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Jason Fox Comes Out

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In retrospect, it really wasn’t a surprise to Jason Fox that he was gay. He just hadn’t realized it before. He’d never liked girls, and just never grew out of it. Now he knew why.

It just took one of his idiot classmates to point it out. He was eating lunch with a group of guys in his Physics II class because they were working on a group project together, and when he hadn’t stared at some girl walking by and joined in the comments about wanting to sleep with her, Kris had elbowed him and asked, “Are you gay or something?”

He’d shrugged it off, saying he hadn’t been paying attention, and Kris, who knew Jason was in his own world sometimes, bought it. But being asked so pointblank made him realize that yes, he probably was gay. Interesting.

~*~*~*~

Later that day he had a few minutes between class and fencing practice to think. He lay on his bed with his hands tucked behind his head, his glasses next to him so he couldn’t see anything. Had he ever expressed an interest in girls? There was that whole debacle with Eileen Jacobson when he was ten, but had he really liked her, or was it just that he thought he should like her? And they were only ten, did that mean anything at all? High school had been spent dateless, and Jason was fine with that. Girls would have gotten in the way of his projects and work and everything else that was important to him.

He hadn’t thought about guys either, but he hadn’t paid much attention to sex at all, anyway. He jerked off all the time because his body needed the release, and it was kinda fun besides, but he thought himself above the need for girls. He knew that wasn’t weird, some people were late bloomers, but nothing had changed when he got to college. The thought of girls in their underwear in the rooms around him wasn’t a turn on, and neither were the visuals of the girls jogging around campus in their little running shorts and sports bras. Most of the other freshmen guys practically drooled when they ran by.

Did he pay more attention to the guys in their little running shorts and t-shirts? He might. He knew he paid attention to guys in the bathroom brushing their teeth in only their boxers or pajama pants. He had thought he was only comparing their physique to his; like Peter, he never gained any weight and was all skin and bones, and wanted to see if other guys were better built. He thought fencing might help develop a little muscle, so he joined his school’s club. And some of the other new guys were athletes in high school and had extremely well-developed legs…

He wanted to test himself on his friends or something, but the guys in the fencing club and in his D&D group weren’t exactly the greatest-looking guys ever. Majoring in engineering didn’t help, either. Maybe he’d check out the soccer game on Saturday.

~*~*~*~

Saturday night, after the soccer game and after the weekly D&D game, he called Marcus, hoping his friend would be around. Unfortunately Marcus wanted to focus his talents elsewhere and had gone to a different college, one with trimesters of all things, so he wasn’t going to see him again until Christmas. It hurt. He and Marcus had been inseparable from childhood through high school, to the point of Marcus being salutatorian three hundredths of a point behind Jason’s valedictory average. Eileen had come in third, a full point behind Marcus. They’d all been friends until college, where they’d gone their separate ways. He wasn’t sure he’d see Eileen again, but he talked to Marcus weekly or more, usually through the computer.

Tonight he felt like hearing his friend’s voice, so he called Marcus’s cell. It rang three times before Marcus answered it, sounding out of breath. “Yeah?”

“Marcus? It’s Jason.”

“Oh, hi! Look, this isn’t really a good time.”

“Something wrong?”

“I just. It’s eleven o’clock on a Saturday, and I sort of have a date over.”

Oh. “Oh.”

“Can I call you back tomorrow?”

“Yeah, sure.”

“Alright, talk to you then, let me know how your project went.”

“I will. Night.”

“Night.”

Jason hung up his phone, thoroughly dejected. Marcus blew him off. Not only that, he blew him off for a girl. Jason stared at the wall, then slid off his bed and went to his computer.

Playing computer games by himself was possibly the dorkiest way to spend Saturday night, but he just got dumped by his best friend, was by himself in every sense of the word because his roommate was out at some rush function, and he was in the mood to blow the shit out of bad guys.

Maybe later he’d look for porn.

~*~*~*~

Jason frowned at the book he had to read for his freshman English class; at least in high school he’d had to read stuff by authors he’d recognized. What was this crap? Thank God he only needed two English classes, and two of all the other disciplines he wanted to avoid. The rest could be spent on physics and math, the subjects he’d excelled in since he was a little kid. He loved them, and they loved him.

He’d never tell anyone, but he’d gotten an erection during his first real math final in high school.

But Marcus was supposed to call him back today, so at least he had something to look forward to. He wasn’t sure if he’d tell Marcus what he’d learned about himself, because he wasn’t even sure. The only guy at his disposal right now was his roommate, who was passed out and reeked of beer. No, thanks.

But hadn’t he always had an obsession with Fox Mulder? Frank B. Parker? Neo? Han Solo? Certainly Anakin, in the new series. He still refused to play Tomb Raider because it starred an incredibly hot girl. Hell, he hadn’t even seen the movies. He hadn’t seen any sci-fi movie starring a hot girl. He only saw Resident Evil because of the monsters. His mind flipped back to Fox Mulder, that dark hair and pointed jaw. Yeah, he was definitely hot.

Jason put his book down and groaned, rubbing his eyes. Not only was he probably gay, he was definitely a geek. Those weren’t necessarily bad things, but how was he supposed to test his theory on guys who couldn’t get girls, let alone guys? He wasn’t making sense.

He was about to pick up his book again, to maybe take his mind off of everything, but then his phone rang. Trying not to get his hopes up, he answered it. “Hello?”

“Hey, man. What’s up?” Marcus!

“Not much. Trying to get through my English homework.”

“Sucks. At least we were able to skip all the boring stuff we know in everything else. Just can’t skip out on English or history.”

“Yeah, unfortunately. But yeah, thank God we were able to get out of all the intro physics classes and stuff. I’m only six credits shy of being a sophomore here.”

“Yeah, I’m about the same. But I like some of the other stuff, like religious studies, and sociology.”

“I’m liking my psych class. I was able to test out of the intro for that, too, thanks to the AP exam, so I’m into the neuroscience stuff. It’s fascinating.”

“So did you call for any particular reason? You sounded kind of upset on the phone.”

Then why did you blow me off? “No, I just wanted to talk.” He hated lying to Marcus. It wasn’t really a lie, he had wanted to talk, but it was important.

“Okay. I felt bad about everything, but Jamie-”

“You don’t have to finish that sentence. I understand.”

“But-”

“It’s okay. I did want to tell you about the project, though.”

“Oh, yeah, how’d it go?”

“Well, I had to work with this one guy, Kevin, and he wouldn’t know a convex lens from a concave lens…”

For the rest of the conversation, they joked, and chatted about their school work, and Marcus updated him on family stuff, and Jason told Marcus that Peter and Denise were thinking about homes, and that Paige was still trying to find a job in the fashion industry. Marcus suggested she could be a costume person for sci-fi movies, and Jason promised to spread the word.

Eventually they hung up, Jason needing to get back to his homework, and Marcus had some sort of meeting to go to. Jason felt better, but he was still lonely. He missed his friend.

~*~*~*~

Two weeks after he realized he was probably gay, Jason’s friend Theo kissed him. Theo was in his D&D group, playing a mage. Theo was the sort of guy who seemed to forget a bit that he was just playing a character and wasn’t actually a mage, but that was okay. He was shy, and a little short, and had short strawberry blonde hair, faint freckles, and a really nice smile.

While Jason cleaned up used cups and snack bags and miscellaneous bits from the game, Theo had stayed to help, fidgeting nervously when he wasn’t throwing things away. “Jason?”

“Yeah.” Jason was trying to clean cola out of the carpet. Why Bill couldn’t have been drinking Sprite, he didn’t know.

“You’re a really great Dungeon Master.”

“Thanks. I’ve had a lot of practice.” With Marcus, and that one time he made Paige play, and a couple of guys in high school who eventually left the game when they realized getting drunk on Friday nights was more fun than role-playing.

“You’re fair, which is great.” He’d realized over time that while Marcus might put up with his sadistic shit, other people wouldn’t. “And outside of the group, you’re pretty cool, too.” Clearly everyone had a different concept of cool; Jason still wore Star Wars underpants, just boxers, not briefs.

“Thanks.” Jason looked up from where he was kneeling when he realized Theo was practically hovering over him. He stood so that he didn’t feel so small. Theo looked up at him, eyes wide with something Jason couldn’t read. Jason continued to watch as Theo leaned forwards, but then he closed his eyes reflexively when Theo pressed his lips to his.

Wow.

Jason had never done this before, didn’t know what to do, didn’t know where to put his hands or what to do with his mouth, so he just stood there like a moron while Theo moved his lips. Theo pulled back after a few seconds, and looked up at him, eyes wide with fear this time. “Sorry, I didn’t mean, I thought. I.”

“Quiet.” Jason steeled himself, fists clenched, and leaned to kiss Theo back. He could do this, kissing wasn’t that difficult, right? It got better when Theo pulled himself closer, one hand fisted in Jason’s t-shirt. The kiss got harder, and Jason felt his hands loosen.

He was just getting comfortable when Theo pressed his tongue against his lower lip, apparently seeking entry. Jason pulled back, a little freaked out. Theo opened his eyes; Jason hadn’t noticed how pretty they were before, a pale blue like the sky with a very thin layer of cirrus clouds.

It was Jason’s turn to apologize. “Sorry. I’ve just. Never done this before.”

Theo frowned a little. “We were just kissing. Or did you mean…” Jason nodded, and he could feel himself blush. Theo’s eyes widened yet again. “Oh. I didn’t know, you seem like the kind of guy who…”

“Who what?” Now Jason was suspicious.

“Who knew what he wanted and then took it. And I thought. I mean…” Theo backed away, almost tripping over a chair. “I should go.”

Jason stepped and reached out with one hand, wrapping it around Theo’s wrist. “Don’t go. This is all just new to me. I didn’t even realize I was gay until a couple of weeks ago.”

“Really? I thought. Well. Never mind.”

“You think too much.” Jason smiled shyly at Theo, and Theo smiled back.

“I get that a lot.” They watched each other for another few seconds, and Jason realized he was still holding Theo’s skinny wrist. And that he was rubbing his thumb over it. He abruptly pulled away, blushing again. He just… his mind was swirling, and he didn’t know what to do about it. He’d never felt this way before, there was a rush, and some heat, and butterflies or something even cooler than butterflies in his stomach.

It wasn’t entirely unpleasant.

Theo spoke again, maybe sensing that Jason wasn’t going to either bolt or hit him. “We should finish cleaning up, and then I should go.”

“Yeah.” Maybe Jason shouldn’t have been so glad that Theo offered to leave, but he was really quite overwhelmed at the moment and needed time to think. As they finished straightening up the lounge near Jason’s room, where the weekly game was held, Theo talked about a lot of nothing, his favorite movie, his pick for the Oscars thus far, a friend from high school who wanted to be a model, his grandmother’s cat. Jason would have told him to shut up, but he was still distracted, and he actually didn’t mind listening to Theo babble. It certainly saved him from having to say anything.

Once they were done, Jason surveyed the room for lost Cheetos and pretzels. Finding none, he turned and smacked into Theo, whom he hadn’t realized was behind him. Theo apologized again, but then he tentatively asked, “So, you want to get together? Maybe Friday night, or Saturday before the game?”

Jason’s heart stopped. Seriously. For two seconds. “Like a date?”

“Maybe?” Those blue eyes were wide again.

“…Yeah. Okay.” Did Jason just agree to go on a date? With a guy?

“When?”

“I can call you.” Don’t make the force rely on your acceleration, you fool!

“What about I see what’s going on, then get back to you in class on Tuesday?”

“We have a class together?”

“Physics II. I sit in the back.”

Huh. “Right. I guess I’ll see you then.”

Theo smiled and nodded, once, then pressed his lips to Jason’s so fast he barely felt it before Theo practically ran from the room.

Jason just stood and stared at the door, wondering when his life had become so complicated. He returned to his room and flipped through the new issue of National Geographic, too distracted to actually read it, and certainly too distracted to play computer games.

What would Marcus say?

~*~*~*~

That Friday, Jason met Theo at one of the coffee bars on campus. Sort of as a joke, he wore his t-shirt with the molecular formula for caffeine on it. Where the hell would he buy clothes if it wasn’t for ThinkGeek.com?

Apparently where Theo would buy his; the shorter boy wore a t-shirt that said, “Roses are red/violets are blue/all my base/are belong to you,” with the HTML code in place of the colors. Jason had seen the shirt before, and it always made him smile. This time it made him blush a little, too.

Theo sat down with him and returned the smile. He plunked onto the table his coffee and the hot chocolate Jason had ordered. Jason refused to drink coffee after he’d seen the way it turned his father and brother into zombies, but he was still fine with hot chocolate and the occasional soda. “It’s a good thing I got on line when I did, and you were able to snag a table, otherwise we’d be sitting on the floor.”

Jason glanced around and saw that Theo was right. It was post-dinner time on Friday, and tons of people were getting their caffeine rush before they ‘pre-gamed’ with alcohol for later. Jason didn’t really understand the term, but he understood that it meant his roommate was a drunken moron by ten o’clock every Friday and Saturday night. Thursdays, too, lately.

Jason took a sip of his hot chocolate. “I might not exactly care about luxury, but the tables certainly are nicer.” And they were, bistro tables with glass tops, and they stayed nice because the shop closed at eleven and locked everything up, so drunken fools wouldn’t trash everything. Jason drank beer every once in a while, but he hoped he’d never drink enough of anything to vandalize things.

“So, how was your week?”

Honestly? “Kind of long.” Theo blushed. “Some girl made a mess in chem lab, I thought the professor was going to rip his hair out. My group got an A on our second physics project, thank God. I’ve had perfect scores in science since I was little, and I didn’t want that to be destroyed because I had to work with people. Our fencing captain pulled a muscle in his leg on a lunge, so things have been pretty easy there. He was threatening us with footwork, but now we’ve just worked on point control.”

“Have you fenced before?” Theo looked at him curiously over the rim of his mug.

“Nope. I mean, messing around with my friend Marcus, but nothing serious. It’s way cooler here, being taught. And getting to play with real swords.”

“What weapon are you doing?”

“We had to learn foil first, but I wanted to try sabre. But I may not have the right build, so I can always try epee.”

“Cool.”

“You do any sports?”

“I played soccer when I was younger, but I haven’t really done anything since then.”

Something internal pinched Jason, and he suddenly wanted to see if Theo had a soccer player’s legs. He pushed the thought away. “You have any siblings?”

“A little brother, Jake. He’s a pain in the ass.”

“How much younger is he?”

“Six years.”

Jason grinned. “I’m six years younger than my brother, Peter. I’m sure he thinks I’m a pain in the ass, too.”

“Nah.”

“No, I made sure of it.” Theo chuckled. “I have a sister, too, she’s 22. She hates me, but I’m cool with that.”

“It’s okay for your siblings to like you, you know.” Theo smirked, hands clasping his mug.

“I like to keep them on their toes. I was such a little bastard when I was younger. Model rockets, dart guns, an iguana that Paige was terrified of…” Jason trailed off, reliving some good memories.

“I was a pretty calm little kid, in my own world most of the time. Kinda freaked my parents out, that I was so anti-social, but I got better in high school when I made some friends.” Theo stared into his mug, his hands looking like they held it tighter.

“Until high school I really only had one friend, Marcus. There was this girl, too, she was okay when she wasn’t being weird, and I met some other people, but Marcus has always been there for me.”

“It’s cool you found someone like that.” Theo sounded so… lonely. Some irrational part of Jason- maybe the part that pinched him a few moments ago- wanted to hug him.

Jason grasped for something to say. “So, where are you from?”

“Some unrecognizable town that fits into anywhere. It’s not even worth mentioning.”

“Yeah, I know what that’s like.” Jason’s town wasn’t easy to find on a map, either.

They stayed at the coffee bar for about forty-five minutes, filling each other in on their lives, or lack thereof. Jason was thinking about how he had to pee when Theo asked, “I have Iron Mysticus VI, you want to come over and play?”

Jason grinned. “Absolutely.”

~*~*~*~

Theo wasn’t as good a player as Jason was, but after a while Jason was very aware of the fact that coming over to play the game wasn’t actually about coming over to play the game at all. When Jason had used the bathroom down the hall, Theo had apparently put on some sort of cologne. There was a bottle of rum underneath Theo’s desk, and Jason couldn’t tell if it was open or not. They had to sit close to each other to use the keyboard, and Jason had never been so aware of someone else’s body heat in his entire life. Their elbows bumped once in a while, and Jason always felt a little spark, nothing at all like static electricity. He should know, he had a lot of experience with that.

For all that Jason found himself focused on Theo, he was still surprised when Theo pulled his hand away from the keyboard and tugged until Jason looked at him. Those blue eyes were curious. “You’ve really never kissed anyone before?”

Jason had to give Theo points for being direct. “No.”

“Why not?”

“I’ve never… noticed anyone that way. And no one’s ever noticed me.”

“Really?”

“Really. I wasn’t lying when I said I didn’t realize I was gay until a few weeks ago.”

“But no girls?”

“No. I was still giving myself cootie shots up until last year.”

Theo smiled at that, and Jason smiled back. Maybe Theo didn’t know he was being serious. Jason took a sip of the soda Theo had offered him a little while ago, then asked, “What about you?”

“I was with someone over the summer, but he went to school across the country so we ended it. We didn’t have much anyway, I think it was just more of a convenience thing.”

Jason didn’t like the sound of Theo’s voice. “He didn’t use you, did he?” Jason didn’t have the best understanding of interpersonal relationships, but he didn’t want Theo to have been used.

“No. Maybe. I don’t know. I don’t want to talk about him.”

Jason had a feeling the game was over for the night, too. “What do you want to talk about?”

“What if I don’t want to talk?” Theo had the most expressive eyes, but Jason kind of wanted them to express something other than fear or worry.

“You can try to teach me to kiss again?” That was better, that heated, hungry look in Theo’s eyes. Jason would have wanted to get back to kissing even if Theo still looked worried. Kissing had felt really weird, but it had been kind of fun.

Rather than answer, Theo leaned forward, one hand wrapping around Jason’s pathetic upper arm. He kissed Jason tentatively, clearly not sure if he was welcome. But this time Jason was ready, and he kissed back. He didn’t seem to be particularly good at it, but that was okay. Theo didn’t seem to mind.

In fact, when Jason put on hand on Theo’s leg for balance, Theo moaned. That was such a good sound. So why was Theo pulling back?

“Jason, tongue.”

Oh.

Theo kissed him again, this time open-mouth, and Jason got the idea. He pushed his tongue past Theo’s lips and Theo took it from him, sucking and stroking it with his own. Holy God, that felt good. Jason pulled back a bit to breathe, and Theo took the opportunity to switch roles. It felt so odd to have someone else’s tongue in his mouth, but Jason had a feeling that before too long it would be something he’d crave. Because Theo was a good kisser. Not that Jason had anyone to compare him to, Theo could be a terrible kisser and Jason wouldn’t know, but he wanted more of Theo. More of his tongue and more of the hand squeezing his arm and the one rubbing his knee.

