Rolling the edges of his skirt between his fingers, Mitch made cheap polyester to fray apart. It alleviated his anxiety somewhat, but not enough to leave the haven of his stall.
A weight settled between his chest and collarbone, heavy as it lodged itself at the base of his esophagus and gave him some trouble with breathing. Though the sensation was immaterial, it felt real enough that he might be rid of it by either a coughing fit or vomiting. If he tried.
The back of his head collided with the partition wall, causing a dull thud to echo. He slipped up, he could admit as much, and naturally there were consequences to bad choices. But it seemed rather cruel for Avi to be the one in his path when he couldn’t manage himself.
Enough time passed that Mitch surrendered to staying put and sleeping on the bathroom floor, when suddenly the music’s volume sharply elevated then decreased; it dawned on him that another person now occupied the bathroom.
“Mitch?” Avi’s voice called out, and Mitch froze. If he stayed perfectly still, maybe he’d go undetected. “Are you in here?”
Mitch didn’t answer, and instead he willed all of his organs and cells to cease functioning. Footsteps drew closer, and he held onto his breath that wasn’t sufficient enough. From under the stall, he spotted a pair of sneakers just a few inches away that stood in a small pool of indeterminate fluid. He’d been caught. A gentle knock came, and then Avi asked, “Hey, are you OK?”
‘No’, Mitch didn’t say. He gave up the ghost and answered with a solemn, “I’m fine.”
“You’re sitting on the floor,” Avi pointed out, his tone sweet with concern and making Mitch reconsider the whole vomiting thing.
“I drank. I’m not supposed to,” Mitch responded while he leaned forward to rest his forehead on his knees as shame thrashed about in his core. He hoped that by being candid, it would be enough to drive Avi away. Instead, much to his chagrin, the stall door opened a crack and Avi’s head poked in. The surprise on his face mirrored Mitch’s, and they stared at one another for a few seconds without saying anything.
“Shit, sorry. Didn’t realize this wasn’t locked,” Avi apologized as he jiggled the shoddy handle
“It’s all good,” Mitch lied, but lacked the energy to appear as anything other than pitiful. For some reason, Avi took that as an invitation to continue standing there, and the door slowly drifted further open, revealing more of him. Mitch’s gaze cast down again so that he could continue to feel sorry for himself, but then he zeroed in on what Avi held in his hand. Squinting, he asked, “Is…is that my shoe?”
“Huh? Oh! Yeah, you left it behind.” Through some minor miracle, Avi managed to wedge his impossibly wide frame into the stall as well, which was presumably not designed with the intention of housing two grown men. Furthermore, Avi could have simply handed it over through the door’s opening or slid it under one of the stall’s gaps, but something told Mitch that he was a few drinks deep as well. His suspicion was confirmed when Avi crouched down, and without asking beforehand, fumbled to fit the shoe back onto Mitch’s foot.
“What the fuck are you doing?” Mitch barked out a laugh after the second or third attempt, and lifted his leg in an act of mercy to provide better access.
“You’re like Cinderella!” Avi responded with complete sincerity, and Mitch shook his head. Such a goddamn boy scout. Stumbling while he worked, Avi fell to one knee, and Mitch tried to avoid thinking about how his legs bracketed him.
“Well, you’re a Prince Charming were there ever one,” Mitch commented despite already being at his quota for saying the stupidest imaginable shit for one night.
“C’mon,” Avi scoffed, his full attention on the shoe, which he finally gathered up enough coordination to slip on. His profile lit up momentarily as he rejoiced in his success, but then it faltered to something soft. Vulnerable, even. “Don’t…don’t play around like that,” he said softly and rubbed the back of his neck. The dim lighting of the restroom made it difficult to see, but Mitch’s eyes adjusted enough to catch the way that Avi’s face flushed a shade darker.
“I’m not?” The words flew from Mitch’s mouth before he could put them through a filter, and he knew this had to be on some sort of fast track for a world record. While Avi turned at a glacial pace, his eyebrows scrunched in confusion, Mitch considered how to quickly rectify what he said. Suffering from chronic self-loathing, he’d always done a solid job repressing any inclination towards flirty and outgoing tendencies, but maybe that’s what he needed to tap into; play it off as being drunk and gay so that maybe, just maybe, their friendship wouldn’t be blown to bits in the next few seconds because he couldn’t shut up about his feelings. Worth a gamble, right? “I mean-” he huffed. “Sweetheart, have you seen yourself? I-I-”
He meant to continue, but found himself reduced to stammering when Avi dropped down to his other knee, looking at Mitch all wide-eyed as though he’d been told incomprehensible gibberish. The temperature in the stall climbed to stifling, and every single one of Mitch’s instincts told him that he needed to escape and be literally anywhere else; away from Avi, who now knelt between his legs, the sides of his hips grazing against the insides of Mitch’s thighs, separated by the slightest amount of fabric. Far, far away from Avi, because all he had to down was either lean in a hair more or glance down, and he’d know that Mitch was starting to tent up in his shitty, cheap dress, and god-fucking-dammit why did he agree to do this with Jodie? Where the fuck was she?!
