Empty swimming pools [BxB]

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The fog is clouding his brain and refuses to clear as the sound of whispers rouse him from his slumber. He attempts to move but his heavy body will not cooperate. It’s as if he is superglued to the warm soft surface he is lying on. He slowly opens his eyes - he is home, he recognises his plush velvet dark green sofa and he can see his guitar in the corner. His eyes shut again affronted by the blinding light.

- I bought some fruit, don’t know what he likes, so I got a bit of everything. - the deep voice is familiar, he is here. Why is he here? What day is it?

- He loves tangerines. Oh, you got them! Perfect. - Jorja retorts in her usual manner.

- Yeah, I guessed he did, he has a tattoo of something that looks like a tangerine, or a mandarin or some type of an orange.

He speaks quietly but Lennon hears it clearly as much as he heard him those days in the hospital when William would take his hand and whisper sweet words. He loves the sound of his voice in his home. He loves the fact that his mandarin orange tattoo is on his hip so it makes William one of the rare people it was visible to.

- I never knew, is tangerine the same as orange, and what is clementine? Isn’t it all the same thing? - Jorja asks and there is rustiling of shopping bags.

- Tangerine and clementines are types of mandarin and mandarin is a type of orange. - Lennon croaks from the sofa in the living room, blinking his eyes open again and wincing as bright light stabs his retinas.

- Lennon. - he can hear him approaching. His warm hand lands on top of Lennon’s, and he forces his eyelids to open again.

- There you are. - troubled eyes lock on Lennon’s, and there’s so much emotion written on his handsome face as he pins Lennon with his intense stare. - Finally I get to see you awake. Last few times I was in the hospital you were asleep.

- What are you doing here? - he cringes at the hoarse sound of his voice. He remembers that they brought him home yesterday and put him to bed but today he wanted to get out and Nate and Sam helped him come to the living room, where they put lots of pillows and blankets on the sofa, made him comfortable and then watched Netflix. That’s the last he remembers, he probably passed out at some point. Those meds are making him so tired.

- I came to see you. I bought you tangerines. - this is ridiculous, he thinks, it’s not normal for him to just bring tangerines, why does he sound like this is all normal.

- Ok babe I’m leaving now, Nate and Sam went to the meeting with Rick and I have to go see my parents, they’re in town. - Jorja is putting her shoes on and then comes to kiss Lennon on the cheek.

- What? You said they’ll be in town next week?

- I did? - she looks suspiciously at William and then Lennon. - I’m sure I said this week.

- Jorja...

- You did hit your head a bit, you probably don’t remember. Anyway, William is here so you won’t be alone. - Lennon is just sitting there, clueless.

- Bye Jorja, talk to you later. - William says as she waves at them and leaves and since when are they this friendly?

- Hey. It’s ok. You don’t have to panic. - William says as he sees the expression on Lennon’s face. He is sitting on the other end of the sofa. - I didn’t want to come here uninvited. I’m sorry for that. I just wanted to see how you’re doing so I called Jorja and she said they discharged you from the hospital and that it’s fine to come here, so I did and... yeah.

- I’m not panicking. I just woke up. - why is his heart racing and his voice trembling?

- Right... Can I get you anything? Are you thirsty?

- I’m fine. - he twists his head around to face him. His hair looks freshly cut and styled, showcasing his stunning face. With his high cheekbones, those expressive blue eyes and perfectly shaped lips William is sitting in all his glory right there in his living room, offering a drink like they’re mates. He can get a drink himself in his own house. He moves to turn on his side, and a strangled groan slips from his mouth as pain batters his body from all angles. His dry, parched lips crave something cold and soothing and he attempts to sit up, hissing as a throbbing ache spreads across his upper body.

- Careful. - William appears in front of him and gently eases him forward while stuffing a couple of pillows behind him, propping him up more comfortably. - How bad does it hurt? - William asks, threading his fingers in Lennon’s unruly hair, moving it from his face and reaching for a bottle of water on the coffee table.

- Like a bitch. - he truthfully admits, opening his lips as William brings the water to his mouth. He is so gentle, he sits close to him and Lennon is reaching for the bottle with his healthy hand. William lets go of the bottle then, but his other hand is still brushing hair back off his brow. He wants to cry. From a few different kinds of pain.

- The medicine. It’s that one. - Lennon points at one of the small plastic bottles on the table. - Please.

- Of course. Here. - his head drops back as he swallows the pill and the air whooshes out of his mouth in relief. Soon it will kick in.

