Actions

Work Header

I Would Do It Again

Chapter Text

Nei Isak

23:18

Vilde: Isak are you okay??

Eva: why wouldn’t he be okay

Vilde: he just went into a room with Even Bech Næsheim!!!

Magnus: oh my GOD!!!! @MAHDI

Magnus: @JONAS @CHRISTOFFER @DAVID

Eva: ehhh

Chris: get on it Isak YASSS

Jonas: isak seriously?

Mahdi: bro wyd

Eva: maybe they’re talking :)

Chris: fucking*

Christoffer: holy shit is this happening?

Eva: Chris IS THIS YOUR DOING?

Chris: which Chris?

Christoffer: which Chris?

Eva: Pchris!

Christoffer: maybe :p


“What’s your name?” said Even, backing him up against the wall, pressing a wet kiss to his jaw. Shit.

“Hm?” Isak mumbled, his head spinning with lust.

“What’s your name, love?” Even repeated, his fingers digging into his skin through his shirt, and shit. Get it together. This is Even Bech Næsheim.

Isak took a deep breath then remembered that he was supposed to have game, remembered that he usually had guys stuttering, not the other way around. So he slid his hands into Even’s back-pockets and pulled him closer between his legs.

“My name is whatever you call me,” said Isak, right before catching Even’s lower lip between his own, earning a soft moan from the taller guy. Success.

“How about I call you beautiful?” said Even, a cheesy grin on his face, and Isak couldn’t believe him.

He couldn’t help but snort.

“What’s so funny?” said Even.

“Oh my god. You have like zero game,” said Isak, still laughing.

“Zero game? Me?” Even scoffed.

“Yes, you.”

“Oh, I’ll show you game.”

“Yeah?” Isak breathed.

“Yeah,” Even replied, sliding one hand down his back before grabbing one of his buttocks and squeezing.

“That’s not that impressi-”

But then Isak’s words evaporated because Even’s other hand had cupped his jaw and his lips were now forcing his open. He was kissing him with urgency, kissing him like he wanted to wreck him. And Isak felt weak in the knees.

Get your shit together. Oh my god.

Even licked into his mouth and pressed him further up against the wall, and Isak was fully aroused now. No doubt about it. Embarrassingly, too. He was panting into the kiss as Even all but sucked on his tongue. Dammit. He has game.

“Okay,” Isak panted. “Yeah. Okay. I see your point.”

“Yeah?” Even smiled, panting as well. “You liked it?”

“I did. I liked it a lot actually.”

“Good. I like it when people like what I do to them,” said Even, his smile blinding. “Especially when they’re as pretty as you.”

“That’s a bit shallow. Don’t you think?”

“Shallow? Me?!” Even scoffed.

“Yes, you,” Isak smiled, pulling Even closer between his legs.

“So now I’m shallow and I have no game?”

“Yes.”

“What are you doing with me then?”

“I’m not too sure to be honest,” said Isak, a huge grin on his face. “I should probably head back to the party at this point.”

“Now you’re just breaking my heart,” said Even.

“Breaking your heart? You’re going a bit too fast for me. You don’t even know my name,” said Isak.

“Oh I do.”

“You do? What’s my name then?” Isak smiled.

“Isak. Your name is Isak Valtersen. My very own wet dream,” said Even.

“Wow. You even know my last name? Should I be concerned? Is this my cue to leave? Did you stalk me?”

“Maybe,” Even smirked. “Is that okay?”

“I’m leaving,” said Isak, bringing his hands up to bury them in Even’s hair, and he didn’t miss how his eyes closed for a second at the contact. Cute.

“Are you this cruel to everyone you drag to your room at parties?” said Even.

“Maybe,” said Isak. “And it’s not my room.”

“That explains the Adriana Lima poster,” said Even, leaning down to kiss his neck, and Isak had to make a conscious effort not to moan.

“Hm? You don’t think I’d have an Adriana Lima poster in my room?”

“No.”

“Are you assuming things about me?” Isak asked. “Not cool.”

“I don’t know. I thought you’d be more of a Marlon Teixeira boy.”

“Who?”

“Hottest guy in the world,” said Even.

“Ouch.”

“After you of course,” Even smiled.

“You really have no game,” said Isak, before pressing a kiss to the corner of his mouth. “And I fucking love Adriana Lima.”

“Me too,” said Even, leaning in and kissing him again, his hand on his thigh, squeezing. “See? We have so much in common already.”

“Hm,” Isak moaned, dragging him back down for another wet kiss.

Even pressed one leg between his, and Isak couldn’t help but grind down against it.

“Shit, baby,” Even muttered.

“Yeah, but unlike you, I only like boys,” said Isak.

“Hm. I see you know things about me,” Even smirked.

“I do.”

“What else do you know?”

“I know your name is Even,” Isak smiled, pulling his hair a bit harder.

“Hm, good,” Even smiled. “Good. What else?”

“I know your full name is Even Bech Næsheim,” said Isak, chasing his lips, then pouting when he was met by Even’s chin instead.

“Nice. I’m flattered,” said Even.

“You should be.”

“What else do you know?”

“Hm?” Isak mumbled, because he was so lost with Even’s fingers making their way under his shirt.

“What else do you know, baby?” Even repeated.

“I know you suck mad dick,” said Isak, making him nearly choke.

“What?!”

“Yeah,” Isak laughed. “I heard things.”

“Woah. I’m flattered. Same for you I guess,” said Even.

“You heard things about me?” said Isak, suddenly feeling a little bit self-conscious.

“Yeah.”

Who.

And as if Even could tell that he was suddenly feeling anxious, he kissed him again, for a bit longer this time, all tongue, and teeth, and goddammit. Isak was giggling into the damn kiss. What the fuck.

“Only good things though,” said Even. “Only heard good things.”

“I wish I could say the same,” said Isak, teasing.

“What?” Even scoffed.

“Yeah. I heard you make girls cry.”

“Oh no.”

“That was my reaction, too,” said Isak, now shamelessly sucking a bruise into his neck. Fuck it.

“I didn’t know that,” Even panted. “I don’t want to make girls cry.”

“Some boys, too.”

“Oh no.”

“Yeah. I heard you sleep with them and then dump them,” said Isak, almost done with his work, feeling Even’s breath hitch and grinning to himself.

“You shouldn’t believe everything you hear,” said Even. “I would never make you cry.”

“You think I would cry over you?” said Isak, pressing one final kiss to the bruise on Even’s neck.

“I would probably cry over you,” said Even before wrapping his arms around Isak’s back and pulling him off the wall.

“Oh.”

“Surely you must be tired of standing,” said Even.

“Surely.”

“Bed?”

“Bed,” said Isak.

Even fell on his back on the bed and Isak climbed onto his lap because this is happening. Yep.

“I can’t believe this is finally happening,” Even mumbled bringing his hands to Isak’s rear and squeezing.

“Hm? You’ve been waiting for this?” said Isak, a little bit surprised.

“Are you kidding me?” said Even, before wrapping a hand around the back of Isak’s neck and pulling him down for another filthy kiss.

He’s got game. Fuck.

Isak was about to start undoing Even’s jeans when his phone started vibrating again.


Nei Isak

23:47

Eva: seriously Isak i don’t think this is a good idea

Chris: why not?

Eva: this guy fucked half the campus

Chris: so did you

Eva: fuck off Chris

Magnus: HAHAHAHAAHAHAHA

Christoffer: shit

Jonas: shit

Vilde: Chris why do you always say this about Eva!? It’s rude

Chris: because it’s true lol

Eva: so what

Noora: why is P-chris in our chat?

Magnus: i added him

Noora: why?

Christoffer: i’m on this chat too. I can read this

Noora: i know :)

Christoffer: damn why does william like you

Eva: why does she like william*

Magnus: is william seriously hijacking Isak’s time to shine?

Chris: why does everyone care about Isak fucking the hottest guy on campus? Let him live

Christoffer: hottest guy?

Vilde: because he’s going to hurt him!

Vilde: he’s probably telling him he’s pretty and that he likes to see him laugh or something right now

Vilde: he does this to everyone

Jonas: i’m leaving this chat

Mahdi: Isak always has stuff happening man

Magnus: i know right? I wish he could come with us to Greece. It’s gonna be boring without him

Christoffer: yeah i heard he can’t make it because of some personal issues

Jonas: shut the fuck up Schistad

Christoffer: what? I didn’t say anything


“You’re popular, huh,” said Even, as Isak rolled his eyes skimming the groupchat then throwing his phone away.

Fucking Schistad. Isak couldn’t believe he got so drunk one night that he admitted he didn’t have enough money to join the boys. He couldn’t believe he told Christoffer Schistad of all people, the little privileged asshole. Isak wanted to go. He wanted to go so badly. But he had absolutely no money. and no parents to beg for money.

“What’s wrong?” said Even.

“Nothing. My friends are a pain in the ass,” said Isak.

“Hm the good kind of pain or the bad?”

“Why are you like this?” said Isak, laughing.

“I like making pretty people laugh.”

“Wow,” Isak mumbled.

“What?”

“My friends. They said you’d say that,” said Isak.

“Huh?”

“They’re all warning me about how you’re going to use me then dump me.”

“I wouldn’t do that,” said Even, bringing a hand to Isak’s face and brushing his thumb over his cheekbone.

“Hm. How do I know?”

“I’m most vulnerable and honest when I’m aroused. And right now with you sitting on my dick, I can promise you I’m telling the truth,” said Even, and Isak laughed, actually laughed for a good ten seconds.

“Gosh, you’re beautiful,” Even whispered.

“Uh-”

But before Isak could place a word, Even wrapped his arms around him and flipped them around. Isak was now on his back on the bed, and he wasn’t too sure how it all happened.

Even was kissing him now. Kissing him, and undoing his jeans, and Isak couldn’t help but feel nervous. Focus.

“What are we gonna do?” said Isak.

“Right now we’re gonna test your intel,” said Even.

“Hm?”

“Yeah. I’m gonna blow you.”

“Shit.”

“Would you like that?” said Even.

“Yes. Yeah. Yes.”

“Good. Me too.”


Nei Isak

00:13

Chris: do you think they’re gonna fuck or just blow each other?

Jonas has left this conversation

Chris: man. Jonas is no fun.

Sana was added to this conversation

David: definitely gonna fuck

Sana: wtf is this conversation

Vilde: Sana! Isak is currently fucking Even Bech Næsheim as we speak

Sana: wtf

Vilde: exactly!

Sana: no wtf as in why are you talking about this??? Who cares?

Vilde: Sana he’s a fuckboy

Sana: no he’s not

Vilde: why do you always defend him?

Vilde: he broke Olivia’s heart last year

Sana: well maybe Olivia is just stupid

Mahdi: i can’t believe this is happening

David: me neither man

Sana: you’re all so weird

Noora has left this conversation

Sana has left this conversation

Jonas was added to this conversation

Jonas: stop adding me!!!

Magnus: We have to hear the rest of this story bro

Vilde: why aren’t you doing anything? What if Even is using him? This is probably some dare for him or something

Chris: Relax. Let the boy live.


Isak did his best not to moan embarrassingly, but it was hard, really hard with Even looking like that between his legs.

“Good?” Even asked, his eyelashes wet and Isak had to close his eyes if he didn’t want to make a mess so soon.

“So good,” he moaned.

.

“Yeah okay. You’re good,” said Isak, his chest still heaving.

“I’m flattered,” Even laughed.

“Yeah like you can do that to me any day,” said Isak.

“Alright, let’s not get ahead of ourselves,” said Even, getting off the bed.

“Where are you going?” Isak asked.

“Gotta clean you up.”

“Let’s do that later,” said Isak.

“But the sheets-”

“Fuck the sheets. It’s Christoffer Schistad’s room. The fucker deserves it.”

“Are you telling me I just gave you a blowjob in Penetrator Chris’ room?” said Even.

“Uh, yeah?”

“Fuck me.”

“What?”

“No way!” said Even putting on his shirt. “Let’s go.”

“What? Where?”

“My place?” he said before looking at Isak. “I mean, if you want.”

“Uh. Yes. Yeah.”

.

Isak couldn’t help but grin when he saw the look on everyone’s faces as they crossed the party holding hands to leave the apartment. Magnus’ jaw was practically on the floor. Isak couldn’t help but feel proud. Yup. It’s happening.

.

Isak dropped to his knees the moment they got to Even’s room, and he didn’t miss how the little game he had had evaporated.

“You okay there Bech Næsheim?” Isak teased.

“Shit, you look so fucking good like this,” said Even.

“I’ve been told.”

.

Even kissed him the moment he was done with his work. His hands were huge and they were on his face. And Isak felt overwhelmed for a second because they were somehow on his bed now, and he was on his back, and Even was kissing his neck. And Shit. Dammit.