The weight in his chest cut loose and dropped swiftly, crushing his lungs and stomach and intestines -literally everything, organs that he couldn’t remember without an anatomy primer- when Avi’s fingertips lightly traced one of Mitch’s cheekbone. He’d even watched the hand reach out, but failed to register what was happening in the moment until contact was made. All of his hair stood on end, the tell-tale sign that a lightning bolt was about to strike. “Your makeup,” Avi uttered sympathetically, caught somewhere between bewilderment and interest; as far as Mitch could tell, the heat death of the universe had just begun.
“I’m sorry,” Mitch apologized, though unsure what for. He hadn’t worn it for Avi, but the painfully tender gaze that he was the recipient of compelled him to respond as though he ruined someone else’s birthday cake.
And then fingers transitioned to a palm which caressed his cheek, and Mitch could not keep himself from leaning into the touch. He gasped at the warmth of Avi’s hand, wanting to melt into the groves of his fingerprints and remain on –in– his skin forever. Jaw slack, he struggled to get anything out, a joke, a “no homo”, anything at all, but found it difficult to say a single word with Avi’s mouth suddenly on his.
Oh fuck, Avi was kissing him. They were kissing. There were teeth and a bit of beard in his mouth, and instead of pulling away like he ought to, Mitch readjusted so they fit together better, getting all of Avi’s lips now and melding into them. He parted his legs further as Avi scrambled to close the gap between them, their chests pressed against one another. The hand that cradled his face slid down his neck, and Avi’s fingers dipped below the collar and touched his shoulder and clavicle, leaving scorch marks on his bare skin.
They needed to stop, oh god they had to. Mitch’s head swam, and he opened his mouth to try to speak up, but Avi took the opportunity to slip in his tongue and that was all Mitch could focus on, more important than the air in his lungs or the blood in his veins. Avi licked into him with the desperation of a starved dog that’d finally gotten scraps; meanwhile, terror gripped Mitch, because it wasn’t supposed to be like this. This was the very person that he’d never be allowed to have, kissing him as though life itself depended on it
He couldn’t tell if the taste of liquor originated from him or Avi, or some reckless merger of bad decisions, but he couldn’t get enough. He wondered how he tasted to Avi. Was it good? Was it sweet or sour? Did the nicotine and tobacco bleed through too much? He’d swear off of cigarettes if Avi promised to kiss him more.
And Mitch told himself repeatedly that this wasn’t possible, Avi had someone, Avi-
“You’re so fucking hot,” Avi paused the makeout session to whisper directly into Mitch’s mouth; a string of saliva still connected them, and the vibrations from the words getting a direct connection to the epicenter of his soul.
Oh no. He was absolutely fucked.
Arms going around Avi’s neck, Mitch dragged him down for more, as though he were still a teenager. He choked on a moan when Avi ground up against him, shocked to discover how hard he was despite the constrictive properties of rough denim. Somewhere in the back of his brain, a little voice rattled off as it frantically attempted to offer warnings about the ramifications, but Mitch ignored it. Tonight he’d go the libertine route: there’d be no more morals to contend with, only pleasure to indulge in.
Or so he told himself.
Avi’s other hand settled on Mitch’s waist, and it set every nerve on fire when it landed. Gradually, it dragged lower, testing the stretch of the fabric’s blend and pulling it taut with each inch passed. Testing Mitch’s sanity as well. Eventually, it rested at the juncture of his hip and thigh, the thumb kneading small circles into the thin skin an inch past the large curve of the pelvic bone.
Mitch pulled away to catch his breath. “Hey,” he said between gulps of air. “I can blow you, y’know.”
Avi’s immediate lack of response caused panic to bubble. While the words aerated, the internal voice that once served as a warning wasted little time in turning sinister. Cheap, dirty, fucked up slut, it supplied. You ruin absolutely everything you touch. You just ruined your friendship.
He needed to leave. He shouldn’t be here, they shouldn’t-
“I wanna touch you,” Avi responded, sounding a little dazed and uncertain, as he hadn’t expected to actually say that. But then he swallowed, and his jaw went firm with resolve and he followed up with, “Can I?”
