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                                                      "I didn't kill anyone today, though!" He informed Nereus rather proudly. Because he'd be lying i fhe said there weren't points where Olc was nearly yelling at it that he'd considered it, not out of anger, but out of unadultered hatred. He'd manage not to, though, and that was something. Even if he'd only managed not to because he knew that Nereus would pay the price.

                                                      Still at the idea of what Snow's ridiculous threats might have been he couldn't help but smile as he tried to think about it, looking over at Nereus, watching him as he mived about the kitchen and sipping on his beer, which was disappearing more quickly than he'd intended. "What, did he threaten to feed him to his basement pool of starving sharks? Use him as a virgin sacrifice in an active volcano?" There were obviously bits Nereus wasn't telling him; it wasn't like Nereus had a weak constitution either, but he wouldn't press if it was that bad. And if he needed to know, he trusted that Nereus would tell him.

                                                      After a minute, he hopped up on the counter as ne waited, kicking his feet just slightly, absently. "That... i can't even imagine that smell. What do you think it is? Do you think he bathes in the blood of virgins to keep his 'youthful' apperance? If so, it's not working." That much he could understand more ruining an appetite, though he really and truly couldn't even begin to put the two smells together in his mind. Maybe because he hadn't spent enough time around roses? Whatever it was, he couldn't imagine it, and it was more than enough to make him shudder.

                                                      He didn't have long to think abojt it though before he was being handed a plate of food. The dight made him smile broadly, and as he took it, he bent in to kiss Nereus gently on the lips, indulging in the closeness and offering it up as furtherance to the: "thanks" that followed it.

                                                      "Look. You're cooking for me. I appreciate it, even if it's dog food. Though please don't ever feed me dog food." He informed him, taking the plate and the beer back out into the living room, sitting down o. The sofa before taking another swig of the beer (because in his mind, there was something of a competition going on and he couldn't let Nereus out-drink him) before bothering with the food. When he did take abite though, he dmiled. No; it wasn't as good as he was used to, but it still wasn't bad at all. "Maybe a bit overcooked, but it's good." He admitted, taking another large swig of his beer to down it with.

                                                      Perhaps they should have just brought the case in here with them.

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                                                      A content, happy smile slid into place when Nereus felt Alex lean in and place a gentle kiss on his lips. The smile then turned into a laugh though at Alex’s his comment, hazel eyes watching Alex intently as he turned and disappeared into the living room. “I’ll try to avoid the temptation.” He called in reply, shaking his head as he turned towards the sink and set about washing the few dishes that he’d placed there. Nereus could hear Alex from the other room, and he smiled slightly as he turned the water on and began to scrub at one of the pots. “Right… I forgot, bloody and raw for the Spartan. Mental note made.” He called, laughing quietly to himself as he rinsed the pot and set it out to dry. It took him only a few more minutes to finish the dishes, as well as his second beer, before he grabbed a few more from the fridge and made his way out into the living room.

                                                      When he rounded the couch, Nereus held one of the beers out for Alex, waiting for the other boy to take it before he finally settled in and twisted the cap off the top of his own, taking a sip from it before he laughed. “As for Snow… pretty much. I think I even heard him mention tying Glaucus to train tracks and waiting to let a train take care of it…” He murmured, shaking his head before he let it fall to the back of the couch.

                                                      It’d been so long since the teenager had really any form of alcohol that he could feel it’s effects already settling in. His heart was beginning to beat a bit faster and the temperature in the room seemed to rise a bit. Every muscle in his body seemed to relax and, at the moment, he was honestly grateful for it. “I have no idea why he smelled that way… But if that really is the case, you’re right. It’s not working in the least. He looks even older in person…” Nereus murmured, wrinkling his nose for a moment before he let out a laugh and brought the bottle to his lips, knocking back another drink, a third of the bottle overall. After a moment Nereus reached out, snatching one of the cooked vegetables from Alex’s plate and popping it in his mouth, rolling it around on his tongue for a moment before he finally chewed it and swallowed.

                                                      “You know… I’m a pretty decent cook.” He murmured, nodding slightly… And that was the first outward sign that the alcohol was affecting him. In general Nereus rarely talked about himself… He found there to be no need in it. “My mother taught me well, if I do say so myself.”

