by Domashita Romero (地下ロメロ)
Really, it was the unicorn’s fault.
“According to the texts,” Edmund said, pushing his glasses up in a way that Taylor always found appealing, “opening the Door of Khefra-Kel requires a unicorn hair.”
“And where am I supposed to get one of those?” Taylor asked. “Like, my mom goes to Costco once a month, and they are totally lacking in industrial sized jars of unicorn hair.” He pursed his lips a little and thought about it. “Or if that doesn’t work, like, Diagon Alley? You’re British, I’m sure you could get us in there.”
Edmund closed his eyes and took a little breath, which was one of Taylor’s favorite things to make him do. “I assure you, once again, that Harry Potter is entirely fictional, no matter what I have unintentionally led you to believe.”
“You own a wand,” Taylor said. “You bought it in England. A dude is just going to assume.”
“The wand has been passed down in my line of Sentinels for generations and I’m not wholly confident in using it and that is not the point.” Edmund drew in a hard breath, making his nostrils flare. “The point is, beyond the Door of Khefra-Kel lies a demon well that you can destroy, and the last key to opening it is a unicorn hair.”
“So my question stands,” Taylor said, putting a hand on his hip. “Where do I get one of those? Like, the zoo?”
“Traditionally…” Edmund pushed his glasses up his nose, even though they hadn’t fallen. “Traditionally, a unicorn is lured by a maiden beneath a tree.”
Taylor gestured down at himself. “So, major flaw in the plan: I am not a maiden.”
“Well, the definition of ‘maiden’ is one under some debate and scrutiny,” Edmund said, and a little color started to light in his cheeks. “Traditionally, the word has been taken to mean virgin.”
Taylor stared at him. Edmund flipped through the pages of the book he was holding, not making eye contact.
“Well, well… perhaps you have… a friend…” he said, and Taylor covered his face with his hands.
“Okay, like, I don’t know how it was in the 11th century or whenever unicorns were invented, but the whole V question is a lot more complicated these days,” he said.
“It… is it?” Edmund was pink.
“Yes! Yes, it is, just trust me.” Taylor took a breath and let his hands drop away from his face. “Okay, I can’t guarantee it’ll work, but I can try to get us a unicorn. Do I, like, sit under a tree and play a lute or something?”
Edmund looked down at his book. “Not… necessarily a lute…”
“So, loan me your guitar,” Taylor said. “I only know like three chords, though.”
“That should do. They like love songs, so it’s said.”
“Isn’t that weird?” Taylor tried to peek in the book Edmund was holding. “I mean, if it’s so obsessed with virginity, that it wants to hear songs about getting it on?”
Edmund closed the book. “I said love songs, not…” He sighed. “More ‘I Want to Hold Your Hand’, less… Barry White.”
“Very up-to-date musical references, there, dude, very on the musical pulse.” Edmund did not dignify his burn with a response. “Okay, I think I know something sufficiently corny. To the park! I want to get this cheesy-singy bit over as quickly as possible so I can get to the punchy-stabby bit.”
“I am ever aware of your priorities,” Edmund said, and went to get his guitar out of his bedroom.
Two hours later, they’d found what seemed to be a sufficient single tree on a hillside near a glade, which was actually kind of hard to find in southern California, it turned out. But Taylor took a seat under it, thought as pure thoughts as he could, and started strumming the guitar.
“I wanna stand with you on a mountain,” he sang, loud and clear. “I wanna bathe with you in the sea….” He thought about holding hands, the 1950s, and the Jonas Brothers. “I wanna lay like this forever, until the sky falls down on me…”
Taylor kept strumming as he tried to remember the rest of the words, and saw a rustling in the leaves at the edge of the glade. Okay, so that was fast. He decided to thank his natural mystical energies for that, being a Chosen One and all, and not any assumed levels of his sexual purity. He saw a glint of light start to emerge from the trees.
“Falls down on meeeeee!” he sang with all his heart, and the unicorn emerged. It was beautiful, pure white and elegant, its mane somehow flowing even though there wasn’t a breeze. Then the sunlight hit it and it exploded in shine, every curve of its muscle gleaming in rainbow tones, like a little girl’s bedroom poster come to life. It bounded across the grass to where Taylor was sitting, the tinkling sound of bells accompanying its every hoofbeat.
