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Summer 2012

I will find you, I will reach you

Carl’s in his room on a Friday night when Zucc comes bursting through his door.

“Get dressed, we’re going out.”

Carl raises both an eyebrow and his Sports Law text. “No, I’m studying.”

Zucc sighs and puts his hands on his hips, making him look all of five years old. “You studied last Friday too. Who told you to take a summer course?”

“I did, because I wanna graduate as quickly as possible. Come on, man, we’ve been over this.”

Zucc sighs again. “It can wait, though, right?”

Carl bites his lip. It can wait, he just prefers to get a jump start on these things. Plus he’s got a shit load of reading and a reflection paper to write. But…

He tosses his book aside. “Alright, what did you have in mind?”

“Club in Tribeca. Seems pretty rad.”

Carl groans for a few reasons. The first being that Zucc actually uses words like ‘rad’ unironically. Carl likes to tease him that he belongs on a sandy beach in California with some surfers. The second being that Zucc wants them to go somewhere different and in Tribeca of all places, which is normally chock full of hipsters, even more so than their own neighborhood. And they live in Park Slope, so that’s saying a lot.

“Why don’t we just go to Danny’s bar?”

“Because he’s off tonight banging Cally so we’d get no free drinks anyway.”

Carl nods. “Point taken.” Danny’s bar is a complete dive in the East Village and really only worth going to if a) they want to get drunk quickly and spend basically nothing because Danny’s sweet like that or b) they’re already drunk from barhopping the entire night and want to sing some bad karaoke and get even drunker and eat greasy fries, still while spending basically nothing.

Carl sighs wearily. “Okay, fine. Let’s just do this.”

He looks at Zucc who’s smiling broadly now. He looks really good, fresh from the shower and rocking some tight jeans and an even tighter t-shirt that clings to his biceps. Carl would be perfectly happy to push him down on the bed and not let him up for a few hours but that doesn’t seem to be on the table tonight.

Instead, he lets Zucc lead him towards the shower while he says, “Chop chop,” completely seriously. He is ridiculous. Carl obeys nevertheless.

He and Zucc have been living together for about three years. The first year they were dating until they realized they were better off as friends. Incidentally, this coincided with them both realizing they wanted to sleep with other people. So now they’ll hook up if they're both single and mostly bored, and it’s easy and not awkward at all. Carl’s glad for that as Zucc is a pretty awesome friend.

They trek out to Tribeca on the N and make it to M1-5 (Carl eyes rolled so hard at the name he nearly hurt himself) by 11. There’s still a line at the door when they get there and Carl sees the flyers hanging up, boasting tonight’s DJ.

“DJ DZ?” Carl scoffs, looking down at Zucc. “Really, Zucc?”

“He’s supposed to be sick.”

Carl laughs. “I’m sure. What the hell does ‘DZ’ stand for, anyway?”

“Beats me,” Zucc replies, shrugging before throwing an arm around Carl’s shoulder. “If you stop bitching I’ll buy you a drink.”

Carl laughs and leans into the touch. “Let’s be real: you were always going to buy me a drink.”

“Why am I even friends with you?” Zucc bemoans.

“Because you don’t even know how to work a dishwasher and you’d be lost without me?” Carl says sweetly.

Zucc has no comeback whatsoever. It’s sort of pitiful how bad a roommate Zucc really is. He’s a slob, can barely function any appliances and he can barely boil water. Still, he’s Zucc and Carl wouldn’t trade him in for a better model at all.

They get carded because they always get carded. Carl doesn’t mind so much. He’ll probably hate the day when he doesn’t. They head immediately to the bar and Zucc buys him some Red Bull and vodka shots, which they down in seconds before heading through the crowd. There’s a steady pumping of Calling (Lose My Mind) through the speakers and Carl’s happy he doesn’t hate the DJ outright because it would’ve made the night that much longer. When the song immediately blends into Million Voices, Carl has to get a look of who this dude is. His breath does this weird hitching thing when he spots him.
The guy has his headphones on and is staring intently at the vinyls and mixing board in front of him. He has wavy dark brown hair that goes a little past his chin and he’s wearing a tight, thin blue shirt. When he looks up Carl’s able to see how dark and wide his eyes are – like a puppy’s -- and he’s immediately hit with a wave of affection.

He shakes it off, blaming the alcohol. He never, ever thinks sappy shit like that about anyone, not even Zucc, and Zucc’s one of the most adorable people he knows.

Carl’s only aware that he’s still staring when the dude smiles right at him, nodding a little. Carl blinks out of his stupor and turns away without acknowledging him, feeling a little flushed and not from the drinks.
It’s not that Carl doesn’t pick up in clubs or even that he’s bad at it. It’s that more often than not it happens when he’s grinding against a willing body and he’s feeling drunk on both alcohol and adrenaline, so it’s easy to just slide his lips over someone else’s skin and breathe in their scent, getting caught up in the sensations.

