The party was comfortable and familiar. The alcohol was cheap, the lights dim and the music loud. Girls' skirts rode up their thighs as they danced and boys' eyes followed as they sipped on warm bottles of beer.
They danced mostly together, occasionally joining a group of friends as they paused to top up their drinks and catch their breath, and then they were back in the thrum of warm bodies, concentrating only on the freedom of their movement and the dizzying relief of vodka. The memory of deadlines and revision plans slipped from their foggy minds as they swayed back and forth with the beat.
It was well past midnight when she started to feel her legs tire and her head began to crave the softness of her pillow. She would have tugged at his arm to let him know she was leaving, or to persuade him too to call it a night and head home, but his eyes were closed and his face so absent of its usual worry that she decided to slip away without his attention. She acknowledged her other friends as she followed the string of doors that let her out into the cold morning air.
Her building was only a few minutes away but she already regretted having rushed out of her room without a coat.
As it always did in the quietness of an early morning walk, her mind began to drift, and so she didn't hear the footsteps coming up behind her. He put his hand on her shoulder, and she turned abruptly, startled, only to breathe relief when she saw it was him.
"You left me alone in there" he said, his voice questioning and loud in the relative silence.
"You looked so calm, I haven't seen you like that in months, I thought you needed to stay a little longer."
He matched her pace as she started walking again. "Still, you shouldn't have left alone, it's not safe-"
"It's barely a five minute walk."
"But if something had happened to you, I-"
"You don't need to protect me, -you're what, two years older? You don't need to babysit me, I'm not a child."
He would have worried that he'd upset her if she hadn't been half laughing as she spoke.
"You're not my brother, or my bodyguard," she punched in the door code to their building "or my-"
"I'm sorry, I get it, I'll trust you to kick and run like hell if anyone comes near you."
She fumbled for her key as they walked up the carpeted stairs, remembering the coat she had left in her room.
"Just at least carry an umbrella or something as a weapon, I don't trust the kind of guys that live around here."
"You mean your friends?" She asked distractedly, patting herself down for a pocket that wasn't there.
"Exactly, they're basically all shits, and you're small and-"
"Fuck." She stopped near the top step and looked up at him in despair. "I don't have my key."
"Oh. Fuck." He agreed.
"Should I ring maintenance?" She asked.
"At 2am? Either they won't pick up at all or they will and it will take them hours to turn up, it would be more constructive to just sleep on the floor."
She glared at him, patting herself for pockets again.
"I'm joking - look, just stay with me for the night and you can call them in the morning."
She looked cautiously approving, trying to think if there was any reason not to accept.
"You can have my bed?"
She nodded and they started to walk again, heading towards the next set of stairs and away from her floor.
"You're not giving up your bed though, it's my fault for locking myself out."
"It's already been decided, I wouldn't bother arguing. I'll sleep in the shower, it will save me time in the morning."
He turned his key in the lock and stepped aside to let her in. The door was kicked gently shut and the bright light from the corridor was blocked out, leaving them in dim surroundings. She flicked the switch at the wall but the bulb that came on barely lit the centre of the room.
"I've been meaning to ask for a better light" he apologised, hanging his coat up. She sat on the side of his bed and started to undo the straps of her shoes.
"I guess it's ironic that I was lecturing you about not looking after me and here you are looking after me again. I take it back, apparently I do need you to babysit me."
He could sense the dejection in her voice without seeing her face, and he stepped out of his own shoes quickly so he could turn to face her.
"I don't see you as a child." She nodded and stood up, turning towards the bathroom. "And I definitely don't see you as a sister I need to protect." Her steps slowed to a stop, still facing away from him.
"I worry about you because I want to; I want you to be safe, and I want to be a good-" his voice faltered on the word friend. The moment of silence that fell between them held questions that neither dared to ask aloud. His hand found hers and gently tugged. She turned, examining his face, her eyes scanning his before slipping down to his mouth and then quickly away in embarrassment.
The hand that held hers gave a light tug, asking her to step towards him. She did immediately, her eyes lifting back up to try to read his expression. Another tug and she was inches from him, eyes still fixed on his.
The kiss was gentle, his lips cautious against hers. When she did not pull away, his hands came up to her face, one to brush her hair behind her ear, the other to cup her cheek. She let her own hands trace up his sides and parted her lips as she used the fabric of his shirt to pull him closer to her. He welcomed the movement and moved the hand not grasped in her hair down to her lower back, holding her tight against him.
The intensity was building and she had to pause to gasp as his lips started to tug against hers. He gave her only seconds to breath, moving his lips from her mouth to her cheek, down to her collarbone and then back up past her earlobe to her lips. Her hands had slipped under his shirt and were tracing up his spine as he sucked her bottom lip into his mouth. She let out an involuntary sound that made him smile and wrap his arms around her waist before stepping her backwards until she was nearly against the wall. She tugged up at the hem of his shirt until she could pull it up over his head and toss it away, obstructing their kiss momentarily as she did so. As her hands explored the newly uncovered skin he moved forward so as to push her right into the wall. His lips moved more frantically over hers now, as if he was scared she might pull away and it would all end.
Her hands were showing no signs of slowing down, tracing from his shoulders to the top band of his jeans and then ghosting over the metallic button holding them closed. His own hands were running down her spine to below her skirt, and then back up to her thighs where they stayed, gripping the flesh and making small circles with his fingers.
She let her head tilt back as he again kissed down her neck, reciprocating by lifting one leg in between his and letting her knee brush up past his thigh. He groaned against her skin and she repeated the movement, accompanying it with a tug of his hair in her hand.