His phone was still buzzing in the distance but Even was sucking a bruise on his neck and he couldn’t care less.

He moaned and pushed his hips forward and Even pressed right back.

“Shit,” Isak moaned. “Are you trying to suck blood off my neck?”

“Maybe,” Even laughed. “Just want us to match.”

“I didn’t even suck on your neck for that long.”

“Yes, you did,” said Even. “I just don’t whine about stuff like you do.”

“Whine? Whine about stuff? How dare you?”

Even laughed and kissed him on the mouth and Isak let himself be kissed. He couldn’t help but think about how he had never kissed anyone this much. They usually kissed for a bit but then started fucking and forgot all about the kissing. Isak liked kissing. He liked it so much. It made him feel so warm and fuzzy and nervous.

“I like your lips,” Isak admitted between kisses.

“My lips?”

“Yes. They’re big and full. I love your lips.”

“Wow,” said Even.

“Too much?”

“No,” Even smiled then pecked him again. “It’s funny because I love your lips.”

“What are you talking about? Have you seen my lips? What the hell?”

“What? You have the prettiest lips,” said Even. "I'm obsessed with your lips."

“Now you’re just messing with me. You really are a fuckboy, huh.”

But then Even leaned down and kissed him again, this time making him part him lips with his thumb and nibbling at his lower one.

Isak felt weak and this wasn’t supposed to go this way. Why is he so sweet.

“I. Love. Your. Lips,” said Even.

“Okay,” Isak panted. “You love my lips. Got it.”

“Yeah.”

They made out for what felt like hours and Isak couldn’t believe that he was in Even Bech Næsheim’s bed, kissing him and sighing into his mouth and actually enjoying it. He didn’t even like Even Bech Næsheim half the time. Okay, maybe he did. But he wasn’t going to admit that to anyone. Besides, Even had a reputation. He really did sleep with everyone and then dump them. He was a heartbreaker. He was ruthless. And while Isak wasn’t much better himself, at least he didn’t make anyone cry.

But this, this felt nice. So nice. Isak’s face was flushed and he was moaning and his eyes were droopy and his eyelids were heavy, and he was so flustered and aroused and-

“Isak?”

“Yeah?” Isak breathed.

“Are you drunk?”

“No.”

“Are you sure?”

“Yes. I had one drink three hours ago,” said Isak. “Why?”

Even cupped his face and looked him dead in the eyes.

“Because I want to fuck you.”

“Uh.”

“Can I?”

Yup. It’s happening. Yes.

“I thought I was gonna have to beg,” said Isak.

“Oh no, I would never want you to beg for anything,” Even smiled, running a hand over Isak’s hair.

“You sure about that?” Isak smirked.

“Alright I can think of a couple scenarios in which I’d be keen on seeing you beg. I admit.”

“Yeah?” Isak smiled.

“Yeah,” Even smiled right back.

.

“Can you turn around for me?”

Oh I see. You want me like that. Okay. I see.

But when Isak felt his tongue there he nearly fell off the bed.

“What are you-”

“Gotta prep you right,” said Even.

“Oh, I-”

Isak was on cloud nine. He really was. This was new. This was very new. This was amazing. He nearly cried. No one had ever done that for him. Isak pressed his face against the pillow and moaned with no reserve. Shit. I deserve this.

.

“Turn around baby,” said Even. And Isak obliged and got on his back although he found it odd.

“You’re gonna take me like this?”

“Yes, why? Would you prefer it another way?”

“No. No. I like this,” said Isak.

“Me too. Wanna look at your pretty face.”

If Isak didn’t know any better, he would have felt something.

.

Isak hated that he couldn’t help but tear up every single time. But dammit, it stung. He loved it but it still hurt.

“You good?” Even asked.

“Yeah. Just need a second,” Isak breathed.

“Okay, okay,” said Even, pressing soft kisses all over his face, his flushed face.

He then kissed his neck and his hair and his torso, and Isak couldn’t believe him. He nearly screamed when Even kissed his knees and his inner thighs. He nearly did.

No wonder everyone’s in love with you.

Even found his rhythm and Isak no longer felt uncomfortable so he met him halfway, burying his hands in his hair and pulling and moaning.

“Fuck me,” he whined, and it seemed to drive Even over the edge for he picked up the pace and nearly wrecked him before slowing down again. Dammit.

Isak was trembling in his arms and Even wouldn’t stop kissing him everywhere. His lips were a sin and Isak couldn’t get enough. So he chased them and pulled them right back between his.

Even was gentle, so gentle but Isak couldn’t help but feel spent. He felt spent and wrecked and he was about to cry because it felt so good. The best I’ve ever had? Maybe?

“Baby, are you good?” said Even.

“Yes. Yes.”

“Shit, you’re so perfect,” he moaned into his neck, sucking another bruise right below his previous one.

“You feel so good,” Isak whined.

“I’ve wanted this for so long,” said Even.

“How long?” Isak mumbled. “Tell me. Tell me.”

“Since first day of school,” said Even.

“What?”

But then Even picked up the pace again and Isak was lost because it was all too much. God dammit. Yes.

.

Isak was still panting when Even lit up a joint beside him.

“Alright. You’ve got game,” said Isak.

“Yeah?” he smiled.

“Yeah.”

Even rolled around and kissed him, slow and deep and personal, and Isak started to panic.

“You’re cute. Did I mention that you’re cute?” said Even.

“I don’t think you did,” said Isak. “But I see that I’ve downgraded from beautiful to cute.”

“Downgraded?” Even took a drag from his joint. “You can be both beautiful and cute you know.”

“I know,” said Isak.

“You can be many things at once. You don’t have to be one thing.”

“Uh, okay..”

Isak felt a little bit confused but suddenly remembered his phone. He reached down to grab it floor from where it was lying on the floor and didn’t miss how Even followed his movement.

“Your friends won’t be too happy to learn that you slept with me I’m guessing,” said Even.

“Yeah, I don’t think they will be,” said Isak. 

"They think I'm corrupting you or something?"

"Probably."

"But they don't know the truth," said Even.

"The truth?"

"That thing you did in the shower. Oh my god."

"Shut up!" Isak blushed and he didn't know why he even bothered.

“Do you care?” said Even.

"What?"

"What people say and stuff. Do you care about that?"

“I don’t think so,” said Isak. 

“Hm. Isak the rebel. I like it.”

“How do you even know who I am?” said Isak.

“I told you I stalked you a bit.”

“Funny cause I stalked you, too.”

“Match made in heaven,” said Even, smiling and handing the joint to Isak who accepted happily.

.

“Are you high? I think I’m high,” said Isak.

“I’m always high,” said Even.

“Alright there Wiz Khalifa.”

Even laughed and it somehow resonated inside Isak’s chest. He couldn’t help but smile. What a beautiful laugh.

Alright. This is a fucking disaster.

But then Even grabbed his hand and pressed their palms together.

“What are you doing?” Isak asked.

Even’s fingers were longer than his, and his hand was bigger than his, and Isak wasn’t sure how he felt about that.

And when Even forced his fingers apart with his own to laced their hands, Isak couldn’t help the gasp that escaped his mouth.

“Oh.”

“We fit,” said Even.

“What?”

“We just fit. You and me. We fit.”

What the fuck.

.

Isak waited until Even fell asleep before sneaking out. It was probably way past two in the morning and Jonas was going to give him that look.

Isak wasn’t sure what he expected from spending a night with Even Bech Næsheim, but it certainly wasn’t this. He didn’t expect him to know his name or to be so sweet and funny. Isak expected him to have game given his reputation, but he didn’t expect kisses down his thighs and kisses to his forehead. He didn’t expect so much kissing. He didn’t expect so much care and prep. He didn’t expect all the “you’re perfect, you’re beautiful, you’re gorgeous”. He didn’t expect all of that.

But this was Even Bech Næsheim. The legend. The one and only. UiO’s very own number one heartbreaker. And Isak wasn’t going to fall for it. He wasn’t. This wasn’t what it looked like anyways. This was a game. This was a job.

.

He hesitated before looking at his phone. He hesitated before sending the message.


Nei Isak

02:32

Magnus: can you believe jonas got anne to go down on him? I can’t believe it

Eva: why are you still up

Magnus: we’re waiting to hear from Isak

Eva: why would he tell you anything? He’s probably sleeping right now

Chris: they’re probably still fucking

Chris: heard Even has crazy stamina

Vilde: Magnus has crazy stamina too :)

Chris: NOBODY WANTS TO HEAR ABOUT THAT VILDE

Eva: ^

Mahdi: ^

Magnus: bunch of jealous fuckers

Christoffer: lol

Christoffer: i should spend more time in your groupchats

Eva: I keep kicking you out and Magnus keeps adding you this is a nightmare

Magnus: Eva i told you this is important

Mahdi: i can’t sleep man

Magnus: me neither

Eva: what is this about???

Chris: seriously why do you all care so much who Isak fucks?

Christoffer: lol

Christoffer: i doubt Isak went through with it

Christoffer: Even only goes for second years and third years. Doesn’t mess with first years

Chris: uhm they left together i must remind you

Eva: ^

Christoffer: doesn’t mean anything

Mahdi: besides I heard Even has high standards

Magnus: HAHAHAHAHA

Magnus: Isak’s gonna be so mad when he reads this

Christoffer: I think he’ll be mad about other stuff too lol

Vilde: you guys are very rude

Magnus: baby go to sleep <3

Vilde: can’t sleep without you :(

Chris: GROSS

Eva: ^

Hey Chris

Chris: which chris?

Christoffer: oh you’re back

Magnus: OH SHIT

Dickface Chris

Vilde: i think he means P-chris

You owe me 2000 kroner

Eva: ?

Vilde: ??

Christoffer: NO WAY

Magnus: KJFDJKKJD

Mahdi: bro

I fucked him

Eva: WHAT

Chris: wait what

Vilde: ???

Christoffer: but wait

Magnus: LJSKKLFLKFDJJKLDF

Christoffer: how do I know for sure

I’m texting you my bank account info

Christoffer: lol are you serious?

A dare is a dare bitch :)


Isak rolled over in bed the next morning feeling like the worst person in the world, but he was 2000 kroner richer, so it was okay.

When he finally managed to crack an eye open, a friend request and a few messages were waiting for him.


Even Bech Næsheim

07:12

I had a great time last night :)

Wanna hang out today? Or tomorrow? Or anytime really?

I’m not this rude or desperate usually. I promise.

 


 

Christoffer Schistad

09:32

Alright new mission for you since you’re so impressive

This fucker actually broke my sister’s heart so here we go

Make him fall for you

And I’ll pay for your trip to Greece with the guys


Even Bech Næsheim

09:42

Sure

Sure as in sarcastically making fun of my “i’m not this desperate usually” or as in Yes I’ll hang out with you

Sure as in i'll do that thing i did in the shower again :)

.

Chapter Text

Isak rolled around in bed for an additional hour, feeling a little bit awful for accepting Even’s invitation. Even. Surprisingly sweet and caring Even. Even who had taken care of him and made sure he was okay and kissed him so much and for so long and who-

Fuck. Whatever. He’s an asshole, too. He’ll get over it.

Isak hesitated before leaving the room even though he knew Chris was spending the night at Anne’s place, or whatever her name was. It was how their dares had started after all, with Isak trying to manipulate him into spending less time in the house by daring him to ‘stay the night’ at some girl’s.

Isak felt miserable most of the time. He was nineteen and homeless and alone. And after one drunken night, he ended up crashing at Christoffer Schistad’s house semi-permanently.  

Chris wasn’t a terrible person per say, but he wasn’t a good one either. Everything he did was for fun and Isak secretly hated him for having such an easy life and for having a total of two cells in his brain. Alright, maybe more than two cells.

.

"I dare you to hook up with him," said Chris.

"What? The blonde guy?" said Isak.

"Yes, the blonde guy."

“That’s Even Bech Næsheim,” said Isak.

“I know who he is,” Chris winked.

“He’s a fucking asshole.”

“That should make things easier, nah?”

“I’m not sleeping with some douche for Fifa rights. You can have the TV this week,” said Isak.

“Don’t worry,” said Chris. “He won’t take pictures if that’s what you’re worried about.”

“Fuck you!”

“Relax,” Chris laughed. “Gosh it’s been almost a year why are you still sensitive about that. Everybody forgot about it already.”

“Fuck you!”

“Alright, fine. Whatever. But listen to this, I dare you to sleep with him for 2000 kroner. How about that?” said Chris.

“I’m not a prostitute, Schistad!”

“Never said you were. It’s just a dare. Plus, you can maybe pay your rent and move out? You’d like that, no?” said Chris.

“Why do you want me to sleep with him?”

“Why not? You can use my room. I’ll go to Anne’s after the party. Plus, he’s hot. I would have tapped that a long time ago if I swung that way.”

