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White-bright rays from the open window hit Zeke, waking him up almost immediately. He blinked the sleep out of his eyes and checked his surroundings like a “Spot the Difference” puzzle. Everything was where it was when he went to sleep, but the warmth pressed to his chest was what was new. A jolt of fear shot through him like it did every time until he actually fucking looked down. It was just Shaolin. A smile spread over his face like ink infecting water. Shao was snuggled into him and his face was smushed into the divot in Zeke's chest. Their cat, Sanguine, was pacing the apartment and occasionally licking her old bullet wound. He would have stayed there forever with Shao but he came to the verdict that he had to pee. Going to the bathroom however, he heard a whine of protest from the couch they were sleeping on.

“Where are you going, Figuero?”

“To pee.” Zeke said with mock irritation. “Is that okay with you, love?”

“Yeah, I guess. What time is it?” Zeke ignored his question because one: he didn't know what time it was either, and two: it probably wasn't the best decision to have a whole conversation while peeing. Feeling groggy and a little sore from sleeping on the cramped couch instead of their bed like usual, Zeke stripped from the red satin boxers he stole from Shao and stepped into the shower. Warm water ran through his hair, weighing it down and reverting it to curls that were seldom seen. The feeling of dry skin on his back almost gave Zeke a heart attack. Shaolin had crept into the shower unsensed and still sleepy.

“Uhm, can I help you, Shao?”

“‘M showerin’, nigga. Watchu want?” Shao slurred, still leaning on Ezekiel for support.

A blend of amusement and pity washed over Zeke, seemingly coming from the showerhead. He positioned Shaolin in front of him and washed his his hair and face with a few soothing kisses mixed in. Fully awake, Shao smiled at Zeke. He was so nice and not like, creepy nice. Not like that. He was just so genuinely caring and considerate. Shao loved him for that. Only a few inches shorter, Shao placed a slew of appreciative kisses on his neck and collarbone because that was as far as he could reach.

After thirty or so minutes, Shao and Zeke were looking sharp. Ezekiel had chosen to leave his curls be and matched with his neat mustache/beard combo, he was fresh as fuck. Shao rocked his signature gaystache with pride and his hair was mad shiny. He didn't know what Zeke did, but it was fantastic. It was a colder than usual autumn day in the Bronx, so the duo had layered up. Shao, with his black jeans and shirt, a white leather jacket under a blood-red coat and Zeke, with light blue jeans, a white shirt, and a navy blue varsity jacket from a team he didn't play for. They gassed each other up before stepping out, cooing and talking about how fly their mans was on Instagram to the embarrassment of the other. Shaolin put on his perfect, pristine Pumas while his boyfriend opted for some grey Chelsea boots. Ezekiel went out to start his car while Shao fed Sanguine.

“Hi, baby! Ya daddies are gonna be out for the day so you gotta hold down the fort, aight? Scratch up any niggas tryna break in.” The Bombay kitten gave a meow in response, like she somehow knew what was up. Annie left the kitten to Shaolin in her will and although he hated the bitch, Sanguine was too adorable to pass up. He gave her a quick peck and a nuzzle before locking the front door and letting her eat.


Driving in the afternoons were a calm, almost reflectful time for the boys. Get coffee, stop by the record store, go to work. Shao managed a dojo for kids and Ezekiel worked at the Barnes & Noble across the street, organizing books and helping customers. Luckily, it was Sunday and they were both off, so they skipped the 'Go To Work’ part and made their way to Soho.

Shaolin didn't mean for it to be a group date, but lo and behold, it was. Boo and Napoleon, Ra Ra and Tanya, and Yolanda and her girlfriends all showed up at the museum to see Dizzee and Thor Kipling’s work. Recently married, they made a lot of art together. No longer illegal, but spray can art on thin slabs of concrete. Graffiti, but not graffiti. Shao helped with one of the smaller pieces and made a beeline to it, showing Zeke with immense pride. Literally. The 4x5 foot was of a young boy, sharing physical features of Thor, Shaolin, and Diz with curls the color of the bisexual flag and a rainbow in the background. Ezekiel Figuero was floored.

“Damn baby, you did this? It's beautiful!” Zeke giggled with one fist in front of his mouth and the other intertwined with Shaolin's. He had kept up with his mans work before he was even his mans. Before they even met. He was always amazed with Shao 007. They took a few pictures in front of the piece, looked at some others, and returned to their family. Zeke immediately made a bisexual comment and he, Mylene, and the Kipling boys laughed with a comforting familiarity. Shaolin and Yolanda gave knowing, gay ass grins and Regina and Thor suddenly bonded over their pansexuality. Tanya and Leon didn't really know how a non-binary, straight woman and a demisexual guy necessarily fit in the mix, but they hugged it out anyways. After a late lunch and the mini family reunion, all parties went their separate ways.


Zeke stumbled into the apartment and flopped down on the couch, almost smushing Sanguine. She slipped out of the way and onto the windowsill. He hadn't even drank, but he was so full of energy; happy, nervous, and creative. Tripping over his own feet and adorning Shaolin's face in chaste kisses. He started spitting rhymes on the drive home and his adoring boyfriend promised to spin something for him when they got there.

“Please please please, Shao? It'll be fuckin’ dope.”

“Anything for you, Z.”

Keeping true to his word, Shao sifted through the box they had just gotten at the record store and got out ‘Promiscuous’ by Nelly Furtado. It was an unexpected choice, but it worked just fine. He let his phone record the sound, his mans started to rap, and he spun the track.

Zeke and Shao got high on the rooftop, Ezekiel mumbling the lyrics to the song and changing the pronouns where he saw fit. Shaolin snickered at being called a ‘promiscuous boy’, but indulged the nonsense anyways. Shotgunning smoke had turned into making out in almost no time at all. Strong thighs straddled Zeke's and they weren't even bothering to push the smoke through. Disappeared into their bodies on inhale or into the air on exhale.

The couple had been together for almost three years, but Ezekiel kissed like he might still lose Shao. He bit onto his lips so Annie couldn't come get him from her grave and kept a firm hold on his ass so Shaolin couldn't fly away without him and rejoin his birds. Shao didn't mind, though. He kissed back with just as much intensity, grinding his hips and moaning on occasion with a smile tugging at the corners of his lips. Zeke made him vulnerable in a way that still made him feel safe. A little paradoxical, but it made sense to him. Like, falling but knowing that Superman will catch you before you hit the ground.

They fell asleep in their own bed that night and a smile spread over Shao's face like ink infecting water.