Theo moved closer and tilted his head to kiss along Jason’s jaw. And then, oh God, his throat. Theo sucked and bit right above his carotid artery, and Jason was never, ever going to be able to watch a vampire movie again without thinking about this. Theo stayed there for a minute, and Jason had a few seconds to think about the fact that Theo had probably just given him a hickey, and then Theo moved away from his throat and back along his jaw. Jason tugged as best he could on the short hair on the back of Theo’s head to bring him to a better position for Jason to stick his tongue in Theo’s mouth again.

Jason heard himself moan and would have been embarrassed except it made Theo suck on his tongue harder. Jason had no idea how long they went back and forth, taking turns sucking and biting and kissing, but he eventually realized he was incredibly turned on. And that freaked him out.

He pulled back from Theo and pried himself from Theo’s grip. Theo’s eyes were once more set to ‘worried.’ “What’s wrong?”

“Absolutely nothing. It’s just.” Jason glanced down at his crotch, and even though he was wearing jeans it was pretty obvious he had a hard-on.

“Oh.” Theo looked confused. “I can help you with that. And then maybe you could help me?” Jason looked at Theo’s groin, then quickly looked away. Theo looked to be even more aroused than he was.

“I. I think it’s too fast.” Theo nodded at him, slowly. “This’ll sound stupid, but-”

“No, it doesn’t sound stupid. It’s a big step. I’m good stopping now.”

“Are you sure?” Theo was flushed and his hair needed to be brushed. Jason got the feeling he looked even worse (better?). “I don’t want to-”

“It’s okay. My roommate will be back soon anyway. He always calls his girlfriend around this time every night. He’s so whipped and doesn’t even realize it. It’s obvious she’s keeping him on a short leash so he doesn’t go out and meet someone else. Doesn’t stop him from going out after they talk, though.”

Jason stood, and willed his erection to go away. Bikini babes, his mom’s tofu stew, tampons, his dad’s golf outfit… Okay. He felt he could walk back to his dorm without embarrassing himself. “I’ll see you tomorrow night?”

“Yeah. I hope you have a good plan set out.”

“Would I ever not?”

“No.” Theo stood, too. He stuck his hand out, and Jason shook it, confused. Until Theo yanked him off-balance and into him, to kiss him one more time.

Jason pulled back when he needed to breathe. “Jesus.”

“See you tomorrow.” That little smirk… If Jason weren’t already overwhelmed, he’d fancy the idea of kissing it off Theo’s face. Instead, he just opened the door and waved.

He walked quickly back to his room, relieved when he found it to be empty. He threw himself onto his bed and shoved his hand down his pants, needing to touch himself. A few hard strokes, a few twists, thumb over the head and… Fuck. He hadn’t come that hard in a while. He wondered how different it would be to have Theo touching him, Theo getting him off. He rolled over and pulled his pillow to his face to groan into it.

His life had gotten deliciously complicated. He couldn’t wait to see Theo again, but he was just so confused.

~*~*~*~

It was another week before Jason and Theo got to spend time together alone. They had decided to be partners for the next physics project, and they were camped out in Jason’s room, skimming text books and journals for ideas. They were lying next to each other on the floor, the room too small to allow much of any other arrangement.

Not that Jason minded in the least.

Seeing Theo in class, and even sitting next to him, wasn’t enough. Theo made him feel good, and useful, and desirable. Before he met Theo being desirable hadn’t even been on his list, but now that he felt that way… He wriggled a little closer to Theo, just wanting to feel his warmth. Theo wriggled into him, too.

“So, we can do something with nuclear physics, or…”

“Let’s do that. Marcus and I had this awesome project once but it got destroyed…” Jason told Theo about Camp Bohrmore and the project contest where he accidentally sabotaged his own project.

“That’s… impressive. And you and Marcus never built it again?”

“No, we got busy with other projects and stuff, video games, things like that.”

“You and Marcus are really close?”

“Yeah.” Obviously. “He’s my best friend.”

“And you’ve never thought about him, like, you know…” Theo waved his hand.

“No.” Not until the last few weeks, where his emotions were already in an upheaval and thinking about Marcus helped a little. Until it sorta freaked him out. “He’s not gay.”

“Neither were you until a month ago.”

“Point.” Marcus wasn’t gay, right? He’d had a few dates in high school, and he didn’t have a problem checking out girls. He’d always been willing to be friends with them, at least more than Jason. “Can we not talk about Marcus?”

“Sure.” Theo looked back into the book he was flipping through, and Jason went back to his journal.

After a few minutes, Jason stretched and rolled onto his back, tired of reading. At one point in his life he thought he’d never get tired of texts and reading, hell, he’d read Paige’s and Peter’s books for fun, but he was eighteen and in college and it was Friday night and he wanted to take a break. He rubbed his hand over his stomach, realizing that he was hungry again. “You want pizza?”

“I don’t have any money.”

“I’ll pay for it.”

“Are you sure?” Jason turned to Theo, who was now on his side, watching him.

“Yeah, I have plenty of cash. Started my own Internet company last year when I was done applying to schools. Wanted to see if I could do it, and see if I could make a profit.”

“Did you?”

“My parents didn’t buy anything here. I did.” Jason watched Theo’s eyes roam around the room, from the new computer to the large TV to the new video games systems hooked up to it.

“Wow.”

“It’s a hobby. And it pays for tons of pizza.” And not the gross kind his mom always tried to pass off as pizza, and no mushrooms or anything else gross like Peter always wanted. “I’ll call Dominic’s.”

Forty minutes later they had an idea for their project and plenty of pizza, and Jason offered Theo a beer after taking one for himself. Theo looked at the label and asked, “Where’d you get beer?”

“My brother Peter. He’s so glad I’m taking an interest in something he likes that he offered to buy me all the beer I wanted until I’m twenty-one and can buy it myself.” It was the good kind, too, not the swill he’d seen other freshmen drink. What had Peter called it? Pisswater beer.

“He seems cool. For a brother, I mean.”

“He’s nice enough. I dunno what I would have done without him around growing up. I mean, I’d be stuck with Paige all by myself.”

“So?”

“It wasn’t until I was fifteen that I finally accepted she was fully human. Peter helped me torment her. Except when he teamed up with her.”

“What I missed by being the oldest of two.”

“And not having a sister.” Jason watched Theo take a sip of his beer, some part of him wanting to watch Theo chug it, watch him swallow, watch his throat work… Jason shook his head. It was like finally acknowledging his hormones opened a floodgate to have them rage out of control all the freaking time.

“What?”

“Nothing.” Jason focused on eating pizza. And not checking out Theo. They were a couple, he supposed, but he didn’t feel up to going where he knew Theo wanted to take their relationship. Not yet.

While eating, Jason popped a Robot Chicken dvd into the player, and they watched that. The campus didn’t have anything but basic cable, so dvds and movies were pretty much what Jason watched. His missed Tech TV so much…

He wasn’t focused on the TV enough to not notice when Theo moved to sit right next to him, thigh to thigh. Theo seemed to be done eating, and he held his mostly-empty beer bottle in his hands. “Your roommate going to be back any time soon?”

“It’s after ten on a Friday, and if he’s gone by then he’s usually gone until at least one.”

“So if we maybe wanted to fool around, we wouldn’t be interrupted?”

Jason grinned slowly. “Pretty sure. You saying you want to fool around?”

“If you want…”

Jason reached a hand around Theo’s chin, and pulled him towards him as he leaned in. It hadn’t been too long ago that Jason thought kissing was disgusting, but he couldn’t remember why he was so adverse to it. It was fun. It was hot. It made Jason hard. He didn’t know if it was just Theo, or if anyone could make him this crazy.

Theo tugged on his bottom lip with his teeth, and Jason wished that Theo’s hair was longer so he could get a good grip in it. As it was, he had to settle for almost petting him, rather than pulling him. The way the short hairs felt against his fingers when he brushed them backwards felt really nice, though…

Theo was smaller than Jason, though not by much, and he was much more confident, and before too long Jason found himself flat on his back on the floor, Theo on top of him. It felt like Theo’s tongue was everywhere, in his mouth, on his jaw, helping his teeth worry another mark on Jason’s throat… Thankfully no one had seemed to notice the one from last week, though he had tried to hide it with turtlenecks and hoodies.

Theo seemed to come to a decision to just explore Jason with his mouth, so Jason decided to do the same with his hands. He pushed up the back of Theo’s t-shirt, very excited at the feeling of warm skin and sparse hairs. Theo didn’t really have much muscle to speak of, but Jason didn’t care about muscle because he had skin. He trailed his fingers up Theo’s spine, and Theo shivered. He also pulled away.

And took off his shirt.

He didn’t make a show of it, it wasn’t a strip tease, it was just a boy taking off his shirt so he could be seen and felt. And feel Jason did, running a hand up Theo’s pale stomach and chest. Theo pressed Jason’s hand against him, and he could feel Theo’s heartbeat. Why that was arousing, he didn’t know.

Theo sat back, on Jason’s groin, and tugged experimentally at the bottom of Jason’s shirt. Jason got the hint and leaned up enough to allow Theo to pull the shirt off. Theo leaned down again, kissing Jason again, and they were skin-to-skin. Chest to chest. Jason almost wanted to ask Theo to stop kissing him just so he could explore with his fingers and mouth, but he figured that would be rude.

Instead, he just listened to what his body wanted, stroking his hands over Theo’s back and sides, his mouth returning Theo’s fierce kisses. And then Theo started to rock his hips.

The slide of skin-to-skin was about three billion times better than the press of skin-to-skin; Theo’s torso was pure hot sensation as he rubbed against Jason. But he could also feel Theo’s erection rubbing against him, rubbing against his, and he freaked out all over again. He pulled his head away and wriggled until Theo got the hint and sat up.

He was definitely looking at him in disappointment. Jason hated himself. He was just too inexperienced. “I’m sorry, but…”

“It’s too soon.”

“Yeah. I know that’s really lame, but I’m just having a tough time here.”

“Is it me?”

“Lord, no. If I were running on pure animal instincts we’d both be sitting here in soggy shorts. But I just can’t stop thinking about safe sex and abstinence and being gay and everything else.” Jason sat up carefully, not wanting to dislodge Theo from his lap. “Believe me, it isn’t you. It’s completely me.”

“Okay.” But Theo still looked worried, not that that was anything new.

Looking Theo levelly in the eye, Jason asked, “How can I prove that to you?”

Theo thought for a second, then said, “Mark me.”

“Like with a brand?”

“Better not. I just mean…” Theo touched the yellow remains of the bruise on Jason’s neck.

Oh. He could totally do that.

He kissed Theo on the mouth one more time, took off his glasses, then leaned down to worry a mark into Theo’s skin right above his collar bone. He felt Theo’s legs wrap around him, and Theo played with his hair with one hand and had the other wrapped around Jason’s back. Jason wasn’t really sure of the best way to do this, so he settled on trying to break the skin but not really breaking it, and sucking. He must have been doing something right because Theo kept moaning.

When he was satisfied with that one, he started to move to the other side of Theo’s throat, but Theo breathed out, “Higher.” Jason stayed on the same side and pressed his lips to a higher spot, one that Theo wouldn’t be able to hide. He used the hand holding his glasses to gently pull Theo’s head in the right direction, his other hand wrapping around Theo’s thigh to help keep them both balanced.

Jason could feel Theo breathing, could feel him shudder, could feel his hand tightening in his hair. And then, abruptly, Theo was climbing out of his arms to stand. “What’s wrong?”

Theo’s face was red, and Jason couldn’t tell if it was because he was flushed or blushing. “I almost came. And it wouldn’t be fair if I did and you didn’t.”

Wow. “I wouldn’t mind.” It was actually something he wouldn’t mind seeing, if he was honest with himself.

“But I would. But.” Theo looked at the floor. “I should get going. Before we do something you don’t want to do.”

Jason found himself nodding, and Theo looked relieved. Jason asked, “I’ll see you tomorrow, right?”

“But we aren’t having a game meeting. ‘Cause it’s Halloween.”

“Yeah, but I’m running that haunted house for the little kids coming to campus. I can’t believe the school gave me funding and that no one wanted to help. You could stop by…”

Theo grinned. “Sure. I’d love to.” One more kiss and Theo left, slowly.

Jason lay down on his bed again, hand once more in his pants. He went more slowly this time, thinking about what it felt like to feel Theo’s skin, have Theo rub against him, have Theo moan into his ear. His orgasm rolled through him as he ejaculated onto his stomach, and he sighed happily once he got his breath back.

He knew it wouldn’t be long before he gave in to what his body was telling him to do.

~*~*~*~

As he and Theo walked back to his room after the haunted house, Jason decided the evening was a success. He’d loved Halloween forever, maybe even more than Christmas, and he used to go crazy each year with gags and costumes and scaring people. But he’d matured as he grew older, and things were much more tasteful now.

The house he did for school was scary enough to scare little kids, but not enough to make them cry. Except for the really little ones. Even some of the college students leading the kids around looked frightened at certain things.

He was fairly certain it wasn’t because he and Theo were making out behind a false wall between groups of kids; no one caught them.

The house had ghosts and skeletons and blood and zombies and bats and just about everything to make it perfect. It just didn’t have Paige’s recorded screams from when he scared her; Paige had destroyed the tape last year when she realized he still used it. The look of pure rage on her face had been amusing enough to take the sting away.

“So you used to do that every year at your house?” Theo looked at him in what may have been adoration. Or possibly detestation.

“Yep. Varying degrees of success, of course, like the one year I punctured the water heater, but it was all pretty fun. Some years I’d charge people to come see it, too, if I thought it was particularly good. I was really excited when I found out I could do something similar here.” He grinned, reveling at being in charge of something so fun and personal. He was even a little buzzed, he had to admit.

“It was fun helping.”

“Yeah, thanks for that, it would have been tough to have everything running by myself. A couple of guys were supposed to help out, but I guess something came up.” Or maybe they just didn’t want to associate with him. Whatever. Right now Jason didn’t care about anything other than the fact that he and Theo were at his room, Theo almost pressing into his side.

They spilled into Jason’s room once he finally got the door open, and Jason thanked whatever deity was watching out for him that his roommate wasn’t around, especially when Theo grabbed his ass. Jason tensed at the touch, but the second Theo removed his hand he wanted it back.

Jason turned and pulled Theo to him, sitting on his bed as they kissed. Jason was feeling a bit more adventurous than normal, probably because he was excited about the haunted house, so he took his glasses off so he could rub his face against Theo’s. Much better. Theo tugged the hair on the back of his head and pulled him back, biting along Jason’s jaw and into the sensitive spot at the corner.

Jason pulled at the back of Theo’s sweater, and Theo took it off, then the undershirt he had on. Though he wasn’t in focus, Jason could see Theo’s bare chest in front of him, ribs visible in the shadows from the ceiling lamp. Jason leaned back up but Theo met him halfway, pushing forwards until Jason was on his back with Theo straddling him.

Jason pulled away and chuckled. “Hang on.” Theo stood up, and Jason wriggled until Theo gave him space. Jason sat and took off his own shirt, then lay fully back on the bed after kicking off his sneakers. “Okay.”

Theo kicked off his own shoes, and while the word ‘pounced’ might not be what Jason was looking for, Theo definitely almost jumped on him. He attacked Jason’s mouth and Jason raked the nails of one hand up his back. There was just so much heat between them, and even though all of this was so new to Jason, he didn’t think he’d be able to live without it. Without Theo’s tongue or hands or groans.

Without Theo’s hips slowly rocking down into his…

Jason groaned into Theo’s mouth, and slid his hands down his back until he could slowly cup Theo’s ass through his jeans. He might not have the upper-body physique of a soccer player, but he still had a nice ass…

Why had he not noticed he was gay before? He could have been having hot make-out sessions like this for years. Then again, he hadn’t known Theo before, just Marcus. Marcus… No. Focus on Theo, boy currently thrusting against you, Jason.

Theo pulled back from kissing and started to get up. Jason grabbed his arm. “Don’t stop.”

He couldn’t see Theo’s eyes, but he could hear the relief in his voice. “I won’t, if you’re sure it’s what you want. Lemme just…” Theo shifted his weight and wiggled one knee in between Jason’s thighs. That meant that Jason could… could… pump his hips up into Theo, against his thigh, they could both rub… A lifetime of physics and Jason would never have figured that out, equal and opposite reactions or not.

They kissed for a while longer, but as Theo moved his hips faster he stopped paying attention to his mouth. It gave Jason the chance to focus more on his own dick, which was sliding through the pre-cum he was leaking into his boxers, and it didn’t matter because it felt wonderful. Theo dropped his head into the crook of Jason’s neck and let go, grinding against Jason and grunting.

Theo stilled and his hips bucked and he held his breath, until he exhaled heavily against Jason’s neck and went limp. Jason held Theo tighter and moved faster against him, until he just hit things exactly right…

He slammed his eyes shut and curled into Theo as he came, and squeezed him tighter. When he was finally done coming he collapsed back onto his bed and tried to catch his breath. When he was nearing equilibrium, he managed to pant out, “Oh my God.”

Theo squeezed him and chuckled. “You okay there?”

“Gimme a minute for my brain to come back.”

“It’s good, isn’t it?”

“If that was only ‘good,’ I’m not going to survive ‘great,’ let alone everyone’s description of ‘mindblowing.’”

“That was your first time with someone else, wasn’t it?”

Jason felt himself blush, now that he had blood to do it with. “Yeah.”

“Was it good?” If he could see Theo’s eyes, he bet he’d see worry in them.

“Absolutely. More than good. Thank you.”

“I didn’t do anything.”

“Yes, you did. You’ve given me such a chance to explore myself, and I owe you for that.”

Theo drew away. “You sound like you’re breaking up with me.”

Jason was horrified. “Absolutely not!” He shifted until they were both on their sides and could look at each other. “Theo, I’m not breaking up with you. I couldn’t.” He could see that Theo smiled. “So this means we’re together?”

“I think so. I mean, unless you don’t want to be.”

Jason leaned in and kissed his insecure… boyfriend. “I want to be. But I’m not yet ready for rainbow flags and t-shirts with gay jokes on them. So can we maybe keep us a secret?”

“Yeah. Sucks we won’t be able to act the way we want at the game meetings.”

“Yeah, but we can always fool around afterwards. Can you handle that, knowing that while I’m leading you guys around I’m thinking about kissing you? About maybe touching you?”

Theo moaned, just a little, and if Jason weren’t afraid of his roommate walking in on them, he’d suggest they fool around some more. But his roommate wasn’t exactly the most open-minded guy, and he didn’t want Theo getting hurt. It was still early enough he might come in. Jason kissed Theo again before he explained, “We should think of cleaning up soon. Rush Boy will be back at some point.”

Theo sighed. “Yeah…” Obviously reluctant, Theo pulled himself away from Jason, and Jason immediately missed the warmth. He stood on wobbly legs, and Jason reached for his glasses so he could look at the guy who took away the first part of his virginity. He smiled at him, glad it was with someone he cared about.

Theo tugged at the fly of his jeans. “Um. You wouldn’t happen to have a towel or anything, right?”