“Chris, that’s a little bit gay,” said Isak. “And I’ll think about it.”

Chris told Jonas, Magnus, Mahdi and David about their little arrangement when they stopped by before the party.

“Bech Næsheim?!” said Mahdi. “No way, bro. He’s way out of your league.”

“Excuse me?” Isak scoffed.

“Yeah, bro. You’re like ugly,” said Mahdi.

“I’m not ugly. What the fuck?!”

“Was that homophobic?” said Magnus. “I can’t tell most of the time. Is it okay to tell someone gay that they’re ugly?”

“Shut up, Mags,” Jonas sighed.

“Does he get points for the effort?” said Magnus’ roommate, David. “I doubt Even would go for him. No offense dude, but yeah. Out of your league.”

“Fuck all of you,” said Isak. “Watch me!”

“Are you serious?” said Jonas.

.

Isak found Even in the kitchen looking through the cupboards. He didn’t seem to have noticed his presence yet. And he couldn’t really blame him. The kitchen was packed. So Isak did the most. He made his way to where Even was standing and climbed on the kitchen counter before speaking.

“Need some help?” he said, trying to sound as calm and composed as possible.

“Hm, I’m looking for, uh-” Even paused when he turned his head to the side and looked at Isak. “Uh. Wow. Hi.”

“Uh, hi,” Isak offered back, a little taken aback by Even’s reaction.

Do I have something on my face?

“I was actually looking for you,” said Even.

Lame pick-up lines. Nice.

“In a cupboard?”

“Yeah,” Even smiled.

“Let me guess. You’ve been looking for me all your life?”

“Are you a mind-reader?” said Even.

“Maybe,” said Isak, offering him his cheesiest grin and dangling his feet off the kitchen counter.

“Can you read my mind now?” said Even, now moving closer until he was between Isak’s legs.

“Yes.”

“What am I thinking?”

“You want me,” said Isak.

“Wow, my eyes landed on you like a second ago,” said Even, beaming.

“Yeah, which makes it actually embarrassing. You should control yourself more,” Isak smiled.

“Wow. Banter. Is this my lucky night?” said Even, placing his big hands on Isak’s thighs and making him gasp at the contact.

“Only if you want it to be,” said Isak.

“This is already the best night of my life,” said Even.

Out of my league, my ass.

Isak dragged him to Chris' room and the rest was history.


Isak sighed before dragging his lifeless body to the living room, hoping Chris wasn’t back yet. He didn’t have it in him to face him. He had gotten so riled up when he scrolled up the groupchat the previous night that he blurted out that he slept with Even without even thinking about how Eva, Vilde and Chris Berg weren’t aware of the dare.

I’m a piece of shit.

Isak felt bad, alright. He was a terrible person but he still felt bad about it. And while Even probably couldn’t care less that he got into his pants through a bet, he still felt bad about revealing it to all his friends in a groupchat. Jonas will give me shit.

And that he did. Isak was still rubbing his eyes when he noticed Jonas sitting on the kitchen table.

“Fuck,” Isak muttered.

“Well, good morning to you, too,” said Jonas.

“How did you get here?”

“Chris leaves the backdoor open,” said Jonas. “Which would be a funny pun, but I’m not here to talk about that.”

“What are you here for?” said Isak, making his way to the fridge and desperately trying to feign disinterest.

“Take a guess.”

“Hmm. You’re here to lecture me,” said Isak.

“Great. Your brain is intact at least.”

“What is that supposed to mean?”

“Oh, I don’t know. Maybe I thought that your rash decisions last night were because you hit your head or something. I don’t know?” said Jonas.

“Rash decisions? Since when is sleeping with someone such a big fucking deal for Jonas Noah Vasquez?” Isak shrugged, reaching up to the cupboard to get a cereal bowl.

“Isak. You did it on a dare! For money! Then you told the entire groupchat about it. What the fuck were you thinking?”

“What? It’s a win-win. I’ll have you know that Even’s been trying to get me for a while, apparently. Happy ending for everyone involved,” said Isak.

“Isak!”

“What?” Isak rolled his eyes.

“Fuck, I don’t even recognize you anymore,” said Jonas.

“Well, me neither. You used to be chill. What happened?” Isak shrugged. “It’s just sex, relax.”

“Isak.”

“What?! What do you want, Jonas?!”

“Who are you even? I feel like I don’t even know you!” said Jonas.

“Oh spare me the reverse psychology bullshit you used to pull on Eva!”

“Reverse psychology?” said Jonas. “I’m just worried about you, Isak. I hope you know that. I don’t mean to be a dick. I just want you to know that I’m here for you.”

“Cool. Thanks,” said Isak without looking up. “Chris is gonna be back soon though, so you should leave if you don’t wanna get shit for nearly punching him the other night.”

“Why do you even live with him? You can stay at mine if you need a place to crash,” said Jonas.

“I’m good here. But thanks.” said Isak.

“Isak.”

“Jonas, seriously. Just leave. I’ll be fine. I’m fine. I’ll give Chris his money back if that helps your conscience or whatever, okay?”  

Jonas got off the chair and walked over to Isak whose heart was in his throat. Dammit.

Jonas placed a hand on Isak’s left shoulder and squeezed.

“You know you can tell me anything. Right?” said Jonas.

“Anything?” Isak let out a bitter laugh.

“Yeah anything.”

Isak stared into his green eyes, and for a moment he wanted to drop the act. For a moment, he wanted to stop the bullshit . He really did. But then he was taken back to that one cold night in November when his heart and soul and spirit broke, when his life changed forever. Nah, I’m good.

“I don’t think I can anymore, Jonas.”

.

Jonas left and Isak sat in his chair and brought a hand up to where Jonas’ touch had burned his skin.

You still fuck me up. Whenever you touch me. You fuck me up.


That one cold night in November

Isak was a little ball of angst. He was a ticking bomb. He was going to lose it any moment now. He was eighteen and empty and hollow, and he had just moved out of Kollektivet because he could no longer afford to pay rent and he was too embarrassed to tell Eskild about it. So he just left and lied about moving back home. He didn’t even talk to his dad anymore now that he had moved to Trondheim.

Isak spent the first couple of nights at Eva’s before she started asking questions. He then crashed at Magnus’ and made him promise that he wouldn’t tell Jonas. But he did. Of course he did. Jonas.

Jonas was Isak’s best friend in the world. But it hurt. It hurt because Isak wanted more. It hurt because Isak was in love with his best friend but his best friend wasn’t in love with him.

Jonas offered him shelter. Of course he did. His entire family knew Isak already, and they didn’t bat an eye when he started spending all of his nights in Jonas’ room.

For a few weeks, Isak was happy. He was happy because he was in Jonas’ room and they both slept on the floor because Jonas felt weird being the only one in the bed. They slept on the floor and Isak was reminded of their sleepovers when they were younger, except that they smoked weed now and talked about the universe and girls. Isak ignored that last part and it felt good for the most part.

It got so cold one night that Jonas moved to the bed while Isak breathed heavily on the floor.

“What are you doing?” said Jonas.

“What?”

“Come on.”

Isak got on the bed next to Jonas and didn’t sleep all night. His heart kept beating like crazy in his ribcage all night. Sleeping next to Jonas made everything he had ever gone through worth it, so worth it.

But then Isak got his hopes up because Jonas got tactile whenever he got high. He threw an arm around his shoulders from time to time and tapped his back and smiled in his direction, and Isak’s heart was bursting. What is this. What is this.

Jonas wasn’t even seeing girls anymore, and Isak started overthinking. Maybe. Maybe.

Mahdi called him ugly once, and Jonas came to his defense saying that Isak wasn’t ugly, that Isak could get anyone he wanted.

“Anyone I want?” Isak asked later that night in Jonas’ room with droopy eyes, alcohol dancing in his veins, and a heavy heart.

“Yeah,” said Jonas, offering him his trademark gentle smile. “Anyone you want.”

.

Isak kissed him because he didn’t know what else to do. Jonas had been so kind to him and so supportive and so wonderful, and Isak didn’t know what to do. His heart was bursting and he didn’t know what else to do, so he kissed him. He kissed him because he wanted to. He kissed him because he had to. Because he could no longer carry all that hope and those ‘what ifs’ in his heart.

Jonas didn’t push him away, so Isak kissed him again with a hand in his hair this time. And Isak heard it. He heard his own heart break when Jonas sealed his lips and threw his hands up in the air between them as if he was surrendering. He heard his heart break, and gosh, if that wasn’t the saddest sound. Jonas didn’t push him but Jonas didn’t want this either. Even while intoxicated and high out of his mind, he still didn’t want this. He didn’t want Isak.

“Fuck!” Isak muttered. “Fuck. Oh my god. Fuck!”

“Isak-”

“No! Shit. Fuck. Don’t say anything. I-. Uh. I’m just drunk! Uh. I don’t. I don’t do this. I’m not. I’m not fucking gay or anything.”

“Isak.” Jonas’ eyes were big and sad and filled with pity. Isak couldn’t take it.

“Fuck!” he stood up and nearly fell off. “Oh my god!”

“Isak, it’s okay. Don’t worry about it. It’s chill. I don’t care,” said Jonas.

But I want you to care. I want you to fucking care.

“You knew,” said Isak.

“What?”

“You fucking knew.”

.

Isak left Jonas’ house and never went back. He never stepped foot in that house ever again.

He was so heartbroken and so sad and so devastated that he ended up in a gay bar and drank until he couldn’t see, until he couldn’t stand.

He wrapped his arms around the first guy who approached him by the bar, and kissed him hard and deep, all tongue and moans and tears.

“Wanna get out of here?” said the guy.

“Please!” Isak begged.

Isak had sex for the first time that night. And what a shitshow it was. He couldn’t remember a damn thing but the excruciating pain he was in for at least a week after that. He could barely walk. Everything hurt.

A quick google search revealed that that the guy didn’t give a shit and used him like a toy, skipping many steps that usually made sex pleasant. It hurt so much and Isak hated himself. He didn’t even remember whether he enjoyed it, whether he was conscious for most of it, whether the person knew his name at all. He certainly didn’t remember his. Isak hated himself. And when Eva accepted to take him in without asking any questions, he finally managed to get a few hours of sleep.

Isak forgot about it after a few weeks. He didn’t talk about it to anyone. He didn’t want to. He avoided Jonas, too, and he hadn’t said anything to anyone. So it was all good. Isak had started moving on with his life when he was all but forced out of the closet while he held on tooth and nail and all.

Isak couldn’t handle. He missed an entire week of class. He couldn’t deal with it. He couldn’t pick up anyone’s calls. The first Jodel was okay. It could have been a prank, whatever, right? And it got taken down in a few minutes because all of Isak's friends hurried to report it. But then the second one didn’t make him laugh either, and the third had more details, and the fourth had a picture. They all disappeared in a matter of minutes but people had already seen them. People had already taken screenshots. People had already messaged their groupchats about it. Isak had never been so devastated in his life. How can people be so cruel? What the fuck did I do to you? Why would you destroy me like this? What did I do to deserve this?

He had never wished to cease existing until that very moment, not even when his mother had her major breakdown, not even when his dad left. No. This was on a whole new level. This broke his phone with all the messages and the calls. This broke his heart with all the regrets and self-loathing. This broke him. This was personal. This was an attack. Whoever Isak had slept with had an agenda, and gosh , he couldn’t remember a damn thing.

And the picture? Isak would never forget it. He would never forget how he looked on that damn picture, on his knees, like a toy, like a worthless thing. Isak never got over it. Isak never trusted anyone ever again. He never felt anything for anyone ever again and never cared about anyone ever again. Isak hated the world and it hated him right back. Isak became distant and cruel. He became selfish and awful. He became a terrible person. Alright.

But for some reason, Jonas still got to him, still changed his mind, still made him feel like shit. Jonas who had done everything in his power to get the jodels taken down, who had fought everyone when they talked shit behind Isak’s back, Jonas who was there for him in every way possible, Jonas who didn’t want him back, Jonas who didn’t even know about the second dare with Chris.


Now

.

Even Bech Næsheim

12:13

Hey gonna have to bail

Oh..

Sorry

Is everything okay?

Yeah

busy

Let me guess

You talked to your friends

And they said i’m a bad influence or a player or something

And now you’re ditching me

Are you spying on me

Are you in my head

Damn

I love hearing what other people think of me

Tell me more please

I don’t gossip for free

How much do you charge

wtf

bye

It was a joke

Hey

Isak?

I was joking

It’s all good

I really want to see you again though

If you want

I had a great time last night

Although i feel a bit like shit

Why?

Shouldn’t have rushed it

You must think i just want sex

Uh

I mean there’s nothing wrong with that

I love sex

Ok

I mean

I don’t know

Are you saying that you regret fucking me

Aaah don’t say it like that

lol are you one of those

One of those?

