austin grinned this manic grin, like he couldn't possibly contain it anymore. “We'll be close to half an hour away from each other. Tell me I'm an awesome boyfriend.”

It was said teasingly, but Riley couldn't help looking around his room. His eyes landed on the DVD of Wuthering Heights, then swept to concert tickets, homemade card's, movie stubs, and CD's and borrowed books and a cooling cup of coffee on the desk, Riley written down the side in sharpie surrounded by sloppily drawn hearts. It was pieces of them, spread out, and material—this was everything that made them what they are now—Riley wanted to box it all up and take it with him off to college along with his boyfriend.

You're the best boyfriend ever. Do you have any idea just how amazing this is,” said Riley. “We—I thought. You know I love you. A lot.”

Austin smiled and put his head on Riley's shoulder, wrapping his arm around Riley's waist. “Yeah, yeah. Keep going, this is all really fantastic.”

Be more romantic I dare you,” said Riley.

Your words are true loves caress. Your fingers are like dynamite when they touch my skin.” Austin wormed his way into Riley's lap, and he allowed it because Riley didn't have the will to resist Austin reciting poetry, and then Austin's entwining their fingers, kissing his knuckles, his wrists, his chin, his nose, still whispering words between one kiss and the next. “Your lips are boss, and your heart is my own, beating out the lyrics to our song.”

You make it really hard to ever be mad at you,” Riley got out between kisses.

Good,” replied Austin. “'Cause I love you.”

Love you, too,” Riley said, smiling into the next kiss.

Everything was so very good and in that moment he's absolutely sure they would be okay.

-

Two years later, at Riley and Austin's housewarming party, Marco's already on his way to sloppy drunk. Austin was giving Katie the look like no, you take care of him it's your turn, and he's looking so good in his plaid shirt and jeans that he and Riley have already had sex twice today, once in their apartment in the middle of washing dishes this morning and later down in the laundry room in the basement. Riley was still glowing from the laundry room thing while he zoned out listening to Mike and Anna discuss today's Technology of Concrete lecture.

Things were going well, really well. Riley would say that it's pretty fucking great but he doesn't want to jinx it. A lot of things have worked out, Riley's an Engineering major at Stanford, and Austin was double majoring in Music and English Literature at Berkeley. It's hard sometimes because school kept them busy with studying and the distance in that first year seemed endless, but they always, always made time for each other on weekends no matter what. They kept at it and made it work, and Austin's truck had put on a lot of miles in the meantime. Riley was lucky his dad had bought him a new car freshmen year, so they could take turns making the trip, and eventually the residents in the dorms on both campuses knew them by name.

They only moved into this new apartment two weeks ago, and it was nearly fifteen minutes away from the campuses of both schools. It was a simple, furnished one bedroom and it's kind of cramped but they love it. Still, it was excuse for him to step out onto the balcony for some fresh air, politely stealing Austin away from Katie on his way. She just gave Riley a smirk and a knowing stare, and really that girl was way too immersed in their sex life.

Riley leaned against the little patio table pushed into the balcony's corner, and Austin was already falling against him peppering his neck with kisses.

Have I ever told you how much I love waking up next to you in our bed, in our apartment,” Austin said, nibbling on his earlobe.

Only just this morning, and this afternoon, and in front of Katie ten minutes ago,” said Riley, tapping his fingers against Austin's shoulders. “And you really have to stop saying stuff like that in front of her. You know it's going on her blog.”

Austin laughed because it was likely true and they traded a quiet kiss when the balcony door slid open with a bang. “Way to ditch your own party, assholes!” Marco said, swerving onto the balcony. “What are you doing out here? If you say staring into each others eyes I will puke, swear to God.”

Classy.” Austin snorted, moving to lean against Riley's side.

Marco kind of slumped against the wall, staring at their locked hands. “Love is a many splendid thing. All you need is love.”

Is that from Moulin Rouge?” Austin muttered, crossing over to help him stand up. “How'd you get drunk so fast?”

You two are adorable,” said Marco, as Austin moved to his other side to help him stand. “Glad I hooked you two up. Your big gay crush was way too will he, wont he. It was painful.”

Riley blinked. “Seriously, how are you this drunk?”

Austin was looking at Marco suspiciously, his mouth tilted in a frown. “What do you mean hooked us up?”

Jealousy,” Marco smiled dopily at Austin, poking him on the nose with his finger. “Me and Mark totally Parent Trapped you. A little flirting, an almost kiss, s'you went all jealous and next thing we know you two are boning. All part of our tactics—you two are lovely. And by lovely I mean lame. The sexual tension ruined a lot of my lunches.”

Riley and Austin stared at him, shocked. Austin hoisted Marco back up from where he was sliding down the wall. “Wait, you planned that whole Mark being into Riley? You were trying to make me jealous.”

And it worked. You're welcome,” said Marco. “I'm going to throw up now. For the record.” He dashed through the open door back into the apartment.

Riley stared at Marco stumbling through the living room and into the kitchen. “Is he joking?”

I don't think so,” said Austin slowly. “We might owe him a muffin basket. Definitely not anymore wine. He's throwing up in the sink now.”

Who's cleaning it up?” Riley said, and then threw up his hands. “Not it!”

Austin tugged at the curl around Riley's ear. “Damn.”

Think of it as him christening our home. It would've happened eventually.”

Austin caught Riley's fingers giving them a little squeeze. “I'm glad this is our home.”

Home. The apartment was simultaneously a continuation and a beginning of their lives together. Hearing Austin say the word made it feel different, more special, like it's somewhere they belong together, where they always were meant to be. The little boy who had a problem stepping over the cracks in the pavement, and the boy who stood at the end of the street waiting on him, arms wide open.

I love the sound of that,” replied Riley, pulling him forward until their lips meet.

The kiss was gentle and sweet, soft and careful. It's loving and what they are to each other. It's from there to here and the sum of it all, it's them.


[end.]


Author Notes;
Thank you to everybody who patiently waited on this last part! The same circumstances that delayed the last part happened again, and unfortunately I can't go in detail it will just make me extremely sad. I hope this ending was worth the wait. I absolutely love all of you who read this story and I appreciated all the emails I got, I swear I cried at a couple, like full on tearing up. Thanks to all you wonderful people for reading.

I appreciate any feedback or if you just want to drop a quick line, I will definitely email you back! You can do it here at Batmanhater@aol.com

Coming Soon;
pretend anti boyfriend
When Cory is (mistakenly) diagnosed with cancer his last wish is for his two best friends to end their three year feud and apologize. So Evan convinces Daniel to pretend they're okay and dating. Things get complicated, and if life was a romcom Daniel is not Renee Zellweger. [Part of the Second Star 'Verse.]