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                                                      Alex would have been lying if he didn't admit that he'd actually spent the morning of their reaping a little hung-over; the drinking wasn't as uncommon for him as it was for Nereus, so after two drinks, while he might've been a touch looser than normal, he really wasn't yet feeling the effects of his drink. Nereus seemed to have the cure for that, though, when he walked in the room with another beer for him, and Alex set his empty bottle carefully on the coffee table in front of himself before cracking open the nest one and going at it as enthusiastically as he had the first and second. As he sipped though, he looked up at Nereus, watching every expression that passed across his face. Captivated by all of it.

                                                      "That's it." He informed him with a shake of his head. "We can talk about how disgusting you find it that I might actually prefer my meat still mooing -" he wouldn't, because even thinking about that was enough to make one side of his nose wrinkle up in disgust, because cows, he'd come to understand, were filthy animals. Searing them was the only way to get the germs off. "Or we can talk about how ridiculous these Capitol clothes are, but we're not talkibg about President Snow or Olc or any of that. They make our days awful. Our evenings are just for us."

                                                      By the time he finished his food though, minus the bits he'd more than happily shared with Nereus, obviously not as bothered by the idea of the germs on his hands, he'd also finished his third beer and was onto his fourth. And the effects on him were becoming more obvious as well. "You're a great cook. I'm spoiled already." His words weren't yet slurred, but when he put down his plate, he was obviously content to leave it sitting on the coffee table while they enjoyed their night. And it was followed shortly after by his shirt, which he held up for a minute, making a bit of a face at it and asking: "Who on earth would think this looks good? These people must all be color- blind." And then it wound up in a small pile on the floor beside his feet as he turned to look at Nereus. For as responsible as he was when he was sober, Alex when actually drunk generally managed to be equally as irresponsible, claiming it was the only time he'd have any excuse to get away with it.

                                                      "So." There wasn't much about each other thwy didn't already know, but the cooking had surprised him, and he suddenly found himself absolutely eaten alive with curiosity. "Aside from cooking, what other hidden talents have you got, Posideon?"


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                                                      A low, quiet chuckle seemed to escape Nereus as he shook his head, his entire frame shifting on the couch then to make himself more comfortable. After a moment though he held his own beer up in the air and nodded. “I can certainly agree to that… After all, it only took me… what… four… five… six years? –to finally get you to myself? And now that I have you, I’d rather not waste that time talking about anything to do with Capitol.” He nodded once more as though to affirm his words before he brought the bottle back down to his lips and took another sip, damn near finishing off his third bottle.

                                                      The first real clue that Nereus got that let on to the fact that Alex was beginning to feel the affects of the alcohol was the fact that he’d bent forward and placed his plate on the living room table, clearly intent to leave it there. Normally he would have hopped up from the couch as soon as he was finished and made his way back into the kitchen to clean the plate and put it away. Now, though, he let it linger on the table, surprising Nereus further by removing his shirt and tossing it to the floor, leaving it there… All uncharacteristic behavior for the Distritc Two boy.

                                                      “Colorblind or exceptionally challenged when it comes to fashion…” Nereus murmured, smirking as he brought a hand up and lightly ran it through his own hair. He could feel the room getting progressively warmer, but he, unlike Alex, didn’t have an abhorance for clothes and didn’t quite feel the need to remove his shirt… yet.

                                                      “Poseidon, huh?” Nereus murmured, letting the word roll around on his tongue before he let out a laugh and shook his head. “God of the sea… I like that.” He added with an approving nod before he let out a quiet laugh. After that he finished off his third beer and pushed himself up from the couch, grabbing the empty bottles as well as Alex’s plate and taking them towards the kitchen. A decent amount of clattering could be heard as he tossed the used bottles in the traschcan before sliding the plate into the sink.

                                                      “As for talents… I don’t know that I have that many… well, hidden, anyways.” He murmured, shrugging his shoulders as he set about opening various cabinets in the kitchen. “You know pretty much everything.” He added with a quiet laugh. After a moment he seemed to find something that satisfied him and he turned, closing the cabinet before he made his way back into the living room. He plopped down on the couch beside Alex and smiled at the boy before offering him a fifth of whiskey.

                                                      “Outta beer… Gonna have to share this if you want anything else to drink.”