Those who call it ‘making love’

Yeah. I guess

Is this really Even Bech Næsheim?

I don’t know what you think you know about me

But I’d gladly spend some time letting you know the real me

Aaah so cheesy

I mean

I have to go

Ttyl


Isak leaned back in his chair and sighed. What does this guy want from me.

He couldn’t help but feel suspicious whenever someone was too interested, when they tried really hard. And now that he thought about it, the fact that Even knew his full name made him shudder. Was it really Isak who had approached him? What was the deal between Even and Chris anyways?

Isak had made sure that Even didn’t have his phone on him and made sure that his hands were on him the entire time. Even couldn’t have taken pictures but he could still talk shit about him online.

Fuck.

What if Even got offended because Isak turned him down and posted something about him online? Isak made sure to only sleep with people who didn’t even know his name. This was too weird. He was becoming paranoid.


 

Even Bech Næsheim

16:18

  

Uhm

Reminded me of you

Haha

I never called you cute

Hahahahahaha

Good one

:)

Still busy?

Do you always text people you sleep with 27 times the next day?

It’s a bit sad

Very weak meme game too

Why are you destroying me

Do you really want to make me cry

:p

Seriously hang out with me

Tomorrow maybe?

No

You were so open to it this morning what happened

Changed my mind

Why

Did i get you going?

I still have a boner

Pornhub.com

You’re cruel

Hahaha wtf is this meme

Gtg

I haven’t changed my sheets yet

I would say it’s creepy but i haven’t changed mine in months

I can’t stop thinking about you

Oookay

Sorry i’m getting creepy

You are

Anyways text me if you change your mind :)

That won’t happen <3


Isak found himself laughing in front of his phone. Even Bech Næsheim . He seemed pretty harmless, almost naive and desperate. If it weren’t for Jonas, he would have probably already gotten his ticket to Greece through Chris. So easy.

Isak brushed it off, but the truth was that he couldn’t help but feel flattered that Even was trying so hard. He had already slept with him after all. What more did he want? Isak knew he was good in bed. But was he that good? He smiled to himself while flipping through the pages of his bio book.

“What are you smiling about?” said Chris as he entered the living room.

“Piss off,” said Isak.

“Oh wow. I thought you’d be in a good mood after scoring with Mr. hottie.”

“Our deal is off by the way.”

“What deal?” said Chris.

“The ‘make him fall for you’ crap.”

“Why?”

“I just don’t want to do it. We’re not in a 90s movie,” said Isak, going back to his book.

“Oh my god,” said Chris. “Holy shit!”

“What?”

“Did you fall for his crap? Are you attached now that you two banged? Are you feeling bad for ‘using him’?”

“What the fuck! No!” Isak shrieked.

“Yes, you are! Look at you!” Chris laughed.

“Fuck off! That’s not why. What the hell! I just don’t want to get caught up in drama. Whatever!”

“Okay, alright, I believe you. Besides I don’t think he would have fallen for you anyways,” said Chris. “Would have been fun to watch you try though.”

“Oh please,” said Isak. “He’s been texting me all day.”

“What? Seriously?”

“Yeah, why?” said Isak.

“He never sleeps with the same person twice.”

.

Chris was an asshole most of the time, but for some reason he really cared about Isak. He gave him shelter after he moved out of his new place because he could no longer pay rent and passed out on a bench near his house, and he let him stay free of charge. Chris’ parents were barely home and his house was gigantic, so they didn’t even have to interact. But Chris still checked on him regularly. Isak never said anything nice to him but he was grateful. He was eternally grateful and Chris somehow knew it. They were roommates. The weird kind.

“Why are you so good to me?” Isak asked one night after way too many drinks.

“Because I’m sorry,” said Chris.

“What?”

“Nothing. Nevermind.”

.

Everybody lectured him as expected. Isak was slightly surprised to realize that Eva was disappointed in him. He shrugged but it still hurt. She was there when his life had turned upside down. She was there when he stopped being Isak. It wasn’t easy for him, but she was still ‘disappointed’ in him.

Frankly, I’m disappointed in myself, too.

They eventually forgot about it and stopped mentioning it by the end of the day. Good old gossip principle. The person caught in the fire would feel like the world is ending for weeks whereas other people would quickly move on to the new thing. Great.

Isak concentrated on attending his classes and staying focused. But keeping a straight face became a little hard when Even Bech Næsheim ambushed him outside his auditorium.

“Oh,” Isak gasped.

Even looked lovely, as lovely as in his memories, his very vivid memories. And now that he stood tall in front of him, Isak’s wit and sarcasm were nowhere to be found. He was flustered. He was flustered and nervous and he had violent flashbacks to himself being pinned under Even with a hand curled around his biceps and begging for more, always more. Fuck.

“Hello,” said Even, beaming and wearing so many layers.  

“Uh, hi.”

“How are you today? How was class?” said Even.

“Uh, it was good. Uhm, what are you doing here?” said Isak.

“I was waiting for you.”

“Huh?”

“You never replied to my texts so I thought I might as well go all out, you know,” said Even, titling his head to the side and smiling until his eyes crinkled. Oh my god.

“Oh. Well. Usually that means stop texting me not come wait for me after class,” said Isak.

“Ouch,” Even laughed. “But what can I say. I really wanted to see you.”

“Uh,” dammit. Goddammit. Get your shit together. “Well, you saw me now. Can I go?”

“Can you wait a little bit?” said Even.

“Huh.”

And with that he lifted his right hand and brought to Isak’s face. Isak who would have flinched under other circumstances, but who was so nervous and flustered by the memories that had just flooded his mind that he didn’t move. Even ran a hand over his cheek, brushing his thumb over his cheekbone, just like he did right before thrusting into him a few night prior. He caressed his skin for a few more moments, with his eyes roaming his face while Isak held his breath. What the fuck is this.

Isak almost leaned into his touch, almost. BUt then Even took his hand away. Right.

Even stared at him some more then smiled. It was contagious. It was outrageous. Isak smiled right back. He couldn’t help it.

“You can go now,” said Even, starting to walk backwards, beaming.

“Wha-. Uh. I,” Isak stuttered.

“Oh. Speechless? Did I leave the great Isak Valtersen speechless?” said Even, fully laughing now. And oh my god.

“Fuck you,” Isak mumbled.

“I wish!” said Even, before offering him the most awkward wink and disappearing into the hallways.

.

Isak had a small problem. He couldn’t stop thinking about his night with Even now. He had completely forgotten about it after paranoia had infected him. He had stored it in the back of his mind, like a dream, like a fantasy, as if it hadn’t happened. But it did. And every time he thought about it, he remembered something new. Like how Even’s had wrapped his hands around his ankles when they were in bed and smiled like that right before pulling him closer. Like how Even had kissed his collarbones and bitten his jaw. Like how Even was so generous in bed and so gentle yet so firm. Like how he called him ‘baby’ and made him feel important.

Isak had a small problem and it involved a boner or two.


Even Bech Næsheim

23:49

Hi

Hi

Woah a reply!

Ok

What are you up to?

?

You there?

That’s it? That’s all I get today?

I’m busy

Doing what?

If you don’t mind telling me of course :)

pornhub.com

Oh

Wait

Seriously?

yes

Is sexting a thing?

Wanna sext?

I’ve never done it before but i can learn

I’m a quick learner

You there?

You’re distracting me

Are you thinking about me?

Maybe

I’m thinking about you too

What about me

The way you moaned my name

Can’t get over it

Got a boner in media class just thinking about it

Ok

What else

Are we seriously sexting?

Maybe

Fuck. i’m trying to take it slow

I’m trying to cook you dinner and stuff

Bye

Wait

Shit

Give me a second i’m thinking

I don’t have all night

Can you still feel me inside you?


Isak made a mess the moment he read his last text. It was pathetic. Isak felt pathetic. He was already hot and bothered when Even texted him, so he stopped thinking with his head and texted him back. He was mortified now. He was mortified and gross and he burst into laughter because what the fuck.

.

Even showed up to his class a few days later again, wearing the softest smile and perfect hair. He was perfect.

“Isak,” said Even.

“Yes, that’s my name.”

“I’m glad I got that right,” said Even.

“Let me guess. You’re here to ask me out again,” said Isak.

“No.”

“No? Bored of me already?”

“No.”

“What is it then?” said Isak.

“Just wanted to see you,” said Even smiling. “Just wanted to look at you for a bit.”

This fucking asshole.

“You tried this line already once. Won’t work a second time,” said Isak.

“Yeah but the first time I didn’t do this.”

“Hm?”

Even leaned in and pressed the softest kiss to his cheek. It was so soft that Isak’s toes curled in his shoes. He was speechless, yet again. No one had ever kissed him on the cheek before.

“Uh-”

“I’m sorry I asked to have sex on the first night. I’m sorry if you felt pressured into sleeping with me because we were at my place. I know I have a reputation on campus but I just want you to know that I’m sorry if you felt like I used you.”

“I. Uh. That’s not why. Don’t worry about it. It was me. I mean I wanted to sleep with you.”

“Yeah?”

“Yeah,” said Isak.

“Oh okay,” Even smiled. “Phew! That’s a relief.”

“Why?”

“I don’t know. My friends said the only reason you slept with me was either because I pressured you into it or because of a bet or something,” said Even. “I’m relieved.”

Shit.

“Oh.”

“Anyways, I have class now. But text me or something,” said Even.

“Uh. Okay.”

“Bye, gorgeous,” said Even with a wink.

“Piss off,” Isak blushed.


Even Bech Næsheim

00:23

Cash Cash - How To Love (Ft Sofia Reyes)

What is this

A song

Give me a sec

Ew this is electronic music

Ew? EW?

You’re one of those EDM people

I listen to everything. I don’t discriminate in music

Listen to it :)

No thanks

It’s garbage

What is this fucking meme

It’s what you do to me!

I’m listening to the song and i have a migraine now thank you

"I could fix the broken in your heart

You're worth saving darling"

Ok

Goodnight Isak

Night


01:27

Why me

What

I heard you never give anyone the time of day. Why me?

I don’t know

you make me smile

wtf

i don't know. i just want you i guess.

I’m not a good person

Nobody is

What if i told you i’m a terrible person

I doubt you’re that bad

What if i told you i’m a serial killer

Hot

You’re weird

Haha

You’re too cute to be a serial killer

I’M NOT CUTE

 

Ugh

Haha

Anything else?

What if i told you

I slept with you on a dare

Would you still pursue me then?

Uhm

What would you do?


Isak was nervous. He was nervous because Even wasn’t answering. Perhaps his tone wasn’t hypothetical enough. Perhaps Even had caught up. Perhaps he knew now. It was over. Great. Not like Isak wanted it to continue, although he appreciated having someone to text those last couple of weeks, someone who checked on him every night before going to bed. But it was over. Even got it now. Whatever.

Isak was about to send a message trying to explain himself when he got an instagram notification.

.


Nei Isak

01:39

Vilde: What is this

Chris: YOOO

Magnus: ISAK!!! WHATT

Eva: ….

Christoffer: haha

Christoffer: looks like our deal is still on after all ;)

Eva: what deal?


What would you do? If I told you that I’m just using you. What would you do?

 



Even Bech Næsheim

01:41

I would do it again


 

Chapter Text

“I would do it again.”

Isak stared at Even’s text for longer than he cared to admit. He didn’t expect such an answer. He wasn’t really sure what he expected in the first place, but it wasn’t this.

He sat up in his bed and went to his Instagram. He hadn’t posted anything in ages so he was surprised that Even had taken the time to like all of his old posts, or at least the ones that featured his face somehow.

What is he playing.

Isak had trust issues, alright. This was too easy and he had trouble believing that Even was so unaffected by learning that he had used him for a bet. Perhaps it was too hypothetical. Perhaps he doesn’t believe me. Isak wasn’t sure which option he preferred.


Even Bech Næsheim

1:41

I would do it again

I don’t believe you

Good thing it’s not true then

What’s not true

That you would do it again?

No. That you did it on a dare

Unless you’re also a serial killer

Right

:)

Wanna hang out tomorrow?

Maybe

:O

What?

why are you like this

I’m slowly getting under your skin

Admit it

Shut up

:p


He’s getting to me.

.

“Morning sunshine,” said Chris, the moment Isak reached the kitchen.

“Piss off, Schistad,” Isak groaned.

“Oh, so grumpy in the morning. You’re like a kitten,” Chris laughed into his weird protein shake.

“This conversation is over,” said Isak.

“Right,” said Chris. “So how is it going with Prince Charming?”

“I don’t know what you’re talking about.”

“I thought you said our deal was off. Did you change your mind?”

“No,” said Isak.