Jason got up and winced at the drying mess in his own pants. “Just a sec.” He found an extra wash cloth in his closet and dumped water from his roommate’s pitcher onto it. “Good?”

“Better than walking home like this.” Theo took the wet cloth and stared at it, blushing.

“I’ll turn around.”

“Me, too.” Theo may have been the aggressive one at first, but he was still awfully shy. It was nice.

“Okay.” Jason turned around and Theo held out the towel. “You want me to just throw this in your dirty laundry?”

“I’ll do it.” Jason took the corner of the cloth and walked over to his closet, burying it under his clothes.

Theo looked at him shyly again. “I had a good time tonight. With the haunted house, and coming back here…”

“The coming was definitely nice…” Theo blushed, and it made Jason’s face warm, too. “I’ll see you tomorrow? Dinner?”

“Sure.” Theo smiled, and as Jason walked over to kiss him goodnight the smile morphed into something more predatory. Jason swallowed as Theo came to him, one hand wrapping around Jason’s head as Theo kissed him. Theo pulled back after a minute, and just said, “Tomorrow.”

Jason nodded, and Theo left. Jason immediately went to the closet to retrieve the washcloth. No sense in dirtying two of them. As he pulled it out, he was struck by the overwhelming urge to sniff it. It smelled like… semen. Honestly not the greatest scent, but Jason had a feeling it was going to mean a lot more to him the more time he spent alone with Theo. He wiped himself off, then changed into pajama pants.

It felt nice seeing Theo and not having to masturbate afterwards.

He turned off the ceiling light and curled up on his bed, his head where Theo’s had been. He’d never felt like this before, quite so needy, quite so uncertain, quite so… human. He’d thought himself above all of this need and want and sexual confusion.

He snorted to himself. Why did he ever want to deny himself this?

Chapter Text

The three weeks until Thanksgiving passed rapidly amidst a storm of midterms, an English paper, his game, fencing practice, talking with Marcus and Eileen online (why Marcus gave her his secret screen name, he didn’t know), and dates and evenings with Theo. The dates were for simple things, coffee, a trip to the mall for the newest computer game he couldn’t live without, a movie during which he and Theo held hands. The evenings were full of talking and sharing and kissing and frottage.

Jason didn’t really believe in Heaven, but if there was one, he wanted it to be like this.

For Thanksgiving, Jason took the train home, where his dad picked him up from the station. “Hey, son. How’s school going?”

“Good. I’ve gotten a lot of practice with the lab equipment in physics and chemistry, and I have some great ideas for articles to publish.”

“You’re just a freshman, Jason. Take things slow, enjoy the college experience. At Willot, I tried to rush everything too fast, and I…”

Jason listened with a third of an ear as his dad droned on about his college days. He should have expected that. His dad droned about college long before he or his siblings ever filled out an application.

Once they got to the house, his mom gave him a huge hug, saying that he looked so old and mature. He’d heard that sex did that to a person, but there was no way he was going to say anything remotely related to that. “Thanks, Mom.”

When he was finally done telling his mom what he’d been doing with his time, leaving Theo and the haunted house out of it, he escaped up to his room. He dropped his bag on the floor and went right to Quentin’s cage. He still missed Quincy, his first iguana, but Quentin definitely filled the gap Quincy left when he got out of the house and got hit by a car. It was too bad he couldn’t have a pet in his dorm room, but he was hopeful that next year he’d get a single and a lenient RA.

Making sure his door was closed, Jason took Quentin out to feed him a treat and give him a tummy rub, and confessed everything about Theo. How much he liked him, how they had gotten together, the way Theo made him feel, the project they did for class, and to top it off, he took off his shirt to show Quentin the bite marks Theo had left on his chest. They weren’t really bruises; they were actual bite marks, nearly breaking the skin, and Jason got a little hard just telling the story to Quentin.

“But you can’t tell anyone, okay, boy? I may tell my family about Theo tomorrow night at dinner, but I can’t tell them about what we do together. They might not understand.” Quentin just looked at him with his big cartoony eyes and Jason gave him a hug. “I know you won’t say anything.”

Jason pulled his shirt back on, and dug through his bag until he found the paper he’d written for English. It was about physics and how they applied to the book the class had to read, but the professor had still given him an A. He probably didn’t understand it and was playing the ‘benefit of the doubt’ game. Peter had lived on that in high school. It was a wonder he ever graduated. Heck, that he was working on his Master’s in education so he could become a gym teacher and maybe coach something one day still blew Jason’s mind a little.

Jason didn’t see eye-to-eye with Peter often, but he still thought he was a pretty cool guy sometimes.

Jason returned Quentin to his cage then went downstairs, paper in hand, and braced himself against his parents’ questions and stories.

~*~*~*~

Thanksgiving dinner was very similar to those they had when Jason was a kid. Peter ate everything he could get his hands on, his mom didn’t eat the turkey, and Paige tried to be patient while their father made stupid jokes. The table was bigger though; their grandmother was there this year, and this was Peter and Denise’s year to be with them and spend Christmas at her parents’ house.

The grandkids spent a lot of time filling their grandmother in on what was new in their lives, because she kept asking questions. “So, Paige, how’s New York City?”

“It’s okay.” Paige poked at her stuffing with her fork. “It’s so different from here, and college didn’t really prepare me for the kind of job I want, but I’m looking really hard while I waitress to make rent.”

“Do you have your own place?”

“I have two roommates, friends from school. It’s fun with them there, I wouldn’t want to be by myself.”

Jason couldn’t quash the adolescent inside of him. “I bet it’s not too much fun for them, with you there.”

“Grow up, Jason.” Paige glared at him.

“I am growing up.”

Paige rolled her eyes. “And it’s so obvious the way you’ve matured.” If only she knew.

Their grandmother broke in again. “And Peter, you’re almost done with your degree?”

“One more semester after this, and I’m good. I’m looking for jobs around here, since both my parents and Denise’s are nearby. We don’t want to go too far out of the area.”

Their dad spoke up around a mouthful of turkey and mashed potatoes. “Don’t be afraid to look far if you have to. We’d love to keep you around” swallow “but you have to do what you want to do.”

Peter smiled, a smile Jason wasn’t sure he’d seen before. “But it will be easier to plan the wedding if we’re near home.”

Silence.

Their mom spoke up, practically squealing. “You’re getting married?”

Jason had to get his two cents in. “To Denise?”

Their grandmother asked happily, “When?”

Paige just said, “Wow.”

And their dad’s contribution was, “What? I wasn’t listening.”

Peter’s smile spread into a grin, and he wrapped his arm around Denise. “We’re getting married. I proposed last month and Denise said yes.”

Three Foxs looked at Denise and asked, “Why?”

Denise, who should be glad she was blind so she couldn’t see everyone’s incredulous stares, explained, “We’ve been together for eight years. It’s time.”

Paige opened her fat mouth, and Jason couldn’t believe she got away with asking stupid things. “You’re not pregnant, right?”

Denise’s eyebrows went up behind her sunglasses. “Not to my knowledge.” Jason heard his mother sigh with relief.

Jason looked over at their grandmother, who looked really happy. He figured she had a right to, since her oldest grandchild was getting married. Who knew when Paige would settle down with anyone, now that she had guys after her all the time, and Jason might not be allowed to get married if legislation didn’t work in his favor in the future. Not that marriage crossed his mind at all until now.

“Denise, honey, when’s the date?”

Denise smiled again, a huge grin to match Peter’s. “Next July. We figured we should give Peter time to get his degree and get a job and give us time to settle wherever we go, and I can work on wedding plans and my book at the same time.” Denise had always been good at history, and was writing historical fiction. She’d had a couple short stories published, which Peter had framed the cover-pages to and hung around their apartment. Jason wondered if he’d frame the covers to her books, too. Their new place better be bigger than where they lived now, the graduate housing at Peter’s university.

They chatted about the wedding a while longer, until the happy couple made Jason a bit nauseous. He started sculpting the rest of his mashed potatoes into a replica of the surface of Hoth. Old habits died hard.

Eventually his grandmother, apparently trying out for a role as host on a talk show, asked Paige, “And you, dear? Are you seeing anyone?”

Paige stabbed at her sweet potato. “Calvin broke up with me, said I was too one-dimensional. What does that even mean? We can’t all be two-dimensional all the time.”

Peter, who inherited table manners from their father, spoke around a mouthful of food as he said, “Don’t worry about him, you’ll find someone.”

“I know. It’s just a pain. In high school I couldn’t pay a guy to go out with me, now I have all these creeps all over me all the time.”

Jason caught the pained expression on his mother’s face, and he couldn’t help himself as he said, “Well, one day all the new guys will realize you’re the spawn of Bigfoot and the Creature from the Black Lagoon, and they’ll all ignore you, too.”

“Jason Fox!”

“Shut up, nerdbag!” Paige brandished her fork menacingly as she said that, and Jason couldn’t help but smirk.

Grandma came to the rescue again. “And you, Jason? Anyone important we should know about?”

Jason could not keep himself from smiling as he thought about Theo, and of course his family, except his dad, picked up on it even as he ducked his head and stared at the remains of his roll. Paige took some attention away as she exclaimed, “That twerp? He’ll never find a girl who can put up with his total weirdness.” Jason grinned harder. He hadn’t had to find a girl.

“Jason?” He raised his head, and his mom looked at him with something like hope. “Is there someone special?” Jason clearly needed to practice controlling his face, because now he felt himself blush.

Peter jumped in. “Jason, you dog! Who is she? She’s not on the physics team, right?”

Jason swallowed and stared back down at his plate. “No. His name is Theo.”

Silence. Until his dad spoke up. “What, son?”

Face red even as he fought his worry, Jason explained, “His name is Theo. He’s in my physics class and my D&D group.” Jason glanced at his mom.

His mother looked worried. “A boy? Are you saying you’re gay?”

Jason swallowed again and looked up at the rest of his family. “Yeah, I think I am.”

Peter raised an eyebrow. “You think?”

“I didn’t know until a couple of months ago. You all know I’ve never liked girls, either as people or as objects of desire.”

His mom always tried to be politically correct. “Girls aren’t objects, Jason.”

“You know what I mean. And then this guy was trying to make fun of me and asked if I were gay, and then I realized that yeah, maybe I am. And I am.”

His dad stared at him and prompted, “Theo?”

“He came on to me one night after our game, he kissed me and I really liked it. We’ve been together ever since.”

Peter asked, “You’ve kissed him?”

Dear Lord, yes. “Yes.”

“And you liked it?” Peter’s eyebrow was up again, and Jason really hoped this wasn’t going to cause a fissure between them.

“Yeah. A lot. We kiss a lot.”

Paige screeched, “How do you have a boyfriend and I don’t?”

“Just lucky, I guess.”

Grandma tried to relieve some of the tension in the room. “So long as you’re happy, dear.”

Jason felt himself blush yet again. “I am. I really like him.”

His mom asked, “And he likes you back, honey?”

Jason smiled like a fool. “Yeah.”

“Then that’s all that matters.”

After that, conversation thankfully shifted away from Jason and towards the day’s football stats. Between Peter and their dad, anyway. The females in his family, Denise included, talked over Denise’s plans for the wedding.

As usual, Jason was left out. But that suited him just fine. It gave him time to think of Theo.

~*~*~*~

Jason was lying on his bed reading a book with Quentin sitting on his stomach when there was a knock at his door. “Come in.”

To his surprise, it was Paige. He’d sorta been expecting his mom. She pulled his desk chair over to the bed and sat down in it backwards. “Hey.”

“What’s up?” He and Paige had never had anything remotely resembling a civil heart-to-heart before, so he was a bit wary.

“Tell me about Theo.”

“Why?”

“Because it’s obvious you really like him, dingus, and I want to be a good sister. I know you can’t talk about him with Mom or Dad, and probably not Peter, either. I, however, am curious, and open-minded.”

“Are you sure? You don’t have to. I know I treat you like crap.”

“Well, the next time you want to make fun of me or call me names, think about this conversation.” Paige smiled at him, no doubt trying to look encouraging.

Jason shrugged and put down his book. “Well, like I said, he’s in my physics class, and he’s a mage in my D&D group.”

“Interesting details, nerd.”

“He’s a little shorter than me, and he has strawberry blonde hair a little darker than yours. He has faint freckles, and these blue eyes that are just… I don’t know the word for them, but they’re really pretty. He’s smart, and really shy, but he really gets bold sometimes, like when he came on to me that first time.”

“Tell me about it.”

“Really?”

“Yes, Jason. I want to hear. So, spill.”

“He was helping me clean up after a game, and then all of a sudden he looked at me, all serious, and then he kissed me.”

“And you freaked out and ran from the room.”

“No, I freaked out and stood there. And then he pulled back all nervous and scared, that he’d just totally destroyed our friendship. And then I… kissed him. And after a few minutes he left.”

“Wow. That’s so cute.”

“Cute?”

“Sure. You didn’t meet at some party or bar, you weren’t drunk, you didn’t sleep with him the second you met him… a lot of people don’t get that cute little initial meeting story.” Paige narrowed her eyes. “You didn’t sleep with him, right?”

“No!”

“Since then?”

“No. We haven’t even spent the night together. We both have roommates.”

“Bummer.”

“Yeah.” Jason felt himself blush again, thinking about what it would be like to have Theo spend the night.

“Aww. You’re kind of cute when you like someone.”

“No, I’m not.”

“Yeah, you are. I always sort of wondered what you’d be like if you found someone.”

Thanks for the ‘if,’ Paige. “I like him. He makes me happy. He makes me feel good.”

Paige’s smile was wicked. “I bet he does.”

“I’m not giving you details.”

“I’m not asking you for them. I think this is enough disclosure for me tonight.” Paige stood and stretched. “Hey, what did Marcus say?”

“I haven’t told him.”

“Why not?”

“I don’t know.” And he really didn’t. Except for the part where he was really afraid that Marcus wouldn’t be okay with it.

“You guys are best friends. He’ll be okay. You should tell him.”

“If I see him over winter break.”

“You will. I’m going to go see if there’s any pie left over.”

“Not if Peter and Dad are still conscious.”

“True… Maybe they’re in comas again, like three years ago. That was great.”

“Yeah.” Jason watched as Paige left his room and shut the door. He then looked down at Quentin, who watched him passively, like he always did. “I dunno what just happened, Quent, but it was weird. Maybe Paige isn’t an evil spore, after all.”

The child in him said, ‘Pretty big maybe,’ but the almost grown-up in him said, ‘She may be a good ally, don’t screw it up.’

He lay down, hands behind his head, and Quentin moved to lie on his chest. All things considered, the night hadn’t gone too badly. At least for now, no one cared that he was gay and had a boyfriend. Tomorrow may bring something different, but for now, things were good.

~*~*~*~

As he expected, after breakfast his dad pulled him aside for what he apparently considered a ‘man-to-man’ Talk. Jason read it as more of a ‘horrified dad-to-skeptical son’ chat. They were in the living room, the rest of the family suspiciously absent. His father had a mug of coffee, which was not surprising.

“Son. I wanted to talk to you about your…uh...”

“Theo.”

“Yes, your Theo.”

“He’s my boyfriend, Dad.”

“I understand. Do you love him?”

Did he? “I don’t know. I don’t know what that feels like.”

His dad smiled at him. “Then you’re not, because you’d know.” His dad sipped his coffee, put the mug down, then sipped again. Mug down, then up for another sip, then down. Finally, his dad got the nerve to ask what Jason knew he wanted to ask. “I know you don’t want to talk about this, but your mother and I were wondering. If you’ve been intimate with Theo. I wouldn’t ask if you were dating a girl, but being with another boy means there are other issues to worry about.”

“Not pregnancy.”

“No, not pregnancy. But STDs and other things. We just want you healthy.” His dad watched him. “So?”

“So?”

“Have you been intimate with him?”

“Not exactly.”

“What does that mean?”

Jason’s face flamed hot again. This talk had been so much easier when Jason was twelve and hadn’t had any interest in sex at all. “It means we’ve kissed a lot, and rubbed. Pants on.” That was possibly the most difficult thing he’d ever had to say, but the look of relief on his dad’s face was worth it.

“Thank you for being honest with me, I know it wasn’t easy.” Based on the now-empty mug of coffee, it hadn’t been easy for either of them. “We don’t have to go over the safe sex talk again, do we?”

“Lord, no. It’ll be a while before we get anywhere near there. I’m still new to all of this, being with someone in general.”

“Well, if you need advice… Well, I probably won’t be much advice. But I’m still here to listen to you, son. And just remember to take it slow. It’ll mean more that way.”

Jason nodded and told him, “Thanks.” Jason smiled at his dad, glad the talk was over and glad that his dad seemed more okay with everything now that he’d had time to think about it.

They stood, and once his dad was back in the kitchen, Jason heaved a sigh of relief. He wondered what to do with the rest of the day. The phone rang and he didn’t think anything of it until his dad called out to him, “Jason! Marcus is on the phone.”

There was an uncomfortable feeling in his stomach that was less related to the tofu omelets his mother made and more to do with what to tell Marcus. Smiling weakly, he took the offered phone from his dad once he got into the kitchen. “Thanks.”

He took the phone back into the living room before saying, “Hey, Marcus. What’s going on?”

“Not much right now, just on the train back to school. I had too much stuff to do to stay home for more than the past two days- this trimester thing sucks-, but I had a minute and thought I’d give you a call.”

“Same here, except I’m home with everyone.”

“How’s everybody doing? Paige still the creep-magnet she was in college?”

Jason snickered. “Yeah, and the guy she liked dumped her. Sucks to be her.”

“We’ve always known that, though.”

“Yeah, I think we made it pretty clear.” Jason sat on the couch and fought the urge to rest his feet on the coffee table. “And oh, Peter proposed to Denise. They’re gonna get married next year.”

“Wow, that’s great. Kinda weird, but great for them.”

“Yeah, they’re real happy. Peter kept making all these googlie-eyed expressions at Denise even though she can’t see him. It was kind of gross.”

“They’ve been together what, eight years?”

“Something like that. Except for that six-month separation thing they did when they first got to college, to give each other space to explore or whatever. They were back together by Valentine’s Day.”

“Can you imagine being with someone when you’re sixteen and never getting over them, wanting to spend your life with them?”

“It’s crazy.” But then again he wasn’t so sure. Peter and Denise probably felt the same way about each other that he felt about Theo. Not that he and Theo were going to get married at any point in the near future- Jason would settle for just getting their pants off-, but if someone makes you feel that good all the time…

“When do you get home for Christmas?”

“Last week before it.”

“I get home the twenty-third. But I have to get back here right after New Year’s. I bet you have a really long break.”

“Three and a half weeks.”

“I’m jealous.”

“You should be. I’m going to be here playing Iron Mysticus VI, and sleeping late, and watching cartoons on dvd.”

“You have Iron Mysticus VI already?”

“My… friend Theo is going to lend it to me.”

“Cool. Now I’m even more jealous.”

