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You're So Vain - 10. Chapter 10

Ten

There was a palpable sense of déjà vu when Andy woke several hours later.

 

The apartment was quiet and peaceful again, though it was warm afternoon light slanting into his eyes rather than the insistent rays of morning sunshine.

 

Andy stretched his arms lazily over his head, looking around the room for signs of Dillon. The bed dipped slightly with a movement that didn't belong to Andy and he turned, unsurprised to see the blond sitting beside him again, a gentle smile hovering around the edges of his lips.

 

"I was wondering when you'd wake up."

 

Andy's voice was husky with sleep. "What time is it?"

 

"About 1."

 

That must have been right, Andy felt like he'd been sleeping for days. "We had a really big fight…didn't we? Or did I dream it?"

 

"It was hardly a fight," Dillon, always the confrontationist, denied. "You accused me of cheating, than you fucked me."

 

"Oh," well, that hadn't been a dream than.

 

"Sid called when you were sleeping," Dillon looked towards the tiny window, his hair shining gold in the sunlight. Andy reached up to touch it, feeling the silky strands slip through his fingers. Dillon made a soft sound and moved to lie against Andy's side, burying his face in the juncture of Andy's shoulder and his neck. "I didn't answer."

 

A warm burst of pleasure filled Andy's chest and as he lingered in the quiet bliss of the body at his side he couldn't help but remember Ben's words from the night before, telling him that he needed to be the 'man' and initiate 'normal couple things'. With a smile for his clueless friend, Andy suggested they do something. "Let's go out. We'll do something fun."

 

Dillon already sounded disagreeable though. "You mean like to Axis? Because I'm really not in the mood for dancing."

 

"No, I mean like…fuck, what do normal couples do?" Andy had never been in a relationship which required either party being wooed, so he was pretty stumped when it came to actual dates.

 

"I don't know. Are you going to buy me flowers?"

 

Andy made a face. "No. Let's just do something normal…are you hungry?"

 

"I ate when you were sleeping," Dillon said.

 

"No, you didn't," Andy snorted at the blond's obvious untruth. Dillon scoffed but didn't protest. "C'mon. Let's get lunch. We just need to get out of this apartment."

 

"Alright," Dillon kissed Andy's throat before rolling over him and standing up, his bare body an intriguing mixture of hard and soft, stark and sensual and carved out of flawless ivory. Dillon put his hands on his hips. "I'm taking a shower. Wanna join me?"

 

"Yes," Andy immediately pulled his sleepy body out of bed, enthusiastic to get the blond under the hot spray of water. He had fallen completely in love with the feel of the blond's skin wet and firm under his soap slicked hands.

 

It was just after 2:30 when they emerged from the apartment building. Dillon always fussed over getting ready, even if he wasn't going to a shoot. Usually, the blond's excessive preening irritated Andy, but today he found it more amusing than anything.

 

And of course, knowing that he was going to be the sole benefactor of all that primping and preening certainly helped.

 

"So, where are we going?" Dillon asked, his hand hitched to his hip again. Andy pulled the hand from Dillon's slim hip and enfolded it in his own.

 

"Ben took me to this place one time…its vegan."

 

Dillon pulled a disagreeable face. "I'm not hungry—"

 

"Trust me, you'll like this place," Andy promised the picky blond. Dillon drew himself up haughtily and strode off in the wrong direction. Andy pulled on his arm.

 

"What? I'm ready to go to your horrible restaurant. Let's go, we'll beat the crowd."

 

Andy pulled him around in the right direction. "This way, Pickle."

 

Dillon narrowed his eyes. "Don't call me that."

 

The two boys bickered as they walked. Dillon hated his nickname but Andy thought it was cute. "You’re my sweet Dill Pickle."

 

"Pickles are sour," Dillon informed him, supplying a fitting expression.

 

"That's why you're so special," Andy tugged on the smaller boy's hand until he was close enough to kiss. Dillon, though, still wasn't into public displays of affection and he fought and twisted in Andy's hold until he managed to get free. The sour look on Dillon's sweet face made Andy laugh.

 

One of the things Andy liked best about living in the city was the ability to walk anywhere he pleased. Having a car back in Red Oak had been nice, but he didn't regret selling it. There was nothing in Red Oak that could compare to New York anyway.

 

The walk to the restaurant was a little longer than Andy would usually consider going through to eat lunch, but it was doable, and Andy really had been meaning to take Dillon here.

 

Gobo Blossom wasn't as busy as it had been when Ben had brought him here last time. For Dillon's sake, Andy had asked around at work where the best vegan restaurants were located. When one of their co-workers had suggested the fancy little restaurant, Ben had volunteered to come with Andy, for moral support, though in a surprising twist, they'd both ended up liking it.

 

Andy and Dillon were able to slide right into one of the tables out front, protected from the busy traffic of the sidewalk by a little fence hung with baskets of green leafy plants and vibrant flowers. A young waitress dressed in professional black came by their table almost immediately, passing them a single menu before rushing off with her tray of drinks.

 

"What is this place?" Dillon bitched, giving the menu a cursory glance before flicking it across the table. "Gobo Blossom?" he sarcastically repeated the restaurant name printed in letters styled into mimic ivy leaves. "Sounds like shit."

 

Andy laughed good-naturedly. "I'll order for you. You'll like it."

 

Dillon looked like he very much doubted it, but he didn't make any attempt to stop the proceedings, allowing Andy to order him a lime fountain drink and a kale salad for them to start with. As they waited for their food to arrive, Dillon made faces of disdain at the other diners, making it quite clear to everyone within their general vicinity that he didn't care to be amongst them. To distract him, Andy began a boring rendition of the past week at work, which eventually prompted Dillon to detail the shoot he'd gone to the day before.

 

"It was fabulous," Dillon said. "The makeup artist painted these swirly lines all around my eyes and over my cheeks and the hairstylist…Well, he was stupid and wanted to cut my hair, but I told him to fuck off and he slicked it back instead. "Dillon pulled his hair back to imitate the look he was trying to describe "You should have seem me, I was supposed to look like a water god. I was so amazing."

 

Andy grinned because he could imagine the blond looking like a beautiful mythical being. He often looked like a powerful, strong, pouty sort of god anyway.

 

When the salad and their drinks came out, Andy ordered their main course. Andy's initiative clearly irritated the blond and he stabbed sullenly at the salad in the serving bowl, portioning himself up a small amount.

 

"I don't want to eat risotto," he grumbled under his breath as the waitress flitted back between the tables.

 

"You'll like it," Andy assured him, serving himself a helping of the salad as well.

 

"It's so fattening," Dillon complained, which didn't bother Andy any as this was a usual objection for him. Pouting, he picked at his food. "This isn't bad though, I guess."

 

Andy shrugged noncommittally. He thought the salad was pretty basic, as far as salads were concerned, but since Dillon had declared he was vegan, Andy had put more effort into eating veggies, hoping to entice the blond into eating more full stop.

 

"I don't believe that Ben took you here, though," said Dill through a mouthful of kale. "Remember when we went out with him and his girlfriend that one time? I got the Asian salad and he said I ate like a chick."

 

Andy sheepishly scratched the back of his neck. "He's something else," he vaguely agreed.

 

"He's straight," Dillon gravely replied. "I don't know how you can stand him for more than 5 seconds at a time. He must talk about tits nonstop."

 

"Oh yeah? Does that mean you and Lena talk about cock all day?"