Carl finds Zucc and they dance a bit, losing themselves in DJ DZ’s selections. He plays Chasing Summers by Tiesto next, which Carl could’ve easily predicted and then I Cry by Flo Rida which he probably would’ve pinpointed less.

When Carl’s worked up a good sweat and has danced with a few randos, he lets himself look over again. DZ’s (because Carl has no idea what else to call him in his head) eyes are on his immediately and Carl has to wonder if he’s been watching this whole time. He’s torn between finding that possibility exceedingly creepy or unbearably hot. He’s leaning towards the latter.

Carl lets himself smile this time and he’s rewarded with a blinding grin in return. DZ gives him a little wave as well which is a little bit dorky and a whole lot charming.

“Jesus,” Carl mutters to himself. Luckily he’s saved from responding with an equally dorky wave because Zucc has found him again and is pulling him back towards the bar.

They get to talking with some people they run into from Zucc’s hockey team and then Carl has so many drinks in him that his thoughts contain nothing resembling cute DJs, and are solely about getting home without puking.

Put me arms right around ya

Carl wouldn’t have really thought about it much. He sees plenty of hot people every day; it’s just a fact of life. But then Zucc asks him over breakfast if he wants to go back to M1-5 that night and before Carl can even ask why, Zucc’s wagging those huge eyebrows of his and saying, “That DJ is most Fridays and Saturdays.”

Carl’s Corn Flakes fall out of his mouth. “Huh? So what if he – what?”

Zucc is grinning like a lunatic. Carl says as much. “No, seriously, you look crazy when you grin like that, you need to put that face away. You’re like the Chesire Cat.”

This just makes Zucc grin harder. “I saw the way you looked at him. You can’t hide that shit from me.”

Carl groans. “Whatever. He probably can’t even carry on a conversation.”

Zucc’s tilts his head. “You want to talk to him? Oh man, you do have it bad.”

“I don’t have it bad, I don’t even know him.”

“So go with me tonight and maybe you will.”

Carl should say no, but the thing is – he really wants to go.

When they enter the club that night to a remix of Hold Yuh, Carl knows he’s made the right choice. DZ’s picks have been pretty stellar thus far and at least, if nothing else, he knows he’ll get some good dancing out of it.

This time though, DZ is talkative. And it’s… awful. He’s asking everyone how they feel tonight and ‘whad uppp NYC’ and ‘You enjoying these bangers I’m throwing at you?’ and it’s terrible.

“He’s horrible!” Carl shouts over Aviccii to Zucc. “Do you hear him? Who says bangers without meaning like, sausage?”

“DJs, apparently!” Zucc shouts back, cheerfully, his hands low on Carl’s hips. “And we only say that because we’re European, you idiot!”

Carl rolls his eyes and steps in a little closer. “Whatever, he’s still awful.”

Zucc noises along Carl’s neck and he can feel him smiling. “You wanna go over there so bad, don’t you?” he whispers in Carl’s ear.

Carl shivers and he’s not sure if it’s from the words or just Zucc’s proximity. “Do not. You know I don’t do that.” His voice feels rough like gravel.

“Okay, let me save you the trouble then.” Before Carl can ask what he means Zucc is pulling his head down and kissing him, long and slow, tongue insistent against his lips. Carl opens to him immediately, groaning and tangling his fingers in Zucc’s hair, moving on instinct. They’ve ended way too many nights this way for it to even feel like a surprise anymore, and Carl’s hips press up against Zucc’s as if on auto-pilot.

He feels Zucc’s answering moan vibrate against him and then there are hands squeezing his ass and a slow grind building between them as they devour one another’s mouths to the beat of Blessed.

Zucc pulls away when the song is done and Carl’s mouth follows insistently, drawing in a ragged breath, his face feeling hot like fire. Zucc’s smile looks a little dazed himself but also far too mischievous.

“He’ll be over here within five minutes, mark my words.” And then Zucc is kissing his cheek and walking towards the bar while Carl stands helplessly in the middle of the dance floor with half a chub.

He doesn’t know where to go or what to do. He definitely doesn’t look up at the DJ booth. He just lets himself be swayed by the crush of bodies around him, breathing evenly and trying to decide whether he wants to kill Zucc or just kiss him again when there’s a touch to his shoulder.

He turns and – of course it’s DZ. Of course Zucc can’t be wrong about this one thing.

“Hey!” he yells near Carl’s ear, shifting towards him.

Carl nods, trying to get his voice to work. “Uh, hey,” he croaks out, running his fingers through his hair.

DZ smiles at him. It’s even nicer, warmer, up close. “Hadn’t seen you here before last night!”

“Yeah, uh, we just came – uh, for the first time then.”

Carl wishes the ground could swallow him up as replays his own words in his head.

DZ’s gaze flickers behind him. “We, as in that guy you were with?”

Carl nods jerkily. “Yeah, Zucc. Uh, Mats. I call him Zucc.”

DZ chews on his lip for a moment. “He your boyfriend?”

Carl laughs and cards his fingers through his hair once more. He was obviously expecting that -- it was Zucc’s entire plan after all -- but it still manages to catch him off guard. “Nah, we dated for a while but – we just hook up occasionally.”