Mitch nodded in disbelief as he resisted the urge to slap himself across the face to determine if this was a dream. His heart swelled too rapidly for his liking at being called hot, at Avi wanting to touch him. Danger loomed, because Mitch already started to evaluate any further meaning that may exist below the surface rather than appreciating a compliment at face value for once in his life. Fragile makeout sessions weren’t the time to ask if someone shared the same feelings, but he knew better than to do that.
But god, he wanted to know.
Both of Avi’s palms now rested below Mitch’s knees to where the skirt’s edge had been hiked up to in all of the commotion. Slowly, they skimmed upwards, sometimes snagging on the fishnet. Mitch failed to hold back whimpers as the shockwaves devastated him; Avi responded by leaning forward once more and latching onto his throat with open-mouthed kisses, hot and wet, tongue and teeth and all.
Legs transmogrified into jelly, Mitch’s back slid further down the partition, forcing Avi’s hands completely under the dress and even further up until they were at the tops of his thighs. Avi froze for a split second, just long enough to be noticeable, as if he was either having second thoughts about doing this, or was unsure how to proceed. But then he moved again: one hand lifted the skirt up so that it pooled at Mitch’s waist, while the other gently cupped him over the stockings and the underwear, effectively holding his dick.
“Fuck,” Mitch breathed out, too far gone to be ashamed at how little effort it took to wreck him. Staring down as though he were transfixed, Avi applied more pressure with the heel of his palm, causing Mitch to moan and seek out more friction as his hips bucked off of the floor. Acting fast, Avi once again covered Mitch’s mouth with his own, muffling the variety of keening noises that kept escaping with reckless abandon. The idea of Avi swallowing sounds from Mitch, passing the air from one another’s lungs, only keyed him up more.
And Mitch thought for sure there’d be more warning, ideally would have this go slower so that he could try to process and savor everything, but then Avi reached into the front of his briefs and got a loose grasp on his erection. “Shhh,” Avi attempted to sooth Mitch’s whines. “I got you, it’s OK.”
After coaxing Mitch’s dick out and exposing it to the cool air, Avi made a proper fist. His knuckles lightly dragged across Mitch’s belly on an upward stroke, and he stopped at the head when Mitch clawed into the meat of his back and biceps. “Does that feel good?” he murmured into Mitch’s ear, then kissed the hinge of his jaw. The affectionate gesture, combined with an authentic sounding inquiry -not a hint of smug superiority or playing dumb- turned Mitch into a puddle. He buried his face into the crook of Avi’s neck and nodded frantically, for once unafraid to give an earnest response.
For several more strokes, Avi proceeded without any sort of pace, then became more deliberate in the way that he moved. And either due to curiosity or a rise in confidence, he traced the edge of Mitch’s foreskin with his thumb, then used it to push down on the slit of his cockhead. It took an embarrassingly short amount of time before Mitch began thrusting, trying to gain further purchase and outright fucking Avi’s hand.
“Pull yourself out,” Mitch was able to speak at last. “I want you-I want you-” He panted hoarsely, unable to expand further due to his mind unraveling. Mostly though, he just wanted.
“OK,” Avi agreed, and fought to get his own fly undone with his non-dominant hand while he continued to slowly jerk Mitch off. From his position, Mitch intently watched, enraptured by seeing the way that Avi strained against his jeans, because he did that, he caused that. No one else, just him. And then it dawned on him that he was finally getting to see Avi’s cock after being consumed by the mere idea of it for the last few months.
Were there any further struggling, Mitch would have lurched forward and taken charge himself, but Avi got the waistband of his designer brand underwear shoved down and he sprang free. Unsurprisingly, his dick matched the rest of him, thick as fuck like a goddamn beer can. A dark carpet of pubes poked out and curled around the sides, forcing Mitch to hold an internal debate over what side of weird it would land on to ask if he could see more body hair. All of it, specifically. He let out a string of curses, while Avi nervously giggled like a school girl and not some jacked athlete with an impressive hog.
“C’mere,” Mitch urged, and Avi scooched forward to meet the request. What Mitch intended to do was give the best handjob of his entire life, possibly circle back to that blowjob offer, but that flew out the window when the tip of Avi’s dick touched his in the shuffle of everything. Before, he’d been cooked enough for safe consumption; now, he was charred.
Avi nearly got the chance to move backward to readjust, maybe even reassess, but Mitch didn’t allow for it. Quicker than the lightning bolt that still hung overhead, he struck and somehow pried off Avi’s fingers while bringing both of their dicks flush against one another. God, Avi was so insanely wet, leaking like a busted faucet. The way he groaned at the contact would live in Mitch’s ears forever, already imprinted on his eardrums; he could feel it sinking lower, drilling into his skull. If he ever got an MRI in the future, it would show up on the results. “I can work us both,” he insisted.