 

Dillon casually licked a bit of the sweet, all natural dressing from the edge of his thumb. "Not really much to talk about. I already told her what you're like in bed."

 

Andy dropped his fork, the loud clatter drawing the attention of nearby diners. "You told her about me?"

 

Dillon tried to speak impassively, but he couldn't keep the amusement from his voice. "Sure. Lena was curious about why I'm so committed to you," he finished the salad on his plate and reached for more. Andy was too embarrassed to notice. "She said your average and kind of boring, but she started to get interested when I told her about your 10 inch dick."

 

"I'm not 10 inches!" Andy's face burned red hot.

 

Dillon, the little minx, actually had the audacity to laugh. "So what? It's not like she's going to find out."

 

"I don't want her to think that I'm—"

 

"What? Hung?" Dillon laughed again. "Afraid you'll disappoint her?"

 

"No," Andy pushed his plate away, still uncomfortably flushed. "I wouldn't sleep with her even if I was straight. She's ugly."

 

"You're just spoiled," Dillon said as he finished his own food. With a flourish, he stacked his plate on top of Andy's. "My magnificent beauty has ruined all other models for you."

 

With perfect timing, the waitress returned, taking the empty salad bowl and their plates, before presenting their main courses. Andy had spaghetti and wheat balls and for Dillon, the wild mushroom risotto.

 

Dillon picked at his food, fishing a piece of mushroom from the shallow depths of his bowl. He popped it into his mouth and chewed cautiously.

 

"Ben was hitting on Lena last night," Andy said in hopes of distracting the blond enough to get him to eat. It seemed to have worked well enough with the salad. "Do you remember?"

 

"Psst, no. I was so wasted."

 

"I know," the sore spots on his sides and around his shoulders bespoke of that knowledge.

 

"What was Ben doing at the club anyway? And I thought he was dating that chick," Dillon speared another mushroom. "What the hell was her name again?"

 

"Lindsey. And they broke up, a few days ago."

 

Dillon took a larger bite of the risotto, seemingly unconcerned by the prospect of his friend and Andy's hooking up. "Lena won't fuck him."

 

"I don't know. Ben can be pretty charming when he tries."

 

Dillon glanced up sharply, pinning Andy under his gaze. "I hope you don't know that from experience."

 

Andy had almost forgotten Dillon's own jealous streak. Dillon hadn't liked Andy having a male friend, not that he was pleased about him having a female one either, but he'd calmed down a bit after Andy had forced him to meet the older boy. Seeing Ben's undeniable straightness had helped.

 

"Course not," Andy said quickly and Dillon rolled his eyes, going back to his cautious eating.

 

"Lena has sophisticated tastes," Dillon continued with his condescending explanation. "I'm sure Ben is…charming, but I honestly don't think a 23 year old waiter is going to fill Lena's expectations in a sexual partner."

 

"I'm a waiter," Andy pointed out, feeling a little insulted.

 

"I didn't say my tastes were sophisticated," Dillon remained the older boy. "Lena's from Paris, and everything in Paris is gorgeous. I'm from Red Oak…" Dillon didn't even have to explain what that meant. "I'm like Lena's redneck equivalent."

 

"You're better than her," Andy said easily.

 

Andy's well-meant compliment was met with a look of complete indifference. "And you're not biased at all, right?"

 

With a cheeky smile, Andy thoroughly agreed.

 

The rest of lunch passed pleasantly. The two boys continued to tease one another affectionately and Andy was happy to see Dillon eat almost all of his food. Andy finished both his spaghetti and then the last of Dillon's risotto before Andy paid the bill and Dillon graciously left the waitress a tip and then they left Gobo Blossom behind.

 

After leaving the restaurant, they decided to walk around and do a bit of exploring. Andy loved how diverse the city was; he felt he could have lived here his entire life and still found something new to see each day. As they walked past a row of eccentric storefronts, Dillon's hand clenched in Andy's, capturing the older boy's attention.

 

"Hey?" Dillon called softly, glancing up shyly from under his pale lashes.

 

"Yeah?"

 

Dillon pointedly looked away from Andy's insistent gaze as he continued to speak, his eyes focusing straight ahead of him as if he were having a conversation with an invisible companion. "I've been thinking…"

 

"About?" Andy prompted when Dillon's strange pause stretched into an uncomfortable silence. Dillon wasn't normally this hesitant to speak his mind, something was up.

 

"About modeling…" Dillon hedged and Andy watched the younger boy, fearful as to where Dillon's 'thinking' was going to lead them. "Modeling's not really what I thought it was going to be," he slowly confessed.

 

Sensing that this wasn't really a conversation to be had while casually strolling down the street, Andy pulled the younger boy gently to the side so that they stood under the awning in front of a small bakery. Dillon docilely allowed Andy to lead him.

 

"What did you think it'd be like?" he asked carefully, curiously watching Dillon's suddenly closed off expression. Dillon continued to avoid his gaze however, and his absent stare wandered to the rack of brightly frosted cakes displayed in the bakery's window. Andy glanced at nearest one. It was at least two feet tall and the four levels alternated between neon pink and electric blue and the whole thing was scattered with icing butterflies and flowers. Andy absently wondered who would eat such a fucking monstrosity.

 

"I don't know," Dillon finally brought himself to admit and Andy returned his gaze to his boyfriend. The blond's expression was pained. "I thought it'd be easy once I got signed, not that I'm complaining it's too much work," he said quickly, his eyes still focused on the confectionaries in the window. "Sometimes it still feels like I'm auditioning, like I did when we first got here. Everyone's always looking at me, judging me, it's all a fucking waste of time."

 

Andy felt his mouth go dry. Dill hadn't complained once since being signed. He'd taken every job Sid threw his way with a huge beaming smile, and it hadn't mattered what time the shoot started, what he was to wear – or not wear – or who he was posing with or for, he hadn't cared. But now he felt it was a waste of time?

 

Dillon's eyes suddenly flew to Andy's face, scrutinizing his expression ruthlessly. "What would you say if I wanted to quit? What if I wanted to get a normal job like you?"

 

"You want to be a waiter?" Andy tried to imagine Dillon serving and putting up with bullshit customers all day long. He couldn't really picture it, though he could imagine Dillon dropping a tray on some unsuspecting customer.

 

Dillon seemed to know exactly what Andy was thinking and he waved his hand to dissipate his helpless urge to laugh. "I didn't have anything specific in mind. I was just thinking about getting a normal job where everyone doesn't think I suck."

 

"You don't suck," Andy immediately defended.

 

"Don't talk about shit you don't understand," Dillon snapped, his face flushing as he was disagreed with.

 

"I just don't think that you should quit when your dream's to—Dill?"

 

The blond turned from Andy's carefully constructed argument, anger curling his lip. Without another word he stalked off.

 

"Dill!"

 

Andy went after the blond, surprised when he actually started running and dodged around two women carrying several armloads of shopping bags. Dillon shoved his way between them, but Andy had to stop and wait for them to move out of his way. By the time he got a clear view of the blond, Dillon was reduced to a pale smear barreling around a corner.

 

"Fuck," Andy cursed under his breath, running to catch up.

 

Dillon had a head start, but Andy was in better shape than him, a byproduct of actually eating three square meals a day.

 

Andy caught up with the blond after two blocks. The younger boy was leaning against the post of a traffic light, panting and miserable. It looked like he'd been trying to cross the street, but cars were rushing past in the intersection.