He pulled back to look her in the eyes, seeing his own lust mirrored in her features. Her lips were parted and her breath came in short gasps, her eyes wide, tracing his features back down to his lips.
"Fuck." He whispered under his breath, finding himself lost in her. She bit her lip and that undid him somehow, refuelling the urgency he had felt moments before.
He kissed her again and this time she drew his lip into her mouth, running her teeth across it. He growled, hands reaching under her skirt to grasp her legs as he lifted her up against the wall. Her thighs locked around him to steady herself, and the feeling of her hips pressed against his made his head spin and drop down to her shoulder. She let out a small laugh, which was quickly turned to a moan as he ground into her. Her lips found his again and they fought against one another as his hands played with the material he found beneath her skirt and she wriggled to lift her own shirt over her head.
Suddenly she pushed him away, just far enough to let her drop back down onto her feet. She ducked down and started tackling the button to his jeans, almost ripping it free so that she could undo the zip and push them down his legs. He kicked them off the rest of the way and tugged on her bra strap to bring her back up to his face. He attacked her lips again as her finger traced the outside of his boxer shorts, making him groan into her mouth. In one movement she had slipped her hand inside the waistband and was ghosting her fingers painfully slowly over him. His head dropped to lean heavily on her shoulder as she tortured him. She let out a laugh and ended her teasing. His breath was heavy against her skin as she felt him, and she watched his face, following its reaction to every touch. She let her thumb slide over the tip of him and suddenly he had pulled her arm away and was throwing her onto the bed.
"Enough" he growled as he slid down her body, making sure to memorise every detail of it. "I don't want this to end quickly" he started to tug her skirt down her legs.
"Neither do I" she whispered, watching him taking her in. He looked up at her and smiled, an odd moment of calm washing over them as their eyes met. And then he shifted so that he could kiss up her stomach and the urgency returned. He kissed from her collarbone to her lips, slipping his hand under her thigh so that he could lift it around his waist. She let out a moan that was chocked by the feeling of his fingers stroking over her underwear.
"Please, don't tease me" she gasped, head rolling back as his fingers moved again. He laughed and reattached his lips to hers as his hand slid beneath the cotton. The first finger elicited a gasp, and the second a moan. When he crooked them upwards she bucked up towards him and bit his neck to keep herself quiet.
He kept his fingers working, bringing her close only to still the movement and let her slip back away from the edge. He breathed in the smell of her neck as she gasped against his hair, waiting for her breath to slow before he let his hand move again.
Her back arched up off the bed as she felt him add a third finger, making him chuckle against her skin. Her hand reached down into his boxers, silencing him almost immediately.
"Do you have a-"
"Yes." He scrambled back from her and rummaged in drawers until he found what he needed, and then he was back over her, pulling her underwear down her legs and over her feet. She reciprocated, pushing the band of his boxer shorts as far down as she could until he was able to kick them off. The foil packet was ripped open and its contents rolled on with desperate and fumbling fingers.
And then they were lying face to face, eyes locked. She smiled, and the look of need in her face and the lack of reservation made him smile back, leaning down to kiss her again as he lifted her hips so that they were held tight against him.
They both gasped as he pressed forward, him at her tightness and her at his size. He moved and she made a sound that he silenced with another kiss. His speed increased with each press of his hips against hers, their breath coming heavily and catching in their throats as the feeling of it overtook them. She lifted her thighs up to pull him in closer and the change of position made him groan in pleasure.
Their movements unified as though they each knew exactly what the other needed. His head was buried in her shoulder, biting and kissing her skin intermittently. He could barely think as their rhythm sped up and she gasped against his cheek, one hand clutching the bed sheets to steady herself and the other gripped in his hair.
He snaked one hand down between them and held his thumb where he knew it would make her squirm. She duly did, curving under him and making noises that drew him even closer to the edge.
Minutes passed in bliss, their bodies moving perfectly against each other, and then he felt her body curve up to him and her breathing quicken. He leaned down to bite her earlobe and she pulled his mouth to hers, kissing him almost frantically. He felt himself inches away from the end, trying desperately to hold on for her, and then her head arched back and she whispered his name and within seconds he was there, drowning in beautiful agony with her.
They stayed as they were, wrapped together, breathing heavily with their hearts pounding. Once he felt he had regained control, he lifted his head up to look at her. He was terrified of the regret he might see there, but she looked exactly as he felt - happy, satisfied and exhausted.
They stayed looking into each others eyes for a few moments, drinking each other in. She let her hand reach up to his cheek, stroking it with her thumb before leaning up to kiss him. This kiss was not frantic or charged, it was comfortable, and held in it the words that she couldn't say out loud. He brushed her hair away from her face and kissed her back, drowning in the smell of her.
After some time he rolled to the side of her, getting off the bed and going to the bathroom sink to clean himself up. When he came back into the dim light of the room she was sitting in his bed, with the duvet pulled up around her.
She smiled up at him, and he smiled back. As he walked back to her, he pulled on his boxer shorts and picked up his t shirt.
"Are you cold?" She nodded, and he handed her his shirt. As she lifted it over herself he crawled into bed, wrapping himself around her until they were nose to nose. Words wouldn't come to him, so he kissed her instead, slowly and lovingly. She cuddled up to him and sighed against his lips. They lay there as close to each other as they could fit, both smiling, and both more comfortable than they had been with anyone. Sleep came easily, and dreams evaded them. The morning was a distant concern that held either the beginning or the end, but as they lay intertwined, neither of them cared.