- So you’re my babysitter now? Great.

- Only if you continue acting like a baby. - a smile pulls up the corners of William’s mouth, his tone laced with amusement.

- I will act however I want in my house. - Lennon scoffs and William just grins. It’s been ages since he’s seen him smile like that, bright and wide, with his eyes.

- You’re a cute baby, I must admit. - he still smiles and looks at Lennon like he is the sun after months of rain. - Maybe I won’t mind you being a little brat. With that pout of yours ... - and then his gaze moves to Lennon’s mouth. And stays there forever. Lennon licks his dry, chapped lips because this is messing with his already messed up head.

- Are you seriously flirting with me right now?

- No. I’m... sorry. I didn’t mean to...I am just happy that you’re okay. That we’re talking, even though you’re being a dick to me I don’t mind, I will take it. Just as long as you’re healthy. Alive. - he offers Lennon a reassuring smile.

- I’m being a dick because I’m in an awful lot of pain.

- And that’s my fault. So it’s ok, I deserve it.

- How is it your fault?

- Can you tell me what happened? How did you get into the accident?

- Not sure, was crossing the road, car probably didn’t see me, I didn’t see the car. You know how it goes, few drinks. I don’t remember.

- Lennon. - William whispers. - Toxicology results said you were not under the influence. You were completely sober. Was it Nina’s fault?

- I don’t remember.

- You’re a terrible liar.

- Why does it matter?

- Fuck, Lennon. You could have died! - his breathing stutters and he puts his palm on his chest. - Because of me. It was all my fault. I let you go running away from the pool and then, and then... - Lennon’s heart thumps frantically behind his rib cage as he listens to William. - And then I looked for you everywhere at the party. But you weren’t there. - then he takes Lennon’s hand and holds it firmly in his warm grasp. - Only later I realized that Nina wasn’t there either, and I connected the dots, she did something, didn’t she? - Lennon’s biting the inside of his cheek to stop himself from crying.

- Shit. - Lennon whispers, tears pricking the back of his eyes as that part of the night returns to haunt him.

- I’ll never forgive myself that I brought that misery to you. That I let her hurt you like that. That I hurt you.

- William...- Lennon squeezes William’s hand now, there’s a storm of emotions crashing and tumbling inside him now, but he won’t break down now. - Hey. I’m ok. Look at me. Alive and bruised, which is my usual state anyway so nothing much changed, yeah? Someone else being a bad person can never be your fault.

Lennon should have known what was coming by the way William was looking at him. He puts his hand on the side of his face. His thumb smooths over Lennon’s bottom lip. And the world stops turning. Then he leans in and kisses him.

Lennon closes his eyes and for one lingering heartbeat he allows himself to just soak it all in. The faint smell of him and his crazy-soft lips. His kiss is unhurried and worshipful. William Hamilton-Smith and his fucking kisses. Why was this guy always kissing him like this?

Lennon pulls away and glances out of the window, tortured glimmer in his eyes.

- Let me take care of you.

- I don’t want your sympathy. You’re just feeling guilty, you just said it.

- No. It’s not like that. - William leans on the sofa, still so close to Lennon who is wrapped in the blanket. He’s so warm all of the sudden.

- Can I stay? - Lennon just looks at him after hearing the simple question. - I can get some food, make tea, we can watch a movie.

- I need to go to the bathroom. - he says eventually.

William just nods with a smile accepting that sentence as a yes. He helps him get up and walks with him slowly to the bathroom. Painkillers definitely kicked in because he feels like he can almost walk by himself but William still puts his left arm around his shoulders and guides him to the bathroom. He helps him take off his t-shirt and sweatpants and then William leaves him, leaving the door only slightly ajar. Lennon just looks at door after he leaves. Soon after he brushed his teeth and managed to clean himself with wet cloth, which is his version of showering now, he finds a few pieces of clean clothes on the bed. William comes in the bedroom carrying a tray full with two bottles of water, cups of tea, meds, and a bowl filled with chopped fruit.

- Thanks. - Lennon whispers as William sets it down on his bedside table. He is staring at Lennon’s exposed body, multicoloured bruising covering his thighs and ribs and a bandaged shoulder.

- I got you some clothes, hope you don’t mind me going through your wardrobe. Here, let me help you with the shirt, I found the one with the buttons, it’s easier. - Lennon wants to protest, he hates feeling this weak, but as soon as he reaches for it William takes it from him and starts dressing him.

