Pairing: Scripps/Posner (of History Boys fandom)
Summary: In an attempt to let Posner know how he feels, Scripps decides to follow in Dakin's footsteps. After all, a graduation deserves a reward too, doesn't it?
Notes: A very happy birthday fic for katilara :) Many thanks to ekaterin24 for the fantastic beta'ing!
"What are you so happy about?" Posner asked disdainfully as Scripps came out of the washroom, a towel wrapped around his waist. Scripps just grinned and it didn't take long for Posner to catch on, clever boy that he was.
"No longer celibate then?" he asked unnecessarily, a small smile coming to his lips. His finger held his place in the book he was reading.
"School's done. Thought I would celebrate."
"Most people don't celebrate graduating with a wank," Posner said wryly.
"Ah, sure they do," Scripps replied, still euphoric. "Or at least they should."
Scripps couldn't help the bashful grin that came to his face. He nodded before escaping into his room and shutting the door lightly behind him. He towel dried his hair quickly before tossing the towel on the floor. He knew Posner would look at it pointedly later but that was part of the fun of living with Pos.
He had never exactly planned on living with Posner, but when Dakin left to move in with his girlfriend and Posner needed somewhere to stay, it seemed almost meant to be.
He had grown accustomed to Posner's habits astonishingly quickly. After living with the human hurricane that was Dakin, it was nice to come home at night and not have to be concerned about stepping on a beer cap or walking in on Dakin and his latest girlfriend having it off on the couch. Posner for his part was quiet and tidy and everything most blokes would want in a roommate.
Of course Posner was also a homosexual and it didn't escape Scripps' notice when Posner developed a crush on him. It was nothing so obvious as his crush on Dakin – no outspoken confessions, poetry or even love songs. It was hard to say exactly how Scripps knew. It might have been the way Posner's glance lingered when he came out of the shower or the way Posner hung about his room despite his own room being right down the hall.
It was even more difficult to say when Scripps had started – not crushing exactly, but feeling more than friendly feelings towards Posner. He knew when he realized it – a stray thought that Posner's lips looked quite kissable was enough to shock him into realization – but not when it subconsciously started. He supposed it didn't really matter. The fact of the matter was he liked Posner and Posner liked him. Now why was this so terrifying? This should be easy – Posner was likeable, approachable, not even remotely intimidating – but it wasn't.
He thought about what he might say to Posner – no, David, he should really learn to call him David after all this time – as he combed his hair. He had never even asked a girl out, let alone a bloke. Surely there was a sort of decorum. Dakin would have him believe that you just asked a bloke out for a "drink", but that would be odd. He didn't want to ask Posner out, he wanted him in, here with him. He rubbed at his lightly stubbled face.
What would Dakin have done? He groaned softly. Dakin was hardly the role-model for romance. Still, he was the only one Scripps knew who had asked a bloke out and the only one he knew Posner had once liked.
Suddenly it wasn't what Dakin would have done, it was what Dakin did. Just grabbed Posner and pulled him close, just like that, when they all knew where they were going to Oxford or Cambridge. This is known as Posner's reward, Dakin had said with that grin he always pulled when he was getting his way. Except he wasn't Dakin. And he wanted to give Posner more than a hug. He groaned as he pulled on his jeans.
"You're not having it off again, are you?" Posner's amused voice was just outside his door.
"No," Scripps said quickly, too quickly.
"Can I come in then?"
Scripps buttoned up his jeans and opened the door, realizing only after that he wasn't wearing a shirt. He raised his eyebrows at Posner and tried to ignore the pleasant way his cheeks flushed at the sight of Scripps half-naked.
"Didn't mean to bother you," Posner muttered, embarrassed.
"You didn't." Scripps suddenly wanted to pull every inch of Posner close to him but resisted – although resistance was coming less and less easy these days.
"I thought you might want to go out for a drink – celebrate properly." Here Posner flushed a little bit deeper and Scripps could feel his cheeks burning as well even though Posner was unaware of Dakin's proposition of Irwin using almost those exact words.
"Sure, of course."
"You don't have other plans?"
"Naw," Scripps said casually and rubbed the back of his neck. "I'm all yours."
They both flushed at that and Posner gave him a half-smile before retreating into the living room once more.
"Oh Pos," Scripps muttered once he was gone, "you have no idea."
The pub was crowded and a little dank but since it was within walking distance of their flat they rarely went anywhere else. They both ordered pints from the bar and Scripps tried not to argue when Posner insisted on paying for both. By some miracle a couple got up as they were looking for a table and they managed to grab their seats with little hassle.
"Cheers," Scripps said with a smile and tried to swallow his nervousness down with his beer.
"You're not going to become like Dakin now, are you?" Posner asked once he had rested his glass back on the table. Scripps stared at him blankly. "You know, new girl every couple weeks..." he trailed off as he gestured uselessly.
"No!" Scripps exclaimed before repeating it again softer. "No, I wouldn't do that to you."
"It's your flat too," Posner argued half-heartedly, as always completely missing the point.
"No, I mean... I wouldn't do that to you." He wasn't sure if putting emphasis would even mean anything to Pos or if the meaningful look he tried to convey would get across but something did get across because Posner turned red and looked down into his pint, looking for all the world like he wanted the ground to swallow him whole.
"So you know."
Scripps nodded before realizing that Posner was still looking down into his drink. "Yeah, I know."
"Oh." He pulled that sour look that perfectly conveyed his self-loathing and Scripps felt something twist inside him.