                                                      He fell quiet for a moment then as he clicked his tongue against the roof of his mouth, attempting to think of something before his eyes widened and he sat up a bit straighter. “Oh!” He murmured, turning to face Alex more directly. “I’ve got one… I can act.”

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                                                      Alex made imrovement: instead of aplogizing for the wait he'd pit Nereus through, he just shrugged at the suggestion. "I think we can safely say four years. We wouldn't have even known what to do when we were twelve." Not just physically, but he wouldn't have known what to do with a boyfriend at that age. Not emotionally, even. They hadn't been mature enough to really understand the concept of commitment. When he felt Nereus's weight shift, he had to resist the urge to pull the other boy against him, doing so only because he saw him going for the dishes.

                                                      "We can clean them before bed." He'd said, but the words had fallen on deaf ears as Nereus picked up the plate and the bottles. It was something Alex would surely be thankful for in the morning, but as it stood he couldn't help but shake his head a bit. "Would you stop?" But unlike his tone with Olc and Chrys, there wasn't animosity in the question, or even anger. "I already don't deserve you and how understanding and patient you are. And now I've got you cooking for me too, and..." They were insecurities. Alex was a big guy, a guy who'd had plenty of friends in the academy and who could manage to be one of the most charismatic people with the things he said, but there were plenty of insecurities in him, partly instilled by his father. Mostly, they were to do with the fact that because he'd always done what other people wanted, it made him at the very least boring, and at the most more of a robot than a person.

                                                      "Cleaning's at least one thing I can contribute to try and even the score. So let me help, okay? Stop doing everything."

                                                      Alright, maybe he wasn't drunk enough to shirk all responsibility, thougn he soubted if he ever would be again, his responsibility to Nereus had been hard won and he wasn't going to throw that away. When the other boy walked back in the room, though, he smiled up at him, having finished his last beer. "Poseidon it is, then. How about it? Can you turn the tides on your whim?" And even if the answer was no, he couldn't help but smile at the mental image of Nereus in a toga, extending his arms out to part the seas.

                                                      All of that was cleared away as Nereus sat down next to him again, and Alex felt his gaze running over the other boy's face. The instant he heard the suggestion though, he curled up his lip. "Gross. I don't want your germs." He joked, before realizing a moment later - just long enough for a slightly uncomfortable silence to arise as a result - exactly how believable that was for Alex. And so he reached out and caught Nereus's face between his hands, cradling it for just a moment before he leaned in and pressed a soft, slow kiss to the other boy's lips. And as he pulled away, he gave a light shake of his head. "I was kidding; I'm actually okay with your germs. Did you bring glasses, or are we taking shots straight from the bottle?"

                                                      And then he'd been caught off-guard at the hidden talent, and he raised an eyebrow as he looked at him. "Oh? Did you star in community theatre at home?" He asked, looking at Nereus with a smile.

                                                      "I row, during the summers. And I've a horse I ride. I won a jumping competiton this past summer." They were things that'd never really come up, but now seemed like the perfect time. To discuss all of those silly things from home that never really seemed to come up.



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                                                      A low, quiet laugh escaped Nereus at Alex’s Poseidon comment and he shook his head slowly.
                                                      “No, unfortunately I’m not quite that talented… But maybe one day.” He replied with a wink as he settled back into the couch. His hands was still outstretched with the whiskey clutched in it, and the smile seemed to falter for just a moment at Alex’s next comment. “Oh…” The word fell from him as he straightened up, moving to push himself from the couch and go back into the kitchen to get glasses. He honestly hadn’t even thought about Alex’s aversion to germs when normally he would have… Perhaps the alcohol was already getting to him far too much…

                                                      But before he could really get up off the couch he felt Alex grabbing him, cradling his face between those strong, sure hands of his. Hazel caught on blue for a short moment before Alex was leaning in and Nereus felt the pressure of soft lips against his own, causing his eyes to flutter shut for the duration of the kiss. When Alex finally pulled away, he left behind a smiling Nereus who was blinking his eyes open slowly and letting out a quiet laugh. “I figured… why get more dishes dirty?” He questioned, shrugging his shoulders. A moment later he was twisting the cap off the fifth and bringing it too his lips, allowing the burning, amber liquid to slid down his throat before he once more offered the bottle up to Alex.