Hello! it said, directly into his mind. Taylor kind of hated it when mythical creatures did that. It was so weird and vaguely violating, and like, how seriously ironic was it to feel violated by a unicorn. I heard your song and it was soooo beautiful! It leaned in to nuzzle Taylor’s cheek. It smelled like SweeTarts. You’re such a sweet boy! Usually boys don’t come see me because boys are soooo naughty.
“Just so you know, I’m pretty naughty,” Taylor said, even though he couldn’t resist bringing a hand up to pet the unicorn’s neck. “I’ve done some very naughty things.”
No, no no, no you haven’t, I can tell! The unicorn sniffed his hair. I can always tell! You’re pure!
“Not totally pure!” Taylor objected. “I mean, I’ve touched genitals! Other people’s genitals! Of both sexes! With this very hand!” Taylor’s sexual history was pretty limited, he had to admit, but he hadn’t thought of himself as all promise-ring-pure until now. He’d dated his friend Ash for a while, and they’d fooled around until she decided she didn’t actually like penises after all. Then there was Liam, the Prince of Faerie, and they’d had fun but he was so into pressuring Taylor to live with him forever in the eternal realm and also put out that Taylor had to break it off. So he wasn’t, like, inexperienced.
The unicorn nuzzled his hand without hesitation. Nope, nope nope, it doesn’t count!
“It doesn’t count? Come on, Dan Savage would say it counts! It’s seriously got to be like p-in-v or p-in-a?” Taylor sighed and hugged the unicorn around the neck. He just couldn’t help it. “That is seriously so, like, 20th century and heteronormative. Just so you know.”
Such a nice boy! I love nice boys! It rested its chin on top of Taylor’s head. He sighed. Sing me another song!
“Okay, but you have to give me something, okay? I just need a little of your hair.”
Okay! You can have it because you’re so good! The unicorn dipped its head down, and Taylor plucked a few shimmering strands from its mane as gently as he could and put them in the little box he’d brought for the purpose. Now, sing!
Taylor tried to think of something else a unicorn would like. He could do this. He’d watched Glee. He sighed. He was named Taylor, after all. He started to strum. “If you could see I’m the one who understands you, been here all along, so why can’t you see?” The unicorn started to romp, kicking up its hooves and laughing in Taylor’s head. “You belong with meeee….”
He was very, very glad, afterwards, to open up the Door of Khefra-Kel and punch a demon so hard its head came clean off.
He shouldn’t have let it bother him, because he was an enlightened 21st century kid who was not a slave to social pressures and junk like that, but really, the whole unicorn incident raised some concerns. He was a Hunter, one of the few chosen (by what, he’d never gotten a clear answer on) to fight evil across the world. Nine out of ten Hunters were girls, Edmund had told him, but every once in a while, you’d get someone like Taylor. There was another statistic, one that he had to really twist Edmund’s arm to get out of him, that said that nine out of ten Hunters didn’t make it to their twenty-fifth birthdays, and there was no convenient gender correlation he could hope for there.
Taylor was sixteen, almost seventeen. He fought demons almost every night, and had nearly died more times than he could count in the short time he’d been fighting. And here he was, a virgin. And all of the demon fighting meant he didn’t exactly have a lot of time to establish a serious relationship with someone he’d want to give it up to. He was, he realized, really statistically likely to die a virgin.
He could probably have sex with someone if he really tried at it. He was a good-looking kid, generally seen as pretty cool around school, and open-minded to all gender orientations. …But he was also dumb and romantic and a little old-fashioned, and he wanted his first time to be with someone he trusted and cared about. And it would be nice if they were hot, too.
God, he was dumb. He had someone like that, like, right in front of him.
It wasn’t a weird thing for him and Edmund to spend a Saturday night together. It was weird that they were doing it watching Casablanca and not fighting a nest of Whyrzerga Demons. It always made Taylor’s mom so much happier when they had a night in; she really worried about the demon thing.