They chatted for a while longer, mostly about video games and the latest webcomics they were into, and then Marcus had to go. Jason hung up the phone with a sigh. He wasn’t sure why he was so afraid to tell Marcus about Theo, he just was. There was no way Marcus would reject him, right?

He got up to his room before he realized Marcus hadn’t mentioned Jamie.

Chapter Text

Jason finally got back on campus late Sunday afternoon, and he immediately called up Theo. Theo answered after two rings. “Hello?”

“Hey, it’s Jason.”

“Hey! You back on campus?”

“Yeah, just now. You want to get dinner?”

“Definitely. I’m starving.”

They met fifteen minutes later at the campus’s diner. Jason ordered a burger and fries, while Theo got a burger with onion rings. Jason was really glad that Theo ate real food; if he ate healthy, he’d remind him too much of his mother and her attempts to get the family to eat sprouts and beans and tofu.

Halfway through his meal, Jason decided to tell Theo about his weekend. “I told my family. About us.”

Theo’s eyes widened. “Yeah?”

“Yeah.”

“And?”

“They all seem pretty cool with it. With me being gay and having a boyfriend.”

Theo blushed and looked at his plate. “That’s cool. That they accepted you.” Theo continued to look at his plate, and Jason couldn’t see the blush anymore.

Jason got the feeling Theo’s coming out hadn’t gone so well. “What about you?”

“I. Um. Don’t hate me.” Theo looked up, and there was fear in his eyes yet again. “When I told my parents last year that I was gay my dad almost kicked me out of the house. My mom had to convince him to let me stay there through college. I think after that I’m not really welcome back. So I didn’t tell them about you. About us. I’m sorry.”

Jason stared at Theo, not sure if the pain he was feeling for him was physical or emotional. “Don’t worry about me… I’m so sorry your family couldn’t handle it.”

“Jake seemed okay with it, but he was only eleven so I don’t even know if he really knows what it means, you know, kissing guys and touching them and stuff. I think he’s still cool with it. He has a girlfriend already, though, so there’s no risk of him getting thrown out. Unless he gets her pregnant or something.” Theo fiddled with his onion rings.

“Has your dad chilled out at all?”

“Sort of. He started talking to me again after a while. He still doesn’t say much though, now. He makes sure I’m set with school stuff, but he doesn’t want to hear about any personal stuff.”

“And your mom?”

“I think she’s okay with it all. I mean, she still says she loves me and she talks to me. She doesn’t really touch me anymore, though, like, hugs and stuff.”

Jason felt terrible, and a lump lodged in his throat. He’d been concerned that his family wouldn’t understand, wouldn’t be okay with it, but he hadn’t ever worried that they wouldn’t love him anymore or would kick him out of the house. Peter may be a problem with his unabashed heterosexuality, but he wasn’t mean about anything and didn’t make any rude comments the entire weekend. He looked at Theo, who was staring at his plate again. “You want to get out of here?”

Without looking up, Theo answered, “Please.”

Jason paid for their food because Theo didn’t seem to be paying attention to anything, and he led him back to his room. Rush Boy didn’t seem to be back from break yet, which suited Jason just fine. Taking Theo’s hand, he turned on his lamp then led him to the bed, and sat down and pulled Theo with him. Jason sat against the wall, and Theo sat next to him. Jason took Theo’s hand and squeezed it.

They sat in silence, until Jason couldn’t stand it. “Talk to me. Tell me about your weekend.”

“Dad drank. His dad drank with him. He doesn’t know about me, though, he just drinks. Mom and her sister made dinner, and it was really good. My aunt had to leave on Friday, though. I like her. She doesn’t care that I like boys. Mom was kind of aloof the rest of the weekend, and Dad worked a lot. Jake buzzed in and out; he had a lot of plans with his girlfriend and his friends. He’s really popular. We all talked about school, and I told them about my physics projects and stuff. I didn’t tell them I’m a mage in your game because they don’t really like that I do that, either. But at least role-playing gives me a chance to be someone else, you know? In high school it always gave me a reason to be out of the house with friends, and creating my characters lets me be someone I’m not. It’s better that way.”

Theo’s breath had started hitching around the time he talked about his popular, heterosexual brother, and by the time he finished, he was crying. Jason didn’t know what to do. But he’d seen Paige upset, and Peter upset, and he tried to think if there was anything to do but let the person talk and maybe hold them. He’d never treat Theo as poorly as he treated Paige and Peter.

Theo was turned away from him, maybe reading Jason’s Nintendo poster, maybe not seeing it at all, and Jason didn’t feel comfortable like that. So he moved and put his arms around his boyfriend, and pulled him back against his chest. Theo turned in his embrace until he could bury his face in Jason’s shoulder.

And he cried.

And Jason tried not to panic. But he didn’t know what to do. He settled for rubbing Theo’s back and trying not to move. After a while, Theo calmed down, breathing heavy but no longer crying. A few minutes after that Theo pulled away from Jason, leaving a damp spot on Jason’s shirt. Jason didn’t mind.

Theo changed positions until he could sit and look at Jason. He wiped at his eyes and smiled damply. “I’m sorry.”

“No, I am. I didn’t know that things were so bad. I shouldn’t have said anything.” Jason chewed on his bottom lip, honestly upset. Upset that he made Theo cry, and upset that Theo’s home life sucked.

“It’s not your fault my dad’s a homophobe and drinks and my mom is meek and confused and my brother is going to be prom king and get the queen pregnant in five years.” Jason smiled slightly at that, and Theo returned it. “It’s good your family is okay with it all.”

“Paige even wanted to hear details for some reason.”

“What kind of details?”

“Like what you looked like, and how we got together. She said it was cute.”

“Cute?”

“That we got together after you kissed me, and that we didn’t meet at a bar or something like that. And we weren’t drunk.”

“I guess that’s kind of cute.” Theo scrunched his eyebrows together. “I take it Paige meets a lot of guys like that?”

“She hasn’t really given us all the details on how she’s met all her beaus since she got to college. She hasn’t told me, anyway, maybe she’s told our parents or Peter. She’s not the seedy bar type, though. Not that I’ve paid much attention to her attempts with guys or anything, but you know what I mean.”

“Maybe you’ll pay more attention now?”

Jason smiled at Theo’s attempt at a joke. “I doubt it. Any guy who’s remotely interested in Paige isn’t anyone I’d want for me. Besides, I have you.’

Theo grinned, even though he still looked like he was in pain, then looked down. “Thanks.”

Jason leaned forwards and wrapped his arms around Theo, hugging him into a sprawl across his lap when he leaned back against the wall. Theo arranged himself until he was straddling Jason’s lap, and Jason rested his hands on Theo’s thighs. Theo leaned and kissed him, and Jason noticed that he tasted saltier than normal.

Theo has his fingers at the hem of Jason’s sweater when a key was turned in the door lock. Theo was up and at the foot of the bed before Jason could blink, and when his roommate walked in all he could have seen was his roommate looking confused and a boy who looked like he might have been crying, or maybe just had allergies, both sitting on one bed. Jason’s roommate raised a hand in greeting, then dropped his duffel bag on the floor and turned on his computer.

Jason looked at Theo helplessly. “We can talk in the lounge?”

Theo nodded and got off the bed. Jason followed him to the lounge, which was thankfully empty. They sat on the couch, far enough away from each other that they wouldn’t be tempted to touch. At least, that was Jason’s theory.

Theo fiddled with something in his pocket. “Thanks. For. You know.”

“No problem. You know, if you ever want to talk, you can. I may not always be able to help, but I can listen.” He didn’t care if he was sort of channeling his dad. His dad was clueless a lot of the time, but he was a good guy.

“You, too.”

They settled into silence, until Jason glanced at his watch. “Simpsons is on. You want to watch it here, or with Rush Boy? Or your room.”

“I’m good here. I’m just gonna go fix myself up.” Until Theo said that, Jason hadn’t realized how noticeable the tear streaks were on Theo’s cheeks.

“Okay.” Jason watched as Theo walked through the door to the hallway and bathroom, then he got up and turned on the TV in the lounge. It wasn’t as big as the TV Jason had in his room, but at least here they could pretend they were alone together, and hold hands until someone else came in the room.

And they did, for the rest of the night until Theo had to leave.

~*~*~*~

The week before finals Jason received a call from a very excited Theo. Theo babbled a sentence into the phone, then started on another before Jason cut him off with a laugh. “What?”

He heard Theo take a breath before he spoke again. “My roommate is visiting his girlfriend Friday night because he’s not going to be able to see her for Christmas, and it means my room will be empty from Friday afternoon to Saturday evening.” Jason didn’t know what to say. “You want to sleep over?”

Jason rarely swore, but this was definitely a good time to do so. “Fuck, yeah.”

~*~*~*~

Friday evening, Jason packed up pajamas and his toothbrush into his backpack along with new comic books and a change of clothes. He wasn’t sure why he wasn’t more nervous. This wasn’t like the sleepovers he and Marcus used to have. He was preparing to spend the night with his boyfriend, in his room, in his bed. But it felt right. They’d been together about two months, and maybe it was time to step things up a notch. They still hadn’t gotten to the point where they’d taken their pants off.

That was Jason’s goal for the night.

Jason walked to Theo’s dorm, trying not to grin, hoping he didn’t look like a big, horny idiot. He bumped into Kris along the way, and the way Kris looked at him made him feel as if he fell short of his goal. Theo answered the door when he knocked, and before Jason could even drop his backpack, Theo had his tongue in his mouth and a hand up under his shirt.

Jason pulled back after a few seconds, laughing and putting down his backpack. “Two seconds, Theo.”

Theo pouted, but his eyes smiled. “Okay.” Theo waited until Jason’s backpack was up against his bed, and Jason took his sweatshirt off, and then pressed himself back against Jason. “You good?”

“Yeah.”

Two months of making out with Theo only made it better, now that Jason had an idea of how to do it, and now that he was comfortable. He knew what he liked, and he was gaining more of an idea of what Theo liked, and even though their goal was usually to reach orgasm, they always spent time rediscovering kissing. Jason really wasn’t sure if he wanted to get to a stage in their relationship where kissing wasn’t important.

Theo backed up slowly, guiding Jason to his bed. A minute later and Theo was lying on his back, Jason stretched out on top of him. Theo’s hands were hot on his back, under his t-shirt, rubbing away any concerns that Jason may have had. Jason leaned his head back enough to take off his glasses, then sank his head into the crook of Theo’s neck. Theo still had a bruise from the last time they had some time together, and Jason went to work re-bruising the same area. He had an idea that maybe he could just keep giving Theo the same bruise over and over again, and maybe it would be there forever.

Theo panted and twisted underneath him, and slid his hands down under the waistband of Jason’s jeans and boxers. He squeezed his ass and Jason rearranged his legs so he could hump against Theo’s thigh. Theo squeezed harder then started to thrust up into Jason, and it didn’t take long at all before they both came, Theo moaning against Jason’s ear.

They caught their breath, and Theo slowly pulled his hands out of the back of Jason’s pants. Jason flopped onto his back next to Theo and chuckled. “That was new.”

“Was it okay?” Jason could practically hear Theo chewing on his lip.

Jason rolled onto his side, wincing at his wet pants. He looked at Theo, making sure he looked back, as he explained, “Unless I actively say something is bad or I don’t like it, let’s assume that it’s okay, okay?”

“Are you sure?”

“Yeah. I don’t know what I’m doing here, so I’m taking your cues.”

Theo raised a lethargic arm and patted his throat, over the bruise Jason just gave him. “For not knowing what you’re doing, you’re doing it very well.”

“Well, I’ve always been an over-achiever.” Jason smiled broadly as Theo rolled his eyes.

Then Theo’s eyes narrowed, and his smile was wicked. “If you’re phenomenal at this stuff, I can’t wait until we go all the way.”

Jason could feel his dick try to take interest, but it was still a little too soon. “Yeah?”

“Yeah. I mean, I don’t think I’m ready for that yet, but soon. Maybe?”

Jason thought. Penetration was a huge step. Maybe the hugest. And he didn’t want to rush into anything. His dad would be proud. “Eventually. For right now I think I’ll settle for getting our pants off.”

“I’m all for getting out of wet shorts, I have to say.” Jason sat up and got off the bed. “Cloth?”

Theo rolled off his bed, landed on his feet, then headed to the closet. Washcloth, bottled water, and then he handed the cloth to Jason. Jason cleaned himself off, back turned to Theo. He was still shy for some reason. As he turned back, he tentatively offered, “I have pajama pants. I’m going to put those on for now.”

Theo looked a little relieved; apparently Jason wasn’t the only nervous guy in the room. “Sounds good. It’ll be easier to eat with pants on, anyway.”

Jason nodded and smiled. “I can order us pizza.”

“Let me pay for it.”

“You sure?”

“You always pay when we’re in your room. Let me get it for once.”

“Okay.” Jason used his cell to call Dominic’s, and got them their usual. Theo had changed into red flannel pajama pants while Jason called, and then Jason got into his black pants with the Batman logo all over them. Jason was oddly conscious of the fact he didn’t have anything on underneath them.

Within a half hour the pizza arrived, and they settled on Theo’s bed to eat and watch an old episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation, because Theo had all the dvds and was working his way through them sequentially. Luckily it was an episode that Jason liked a lot, where the crew of the Enterprise reenacted the story of Robin Hood. They ate pizza and drank soda and watched TV, and Jason almost forgot that he wasn’t having just a normal sleep over.

Except when he remembered the fact that in a little while he was going to be naked with his boyfriend. The thought made him horny and frightened at the same time.

But then Theo placed a hand on his thigh and started rubbing him, moving closer to his groin every few minutes. Fear was gradually over-powered by arousal.

As the credits rolled, Theo collected their garbage and threw it away, soda cans thrown into the recycling bin under his bed. When he returned to the bed, he climbed on top of Jason, legs splayed so he could rest comfortably. “You okay?”

“Yeah. Sorta horny, though.”

“Yeah?”

“Well, my boyfriend’s sitting on me wearing pajamas, and they really show off his assets, so to speak.” And they did; Jason could see the bulge of Theo’s genitals, and his ass had looked nice in them, too.

“You can touch, if you want.” Theo was looking at him so suggestively that he might as well have screamed that he wanted Jason to just grab his crotch and go to town.

“If you’re sure…”

“Jason, please…” Theo rocked his hips forwards ever so slightly. Jason couldn’t help but bring his hand up, skating it along Theo’s thigh. He couldn’t possibly have been out of soccer for too long, with a thigh like that… His thumb reached the bottom of Theo’s scrotum, and Jason let his thumb rub slowly over it. Theo moaned slightly at the touch, the sound making Jason bolder. He moved his hand and cupped Theo’s testes, squeezing lightly. “That’s good, like that…”

Jason squeezed again, and brought his other hand up Theo’s other thigh. He used the hand around Theo’s sac to then trace up his shaft, still through the material of the pajamas. Until Jason desperately wanted to get his hands on flesh.

Before he could ask, Theo inquired, “Is there any way I can pull the pants down?” Theo panted like he couldn’t speak long sentences. “I’m starting to leak and I don’t want to do laundry if I can avoid it.”

Jason grinned. “I was just about to ask if I could touch…”

Theo groaned and stuck his thumbs in the waistband of his pants, jerking them down to mid-thigh. Jason found himself face-to-face with the only penis he’d ever seen in real life other than his own. He couldn’t say much about it, other than it appeared to be cut, a good size, pre-cum starting to leak from the slit. Theo’s pubic hair was a little darker than the hair on the rest of his body.

Jason reached to hold it, but Theo told him, “Wait.” Jason was too stunned to even ask, ‘huh?’ Theo stretched and reached, and just barely was able to grasp a box on the top shelf of the piece of furniture he was using as a night-table. He took the lid off the box, and Jason was able to see a box of condoms and maybe a cock ring before Theo took out what he wanted. He held up the tube so Jason could see it. “Lubricant.”

Jason knew that sex with guys had logistical things that they needed to think about, and he was glad that Theo had thought ahead and bought, or just had, lubricant. Theo took his hand and squeezed some of the slippery stuff into it, and tugged his hand until Jason looked up at him. “It makes it so much better. Trust me.”

“I do.” But it hurt for some reason that Theo apparently had all this experience with other people, or at least maybe just that guy over the summer. Theo was all his firsts and he was none of Theo’s, and Jason had to admit he was jealous. His mind flashed to an ugly place where he wondered if Marcus was any of Jamie’s firsts, or if they were even together any more.

Shaking off the weird thoughts of Marcus, Jason slowly curled his fingers around Theo’s erection. It was hot, and so different from his own. He pumped once, and Theo muttered out, “Oh, yeah.” He moved his hand again, up and down and up and down, and Theo started to rock his hips into it, started to thrust into his hand. Jason moved his hand faster, Theo giving him nothing but positive feedback with his movements and moans. He looked up at him, but Theo’s eyes were closed, his mouth slack.

Jason applied what he knew of himself to what he was doing with Theo; he twisted and rubbed his thumb over the head and right underneath it, hoping that when Theo was circumcised they left him some of his frenulum. Theo panted out, “Harder,” and Jason could only comply, squeezing Theo’s shaft harder and moving faster and digging the nails of his free hand deeper into Theo’s clenched thigh. It was only a few more seconds before Theo tensed all over and came, and Jason watched, fascinated, as semen shot out once and then dribbled. Theo tried to catch it, but his pants were still probably a lost cause. Jason’s may be, too.

“Oh, God, Jason, that was so good…” Theo leaned forward and relaxed against Jason in a position that must be really uncomfortable for his back.

“Really?”

“Ejaculation doesn’t lie.”

“It can.”

“It didn’t.” A few more seconds and Theo sat up again and gave his softened dick a few lazy strokes. He shivered. “Over-sensitive.” Theo climbed back off the bed, retrieved the cloth they used before, and wiped himself off. “Your turn.”

“Yeah?”

“Absolutely. It wouldn’t be fair if you got me off and I didn’t return the favor.”

Jason could live with that. “Where should I be?”

“You can straddle me, like I did, or you can lie down on your back, or we could both stand. Whatever you want, I’ll do it.”

That was an insane promise to give to Jason Fox, but he promised himself he’d never exploit Theo. Instead, he just said, “I’ll straddle you.”

“Great.” Theo climbed back on his bed, back against the wall. “Hop on up.”

“This sort of takes the spontaneity out of it all.”

“We’ve had plenty of spontaneous moments, and hopefully will in the future. But right now I just want to introduce you to the wonderful world of hand jobs. Happiest place on earth.”

“That’s Disneyworld.”

“And I don’t even agree with myself. Should be the land of blow jobs. Just wait until we get there.”

If Jason hadn’t already been hard, he certainly would be now. He’d been so caught up in just getting to see and touch Theo without pants that he hadn’t even thought about fellatio. He felt himself pulse pre-cum into his Batman pants as he considered it.

He straddled Theo’s thighs, and Theo leisurely rubbed his hands up and down Jason’s thighs, teasing him. He used his thumbs to outline Jason’s erection, and Jason pulsed again. Then Theo used his fingers to peel the pants down, and Jason sucked in a breath as the relatively cold air hit his hot flesh. He looked down in time to see Theo wrap his fingers around his shaft, and they stroked him, once. Theo then took his hand away, but before Jason could scream, ‘why?’ he watched Theo put lube on his palm.