 

Dillon turned as Andy approached, scowling over his shoulder. Andy cautiously moved within touching distance, treating the blond like he might a wild animal.

 

"Where are you going?" he asked simply, panting a bit himself.

 

"Nowhere," Dillon sourly responded.

 

Glancing around for a familiar building or street sigh, Andy gently took Dillon's arm, tugging him away from the curb. He could see a pizza shop he vaguely recognized across the opposite street and he led Dillon towards it.

 

"I want to quit," Dillon said again, his voice breaking in the middle of the sentence. "The other models hate me and Sid's always fucking touching me and everyone tells me that I don't know what I'm doing."

 

Andy growled at Dillon's comment against Sid. "Stay away from him," he warned before reluctantly revising himself. "At least, don't go anywhere with him by yourself."

 

Dillon snorted. "Thanks for the advice, genius."

 

Andy was sure he recognized the pizza shop now. Ben and a couple other friends from work had come here one weekend. Dillon had been out, modeling or partying, or something and Andy had needed the distraction of greasy pizza, beer and friends. He smiled grimly at the memory. At least he knew the way home from here.

 

"Don't quit," Andy said softly, his gaze fixed on the route home.

 

"Why not? Just having a pretty face isn't enough. I don't have anything else."

 

Andy cringed at the blond's assessment of himself. "I love you and you are beautiful," Andy resolutely ignored the other boy's immediate and scathing denial, talking over him because he knew what he was saying was so true. "You're so smart, Dill, and talented and passionate and diligent. But your still just 15, you know? You're still learning—"

 

"I've been learning for months!" Dillon exclaimed, impatiently yanking his arm out of Andy's grip. "Don't tell me that! I'm quitting and you can't fucking stop me!"

 

A few passersby turned to look at the raging blond who seemed to tower over Andy despite the older boy's superior height. Flushing as their business was so brazenly aired before half the street, Andy attempted to take Dillon's hand again, wanting to take him somewhere more private than the middle of the street, but Dillon violently jerked out of the way.

 

"NO!"

 

"Dill, please," Andy just wanted to go somewhere without so many staring eyes but he settled for soothing his livid boyfriend instead, because in the end Andy was convinced nobody mattered as much as Dillon did. "You were just saying how awesome yesterday's shoot was. This is your time to do whatever you want…and if you really want to be a waiter, than fine. I'll support that. But I think you should stick with what you're good at and love."

 

"I never said I wanted to be a fucking waiter!"

 

"Whatever, I'm just saying that I think you need to hang on a little longer. Just a few months ago you were unsigned. Now you have gigs 4 or 5 times a week. I have a feeling it's just a matter of time before you explode."

 

Dillon leveled one of his intense stares at Andy, the gray of his eyes hard steel. "Do you promise?"

 

Andy didn't know how he could promise something like that. If it was up to him, Dillon could have whatever he wanted, but Andy wasn't in charge. Sid was in charge, the photographers Sid sent Dillon to were in charge, the fashion industry was in charge, but Andy wasn't. He was just a tiny little blip on the radar of life. Nobody cared about what he thought or wanted and longed for, maybe except for Dillon but Dillon was almost as helpless as Andy was.

 

Still, Andy was so stupidly confident in the blond's talents that he found himself nodding and agreeing to the promise despite his fears of breaking it.

 

"Just don't stop and I promise, something good'll come."

 

The tension drained from Dillon's body and the strong front he'd erected crumbled until he was suddenly just an unhappy 15 year old, and not a gorgeous fashion model. Andy went to him, sliding his arm around Dillon's stooped shoulders.

 

"Are you alright?" he was relieved that the blond was letting them touch again but Dillon felt so scarce in Andy's arms. It was like he wasn't even there.

 

Dillon attempted to scoff at the concerned question. "Of course," he said unconvincingly.

 

"Do you want to do something else? Do you want to go shopping?" Andy knew all the intimate secrets on how to best please picky Dill. "I'll buy you something."

 

Dillon shook his head, leaning heavily into Andy's side. "I want to go home."

 

The defeat in the blond's voice sent a spike of worry through Andy's heart. Dillon was so small nestled against Andy, his body fitting perfectly under Andy's arm and against Andy's side. Watching what little he could see of Dillon's face, pressed to his shirt, Andy attempted to gauge the blond's mood from his blank expression.

 

The task was futile and feeling helpless, Andy pressed a quick kiss to Dillon's forehead and took them home.

 

Twelve
There was a palpable sense of déjà vu when Andy woke several hours later. 

The apartment was quiet and peaceful again, though it was warm afternoon light slanting into his eyes rather than the insistent rays of morning sunshine. 

Andy stretched his arms lazily over his head, looking around the room for signs of Dillon. The bed dipped slightly with a movement that didn't belong to Andy and he turned, unsurprised to see the blond sitting beside him again, a gentle smile hovering around the edges of his lips.

"I was wondering when you'd wake up."

Andy's voice was husky with sleep. "What time is it?"

"About 1."

That must have been right, Andy felt like he'd been sleeping for days. "We had a really big fight…didn't we? Or did I dream it?"

"It was hardly a fight," Dillon, always the confrontationist, denied. "You accused me of cheating, than you fucked me."

"Oh," well, that hadn't been a dream than.

"Sid called when you were sleeping," Dillon looked towards the tiny window, his hair shining gold in the sunlight. Andy reached up to touch it, feeling the silky strands slip through his fingers. Dillon made a soft sound and moved to lie against Andy's side, burying his face in the juncture of Andy's shoulder and his neck. "I didn't answer."

A warm burst of pleasure filled Andy's chest and as he lingered in the quiet bliss of the body at his side he couldn't help but remember Ben's words from the night before, telling him that he needed to be the 'man' and initiate 'normal couple things'. With a smile for his clueless friend, Andy suggested they do something. "Let's go out. We'll do something fun."

Dillon already sounded disagreeable though. "You mean like to Axis? Because I'm really not in the mood for dancing."

"No, I mean like…fuck, what do normal couples do?" Andy had never been in a relationship which required either party being wooed, so he was pretty stumped when it came to actual dates.

"I don't know. Are you going to buy me flowers?"

Andy made a face. "No. Let's just do something normal…are you hungry?"

"I ate when you were sleeping," Dillon said.

"No, you didn't," Andy snorted at the blond's obvious untruth. Dillon scoffed but didn't protest. "C'mon. Let's get lunch. We just need to get out of this apartment."

"Alright," Dillon kissed Andy's throat before rolling over him and standing up, his bare body an intriguing mixture of hard and soft, stark and sensual and carved out of flawless ivory. Dillon put his hands on his hips. "I'm taking a shower. Wanna join me?"

"Yes," Andy immediately pulled his sleepy body out of bed, enthusiastic to get the blond under the hot spray of water. He had fallen completely in love with the feel of the blond's skin wet and firm under his soap slicked hands.

It was just after 2:30 when they emerged from the apartment building. Dillon always fussed over getting ready, even if he wasn't going to a shoot. Usually, the blond's excessive preening irritated Andy, but today he found it more amusing than anything. 

And of course, knowing that he was going to be the sole benefactor of all that primping and preening certainly helped.

"So, where are we going?" Dillon asked, his hand hitched to his hip again. Andy pulled the hand from Dillon's slim hip and enfolded it in his own.

"Ben took me to this place one time…its vegan."