“Then why is he all over your Insta feed?”

“You’ll have to ask him. Also why do you care?” said Isak, pouring coffee into his cup, wondering why Chris always made coffee when he didn’t even drink it.

“I wanna know if our deal is still on to check my bank account and stuff,” said Chris.

“Yeah, right. As if you ever had to worry about money,” said Isak. “I bet you can take off for Greece any day you want.”

“That’s not true.”

“Whatever,” said Isak, rolling his eyes and taking a sip of coffee.

“Good?” Chris asked.

“Huh?”

“The coffee.”

“Uh, yeah. Why?” said Isak.

“Made it a bit stronger today cause you complained about that yesterday.”

“You’re adjusting the coffee dosage based on what I want?” said Isak.

“Yeah.”

“Why? Why do you even make me coffee when you don’t drink it?”

“You’re my guest and I’m a good host. I was raised well,” said Chris with a wink.

“You can piss off,” said Isak, which made Chris laugh.

“So how is it going between you two? Do you like him?” said Chris.

“What the fuck, Schistad?”

“I don’t know. I heard you guys hang out on campus and stuff.”

“We never hung out!” said Isak.

“Relax. Whatever. I just want to check on my roommate.”

“Why? Are you gonna tell me to be careful because he’s a dick and he’ll break my heart or some bullshit?” said Isak.

“No. Not at all.”

“Huh?”

“He’s never shown interest in anyone as much as he did in you. So I’d say go for it,” said Chris, leaving his chair and throwing his gym bag over his shoulder.

“The fuck?” Isak squinted his eyes. “I thought he hurt your sister.”

“Yeah well maybe she hurt herself. Or maybe he changed who knows.”

“You’re so full of shit,” said Isak.

“Yeah, that too,” Chris smiled. “Have a good day Valtersen.”

“You, too. I guess.”

.

Isak curled in his bed -- well not really his bed but anyways -- and stared at the ceiling for a while. He thought about Even, and he thought about Chris. Chris who was so nice to him that Isak could no longer ignore it.

Chris who got up earlier than him just to make him coffee when he didn’t even drink any. Isak thought about it long and hard and the reality was that deep down he knew. He knew that Chris felt guilty about something. He knew that Chris was trying hard because he was trying to make up for something. He knew it because Chris always blurted out that he was sorry whenever Isak was too drunk to walk, and Chris had to come get him. He knew it because Chris always showed up in the first place and put him in bed and removed his shoes and repeated that he was sorry.

What are you sorry for?

Isak wondered but he didn’t want to know. Whatever it was that Chris was sorry for could stay with Chris. He didn’t want to know. He never asked questions and he just brushed it off. He knew that Chris was waiting for him to ask, but he never did. Isak wasn’t interested in doing that. He was too terrified of what answers might be. It ate at him and kept him up at night, but he didn’t want to know. It was too scary, too overwhelming.

Isak barely thought about the Jodel thing at all. He just stored it in the back of his mind and pretended that it didn’t happen. He just buried his head in the sand and hoped that others had forgotten it happened, too. The jodels were only up for a few minutes after all since everybody had flagged the post after Vilde sent it to the groupchat. They were only up for a few minutes but he knew that someone out there tried to hurt him deliberately and had the original picture on their phone. He knew that other groupchats exist,d. and that the entire school heard bout what happened. Isak knew things. He just chose to look the other way. He just chose to stay in the dark, in the comfort of infinite possibilities. Because at least in the dark, things were okay sometimes.

Isak didn’t want to know but now that Chris was pushing the Even thing, he couldn’t help but wonder. What are you sorry for?

Sometimes he had terrifying thoughts. What if it was Chris? But then he remembered that whoever he had slept with was bigger and that his hair wasn’t dark at all. He also remembered his voice and his touch and Chris didn’t fit that description at all.

Ugh. Fuck. Stop thinking about this. Stop being such a wuss. It was a drunken night. Get over it. Whatever.



Sana

14:17

Can I borrow your notes? I missed class a couple of days ago

I noticed

Since when are you a slacker

Oh please

Something came up

Hmm tell me more

I always give you my notes

Fine

Meet me at KB later

Which one

The one next to pchris’ house

Yeah no i’m not coming all the way there

I’m the one doing you the favor!

KB next to school

Ugh fine


Isak threw on a hoodie and a random pair of jeans, and shuffled into his shoes. The air was cold against his cheek and he almost felt like going back inside and putting on an extra layer. But he ended deciding against it. So he shoved his hands in his pockets and braved the cold.

“You look cold,” said Sana, the moment he walked into the coffee shop.

“That’s because I am,” said Isak.

“Are you trying to make a statement?”

“No, I just don’t own enough clothing items,” said Isak, but then Sana’s face fell and he sighed.”I’m joking. It was a joke.”

“Did I laugh?” said Sana.

“You’re so savage,” said Isak.

“Yeah well so are you. Someone has to keep you in check.”

She laughed and her dimples were on full display. Sometimes Isak wondered if Sana knew how beautiful she was.

“What are you staring at?” she asked.

“You look pretty today,” said Isak. “Totally random, but yeah I thought you should know.”

“Eh. What is this? Are you going to ask me for a favor?”

“No,” Isak laughed. “I just felt like saying it.”

“Uh okay,” said Sana. “Since you made this very awkward, how about you get both of us some coffee?”

“Ugh,” Isak rolled his eyes. “Never compliment you. Alright. Got it.”

.

Isak was so busy staring at the menu that he didn’t even pay attention to the barista trying to take his order. He didn’t realize who it was until he heard his voice, his deep and warm voice.

“What can I get you today?” said Even.

“Uh,” Isak had to actually take a step back because he was too stunned.

“Hi,” said Even, beaming. “You okay?”

“Uh, yeah. Didn’t know you worked here.”

“Now you do,” said Even.

“Right.”

“What can I get you?”

“Uh, two small black coffees?” said Isak, feeling a little bit flustered because Even’s gaze was so intense and he was smiling so bright and-

“Is that a question?” said Even.

“What?”

“You phrased it like it was a question,” Even smiled.

“Uh. No it wasn’t a question.”

“Okay. Two black coffees coming right up.”

“Thanks.”

When Isak tried to pay, Even winked and said that it was on the house.

“Oh. Uh. You don’t have to,” said Isak.

“It’s okay. I owe Sana a cup of coffee anyways.”

“You know Sana?”

“Yes,” said Even. “And I would love to talk to you some more but I have to take the next customer in line.”

“I thought you wanted to hang out with me,” said Isak. “Now I’m hurt.”

“You never said yes.”

“What if I said yes now? Would you leave work?” said Isak, smiling. He was getting some of his game back. Alright.

“Maybe,” said Even.

“You’re not a very good employee. I’m a bit disappointed.”

“Oh you’re disappointed?” Even smiled and tilted his head to the side.

“Yeah. Very.”

“Hey guys,” said the woman behind Isak. “Do you mind doing this some other time. I really need to get my coffee.”

“Oh, sorry,” said Even.

“Sorry,” Isak blurted out, getting out of the way.

He then waved awkwardly and walked away holding both cups of coffee while Even just smiled in his direction.

.

“So you know Even,” said Isak.

“I do,” said Sana.

“From where?”

“He’s friends with my brother,” said Sana.

“You have a brother?!”

“Oh please,” Sana rolled her eyes.

“Does he share your genes?” said Isak, smiling. “Think you can introduce me?”

“Shut up.”

.

Sana gathered her things and left her chair. And when Isak tried to follow, she smiled and whispered.

“His shift usually ends in five minutes.”

She then gave him another smile and left the coffee shop while he stayed in his chair, feeling a little bit flustered, a little bit nervous.

.

“Did you wait for me?” said Even.

“No. I’m waiting for the other barista. He’s hot. What time does he get off?” said Isak.

“Ouch,” said Even, with a hand over his heart.

“No but seriously.”

“I think Jakob ends his shift in an hour or so,” said Even, and Isak wanted to squish his cheeks.

“Oh too bad. I don’t have that kind of time.”

“Oh no,” said Even. “What do you want to do instead?”

“I guess I’ll just have to hang out with you? Kill two birds with one stone you know. Since you’ve been harassing me to hang out,” said Isak, with a smile.

“I did not harass you!”

“Excuse me. You sent me a total of 67 messages in the last 3 days.”

“Did you count them?” said Even. “I’m flattered.”

“Pfft. You know iPhone shows you the number of unread messages right?” Isak laughed.

“Ouch.”

“You love it,” Isak smiled.

“As a matter of fact I do,” Even smiled right back.

.

“Alright so I’m yours for the next forty five minutes. What do you wanna do?” said Isak, shoving his hands in his pocket again now that they were outside.

“You’re mine? In what way?”

“I don’t know. Wanna go to your place and fuck?” said Isak, and he nearly died laughing when Even choked on his coffee.

“Oh my god.”

“I can’t believe you,” Isak laughed. “You’re like a child.”

“Excuse me. I’m very shocked right now,” said Even.

“What did you have planned for our hangout? Did you want to hold hands and watch a movie and cuddle?”

“Uh, I like that idea a lot actually,” said Even.

“Your time just went down to 14 minutes,” said Isak.

“Stop hurting me.”

.

They ended up taking a drive around the city and Isak didn’t know what to make of it.

“You have a car,” said Isak.

“I do.”

“Are you rich?”

“No, it’s not even a fancy car,” said Even. "My mom gave me hers."

“But still. Just the license costs so much fucking money,” said Isak.

“That’s true. My parents paid for that.”

“I can’t afford that. Not that I want to drive or anything,” said Isak. “I’m terrified of traffic.”

“I was, too at first. But my dad taught me how to drive.”

“Hm. That sounds nice.”

“What?” said Even.

“Nothing. Are your parents rich?”

“They have money, I guess. I’m not financially dependent on them though,” said Even.

“I see.”

“Are you?”

“Hm?”

“Financially dependent on your parents?” said Even.

Isak had to take a deep breath because simply thinking about his situation sent him into frenzy. So he pulled himself together and did what he did best: diversion.

“You know, when you suggested your car I actually thought we were gonna fuck in the backseat or something not talk about our parents,” said Isak.

“Oh. Is that what you think of me?” said Even. “You think I just want to fuck all the time?”

“Nah, babe. I want to fuck all the time,” said Isak with a wink, but Even didn’t even budge. He didn’t even laugh. He seemed upset and it made Isak upset.

Is he judging me right now?

But then Even turned the volume up and the song that was playing made Isak want to just lean back into his seat, roll down the window, and throw an arm outside. So he did.

.

Now Playing: Khalid - Location

Send me your location

Let's ride the vibrations

I don't need nothin' else but you (I don't need nothin' else but)

At times I wonder why I fool with you

But this is new to me, this is new to you

Initially, I didn't wanna fall for you

Gather my attention it was all for you, so don't

Take advantage, don't leave my heart damaged

.

They didn’t speak a word to each other. Even drove silently while Isak leaned on the edge of the window, watching buildings disappear behind them and trying to hold on and fixate his gaze on them for as long as he could. They didn’t talk and it wasn’t even awkward. Isak couldn’t ever imagine being in someone’s car and driving around in complete silence, but there they were. And for some reason, it felt great. It was comforting. He felt good. It was dark outside and the city lights looked so pretty. Even was so strong and steady beside him and the music made everything so perfect. It was silly but he felt warm inside. He felt as if someone held his hand, not that he knew what that felt like.

“You know. I haven’t been in a car sober in years,” said Isak, still staring out the window.

“Hm?”

“Yeah, I’ve never been in a car just for the heck of it. It’s usually when I’m passed out and someone has to come get my drunk ass,” said Isak, laughing, but Even didn’t laugh.  

“Do you like it? Right now. Being in the car with me?”

“I love it,” said Isak, and for a moment he regretted saying it because he shouldn’t be telling Even Bech Næsheim something so personal.

“We can do this anytime you want,” said Even.

“Uh. Okay,” said Isak, finally turning his head to look at Even. Even who was slowing down because they were at a red light and who was staring at him.

“You looked beautiful looking out the window like that,” he said.

“Uh.”

“I mean it. I wish you could see yourself.”

Isak’s heart did a thing inside his chest that he didn’t care to admit.

“You know if you want to get in my pants, just say it. You don’t have to bullshit your way there,” said Isak.

“I don’t want to sleep with you, Isak.’

“Uh. Okay.”

.

Even dropped him off in front of Kollektivet because he didn’t want to admit that he was living in Chris’ house just in case he knew where Chris lived.

“Thanks for hanging out with me today,” said Even, after stopping the engine.

“Yeah, it was chill,” said Isak.

“It was chill,” said Even, his body fully turned towards Isak now, his eyes roaming his face.

Is he going to kiss me.

“I’m not going to kiss you,” said Even, as if he read his damn mind.