When Theo’s hand was back on him, the idea that lubricant made things better was instantly confirmed, even though it was cold. Theo’s hand slid on him, a tight wet grip, and Jason had to force himself to keep his eyes open. He wanted to see. His cock moved through Theo’s hand, and Jason wasn’t even sure when he’d started thrusting into Theo’s grip. It didn’t matter because he was so close to coming he knew if he didn’t get there soon he’d go crazy. He moved in Theo’s hand and he heard himself moan, and he had to rest a hand on Theo’s shoulder for balance.

His eyes closed again, but he couldn’t open them. He was too focused on just feeling, Theo’s hand on his shaft and the other curling around his sac and squeezing, and it was almost enough but it wasn’t. But then Theo rubbed his thumb over the head, and kept doing it, and then he pressed at some place behind Jason’s balls and while Jason didn’t see stars or fireworks or a white light, when he came it was hard, hand tight on Theo’s shoulder and a shout ripping out of his throat.

Jason couldn’t move; he was paralyzed by a pleasurable haze clouding his very thought processes. He opened his eyes and seeing Theo smiling at him shyly was enough to remind him that he should probably get up. He was able to see now that he’d ejaculated hard enough to get a lot of it on Theo’s shirt, or maybe it was just because he’d somehow inched up Theo’s legs until he was almost pressed against his torso. He didn’t think Theo minded, but he had to ask. “I got you dirty.”

Theo looked down at his shirt. “Cum stains are the only good kind of stains.” Theo was so weird.

“Maybe to you.”

“I sort of wanted to strip down now, anyway, if you don’t mind.” Theo was shy and apologetic all over again.

“Like, all the way?”

“Yeah.”

“Let me clean up, and then I’m there.”

Theo’s grin was huge.

Jason climbed off of him and wiped himself off. He turned around, his back to Theo, and pulled off his shirt. Then his pants. He could hear Theo doing the same behind him. Jason took a deep breath and tried to not look like a dork when he turned around. All of a sudden he didn’t care what he looked like because Theo was nude and looking at him all shyly and Jason just wanted to touch.

Theo clearly had the same idea because he walked over to Jason and pressed a hand to the area right below Jason’s sternum. All of a sudden Jason wished he was muscular or tan or anything like that, but it didn’t look as if Theo minded Jason’s scrawny, pale body. Theo wasn’t built either, and Jason didn’t care in the least. He was still having trouble swallowing because of all the skin.

Theo pressed against him and Jason was glad that Theo was only about two inches shorter than he was because it meant everything lined up fairly well; a gentle thrust of his hips meant his dick rubbed against Theo’s. It seemed like that was the signal for them to start moving, start exploring all over again, because Theo’s hand slid around to Jason’s back and down, and Jason just had to kiss him.

Jason found himself pressed against the door, Theo biting another mark into his chest while one hand cradled his sac. Jason wanted to touch himself, wanted to bring himself off, and when he reached down he realized he might as well just wrap his hand around both of them. There was enough pre- to act as lube and Jason’s hand slid over them both, and Theo groaned against his chest.

With that, their attention was focused on their groins as Theo ground Jason into the door and Jason tried to keep his hand moving. Theo was panting and moaning and Jason was having trouble breathing, too, he just couldn’t do anything other than focus on how good everything felt, how utterly damn wonderful, and then his world narrowed to the warm pool tightening around his groin. And then everything just exploded outwards, radiating through him as he came, exhaling so sharply it hurt his throat. Theo followed shortly, shaking against him as Jason wrapped one arm around his back.

Jason hadn’t felt this good in a long time. Hell, he’d never felt this good. He’d never had someone who wanted him this way, who wanted to touch him and make him feel and who wanted to be touched and felt by him.

Theo pulled himself away, smiling a bit dopily. “I need to sit down.”

Jason smiled back, probably equally as dopily. “Me, too.”

They cleaned themselves up and then settled on Theo’s bed, on their sides facing each other. They rubbed with their hands and explored and Jason almost had more fun examining Theo’s body than he had coming three times already tonight. Almost.

Trying to sleep was a bit difficult; neither of them could get comfortable. They finally settled into an equilibrium with Jason on Theo’s side with the sheet over him, and while the night’s sleep wasn’t the best, waking up next to Theo made it worth it.

Waking up because Theo was on top of him and rubbing against him helped immensely.

If only Jason could predict when Rush Boy was going to be out all night, they could have nights like this more often.

~*~*~*~

That night at their game, Theo was withdrawn and only participated as minimally as he could. As usual, he stayed to help Jason clean up, and when they finished Jason pulled Theo to his room. Theo sat down on the bed and picked at what Jason could only assume was imaginary lint on the spread. Jason sat next to him after putting away his stuff. “Talk to me. What’s wrong?”

Theo leaned and pulled a folded sheet of paper out of his back pocket. “Look.” He handed the paper to Jason, and Jason took it, dreading what as on it. He unfolded it, and read the scrawled message on it: Go away, fag.

“Jesus.” Jason refolded the paper and put it on his night stand, in case they needed to keep it.

“It was on my door this morning, you must not have noticed it when you left, or they put it up afterwards. Someone heard us.”

“I’m sorry. Not for what we did, but that one of your neighbors is an asshole.”

“Yeah. I just thought you should know, watch out. People aren’t always cool with people like us.”

“I know.”

Theo leaned into Jason and Jason pulled him into an embrace. Theo tucked his head against Jason’s shoulder, and when he eventually pulled back Jason’s shoulder was damp. Jason leaned back and Theo came with him, until Jason was on his back with Theo on top of him. They didn’t move for a while, and Jason eventually realized Theo was asleep.

Jason stayed up so that he could know when his roommate came back, and he used the time to plan his revenge for when he ever found out who the homophobic asshole was who hurt Theo.

Chapter Text

Finals week passed in a blur of exams, papers, and spending time with Theo, and much too soon Jason found himself back on a train headed for home. It felt good to be going home, since there were presents to be opened in a few short days, and he had a long break from school, but he also knew he was going to miss Theo terribly. He also knew that soon he’d have to talk to Marcus and tell him he was gay.

Before Christmas, Jason was busy with last-minute present-buying and catching up on Christmas specials on TV and reveling at being the only Fox child home, and he tried not to focus on Marcus. Christmas Eve meant a packed Fox household, as Paige came home, and Peter and Denise, and their grandmother.

Once Jason’s dad got back from last minute shopping, everyone settled into the dining room to eat dinner. Everyone seemed to heave a sigh of relief when ham was put on the table and not some eggplant or lima bean or tofu concoction. His mom had done that before, and there was almost a revolt.

Not surprisingly, Jason’s grandmother again played twenty questions with her grandkids. Peter, being the oldest, was first. “So, Peter, things at school are going well?”

Peter actually swallowed before he answered; maybe being engaged was making him realize he shouldn’t be a pig. “Yeah, I just have a couple more classes left and then take my certification test. The last few weeks have gone so quickly, somehow” he glanced at Denise “people have found out we’re engaged, and I haven’t even been worried about school because everyone’s been so happy for us. People keep buying us alcohol.”

Paige offered, “I guess they think you need it. I would have assumed they’d give it to Denise, though.”

Peter mock-glared. “Hah, hah. Just because you think Denise is crazy doesn’t mean she is.”

Denise chimed in. “I may be crazy, but so are you, Peter, so it doesn’t matter. And of course I’m going to tell people about us. I’m happy. You should be, too.”

“Why did you wait?”

“I wanted to see what your family said. They were all excited, so I was even more excited, and I told our friends at school. And some of your teachers. And the mail people. And the people at that bar you like to go to.”

Peter rubbed his chin. “That would explain all the free rounds the other night. I was kind of wasted.”

 

“No, you were definitely wasted. But it’s okay, it was celebratory beer.”

Conversation died for a few seconds, and Jason got the distinct impression Denise and Peter were playing footsies under the table. Gross.

Grandma to the rescue again. “So, Paige, any luck in your job hunt yet?”

Paige stabbed her ham. “I had an interview, but it didn’t go well.”

Ever the little brother, Jason asked, “What did you do wrong?”

Paige glared. “Nothing. You’d think that the HR people at a fashion company would wear this season’s shoes.”

Jason didn’t understand fashion; if he could still fit into them, he’d wear his shirts from elementary school. Paige didn’t understand his fashion, though, either, but he was fairly certain she actually didn’t understand his shirts, because so many of them were computer and gamer jokes.

Their mom spoke up. “Now, Paige, once you have a job you can work on saying what you want. Until then, be careful.”

Dad rarely ever seemed to follow conversation when there were a lot of people around. “You were polite though, right?”

“I insulted the woman’s shoes!”

“Be polite, and it will get you far.”

Paige scowled. “Not in that company. You’d think people would want to know when they were behind the times.”

Their grandmother, always wise on when to change the subject, moved on to Jason. “How’d the end of the semester go, Jason?”

“Good.”

“’Well,’ Jason.” Jason’s mom heaved the heavy sigh of the mother of teenagers with poor verbal grammar.

“I know I did a good job with my final English paper, and we got to do this really fun experiment in chemistry, and now that my role-playing game is over, I get to plan a new one.”

For all her claiming Jason never grew up, neither did Paige. “Nerd.”

Peter, who may or may not have been holding Denise’s hand under the table, asked, “Still gay?”

Jason leveled a glare at his brother. “Yes. You have a problem with that?”

Peter’s eyes widened and he held his hands up in defense. “No! Calm down.”

Jason dropped his eyes. “Sorry.”

His mom looked at him, worried. “Jason, sweetie, are you okay?”

Paige also looked worried. “You and Theo are still together, right?”

Jason picked up his roll and shredded it to pieces. “Yeah, and we’re happy. Theo’s great. He’s kind of a worry wart, but when he isn’t being insecure about something he’s… he’s a lot of fun.” And pretty horny.

His mom prompted, “But?”

“But… Someone put a nasty note on his door, telling him to leave because he’s gay.” Jason felt it was better to leave out the part that the note was put up after someone heard him and Theo having sex.

Apparently his dad was paying attention for once. “I’ll contact the school. Hate crimes can’t be tolerated.”

“No! It’s okay. If it happens again we’ll do something, but until then we just want to let it go.”

Paige asked, “Is Theo okay?”

“He was really upset at first, but I think he’s over it. It was just a note.”

“It might start with a note, son, and escalate from there. If something else happens, you tell someone, okay?”

“Okay.”

Grandma to the rescue again. “What classes are you taking next semester?”

Jason smiled. He was finally taking advanced math. “Linear Algebra and Organic Chemistry are what I’m looking forward to, and for my history credits I’m taking a class in ancient warfare, which should be really fun. I’m taking the companion class to the psych class I’m in now, and I’m going to take the Gothic Literature class for my last English class.”

Paige raised an eyebrow. “Nerd.”

Their mother ignored her. “That’s great, Jason, you like all those things.”

“And with stuff I don’t like, I have to take it so I might as well take the stuff I like the most of the choices.”

Peter asked around his food, “You can’t skate by on easier things than those?”

“I like school. And not every school has Intro For Dummies classes.”

His grandmother knew him well. “No computer science classes?”

“Next year. I wanted to get rid of some of my requirements first. I’m definitely taking one or two or more next year, though.”

After that, conversation shifted to Paige’s latest romantic flop, and various other things until the meal was over. After clearing the table, everyone crammed into the living room to watch the yearly holiday movie. After that, Jason went up to his room to watch his favorite, The Nightmare Before Christmas. He and Quentin watched the computer screen from Jason’s bed, and once more Jason thought about how lucky he was to have a family as accepting as his.

~*~*~*~

 

Christmas in the Fox household just wouldn’t be complete without Jason’s dad giving him toys and Jason’s mom giving him clothes. Peter got him a gift certificate to an electronics store, while Paige got him a collection of old horror movies. He was surprised only because he knew Paige didn’t like those sorts of movies, and he wondered why she’d gone out of her way to be nice.

Quentin wreaked havoc when he escaped from his cage, and Jason spent a fairly good portion of the afternoon cleaning up iguana vomit filled with wrapping paper and ribbon. He was glad he hadn’t given him his new iguana ball yet, otherwise he’d have a real mess on his hands.

Dinner was a smaller and more filling affair because Peter wasn’t there to eat all the food; he and Denise were at Denise’s parents’ house. Talk revolved around a lot of nothing, mostly anecdotes of past years and old family stories. Jason was glad when he could once again escape to his room.

He was relaxing with the latest issue of Scientific American when his phone rang. His heart skipped a beat; it was Theo. “Hey, Jason.” His voice was a bit softer than normal, as if he were trying to convince himself they were together in an intimate setting.

“Hey. How’s it going?”

“It’s okay.” He didn’t say it with much enthusiasm.

“You sure?”

“Yeah. Christmas is just always tough. My mom always gets depressed and my dad drinks more than he normally does. Jake wasn’t even here for dinner this year, he went over to his girlfriend’s house.”

“Did you get any good presents at least?”

“Some stuff I needed for school. And a bunch of gift certificates.” Gift certificates were what you gave your friends and relatives you didn’t know very well or at least didn’t know what to get for them, not your own son.

“Well, at least you can spend those however you want.”

“Yeah. You get anything good?”

“Some movies from Paige, and a gift certificate from Peter to this store he knows I like. My mom got me socks. Nothing really uber-exciting.”

“Cool.” There was silence on the line, and Jason didn’t know what to say to fill it. Theo spoke again eventually. “I miss you, Jason.”

“I miss you, too.” And he did. He’d never felt this way before, didn’t know what it meant to really miss someone. But it’d been almost a week without Theo nearby, and though he sent him emails and they chatted once online, it wasn’t the same. Nothing compared to having Theo near him, looking at him with those worried blue eyes.

“I’ve never felt this way before. About anyone.”

“Me, either.” There was another silence, this one much more awkward for some reason, and Jason hoped they weren’t running up Theo’s phone bill. Hmm.

“Do you have a computer there, with Internet access?”

“Yeah.” Theo’s tone implied that Jason was an idiot for even asking. Good.

“Lemme see if I can find my old webcam.”

“’Kay.”

Jason dug through the box of his old computer and video game accessories that was underneath his desk; he’d been meaning to go through this stuff and either sell it or throw it out but he hadn’t gotten a chance. He was really, really glad he hadn’t gotten around to it when he found the tiny camera. He dusted it off and plugged it into his computer, glad he hadn’t yet upgraded that, either. The one he used at school was much nicer and newer, this one he kept for use at home.

Two minutes later and he was up and running, looking at himself holding the phone between his ear and shoulder. “All right, I’m emailing you the URL for my old website, I hope it still works, I haven’t used it in years.” It was just easier to use the old connections than get everything running on his new website. “Do you have a webcam?”

“No, my dad took it away after I came out. He was afraid I was going to start making my own gay porn or something.”

“You’re kidding.” That was really unbelievable. Jason’s stomach started to hurt, in honor of Theo and his horrific father.

“No. I don’t even want to know what he knows about gay porn and webcams.”

“Yeah, those usually aren’t things to associate with one’s dad.”

Theo didn’t say anything for a minute, then he chuckled. “You need to cut your hair.”

“You think?”

“It’s getting shaggy.”

“This is the shortest I’ve had it in a while, I got it cut right before school started. You still think it’s too long?”

“You had your hair longer than this the rest of your life? No wonder I was the first person to come on to you.”

“Well, that’s why I got it cut right before school, because I knew I’d meet this hot guy who likes short hair. What do you think of my glasses?”

“I barely even notice you have them, except when they dig into me when you kiss me and stuff. You still have those marks I gave you before you left?”

Jason pulled off his t-shirt, and showed the yellow marks on his chest. “They’re just about gone. Too bad it’ll be so long before you can make new ones.”

“I’ll just have to be patient.” There was another silence, and Jason wondered how closely Theo was watching him. He wasn’t sure if it was that thought or a sudden draft that made him shiver. He rubbed his arms to warm up. “Do that again.”

“Do what again?”

“Rub yourself. It makes the muscles in your arms flex.”

“What muscles?”

“Just do it. Please?” Like Jason could refuse that. He rubbed his arms again, then slid his hands over his chest. “Oh, God. Are you thinking what I’m thinking?”

“I think so, Brain, but won’t it be tough to get to Mars in a school bus?”

“Very funny.”

“That’s me, making obscure references since 1988. So, what are you thinking?”

“That I want to watch you touch yourself.”

“Like…”

“Like pull down your jeans and aim your camera lower. I mean, you know, if you’re okay with that.”

“Oh, God…” Jason hadn’t ever even thought of doing anything like this before, but if he couldn’t actually touch Theo and have him near, then maybe this was the next best thing. “Two seconds.” He got up and checked to make sure his door was closed, and grabbed lotion from his backpack. He held the bottle up to the camera. “I’m learning.”

“I know.”

Jason pulled down his pants and boxers, then angled his webcam downwards. “Can you see?”

“Everything.”

“Perv.”

“Maybe.”

After minimizing the browser window so he couldn’t see himself, that would be too weird, he squeezed the lube onto one hand, then reached down and started to play with himself. He’d done this very act countless times before, but never when he was being watched. He hoped no one else was using his website right now, not that there was any reason anyone should. The lube was a little cold, but it warmed up quickly. He rubbed and he pulled and soon he was hard and leaking and just generally making a mess of his boxers, which he hadn’t pulled down far enough.

He would have put the phone down and fixed that with his free hand, but he could hear Theo panting and moaning into the line and he didn’t want to miss anything. “God, Jason, that’s so hot.” Like that.

Jason panted out, “Yeah?”

“I don’t normally jerk off to videos of guys masturbating, but I don’t think I could watch you and not do it.”

Jason moved his hand faster, harder, thumb rubbing over the head of his cock every few upstrokes, and he listened to Theo’s breath get shorter and shorter.

Theo groaned out an, “Oh, fuck,” into the phone, and he listened to him pant, the sounds familiar from the other times he’d come in Jason’s presence. It was enough to tip Jason over the edge and he spilled into his boxers as he let out what may or may not have been a whine.

When Theo seemed to be under control again, he said softly, “Thank you, Jason.”

“For what? That was great.”

“For everything. I have to go.”

“So soon?”

“Yeah. It’s been a long day and I’m tired and I don’t want my dad to come in and catch me watching you.”

“Yeah, that’d be bad. Well, I’ll talk to you soon.”

“Yeah. Night.”

“Night.” Jason hung up his phone, and cleaned himself off as best he could with his boxers before he pulled on a pair of pajama pants. He lay back down on his bed, after making sure his webcam was off, just in case Theo left the window open and his dad wandered by.

Not wanting to think about anything else, Jason curled up in his post-orgasm lassitude and went to sleep, worried about Theo and why he missed him so much, and yet so very glad they could share even just a phone conversation. The sex was optional.