Dillon pulled a disagreeable face. "I'm not hungry—"

"Trust me, you'll like this place," Andy promised the picky blond. Dillon drew himself up haughtily and strode off in the wrong direction. Andy pulled on his arm. 

"What? I'm ready to go to your horrible restaurant. Let's go, we'll beat the crowd."

Andy pulled him around in the right direction. "This way, Pickle."

Dillon narrowed his eyes. "Don't call me that."

The two boys bickered as they walked. Dillon hated his nickname but Andy thought it was cute. "You’re my sweet Dill Pickle."

"Pickles are sour," Dillon informed him, supplying a fitting expression.

"That's why you're so special," Andy tugged on the smaller boy's hand until he was close enough to kiss. Dillon, though, still wasn't into public displays of affection and he fought and twisted in Andy's hold until he managed to get free. The sour look on Dillon's sweet face made Andy laugh.  

One of the things Andy liked best about living in the city was the ability to walk anywhere he pleased. Having a car back in Red Oak had been nice, but he didn't regret selling it. There was nothing in Red Oak that could compare to New York anyway. 

The walk to the restaurant was a little longer than Andy would usually consider going through to eat lunch, but it was doable, and Andy really had been meaning to take Dillon here. 

Gobo Blossom wasn't as busy as it had been when Ben had brought him here last time. For Dillon's sake, Andy had asked around at work where the best vegan restaurants were located. When one of their co-workers had suggested the fancy little restaurant, Ben had volunteered to come with Andy, for moral support, though in a surprising twist, they'd both ended up liking it. 

Andy and Dillon were able to slide right into one of the tables out front, protected from the busy traffic of the sidewalk by a little fence hung with baskets of green leafy plants and vibrant flowers. A young waitress dressed in professional black came by their table almost immediately, passing them a single menu before rushing off with her tray of drinks. 

"What is this place?" Dillon bitched, giving the menu a cursory glance before flicking it across the table. "Gobo Blossom?" he sarcastically repeated the restaurant name printed in letters styled into mimic ivy leaves. "Sounds like shit."

Andy laughed good-naturedly. "I'll order for you. You'll like it."

Dillon looked like he very much doubted it, but he didn't make any attempt to stop the proceedings, allowing Andy to order him a lime fountain drink and a kale salad for them to start with. As they waited for their food to arrive, Dillon made faces of disdain at the other diners, making it quite clear to everyone within their general vicinity that he didn't care to be amongst them. To distract him, Andy began a boring rendition of the past week at work, which eventually prompted Dillon to detail the shoot he'd gone to the day before. 

"It was fabulous," Dillon said. "The makeup artist painted these swirly lines all around my eyes and over my cheeks and the hairstylist…Well, he was stupid and wanted to cut my hair, but I told him to fuck off and he slicked it back instead. "Dillon pulled his hair back to imitate the look he was trying to describe "You should have seem me, I was supposed to look like a water god. I was so amazing."

Andy grinned because he could imagine the blond looking like a beautiful mythical being. He often looked like a powerful, strong, pouty sort of god anyway.

When the salad and their drinks came out, Andy ordered their main course. Andy's initiative clearly irritated the blond and he stabbed sullenly at the salad in the serving bowl, portioning himself up a small amount. 

"I don't want to eat risotto," he grumbled under his breath as the waitress flitted back between the tables. 

"You'll like it," Andy assured him, serving himself a helping of the salad as well.

"It's so fattening," Dillon complained, which didn't bother Andy any as this was a usual objection for him. Pouting, he picked at his food. "This isn't bad though, I guess."

Andy shrugged noncommittally. He thought the salad was pretty basic, as far as salads were concerned, but since Dillon had declared he was vegan, Andy had put more effort into eating veggies, hoping to entice the blond into eating more full stop. 

"I don't believe that Ben took you here, though," said Dill through a mouthful of kale. "Remember when we went out with him and his girlfriend that one time? I got the Asian salad and he said I ate like a chick."

Andy sheepishly scratched the back of his neck. "He's something else," he vaguely agreed.

"He's straight," Dillon gravely replied. "I don't know how you can stand him for more than 5 seconds at a time. He must talk about tits nonstop."

"Oh yeah? Does that mean you and Lena talk about cock all day?"

Dillon casually licked a bit of the sweet, all natural dressing from the edge of his thumb. "Not really much to talk about. I already told her what you're like in bed."

Andy dropped his fork, the loud clatter drawing the attention of nearby diners. "You told her about me?"

Dillon tried to speak impassively, but he couldn't keep the amusement from his voice. "Sure. Lena was curious about why I'm so committed to you," he finished the salad on his plate and reached for more. Andy was too embarrassed to notice. "She said your average and kind of boring, but she started to get interested when I told her about your 10 inch dick."

"I'm not 10 inches!" Andy's face burned red hot.

Dillon, the little minx, actually had the audacity to laugh. "So what? It's not like she's going to find out."

"I don't want her to think that I'm—"

"What? Hung?" Dillon laughed again. "Afraid you'll disappoint her?"

"No," Andy pushed his plate away, still uncomfortably flushed. "I wouldn't sleep with her even if I was straight. She's ugly."

"You're just spoiled," Dillon said as he finished his own food. With a flourish, he stacked his plate on top of Andy's. "My magnificent beauty has ruined all other models for you."

With perfect timing, the waitress returned, taking the empty salad bowl and their plates, before presenting their main courses. Andy had spaghetti and wheat balls and for Dillon, the wild mushroom risotto. 

Dillon picked at his food, fishing a piece of mushroom from the shallow depths of his bowl. He popped it into his mouth and chewed cautiously. 

"Ben was hitting on Lena last night," Andy said in hopes of distracting the blond enough to get him to eat. It seemed to have worked well enough with the salad. "Do you remember?"

"Psst, no. I was so wasted."

"I know," the sore spots on his sides and around his shoulders bespoke of that knowledge.

"What was Ben doing at the club anyway? And I thought he was dating that chick," Dillon speared another mushroom. "What the hell was her name again?"

"Lindsey. And they broke up, a few days ago."

Dillon took a larger bite of the risotto, seemingly unconcerned by the prospect of his friend and Andy's hooking up. "Lena won't fuck him."

"I don't know. Ben can be pretty charming when he tries."

Dillon glanced up sharply, pinning Andy under his gaze. "I hope you don't know that from experience."

Andy had almost forgotten Dillon's own jealous streak. Dillon hadn't liked Andy having a male friend, not that he was pleased about him having a female one either, but he'd calmed down a bit after Andy had forced him to meet the older boy. Seeing Ben's undeniable straightness had helped.

"Course not," Andy said quickly and Dillon rolled his eyes, going back to his cautious eating.

"Lena has sophisticated tastes," Dillon continued with his condescending explanation. "I'm sure Ben is…charming, but I honestly don't think a 23 year old waiter is going to fill Lena's expectations in a sexual partner."

"I'm a waiter," Andy pointed out, feeling a little insulted.

"I didn't say my tastes were sophisticated," Dillon remained the older boy. "Lena's from Paris, and everything in Paris is gorgeous. I'm from Red Oak…" Dillon didn't even have to explain what that meant. "I'm like Lena's redneck equivalent."

"You're better than her," Andy said easily.

Andy's well-meant compliment was met with a look of complete indifference. "And you're not biased at all, right?"

With a cheeky smile, Andy thoroughly agreed.