- I’m... can I stay for tea? - William asks timidly, while Lennon gets into bed slowly. - You know what, you probably want to sleep, I’ll finish my tea in the kitchen and I can call Jorja to come tonight.

- Stay. - William just stares at him. -Watch this movie with me?

Bed is big enough but William takes his tea and sits on a small sofa next to the window that Lennon usually sits in when he is playing his guitar, in the middle of the night sometimes when insomnia makes him get out of bed.

The sound of quietness and paint brush on the canvas fill his mind. That composed face, predatory and so in control. He is here again. The window is slightly opened and the Shoreditch air is reaching his skin, his nipples perk, his skin has goosebumps. I’m cold. Can we close the window? He tells him. Window is closed, Lennon he hears him say or he thinks, he might have said I’ll make you warm in a second, beautiful. He won’t make him warm, he can’t, this room has always been so cold. He can never make him warm even when they are skin on skin, even when he is not naked and wearing clothes. So cold. He only wants to be warm and safe, why did she allow this? Why did you let him do this to me, mum? He’s body is shaking. Mum? I don’t want to be here... Can we go home, mum? -Lennon, hey, you’re burning up.

- No, no... please.

- Lennon, you’re dreaming, it’s me, William, can you hear me? - there’s movement and he feels his forehead being touched by someone. He tries to move, he doesn’t want him now, he is cold and tired and not in the mood. - Shhh... It’s ok. Can you open your eyes for me, baby?

- William? - he opens his eyes.

- Hey. Hi. - William smiles and brushes his hair with his fingers, leaning against the headboard of a bed. He looks around. His bed.

- You’re home, you are safe.

- I’m... - his mind is so slow, he can’t understand.

- Think you had a nightmare, you’ve been shaking and talking in your sleep. It happens when you have a fever.

- A fever?

- Mmm... you’ll be alright. Doctor said it can happen, it’s not too high. - Lennon can see the thermometer in William’s hands. - Take this, it’s ibuprofen. - he slowly and skilfully lifts his head off the pillow and puts a pill in his mouth, and then takes a glass of water from the bedside table, helping him drink. Lennon’s having troubles figuring out why William is doing all this still.

- William?

- Yes?

- W-why... I don’t understand...

- You fell asleep, soon after we started watching the second movie. It’s only 10 o’clock.

- You are still here?

- I couldn’t just leave you. In case you need anything. Come on, drink some more, you need fluids. - and he urges him to drink the whole glass. It feels nice. The cold water, the touches, someone caring. - I’ll make herbal tea and I can get the shower ready, if you want. Cold showers are good for fever, I used to hate them but my mum always made me take them when I had fever and they helped. - he smiles to himself at the memory it seems, and Lennon feels envy. William has fond memories of his mother, how’s that like? He shivers again as the fragments of his nightmares come crawling back.

- I... can we do it a little bit later? - Lennon manages to speak a full sentence. He leans into William, smells his T-shirt and closes his eyes. Surrendering to the feeling is so easy. - You smell good.

- Thanks.

- I probably stink. I’m sorry. - Lennon whispers and puts his head on William’s lap and William’s hands are instantly in his hair.

- You’re fine. - William’s laugh echoes in the dim room, and it’s the sound better then any guitar riff Lennon ever played in here before. Music fills his soul. William fills his heart. - I will help you shower later.

- Will you? You only want to see me naked. Oh, I get it now. You’re only nice so you can take advantage of me and see me naked. - Lennon is trying to joke because this situation reminds him so much of that other bed they were in, the one where they did joke unaware of all the troubles that were looming over them.

William laughs again, then collects Lennon’s hair in both of his hands and pulls it into a loose bun for him. It feels so comforting. His sweaty neck gets some cold air and it’s nice. He doesn’t remember anyone ever holding him like this before - not with this much tenderness.

- Might be true. Will you let me? - his voice is cheeky and filled with humor.

- Can you stay the night?

- More than a night, Lennon, I can stay as long as you need me.


William stays for three more days. He wakes up early, goes for a run, showers and gets ready in the spare bedroom, and then goes to work. He does all this quietly because he thinks Lennon’s still asleep but Lennon hears him almost every morning. He is back in the afternoon, around five sometimes six, brings dinner, and then they eat in the living room watching TV, reading, or William works on his laptop while Lennon writes or listens to music and then William helps him go to bed. And stays. And it’s never sexual, he doesn’t even kiss him again.

