Fandom: How To Get Away With Murder
Characters: Oliver Hampton/Connor Walsh
Rating/Warnings: M, frank talk about sex, but no smut
Word Count: 1235
Summary: Because fitting two lives into one space takes adjustment and compromise. And because risk management is more than just math. (Coliver, Oliver POV, post 2x01)
There are a lot of things he doesn’t expect. The sheer number of products Connor uses in the bathroom; the clunky homemade gifts from his family that totally don’t fit with the modern aesthetic of the apartment. How much time Connor spends doing readings, research and practice tests when he’s not in class or working for Lunatic Lawyer Lady, and how early he gets up to fit it all in.
No wonder he never slept over before. He says he’s just used to getting up early for lacrosse practice, but Oliver is still baffled that he doesn’t even need an alarm to wake up while it’s still dark out. But it’s actually kind of nice to feel Connor’s lips on his neck and the hornily affectionate way he rubs against him before he gets out of bed; to wake up to the smell of coffee already made and see his boyfriend focused and studious among his notes and books at the table.
And he doesn’t mind the smug smile Connor gives him every morning before he snags him close for a real kiss and they divvy up breakfast chores. He was right –living together feels all kinds of right and good and normal despite the nagging doubts in the back of his mind. He’s still not entirely used to sharing his place like this. And it’s not just the early mornings and cluttered counters.
He’s never known anybody with a sex drive like Connor’s. It used to thrill him to feel that blazing hunger ignite his own, glory in knowing how much Connor wanted him. So he doesn’t trust that Connor’s being entirely rational. He still feels like his body is some kind of dirty time bomb: contaminated, untouchable. It was hard to even touch and kiss him at first despite knowing that the odds of transmission were practically non-existent. And then Connor bowled him over by moving in.
Moving in. When he still worries about making tiny cuts in his skin every time he shaves, worries about the viral load in the condom after they jerk each other off. But he can’t share a bed with Connor without touching him either, and it’s actually been kind of amazing to realize they can be intimate without having real sex. To just have him steadfastly, stubbornly there when he’d braced so hard for the opposite.
And even though the PrEP should be fully entrenched in Connor’s body by tomorrow, it’s hard not to feel anxious about taking that last step- anal sex is the riskiest thing they can do.
“There’s risk in everything. And if we play it safe, I have better odds of getting in a car accident than getting HIV from you,” Connor points out as they’re doing the dishes.
“What if we were late taking our meds?”
Connor tilts his head and scoffs. “As if either of us were that careless.”
Oliver scrubs at the pot a little harder than strictly necessary. “Well, not in the last twenty days, but in the future, it could happen. And what if the condom breaks?“
Connor arches a brow and smirks, leaning against the counter. “If you’re trying to talk me out of banging you, you seriously underestimate how much I’ve been dying to fuck both our brains out.”
Oliver's thoughts stutter to a halt at the heat in that statement, at the way he gives him a once over and licks his lips. He’ll never get used to the way Connor can just say stuff like that. But he refuses to let Connor derail the conversation.
“I’m serious. If you end up testing positive… I would never forgive myself.”
He groans and rolls his eyes. “Ollie, we’ve been over this!”
“We can still get each other off like we’ve been doing,” he suggests, and from the way Connor grimaces he knows it was the wrong thing to say. But giving in still feels like agreeing to Russian roulette.
They’re at an impasse for a minute, silently washing and drying before Connor eyes him speculatively. “You know we barebacked a bunch of times and I still tested negative.”
“…Okay, but that really doesn’t mean anything since we don’t know for sure when-”
Connor plows on, putting the plates away with a clatter that makes Oliver wince a little. “And to answer your question from before, fifteen. Well, fourteen, I guess- I screwed one guy twice.” He turns and gestures at himself sarcastically. “I am a slut. And my penis touched fourteen different guys after we broke up. Actually, if you want to know my total number, it’s probably hovering around four hundred or so.”
Oliver’s jaw drops as he reels, bewildered. “What- the hell-?“
“I’m just saying. I could have contracted it from any of them if I end up testing positive. It’s possible to be symptom free for years, right? And the last test could have been a false negative. I bet I can dig up both false negative and false positive diagnoses from that clinic we went to. They looked totally under funded. The nurse couldn’t even return my call for hours.”
“That’s not-! You can’t actually-” Oliver’s eyes narrow as comprehension dawns, and he drops the sponge and turns. “Are you using lawyer strategies on me?!”
Connor throws up his hands. “You’re acting like you’re trying to kill me!”
That deflates all his outrage. And Oliver can’t deny it, can’t justify. “...I feel like maybe I am.”
Connor edges closer, eyes pleading. “Look. I get that there’s a greater risk and that scares you, but we’ve done literally Every. Smart. Thing. And I don’t want to just… get off. So I need you to stop pushing me away.” He hesitates before continuing. “You’re my boyfriend and- I love you. I want more than-” He stops abruptly, wincing.
Oliver takes a shuddering breath as the words register, and he looks away and gulps as his eyes and nose sting. He’d imagined that particular moment far different. This is happening too fast and it’s so far from perfect.
But this is reality, and he’s not the only one in this.
“…So what’s your judgment?”
Oliver huffs a laugh and gives him a wry look. “Don't you mean verdict?”
“Verdicts are given by juries of at least six people,” Connor corrects automatically before he catches himself and shrugs, hugging himself and looking at anything but him. “And it’s your body. Your decision.”
Connor only stands like that when he feels miserably exposed, so Oliver closes the gap between them, pulling him close to give them both some comfort and himself a chance to really consider.
The odds won’t change. But there’s more in the balance here than risk versus pleasure. And he understands now why Connor is so sure of his choices, even if anxiety still tinges the elation those three little words evoke.
He presses a kiss to that spot under his ear. “Not until after we take our meds tomorrow. And I still reserve the right to chicken out.”
Connor grins slowly in devious anticipation before kissing him. “So I have to think of ways of lowering those odds. Got it.”
Oliver has to laugh. “You're like, an actual Slytherin.”
Connor chuckles and gives him another triumphant kiss. “You love me anyway.”
Oliver smiles and kisses him back slowly, deliberately, before meeting his eyes. “Yeah. Yeah, I do.”