The rest of lunch passed pleasantly. The two boys continued to tease one another affectionately and Andy was happy to see Dillon eat almost all of his food. Andy finished both his spaghetti and then the last of Dillon's risotto before Andy paid the bill and Dillon graciously left the waitress a tip and then they left Gobo Blossom behind. 

After leaving the restaurant, they decided to walk around and do a bit of exploring. Andy loved how diverse the city was; he felt he could have lived here his entire life and still found something new to see each day. As they walked past a row of eccentric storefronts, Dillon's hand clenched in Andy's, capturing the older boy's attention.

"Hey?" Dillon called softly, glancing up shyly from under his pale lashes. 

"Yeah?"

Dillon pointedly looked away from Andy's insistent gaze as he continued to speak, his eyes focusing straight ahead of him as if he were having a conversation with an invisible companion. "I've been thinking…"

"About?" Andy prompted when Dillon's strange pause stretched into an uncomfortable silence. Dillon wasn't normally this hesitant to speak his mind, something was up.

"About modeling…" Dillon hedged and Andy watched the younger boy, fearful as to where Dillon's 'thinking' was going to lead them. "Modeling's not really what I thought it was going to be," he slowly confessed.

Sensing that this wasn't really a conversation to be had while casually strolling down the street, Andy pulled the younger boy gently to the side so that they stood under the awning in front of a small bakery. Dillon docilely allowed Andy to lead him.

"What did you think it'd be like?" he asked carefully, curiously watching Dillon's suddenly closed off expression. Dillon continued to avoid his gaze however, and his absent stare wandered to the rack of brightly frosted cakes displayed in the bakery's window. Andy glanced at nearest one. It was at least two feet tall and the four levels alternated between neon pink and electric blue and the whole thing was scattered with icing butterflies and flowers. Andy absently wondered who would eat such a fucking monstrosity.

"I don't know," Dillon finally brought himself to admit and Andy returned his gaze to his boyfriend. The blond's expression was pained. "I thought it'd be easy once I got signed, not that I'm complaining it's too much work," he said quickly, his eyes still focused on the confectionaries in the window. "Sometimes it still feels like I'm auditioning, like I did when we first got here. Everyone's always looking at me, judging me, it's all a fucking waste of time."

Andy felt his mouth go dry. Dill hadn't complained once since being signed. He'd taken every job Sid threw his way with a huge beaming smile, and it hadn't mattered what time the shoot started, what he was to wear – or not wear – or who he was posing with or for, he hadn't cared. But now he felt it was a waste of time?

Dillon's eyes suddenly flew to Andy's face, scrutinizing his expression ruthlessly. "What would you say if I wanted to quit? What if I wanted to get a normal job like you?"

"You want to be a waiter?" Andy tried to imagine Dillon serving and putting up with bullshit customers all day long. He couldn't really picture it, though he could imagine Dillon dropping a tray on some unsuspecting customer. 

Dillon seemed to know exactly what Andy was thinking and he waved his hand to dissipate his helpless urge to laugh. "I didn't have anything specific in mind. I was just thinking about getting a normal job where everyone doesn't think I suck."

"You don't suck," Andy immediately defended.

"Don't talk about shit you don't understand," Dillon snapped, his face flushing as he was disagreed with. 

"I just don't think that you should quit when your dream's to—Dill?" 

The blond turned from Andy's carefully constructed argument, anger curling his lip. Without another word he stalked off.

"Dill!"

Andy went after the blond, surprised when he actually started running and dodged around two women carrying several armloads of shopping bags. Dillon shoved his way between them, but Andy had to stop and wait for them to move out of his way. By the time he got a clear view of the blond, Dillon was reduced to a pale smear barreling around a corner.

"Fuck," Andy cursed under his breath, running to catch up.

Dillon had a head start, but Andy was in better shape than him, a byproduct of actually eating three square meals a day. 

Andy caught up with the blond after two blocks. The younger boy was leaning against the post of a traffic light, panting and miserable. It looked like he'd been trying to cross the street, but cars were rushing past in the intersection.

Dillon turned as Andy approached, scowling over his shoulder. Andy cautiously moved within touching distance, treating the blond like he might a wild animal. 

"Where are you going?" he asked simply, panting a bit himself. 

"Nowhere," Dillon sourly responded.

Glancing around for a familiar building or street sigh, Andy gently took Dillon's arm, tugging him away from the curb. He could see a pizza shop he vaguely recognized across the opposite street and he led Dillon towards it.

"I want to quit," Dillon said again, his voice breaking in the middle of the sentence. "The other models hate me and Sid's always fucking touching me and everyone tells me that I don't know what I'm doing."

Andy growled at Dillon's comment against Sid. "Stay away from him," he warned before reluctantly revising himself. "At least, don't go anywhere with him by yourself."

Dillon snorted. "Thanks for the advice, genius."

Andy was sure he recognized the pizza shop now. Ben and a couple other friends from work had come here one weekend. Dillon had been out, modeling or partying, or something and Andy had needed the distraction of greasy pizza, beer and friends. He smiled grimly at the memory. At least he knew the way home from here.

"Don't quit," Andy said softly, his gaze fixed on the route home. 

"Why not? Just having a pretty face isn't enough. I don't have anything else."

Andy cringed at the blond's assessment of himself. "I love you and you are beautiful," Andy resolutely ignored the other boy's immediate and scathing denial, talking over him because he knew what he was saying was so true. "You're so smart, Dill, and talented and passionate and diligent. But your still just 15, you know? You're still learning—"

"I've been learning for months!" Dillon exclaimed, impatiently yanking his arm out of Andy's grip. "Don't tell me that! I'm quitting and you can't fucking stop me!"

A few passersby turned to look at the raging blond who seemed to tower over Andy despite the older boy's superior height. Flushing as their business was so brazenly aired before half the street, Andy attempted to take Dillon's hand again, wanting to take him somewhere more private than the middle of the street, but Dillon violently jerked out of the way. 

"NO!"

"Dill, please," Andy just wanted to go somewhere without so many staring eyes but he settled for soothing his livid boyfriend instead, because in the end Andy was convinced nobody mattered as much as Dillon did. "You were just saying how awesome yesterday's shoot was. This is your time to do whatever you want…and if you really want to be a waiter, than fine. I'll support that. But I think you should stick with what you're good at and love."

"I never said I wanted to be a fucking waiter!"

"Whatever, I'm just saying that I think you need to hang on a little longer. Just a few months ago you were unsigned. Now you have gigs 4 or 5 times a week. I have a feeling it's just a matter of time before you explode."

Dillon leveled one of his intense stares at Andy, the gray of his eyes hard steel. "Do you promise?"

Andy didn't know how he could promise something like that. If it was up to him, Dillon could have whatever he wanted, but Andy wasn't in charge. Sid was in charge, the photographers Sid sent Dillon to were in charge, the fashion industry was in charge, but Andy wasn't. He was just a tiny little blip on the radar of life. Nobody cared about what he thought or wanted and longed for, maybe except for Dillon but Dillon was almost as helpless as Andy was.

Still, Andy was so stupidly confident in the blond's talents that he found himself nodding and agreeing to the promise despite his fears of breaking it. 

"Just don't stop and I promise, something good'll come."

The tension drained from Dillon's body and the strong front he'd erected crumbled until he was suddenly just an unhappy 15 year old, and not a gorgeous fashion model. Andy went to him, sliding his arm around Dillon's stooped shoulders.