                                                      “And no… I did not act in community theatre. But my mother told me I should…” He replied with a quiet laugh. He then shift, moving back into the couch so that he was more comfortable and cast his gaze over at Alex. “Rowing and horse riding? Well… You can tell that you come from a well-to-do District…” Nereus teased, laughing quietly as he reached up and ran a hand delicately through his hair. “But that’s actually really cool… I always wanted to learn how to ride a horse… But I guess I’ll have to settle for the animals of my own District.” A slow, boastful smile turned up the corner of his lips then as he settled his hands into his lap. “I can ride a dolphin. Bet you can’t say that…” He teased, sticking his tongue out in a very childlike manner before he sat up straighter and reached out, letting one hand come to rest lightly on Alex’s shoulder.

                                                      “And look… You deserve every bit of me, okay? So stop thinking that you don’t…” He murmured, furrowing his brows for a moment before he shook his head. “For the longest time I thought that if anything you were out of my league, so I’m the lucky one here. Alright?” He let a smile take over his lips then as his hand slid from Alex’s shoulder to his neck, resting lightly there as his thumb stroked the area between his jaw and his collarbone.
                                                      “But if it really makes you that uncomfortable, I’ll try and let you help out more with the cleaning… Honestly, it’s just automatic. It’s what I’m used to.”


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                                                      "Right. No need for glasses." Alex replied with a smile that was almost sort of silly as he took the fifth from Nereus and took a sip easily, not even fliching as the alcohol burned it's way down his throat, used enough to it that the kick didn't bother him. "Not like we'll get any more germs from each other this way than we will later." It was the first time he'd admitted aloud that he had every intention of treating their bed much as they had the night before. He felt like maybe he'd implied it through his actions enough that Nereus, who probably knew him almost as well as he knew himself, would understand, but there was enough history of Alex changing his mind that he wouldn't blame him for not trusting those implications.

                                                      The whiskey did burn its way through his chest even if he didn't let on than it had, and the alcohol was certainly stronger that the beer they'd been drinking up until that point and he could feel it's effects more potently than he had the beer as well. So he found himself smiling at Nereus broadly before shaking hims head. "No, no. I mean, I did grow up in a wealthy district, but probably no more wealthy than Four. It's just that... i don't know. Dad wanted to show off. That since he was a victor, and I'd either be a victor and wealthy for it or dead, I might as well act like a rich man should." There was a matter of factness to his tone and an accompanying shrug that made it clear that was the truth. They were pretentious sports and that was exactly why his father had encouraged them. And Alex just wasn't good at sitting still and relaxing. "When we go to my district, I'll take you riding if we have any free time. You can ride behind me so you don't fall off, and we'll scandalize my entire district."

                                                      That bit, that statement right there? Alex would stand by it when he was sober but it was almost entirely the Alcohol. Alex might not've hidden what was between him and Nereus now that what it was was undeniable, but he also might not've wanted to rub their face in it.

                                                      "But no. I've never ridden a dolphin. I've never even seen one. I"d as how you can hold on, but you are Poseidon; of course you can hold on." He replied with a smile, sliding his own hand around the other boy's shoulders and taking another generous sip of the whiskey before offering it back and raising an eyebrow at him. "How do you even find dolphins to ride? Do they just keep them pinned in four, so you can ride them from place to place?"

                                                      The last bit was reassuring, and filled him with an warm, fuzzy feeling inside that had him purring gently against Nereus's hand as he bent his head to kiss the other boy's palm, far, far more affectionate when drunk (not that he was particularly unaffectionate sober). "You thought.... Nereus, you know you're crazy, right? I don't think there's a person in the academy who was out of you're league. But maybe I'm baised. Anyway. I'll just drink until I see you logic in that."



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                                                      Nereus felt his eyebrow shoot skyward at Alex’s response to the lack of glasses, his expression amused if not slightly surprised. It was one thing for the boy to accept it all, and to even indulge, but to verbally admit it? Some part of Nereus knew it must’ve been the alcohol in his system, though for a man his size it wasn’t much (yet), but he still found some solace in it… Even going so far as to smile rather broadly as he settled into Alex’s embrace, letting out a quiet laugh before he accepted the whiskey back and brought it to his lips… The alcohol, as it always had, burned it’s way down his throat and into his chest… But unlike Alex, Nereus wasn’t one who could take it straight faced. The acerbic taste of the alcohol as it slid down his throat was enough to cause his face to scrunch a bit before it relaxed and let out a breath.