DZ seems to visibly relax after that, his shoulders dropping and his eyes shining. “Cool! Um, I’m Michael,” he holds out his hand and Carl takes it. “Everyone just calls me DZ.”

His hand is cool and dry in Carl’s own and he can’t help but brush his thumb over the back of it, loving the way Michael’s – DZ’s – eyes light up when he does.

“Carl. Nice to meet you.”

They stare at one another and don’t release their grasp on each other’s hands until someone jostles Carl from behind.

He watches DZ blink and then push back a strand of his own hair. “Uh, look I gotta finish up with these bangers but if you want to meet up after…”

Carl really shouldn’t. Everything about this guy’s choice of vocabulary is ridiculous, but –

“Yeah, sounds cool.”

“Great! I gotta pack my shit and everything but there’s a Dunkin across the street. I’ll buy you coffee.”

His lips quirk. “What, is this place too rich for your blood?”

“Nah, too loud.”

Carl looks at him, quizzically. “What do we need to talk for?” Maybe he was completely off the mark here. And despite his comment this morning to Zucc, he didn't really want to talk above anything else.

DZ regards him silently for a moment, before shouting. “Maybe I want to get to know you.”

Carl smiles in spite of himself, surprised. “Yeah, okay.”

“Sweet.” He turns around and starts to head back before pausing and facing Carl again. “Hey! You got any requests?”

Carl laughs inwardly. “Play something old school for a change!”

“Challenge accepted!”

Carl weeds through the crowd to find Zucc just as This is How We Do It starts playing. He can’t help cracking up.


the party is here on the West side

Carl manages to break away from Zucc, who has literally been patting himself on the back since Carl told him, and actually head to the Dunkin Donuts solo. It’s too bright inside and completely impersonal, but it’s also one of the few places nearby with seats that’s open, given the hour, and that isn’t a bar.

DZ comes through the door about ten minutes later. He’s changed his shirt into a plaid button down and Carl suddenly feels a little underdressed in his white t-shirt. Whatever, it’s not like this is a date.

Carl stands as he walks over. “Hey.”

“Hey,” DZ smiles. “Coffee?”


They both end up getting hot chocolate instead and DZ pays even though Carl protests.

“Least I can do – I know what that club charges for alcohol.” He’s grinning again. In fact, the only time he’s seen him look serious so far was in the DJ booth and when he was asking about Zucc. Carl’s stupidly into it.

“Well, thanks,” Carl says as they reclaim the table where Carl was previously seated.

“No problem. So, did you enjoy those bangers I was serving up?”

Carl laughs in his face, giggles overtaking him. He keeps it up for so long that DZ’s easy grin slips off his face.

“Okay, so that’s a no then?”

He sounds so completely self-conscious and insecure that Carl sobers immediately. “Hey, no. You’re like – really good. But ‘bangers?’ Really? I’m from Sweden, man, and I keep thinking you’re talking about sausages.”

DZ laughs at that, the uneasiness melting away. “Then I guess when I talk about my mashed bangers you’re just gonna think –“

“Bangers and mash,” they say in unison, laughing openly.

“Anyway, I guess I’m not hip enough for your lingo,” Carl says, teasingly.

“Guess not,” DZ agrees.

Their eyes meet again and it’s like an electric current. Carl watches as DZ licks his lips before raising the cup to his mouth again, taking a slow, deliberate drink.

Desire pools low in his belly and he clears his throat as if that’ll get rid of it.

“Uh, so what’s DZ stand for anyway?”

“My last name. Del Zotto.”

“Ah, gotcha.”

“What’s yours?”

Carl thinks he’s asking what’s his DJ name at first which is obviously ridiculous until he catches on. “Little personal isn’t it? I’m not that kinda boy.”

DZ laughs, loudly. “Okay, that’s fair. So what do you do? Or is that still too personal?” DZ asks and Carl’s suddenly grateful for the distraction of having to talk about himself, rather than continuing to picture how full DZ’s lips would look after a long, intense makeout session.

“Nah, that’s cool. Uh, getting my masters in Sports Management at Columbia.”

DZ’s eyes widen. “Impressive.”

Carl shrugs. “And I’ve got like, a student sales associate job at MSG right now. For the summer.”

“Shit, man, really? I love the Garden.”

Carl smiles to himself. “Yeah, it’s pretty cool. Um, how about you? How’d you like, get started with the DJ thing?”

DZ waves his hand vaguely. “Eh, I’m originally from Ontario and there’s this awesome Toronto DJ, DJ Danny D, that I always looked up to. I tried college for a bit, but it wasn’t for me. I moved here a few years ago and it took a bit but I’m finally getting steady gigs.”

“That’s cool,” Carl says, admiring that kind of ambition even though he’s silently judging him for not staying in school. He can’t help it; education was integrated into him at a young age. “How old are you?”

“Just turned 22. You?”

“24 next month,” Carl replies.