"Are you alright?" he was relieved that the blond was letting them touch again but Dillon felt so scarce in Andy's arms. It was like he wasn't even there.

Dillon attempted to scoff at the concerned question. "Of course," he said unconvincingly.

"Do you want to do something else? Do you want to go shopping?" Andy knew all the intimate secrets on how to best please picky Dill. "I'll buy you something."

Dillon shook his head, leaning heavily into Andy's side. "I want to go home."

The defeat in the blond's voice sent a spike of worry through Andy's heart. Dillon was so small nestled against Andy, his body fitting perfectly under Andy's arm and against Andy's side. Watching what little he could see of Dillon's face, pressed to his shirt, Andy attempted to gauge the blond's mood from his blank expression.  

The task was futile and feeling helpless, Andy pressed a quick kiss to Dillon's forehead and took them home. Twelve
There was a palpable sense of déjà vu when Andy woke several hours later.

The apartment was quiet and peaceful again, though it was warm afternoon light slanting into his eyes rather than the insistent rays of morning sunshine.

Andy stretched his arms lazily over his head, looking around the room for signs of Dillon. The bed dipped slightly with a movement that didn't belong to Andy and he turned, unsurprised to see the blond sitting beside him again, a gentle smile hovering around the edges of his lips.

"I was wondering when you'd wake up."

Andy's voice was husky with sleep. "What time is it?"

"About 1."

That must have been right, Andy felt like he'd been sleeping for days. "We had a really big fight…didn't we? Or did I dream it?"

"It was hardly a fight," Dillon, always the confrontationist, denied. "You accused me of cheating, than you fucked me."

"Oh," well, that hadn't been a dream than.

"Sid called when you were sleeping," Dillon looked towards the tiny window, his hair shining gold in the sunlight. Andy reached up to touch it, feeling the silky strands slip through his fingers. Dillon made a soft sound and moved to lie against Andy's side, burying his face in the juncture of Andy's shoulder and his neck. "I didn't answer."

A warm burst of pleasure filled Andy's chest and as he lingered in the quiet bliss of the body at his side he couldn't help but remember Ben's words from the night before, telling him that he needed to be the 'man' and initiate 'normal couple things'. With a smile for his clueless friend, Andy suggested they do something. "Let's go out. We'll do something fun."

Dillon already sounded disagreeable though. "You mean like to Axis? Because I'm really not in the mood for dancing."

"No, I mean like…fuck, what do normal couples do?" Andy had never been in a relationship which required either party being wooed, so he was pretty stumped when it came to actual dates.

"I don't know. Are you going to buy me flowers?"

Andy made a face. "No. Let's just do something normal…are you hungry?"

"I ate when you were sleeping," Dillon said.

"No, you didn't," Andy snorted at the blond's obvious untruth. Dillon scoffed but didn't protest. "C'mon. Let's get lunch. We just need to get out of this apartment."

"Alright," Dillon kissed Andy's throat before rolling over him and standing up, his bare body an intriguing mixture of hard and soft, stark and sensual and carved out of flawless ivory. Dillon put his hands on his hips. "I'm taking a shower. Wanna join me?"

"Yes," Andy immediately pulled his sleepy body out of bed, enthusiastic to get the blond under the hot spray of water. He had fallen completely in love with the feel of the blond's skin wet and firm under his soap slicked hands.

It was just after 2:30 when they emerged from the apartment building. Dillon always fussed over getting ready, even if he wasn't going to a shoot. Usually, the blond's excessive preening irritated Andy, but today he found it more amusing than anything.

And of course, knowing that he was going to be the sole benefactor of all that primping and preening certainly helped.

"So, where are we going?" Dillon asked, his hand hitched to his hip again. Andy pulled the hand from Dillon's slim hip and enfolded it in his own.

"Ben took me to this place one time…its vegan."

Dillon pulled a disagreeable face. "I'm not hungry—"

"Trust me, you'll like this place," Andy promised the picky blond. Dillon drew himself up haughtily and strode off in the wrong direction. Andy pulled on his arm.

"What? I'm ready to go to your horrible restaurant. Let's go, we'll beat the crowd."

Andy pulled him around in the right direction. "This way, Pickle."

Dillon narrowed his eyes. "Don't call me that."

The two boys bickered as they walked. Dillon hated his nickname but Andy thought it was cute. "You’re my sweet Dill Pickle."

"Pickles are sour," Dillon informed him, supplying a fitting expression.

"That's why you're so special," Andy tugged on the smaller boy's hand until he was close enough to kiss. Dillon, though, still wasn't into public displays of affection and he fought and twisted in Andy's hold until he managed to get free. The sour look on Dillon's sweet face made Andy laugh.  

One of the things Andy liked best about living in the city was the ability to walk anywhere he pleased. Having a car back in Red Oak had been nice, but he didn't regret selling it. There was nothing in Red Oak that could compare to New York anyway.

The walk to the restaurant was a little longer than Andy would usually consider going through to eat lunch, but it was doable, and Andy really had been meaning to take Dillon here.

Gobo Blossom wasn't as busy as it had been when Ben had brought him here last time. For Dillon's sake, Andy had asked around at work where the best vegan restaurants were located. When one of their co-workers had suggested the fancy little restaurant, Ben had volunteered to come with Andy, for moral support, though in a surprising twist, they'd both ended up liking it.

Andy and Dillon were able to slide right into one of the tables out front, protected from the busy traffic of the sidewalk by a little fence hung with baskets of green leafy plants and vibrant flowers. A young waitress dressed in professional black came by their table almost immediately, passing them a single menu before rushing off with her tray of drinks.

"What is this place?" Dillon bitched, giving the menu a cursory glance before flicking it across the table. "Gobo Blossom?" he sarcastically repeated the restaurant name printed in letters styled into mimic ivy leaves. "Sounds like shit."

Andy laughed good-naturedly. "I'll order for you. You'll like it."

Dillon looked like he very much doubted it, but he didn't make any attempt to stop the proceedings, allowing Andy to order him a lime fountain drink and a kale salad for them to start with. As they waited for their food to arrive, Dillon made faces of disdain at the other diners, making it quite clear to everyone within their general vicinity that he didn't care to be amongst them. To distract him, Andy began a boring rendition of the past week at work, which eventually prompted Dillon to detail the shoot he'd gone to the day before.

"It was fabulous," Dillon said. "The makeup artist painted these swirly lines all around my eyes and over my cheeks and the hairstylist…Well, he was stupid and wanted to cut my hair, but I told him to fuck off and he slicked it back instead. "Dillon pulled his hair back to imitate the look he was trying to describe "You should have seem me, I was supposed to look like a water god. I was so amazing."

Andy grinned because he could imagine the blond looking like a beautiful mythical being. He often looked like a powerful, strong, pouty sort of god anyway.

When the salad and their drinks came out, Andy ordered their main course. Andy's initiative clearly irritated the blond and he stabbed sullenly at the salad in the serving bowl, portioning himself up a small amount.

"I don't want to eat risotto," he grumbled under his breath as the waitress flitted back between the tables.

"You'll like it," Andy assured him, serving himself a helping of the salad as well.

"It's so fattening," Dillon complained, which didn't bother Andy any as this was a usual objection for him. Pouting, he picked at his food. "This isn't bad though, I guess."

Andy shrugged noncommittally. He thought the salad was pretty basic, as far as salads were concerned, but since Dillon had declared he was vegan, Andy had put more effort into eating veggies, hoping to entice the blond into eating more full stop.

