Warnings: This contains slash, which means male/male romance. If you don't like it, please don't read this. This fic also has a few references to sex, but nothing too explicit so I decided to keep the rating to T.

Author's Note: This is my first completed original fiction! A lot of ideas have been swimming in my mind lately, but I haven't been able to write them because school is stupid. It helped, though, that we had one week of class suspension because of Tropical Storm Ketsana. I had more time to write and plan out other things. I just finished this a few minutes ago, and read it several times. Tell me what you think! My writing skills are still rusty, and my writing style is just plain stupid.

Thanks to one of my best friends, Ivan, who noticed a slight repetition at the beginning. He doesn't like slash, but he still read this because I asked him to. Thanks for the support and help!

Also, this is a ridiculously late birthday fic for FinalFallenFantasy. I put in a reference to your birthday here. :P Hope you'll enjoy this!


Above All Else

To Sukie, with love. Belated Happy Birthday.


It hasn't been a long while since he's last had a one night stand, Anthony thinks. No one has ever particularly captured his tastes, and while he's been attracted to some men and women, the attraction fades away once they've had sex.

He frequents the gay bar just a few blocks away from his downtown apartment, if only to humor himself. Sometimes he brings home a man from there. Everyone he brings home only wants him for his body, and it's not like he can't say the same for them. He wants a momentary distraction, and he finds it in the men (and occasionally women) who readily accept his offer of momentary pleasure.

He has never believed in love at first sight, because love has always been blind. The last real relationship he's had left a bad taste in his mouth, and he wishes he never fell for Vince the way he did. Love has robbed him of all his senses, and his numb heart silently waits for it to be thawed.

Anthony doesn't notice, though, the young man always waiting for him at the corner of the bar. This is Kian, and ever since he laid his eyes on Anthony, he hasn't looked at anyone else. Kian also frequents the bar just to see the man he longs for.

But perhaps this night will be different, because Kian has taken it upon himself to step out from the shadows and introduce himself to Anthony. The conversation is awkward at first; the situation is natural with complete strangers who have just introduced themselves to each other. The blaring music of the dance floor slowly drowns out their words, and Anthony soon finds himself absentmindedly grinding against Kian in their crazy lust-driven dance. A spark is ignited within him.

He is determined to bring the young man to his bed, but Kian declines. He wishes for something more than just an escapade, searches for something more long-term. His loss, Anthony thinks. But in all actuality, he figures that it's his own loss.

Anthony doesn't return to the place for a while, and Kian is disappointed. Maybe he was wrong in having his sights set on Anthony; the man clearly wants nothing more than one-time pleasure. He avoids the bar as well. He has no reason to return.

A few days later, Anthony enters the bar. Kian is nowhere to be found, so Anthony enjoys himself (except he didn't really enjoy it, and he doesn't know why) and the next morning he wakes up in a motel room beside a fairly handsome man with a killer hangover. He doesn't even bother to remember the man's name (but his brain constantly tells him that the man's name is Clark), and as soon as he's showered and dressed, he goes back home. Clark hasn't even woken up yet.

Anthony is disappointed to find out that Kian hasn't left his mind, and the spark within him hasn't subsided, and has grown bigger, enough to form flames. The idea of going back to the gay bar crosses his mind once more but he quickly throws it away to one side and instead opts to go to a strip club.

The next day he wakes up in his apartment with a buxom woman beside him, and as soon as she wakes up he throws her out of the house. It was all worthless, he decides. Sex with her wasn't even good. It's not until later that he realizes that he didn't even know her name. He doesn't care though, because he'll never even see her again. Thoughts of the strip club suddenly disgust him.

He works himself to death, if only to get away from the thoughts of Kian that constantly plague him. Work can only provide a few hours of distraction, but exhaustion easily takes him once he arrives home so he hardly has time to enjoy himself anymore. Anthony doesn't mind; he just wants to escape this fatal attraction he's suddenly having on Kian. Avoiding the gay bar for a few more days should do the trick, he figures. Kian won't probably be considering coming back there by the time Anthony's going back.