DZ grins, picking at the sleeve around his cup. “About a year to your quarter life crisis. Any signs of it yet?”

Carl laughs, loudly. “Uh, not yet but check with me tomorrow.”

DZ looks at him quizzically for a moment. “You don’t have that strong of a Swedish accent. I probably wouldn’t have been able to tell if you hadn’t mentioned it.”

Carl scrubs at the back of his neck. “Yeah, uh, I came over pretty young – went to Michigan State for sports but uh, knee injury fucked that up. I always enjoyed school though, so I just decided to stay.”

“Bummer, man.”

Carl made peace with it years ago but he’s still sort of glad DZ isn’t even asking for details on which sport he played. Sure, he’d wanted to go pro with hockey, but it’s not like he can change it now. Plus, he’s got awesome friends and actually likes his chosen career path, and he isn’t looking backwards anymore.

He feels coiled with tension having talked about this and when DZ’s hand closes over his, he jumps.

“Sorry,” DZ says softly. “For bringing it up.”

Carl offers up a weak smile. “It’s fine.”

DZ doesn’t move his hand and Carl doesn’t ask him to. They sit that way, talking about music, until Carl says he should probably go.

“I’ve got a car,” DZ offers when they’re out on the street, Carl’s hand still tingling from the ghost memory of DZ’s touch.

“Oh, yeah?” Carl says, eyebrow quirked. “Feel like driving me to Brooklyn?”

DZ grimaces and Carl doubles over in laughter.

“Okay, how about I walk you to the subway?”


It’s a nice night. Not too hot and even a bit breezy. Carl’s enjoying the way DZ walks close to him so their shoulders brush together.

He digs out his MetroCard as they approach the N and looks up at DZ. “Thanks for the cocoa,” Carl says and then immediately wants to facepalm.

DZ’s still smiling his easy smile though. “No big deal.”

Carl shifts on his feet, watches the way DZ swallows and sways a little closer before bouncing back on his heels.

“Can I see you again?”

“Sure,” Carl replies, “if you can find me.” He smiles cheekily, loving the look of surprise on DZ’s face.

“A challenge, eh?” He sounds impressed now. Good. This is the way Carl normally is – flirty and completely on his game. He seemed to lose track of that with DZ. Like his walls were already broken down, leaving an open genuineness that he normally doesn’t display to people he’s just met.

“If you’re game,” Carl says.

“Oh, I’m game.

I got a pocket full of rubbers and my homeboys do too

Carl has class on Monday and then work the rest of the week. He doesn’t even pretend he’s going to be doing homework on Friday night and gets ready to go out before Zucc even asks.

“I’ve created a monster,” he says when Carl emerges in a striped shirt and jeans.

“Shut up. Do I look okay?”

“Yeah, you’ll sweep DJ boy off his feet with your luscious blonde locks.”

Carl gives him the finger.

“You know I don’t like to stay at one place for a long time so be thankful I’m doing this for you,” Zucc says as they’re in line to get in.

“You’re such a martyr.”

Zucc grins, ignoring the sarcasm, and claps Carl on the back. “Do I need to suck your face again?”

“Nah, think he’s on board.”

Zucc laughs. “He was always on board.”

Carl can’t really argue with that anymore. He doesn’t seek out DZ, will let him find him just like he said. When he’s been there for about twenty minutes, he hears DZ’s voice through the microphone.

“Hey boys and girls. This here is an old school banger and it goes out to one person in particular.”

Gin and Juice starts up and Carl laughs, finally letting his eyes flicker up to DZ. He smiles immediately, waving.

Carl gives him a nod in return, unable to keep the dumb smile off his face.

DZ ends up mixing Gin and Juice with the Spice Girls and it’s completely ridiculous, yet it seems so obviously him. Then Carl realizes it’s sorta weird to think that, since it’s not like he really knows DZ all that well, yet.

Dz points to Carl and then holds up his hand like a stop sign. Carl assumes that means he should stay put. When the song ends DZ gets back on the microphone.

"Alright beauties, I'm taking a break, so enjoy some of my pre-mixed mashed bangers!”

Carl shakes his head, laughing. This dude is so embarrassing, but Carl seems to completely dig that. He watches DZ jump down from the DJ booth just as Zucc plasters himself along Carl's back.

“Lover boy on the move?” he shouts in Carl’s ear.

“Looks like it. And don't call him that when he comes over.”

“Sure thing, pumpkin!”

“Oh my god,” Carl groans.

DZ’s smile is blinding as he makes his way through the crowd before coming to a stop in front of them.

“I found you.”

“That you did,” Carl replies.

Their eyes lock and Carl is once again struck by an intensity he hasn't felt in forever. He watches DZ lick his lips and is suddenly regretting not having felt them on his own already.

“I'm Mats,” Zucc says obnoxiously from where he's still hanging all over Carl. He holds out his hand and DZ shakes it.

"Michael. DZ is fine,” he looks between the two of them, eyes dancing. “Are you two a package deal or something?”

Zucc laughs and finally breaks his hold a little. “You wish. I'm just trying to make sure your intentions are pure.”