Lennon’s condition is improving. He has a physiotherapist coming every day to work with him on his shoulder, arm and back. He can walk by himself almost.

Sam is in the house almost as soon as William leaves for work because he’s always been an early riser, and then later after noon Nate or Jorja would come, their manager and the assistant come a couple of times to visit him and discuss planning the future of the band.

There’s a future, all of them agree, even though Lennon is not sure why don’t his band mates just kick him out of the band already, he caused enough drama. They make a public statement on Twitter and Lennon posts a picture on his Instagram thanking the fans for all support and assures them that he is getting better.

He still feels like shit, especially after the nightmares came back. He used to play music and tour. He used to drink and get high and fuck random people in order to avoid that part of his past. But now when he is stuck between four walls and being sober, they’re back.

And he clings to William at night. When he wakes at an ungodly hour, breathing heavily, heart racing, William is always there, grabbing Lennon’s clammy hands in his.

Feeling his breath on Lennon’s skin, he wishes his scent doesn’t calm him like it does. Quiet whispers and innocent touches are not terrible. The part where he leaves him wanting more, that part sucks hard.

He always knew that he didn’t fit in, that his family left him, in one way or another, that nobody wanted him. There’s evidence. It’s him, there’s something wrong about him, something that makes it impossible for people to love the real Lennon Lewis.

And in this moment William is right there in his kitchen, washing the plates after dinner, he brought home Chinese takeout. He is still wearing dress trousers that fit him so good, and his white shirt is wrinkled sitting in the office chair all day.

Why does he have to be so unbelievably handsome? Why does his body have to react to him in a way that warred his mind and sanity? He needs him out of here. Or in? He needs to get these feelings out, if he can just get the right words. But they don’t come, and the emotions claw at him, scrambling to get out.

The sight of William in his kitchen, William in his bed, William in his shower, William in his sofa - is like tugging at a thread inside him, unraveling one more ball of wants and needs and fears.

- Look at you. Now you’re playing the role of a housewife. When does it end? - William stiffness in his spot at the sink and doesn’t turn around. Lennon’s voice is bitter.

- I’m not playing anything, I told you. I will be here as long as you need me. - a low voice comes from William.

- Well I definitely don’t need a housewife, and I don’t need a babysitter, nor a therapist. I can hire them for myself.

- Lennon... you know it’s not about the washing your fucking dishes. - there’s a bite to his words and the water stops running from the tap.

- So stop fucking washing them then! - Lennon sees him throwing the dish cloth he used to wipe his hands. He slowly turns around and the lights cast his tense face in shadows as he closes the distance between them. His blue eyes have every muscle in Lennon’s body tightening as he comes to a stop a foot away.

- Oh, I see. You’re not upset about this housewife doing the job around the house. - he leans in, a muscle in his jaw ticking. Lennon breaths through his mouth, ignoring the scent of his cologne mixed with Lennon’s shower gel. Ignoring the way his white button-down shirt clings to his muscles. - You’re upset about me not doing the other job. - Lennon steps back on instinct but there’s a chair behind and he hits it, stumbling a bit. William grabs him by the waist in a second. Lennon’s eyes flash.

- That’s what you want? The wife to perform all the duties?

William’s voice is rasp. His gaze lands on Lennon’s mouth, and heat floods his body. He lifts one arm and strokes a finger down his cheek gently. Then he rubs his thumb against the bare skin over his clenched abs right above the waistband of his sweats.

- You want me to kiss you until you can’t breathe? - Lennon’s mouth opens on instinct, breath trembling out. William’s eyes darken more as he sees the confirmation in Lennon’s face.

- Or you want me to fuck you the way I’ve been thinking about every day?

He moves quickly and picks Lennon up then gently sits him on the dining table that is right behind him. Shock twines with desire in his gut at being manhandled like this. It’s messed up, but he wants it, whatever this is, so fucking much. William leans closer between Lennon’s thighs, his hair tickling his neck and his mouth a hot caress against the shell of his ear.

- Because I do want you, I want you safe, I want you fed, I want you healthy, I want you happy. And I want you satisfied. In. Every. Way. - for every word he says, his palm presses harder on Lennon’s aching dick. - I just didn’t want to hurt you, you are still recovering.

Lennon is drowning. The way William and he unconsciously switch into these roles again reminds him of the fact that it only ever happens with him. Only him. He will never submit like this to anyone else. Ever.