“Jesus,” Avi hissed, his eyes closed but eyelashes fluttering against his cheek. Did he know how beautiful he was? Should Mitch tell him? He wanted to. He wanted to confess everything, secrets that had everything and nothing to do with Avi. He wanted to know everything about Avi as well, and a million questions ran through his head ranging from normal, like how he preferred to be touched, to insane, like what kind of childhood pets he had. Queries that were typically reserved for boyfriends, which Avi wasn’t. Wouldn’t be. Already was-
Mitch pumped harder, the joints of his fingers stretched at their limits, yet he remained unbothered by the way that his thumb ached. Grasping onto Mitch’s shoulders for leverage, Avi gave a few shallow thrusts, and Mitch would have drained his life savings to see the way that his muscles rippled under the clothing, how his ass and quads tensed and contracted. Precum hit the gaps between his fingers, adding a bit of lubrication to the friction and burn.
He didn’t want this to end, despite that it was going to. Probably soon, judging on how Avi picked up the pace. The very idea left bruises and welts and blisters on his heart. “Avi,” he rasped, and then winced. To address one another by name right then topped the hierarchy of sin.
“Huh?” Avi huffed, eyes half lidded.
“I-I have condoms and lube at my cabin.” His mouth finally went rogue and derailed, and the words tumbled out freely, then sprinted to evade capture. “You can fuck me,” he insisted, then begged with a shaky, “Please. Avi-”
“Mitch, I…” Avi trailed off, eyes flown wide open as he looked down at Mitch. There was something there, a clarity which had been absent until now. And Mitch had engaged in plenty of drunken hookups in his life, but he realized now that it wasn’t entirely alcohol that clouded Avi’s vision earlier. Now there was apprehension. Remorse. Fleeting, but there. It mingled with the heat and desire, and threatened to kill Mitch. He deserved to be euthanized for doing this. Stupid idiot, flying too close to the sun.
I’m sorry, said the expression. It didn’t need to be spoken out loud, he understood it fine, seen it enough times from enough men to know better. The only thing he’d ever been decent at rebuffed, by someone that fit his own flesh and spirit like a glove. Unfortunate.
Avi’s body started to seize, signaling the natural conclusion. Instead of finishing his response, he captured Mitch’s mouth with his own once more, probably for the last time. And Mitch kissed him back, pouring absolutely everything that he had into it despite knowing that he should take his leave and never look back. He surged like a storm, armed with lust and longing, anger and guilt and outrage. If Avi had the audacity to crowd into his bubble and initiate this but claim none of the burden, the mess, the wreckage, then Mitch would see to it that he’d remain a wraith which haunted him. Keep him up late at night. Never allow him a moment’s peace, never allow him to forget this.
Cock twitching in Mitch’s grasp, Avi sharply inhaled and broke away. He came on Mitch’s stomach, leaving wet stripes on heated skin, his breathing labored like a dying animal while Mitch stroked him through orgasm to its entirety. A part of Mitch considered stopping there and not finishing himself, no longer interested in providing any further satisfaction, but whatever dignity he maintained took flight long ago. He released Avi, because he at least possessed enough manners to keep from jizzing on someone else’s clothing, and spilled into his own fist without any fanfare.
Fatigue swept in almost immediately, dense as fog on the shoreline and robbing Mitch of any reprieve. His bones were much too heavy in that moment, and he did not relish in the bliss of the afterglow; instead, he focused on things such as how sticky his stomach was and how he’d survive this without having a nervous breakdown.
Avi slowly untangled himself, silent as the grave as he went about it, and sat back on his haunches. Resting his back against the other partition, he squeezed his eyes shut, and those hands that reverently caressed and groped not so long ago now covered his face.
That hurt more than Mitch anticipated, and his eyes stung at being confronted by the sight.
Silently, Mitch took the opportunity to smooth out the dress and debated cleaning up, but decided that being rancid was what he deserved. Somehow he found the strength and coordination to stand, and as he dusted himself off, he caught Avi staring at him through the spaces between his fingers.
“Are we good?” Avi asked after swallowing thickly, his hangdog expression making Mitch want to chew on the end of a rifle’s barrel. What “we”? There was no “we”, Avi had that with someone else on the other coast. In that bathroom at that moment were two men who made a cruel and selfish decision. That’s all it’d ever be.
“Why wouldn’t we be?” Mitch lied, throwing in a cheerful smile for the full effect. For a fleeting moment, he actually believed himself. But Avi, who appeared utterly unconvinced but this, made him falter. The agonizing need to sort this out had its claws in him, and he prepared himself to surrender and make himself smaller than he already was, in the name of compromise and friendship and all of that bullshit.
But instead of following up, he opened the door and bolted away. Abandoning Avi on that dirty floor, so that he could go be alone with his dirty body.