                                                      “How about if we’re even allowed time in our Districts, we settle for you teaching me how to ride a horse first?” Nereus questioned, taking another sip from the bottle before offering it back to Alex… He knew at this point he was drunk, because the room was beginning to get fuzzy and his entire body was overheating… so much so that he shift forward and removed is own shirt, tossing it on the floor beside Alex’s before he settled back into the other boy, willingly curling up into his side. “That might be a little gay… even for me.” He added with a quiet laugh. “As for the dolphin thing… You grab onto their fins, duh.” He shift then, making sure that Alex had a hold of the whiskey bottle before he wrapped his arms around the other boy’s neck and let out a quiet laugh. “Just like that. Not too difficult.” Before he could catch himself, Nereus felt his entire body weight shifting as he lost his balance and fell backwards onto the couch, his arms still locked around Alex’s neck and accidentally dragging the taller boy with him, though, granted, it wasn’t a far fall.

                                                      “Oops…” He murmured with a quiet laugh as he relinquished his grip and let Alex go. “My bad…” He added quietly before he reached up and ran a hand over his face. A moment later though he was nearly in a fit of laughter as he shook his head back and forth, fixing his gaze on Alex for a long moment as he composed himself, forcing himself to be serious… Because that always seemed to happen. He always seemed to get ridiculously giggly or happy whenever he was drunk… Not exactly a star quality in a volunteer tribute.

                                                      “And that’s not true. You see… there was this one guy… Who I always had my eye on… But he just never seemed willing to give me the time of day.” He finally managed, only keeping the straight face for a second or two before a smile was forcing the corner of his mouth upward.

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                                                      The surprised look only earned Nereus a smile from Alex. It was a far softer smile than the earlier one, one that was reassuring and far more gentle than most people thought Alex capable of being. And it was partially the alcohol talking, the alcohol that he took another large swig of when the bottle was offered back to him, but that wasn't all there was to it. A part of it was Alex's effort to reassure Nereus.

                                                      At the comment about him teaching Nereus how to ride, he found himself nodding, his mind already running over it. "Sure. My horse is well trained, and old enough to be docile. You can learn to ride on -- wait, seriously?" His eyebrows shot up at that and he couldn't help the incredulous look on his face as he watched Nereus. He was almost too close to see accurately, something that wasn't helped by the fact that he then took another large sip of the alcohol that twisted it's way down to his stomach. "As neat as the idea is, I'm pretty sure that there's nothing gayer than riding a dolphin. You realize that right? That that's amazing, but also pretty much the gayest thing ever?" it certainly wasn't a criticsm of Nereus for riding them or even for the gayness of it. Just a statement of fact.

                                                      The next thing he knew, he was being pulled down on to the sofa and on top of Nereus, their bodies pressing against each other and their noses bumping against each other as he watched Nereus laughing, his own eyes dancing with amusement as he watched him. This was a part of what'd made him like Nereus. Not his drunkenness, but his ability to laugh at almost anything, to never get too bogged down. He was starting to feel the effects of tne alcohol, but that hardly mattered, be=ause he was absolutely certain that Nereus's laugh was far more intoxicating. "uh-huh. I'm sure you're sorry. You didn't mean for that to happen at all..." He teased, laughing along with the other boy for a moment.

                                                      The next comment had him sobering up though, and he shook his head. "You shouldn't be so quick to judge him. Maybe he was just intimidated. After all, you deserve the best, and that's quite abit for one person to live up to."


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                                                      “The best?” Nereus questioned in his response, the smile fading as he looked up to the other boy, searching those light eyes that had become so terribly familiar over the past few years. His friend, his confidant, the one person he’d been able to count on in the Academy when he couldn’t trust no one else. Despite everything that seemed to linger between them, the static and the tension, he’d always been able to trust the boy before him. Alex was strong, he knew what he wanted and how to get it. He was confident in almost everything he did, and he masked the things he wasn’t confident in well enough to play it off… unless you knew to look for that tell tale blush of his. Alex was the type of guy that most men, most tributes, aspired to be… Even Nereus had been envious at one point… “Alex… I don’t know if I deserved the best… but even I did it would have been you. It’ll always be you.” He responded quietly, all laughing and joking seemingly forfeited for the moment. Because, as far as Nereus was concerned, he was speaking nothing but the truth. And that was clearly evident by the set of his jaw and the way his brows furrowed as he spoke.