"I don't believe that Ben took you here, though," said Dill through a mouthful of kale. "Remember when we went out with him and his girlfriend that one time? I got the Asian salad and he said I ate like a chick."

Andy sheepishly scratched the back of his neck. "He's something else," he vaguely agreed.

"He's straight," Dillon gravely replied. "I don't know how you can stand him for more than 5 seconds at a time. He must talk about tits nonstop."

"Oh yeah? Does that mean you and Lena talk about cock all day?"

Dillon casually licked a bit of the sweet, all natural dressing from the edge of his thumb. "Not really much to talk about. I already told her what you're like in bed."

Andy dropped his fork, the loud clatter drawing the attention of nearby diners. "You told her about me?"

Dillon tried to speak impassively, but he couldn't keep the amusement from his voice. "Sure. Lena was curious about why I'm so committed to you," he finished the salad on his plate and reached for more. Andy was too embarrassed to notice. "She said your average and kind of boring, but she started to get interested when I told her about your 10 inch dick."

"I'm not 10 inches!" Andy's face burned red hot.

Dillon, the little minx, actually had the audacity to laugh. "So what? It's not like she's going to find out."

"I don't want her to think that I'm—"

"What? Hung?" Dillon laughed again. "Afraid you'll disappoint her?"

"No," Andy pushed his plate away, still uncomfortably flushed. "I wouldn't sleep with her even if I was straight. She's ugly."

"You're just spoiled," Dillon said as he finished his own food. With a flourish, he stacked his plate on top of Andy's. "My magnificent beauty has ruined all other models for you."

With perfect timing, the waitress returned, taking the empty salad bowl and their plates, before presenting their main courses. Andy had spaghetti and wheat balls and for Dillon, the wild mushroom risotto.

Dillon picked at his food, fishing a piece of mushroom from the shallow depths of his bowl. He popped it into his mouth and chewed cautiously.

"Ben was hitting on Lena last night," Andy said in hopes of distracting the blond enough to get him to eat. It seemed to have worked well enough with the salad. "Do you remember?"

"Psst, no. I was so wasted."

"I know," the sore spots on his sides and around his shoulders bespoke of that knowledge.

"What was Ben doing at the club anyway? And I thought he was dating that chick," Dillon speared another mushroom. "What the hell was her name again?"

"Lindsey. And they broke up, a few days ago."

Dillon took a larger bite of the risotto, seemingly unconcerned by the prospect of his friend and Andy's hooking up. "Lena won't fuck him."

"I don't know. Ben can be pretty charming when he tries."

Dillon glanced up sharply, pinning Andy under his gaze. "I hope you don't know that from experience."

Andy had almost forgotten Dillon's own jealous streak. Dillon hadn't liked Andy having a male friend, not that he was pleased about him having a female one either, but he'd calmed down a bit after Andy had forced him to meet the older boy. Seeing Ben's undeniable straightness had helped.

"Course not," Andy said quickly and Dillon rolled his eyes, going back to his cautious eating.

"Lena has sophisticated tastes," Dillon continued with his condescending explanation. "I'm sure Ben is…charming, but I honestly don't think a 23 year old waiter is going to fill Lena's expectations in a sexual partner."

"I'm a waiter," Andy pointed out, feeling a little insulted.

"I didn't say my tastes were sophisticated," Dillon remained the older boy. "Lena's from Paris, and everything in Paris is gorgeous. I'm from Red Oak…" Dillon didn't even have to explain what that meant. "I'm like Lena's redneck equivalent."

"You're better than her," Andy said easily.

Andy's well-meant compliment was met with a look of complete indifference. "And you're not biased at all, right?"

With a cheeky smile, Andy thoroughly agreed.

The rest of lunch passed pleasantly. The two boys continued to tease one another affectionately and Andy was happy to see Dillon eat almost all of his food. Andy finished both his spaghetti and then the last of Dillon's risotto before Andy paid the bill and Dillon graciously left the waitress a tip and then they left Gobo Blossom behind.

After leaving the restaurant, they decided to walk around and do a bit of exploring. Andy loved how diverse the city was; he felt he could have lived here his entire life and still found something new to see each day. As they walked past a row of eccentric storefronts, Dillon's hand clenched in Andy's, capturing the older boy's attention.

"Hey?" Dillon called softly, glancing up shyly from under his pale lashes.

"Yeah?"

Dillon pointedly looked away from Andy's insistent gaze as he continued to speak, his eyes focusing straight ahead of him as if he were having a conversation with an invisible companion. "I've been thinking…"

"About?" Andy prompted when Dillon's strange pause stretched into an uncomfortable silence. Dillon wasn't normally this hesitant to speak his mind, something was up.

"About modeling…" Dillon hedged and Andy watched the younger boy, fearful as to where Dillon's 'thinking' was going to lead them. "Modeling's not really what I thought it was going to be," he slowly confessed.

Sensing that this wasn't really a conversation to be had while casually strolling down the street, Andy pulled the younger boy gently to the side so that they stood under the awning in front of a small bakery. Dillon docilely allowed Andy to lead him.

"What did you think it'd be like?" he asked carefully, curiously watching Dillon's suddenly closed off expression. Dillon continued to avoid his gaze however, and his absent stare wandered to the rack of brightly frosted cakes displayed in the bakery's window. Andy glanced at nearest one. It was at least two feet tall and the four levels alternated between neon pink and electric blue and the whole thing was scattered with icing butterflies and flowers. Andy absently wondered who would eat such a fucking monstrosity.

"I don't know," Dillon finally brought himself to admit and Andy returned his gaze to his boyfriend. The blond's expression was pained. "I thought it'd be easy once I got signed, not that I'm complaining it's too much work," he said quickly, his eyes still focused on the confectionaries in the window. "Sometimes it still feels like I'm auditioning, like I did when we first got here. Everyone's always looking at me, judging me, it's all a fucking waste of time."

Andy felt his mouth go dry. Dill hadn't complained once since being signed. He'd taken every job Sid threw his way with a huge beaming smile, and it hadn't mattered what time the shoot started, what he was to wear – or not wear – or who he was posing with or for, he hadn't cared. But now he felt it was a waste of time?

Dillon's eyes suddenly flew to Andy's face, scrutinizing his expression ruthlessly. "What would you say if I wanted to quit? What if I wanted to get a normal job like you?"

"You want to be a waiter?" Andy tried to imagine Dillon serving and putting up with bullshit customers all day long. He couldn't really picture it, though he could imagine Dillon dropping a tray on some unsuspecting customer.

Dillon seemed to know exactly what Andy was thinking and he waved his hand to dissipate his helpless urge to laugh. "I didn't have anything specific in mind. I was just thinking about getting a normal job where everyone doesn't think I suck."

"You don't suck," Andy immediately defended.

"Don't talk about shit you don't understand," Dillon snapped, his face flushing as he was disagreed with.

"I just don't think that you should quit when your dream's to—Dill?"

The blond turned from Andy's carefully constructed argument, anger curling his lip. Without another word he stalked off.

"Dill!"

Andy went after the blond, surprised when he actually started running and dodged around two women carrying several armloads of shopping bags. Dillon shoved his way between them, but Andy had to stop and wait for them to move out of his way. By the time he got a clear view of the blond, Dillon was reduced to a pale smear barreling around a corner.

"Fuck," Andy cursed under his breath, running to catch up.