“So, were things still black and white when you were a kid, or had they colorized it by then?” Taylor asked as he finished off the last of his Twizzlers and scooted over yet another half inch on the sofa, closer to Edmund.
“Only certain things,” Edmund said. “Post boxes, rose bushes, police sirens, those all were colorized in the early ’70s, but it took a while for them to get to the rest. In fact,” he said, raising his finger like he did when he was about to lecture Taylor about some demon biology thing Taylor didn’t actually care about except for the part of where to stab them hardest, “you’ll find today that full color has failed to make it to Britain. The skies are still grey.” He looked over at Taylor. “A joke, you see.”
Taylor smiled at him. “No, I liked it! It was a good one.” He scooted over just a little more and let his head rest on Edmund’s shoulder. “You’re an unsung comic genius.”
Edmund sighed. “I can tell by your gales of laughter.” Taylor snuck his arm under Edmund’s, linking them together, and he heard Edmund make a little ‘erm’ sound. “…You really didn’t want to spend tonight with your friends? Watching movies in color, looking up things on your phones, inventing new swear words, all of that?”
“I’m developing an appreciation of older things. I’m getting cultured,” he said. “And you totally count as one of my friends, dude.” He looked up at Edmund and smiled. “Like, my best friend, pretty much, you know that, right?”
Edmund looked at him, then looked away, blinking rapidly and going a little pink in the cheeks. He seriously had no idea how adorable he was when he did that, Taylor was sure. “Yes… yes, of course I know that.”
“And I’m your friend, right?”
“Of course,” he said, and Taylor was happy that he didn’t hesitate or Britishly hem and haw first. “Of course you are.”
Taylor took a slow breath. He hadn’t planned this out really specifically, but he had an opening. It could end horribly and embarrassingly, but he had faith that no matter what happened, Edmund would still be good and true and nothing would change so badly they couldn’t get over it. He put his other hand on Edmund’s far shoulder and swung himself around so he was straddling Edmund’s lap.
“Have you thought about being more than friends?” He hoped that sounded cool outside of his head. His voice hadn’t shook when he said it, at least. He rested his hands on Edmund’s shoulders and looked into his widening eyes.
“Taylor, I… you can’t possibly be suggesting I…”
“I am totally suggesting it,” he said, and while Edmund looked shocked and dismayed, his hands had come up to rest on Taylor’s hips, broad fingers stretching back to touch the small of his back. “I like you. In a sex way.”
“No, no, I simply can’t,” Edmund said, shaking his head. He wasn’t doing anything to remove Taylor from his lap, though. “I’m… far too old for you, and in a position of authority over you, and a lot of other very good reasons…”
“I have one good reason why you should,” Taylor said, and Edmund looked at him questioningly. “You’re the one person in the world I’ve trusted my life with over and over again. You’re someone I’ve fought to save again and again. You’re the only person who really understands what it’s like to have to fight like I do. You’re the one who’s going to be by my side when this all ends.” Taylor looked up for a moment, thinking. “So that’s, like, four reasons, actually.”
Edmund took a deep breath. “It’s still not appropriate. You’re too young.”
“I might die before I’m old enough!” Taylor said. “Edmund, you’d do anything for me, right?”
He was still holding his hips tight. “I… yes.”
“Don’t let me die a virgin, okay?”
Edmund let out a nervous little laugh. “I thought I was doing my best at that by keeping you from dying.”
“Better to play it safe and cover all the bases. Or whatever cricket metaphor means the same thing.” Taylor leaned in to rest his forehead against Edmund, and closed his eyes. “I just… want it to be you. Please.”
Edmund let out a slow, shaking breath, and his hands crept a little further around Taylor’s waist. “I will go to hell for this, you know.”
Taylor smiled. “I went to hell last summer, remember? It’s not so bad.”
“To a special hell,” Edmund said, softly.
“I’ll fight you out of there, don’t worry.” He leaned back a little and opened his eyes. “So… yes?”
Edmund took off his glasses, which Taylor always found to be the sexiest thing in the world, and set them aside. His eyes were still sharp when he looked at him. “Because I care about you more than anything in the world, yes.” Taylor started to grin and leaned in to kiss him, but Edmund held up that lecture-finger again. “And know that if you change your mind at any point we can cease all of this and go back to normal.”