“Seriously?” Carl mutters, nudging him in the ribs with his elbow

DZ just seems amused by it all. “I can promise you my intentions are pure.”

Carl feels his heart sink at the words, thinking somehow he read this entire thing wrong, when he continues with, "For now," shooting Zucc a toothy grin.

Zucc laughs. “I like this guy,” he says decisively, before finally relinquishing his hold on Carl. “He's a cool guy.”

“Thanks,” DZ replies.

Zucc punches DZ in the arm, which is Zucc speak for solidarity, and DZ punches him back.

“Okay, I'm off!”

“Good! Byeee!” Carl waves him off obnoxiously before rolling his eyes at DZ and turning towards the bar. “Sorry about that.”

Dz shrugs. “It's cool.” He waves the bartender over and they order.

“It's gonna be on the house.”

Carl raises his eyebrows. “Maybe I'll just use you for the free drinks.”

DZ leans in a little closer so that their heads are almost touching. “Go ahead,” he says in Carl’s ear, voice hushed.

Carl swallows, and is considering pulling DZ a few inches closer and kissing him, just to get it out of the way, except the drinks decide to arrive and the moment is broken.

DZ pounds back half of his vodka, club soda, and lime, while Carl just casually drinks his martini.

“Martini,” DZ says, laughing for a second time at his drink of choice. “Like you're James Bond or something.”

“Martinis did exist before James Bond,” Carl points out.

“Yes, but they weren't cool.”

Carl opens his mouth to say something and comes up short.

DZ is pointing at him. “Ah, ah, see, I gotcha.”

It's both stupidly annoying and stupidly cute, so Carl does the only thing he can think of and kisses him. It's clumsy, both of them angled towards the bar and with drinks in their hands at that. Carl mostly misses DZ’s mouth and hears him make a low mewling sound before turning that extra inch so their mouths catch.

Their mouths move together slowly, just learning the shape and feel. Carl feels a hand fist in his hair and he groans, raising his free hand to DZ’s bicep and squeezing. Carl licks between DZ’s lips to find a sweet taste of the drink and something else that’s uniquely just DZ. DZ’s tongue inches out to meet his own and then they’re off and running, kissing deep and hard and Carl hopes DZ isn’t someone who despises PDAs, because he's really not willing to stop anytime soon. Suddenly there’s a hand pressed against the small of his back and Carl follows suit, clumsily puts his drink down so he can drag his fingers through DZ’s hair.
DZ backs Carl up against the bar, aligning their hips. He hears someone shout, “Get a room,” around them but he’s too lost in the feel of DZ’s mouth crushing against his own, hot and slick, and DZ’s dick snug up against his own, creating a delicious friction, to really give a shit.

DZ pulls back first, tugging on Carl’s bottom lip as he goes. Carl watches him smile shakily, one hand still firmly fisted in DZ’s hair.

“Uh, I gotta – I really gotta get back up there.”

Carl nods, letting him go.

He watches DZ fuss with his own hair and tug at his shirt before leaning in to steal another kiss. “Wait for me outside?”

“Yeah,” Carl says smiling, lips still tingling.

“Cool.” He flashes another smile and then he’s off.

“Cool,” Carl repeats to no one, before finishing the rest of his drink and trying to get his semi under control.

push it to the limit like borderline

Zucc ditches him again to head over to the Village because, “We’re never gonna see Danny or Cally again at this rate,” and Carl would feel bad if his dick wasn’t still mad at him for the interrupted action earlier.
“Tomorrow, I promise we’ll go there.”

Zucc rolls his eyes. “Uh-huh. Go get laid, you dick.”

Carl grins brightly around his Malibu (that the bartender gave him for free thank you very much) before blowing Zucc a kiss.

“Let’s play question and answer,” DZ says when he finds Carl leaning against the building outside, most of the crowd already gone.

“Is that exactly what it sounds like?”

Carl was kind of hoping there would be dicks involved right now. Or at least mouths for reasons other than talking.

DZ crowds him against the wall, resting one arm against it beside Carl’s head. He leans down to kiss his neck.

“Yeah. I wanna know shit about you.”

Carl shivers as DZ licks a slow line up his throat.

“That’s…” Carl gasps when sharp teeth nip at his Adam’s apple. “Flattering.”

He feels DZ’s smile against his skin before pulling back.

DZ looks to the side and his eyes light up. “Oh hey, let’s get ice cream.” He motions to the Mister Softie truck on the street.

Carl laughs and follows; this dude has the attention span of a four year old. They return to their spot against the club wall with two cones in hand. Carl got vanilla with chocolate sprinkles and DZ opted for chocolate on chocolate.

They're lounging against the brick of the building next to him, turned a little to face one another. DZ takes a lick of his cone and Carl needs to silently tell his dick to keep it under control.

“Okay, I’ll start. What was your favorite show as a kid?”

“Ummm…” Carl tries to think. “Like, Pokemon, I liked.”