“Good. Cause I don’t want you to,” said Isak.

“Really?” Even smiled. “I thought you loved my lips.”

“Alright, I was very horny when I said that.”

“That’s true,” said Even, laughing.

“Anyways. This was chill. Let’s not do it again sometime,” said Isak, opening the door.

“Ouch.”

Isak laughed and Even grabbed his hand when he least expected him to.

“Oh.”

Even tilted his head to the side and Isak was feeling things, so many things. Goddammit. No. Abort abort abort.

“So friends?” said Even.

“Huh?”

“We can take it slow.”

“There’s no ‘we’, Even,” said Isak.

“Damn, why do you always crush me like that?” Even laughed.

“That’s what friends do,” said Isak.

“You have a very twisted definition of friendship.”

“What can I say? I’m very twisted,” said Isak.

“Nah, you’re cute.”

“I thought I didn’t have to be one thing. I thought you said I could be many things,” Isak teased.

“You’re right. You’re cute and twisted, then.”

“That’s the most pretentious crap I’ve ever heard.”

.

Isak walked back to Chris’ house and smiled the entire time. He felt so warm and fuzzy inside. It was almost pathetic but he couldn’t care less, not when his heart was beating so hard inside his chest.

He threw himself face first on his bed and didn’t even bother removing his shoes or his socks.

He could barely recognize himself.

He’s getting under my skin.


 

Even Bech Næsheim

23:23

Hi

Hello friend

Oh is that how you’ll refer to me from now on

Yes :)

It’s ok

I don’t mind

You saw me a few hours ago

Are you here to harass me again

Haha

No

I actually want to invite you to a party

My roommate is throwing a party this friday

If you want to come

Invite your friends too :)

You’re inviting me to a party?

I feel like those girls in american tv shows

Haha stop

Is your friend hot?

Kidding

Are you gonna come

I’m on my 4th video

What

Pornhub.com

Oh my god

Hahahaha

Kidding

I’ll check my schedule

Alright

Let me know

(i wasnt kidding)

omg

Wanna sext again?

No i don’t sext with my friends ;)

You’re cruel


Perhaps Isak enjoyed exchanging text messages with Even a little bit too much. He was a little bit worried because things were way too perfect and he was letting his walls down. But he was waking up early and showering every day and feeling energized, and smiling wasn’t so hard anymore. I’m not falling, am I.

He told the groupchat about Friday, and although he couldn’t see it, he knew most of them were squinting their eyes.

.

“So are you and Even a thing now?” said Jonas.

“No why?” said Isak.

“I don’t know. People are talking about you two and he just invited all of us to a party.”

“We’re friends .”

“I’m having trouble believing that,” said Jonas.

“Whatever. I’ll be careful. Don’t worry,” said Isak and he meant it.

What Isak went through was hard. It was very hard on him, but what was even worse was how hard it hit Jonas, too. Jonas who quickly realized that it all happened that night, the night he rejected him. And although Isak resented him for a while, he never blamed him for what happened, and it killed him to know that Jonas was blaming himself.

.

The party was packed and had many faces Isak had never seen before. He was slightly overwhelmed by the crowd, but he pushed through and looked for the one face he really wanted to see.

Even.

He was standing by the kitchen door looking hot as hell and Isak had to take a moment to simply take him in. I’m so fucked.

He was wearing a white t-shirt, a plaid shirt and dark jeans, and his stupid hair looked so soft and fluffy and perfect. He was laughing at the top of his lungs, laughing until his eyes crinkled. And Isak could hear his laugh even though he was nowhere near close to him. I’m so fucked.

But then the guy that Even was talking to leaned in a little bit too close, and Isak almost closed his eyes.

Right. He’s not yours. You’re friends.

.

“Hi!” said Isak, feeling extremely awkward and self-conscious as he interrupted Even’s party of four by the kitchen.

“Hi,” said Even, smiling. “I’m glad you showed up.”

“Yeah well you know, you insisted, so,” said Isak. “I even brought a few friends cause I thought it would be dead since you’re also hosting.”

“Ouch,” said Even laughing, while his friends raised their eyebrows at Isak.

“Right,” said Even, looking a little bit flustered. “Isak, this is Mutta, Elias, and Sonja. Guys, this is Isak.”

The two guys started grinning while the girl smiled to herself.

“Uh, hi. I’m Even’s newest friend,” said Isak.

“Yeah, did you hear that?” said Even to his friends apparently. “Friend.”

.

“What was that?” said Isak.

“They’re teasing me about you,” said Even.

“What?” and Isak couldn’t help the panic that spread through him.

“They’re saying I’m a bit too desperate,” said Even.

“You are though.”

“But we’re friends now,” said Even.

“Right. Friends.”

.

Isak was a little bit disappointed because Even didn’t spend the entire night with him. People naturally orbited towards him and he seemed to be holding twenty conversations at the same time.

The night wound down and Isak was somewhat bored and a little bit disappointed, so he joined a bunch of random people who were smoking weed in one of the bedrooms.

He didn’t even bother asking for anyone’s name and nobody asked for his. So Isak spread his limbs on the bed and patiently waited for his turn to take a drag.

.

Isak was high as shit, that much he could tell, and he loved it. He felt like he was floating, like he was swimming, like he was dancing. He felt euphoric and ridiculous and he was thankful that this was a happy trip, not one of those bad ones. Isak smoked until he started laughing at the lame jokes that one of the people also laying on the bed was telling. He laughed and he laughed and he laughed and then he cried a bit for absolutely no reason. Gosh I’m so fucked up.

.

It was probably two in the morning. The bed had less people on it now and Isak had dozed off a couple of times. So when a hand brushed hair off his forehead, he almost screamed. He couldn’t help it. His body immediately jolted by reflex. His heart-rate jumped through the roof and he was suddenly alert and in full panic mode.

“Hey, hey, it’s me. Isak, relax,” said Even, in his warm warm voice. “It’s me. Don’t worry. I got you.”

“Even,” Isak mumbled.

“Hm?” said Even, sitting on the bed with Isak’s head placed on his lap. He was looking at him softly and playing with his hair.

“Where were you?” Isak mumbled, curling into Even. “Missed you.”

“Aw. I was being a good host,” said Even, his fingers cradling Isak’s head and soothing the nape of his neck now. “Sorry if it looked like I ditched. I thought you were with your friends.”

“You’re my friend, too,” said Isak.

“Right,” said Even. “Are you high?”

“As fuck.”

“I’m jealous,” said Even.

“Smoke with me,” said Isak. “This guy left me a joint. Wanna smoke with me?”

“Are you sure he left you a joint? Nobody just leaves people a joint.”

“I’m cute though. I seduced him,” said Isak, laughing.

“Right. Of course!”

.

They smoked on the bed with people still sprawled around them. Others were on the floor as well. They passed the joint back and forth between them, with Isak still resting his head on Even’s lap while he played with his hair. It was nice. So so nice.

Isak kept staring at Even who smiled whenever their eyes met. Isak was mesmerized by how his cheeks hollowed whenever he took a drag, by how cool he looked. It was so effortless.

“You take long drags,” said Isak.

“Not really.”

“I suck at smoking.”

Even laughed at that wholeheartedly, and it made Isak proud.

“Want me to teach you?” said Even.

“How?”

“Hm. Just stay still.”

“Okay.”

Isak watched as Even brought the joint that was pressed between his long and delicate fingers to his lips. He watched it unravel in slow motion. He was completely mesmerized. He watched as Even took a long drag and as his cheeks hollowed. He watched and waited for Even to inhale but he never did.

He leaned in instead and brought his face down to Isak’s. Isak gasped when Even's fingers touched his cheek and nearly moaned when he parted his lips with his thumb. And although his reaction time was delayed because of the weed, he still caught on and opened his mouth right in time for Even to blow a cloud of smoke into it.

Isak closed his eyes, tilted his head upward and sucked the smoke into his lungs. He was probably feeling too ambitious because it stung a bit and he ended up coughing a few times much to Even’s amusement.

“Cute.”

“You didn’t even warn me,” said Isak, his heart beating fast, so fast.

“What else did you think I was gonna do, huh?”

“I don’t know? Kiss me?”

“Friends don’t kiss each other, Isak,” Even smiled.

“Right.”

He has game. Damn it.

.

They smoked some more, and Isak found himself dreading the moment that joint would end. But luckily, Even had his very own stash.

“This is my ‘special occasion stash’,” said Even.

“Oh yeah? What’s the occasion?”

“Me, you, in bed again,” said Even.

“Yeah with a bunch of other people,” said Isak.

.

Isak’s head remained on his lap and Even was smoking silently above him while he stared. Stared like a pathetic loser who didn’t know what to do with himself. Isak had never felt so good in the presence of another human being before. Not even with Jonas because he had to hide so much about himself.

“I feel so good,” Isak admitted.

“I’m glad to hear that,” said Even.

“I don’t know why but I feel good when I’m with you.”

“Are you going to take this back tomorrow when you’re no longer high?”

“Yes,” said Isak.

“Okay thanks for warning me,” Even laughed and it made Isak feel so much, so damn much. I want to kiss you.

“Can we do it again?”

“Hm?”

“The smoke thing,” said Isak.

“Wanna shotgun again?”

“Yes.”

.

Even leaned down to blow smoke into Isak’s mouth and he inhaled correctly this time, sucking it in as it billowed around his tongue and made its way to his lungs. Isak felt hot all over with Even literally blowing smoke into his lungs. He felt hot all over because he could feel the warmth of Even’s lips. He could feel his hands on his face. He could feel Even all over and all around him. I want to kiss you.

So when Even leaned down again, Isak inhaled the smoke, took a short breath, then pressed their lips together, simple as that.

He felt Even’s breath hitch and panicked for a moment. But then Even parted his lips and caught his upper one between his own and sucked on it. Yes. Isak brought his hands to Even’s hair and pulled him closer, always closer. He parted his lips even wider and felt Even’s tongue slide against his own. It was hot, so hot, and so wet and sloppy, but Isak thought it was perfect. Yes.

Even licked into his mouth and Isak met him halfway for every stroke. And soon his chest was heaving and his back was arching and he was moaning against Even’s lips.

“Even-”

“Hm.”

“I love this so much.”

“Me too.”

The guy and the girl who were also sitting on the bed got up and must have left the room. So Isak moved from Even’s lap and higher on the bed, dragging Even with him, on top of him.

“Kiss me,” he whined.

Even pressed two more kisses to his lips then asked for a second.

“Huh?”

“Gotta put out the joint if we don’t want to burn the house down,” said Even.

Even towered over him, straddling him, and their kisses got so hot that when Even pinned both of Isak’s wrists above his head, he nearly made a mess in his pants.

“Shit, you’re so hot,” Even panted.

“I thought we were friends,” said Isak, and he had no idea how he was even capable of banter in such circumstances.

“Babe,” said Even, before wrapping both hands around Isak’s neck. “I don’t want to be your friend. I want to kiss your neck.”

Fucking hell.

Isak reached down to Even’s belt and pouted when he gently shoved his hand away.

“Just kissing,” said Even. "Okay?"

“Okay.”

.

They made out in bed for five, ten, twenty minutes? Or maybe it was an hour. Isak couldn’t really tell with the drugs roaming his blood. He wasn’t sure what happened next but he woke up in Even’s arms in that same exact bed around four in the morning.

“Huh?”

“Isak, we have to go,” Vilde whispered.

“Vilde?!”

“Isak, you’re completely trashed, let’s go.”

“I didn’t even drink,” said Isak, having trouble keeping his eyes open and struggling to get out of Even’s hold.

“Come on.”

.

Isak’s heart was still beating hard and fast the next day. He was probably gone. He was fucked. He couldn’t stop thinking about Even. Oh my god.

He smiled to himself all morning. Chris’ coffee tasted ten times better and the sun was shining in November. Isak didn’t know what this was or whether it was a thing. He didn’t know what he wanted to do with whatever this was, but he knew that he wanted it to last. He knew that he loved the feelings that came with it.

Isak smiled all day up until Vilde came through the backdoor.

“Is Chris here?” she asked.

“Uh no. Why?” said Isak.

“I want to talk to you about something.”

“What?”

“This whole Even thing. I don’t like it,” said Vilde.

“Uh okay. Thanks I guess.”

“No. I mean. I have a bad feeling about it.”

“What kind?”

“I just don’t want you to get hurt again,” said Vilde.

“What the hell? Why do you even care?”

“I was bullied online, too. I know what it feels like. Although it wasn’t as bad as you.”

Ugh. i don’t want to think about this right now.

“I don’t want to talk about this,” said Isak.

“I know. I’m sorry I just. I thought you should know.”

“What?”

“I know you had a bet with Chris to sleep with Even,” said Vilde. “You said it yourself in the groupchat.”