                                                      A moment later though he was relaxing and shaking his head, rolling his eyes slightly before he reached out and snatched the whiskey from Alex, bringing the mouth of the bottle to his lips and taking back another sip. “And riding dolphins is not gay. It’s majestic. Get your facts right.” He retorted once he’d swallowed the burning liquid and forced it down into his stomach… It was one thing to drink, but to get drunk was another thing entirely… and Nereus knew he’d blown way past that point about two drinks of whiskey ago. At this point he was only fueling the alcohol based fire… which was never a good idea. But it was to the point where he simply didn’t care… Because for the first time since that afternoon he’d managed to forget about Snow and his roses and the scent of blood that seemed to follow the man everywhere.

                                                      “I’ll just have to teach you how to ride a dolphin someday so you’ll understand how not gay it is.” He added with an affirmative nod of his head before he swallowed another shot of whiskey. Once the liquid was sliding down his throat he reached out from beneath Alex and set the fifth on the table before them… though he didn’t manage to get it full on so when he pulled his hand away the fifth fell to the floor, spilling a bit of the amber liquid out onto the carpet.

                                                      “s**t…” The word hissed by his lips as he wormed his way out from beneath Alex and picked the bottle up, placing it fully on the table. For a moment he sat there and stared at the stain before he let out a low laugh, one that built into a louder one before he shook his head back and forth. “I think… I think that’s a party foul. Right? Oops…”


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                                                      i loved you firstxx


                                                      When Nereus's eyes met his own like that, searching and seeming to reach right inside him, straight into the deepest part of him, seeing all the little bits that were generally kept private, but that Nereus had been allowed into years ago, Alex caught himself holding his breath and nodding in response to the fact that Nereus deserved the best. "The best." he replied, reaching his hand up and running his fingertips lightly over Nereus's face. Taking him in and using the new found closeness as an excuse to look at the other man more closely than he'd ever dared. Before. Actually taking a moment to admire the rougher skin along his jawline, where had the Capitol not spent so much time fixing them both up he would've probably had stuble at this point instead of smooth skin. The eyebrows that always were so expressive and that seemed to drw attention to those eys of his, eyes that were easily the most beautiful thing Alex'd ever seen. "good. Because i'm ready for that now. And I don't think I could give you up anyway. You know how jealous I can get."

                                                      Alex, though, was not the sort of man who worried about whether or not something made him look gay. He wanted to be with Nereus, and if that meant he wanted to do sweet stuff to spoil the other boy then he would. Things like that didn't occur to him, and while he teased Nereus for it, he csmiled and shrugged at the idea that Nereus would teach him how to ride dolphins, because while it was very stereotypically gay, he could think of few things that actually sounded more fun than splashing around with Nereus in the water. "magestic, huh?" he asked though, raising one of his eyebrows as he looked down at him, a smile curling it's way across his face. "You do know that Queens are majestic, too, right? That's what's with the whole 'majesty" thing..." There was nothing serious in his teasing though, and he just shrugged his shoulders a little bit and nodded his head gently, leaning down to bump his nose against Nereus's nose affectionately. "Fortunately, I don't care if it makes me look gay. I'd love to learn. It sounds fun. But... I've heard heard all kinds of horror stories. The Dolphins aren't going to rape me are they?"

                                                      All of the joking ended a little bit when the whiskey spilled though, and Alex pulled himself from Nereus. Not that there was really any irritation there, but they did need to clean that up. "oh no. You pick that bottle back up. Do you not know the party foul rules?? You've got to take another drink for every time you spill." With that, he took another sip before passing the bottle back to Nereus and walking into the kitchen, reappaering with a dish towel to dry up the alcohol., putting it down on the floor and stepping on it to start it soaking up the whiskey.

                                                      "Oh, also," He wasn't entirely sure what'd brought it up, aside from the fact that he was stepping up and down on the towel and somehow that made the connection in his mind, as if the two acts were at all similar, "I like going dancing. Not that I think we'll have much time for it."[/b£


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                                                      “I have to take another drink?” Nereus questioned, his fingers wrapping around the neck of the bottle. He turned, then, twisting his entire torso and resting his chin on the back of the couch so that he could watch Alex as he walked into the kitchen. There was something about the way the other boy moved… So sure and confident, quick and reflexive… The way his muscles contracted and relaxed beneath his skin… Everything about it seemed to draw Nereus in, his gaze only breaking when Alex disappeared from view for a moment.