DZ laughs. “Okay. Power Rangers is the correct answer, but okay.”

“Come on, Pikachu is an amazing character!”

DZ chokes on his laughter. “Whatever you say!”

Carl nudges him with his elbow. “Okay, asshole, what are your favorite songs right now?”

“Oh god.” DZ laughs, shaking with it. “Uh, can I make a list?”

Carl shoots him an impatient stare.

“Okay, okay. Well, Strangers would be number one. Pound the alarm is sick, though, too. So, yeah. Those.”

Carl grins at his enthusiasm, then starts at the foot that brushes against his calf. “My turn,” DZ says, voice low as Carl looks at him.


DZ pauses for a moment, clearly thinking. “Favorite spot in the city?”

“The Park,” Carl answers, easily. The Village is a close second, though, but Carl’s utterly charmed by Central Park. “You?”

DZ waves his hand. “You’re looking at it.”

“Really? Tribeca?”

DZ shrugs. “It has its charm.”

Carl tangles their feet together, licking his ice cream cone as DZ watches.

“Uh,” DZ replies intelligently, staring at Carl’s mouth. “Is it my turn, or?”

Carl bites his own lip, considering, before deciding to just make the move. “You got a car, right? We could finish this on the way to your place.”

DZ’s mouth drops open for a millisecond before he’s nodding and tugging Carl along by the hand. “Yeah, let’s. That.”

Carl laughs, trailing behind him, squeezing DZ’s fingers within his own. “I thought you had game but clearly I was wrong.”

“Yeah, well, I thought I’d have to woo you more, so we’re both wrong.”

Carl snickers. “You call that wooing?”

DZ pushes him against the passenger door when they reach what is apparently his car, kissing him breathless.

“Yeah, I call that wooing,” DZ pants out as he breaks away, breath damp across Carl’s cheek.

Carl’s too turned on to speak at the moment so he chalks up defeat at that one.

into the streets, we're coming down

DZ does actually continue asking questions in the car, as his speakers pump out background noise in the form of Swedish House Mafia.

“Favorite reality show?” DZ asks, thrumming his hands to the beat on the steering wheel.

“Ahhhh, uh. Gotta be Jersey Shore.”

DZ looks at him in horror. “Oh come on, they’re such fake Italians! Every time my family gets together we constantly say how much more authentic we’d be.”

Carl laughs, resting his head against the window and shifting his gaze towards DZ, smile stretching against his lips. “Good enough for me.”

DZ lets out an exaggerated groan and Carl grins some more. “You know nothing! Seriously, my family is like – the best, man. And my mom’s such an amazing cook – she’s been teaching me when I come to visit.

And my Nonno G makes the most amazing frittatas and –“ DZ trails off, glancing towards Carl with a sheepish look. “Uh, sorry. I just miss them a lot sometimes.”

Carl’s smile softens and he reaches out to touch DZ’s thigh. “That’s really sweet. And I get it, totally.”

DZ’s mouth quirks upward, some of the embarrassment seeming to drain out of him. “Yeah, I bet you do, huh?”

Their eyes lock for a moment and it’s heated even with how brief it is. Carl clears his throat as DZ shifts his attention back to the road. His dick was starting to calm down but now it’s decided it wants back in on the action. “Okay, uh, my turn. Favorite… non-reality TV show?”

DZ chews on his lip. “Uh, well comedy – Two and a Half Men.”

Carl groans. “You honestly have the worst taste.”

“Shut up, it’s funny! Drama – Suits. Def.”

Carl hums. “Okay, I’ll give you that.”

They throw out some more topics – from favorite sneakers to stores to movies, which ends up devolving in a battle of who can quote the most lines from both The Sandlot and Anchorman.

By the time they getting DZ’s place they’ve learned a lot more about one another and laughed a hell of a lot, too, especially when Always Be My Baby comes on his iPod.

“This is a classic banger man, don’t even.”

Carl zips his lips exaggeratedly. His last question as they’re exiting the car is, “What’s the most important quality you want to find in someone else?”

“Just someone who has fun, man. Like, this, right now? Us laughing at stupid shit? This is fun. If I can’t laugh with someone, I don’t want to know them.”

Carl looks at him, warmth filling his chest. “Same,” he says, voice low.

DZ definitely brings out Carl’s inner dork, even more so than Zucc. Which is saying a lot, considering Zucc is perpetually nine years old.

What Carl’s basically here for sinks in when they’re in the elevator up to DZ’s place.

“My roommate Brian is probably out; he usually is.”

“That’s cool,” Carl replies, swallowing hard around the lump in his throat.

Carl follows DZ down the hall to his door, nerves and anticipation fighting for dominance in his body.

DZ’s place is nice. A lot bigger than what he and Zucc have, with a much bigger kitchen too. There's even a fancy hanging pot rack and spices and shit.

DZ must see him looking because he says, “Yeah, been trying my hand at cooking a lot lately but the genes aren’t so naturally handed down, it seems.”

“Well if you need a guinea pig, I love to eat and I’m not overly critical.”