Dillon had a head start, but Andy was in better shape than him, a byproduct of actually eating three square meals a day.

Andy caught up with the blond after two blocks. The younger boy was leaning against the post of a traffic light, panting and miserable. It looked like he'd been trying to cross the street, but cars were rushing past in the intersection.

Dillon turned as Andy approached, scowling over his shoulder. Andy cautiously moved within touching distance, treating the blond like he might a wild animal.

"Where are you going?" he asked simply, panting a bit himself.

"Nowhere," Dillon sourly responded.

Glancing around for a familiar building or street sigh, Andy gently took Dillon's arm, tugging him away from the curb. He could see a pizza shop he vaguely recognized across the opposite street and he led Dillon towards it.

"I want to quit," Dillon said again, his voice breaking in the middle of the sentence. "The other models hate me and Sid's always fucking touching me and everyone tells me that I don't know what I'm doing."

Andy growled at Dillon's comment against Sid. "Stay away from him," he warned before reluctantly revising himself. "At least, don't go anywhere with him by yourself."

Dillon snorted. "Thanks for the advice, genius."

Andy was sure he recognized the pizza shop now. Ben and a couple other friends from work had come here one weekend. Dillon had been out, modeling or partying, or something and Andy had needed the distraction of greasy pizza, beer and friends. He smiled grimly at the memory. At least he knew the way home from here.

"Don't quit," Andy said softly, his gaze fixed on the route home.

"Why not? Just having a pretty face isn't enough. I don't have anything else."

Andy cringed at the blond's assessment of himself. "I love you and you are beautiful," Andy resolutely ignored the other boy's immediate and scathing denial, talking over him because he knew what he was saying was so true. "You're so smart, Dill, and talented and passionate and diligent. But your still just 15, you know? You're still learning—"

"I've been learning for months!" Dillon exclaimed, impatiently yanking his arm out of Andy's grip. "Don't tell me that! I'm quitting and you can't fucking stop me!"

A few passersby turned to look at the raging blond who seemed to tower over Andy despite the older boy's superior height. Flushing as their business was so brazenly aired before half the street, Andy attempted to take Dillon's hand again, wanting to take him somewhere more private than the middle of the street, but Dillon violently jerked out of the way.

"NO!"

"Dill, please," Andy just wanted to go somewhere without so many staring eyes but he settled for soothing his livid boyfriend instead, because in the end Andy was convinced nobody mattered as much as Dillon did. "You were just saying how awesome yesterday's shoot was. This is your time to do whatever you want…and if you really want to be a waiter, than fine. I'll support that. But I think you should stick with what you're good at and love."

"I never said I wanted to be a fucking waiter!"

"Whatever, I'm just saying that I think you need to hang on a little longer. Just a few months ago you were unsigned. Now you have gigs 4 or 5 times a week. I have a feeling it's just a matter of time before you explode."

Dillon leveled one of his intense stares at Andy, the gray of his eyes hard steel. "Do you promise?"

Andy didn't know how he could promise something like that. If it was up to him, Dillon could have whatever he wanted, but Andy wasn't in charge. Sid was in charge, the photographers Sid sent Dillon to were in charge, the fashion industry was in charge, but Andy wasn't. He was just a tiny little blip on the radar of life. Nobody cared about what he thought or wanted and longed for, maybe except for Dillon but Dillon was almost as helpless as Andy was.

Still, Andy was so stupidly confident in the blond's talents that he found himself nodding and agreeing to the promise despite his fears of breaking it.

"Just don't stop and I promise, something good'll come."

The tension drained from Dillon's body and the strong front he'd erected crumbled until he was suddenly just an unhappy 15 year old, and not a gorgeous fashion model. Andy went to him, sliding his arm around Dillon's stooped shoulders.

"Are you alright?" he was relieved that the blond was letting them touch again but Dillon felt so scarce in Andy's arms. It was like he wasn't even there.

Dillon attempted to scoff at the concerned question. "Of course," he said unconvincingly.

"Do you want to do something else? Do you want to go shopping?" Andy knew all the intimate secrets on how to best please picky Dill. "I'll buy you something."

Dillon shook his head, leaning heavily into Andy's side. "I want to go home."

The defeat in the blond's voice sent a spike of worry through Andy's heart. Dillon was so small nestled against Andy, his body fitting perfectly under Andy's arm and against Andy's side. Watching what little he could see of Dillon's face, pressed to his shirt, Andy attempted to gauge the blond's mood from his blank expression.  

The task was futile and feeling helpless, Andy pressed a quick kiss to Dillon's forehead and took them home.
 

Copyright © 2017 mastershakeme; All Rights Reserved.
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I feel so bad for Dillon. He sounds so defeated. Ugh and Did has a total creep vibe. Reminds me of Kyle. Ugh. 

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I have a feeling that Dillon's career is going to pick up soon, after he performs ... favors ... for Sid. I think he'll get to a point where desperation trumps his apparent beliefs.

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I had a sense of deja vu also. Primarily due to the chapter suddenly starting over from the beginning several times near the end.

 

There was almost hope for some normalcy in this chapter until it evaporated. People who go into acting and modeling need both a thick skin for criticism and a strong sense of self. You are always going to be torn down by someone and most have to endure many more rejections than successes. Those professions routinely crush the weak and insecure.

 

The nearest example I can equate this relationship to is being a brittle diabetic with extreme swings in blood sugar leading to monumental highs and lows. It is toxic and disturbing.

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31 minutes ago, drpaladin said:

I had a sense of deja vu also. Primarily due to the chapter suddenly starting over from the beginning several times near the end.

 

There was almost hope for some normalcy in this chapter until it evaporated. People who go into acting and modeling need both a thick skin for criticism and a strong sense of self. You are always going to be torn down by someone and most have to endure many more rejections than successes. Those professions routinely crush the weak and insecure.

 

The nearest example I can equate this relationship to is being a brittle diabetic with extreme swings in blood sugar leading to monumental highs and lows. It is toxic and disturbing.

 

Im sorry about the repeating. I may get to a pc tomorrow. Ugh Fml I'm always messing up :unsure:

 

I'm excited for the next chapter however, a new and important character shall be introduced ^_^

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23 minutes ago, mastershakeme said:

 

Im sorry about the repeating. I may get to a pc tomorrow. Ugh Fml I'm always messing up :unsure:

 

I'm excited for the next chapter however, a new and important character shall be introduced ^_^

 

If I had to hazard a guess, it appears to be the result of some type of text restore feature in a text application. I ordered a backup laptop myself yesterday. I've brought this one back from two catastrophic failures and I want a spare. I have a pc, but I like to surf laying down. :)

 

I'm looking forward to this new character. Ben in this story reminds me of Shawn and Jesse's Ben.

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2 hours ago, drpaladin said:

 

If I had to hazard a guess, it appears to be the result of some type of text restore feature in a text application. I ordered a backup laptop myself yesterday. I've brought this one back from two catastrophic failures and I want a spare. I have a pc, but I like to surf laying down. :)

 

I'm looking forward to this new character. Ben in this story reminds me of Shawn and Jesse's Ben.

 

If I had anything besides this damn phone, I would have changed Ben's name... The new chapter will be up a minute past midnight! (Ohio time) I think I double posted again, which is against the rules!!! Lol

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Poor pitiful Matt...aka Andy...I'm surprised he's the top in the relationship cuz Dillon's already effing him every which way to Sunday

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