So after two weeks Anthony returns. He is surprised when he sees Kian near the open bar, lap-dancing a man Anthony presumes to be in his late thirties. He walks over, yanks Kian out of the man's lap, and promptly asks him what he was doing once they were out of the man's earshot (not that the man would hear them anyway, the music is too loud). Kian shrugs, and much to Anthony's surprise, it angers him.

The younger man's eyes flash with something akin to amusement when Anthony suddenly lashes out at him. Kian teases him, telling Anthony he's only angry because he's jealous. Anthony growls in frustration, and no one at the bar minds them (except for the man that Kian was lap-dancing a few moments prior). These things often happen here; it is a bar, after all. The night ends with Anthony walking out of the bar, stomping like a child throwing a tantrum. And Kian stands there, an amused smirk on his face. Perhaps he does have a chance with Anthony after all.

The next time they bump into each other is not at the bar but at the bookstore Kian works in. It has been three days since their little episode and the memory is still vivid in their minds. Anthony is turns the other way when he sees the younger man stacking books but Kian is quick. He grabs Anthony by the wrist much like the way he was grabbed three nights ago. He pulls the other man towards him and kisses him on the lips. Anthony is stronger one of them both so it is easy for him to pull away.

They are both dazed for a while. Anthony stays still in shock with a blush gracing his cheeks, and thoughts of "Why did I do that?" swim across Kian's mind. Regaining composure, Kian clears his throat and apologizes profusely. Anthony shakes his head, telling him it didn't matter. Awkward silence fills the air for a few moments, and before Anthony can leave the younger man asks him out on a date. He doesn't know why, but he agrees. Kian gives him his cellphone number, and quickly arranges a date, time, and venue.

August 12 arrives, and the café just a few streets away from the gay bar where the two met is now a witness to the awkward and shy date Anthony and Kian arranged. Kian comes ten minutes early only to find that Anthony has arrived before him. He is even more surprised to see that there is a bouquet of red and white roses sitting atop the table.

The date is simple. They talk and get to know each other, just like all first dates require. They don't expect to head to the same old gay bar later at the night though. They drink a bit, and Anthony's previous offer of sleeping together comes up once more. This time Kian agrees, albeit a bit reluctantly. (He is a virgin, he is ashamed to admit.) Anthony promises to be careful with him.

The sex that follows isn't quite like sex. As he thrusts in and out of Kian's entrance, Anthony wonders if he can consider this lovemaking. This is the most amazing he's ever felt in a while, and this is even better than the countless numbers of hot and passionate sex he's had with Vince. Every moan that escapes the younger man's throat sends him on the edge and his hoarse screams make Anthony even harder. Anthony is grateful for the soundproof walls of his apartment; he paid quite a sum for them.

They do it the whole night. They've even lost count of how many times they've done it in a period of seven hours. As they contentedly wait for sleep to take them, Anthony lays butterfly kisses across Kian's pale skin. And before sleep finally takes him, he sweetly—gently, tenderly—kisses Kian on his bruised lips.

When Anthony wakes up the next morning, he doesn't want to move. Kian is still asleep, his back turned towards him. Anthony gently wraps his arms around Kian's lean waist, nuzzles his head into the young man's elegant shoulder, and falls asleep once more.

A few hours later, they wake up together. And neither of them wants to let go. Then they realize, maybe this is love after all. And it is perfect, they decide. Kian is nothing like Vince, and Anthony is who Kian has always wanted.

It isn't easy though. Anthony's fear of commitment isn't easy to erase, and his heart is still partly covered in ice. But Kian perseveres. He doesn't want to be like Vince, who has never cared for Anthony. He worms his way to the older man's heart and industriously thaws the frozen waters, until the ice is nothing more but a deep pool of clear water.

Their lives aren't part of fairytale books, but they both like to believe they've found their happily ever after.

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