DZ laughs. “Cool, I’ll keep that in mind.”

Their eyes lock again and it's like all the air has been sucked out of the room. Before Carl can even blink DZ has him pressed against the same island he was just admiring. The marble juts into the small of his back but he can't even begin to care, not with DZ’s hands gliding possessively down his back and tucking beneath the hem of his shirt.

Their lips catch and drag together, slick and perfect. Carl moans and arches against DZ, sliding his own hands to DZ’s ass and squeezing. DZ groans and starts a slow rocking of his hips. Carl can feel the heat of DZ’s erection, an insistent press against his thigh.

DZ’s lips breaks away to place hot open mouthed kisses along the stumble at Carl’s jaw and down the curve of his neck. Carl is rock hard and uncomfortable in his jeans by the time DZ is sucking a hickey over his clavicle. Carl’s skin feels blood hot, his hands kneading DZ’s ass as his head drops back to expose more of his neck.

“Fuck, I want you,” DZ breathes, licking at the throbbing bruise he just bestowed on Carl's skin.

“Yeah,” Carl moans. He drags his nails up DZ’s back beneath his shirt and is rewarded by a jerk of his dick.

Their lips meet again, wantonly, hands grabbing at naked skin, bodies pushing and pulling against one another.

"Where's your bedroom?” Carl grits out while sliding his lips along the line of DZ’s jaw.

“It's, uh.” He hears DZ take a shuddering breath as Carl tugs his earlobe between his teeth. “Uh, it's, you know, over there somewhere.”

Carl pulls back and laughs as he sees DZ’s arm flailing around in some vague vicinity of the bedroom.

“Wow, you get dopey when you're horny.”

DZ gives him the puppy dog eyes and Carl already knows that's going to be a problem.

“You're all,” he starts, waving that same hand at Carl vaguely. “Hot and shit, leave me alone.”

Carl laughs and slides his arms back around DZ, a playful grin on his lips. “Naw, I'm not that hot.”

DZ’s fingers card through his hair and Carl moans softly when they scrape over his scalp, his head falling back a little again. “You are,” DZ whispers, kissing his lips softly and then the corner of his mouth.
“Meanwhile I'm the dude with a huge zit on the end of my nose.”

Carl laughs and pulls back to look. “Oh yeah! Lookit that! “

DZ shakes his head. “How did you not notice? I’ve been freaking out over this all day!”

Carl tucks a piece of hair behind DZ’s ear. “It isn’t that big, doofus.”

DZ scoffs. “Please, it’s gigantic. I even asked my twitter followers for advice on how to get rid of it ASAP. They suggested toothpaste. The toothpaste was unsuccessful, man.”

Carl shakes with silent laughter while DZ tries (and fails) to glare at him.

He tugs on DZ’s hair. “Are we gonna talk about your monster zit from outer space or you gonna show me where your bedroom is?”

DZ wisely chooses option two.

no way you’re ever gonna shake me

Carl wakes up to the smell of coffee in the air and DZ’s solid arm around his waist. He really, really didn’t intend to fall asleep but DZ sort of blew his mind through his dick and Carl had no energy to fucking move.

Carl shifts backward, loving the press of DZ’s body up against his, how well they seem to fit together, as he recalls the night before. They made out in DZ’s bed like teenagers for what felt like ages with all their clothes on, until finally undressing one another. Carl knelt on the bed and kissed his way down DZ’s body, all smooth tan skin and muscle. His dick was prettier than Carl’s ever seen on a dude, cut and big, and sucking it got him so fucking hot he nearly came all over DZ’s sea green sheets.

DZ was stupidly hot when he got going, tugging on Carl’s hair and letting out hushed, fervent curses as he sucked in breath after breath, biting his lip before coming in Carl’s mouth. He warned him and all that jazz, but Carl’s an economical blow job giver and he’s always preferred swallowing than annoying cleanups. Plus, he sort of digs it.

DZ pulled him up immediately and licked some of the taste out of his mouth, making Carl moan deeply and palm his own dick. Then he was pushed onto his back and sucked pretty fucking expertly, which is how he ended up in a ‘my legs are jelly and I can’t even move’ state.

DZ didn’t seem to mind, though. Just turned the AC up a little bit and threw his arm over Carl’s chest, kissing his shoulder before drifting off into sleep.

Now Carl’s awake with DZ’s erection pressed against his ass and his fingers firm over his stomach and he has a scary thought of I could get used to this. It’s a pretty foreign one. He hasn’t been serious about anyone since Zucc, and that was a like two years ago now. He’s basically enjoyed a lot of casual hookups and some dates here and there, but this falls beyond each of those realms. It’s asinine, but he feels an odd connection with DZ, like they could be really fucking good together.

These are far too deep thoughts to be having on a morning after some great sex, so Carl just nestles backwards again and closes his eyes. DZ’s lips graze over his shoulder a few moments later and he makes a small moan of displeasure.

“S’time is it?”

Carl glances at the alarm clock on DZ’s dresser. “11:04.”