The wanting and craving and longing combine in a writhing mass of guilty need. His lips skim Lennon’s jaw, making him tilt his head up to give him even more access, his breath falling out in pants.

- I heard your song. - he murmurs against his skin and Lennon spreads his legs a little wider. - It finally came in the right hands a few days ago. I listen to it whenever I can, when I’m not here with you. I can’t stop listening to it. And the answer is yes. - The kisses he leaves on his neck are fire. Hard sharp and branding.

- I know I’m a year late. But I’m here now. And I will give you whatever you want. - then his hand moves and his fingers slip behind the elastic of his sweats and tight boxers and wraps them around his erection. Lennon’s fingers move to his chest for support, but then he can’t stop, he is tracing his pecks then starts moving down, reaching his abs. Lennon’s gaze drops to the obvious tent in his trousers. William is gently biting the curve of his shoulder.

- You want this? Want me to give this to you now? - he teases him with a long, hard stroke of his cock which makes his eyes shut and his teeth sink into his lower lip.

- Ye-yeah...

- I don’t want to hurt you.

- I didn’t injure my dick. It’s still fine. - William does it again, and this time when he draws his palm back up his hard length he pulls Lennon’s underwear down so his dick is out in the open.

- It’s more than fine. You’re so hard, Lennon... - Lennon’s eyes fly open and he sees William looking hungrily at his long, veiny dick. The calloused thumb rubs raw over a reddened tip. Another sure stroke. And he brushes his lips over Lennon’s.

- Kiss me?

It comes out so insecure, as a timid question, completely contradictory to everything else William has been saying during this kitchen affair. So Lennon slams his mouth against his in a brutal kiss sliding his dick through William fist at the same time. He loses control of his nerves, goes mad from the pleasure melting, destroying, resurrecting, blossoming in his body.

They both moan, tongues instantly tangling, making dirty, wet sounds. Lennon jerks on the table, he curses and pulls his head away, eyes finding William’s and then he comes all over his hand. William holds his gaze and dick until he is deliciously milked and emptied to the last drop. He grimaces in pleasurable agony, moans when the oversensitive flesh continues to receive mind-blowing pressure, chokes and tries to catch his breath while drowning with sparks in his vision. William pecks his nose then and says against his lips - Baby, did I hurt you? - Lennon blinks once, twice, before sighing against his mouth.

- No. I want to fuck.

- I really, really don’t think that your body will be ok with that now. But believe me all I want now is that tight sweet hole of yours around my cock. - William’s voice is like a caress over his exposed cock, that fire simmering inside of his blue eyes flares to life and catches alight with the lust kindling inside Lennon, consuming any ounce of resistance he had in its flames.

- I meant I want to fuck you. - Lennon manages to clarify, his chest rising and falling as he is trying to catch his breath. William grins against his cheek, then removes his hand from Lennon’s cock and smears the cum on Lennon’s mouth and chin with his two fingers.

- If that’s what you want... that’s what you’ll get. - William kisses Lennon’s wet lips and rubs his crotch on Lennon’s thigh as if the thought of Lennon fucking him turns him on even more. - I told you I’ll give you anything you need. - his teeth graze Lennon’s chin and he groans after he tastes him. - But not yet... - Lennon licks some of the spit and cum from the bottom lip and William’s eyes go wide - Fuck. Such a tease. I’m serious. We won’t do anything yet. It’s not safe.

- But... - Lennon watches William slowly tucking away Lennon’s spent dick back into his sweats and moving away, to wipe his hands with the kitchen towel.

- Stop tempting me.

- Well, stop being here in my house and wearing those sexy suits then. -Lennon says more to himself.

- I’m going to stop wearing them. - he comes back and helps Lennon down from the table. - I’m resigning from my job. - Lennon stops and stares, still a bit shook from his orgasm and words spoken.

- Why?

- Because. I’m done being someone I’m not. - Lennon’s stomach does one of those flipping things, and tries to stay calm. He’s heart is racing and he might pass out, everything is so much.

- Hey. - William’s arms are around him. - How’s your shoulder? Does it hurt anywhere?

- No. - he shakes his head.

- Your heart’s racing like crazy. - they are chest to chest, and he looks up at Lennon in awe. Lennon stares back.

- How beautiful.

- How beautiful what? -William is genuinely confused and at that moment all the fight escapes Lennon, leaving him limp and vulnerable.

- How beautiful is it that someone can make your heart beat so fast when you don’t want it to beat at all.

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