“Of course I know that,” Taylor said, and darted out to kiss the tip of that damn finger. Edmund blinked at him and Taylor just laughed. “Now, take me, British man.”
Edmund opened his mouth to object to that, then just closed it again and shook his head. He lifted a hand from Taylor’s hip to cup his cheek. He leaned in to press his lips to Taylor’s, and oh. Oh oh. It was just a kiss, but he could feel it all the way in the tips of his fingers. He curled them behind Edmund’s neck and kissed him back. Edmund curled his hand in to the base of his spine to hold him steady, and Taylor knew he’d made the right choice.
Taylor’s below-the-neck experience was limited, but he did know how to make out. Maybe he could impress Edmund with his skills. He deepened the kiss, running his tongue along Edmund’s lips until they parted. He knew he had to taste like sugar, and Edmund sucked the sweet taste off his tongue, making him shiver and moan into Edmund’s mouth. It seemed he had more skills than he’d let on. It was always the repressed, buttoned-up ones you had to watch out for.
Edmund cupped Taylor’s cheek with his broad, warm hand as he left off from kissing his mouth to brush his lips along his jaw. Stubble scraped his throat as Edmund moved his mouth down along it, and Taylor gasped and tangled his fingers up into Edmund’s hair. He laughed a little, trying to catch a little air. “My heart’s going to explode, can you feel it?” he said, when Edmund’s kiss settled on his pulse.
“You’ll be just fine, I promise,” Edmund said, his voice soft and low in a way Taylor had never heard before, and wow, was that hot. His head was swimming, both from the giddiness of the whole situation and also because all of the blood that had lived in his brain now had moved to his penis, possibly permanently. He would never be not hard again after seeing and feeling Edmund like this. He was just going to have to adapt.
Edmund kept his arm steady around Taylor’s waist as he tilted him back a little, kissing his neck. Taylor clung to his shoulders as his breath shuddered and shook with every touch. Edmund stopped, just against Taylor’s adam’s apple. “You will tell me to stop if I–”
“Yes!” Taylor said, and squeezed Edmund in closer. “I will, now please don’t stop.” Edmund continued his path from one side of Taylor’s neck to the other, and Taylor sighed. “This is just what I wanted.”
Edmund brought his hand up to fit to Taylor’s ribs, just inching under his shirt, and paused. “I’d wanted it too,” he said into Taylor’s neck. “Because I am an awful man.”
Taylor pushed him back into the couch cushions and kissed him hard. “You are my favorite man.” He kissed Edmund some more and slid himself closer, and then his erection was rubbing up against Edmund’s, and oh my god, Edmund was hard. For him. He put his hands in Edmund’s hair and squirmed in his lap as he sucked on his lip.
“Good God,” Edmund gasped when Taylor gave him enough space to breathe, and grabbed his ass to draw him closer. Good God was right; Taylor wanted to just keep doing this, kissing and grabbing and grinding until they both got off. But that was not what he’d asked for; he’d still be hanging out with unicorns after that. He took a breath and straightened up.
“Let’s go to the bedroom,” he said, and it came out much more confidently than he had expected. Edmund’s eyes grew wide again, but he nodded, and with a strength that his usual tweedy self did not indicate, got up off the couch with Taylor still in his arms. Taylor wrapped himself around him tightly for the few steps to the bedroom.
He put Taylor down on the bed, and before Taylor could lose his nerve he started getting out of his clothes, peeling off his shirt and jeans and wiggling out of his underwear. Edmund just watched him with wide eyes, but there was a heat in them he’d never seen before. It was exhilarating and terrifying to be looked at like that. Taylor grabbed Edmund by his shirt and pulled him down to kiss him. It was warm, and soft, and good, and Taylor felt like he might explode. Edmund came down on the bed with him, settling between his knees, and suddenly Taylor grabbed his shirt, hard.