~*~*~*~

The next day Marcus called Jason around lunch time, and Jason found himself at an early afternoon screening of a movie they both wanted to see. Afterwards, they returned to Jason’s house to catch up face-to-face. They talked regularly enough that they didn’t need to spend much time on the day-to-day stuff, but it was still nice to catch up while in the same room.

Jason could feel that there was some tension in the room, and he wasn’t sure why. Yeah, he had big news, but that was it.

They were partway through an old computer game, for nostalgia’s sake, when Marcus blurted out, “I’m bisexual.”

Jason’s heart may or may not have tripped over itself. “Huh?”

“I like girls. And boys.”

Jason looked over at his friend, who was staring at his own hands, which were folded in his lap. “For real?”

Marcus nodded. All of a sudden Jason felt a lot better about coming out to his friend. “I’m gay.”

Marcus looked up. “No way.”

“Yeah.”

“Since when?”

“About the third week of September. That’s when I figured it out, anyway. I don’t know how long I was before then. How long have you realized you were bi?”

“About a year. I was just afraid to tell you. I know the concept of going out with girls confused you, so I wasn’t sure how you’d handle knowing I went out with boys.”

“Wow. This is so weird.”

“Yeah. Who woulda thought?"

“Probably everyone.”

“Maybe not.”

“So… Jamie?”

“This guy I met during orientation. We aren’t together any more.”

“Sorry.”

“Nah, it’s okay. He just wanted me for my video games.”

“Shallow jerk.”

“Yeah.” Marcus rubbed his hands on his pants. “So… I’ve kind of been meaning to ask this for a while… You seeing anyone? I mean, though now something had to make you realize…”

Jason couldn’t stop his smile from spreading. “Yeah. His name is Theo.” Jason recounted the details of how they met, and a few choice details about the rest of their relationship. But he’d never talk about sex stuff unless Marcus asked.

“He sounds cool. You know, for a geek like us.” Marcus sounded kind of sad, but Jason didn’t pursue it.

“He is. I like him a lot, he’s smart and funny and he just. I dunno. I’ve never felt this way before, you know?”

“Maybe. I’ve never seen you like this. You’re practically giddy.”

Jason grinned again. “I can’t help it.”

“Well, it’s good you found someone.”

“You will, too.”

“I did. After Jamie was this guy Robin, then Cory. Right now I may or may not be involved with Tyler, I have to call him later this week.”

“Wow.” When did Marcus become a man-whore? “Sounds like you’ve been busy.”

“It’s not like I’ve slept with all of them.”

“Any of them?” Jason wasn’t sure he wanted to hear this.

“Not like all the way with. Just fooled around.”

“Same with me and Theo.”

“That’s cool.” Marcus fiddled with his hands again, and Jason wondered what else he could possibly have to reveal to him. “Can you handle one more secret?” Jason nodded. “I wear girls’ underwear.”

“Come again?”

Marcus pulled back the waistband of his jeans, and Jason could definitely see that Marcus was wearing underwear more akin to what Paige would normally wear. One part of Jason found it kinda hot. The other part was really confused. “Why?”

Marcus shrugged. “They feel nice. You know I was always cross-dressing and stuff when we were little. Remember when we saw the X-Files movie? I went dressed as Scully.”

Jason cracked a grin. “That was kind of weird.”

"I guess I never really grew out of it. Just the underwear, though, I don't atually cross-dress."

"Huh."

They fell into silence, and while Jason no longer sensed tension, he felt that things weren’t quite okay between them. They returned to their game, until Marcus spoke. “Thanks for telling me. About Theo.”

“No, thank you for breaking the gay ice by telling me you were bi.”

“I’d been keeping it secret for so long, and it was driving me crazy. I almost told you about Jamie when we were on the phone that time, but you kept cutting me off.”

“Sorry.”

“It’s okay. I think it all worked out for the best this way.”

“Yeah.” They looked at each other, smiling the smile of those who have no secrets, the smile of close friends who just became closer. They were already sitting so close together, and the moment was movie-timing right…

They each had just enough time to kiss back before they realized they were kissing at all. Feeling freaked out when Theo kissed him was nothing like the way he was freaked out now. He stood up so fast his chair crashed backwards. “Oh, God.”

Marcus stood as well, his expression not exactly panicked, but he wasn’t smiling anymore, either. “I’m sorry.”

“It wasn’t your fault, it was both our faults.”

“But you’re with someone. What just happened?”

“I don’t know!”

“Maybe I should go.” Marcus looked worried, but he had nothing on Theo in that department. Jason found that kind of comforting.

Jason scrubbed a hand through his hair, part of him acknowledging that Theo was right and he should get it cut. “No, it’s okay. It was just a one time thing. Hormones and friends and stuff.”

“Right.”

“Right.”

They sat back down to their game, but the room was once again tense. Marcus stayed for dinner, and it was almost like they were kids again, big kids with complex lives and a secret now between them.

After Marcus left, Jason retreated to his room to think. And avoid Paige, who was giving Marcus and him weird looks at dinner. He once more pulled Quentin out of his cage and lay him on his chest as he lay on his bed. He thought about what had happened that afternoon, and about whether or not he should tell Theo. Theo knew he and Marcus were really close, but he didn’t think that was an excuse for kissing him.

Jason’s life was so much simpler before he realized he actually did want sex.

Chapter Text

Before New Year’s, Jason and Theo had two more webcam sessions, and they made Jason miss Theo even more. He knew the next two weeks were going to be hell.

New Year’s would be fun, though, because Marcus came over to spend the night. They’d spent most New Year’s together since they were kids because neither of them really had anywhere else to go. It made for a nice tradition, almost akin to watching the ball drop for everyone else.

Jason could tell his mother was a little wary of saying Marcus could sleep in Jason’s room, but she must have talked herself into it being okay. It’s not like anything would happen; as far as his parents knew the only guy in the house who liked guys was him. Besides, he was with Theo, and they knew that.

Jason and Marcus were in the middle of rewatching the Lord of the Rings trilogy when Jason could tell that Marcus wanted to ask him something. Jason knew that the longer Marcus waited, the bigger the question would be. Finally, Marcus got around to it. “You don’t have any porn, right?”

“What? No.”

Marcus looked disappointed. “Really?”

“Yeah. Wasn’t into sex, remember?”

“Right.” Marcus rubbed his hand over the back of his neck. “Really?”

“Really.” Jason looked at Marcus sideways, not sure what Marcus was going for. “Peter may still have some from when he lived here.” Peter, unimaginative fool, had always kept his magazines under his mattress and in the bottom of his desk drawer. Jason only knew this from when he was looking for anything else to use for blackmail. But, if he had any videos, those were kept in better places because Jason hadn't found any.

“That’s okay.”

“Why?”

“No reason. Just…”

Jason hated the twenty-questions game. “Marcus, you’ve been weird all night. What’s going on?”

Marcus took a deep breath. “Remember the other day, when we kissed, and I said it didn’t mean anything?”

Jason’s stomach began to hurt. “Yes…”

“I lied. I told you I like guys because I hoped you did, too, and that we could, you know. Be together.”

“Oh, God.” Jason’s heart didn’t just trip over itself, it did a long-jump and fell flat on its back.

“I’m sorry.” Marcus looked like he was in pain.

“Don’t be. It’s just… you know I’m with Theo.”

“Yeah.” Marcus said that petulantly, and Jason didn’t like it.

“What does that mean?”

“It’s just. The timing of this is all screwed up.”

“How?”

Marcus frowned. “It took me realizing that I had feelings for you to make me realize I was bi.” He stood and started to pace around Jason’s room. “But I knew that you didn’t have any interest in sex, for whatever reason, you were just terrified of girls and I had no reason to suspect you were into guys. And then you get to college, we’re separated for a freaking month and not only do you finally realize what I might have guessed, that you were so far in the closet even you didn’t know it, you get a boyfriend. And you’re all googlie-eyed over him, like Peter is for Denise, and I have to wonder what could have happened if I had just had the guts to say something to you any time before school. That maybe, if I had confessed to you, you’d think about it for a bit and then realize that yeah, you were into guys, too. But I didn’t, and now you’re happy and I have no one, I’m just by myself. The people I’ve been with haven’t meant anything because I’m in fucking love with you and have been for so long.”

Marcus was almost snarling now, his upper lip twisted unpleasantly. Jason stood so he didn’t feel so small while Marcus was so angry. Was he angry? Was he just hurt? “Marcus, I’m sorry.”

“It’s not your fault. It’s mine.”

“That makes it sound like my sexuality was on a string for you to pull. But it wasn’t because I realized I’m gay. Theo coming along was damn convenient, but I doubt you coming up to me one day and confessing how you felt was going to make a difference. It took events at school, and you weren’t there.”

“I know. It’s just frustrating.” Marcus’s lip evened out, and he just looked dejected. “I just. It hurts. Knowing you’re with someone else after all this time.”

“Well, it’s not like I knew you harbored any feelings towards me, or boys.” Jason replayed Marcus’s outburst in his head. “You love me?” Marcus looked away as he nodded slowly. “Like, love love?”

Marcus waited a second, then nodded again. “You’ve meant so much to me, all our lives. And you were just so weird and I liked it, and I knew you didn’t really talk to a lot of people, so you were just kind of all mine.”

Jason sat back down in his desk chair heavily. This was huge. Huger than huge. Peter’s idea of a club sandwich kind of huge. Marcus just confessed he loved him, and he loved him because he felt some sort of claim? This was beyond weird. The ten-year-old still in him wanted to check for paranormal activity. The eighteen-year-old he was was just horrendously confused. Confused because he remembered feeling hurt that Marcus had gone to another school. Hurt that Marcus had a date. Marcus was always on his mind, no less now after the confession the other night. “I. Um. I don’t know what to say.”

“You don’t have to say anything. You’re with Theo, and from the way it sounds he really likes you.”

Jason managed to smile at the thought of Theo and how much Jason seemed to mean to him. But then the seriousness of the situation came back, and he felt his smile fade. “And I like him.” Jason took a deep breath. “When we kiss, it’s just, I dunno. It’s like nothing else matters. It’s just me and him and all I want to do is keep doing it. It’s like it’s almost more important than anything else.”

Marcus raised an eyebrow. “More important than getting off?”

“…Yeah. I know that sounds stupid, but it’s how I feel.”

“No, that’s cool. I guess maybe I’ve just never had that happen before.” Marcus came back over to his chair next to Jason and sat down. “So, you’ve never thought about me?”

“I think about you all the time. I mean, how I was going to tell you, and what you were going to say or do, and I talk about you all the time with Theo. You’re my best friend.”

“Yeah.” Marcus smiled sadly. “Did you like it, the other night?”

“What, kissing?”

“Yeah.”

“It was…” Incredibly unexpected. Fascinating. “Weird.”

“Yeah.” Marcus looked around the room, and Jason knew he was preparing to say something else. “You know how much faith we put in science?” Jason nodded, not sure why Marcus was phrasing it as a question. “What if I were to suggest we experiment with how it feels like to kiss?”

“Why?”

“Because my… feelings… for you have no basis in physical reality. If we kissed and it sucks and there’s no chemistry, it will make moving on that much easier for me.”

“What if it doesn’t suck?” Jason wondered if he looked as worried as Theo normally did.

“We won’t know until we try.” Marcus clearly picked up on how reluctant Jason was, and shot him their equivalent of puppy dog eyes. There was somehow a degree of pain in the expression. “Please?”

“If you weren’t my best friend…” And if I weren’t suddenly really curious…

They leaned into each other, and Jason watched Marcus lick his bottom lip. He stifled a groan, and hated himself that this was happening at all. He was with Theo. He was happy with Theo. He missed Theo. …Theo wasn’t here

The press of Marcus’s lips proceeded to force all thoughts of Theo out of Jason’s mind. Kissing Marcus was absolutely nothing like kissing Theo. Marcus started fast, and hard, without the warming up, however brief, that Theo gave him. Jason returned the kiss, stroked Marcus’s tongue with his own, and before long he was completely into it. One of Marcus’s hands tugged on his hair, guiding his head where he wanted it. The kiss deepened and it felt better and Marcus moaned like Jason had actually done something.

He reached out to Marcus, trying to touch, and for right now just gripping his t-shirt in a fist was enough. He wanted to get closer and he wanted to feel and he wanted to taste even more. But he got distracted by the way Marcus licked along his jaw. And then he was totally distracted by the way Marcus suddenly surged into his lap, the hand pulled on Jason’s hair guiding him up. Marcus’s tongue was in his mouth again, and everywhere they touched there was energy and heat.

Marcus started grinding his hips against Jason, and reality came back to him. Reality shocked Jason into stilling, into pulling back, but it was already too late because Marcus was panting against the side of his head and riding him in too purposeful a manner. Jason tried to push him off but Marcus held him too tightly.

Even though Jason didn’t want to, he couldn’t help but groan along with Marcus when his friend came, couldn’t fight the urge to rub his back as he twitched. When Marcus seemed to reach equilibrium, he shakily got to his feet and scrubbed a hand through his hair, looking everywhere but at Jason.

This was really bad. Jason tried to take stock of just how bad it was. For starters, he and Marcus had just had a pretty hot make out session. There was no way Jason could deny that; he’d started getting hard, and until Marcus had come on too strong he’d have been happy to keep going. Marcus had somehow reached orgasm, and even though Jason had tried to push him away, it was still sort of hot. It was Marcus, and even though he was with Theo, maybe some part of his mind still thought about Marcus. And wondered.

Marcus interrupted Jason’s pondering. “I need to go.” He walked over to where his bag was, his steps awkward.

Jason stood and caught Marcus’s forearm. “Don’t.”

“But I just-”

“It’s okay.”

“But I. I don’t even know what that was, I just couldn’t help myself because you’re a really good kisser and I’ve wanted this for what feels like forever.” Marcus’s eyes were definitely filling with tears as he spoke.

“I liked it.”

“You… What?”

“I liked it. I liked kissing you.”

“Really?”

“Yes. It was different. But it was nice.”

“…But not ‘magical.’” Marcus blinked, then wiped away his tears.

Was it? Jason flipped through his memories of making out with Theo, of the first time Theo kissed him, and the first time he kissed Theo… There had been something there, more than just the novelty of his first time, more than just the way it felt to kiss, he assumed. Had he felt that with Marcus? There was a certain amount of spark, or whatever word applied best, and it had felt good and been fun, but… “I’m sorry, I really am, but. No. It wasn’t like how it was with Theo. I. I love you like a friend, but that’s it.” It hurt so much to say, because it was true and because of the way Marcus’s face fell.

“I’m sorry. For everything.” Marcus pulled his back onto his shoulder. “I need to go.”

“Please stay?”

“Are you sure? I have the distinct impression I just fucked up our friendship in an irreparable way.”

“No, you didn’t. We just need to get past this awkward phase.”

“Maybe.”

Jason and Marcus examined each other, Jason looking for any signs that Marcus was going to bolt from the room, Marcus maybe looking for signs that Jason would hit him or run or confess his undying love. Jason had no intention of doing any of those things. What he felt like doing was going to sleep because suddenly he was exhausted.

“You’re staying, right?”

Marcus kept looking at him, then nodded slowly. “Okay.”

“Then let’s finish the movie.” Jason gestured to his computer, and Marcus followed his cue when he sat down.

“Lemme just…” Marcus got up and rummaged through his bag for pajama pants, then ran to the bathroom. Jason sighed, hating how weird all of this was, but tried not to grimace when Marcus got back. They watched the rest of the movie in silence, then they got ready for bed.

Jason was horrendously self-conscious when he changed into his pajamas.

Though Jason had been tired earlier, now he couldn’t sleep, even though he had the bed and Marcus was on the floor. Maybe it was because Marcus was there, three feet away, and Jason knew that right now Marcus might be thinking about him, thinking about kissing him and making him come and loving him. It freaked Jason out. He couldn’t tell if Marcus was asleep or not. He voted no.

Jason rolled over so his back was to Marcus, and he tried to will his mind to slow down so he could sleep. He couldn’t stop replaying the night, from dinner and video games and the movies to Marcus making out with him. He had liked it, but maybe that was only because he hadn’t gotten to touch Theo in two weeks and he missed it. Missed Theo. And so what, maybe he did sort of think Marcus was attractive, but he’d been best friends with Marcus forever, surely it was just that. Platonic admiration trying to insist there was more between them. Did it work that way? He didn’t know.

Right now, he felt, for the first time in his whole life, that he didn’t know anything.

~*~*~*~

The next morning Jason woke up very conscious of the fact that he needed to pee, and thus was partially erect. He hoped Marcus wasn’t awake. He turned over and thankfully Marcus was still asleep. Jason got up and relieved himself, and when he returned to his room, Marcus was awake and looking at him.

“Hey. Sleep well?”

“Your floor feels exactly the same as it always has. Just a little bit smaller.” Marcus was two inches taller than Jason, and was maybe still growing.

“Breakfast?”

“Absolutely.”

Jason pulled on his bathrobe and went downstairs, and Marcus, fully dressed, arrived a minute later. Usually Marcus ate in his pajamas, too, but Jason didn’t want to comment on anything that would make them have to talk about the previous night.

Ever again.

Things were still awkward. There was a tension between them that Jason didn’t like, but he didn’t know what to do about it. Marcus was his best friend and while he liked kissing him, he didn’t like it enough to be with him. He didn’t desire Marcus more than he desired Theo.

After breakfast, they watched a movie, then Marcus had to leave to get things together at home to go back to school. They didn't say anything about last night, and Jason didn't know if that was good or not. He paced around the house, driving his mother crazy if her heavy exasperated sighs were any indication. He just couldn’t believe he couldn’t wait for Paige to get back from Nicole’s so he could talk to her.

Sex had definitely complicated his life. A teeny part of him wished he’d never gotten involved with his hormones in the first place.

~*~*~*~

A few hours later Paige angrily flounced into the house while Jason was lying on the couch and watching the annual Twilight Zone marathon on TV. “Mother!!” Their mom went to the kitchen, where Jason could hear Paige opening the fridge.

“What’s wrong, Paige?”

“Nicole is engaged!!” Jason heard the sound of a soda can being slammed onto the table.

“Paige, don’t dent the tabletop.” It was sad that that was not the first warning his mom had ever had to give his sister. “Now, why is it bad that Nicole is engaged?”

“Because she’s engaged! She’s going to be married and I can’t even find a guy who will call me back after a first date!”

“How long has she known him?”

“They started going out junior year, so like two years. They were in some club together, and they had a class or two together… it’s just not fair!”

“Can’t you be happy for your friend?”

Paige sort of growled. “I will be. I just need to get over the shock that my best friend is getting married.”

Jason listened to his mom and sister talk for a while longer, and Paige eventually seemed to calm down. At least, there were no more warnings not to damage the furniture. He was glad, because he needed to talk to her and he didn’t want to do it when she was vexed about Nicole. Nicole had always done better than Paige when it came to guys, and she should be used to it.

Finally Paige wandered through the living room, and Jason was able to ask her, “Can I talk to you?”

As expected, Paige blinked in surprise. “About what?”

“It’s about Marcus.”