"But it's fine."
"Well if it wasn't you probably would have kicked me out," Posner said morosely. "But if it irks you, I promise to throw the thought away."
"And will you forget me?" Scripps asked lightly, slightly surprised at recognising the Housman reference after these years.
"I will, no fear," Posner said and glanced up for the first time since their confrontation.
"Don't be daft," Scripps muttered. He struggled to find the words to put Posner's mind at ease. All the poetry that came to mind named epic love and really, he only wanted to let Posner know that he wasn't in this alone. He reached out his foot and found Posner's calf. Slowly, he moved his foot gently against it and watched across the table as Posner tilted his head - more in curiosity than recognition, but it was a start.
"I don't want to go home with any of these girls," he said in a low voice gesturing broadly across the pub, "and I don't want you to move out."
"Ah," Posner said quietly and looked down at his drink again but not before Scripps caught the smile that was spreading across his face.
They sat in silence for a moment and drank.
"So, how about Manchester United?" Posner said after a moment.
"Do you even watch football?" Scripps asked, unable to help the amused smile that came to his face.
"No," Posner said miserably, "but I don't know what to say now. I thought I might try to be... normal." He pulled a face.
Posner took a drink.
"Pos - David, look, just... don't be normal."
The side of Posner's mouth quirked at that.
"No, I mean - " Scripps rubbed at the back of his neck. "You know what I mean," he said finally. He took a deep drink of his beer and realized Posner really had quite long lashes. Surely boys - no, men - weren't meant to have eyelashes like that? He didn't realize he was staring until Posner said, "what?" in that self-conscious way he had and raised his hand to his lip to wipe off imaginary foam. He was going to have to work on that, Scripps knew. In some arenas - academia - Posner was all confidence and quotations, but in others he was the opposite, almost a different person.
"Let's go," Scripps said. This wasn't where he wanted things to happen - in a crowded bar with dozens of other people. He wanted this to be theirs.
"Um, okay," Posner agreed easily and drained the rest of his beer quickly before setting it on the table.
They made their way out of the small crowded pub, Scripps' hand resting gently on the small of Posner's back. He dropped it once they got outside and instead put his hands in his pockets so they wouldn't get any ideas. He snuck looks at Posner while they walked home in near silence. He thought to what they would do when they got home and those familiar butterflies were back. He wondered if Posner was experienced in these things. He wondered if he was expected to be. His hands grew sweaty in his pockets so he took them out and rubbed them on his jeans. Posner caught the motion with his eye and glanced over. With a quick smile and a small deliberate bumping of shoulders Posner made his nervousness almost dissipate.
Their building loomed on the street and Scripps took a deep breath before ascending the stairs, Posner at his side. He fumbled a bit with the key on the first door but by the time they had gone up the two flights of stairs to their flat, his hands were steadier. He flicked on the lights, almost surprised at the normalcy of everything. Would things change after this, he wondered before dismissing the thought. Things were already changed.
He watched Posner busy himself at the side table - taking his wallet out of his back pocket, throwing down his keys in a heap. It seemed ages until Posner turned towards him, almost hesitantly it seemed to Scripps. It only took two small steps before they were close enough to touch and Scripps did, fixing Posner's slightly up-turned collar before running his hands lightly over Posner's neck.
"Do you remember after that little party when we knew we all got in?" Scripps asked.
"The accident?" Posner asked, his eyes suddenly wide with the memory.
"No, no. Before." Scripps closed his eyes briefly. "With Dakin." He kept running his hands lightly over the back of David's neck, hoping it was making him more relaxed. He really had no idea what he was doing.
"I remember." Posner stared at him, giving away nothing.
"He said it was your reward," Scripps continued, growing more nervous. Posner nodded but was looking at him with a look of confusion. "And I thought, a graduation deserves a reward too, don't you think?"
He leaned in, wetting his lips quickly with his tongue. He almost closed his eyes before Posner's hand on his chest made him freeze. "Don't." The look in Posner's eyes was pained and Scripps immediately stepped back. "Don't," he repeated. "I don't want this if that's all it is. I couldn't bear it, Don."
"No, no, it isn't," Scripps said quickly, mortified. "I just - " He rubbed absently at the back of his neck before letting out a small laugh. "I have no idea what I'm doing. I want to kiss you but I don't know how to - " He was interrupted by Posner's lips pressing against his own, insistently and more confidently than he could have dreamed. As he kissed back, his panic subsided and as the kiss deepened, he relaxed totally. He had just figured out what to do with his hands (they lingered near Posner's waist) when Posner pulled away.
"I think that's how," Posner said breathlessly.
"Yeah," was all Scripps could reply before he pulled Posner to him once more. He hadn't realized how much he wanted this, how much he hadn't even dared imagine like Posner's tongue against his or the feel of Posner's corduroy trousers under his fingertips as his hand slid down around his back pocket. He had a fleeting thought of, if I had known it was going to be like this I would have done this sooner before concentrating once more on the task at hand.
Later when he went to write it down, he scribbled out four attempts at describing their first kisses before printing AMAZING in large bold capitals. He would realize later with further practice that the kiss was sloppy, uncoordinated and not even close to Posner's best technique but at that moment with Posner's hand on the back of his neck and the smell of his cologne intoxicating him, it was one of the most amazing experiences of his life thus far.
Years later he will flip through that journal and come across the entry. A smile will flit across his lips at the memory before he grabs his ballpoint pen and writes in smaller letters underneath, "still."