                                                      “I don’t think whoever made those rules… really thought about it.” He protested as he righted himself, turning forward on the couch once more while he shook his head. He could hear it, the slight slur that came with a bit too much alcohol intake… But it wasn’t nearly bad enough to stop his drinking, not yet. He could feel that point rapidly approaching though. “Because clearly if you’re already drunk enough that you’re spilling drinks… You don’t need anymore.” He added, nodding his head just as Alex came back into the room and tossed the towel over the stain that Nereus’d caused. For a moment he considered debating with the boy, telling Alex to let him do it, but he knew how that would end… So instead he sat quietly on the couch and flashed the other an appreciative smile.

                                                      “But… if those are the rules.” He finally managed, letting out a low laugh before the bottle was once more at his lips and he was choking back another shot of the rough liquid. Just as he was lowering the bottle from his lips, Alex was beginning to talk once more and he suddenly had all of Nereus’ attention, not that that was a difficult task for the tall, District Two male to accomplish.

                                                      “Dancing… huh?” Nereus murmured, seeming to mull over the proclamation before he took another sip of the whiskey. Once he was satisfied that he’d had enough, he pushed himself up from the couch, stumbling slightly before he caught himself. His own horrid balance had him laughing as he placed the bottle on the table once more, making sure it was fully on this time, before he slowly made his way over towards the entertainment center that had been provided as part of their apartment.

                                                      “What kind of music then?” He questioned, arching an eyebrow before he turned his hazel eyes to the sleek black machine that he’d only ever seen once or twice before… He’d never owned one, but a few of his friends in his District had and he’d played with it enough to know how to work it. “Club music?” He questioned as he toggled a few buttons, playing with it until a heavy bass beat was coating the apartment, causing nearly everything to bounce. “DJ?” He asked next, touching a few more until it turned into a clash of popular songs that seemed mixed together and synthesized. “Or… Are you a slow music kind of guy?” He questioned, touching the machine once more until a slow song seemed to waft out over the apartment.


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                                                      you are my sweetest downfall
                                                      i loved you firstxx


                                                      If he was watching him for any sort of grace in his movements, Nereus was forgetting the rather generous gulps of whiskey that Alex himself had been downing, because as he started to move, he felt like maybe the world was shifting a little bit under him. Like navigating the sand in the arena. Apparently his drunken mind made stretches and leaps in relativity of subjects. Not just when it made the tennuous connection between stepping on a dish towel and dancing. "You have to take a drink. I didn't make the rules, I just enforce them."

                                                      After a few minutes, he reached down and picked up the towel. It was a dangerous movement; there was one very clear moment where he very nearly fell over and had to reach out and catch the edge of the table to keep from meeting the floor with his face. It was a good thing Nereus had the bottle in his hand at that point, because the table was obviously not made to support someone as big as Alex, and it nearly went over as well. He was drunk enough to find that amusing, however, and he couldn't help but laugh as he pushed himself back up to standing and carefully made his way to the laundry machine to throw the dish towel in there. "and we have to obey the rules, after all. Otherwise, there'll be chaos. And with chaos comes messes, and you know how I feel about messes. So stop putting it off."

                                                      Once Nereus had taken his last sip, though, Alex found himself laughing a little bit at the other boy's face. Even if it weren't for his own father's insistance that using any sort of mixers made Alex less of a man, and so he'd learned to take his whiskey like a man probably younger than he should have been drinking. But it was funny to see Nereus struggling a little with it; it made him seem almost more innocent.

                                                      When Nereus walked over to the stereo, Alex followed him over, and waited for him to decide on a style of music before he reached out and slid his arms around Nereus's waist, pulling him into his arms as he let the music wash over him, his eyes closing for a minute as it flowed through him. "Anything. I love the feeling of just losing yourself in the music. Lrtting it carry you away." He said with a bit of a smile as he did just that and leaning in to lead Nereus into the motion as well, his rower's rhythm staying with him even though he was drunk as he moved against the other boy.