“You’ve never needed to talk to me before. And definitely not about Marcus.” She cocked her head at him, from what he could tell from his viewpoint, and looked at him expectantly.

“Well, it’s sort of about Marcus, in relation to Theo, and I need to talk about it with someone.”

Paige’s eyes widened. “Did something happen?”

Jason sat up and turned off the TV. “Can we talk upstairs?” Paige nodded, and Jason led her to his room. He sat on his bed so he could lean against the headboard, and in an uncharacteristically sororal gesture, Paige sat on the foot of his bed.

Paige stared at him as he tried to focus his thoughts. “Spill, nerd.”

“Something happened last night. Um. I.” Jason picked at his jeans, at a loss for words for one of the few times in his life. He looked up into Paige’s eyes, and he was surprised to see encouragement in them. Maybe graduating college and trying to find a real job really did make you mature. He’d have to get used to this older, wiser, kinder Paige. And use her. “Marcus and I made out.”

He wasn’t sure what he expected Paige to do, but he didn’t expect her to hit his leg with her fist. “What do you mean? Aren’t you with Theo? Since when does Marcus kiss boys?”

Jason mumbled, “There was more than kissing,” and hoped Paige didn’t hear. “Marcus is bi, and he told me a few days ago. Apparently he’s liked me for like the last year, and just hadn’t wanted to say anything because he knows like you do that I wasn’t into sex stuff, and then last night he told me he loved me and he wanted to know if there was any chemical or physical reality to it or if it was just a mental construct he’s been enforcing so he asked to kiss me and we did.” He paused to breathe.

Paige looked like she wanted to hit him again. But she didn’t. “Wow. It’s been a long week for you.”

Jason grinned in what he assumed was a sickly manner based on Paige’s reaction. “It really has.”

“Well… did you like kissing Marcus?”

“Yes and no.” Paige waited while he thought about what he wanted to say. “It was new and different and exciting because of that. And he is my best friend, so it seemed quote-on-quote right in a way.”

“But?”

“But… he’s not Theo.” Jason couldn’t stop another of those sickly grins, but at least this one was a bit happier.

“So you still like Theo.”

“Yeah. Maybe more than like.”

“What does that mean?”

“I don’t know. I just know that I miss him and I want to hold him. But then Marcus had to come on to me and he came on me and told me he loved me and now I don’t know what to do.” Jason picked at imaginary lint on his other leg.

“Back up. He does mean love like ‘you complete him’ kind of love.” Jason nodded. “And he came on to you, kissing you, even though he asked first.” Jason nodded again. “And did you say he… came on you?” Jason stared at his knees and nodded a third time. “Now that you’ve said it, you have to clarify. Though I’m terrified of the answer.”

“There’s not much to tell. He was so turned on just by the kissing and everything he rubbed against me and reached climax. I tried to push him away once I realized what he was doing, but it was too late. And I didn’t really mind it, if I weren’t with anyone else I probably would have liked it a lot. But…”

“But you’re with Theo and you totally cheated on him.”

“But I didn’t come.”

“Let’s not get into details about your coming, okay? Other than I have to ask what you’ve done with Theo just to put all of this in perspective.” Paige winced, clearly afraid about what Jason may tell her.

Jason had to grin, and he didn’t think it was too sickly this time. “We’ve gone beyond that, so it’s not like last night was my first time.”

“I don’t know whether to be glad for you or grossed out about the idea of you fooling around with someone.” Paige raised one eyebrow.

“You can be glad. It’s fun.”

“Eww!” Paige grimaced, but Jason could tell she was just trying to be funny. “So, back to Marcus. What exactly are you bothered by?”

“I don’t want to hurt Marcus, and of course I must have, and I feel bad about it. But I am with Theo, whom I really like. He’s my first in everything and he accepts me and really likes me, and I could never hurt him. But I think I need to tell him what happened. It’s bad if I don’t, right?” Jason chewed on his lower lip.

Paige looked thoughtful. “If I were Peter, I’d tell you to never tell Theo and hope he never ever finds out. But, I’m a girl and thus can’t give you terrible advice like that. I say tell him, because sooner or later he’s probably going to meet Marcus and he’s going to need to know. Does he know anything about Marcus?”

“He knows we’re best friends and really close. And once he asked if Marcus was gay. Maybe he was concerned about us.”

“It’s good he knows you’re friends, this way it will maybe make it easier to tell him. But you really do have to tell him, Jason.” Paige scrunched up her eyebrows. “You guys have too good a thing going, in general and for each other, than for things to get screwed up by a lie.”

“But.” Jason swallowed, afraid to even say the words. “What if he doesn’t understand? What if he’s upset, or angry, or wants to break up?”

Paige patted his leg. “Do the crime, do the time. Consequences. You should have asked yourself these things before you and Marcus did what you did. You said he asked you, you could have told him no.”

“But I didn’t want to…”

“That’s an entirely different issue. But, you don’t have feelings for Marcus, right?”

“Not really. Just friends. I love him more like a brother.”

“’Not really’?”

“If I weren’t with Theo, if Theo didn’t make me feel so good in general and about myself and everything, yeah, maybe I’d want to be with Marcus. But right now I don’t. I want to be with Theo.”

“Well, it sounds like you know what you want, and you know what you have to do about it. That’s good. I hope Theo understands, or at least forgives, and I bet he will if he likes you as much as you say he does. I’m just sorry things have gotten so weird for you.”

“It sucks.”

“Relationships do that. Sex does that. Sometimes things are great, and other times you just want to give up on everything and join a convent.” Paige looked at him critically. “Or a monastery.”

“I’m too new to all this to give up on it yet.”

“I’ve just been a woman scorned too many times. Story of my life.”

“I heard you talking to mom about Nicole.”

Paige screeched. “Nicole! Married! Why me?”

“Shouldn’t you be saying ‘why her’?”

“No! I’ll be their third wheel!”

“She’s one of your best friends still. You should be happy for her.”

“That’s what Mom said.”

“We’re right.”

“Whatever, nerd.”

Jason smiled slightly, and Paige smiled back. “Thanks for talking to me, and giving me advice.”

“I was happy to do it. I have no problem with you liking boys, I actually find it refreshing after always talking to girls about boys. This is better. And Peter isn’t going to be any help.”

“Yeah.”

“It’s also obvious you like Theo, and since you have no idea what to do in relationships, you need help. I don’t want to see you crash and burn your first time out.”

They chatted a while longer, until Paige had to help their mother get dinner ready. Paige’s culinary skills had increased greatly from her disastrous attempts in high school. Jason was glad to have her out of his room; talking had been kind of nice, but he still didn’t want the place getting too infested with girl-cooties. But she had given good advice.

He’d talk to Theo, and he’d tell him everything.

He just hoped Theo would understand.

Chapter Text

Jason spent the weeks between New Year’s and the return to school thinking about what had happened with Marcus, and how he felt about Theo. He was quite certain that even though Marcus was his best friend and he had mostly enjoyed making out with him, he wanted Theo. He was fairly positive he wanted everything about him. He was sweet and hot and kind and patient. Jason spoke to Theo every few days, no more because of Theo’s suspicious father, and just hearing his voice made him feel better. About everything.

Except knowing he had to tell Theo about Marcus.

~*~*~*~

When he got back to campus, he lifted his phone as if it weighed a thousand pounds, dreading making the call. But that was stupid; he dreaded confessing to Theo, not seeing Theo in general. With renewed vigor, he found Theo’s number and hit ‘send.’ It was about to go to voicemail, and then Theo picked up, out of breath. “Jason! Hey!”

“What are you doing?”

“I just got back, I’m just unpacking everything.” Jason heard the sounds of clothes being put on hangers. Theo was meticulous about certain things.

“You want food?” It was a long train ride back to school and Jason was starving.

“Sure. Come over and I’ll get pizza.”

“You don’t want to go out or to the diner or something?”

“I’d rather stay in, if that’s okay.”

Jason tried to determine if there was any implication Theo was making with those words. He decided yes. “I’ll be right over.”

“Great.”

Jason hung up, then dumped his clothes into his dresser. His clothing tastes had matured a little, but t-shirts were still the best bet for him. He walked over to Theo’s dorm as quickly as possible without looking like he was trying to hurry. The closer he got he realized just how much he missed Theo and wanted to touch him.

Theo must have felt the same way, because Jason had barely touched the door to knock on it before he was yanked inside by a hand gripping his shirt. In two minutes he and Theo were stripped and lying on Theo’s bed, Theo on top of Jason.

Apparently Theo’s roommate wasn’t back yet.

Jason pulled back from Theo and pushed at him, and when Theo finally took the hint, Jason smiled up at him. “It’s good to see you, too.”

“Sorry. Couldn’t wait. Seeing you on your computer just wasn’t enough.”

“At least you got to see.” Jason really didn’t want to whine. But he couldn’t help it.

“I’ll try to get a new webcam for when I’m home. Just for you.” Theo smiled at him, and Jason reached his hand around the back of Theo’s head to pull him down again. He absently noticed Theo needed a haircut, but then Theo’s hair didn’t matter at all because he was devouring him. It felt great. Better than Jason remembered, better than what he fantasized about when he was in the shower. He hadn’t realized how much he missed this, the touching and feeling and kissing, until he had it again. Groin to groin, chest to chest, tongue to tongue…

Coming wasn’t so much a climax as it was an end-all; it took Jason a long time to recover, Theo heavy and wonderful on top of him as he also caught his breath.

Theo slid to the side to rub his hand over Jason’s scrawny chest, and while Jason didn’t quite get it, he appreciated the effort. If he thought it’d be worthwhile and not suicidal, he might hit the gym, give Theo something to run his fingers over. For the moment, though, Jason was quite content with just Theo’s hand on him and his warm body next to him.

A knock at the door scared him until he realized it must be the pizza guy. Theo jumped up and pulled on pants and a shirt, stepped outside the door, and got rid of the guy by giving him a twenty and telling him to keep the change. Jason grabbed a cloth from Theo’s closet and cleaned himself up, then tossed it to Theo. “I irrationally thought for a moment that it was your roommate.”

Theo looked up from washing himself, clearly amused. “He wouldn’t knock. Last time I checked, he has a key.”

Jason rolled his eyes. “I know. I’m apparently stupid right after I have sex with my boyfriend. Who knew?” Jason buttoned his jeans and opened the pizza box to serve them.

“It’s cute.”

“I’m not cute.”

“You can be.” Theo sat on his bed and Jason sat next to him, and Jason wondered how he could ever want something different than this. Right this second he wasn’t sure he’d ever be able to live without this. Absence doesn’t make the heart grow fonder, it makes it stupid. Returning makes the heart grow fonder, or at least that was Jason’s new theory.

“Whatever. I think I’m good if the only people who think I’m cute are my sister and my boyfriend.”

“How is Paige?”

“She went back to the city the day after New Year’s. I only talked to her once since.” He’d had a little nervous breakdown about the Marcus thing, and he needed to talk to her. Telling Paige he was gay had been the best decision he’d ever made; she’d proven to be quite the ally. She’d told him to stop being such a damn pansy. She reminded him he knew what he wanted, and that he knew he had to confess. And she called him a nerd six or seven times. It was all surprisingly helpful.

“And Peter and Denise?”

“I don’t know. Haven’t seen them since Christmas. They had some post-engagement vacation thing planned. I’m sure they’re fine, they’ve been together for ages. Denise became family long before Peter proposed.”

“That’s sweet, that they were high school sweet hearts, and now they’re getting married.” Theo chewed thoughtfully.

“I suppose, but most high school romances end in divorce. At least they don’t have a kid or anything.”

“They lucked out. Or they’ve been chaste.”

“Peter? I doubt it. The two of them used to make out all the time. It was disgusting. I got to some good blackmail material, though…”

“You really were a terror when you were younger, weren’t you?”

“I was the worst. I was far meaner to Paige. Throwing my iguana at her, leaving my garbage in her room, I had blackmail of her and her friend Nicole breaking curfew and stuff…”

“But you’re cool with her now, right?”

“Yeah. She’s cool with me. Surprisingly so. She seems to think it’s neat I have a boyfriend.” Jason shrugged and reached for more pizza.

“Nice. You have someone to talk to about liking boys.”

“She sort of said the same thing.” There was a pause in the conversation, and Jason diverted the topics to things that were less focused on him. He wanted to enjoy this meal with Theo because in all likelihood it might be his last. With that thought, his appetite was gone, but Theo didn’t seem to notice. He was too busy talking about some project he and a friend from home were working on.

Figuring that Theo had given him a great segue, almost like he planned it, Jason leaned closer to Theo and turned his head to kiss him. Before they could get too wrapped up in it, Jason pulled back. Theo looked at him, wide-eyed. “What was that for?”

“I have to tell you something.”

Theo swallowed, and his eyes got bigger. And sadder. Clearly he had gotten better at reading body language, unless Jason was broadcasting his own fear and shame and uncertainty. Either was possible.

“It’s not a good something, is it.”

“Not. Particularly.” Jason fought the urge to do something sappy and maudlin like take Theo’s hand in both of his. “You remember my friend Marcus?” Theo gave him a wounded-looking nod. “Over break, he. He came on to me.”

“And?” Theo’s voice was shaky.

“And… at first I told him no. But then he said he loved me.” The tears welling in Theo’s eyes were not helping. “And he asked to see if there was any chemistry between us. And I got caught up in the moment, because I missed you and I needed to be touched, and I said we could kiss. And it got kind of out of hand.” Theo wiped at his eyes. “Marcus got really into it. In all honesty, I was into it, too. But then Marcus sat in my lap and rubbed against me and he came.” Jason couldn’t look Theo in the eye anymore, it was too difficult, so he looked down at his own hands. “But that’s it. I pushed him away, and we had a really awful, awkward few minutes, and then we just sort of swept it under the rug.”

“Was.” Theo swallowed. “Was his hypothesis sound?”

“What?”

“Was there chemistry between you?”

“No. Yes. There was. I… I liked it. But the whole thing made me realize how much I like you, and how much I missed you.”

“Not too much, apparently.” Theo didn’t bother to wipe his tears away anymore. “How could you? I know we didn’t say anything about being exclusive, but I didn’t think we had to! I know he’s your best friend, but still! Since when is he gay?”

“He’s bi. It took him realizing he had a thing for me to realize he liked guys.”

“Like it took Kris asking you if you were gay for you to realize it.”

“Not really. I hadn’t liked anyone. Hadn’t loved anyone. Hadn’t ever felt the way I do around you.”

“Can’t be that great if you jump right into Marcus’s arms.”

“It’s not my fault! He just dumped all of this in my lap and he didn’t stop when I pushed him away!”

“You shouldn’t have been there at all! You said he asked, you could have said no!”

“That’s what Paige said.”

“So what was Paige’s advice in all of this?”

“To pay the price for cheating on you and tell you.”

“Well, she was right. I can’t believe this. I. I… I was always afraid this would happen, that you’d find someone better than me. I knew you would.” Theo burst into fresh tears. Jason tried to embrace him, to comfort him, but Theo pushed him away and stood. “No! Stay away.”

“But it didn’t mean anything! Just the one time was enough to realize how he means nothing to me compared to what you mean! Kissing you is like coming home, like nothing else matters, and even if it did I wouldn’t care anyway. Kissing Marcus was nice, and different, but he has nothing on you.” Jason stood, and fought back his own tears. This was going about as well as he thought it would.

“You said you liked it. If he’s nothing like me then why did you do it long enough for him to come?!”

“I didn’t mean to! It was an accident!”

“Just… Get out.”

Jason’s heart stopped, and for the first time it wasn’t because Theo said or did something amazing. “What?”

“I don’t want to see you anymore! You just… If you knew anything about me, you’d know that… That. Just go away.”

“But. I can’t leave you like this. I-”

“Just leave! I need to think.”

“I never meant to hurt you. The entire last two weeks all I thought about was how much this would hurt you. But I knew it would be better to be honest than to have some lie like this between us.”

“You should have thought of that before you got together with Marcus.”

Jason grabbed his shirt and headed to the door, but not before saying, “Paige said that, too.” Hand on the knob, he turned to look at Theo one more time. “I’m sorry. And if you ever forgive me, it’ll never happen again.”

“We’ll see.”

Jason opened the door, went through it, and shut it. He leaned back against it, and he heard Theo throw something. He wiped at his eyes and tried not to think about how much he hurt. For some reason he ached.

Mind was definitely stronger than matter.

~*~*~*~

For days Jason didn’t see or talk to Theo. He wasn’t sure if it was because he was avoiding Theo, or if Theo was avoiding him, or if it was just the way their schedules worked out. He also didn’t eat much, and he didn’t socialize with anyone. He didn’t even want to play games. He pretty much just wanted to lie in his bed and think.

It pretty much all sucked. And it hurt.

He’d never felt this way before. He’d been in physical pain, and he’d experienced a few emotionally damaging circumstances over the years, but never like this. He could only assume that it was ten thousand times worse for Theo because he was the one who was cheated on. It was times like this he wished he’d have gotten time travel right with the whole Eileen thing, but he’d failed then and was paying for it now. To be able to go back and prevent Marcus from ever coming on to him…

He hadn’t even bothered to call Paige. Why tell her she was right? She hadn’t called either, or emailed, so maybe she’d forgotten about the whole thing. He was fine with that. Paige was never one to give up the chance to say ‘I told you so.’

It was Friday before Theo stopped by his room. Jason was lying on his bed facing the wall, listening to a Simpsons rerun on the TV behind him, when he heard the quiet knocks. He forced himself to get up and open the door. Theo didn’t look good; he looked tired and thin. Jason didn’t care, because so long as Theo was at his room it meant things had to be sort of okay between them. Right?

“Hey, Theo. Come in.”

“You sure?”

“Always.”

Theo looked like he was about to smile, then changed his mind. Theo entered, and they both stood awkwardly in the middle of the room. Jason felt he should start. “I’m sorry.”

“I know.” Theo didn’t say anything for a while, but Jason didn’t have anything else to say to prompt him. Thankfully Theo spoke again eventually. “You like me better? Than Marcus?”

“Absolutely. After everything, all I could think about was that he wasn’t you. No where even close. He doesn’t make me feel the way you do.” Jason raised one corner of his mouth and scrunched his eyebrows together, at a loss for how to express himself adequately.

“And you tried to stop him.”

“…Not until I realized he was trying to come. Before that I was so caught up in it I wasn’t thinking.” Jason’s heart hurt a little bit more.

“Well, at least you’re honest.” Theo didn’t look as if that was a particularly good thing. “You don’t feel anything for him.”

“No. He’s a friend, my best friend, and anything I feel is just related to that. I don’t like him sexually, and I don’t love him.” Jason couldn’t stop a small part of his brain from wondering if everything he just said was one hundred percent true. He hated himself.

“And… you didn’t come?”

Jason frowned. “I didn’t make that clear? After he came I pushed him away and he finally got up. That would have been way too far for what the experiment was supposed to find out.”

