“There was a streak of blood on Nico’s cheek when Gideon looked at him. A slow trickle from Nico’s hairline, a cut along his jaw. There was a roar of something furious and fierce in Gideon, who reached up to brush the blood away and then stopped.
‘What?’ said Nico, who swallowed a laugh. The muscle in his jaw jumped, then stilled.
‘Nothing,’ said Gideon.
‘Gideon, come on, no te hagas rogar -‘
Don’t make me beg. Ha, as if he would. As if he could.
Nico laughed again and it hurt Gideon somewhere deep, jellying his legs with delayed paralysis. That, or a timed-release breakdown. Fear, firstly, that they had skirted something narrowly, so narrowly that it was almost a disaster, a disaster from which Gideon would never recover. Relief, that no one had put a stop to that arrogant laugh. That Nico de Varona had never learned how fragile Gideon really was. That because Nico believed himself to be invincible, Gideon sometimes believed it, too, right up until the terrifying moments when he didn’t. Like now.
‘I always forget how good you are at stuff,’ Nico was babbling appreciatively, still talking, still laughing, still blissfully, ridiculously alive, and some madness inside Gideon’s chest made up his mind for him. He leaned forward and caught Nico’s mouth with his in something of a punitive force, a captive blow. More of a gasp than anything else, really.
Although technically it was a kiss.
Nico’s lips were dry and his mouth was hot, taken aback, unprepared and metallic with concentration. Gideon felt Nico’s breath catch on his tongue, an audible hitch of surprise, and then Nico pulled away and Gideon thought no, no, no –
‘Oh. So it’s like that?’ Nico said. His eyes were searching and bewilderingly, confusingly bright. In response Gideon felt unopened and raw, like he’d cracked his chest in two and presented the evidence for Nico’s evaluation.
‘Yeah.’ It left Gideon in a rasp, but fuck it. It had lived in his throat long enough. ‘Yeah,’ he attempted again, ‘yeah it’s like that.’
Nico’s smile broadened.
‘Good.’ Nico caught him by a fistful of his T-shirt, tugging him in again. ‘Good.'”