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Friend Zone

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They are drunk, drunk, drunk.

Absolutely goddamn shitfaced.

To preface, Tiana is not present for the ritualistic occasion of three twenty somethings getting fucked up. She is wise, goes to bed early, an angel who washed Kaya’s (asmelling of toxic waste, barely dried, very much the crime Kaya should have been deported for instead of three, three gummy bears!) clothes. She has blonde hair and round cheeks and she exclaims in happy surprise when Charlie brings the boys back, giving Jackson a noogie much like an older sibling exchanging mild mannered roasts between Andrew and hugging Kaya when he presents gifts, the only individual able to rouse a smile out of the Turkish statue. (Kaya is apologetic, but Tiana understands his circumstance. At least he didn’t bring the cheetah poster.) 

It’s fun to watch Kaya settle in. He warily comments about the colour of the sky and collapses (combusts next to Jackson) into the cafe booth they sit in for lunch, a band of misfits. (The waitress has a bad crush on Jackson and they’re both stuttering — the jet-lagged kid husks something in a Queensland accent she thinks is insulting, and as a result she spits in his meal. [On the kids’ menu.] Kaya howls so loud Jackson hides in his shoulder like an embarrassed girlfriend. For once, Charlie isn’t the shortest person in the room.) It is the small things about him that both fascinate and unnerve Jackson - the veins in Kaya’s forehead that pop when he’s shit-talking (shit-slurring), the tendons in Kaya’s neck that coil when he cracks up retelling the drop, the genuine warmth that Kaya lets slip when his voice breaks at the airport. When Jackson awkwardly squeezes his hand, Kaya holds on for too long.

Andrew is less — surprising, in person. He is what Jackson expected, and what Jackson expected was a guy with too many ex-girlfriends and not enough subscribers. Andrew has a hiccuping laugh and he shouldn’t be so put together for all the facts about weird shit he can methodically spout on the spot, but he can also kick Charlie’s ass at Dance Dance Revolution and at Mario Party. Andrew is absurdly good at party games, standing in the Tampa Bay arcade and winning cheap plushie after cheap plushie rivalling Charlie’s talent as eleven and thirteen year olds gawk in envy. Jackson stands next to them.

And, then there is Charlie himself.

None of this matters, however, because they are shitfaced. Jackson realizes too late he’s drunk as all fuck, (you must be fun at parties, Kaya had said, handing Jackson back his glass of water with the most smug smile Jackson had ever seen the fit bastard with.) Ah, shit. He falls on his face giggling while and the glass of spiked water he was holding smashes on the floor next to him.

The boys stop playing. 

Jackson blinks. Nothing. 

Jackson blinks again. Andrew, Charlie and Kaya are arched over him, studying him for a stupidly long amount of time.

Kaya glances at Charlie. “Is he dead?”

“If we drop him, you’re the one convicted.”

“Bitch.”

“You want to go?”

“No, I want to make sure Jackson over here doesn’t fucking die of alcohol poisoning,” Andrew grumbles in response to their arguing.

Jackson’s eyes flutter. He says something. Can’t hear himself, his ears are ringing so fucking loudly.

The boys nod in unison at each other, and then grab both Jackson’s arms and legs. “Heave!”

“Hey—!”

They pick him up, almost dropping him a few times in an unsober stupor as they navigate to Charlie’s living room and suckerpunch / drop Jackson onto the couch. Jackson is terrified of this, though, so he clings onto Kaya,

who’s voice is almost coaxing, “You — you’re so keen to hold onto me, Jackson. Are you fuckin’ gay-?”

“Hey, fuck you, I’m no-not — ” Jackson’s skin is bruisable, like a peach. He makes a very high, very surprised noise in his throat, “—hey!” when Kaya manhandles him onto his lap, grinning as Jackson lopsidedly melts into the crook of his arm, slipping in and out of consciousness — slurring words, trying to slap him but instead fucking around with the concept of it as he presses his face into Kaya’s neck and inhales. “Hey. Hey.”