I’m an asshole.

“Yeah, and?”

“Well I don’t know but did you know that Chris and Even know each other?” said Vilde.

“Uh, no. But maybe they’re acquaintances,” said Isak.

“I saw them laughing together yesterday,” said Vilde.

“What?”

“Yeah. They seemed really close. I don’t know. And Chris Berg said that your name came up.”

What?

“Uh. What is this supposed to mean?” said Isak.

“I don’t know but you can ask Eva. She saw it too,” said Vilde. “What did Chris say about Even?”

“I don’t know. That he’s a dick and that he broke his sister’s heart and that I should get back at him,” said Isak.

“Oh Isak.”

“What?” said Isak.

“Chris doesn’t have a sister.”

.

“I feel like Chris manipulated you into sleeping with Even and seeing him. I feel like maybe they have a dare on their side or something. Chris is involved in so much crap from the Penetrator days. They dare each other to sleep with people and I think your name was on the list, too. I also asked around and apparently Even has a track record posting shit about people on Facebook. And if you go on Julian’s instagram, there are pictures of Even and Chris. Something’s fishy. I’ve always felt weird about how nice Chris is to you. I just think you should be careful.”  

.
Isak was furious. He was devastated. He was seeing red.

Of course. Of fucking course. How stupid can I get. How fucking stupid.

Even knew who he was the night he approached him. He knew his name and he reassured him when Isak flinched at the mention of other people talking about him. Even probably knew what happened to him. He probably knew the whole story. And when Isak told him that he hooked up with him because of a dare, he didn’t even flinch because he knew the whole time. He fucking played me. This was a game. It had to be. And Chris. Fucking Chris.



Even Bech Næsheim

13:38

Your chauffeur is available today if you want a ride

;)


Don’t talk to me ever again, Isak typed furiously but paused before pressing send.

He was on the verge of tears. He couldn’t believe how he played him. Everything made sense now. Why Even insisted and chased him like a fool. His heart hurt so much. And gosh, he didn’t even know his heart could feel such things anymore.

He was so sad and he had no idea where he would live if he had to leave Chris’ house. Fucking Chris. His thoughts made no sense. Everything was in a jumble and he was just so angry at himself for letting his walls down, for thinking he could have nice things when he knew. He fucking knew that he couldn’t trust anybody and that everybody was just going to hurt him. He knew. He had first hand experience. He should have known better. Gosh, I’m going fucking crazy.

He was so desperate that he googled “What to do when you’re fucking mad?”. He read every link and kept browsing until he got to page 13. He read the most random posts until the tears that were threatening to spill were no longer there. Until his rage dimmed itself. Until he was back to being focused and detached. Until he was no longer a bundle of weird emotions that were completely foreign to him. Until his walls went back up, smothering him in the process.

You won’t get one fucking tear out of me.

.

‘Don’t get mad. Get even,’ said a post on page 13.


 

Christoffer Schistad

19:43

Yo

Heyy

How are you?

Heard you got wild last night at the party with a certain someone ;)

ayyyee

About that

?

Our deal is back on

What?

I really wanna go to Greece you see

Make him fall for me and you’ll pay right?

Isak are you serious wtf?

What are you going to do?


I'm gonna make you regret it.

 


 

Even Bech Næsheim

19:56

Hi

Hi <3

What owes me this pleasure

Can I come over? <3

Omg

Are you serious?

Yes

Omg yeah sure

What do you want to do?


 

I want to break you until you’re as broken as me.

Chapter Text

“Can I come over?”

The truth was that Isak had no plan. He was so furious that he only realized he was freezing after walking for fifteen minutes or so. He shoved his hands in his pockets, pulled the hood over his head and tried to ignore the shivers going down his spine. He walked for ten more minutes before the realization that he had no idea what he was doing dawned on him. He was headed to Even’s house with absolutely no plan. None whatsoever.

How do you hurt someone who doesn’t even care about you?


Even Bech Næsheim

20:14

It’s cold. Want me to pick you up?

Or meet you halfway if you left your place already?

It looks like it’s gonna rain

I’m almost at your place

Okay


Isak started running because he knew he would change his mind, head back to Chris’, delete Even from all his social media accounts, and never look back.

No, I’m done being fucking used.

He ran and felt ridiculous because he never ran. Ever.

It turned out that Even was right and it started pouring four blocks before he reached his apartment building. Isak sighed, brought an arm over his head and ran awkwardly until he got to the main door. He was drenched now, and he was probably going to catch a cold. Great.

He stared at the buzzer and wondered which apartment was Even’s. He had no idea. Chris has just led them to the party the previous night and he hadn’t even paid attention to which floor was their stop on the elevator. Shit. I’m so dumb.

He was about to pull out his phone when the front door opened and Even was right there in his face, wearing gray sweatpants and a white t-shirt, looking so comfy, so huggable. Asshole.  

“Shit, you’re drenched!” said Even, wrapping an arm around Isak’s shoulders and ushering him inside.

Why do you care?

But then Isak felt a little bit bad because Even’s shirt had gotten wet too now that he was embracing him.

“I told you I’d come get you,” said Even, running his hands up and down Isak’s arms. “Why are you so stubborn?”

“Uh. I-”

Isak didn’t know what to say. He didn’t know what he was doing. He had no plan. This was going terribly already.

“Come on. Let’s get you warmed up,” said Even, a soft smile on his lips, leading him by the wrist to the elevator.

Focus. Focus. He’s playing you.

“You’re not saying much. What’s up?” said Even after punching the 7th floor button in the elevator.

“Uh, nothing.”

“Is everything okay?”

“Yeah, of course,” said Isak.

Even smiled then ran a hand over Isak’s right cheek. It took him all of his self-control not to shove his hand away, or worse bite it or something. But then Even’s smile softened, and he tilted his head like he did so many times before, and his eyes crinkles, and Isak hated him. I hate you so much.

He hated him but he still leaned into his touch because he didn’t know what else to do.

“I missed you,” said Even. “Thought about you all day.”

Fuck you.

Isak had no idea what he was doing. He was angry and flustered and all of his instincts screamed at him to just pull the emergency button and confront him right there in the elevator. But he didn’t. He smiled instead and acted like Even’s hand wasn’t burning through his skin.

“Thought about you, too. I guess,” said Isak.

“You guess?” Even laughed.

“I said what I said.”

“Well, I consider it progress.”

They reached the seventh floor and Isak was finally able to breathe again. He needed a game plan.

What if he wants to have sex? Shit. Should I go through with it? Fuck. What am I doing?

“You okay? You look nervous,” said Even.

“I’m fine.”

“Okay.”

Isak’s heart was beating hard, so hard in his chest.

I’m so stupid. What if this is a trap? What if this is what he wanted all along? To get me to show up to his apartment so that he can use me? Shit. I need to go-

But then Even pushed the door open and Isak was surprised to see the two guys and the girl from the previous night sprawled on the floor, playing what looked like Fifa.

“Wow what?” said one of the guys, smiling. His name was Elias if Isak remembered correctly.

“Shut up, Elias,” said Even, looking a little bit flustered.

“Hi Isak,” said the girl. Sonja or something?

“Uh hi,” Isak offered back, surprised that she remembered his name.

The other guy didn’t really talk, just waved at him.

“Mutta doesn’t get many lines unless we’re filming a video on youtube,” said Elias, laughing. “He’s not this rude usually.”

“Anyways,” said Even, putting his bigs hands on Isak’s shoulders and pushing him towards his bedroom.

What do I do. What do I do.

His heart rate jumped when Even closed the bedroom door behind him.

“You should probably shower,” he said. “I can give you something to wear or I can fetch one of Elias’ shirts since he’s shorter.

Isak just stared at him with big eyes. His thoughts were in a jumble. Everything up to now seemed like a weird memory.

“Are you okay?” said Even. “Now is when you tell me to piss off because I implied you’re short.”

“Uh, sorry. I’m a bit out of it,” said Isak.

“Did you drink?”

“No!”

“Are you high?” said Even.

“No. It’s just the rain,” said Isak.

“Okay,” said Even before turning around to rummage through his drawers for clothes. “Anyways, here’s a sweater and some sweatpants. There’s a towel in the bathroom already. I can lend you some underwear if you want but I think it’s too early in our relationship.”

Then he winked. He fucking winked.

There’s no relationship, you dick.

Isak was feeling very cold though so he obliged even though all his senses screamed at him to just go home. It’s just a shower.

.

Isak shivered the moment he stepped into the shower. He was taken back to their first night together when he all but put on a show for Even. He closed his eyes and stood under the showerhead for a good five minutes.

Should I prep myself just in case? What if he hurts me?

Gosh, Isak hated himself. He really did. So he stepped out of the shower and didn’t prep himself and decided to run if things got ugly.

Isak was swimming in Even’s hoodie and it was quite ridiculous. He was positive it was too big for Even as well. He walked to the living room and was relieved to see that the guys and Sonja were still there, although he suspected they knew about the bet situation as well.

He stood awkwardly by the kitchen table and got confused when he locked eyes with Even who was squeezed between Elias and Mutta. He looked almost flustered.

“What?” said Isak.

He was even more confused when Even brought his hands to his face and squealed? What?

Elias and Sonja burst into laughter while Even threw his head backwards and sank into the couch.

Is he okay?

“Gosh, you’re so fucking adorable. I can’t!” Even groaned into his own hands.

“Huh?”

“Dude, you’re like swimming in his clothes. You got game,” said Elias.

“Uh, I-”

Isak was beyond confused. He knew he had game. He was confident and sexy and could charm the hell out of anyone. But he didn’t do anything this time. What did Even mean adorable? Was he trying to make him look like a weak damsel in distress in front of his friends? Fuck you.

“Yo, wanna play?” said Mutta.

“Uh, sure,” said Isak.

.

“This is a dream come true, holy shit!” said Elias.

“I can’t believe this,” said Sonja.

“You just handed it to the invincible Mutta. Respect!” said Elias.

Isak grinned to himself. Yup, nobody was beating him at Fifa. It was all he played for the longest time when his parents were fighting or when Jonas and Eva were banging next door. Fifa was there for him when no one else was. Fifa was his thing.

“Even, can we keep him?” said Elias. “When is he moving in?”

“Shut up!” said Even and Isak was beyond confused. Just what the hell are they playing.


Christoffer Schistad

21:28

Where are you?

I just got home

I’m at Even’s :)

Seriously? Were you serious earlier?

Come home let’s talk about this

Home? Did you just call your place home?

You know what i mean

Are you chickening out cause you know i’ll win the bet?

No

I just don’t think it’s a good idea

Why??

Idk I think Even’s a good guy :)

Fuck off

?

Seriously fuck you

What the hell?

I’m spending the night here. Don’t wait for me

And don’t bother making me fucking coffee tomorrow

wtf?????


Isak breathed through his nose and shoved his phone away. Ugh. He was already failing at this undercover scheming thing. His emotions were getting the best of him.

“You okay? That was some angry texting right there,” said Even.

“I’m fine,” said Isak, a little bit too harshly.

“Uh okay,” said Even. “Wanna go to the kitchen with me?”

“Why?” Isak bit back.

“Uh, to eat? Surely you must be hungry.”

“Oh, right.”

.

Even was making him pasta and Isak felt overwhelmed because no one had cooked him food in ages. Even was standing over the stove, looking concentrated and Isak couldn’t help but wonder what he was thinking about, what he thought was going to happen.

He thought about it long and hard and nervously tapped his foot as he sat on the kitchen table.

Are we gonna fuck?

“I’m taking you home after this,” said Even, as if he read his damn mind again.

“What?”

“I’m feeding you then driving you home.”

“Why?”

“Because you’re visibly upset and I don’t want you doing something you’ll regret later,” said Even, still not looking at him, still working on the pasta.

“I’m not upset!”

“Isak, you haven’t smiled once since you got here. You showed up in a light sweater and walked in the pouring rain. You’re upset,” said Even.

“Don’t tell me how I feel!” said Isak.

“I didn’t mean to do that,” said Even, finally turning around. “Sorry if it sounded condescending.”

“It’s fine.”

“I don’t know what happened but I saw you type those text messages,” said Even.

“It was nothing.”

“Was it your parents? Did you get into a fight with them?”

“What? No. I don’t even talk to my fucking parents,” said Isak.

“Oh. Not even your mom?”

“Why are you asking me this?”

“Sorry,” said Even. “Didn’t mean to intrude. Just know that you can tell me stuff if you want. Apparently I’m a good listener.”

“I’m fine, Even. I don’t need to talk about my feelings.”

“Okay.”

Isak sat there in silence until Even put a plate in front of him. Isak was honestly salivating from the smell alone but a wild thought crossed his mind and he switched his plate with Even’s.

“What the fuck?” said Even.