DZ lets out an unintelligible groan and snuggles in closer.

“Did you make coffee?” Carl asks, running his fingertips over DZ’s forearm.

“Hmmm?” DZ asks, voice raspy, nosing his way along Carl’s neck. Carl knows it’s probably from sleep, but it still makes him go hot all over, remembering how deep DZ’s throat his cock was some eight hours ago. “No, I haven’t moved, man.”

“I smell coffee.”

“Probably Brian. He dies without it.”

They lie there for a few more minutes, trading lazy touches and kisses before getting up because Carl refuses to kiss DZ on the mouth until they’ve at least brushed their teeth.

“Prima donna,” DZ laughs, walking to the bathroom, naked. Carl’s admiring the view too much to even muster an indignant complaint. In fact, he stumbles over his own feet because holy fuck that ass looks even better than it felt beneath his hands. And it felt pretty amazing so that’s saying a lot.

They brush their teeth – Carl using his finger as a toothbrush because apparently he’s fine with putting someone else’s dick in his mouth but he draws the line at sharing hygiene items.

He gets a little lost in feeling up DZ’s abs against the bathroom door and once again tracing his fingers over the scar along his side. When he saw it last night he was shocked to say the least. And when DZ saw where his lips were hovering, he let out a sigh and said, “Yeah. Old battle wound.”

He explained he got cut with a skate blade when playing hockey back home when he was in high school. That nearly led to a hockey discussion which totally would’ve killed the mood, so Carl decided to leave out how he loves hockey too and that’s what he was at Michigan State for, and instead asked if it was okay to touch it. DZ said yeah and let out a small, hitching breath as Carl dragged his tongue along it, learning the shape and feel of it with his tongue.

He touches it again like that now, reverently, and DZ makes that small noise again, almost like it’s important to him that Carl doesn’t just ignore as if it doesn’t exist.

They eventually manage clothes and stumble out towards the kitchen with some obvious bedhead and probably some tell-tale bruises.

There’s a guy (Brian apparently) with big eyebrows and dark hair sitting at the island, looking very amused. “Have a nice night, boys?”

DZ claps him on the back, perhaps a little too hard and grabs two mugs. “We did indeed. Brian, this is Carl. Carl, Brian.”

“Nice to meet you,” Brian says as they shake hands.


DZ gets them both some cereal and it’s less awkward than Carl expected it would be, sitting here with DZ’s roommate and shooting the shit.

They all end up playing NHL ’13 on Wii and Carl wipes the floor with them. Brian grumbles loudly about it, but DZ just grins, like he’s proud of Carl or something. It’s completely ridiculous but it doesn’t stop his stomach from flipping.

He eventually leaves because it’s not like he can just bum around DZ’s all day in clothes from last night. He really should do some of his reading, anyway.

When they’re standing at the door DZ seems nervous. He drums his fingers against the wall and Carl waits, his chest seizing up in panic.

“Hey, uh,” he looks behind him to where Brian’s sitting on the couch watching TV, before turning back. “Uh, let me walk you to the elevator?”

Carl frowns. “Sure.”

He’s pretty stiff as he makes his way down the hall. This is probably gonna be the ‘thanks for the great lay but I’m not interested’ speech. Carl’s gotten that speech a few times. He’s also been the one to give it, even more frequently. He knows how this goes.

“So, I was wondering –“ DZ starts, scratching at his neck, and Carl blinks, because that’s really not the way someone begins a ‘fuck off’ delivery. “Like, if you wanna go out with me?”

Carl’s mouth drops open before he quickly closes it. “Yes,” he says nodding, a wide smile taking shape. “Absolutely.”

DZ lets out a breath and drags his fingers through his hair, grinning broadly. “Sweet. So, uh, I’m not working tonight. Do you like sushi?”

“Love it.”


Carl bites his lip, remembering what he promised Zucc. “And then maybe we can go to my friend’s bar? If you want.”

DZ’s smile only gets wider. “Yeah, man. I’d love to meet your friends. Besides, sounds like you’d be getting me the free drinks this time.”

Carl laughs. “We’ll see about that. You might have to work for it.”

DZ tugs him close, hand at the small of his back, before pressing their lips together. They kiss through their smiles, unhurried.

“Oh, I’ll work for it,” DZ whispers as they part and Carl laughs again, marveling at his cheesy seduction attempts.

“I don’t even have your number,” Carl says, suddenly realizing.

They do the whole exchange and kiss again as the elevator doors open. “Text me where and when,” Carl says.

“Will do.”

They grin at one another dumbly and as the doors are closing, Carl yells out, “Hagelin. My last name.” The surprised yet happy smile spreading across DZ’s face is the last thing he sees.

Carl leans back and exhales. Then his phone buzzes.

Carl Haglin tomorrow I wanna make you breakfast in bed. That is if I'm not jumping to conclusions based on last night

Carl smirks down at his phone.

It’s HagElin, actually. And you’re good.

Carl leans his head back against the wall. “This is good,” he says aloud and doesn’t stop smiling the whole way home.