“Wait,” he said, and Edmund went still. “Stop.” Edmund took a slow breath and started to pull away, but Taylor held him from getting too far. “I don’t mean… not like, stop stop, I just… I want to do stuff but not like, it, not the ‘real thing’, not like–” He let go of Edmund’s shirt to make the gesture where he thrust a finger on one hand into the closed fist of the other. The fact that he did that at all was probably a good sign he didn’t need to be doing the act it implied. “I thought I was ready, but I’m not.” Unicorns, he realized, were a stupid reason to jump into something. “I mean, I will be. Someday. Probably soon. And I still want it to be you.”
Edmund straightened, up, taking a deep breath and looking very dignified and calm despite what had to be a major case of blue balls. “Whatever you want. It’s entirely your decision.”
Taylor reached out and took his hand, bringing it up to rest against his heart. Edmund curled his fingers up with his. “Well, like… so I don’t want to have sex sex, but I am totally naked and crazy turned on, and would you believe I’ve never gotten a blowjob and I’d really like you to introduce me to that fun and exciting world?”
“Only if you’re certain,” Edmund said.
“If you’re entirely sure.”
“And you know I’ll stop if you just say–”
Taylor reached a hand up to Edmund’s face. “You just proved you are, like, super good at doing what I say. So… now do this.”
Edmund closed his eyes, took a deep breath, and leaned down to kiss Taylor softly. “I would love to,” he said, and then began kissing his way down Taylor’s body, over his tightly muscled stomach. Taylor’s cock jumped when Edmund’s shirt brushed over it, making him whimper and grab at the blankets. Edmund held his hips and worked his way down, stopping just hovering above Taylor’s erection. He looked up at Taylor and opened his mouth to say something.
“If you’re going to ask me if I’m sure again I’m going to kick you,” Taylor said, and brushed a hand through Edmund’s hair to sooth away his little frown. “I’m crazy consenting. Just look at all this consenting I’m doing. Now… please.”
“As you wish,” Edmund said, and the little Princess Bride bonus thoughts just made it all the better when Edmund slid his mouth down over Taylor’s cock.
Taylor wasn’t big, he could admit, but he wasn’t big all over, and there was nothing wrong with being proportional, he felt. It seemed to be working in his advantage, because Edmund could easily take his cock in to the root, surrounding him with wet heat that made him squirm and gasp. Edmund was good at this, even if he had no other frame of reference; if this turned out to be bad oral sex, the good stuff would probably make his heart pop.
Edmund did something with his tongue that made Taylor’s back arch off the bed. No, this was definitely the good stuff, he was sure.
He couldn’t stay still. He shifted on the bed, tossed his head, thrust up into Edmund’s mouth. When he clawed at the blankets, though, Edmund brought his hands up to thread his fingers with Taylor’s, to squeeze them tight. He was steady and strong in all ways, in the touch of his hands, in the feel of his mouth, in the warmth of him pooling over Taylor’s body. He wanted him like this for everything, life and death, sex and love, making him feel good and safe. Taylor came with a sharp yelp, emptying into Edmund’s unrelenting, wonderful mouth.
He sucked Taylor until he went soft. Taylor had his eyes mostly closed, but smiled as he watched through his lashes as Edmund straightened up and dabbed at his lips with the back of his hand. He was so cute when he was proper. Taylor reached his arms up to make grabby hands at him. “Come back, come back.”
Edmund settled down beside him on the bed, and Taylor just tucked himself in close to him, wrapping his arms around his broad chest. He was so warm, and smelled good; even if it was nothing like old books and tea, that’s what he wanted to pretend his scent was. Edmund stroked his back and kissed the top of his head. Everything was awesome.
“Do you think I should get that unicorn again and just, like, shave its head?” Taylor said. “So we have a supply of unicorn hairs for after I lose my V-card for real?”
“It’s… a thought. I don’t think it would consent, though.”
“I’ll do it all ninja quick. It won’t even notice.” He lifted his head up. “Also, can I blow you now?”
Edmund took a shaky breath. “If that’s what you’d like to do.”
Taylor smiled. “You don’t have to keep being all proper, you know.”
Edmund closed his eyes. “Oh, God, yes, please.”
Taylor laughed and kissed him, tasting himself on his lips, and that was weird and awesome at the same time. He kissed him for a long while before heading southward. There was no reason to rush things, after all. No matter what unicorns thought.