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                                                      A quiet laugh escaped the smaller boy when he felt Alex’s arms find a home around his waist… The laugh lasted only for a minute though before it petered out and Nereus seemed to settle into Alex, letting out a quiet breath as the other boy spoke. “Losing yourself, huh?” He questioned, his voice seeming to drop to a tone just above a whisper as he allowed his head to find a home on Alex’s shoulder. Effortlessly he slipped into the role of the follow, not caring at all as Alex shift about, keeping a rhythm that surprised Nereus given the fact that they’d both consumed copious amounts of alcohol.

                                                      Despite their drunkenness, and how boisterous they’d been just minutes before, a comfortable silence seemed to settle over them as the song played out and Alex lead them in slow movements. Nereus could feel the warmth of Alex’s skin against his, and he could feel the other boy’s heart beating along with his own, a sensation that sent comforting chills throughout his body. This was what he’d waited for… the comfort, the ease, the sense of knowing that this… this was simply right. And he’d wait all over again, of that he had no doubt.

                                                      Eventually, though, the song petered to an end and Nereus shift, pulling away just slightly. Not enough to create any real space, but enough that he could tilt his head back and look up to meet the taller boy’s eyes. “You’re good at that…” He managed quietly, smiling. After a moment his arms slid up and into place around Alex’s neck, linking there in a comfortable way as he pressed a bit closer to the other boy. “Don’t tell me you took dancing classes too…” He added, letting his fingers lightly brush against Alex’s back as he began to sway slightly with the beat of the new song that had settled onto the radio, wafting out gently over the room.

                                                      “You’d just completely prove me right then, you know.” His voice was growing softer as he searched those blue eyes that he’d come so completely familiar with. In his cheeks he could feel the flush of alcohol, burning beneath them and turning them a light red as he pushed himself up slightly, bringing his lips closer and closer to Alex’s until they were touching in a slow, gentle kiss. Their lips lingered as they swayed with the music, Nereus being careful not to disrupt the flow with his own clumsiness as he clung closer to Alex, indulging in the simplicity and longing that seemed to come out now… As though Nereus were finally showing just how long and how bad he’d wanted this… And it really was painstakingly clear in the tender way he handled the under boy, the way he lingered in the kiss and allowed every emotion somehow seep into it.


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                                                      you are my sweetest downfall
                                                      i loved you firstxx


                                                      Alex really didn't care what sort of music there was; that'd never mattered. What mattered was the way the beat pulsed through him more powerfully than his own heartbeat. The way he could feel it, not just hear it in his ears, but feel it way down in his soul, feel it coursing through him, the notes moving him. Alex had no artistic talent, but he was always amazed by it, and music was no different. The effect was only doubled by the feel of Nereus moving with him. The way Nereus's heartbeat became a secondary rhythm under that of the music, the way his head felt on Alex's shoulder as they moved.

                                                      That was another thing he liked about going out dancing. It was always even enough that Alex found himself for the duration of it forgetting to mind how much dance floors were swamps of germs. It was the way people came together. The way they managed to move in one, their own individual issues melting away until they were all nothing more than this. Nothing more than indulgence and movement and the way the music pounded through them.

                                                      To an extent, this was far more intimate than the night before. This was nothing but their hearts beating together, their bodies reacting to each other without anyone having to say a word. It was instinctive and made them feel far closer, far more in touch with each other than just about anything. As if their hearts were all that was left of them and the rest of them completely melted away, the sensations only influenced further by the alcohol in his system. So when Nereus pulled back/ the way he looked down at him could have only been described as adoring.

                                                      "No. I never took lessons. I just... i don't know. I feel it. As stupid as that sounds." The admission caused him to blush. There wasn't time to dwell on it, thlugh, because the next thing he knew, Nereus was kissing him in a way that made him forget about the music and the fact that they were in a Capitol apartment and that there was even a floor beneith his feet. There was nothing but Nereus and those lips against his own and those feelings that were washing over him. Pushing into him. Pressing from Nereus into Alex and making him tighten his grip on the other boy as he returned the kiss in kind. Everything that he'd kept bottled up, everything that he'd tried so hard to deny but that had always bubbled up anyway, all of the fear he'd felt coming out in a trembling of his lip. All of the desperation and the intensity in the way he pressed closer to the other boy and held him tighter.


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