“I thought… I thought I said that if one person comes the other should come.” Theo looked at him earnestly, and Jason wasn’t sure what response he wanted. Should Jason have just given in? He had certainly remembered the lesson Theo gave him the second time they were alone together, but he hadn’t wanted to take the situation with Marcus that far.

“But if I came, it would be having sex with him, instead of him using me. I couldn’t do that. I didn’t want to do that. I would never want to hurt you like that, it’s too far. It was too far anyway, but it’s less permanent or something this way.” Jason really didn’t know what he was talking about. “It wasn’t really mutual, and he owes me.”

Apparently that was close to what Theo wanted because he lit up like Jason had stuck halogen lamps up his nose. “That’s good. It’s definitely important to me that you didn’t want to go there with him.”

Theo glanced to Jason’s bed. “Can we sit?”

Jason led them over, and they sat a few feet away from each other. How even that little distance hurt, Jason didn’t know. Theo spoke again. “The last five days have been hard. I’ve spent most of it thinking about you, and me, and us, and where other people fit into that. And I can’t say I like worrying. I also can’t say the last few days have been remotely fun. It’s hurt, Jason. I know you didn’t mean it, and it just happened, but… when you told me everything, I felt like you just plunged your hand into my chest and ripped out all my vital organs. And.” Theo was starting to tear up again. “I couldn’t stand it. I wanted to call this whole thing off and just move on, because I figured if anyone should know how insecure I am, it’d be you. It’s one thing if you were really interested in Marcus and wanted to leave me, but you don’t even really like him that way.” Theo dug a knuckle into one eye, and Jason wanted to tell him to do the same thing to him but with an ice pick. “All of this hurt. But not as much as the thought of breaking up with you. I like you too much.”

Jason hoped his rapidly-beating heart wasn’t visible outside of his chest. “So, this means…”

“I need to get back together with you.”

“You need to?”

“I just can’t handle this. The ache and the need and the want and the hole left in my side knowing that I might not see you again. Winter break was only bearable because I knew I’d be seeing you soon.”

“I’m so sorry.” And he was.

“I know.”

Jason took a deep breath, nervous about where things may be going for them. “No, I mean for never telling you I felt the same way, that I was missing something when you weren’t there.”

“Yeah?” Theo gave him a watery smile.

“Yeah. I missed you so much. That’s the only reason I even let Marcus do what he did for so long. I was… I dunno, starved for your touch or something equally gross.”

“It’s not gross. It’s what relationships feel like.”

“Yeah?”

“Yeah. I think it’s what love is supposed to be like.”

“Painful?”

“Yes. From what I understand it can be almost unbearable.”

“Hmm.”

“Yeah.” Theo looked away, and Jason hoped to God that he wasn’t going to say he loved him. He just wasn’t ready for that, not after the weird emotional place he’d been all week. Theo looked back at him, his watery blue eyes much more hopeful than they’d been recently. “So. We’re going to put this behind us? And use it as an example of ways to avoid hurting each other?”

“If you still want me, I’ll do whatever it takes to make this all up to you. I’ve hurt so much, knowing how much I hurt you.” Jason tried to look at Theo in a way that would convey how serious he was.

“Good.”

“Yeah?”

“Yes. And to help make it up to me, you can engage in some make-up frottage with me. And then maybe we can move on from there to help aid in the making up and moving past this situation.”

“You sound so formal. It’s oddly attractive.”

“How about this then: help me come.” Theo had that hungry, horny look in his eyes that Jason hadn’t seen in almost a week. It was beautiful. And it made Jason horny, too.

“I’m quite certain I can help with that. I like to think I’ve gotten better over the last few months.”

“Oh, you have. I can’t wait until we move on. It’s going to be so good…” Theo’s eyelids slipped lower, and for some reason Jason’s body had conditioned itself to move into Theo to kiss him whenever he saw that. Of course, the second their lips connected it was obvious why he was programmed to respond to that sultry look. It was hot, and so was Theo, and he felt so good and right.

Jason pulled back to respond to what Theo said. “I’m looking forward to lessons and practice.” Theo kissed him again and moaned, and Jason thought about how he almost lost this, the way Theo tasted and felt and sounded and everything else, and he mentally kicked himself in the groin for nearly losing this. Theo was so perfect, or as close to perfect as Jason felt was necessary, or maybe even possible, and now that they were together again he felt whole. He felt complete. That painful, empty place was filled again.

He sighed into Theo’s mouth and tugged at the bottom of Theo’s shirt. Theo took it off, and Jason returned the favor. Oddly, rather than strip down with fervor, they both seemed to feel the need to just touch, explore, reconnect. Jason didn’t complain; he wanted to relearn Theo’s body after the scare the same way Theo wanted to relearn his.

They stripped each other slowly, and carefully, Theo’s hands hot on Jason’s skin. Jason groaned as Theo sucked on his neck, nibbled a bruise, tugged his head in the right direction to get a better angle. Theo pulled off with a lick. “You’re mine, right?’ Jason was quite sure Theo was supposed to be much more demanding and confident when he said things like that. He just replied with an affirmative-sounding groan as Theo moved lower and worried a bruise right over his collar bone.

Somehow they got their shoes off, and their pants off, and their boxers, so they were free to touch and roam and rub all the skin they wanted. Theo settled on top of Jason, and he wanted this to never end, the touching and connecting and feeling. Unfortunately, Jason didn’t last long enough to really do much more than grab Theo’s ass and shudder up into him. It was… it was the first time Jason had come in what felt like forever, and it was with Theo, and they were both happy and together and it meant so much more than everything had since the first time he came in his pants, on Halloween.

Theo lasted a bit longer, biting marks along the other half of Jason’s collar bone, until he came as well with a whimper, and Jason was somehow relieved. It was as if both of them climaxing sealed the deal of them making up. He sort of understood now why this “make up sex” thing was so important, so coveted. Why else would it feel so wonderful to have a pool of cum between them and be out of breath and Theo’s weight on him in a weird distribution? They were better now. They were together.

Jason’s world was once again whole.

“Jason.” Jason liked the way Theo’s voice vibrated against his chest.

“Mmm.”

“Where’s your roommate?”

“With friends.”

“For how long?”

“I don’t know. He’s probably going out tonight, but he may come back before then.”

“What should we do?”

“I’m not up for a threesome; we should just let him go out.”

“Not funny. I don’t want him walking in here with my bare ass being the first thing he sees.”

“But I like your butt.”

“I do, too, but I doubt your roommate will.” Theo pulled himself away from Jason, and Jason assumed it was reluctantly because his groan wasn’t a happy groan. “I’m going to put on clothes, and you should probably do the same.”

“Can’t. Need to see you naked.”

“And I need to make sure your roommate doesn’t kill you or spread rumors or something.”

“I should be the one worrying about that.”

“Well…?” Theo’s eyes were full of worry, and Jason realized how much he’d miss those eyes if they never looked at him again.

“Another minute.” Jason reached out and pulled Theo down by the arm. Theo settled against him, and Jason didn’t want to let him go. They lay there for at least five minutes before Theo got up again. Jason let him go this time, knowing that Theo was right. The last thing they needed right now was Rush Boy catching them. Part of Jason wondered if he should just tell his roommate he was gay, but he really assumed it would only make things worse between them, and he didn’t want that.

Theo found a cloth in Jason’s closet and used Rush Boy’s water pitcher to clean himself up. Jason watched, still too lethargic at the moment to move. He was quite content to just let Theo take care of himself, cloth moving over his skin, Theo making sure to catch every crevice and… Jason wasn’t sure how it was possible to get so hard so quickly without passing out. Physics was great, but maybe he should have spent more time on human biology, particularly the circulatory system and sexual function.

Theo obviously caught sight of Jason’s predicament when he tossed the cloth at him. “Hurry up.”

“I’d ask you to do it for me, but then I’ll owe you one. Unless you want to clean up again.”

Theo smiled softly as he stepped against the bed. “How about you repay me at a later date?”

“Want me to fill out an I.O.U.?”

“Afterwards. For right now…” Theo applied himself to giving Jason a hand job, cleaning the smears of semen from his body before working on his shaft. Theo’s fingers just… they knew what they were doing, and it was just too much for Jason to handle. He wiggled his hand over to play with his own balls and Theo squeezed and twisted and Jason pushed up into Theo’s hand and came again. Theo wiped up the mess quickly, Jason’s skin still sizzling, and the cloth felt so good on him.

Jason lay there for another minute, then got up to get dressed before Rush Boy ventured through before going out again. They settled into playing video games, and for the first time Jason hoped his roommate would come back, so that he and Theo could move on again.

~*~*~*~

About forty-five minutes into their game, Rush Boy stumbled through the door. He raised a hand in greeting to Jason, then changed his shirt and put on cologne. He stumbled back out again, and the door barely had time to shut before Theo turned to Jason and asked, “Do you want to finish this game, or do you want me to blow you?”

If Jason had been asked that question even five months ago, he would have had to seriously consider the answer. But now, he was older and wiser and more mature. And horny as all hell. He tossed his controller to the floor and stood, swallowing his nerves. “Where do you want me?”

Theo stood, sexy little smile on his face. “Have I mentioned how happy it makes me that you’re so eager and compliant?”

“No. But I’m sure it helps that I haven’t freaked out on you since those first few times.”

“You’ve definitely given yourself over to bodily pleasure.”

“That sounds like rejected line from the Rocky Horror Picture Show.”

“Don’t temp me into bursting into Make You a Man.”

Well, as far as show tunes went, that one was pretty harmless, right? No. “So, what do I do?” Jason couldn’t describe Theo’s expression, his pale eyes darkening, his grin… sultry? Was that right? All of the blood rushing out of his brain wasn’t helping Jason’s vocabulary.

“Take off your shirt. I’ll do the rest.” Theo’s voice was lower than normal; he was clearly trying to get Jason to simply die before they got much further along in this. Jason pulled off his t-shirt, and watched Theo’s eyes dip. “I gave you some nasty bruises.”

Jason looked down, and could see dark marks on his chest from where Theo had claimed him before. He shrugged. “I deserved them.”

Theo groaned and cupped his own groin. “You’re going to kill me.”

“I was just thinking the same about you.”

“Match made in heaven.”

“Or something like it.” Jason didn’t believe in heaven; he’d stopped going to church when he was thirteen. But he still wasn’t willing to confuse sex and God or the afterlife, though in the past Theo had made him shout and grunt and groan blasphemy multiple times. Was it still blasphemy during sex? He had research to do, apparently.

Thankfully Theo kept him from thinking too much harder; his tongue in Jason’s mouth pretty much ensured Jason wasn’t going to think too much about anything but his own body. And what Theo was doing to it. Fingers trailed down his chest, pinching nipples and tickling under his ribs. It was a good thing they had sort of taken the edge off before, or Jason wouldn’t have been able to last much longer.

He certainly wouldn’t have been able to hold back when Theo plunged his hand into Jason’s pants, his hand cooler than his erection and so, so welcome. Theo still hadn’t stopped kissing him, and he showed focus that Jason couldn’t imagine right now when he somehow undid Jason’s fly without moving his hand. Jason was glad that he hadn’t put his underwear back on earlier, because it made it that much easier for Theo to touch him, to pull him out, slide his thumb through the pre- leaking from him. Jason couldn’t quell the shiver that went through him, not that he really thought he wanted to.

Theo pulled away and smirked at Jason, that sexy smirk that made him pulse again. Jason couldn’t help but groan again when Theo dropped to his knees. He looked up at Jason, then focused forwards, on Jason’s erection. He leaned into him, and slowly, slowly licked over Jason’s slit.

It was like… Like… Like Jason’s brain had a scratch in it or something and couldn’t run properly. Theo used his hand at the base and licked around the head of Jason’s cock and Jason tried not to thrust but he couldn’t help it. “Sorry.”

Theo pulled off from where he was currently sucking lightly, and turned those pale blue eyes up to him. “Don’t apologize for stuff like that.” And then he looked down again, and took Jason deeper in to his mouth, his warm, wet mouth, and Jason shivered again, heat pooling in his groin. Theo worked on him another few seconds, or maybe it was hours, Jason couldn’t really tell, he was just so focused on how everything felt and what his dick looked like as Theo worked it, and trying not to come, but then Theo pulled off. He pulled one of Jason’s hands, both of which had been clenched against his side, and put it on his hair. “Hold.”

“You sure?”

“It feels good. Trust me.”

And then all of a sudden it was good that Theo’s hair was a little long, because it meant that Jason had a bit to grab and his hand didn’t just slide over Theo’s head. Theo sucked him in hard and Jason tightened his hand in Theo’s hair as he thrust into Theo’s mouth. The heat that pooled in his groin suddenly spread everywhere as he came, his cry hoarse and his hands clenched tight again even as his knees started to give out.

Jason collapsed to the floor, careful not to trap Theo underneath him. He looked at his boyfriend, grateful he could still use that title, and smiled a bit at the way Theo wiped drops of cum from the side of his mouth with the back of his hand. Theo smiled back. “Good?”

“What do you think?” Before Theo could even think that Jason was trying to be nice for bad head, he launched himself at him and kissed him. Not that he’d never ever tasted his own semen before, but it sure tasted different in Theo’s mouth… “It was good. Great. Whatever word you think fits best.”

Theo kissed him back before he said, “I’m going to go with mind-blowing and phenomenal, if that’s okay.” Jason grinned; he always did when Theo showed pride and confidence in himself.

“Fine with me.” Jason sat there, sure he had a goofy grin on his face, and just as sure that he didn’t care. After a few more moments, he stretched and pulled his jeans back up. “So… what do I do?”

“Well… I know making things a bit simpler for your first time giving will help a lot, so let me…” Theo sat back and pulled his visibly-damp pants down, and Jason had to marvel at how very obviously aroused he was. He wondered if Theo got his clothing dry-cleaned, and if that would do anything for cum stains. “The biggest rule with this is No Teeth. If you remember that, then it will be okay.”

Jason crawled over to Theo, who was lying on the floor on his back, propped up on his elbows. Jason pushed up Theo’s shirt so he could see more skin, and ran his fingers down the trail of red hair from Theo’s navel to his groin. Theo’s muscles twitched, and Jason once more thought about how he should really learn more about anatomy. Then again, he knew quite a bit about his next focus, such as the fact that Theo, while circumcised, had enough of his frenulum left to be really sensitive right under the head of his dick.

Tentatively, Jason wrapped his hand around Theo and pumped slowly. He watched as pre- welled and dripped, then moved to lick it off. It was salty, but that was okay because it was Theo. Not really sure where to go from here, Jason licked around the head, then pressed up into the underside. That earned him a soft moan from Theo, so he did it again, harder, and Theo moaned louder.

Encouraged, Jason wrapped his lips around the head and sucked lightly. Theo whimpered and thrust a little, not enough to dislodge Jason. Unsatisfied with the way Theo’s cock felt in his hand, Jason moved so he could lick up and down Theo’s shaft, lubricating it for his hand. Theo was sweaty and the skin wasn’t really like anything Jason had tasted before, but nothing in the world mattered right now other than getting Theo off.

The shaft wet enough for Jason’s hand to slide pleasantly, Jason returned to the more challenging task, actually giving Theo a blow job. Mouth over the head, breathing over it, and Jason could feel Theo shiver. “Jason, please…” Rather than take time to be thrilled that Theo was begging him, Jason took Theo in his mouth again. Down, down, down, past the head and a bit beyond, careful of his teeth but also trying to remember what to do with his tongue.

He felt Theo’s fingers in his hair, felt him pet him and rub over his head, and then his tongue wasn’t as important at keeping his teeth covered as Theo thrust into his mouth. Jason focused on keeping Theo in his mouth as he moved his head and squeezed with his hand. Theo’s hand clamped onto Jason’s head, holding him there, Theo’s fingers tightening in his hair. Now he understood what Theo meant before; it did feel good to have his hair pulled. Theo wasn’t pulling too tightly, he was just guiding him, and Jason took every hint Theo gave him. He screwed up a couple times on the teeth thing, but Theo immediately corrected him.

He tried to listen to Theo’s breathing, tried to pay attention to signs that Theo was going to come, but nothing in his whimpers really prepared him for Theo’s jerking and shuddering when he came, two seconds after he gave part of a warning, the other lost in his moan. Jason desperately tried not to choke, tried not to gag, and after a few seconds of swallowing he realized he was going to be okay. He pulled off, grimacing a bit at the taste but all of a sudden craving more of it, too. Sex really fucked up everything, desires and cravings at the top of the list.

Jason kneeled up and repositioned himself so he could lie down next to Theo, who found his hand and held it. This after part, the lying together and just being was almost better than the sex, at least from what Jason knew. It was better than before, because they didn’t have to move for a while, and things were definitely much better between them, even if they weren’t totally okay. And they had finally moved on with the sex thing, getting closer and closer to the end of that journey, though Jason assumed there was more after that. There would have to be, for everyone to love it so much and not get bored.

He wondered if he and Theo would get that far, far enough to be bored, far enough to explore further and experiment, even far enough to reach that next level, if that was the next level at all. And then Theo squeezed his hand and wiggled closer, sighing happily against him. “So good, Jason.”

“Thanks. No doubt room for improvement.”

“As with anything.”

Jason shifted onto his side so he could see his satiated boyfriend, his pants around his knees, his dick limp and still slick with saliva. Again, he thought about what he did, about how he almost lost of all this, and he felt like such a fool. How could he risk losing this? Losing this huge piece of himself? He should still be wallowing alone in his pity, but Theo decided to forgive him, either because he was afraid of being alone, or maybe he knew just what they’d be giving up if neither of them fought to keep it. He squeezed Theo’s hand, and the words were out before he could stop them. “I think I love you.” Where had that come from? Two hours go he had prayed that Theo wouldn’t say those words to him.

Theo turned wide, scared eyes to him. “Don’t say that if you don’t mean it.” Jason wasn’t sure what to say to that. “Do you mean it?”

“I… Yeah.” Maybe. He really didn't know what he was doing.

“And not because of the sex?”

Maybe. “I don’t know.”

“Honesty again.” Theo’s eyes narrowed a little, back to normal range. “I don’t know if I love you. I might. But… I’m not ready to say it yet.”

“That’s okay.” It sort of hurt; Jason knew that this was a really big point in their relationship, and that if it didn’t go well things were going to get uncomfortable. “I just… like we were saying before, we need each other. I don’t want to be apart again.” And he didn’t. He wasn’t sure he’d be able to survive, not after he had had such a wonderful experience tonight.

“Okay. I can see that. But…” Theo’s eyes were worried again. “I think I need to think about it. With all of this, and then what we just did… It was great, and I don’t want to confuse post-orgasmic euphoria with anything else.”

“Stop talking.” Jason leaned to kiss Theo, and Theo met him halfway. Jason tried to tell himself that the kiss was sweet and magical, but it was really just bitter from the remains of cum and the surprising lack of some sort of energy he for some reason expected to be there. But none of that mattered, because they were together and could work at what needed improving. They had plenty of time to do anything.

Love could wait. And so could sex.

Jason pressed closer to Theo, seeking the warmth, and more, that he offered. He sighed contentedly, and tried not to fall asleep.