Kaya’s chuckling settles deep in his throat, dissipating with a click of the tongue; his hand smoothes Jackson’s inner thighs, pressing, gnawing with his nail to leave fingerprinted marks absently. “Fuck, you(’)r(e) cli-cli — clinging. Getoff,” but his grip oxymoronically tightens and Jackson’s head lolls back on the top of the couch to look at Kaya looking at him, dimly aware of Andrew and Charlie looking at them, Jackson doesn’t know where his hands are. “Fuckin’ — like you want somethin’ —” and Kaya’s voice drops, low, lower than Jackson’s ever heard, it’s hard to breathe. 

“It’s hot,” says Charlie, in his deadpan, “when you get Jackson flustered.”

Jackson rises and Charlie kisses him. His mouth is open and it’s sloppy, gasping sharply as Andrew leans in, whispering this okay, baby? and Jackson nods quickly, rapidly, wanting this badly, rolling over on his own as they all descend on him like wolves. He reaches for Andrew to kiss him, wants it honey-sweet as he tugs him close with Jackson’s arms around his neck, half-turning — Andrew tugs on his hair and Jackson’s lips falls open with a sigh,

“I want — ” and they all stop, listening, wanting him to be as turned on as them. “Um-Um, I want, uh. I don’t want it in the ass, for starters.” They all crack up. “What?”

“We’re — ” Charlie rises, his lips swollen and half-lidded from sucking on Jackson’s neck, “no, man, that’s just fine. Jesus. It’s just the way you said it. Cancel the order of anal.”

Kaya, absently, turns his head to look at the others. He’s separated himself from the weird horny conjoining, his hand between his legs. “What if we jerk him off?”

A thrill runs through Jackson’s body. “Please,” he vocalizes. “Please.” He hears Andrew hum in response as Charlie sits back, (the sound of a zipper being dragged down, maybe it’s his, maybe it’s Charlie’s, Jackson is barely conscious.) and Andrew leans in to kiss him again, his and Charlie’s fingers on Jackson. 

“God,” groans Andrew, his touch clutching at Jackson and pulling from the base of his dick to rubbing over his shaft, makes Jackson flush from his thighs to his face, makes him squirm under Kaya pinning him with his left hand and stroking himself to the sight of Jackson with his right. “you’re so good, Jackson. Jesus.” The atmosphere feels hot, heavy. 

Jackson’s stomach twists into knots, a fuzzy and lovesick feeling, hard. He knows Kaya is getting off on the fact he can’t even talk back, all his words bubbling and melting into begging moans — all the blood rushes to his head, feels hazy, his muscles contracting, all the praise goes to his dick and precum’s dripping onto his shorts. Sweat combs his brows.

“I think he’s overstimulated,” murmurs Charlie. "Jesus. I've wanted him like this for a while."

That only makes it better and fucking worse, building as Jackson delicately whines and Kaya pushes Andrew away to get at Jackson. Kaya bites into his mouth, clamping Jackson's lower lip and sucking on it as he and Andrew messily jerk Jackson off and Charlie’s hard cock presses against Jackson’s at an awkward angle, but it’s something. Jackson slips in and out of consciousness, sobbing out encouragement.

Somewhere. They all come at somewhat the same time, breathing heavy, slow and coming to. Separating, and then falling back into each other. Kaya drags Jackson into his arms, putting him back together and protective for it — Andrew and Charlie, blissed out, sink into either side of Jackson. (They’re sticky, and so is the fucking couch.)

“What a goddamn mess,” says Charlie, after collecting himself, his face squished into Jackson’s shoulder.

Andrew, on Jackson’s other side, looks at him and brushes hair away from his face gently, almost afraid of hurting Jackson. “You were louder than I expected.”

“I hate you.”

Kaya laughs, coarse as ash. “He can’t handle th’truth. Fuckin’ Aussie."

Jackson grumbles. “Always talking over me.”