“I have trust issues, okay?”

“What? You think I would poison you?”

“I never said that,” Isak shrugged.

But Even looked so upset that Isak couldn’t help but feel bad. He’s not falling in love with me anytime soon. Shit.

“Okay, fine. I’m sorry,” said Isak, switching the plates back, keeping his eyes down because he could only imagine the anger in Even’s.

So when he let out a deep sigh, his eyes widened. Huh.

“Isak,” said Even, reaching across the table to grab his hand.

“What the-”

“Just what happened to you for you to think that I would put something in your food?”

Suddenly, there wasn’t enough air in the room. His chest tightened and his lungs felt like they were collapsing. If you only knew. If you only fucking knew. He kept staring into Even’s sad eyes and he had no idea how this guy could look so genuine. It actually stung and Isak felt like he was being cracked open.

“Let go of my hand,” he said.

“Okay. Sorry. I’m sorry I said that.”

They ate in silence and Isak couldn’t help but steal glances. The food was so good that he almost cried. But Even wasn’t eating much. He was just watching him, his hand reaching up from time to time to wipe sauce off the corner of his mouth or to roll up his sleeves.

“You’re like a baby,” said Even.

“Shut up,” Isak mumbled through his food.

“Has anyone ever told you you shouldn’t speak with your mouth full?”

“F-fuck you,” said Isak, but it sounded like fuff you.

“There he is,” Even laughed. “All this angst was getting to me. Glad to have you back.”

Piss off.

.

It turned out that Even wasn’t joking about taking him home as he grabbed his keys the moment he put the dishes in the sink.

“Shouldn’t you like wash those or something?” said Isak.

“I’ll wash them when I get back.”

“You can do it now. I can wait.” What am I doing!?

Even sighed then walked closer to Isak.

“Isak. Be honest with me. Is there something happening where you live? Is that why you don’t want to go back?”

“What? No!”

“You can tell me. I can help you,” said Even.

“I don’t need your help!" Isak scoffed. “Alright, let’s go whatever.”

.

Isak frowned during the entire ride. He felt like a petulant child. He had no idea what he was doing. He still didn’t know what Even’s motives were and he was still acting like the sweetest person towards him. He even pretended to care. Just what’s your deal?!

His heart suddenly started racing when he noticed that he was going the wrong direction. Oh my god. What is he doing? Did he just want to take me away from his roommates? Was this his plan all along? Shit. Can I open the door?

Isak put some pressure on the door handle just to see if it was locked, but thankfully it wasn’t. He could open the door and tumble down but it would probably hurt. He could also always elbow Even at a red light. Shit what am I thinking, jesus!

So when Even grabbed his hand where it was resting on his thigh, he actually gasped. Even then turned around and smiled. It was the softest and purest smile and Isak felt himself relax almost instantly.

“Wanna take you for a ride. Clear your head a bit. Yes?” said Even.

“Uh, I-,” Isak was beyond flustered.

“I can turn around if you don’t want to.”

“No. It’s okay,” said Isak, nearly melting when Even laced their fingers together then turned his head back to the front. It was so intimate, and he had never done it before. He couldn’t breathe.

A song started playing and Isak sank into his seat in his oversized hoodie that smelled like Even. He had no idea what he was doing but the song was getting to him.

.

Now Playing: The 1975 - fallingforyou

I'll take it one day at a time.

Soon you will be mine.

Oh, but I want you now, I want you now

When the smoke is in your eyes,

You look so alive.

Do you fancy sitting down with me?

Maybe?

 

If you're all I need

According to your heart,

My place is not deliberate,

Feeling of your arms

I don't wanna be your friend,

I wanna kiss your neck

 

Don't you see me?

I, I think I'm falling, I'm falling for you.

Don't you need me?

I, I think I'm falling, I'm falling for you.

.

“Oh my god,” Isak mumbled.

“What?” said Even before seemingly remembering something. “Oh yeah shit.”

“You used a song lyric on me?” said Isak.

“I swear it wasn’t like that. I mean I realized after I said it but like we were talking about being friends and I wanted to kiss your neck, so,” Even rambled.

“You’re rambling.”

“I really am, shit,” said Even.

“Am I making you nervous?”

“Yeah.”

“Seriously?”

“Yeah.”

Isak didn’t know what to make of that. He wasn’t sure of anything anymore. Perhaps I should ask him. Maybe ask him what’s going on? He’s been nothing but lovely all night and-

But then Isak recognized the block they were headed to and his blood ran cold in his veins. They were going to Chris’ house.

Isak suddenly yanked his hand away and curled around himself by the window.

“Oh, shit. Yeah,” said Even, looking obviously out of place, like a deer caught in headlights. “Uh. I caught up with Schistad yesterday and he said you guys live together now? Did you move out of Kollektivet?”

“What the fuck!?”

“What?”

“How do you know Chris?” said Isak.

“We take some classes together,” said Even.

I don’t fucking believe you.

“How do you know where his house is?”

“We come to his parties all the time. That’s where we met, remember?” said Even.

You’re so full of shit.

“Are you okay? Sorry, I shouldn’t have assumed you wanted to share that you’re roommates with him now,” said Even.

“Don’t you hate him?”

“What? No. Why would you think that?”

“You seemed so against giving me a blowjob in his room last time,” said Isak.

“Oh. Yeah. That’s because he’s been teasing me about you for a while,” said Even. "I've had the most embarrassing crush on you for ages."

I don’t believe you. What a load of crap.

“Okay,” Isak said instead.

Even stopped the engine and Isak could hear his ragged breathing. He was so lost, dammit.

“Thanks for the ride,” said Isak.

“Anytime.”

He’s not falling for me anytime soon.

Isak waved awkwardly, opened his door, and left the car under Even’s intense stare.

He was surprised when Even opened his door as well and started walking in his direction. If you think I’m inviting you inside, you can choke.

He stopped right in front of him and Isak’s heart started beating erratically in his chest again. He was so confused but so flustered at the same time. So when Even grabbed his face with both hands and pressed their lips together, his knees nearly gave out

The thing was that Isak didn’t trust Even at all, but his kisses were too sweet to be interrupted, too hot to be dismissed. Isak couldn’t help but close his eyes and hold onto his sweater for balance as Even breathed against his mouth, his lips big and full and overwhelming and all over him. He was breathing through his nose and Isak hated himself, but he couldn’t help but part his lips even wider. Oh my-

He was about to slip his tongue inside Even’s mouth when he suddenly broke the kiss in an obnoxious pop.

Isak was breathing, hard, so hard as Even’s hands cupped his jaw and stroked his cheeks. Calm down. Calm down. Calm down.

Even pressed their foreheads together and closed his eyes while Isak remained petrified in front of him. He then spoke in his low and warm voice, sending shivers all over Isak’s body.

“I. Won't. Hurt. You.”

"Uh."

"Goodnight, Isak."

.

Isak couldn’t sleep a wink that night and he tried for two hours before giving up and opening his laptop. He suddenly remembered Vilde’s comment about Julian’s instagram, so he navigated to it.

There they were. Even and Chris laughing together at some party. Gosh, you’re good. You’re really fucking good at this.

Isak still had no idea what Even’s motives were, still had no idea what he wanted from him, what their presumed dare was about. But he was determined to find out, determined to get Even to let his guard down.

He needed Even to fall for him but he had no idea where to begin.


 

Google Search - How to get a guy to fall in love with you.

Cosmopolitan - How To Get the Guy to Fall in Love With You in 13 Easy Steps .

  1. Eye contact. Lots of it
  2. Be polite and classy
  3. Make him feel needed and be grateful
  4. Be like him
  5. But don’t go too far
  6. Hang around a lot
  7. Now disappear
  8. Ask for his help
  9. Be confident too
  10. Laugh a lot. Smile a lot.
  11. Be a good friend
  12. Feed him
  13. Love him
  14. Love yourself

 

What the fuck.

 

Google Search - How to get an eye to fall in love with you for gays

Wikihow - How to Get the Man (for gay men) in 12 steps

  1. Go to LGBTQ events
  2. Take care of your personal hygiene
  3. Go the the gym

Isak stopped reading after the third bullet, went back to the Cosmopolitan article for girls, and decided to ignore the last two tips. 

.

Alright. Be polite, be grateful, make him feel needed. Got it.


 

Even Bech Næsheim

10:23

Good morning

Thank you very much for last night

Uhh morning

What for?

For driving me home and cooking me food and giving me clothes

I don’t know what I would have done without you

:)

Uh

Is this sarcastic?

What’s going on?

No I mean it. I just wanted to thank you.

Okay..

You’re welcome

Wanna hang out today?

Is everything okay?

Of course

Is this Isak?

Uh yeah why?

You’re weird

No I’m not :)

Okay…

What do you want to do?

Can we just hang out at your place?

Oh you wanna kick my ass at Fifa again

Maybe you’ll win this time :)

Doubt it

You’re too good

Haha thank you

Wtf

Thank you?

Who is this? Lol

It’s Isak!! I’m still wearing your sweater

Okay…

Want me to pick you up?

Yes please

….


Isak felt like a giant loser. He cringed every time he hit ‘send’. Oh my god.

.

“You’re still wearing my sweater,” said Even leaning on the car as Isak made his way out of the house in his tightest jeans.

“Yeah, it’s comfy. I love it,” said Isak, staring into his eyes a little too hard.

 

  • Eye contact. Lots of it.

 

“You can have it,” said Even.

Uhm how about no! But then Isak remembered he was being a sweet lady.

“Really?” he asked.

“Uh. Yeah of course,” said Even.

“Thank you.”

Even looked beyond confused.

“Are you okay? You’re freaking me out.”

“Why?” said Isak. “Because I’m being nice? I can be nice sometimes.”

“Yeah I know. It’s just weird I guess.”

.

They drove silently in Even’s car and Isak tried to remember the stupid tips at the top of his head. What next? Uh, ‘be like him?’

Isak took the aux cord and plugged in his phone.

“You mind?” he asked.

“No, not at all,” said Even.

Isak went back to his chats with Even and found the horrible song.

.

Now Playing: Cash Cash - How to Love (ft. Sofia Reyes)

Even looked at him with a shocked expression.

“What?”

“I thought you said this was garbage,” said Even.

“It grew on me,” said Isak.

The truth was that Isak never bothered actually listening to it.

.

I've been running from the pain

Trying not to feel the same

But it's a shame that we're sinking

See, my confidence is shaking

And my heart is feeling vacant

So you try to fill it in

You say "I could fix the broken in your heart

You're worth saving darling"

But I don't know why you're shooting in the dark

I got faith in nothing

But love, pray for me

I never had somebody

So I don't know how to love

Pray for me

I know I need somebody

So I can learn how to love

.

Uh. Okay. Awkward.

.

Isak smiled the entire time and laughed whenever Even said anything at all, earning himself curious glances from the taller boy. Okay this shit is not working.

“You sure everything’s fine?” said Even.

“Of course,” Isak smiled. “Are your roommates in today?”

“Uh, no. It’s just you and me,” said Even.

“Oh. Cool. Wanna play Fifa?”

.

Isak lost on purpose and Even got up in frustration.

“Okay what the hell is going on?” said Even.

“What do you mean?” said Isak.

“Are you pissed at me or something? Why are you being weird?”

“I’m not being weird!”

“Isak, you asked me to open a bottle of water for you,” said Even.

“Yeah, so? My wrist hurts.”

“You destroyed Mutta who kicks my ass everytime and you just lost right now?” said Even.

“I have bad days, too,” said Isak.

Even sighed loudly and Isak could tell that he was visibly upset. Yeah, he’s not falling in love with me.

But then he sat back down next to Isak on the floor and brought a hand to his face making his eyes go wide.

“Just know that you can talk to me if you want okay? I don’t know what’s going on but I promise you I can listen and stuff,” said Even.

“Uh. Okay.”

.

“Wanna smoke?” said Even.

“Yes.”

.

They smoked on the floor until Isak got lightheaded and dizzy. Yes. Even lingered every time he passed him the joint, keeping his fingers on Isak’s for a little too long and he didn’t even mind.

“You know this shit isn’t good for me,” said Even.

“Bullshit,” said Isak.

“Oh, you swore. Nice!”

“Uh. I mean. It’s probably not true. Studies have shown that it has benefits and stuff.”

Even laughed and lied down beside Isak.

“Nah, it fucks me up,” said Even.

“How?” said Isak, turning on his side to face Even. They were both sprawled on the floor when there was a couch right there. It wasn’t even comfortable.

“I just go crazy,” said Even.

“You sound like those old people who think weed is like heroin or something,” said Isak.

“Ha!”

“Ha? Is this even a reaction?” said Isak. “What is Ha! supposed to mean?”

Even smiled and turned to his side as well, propping himself on his elbow and looking down at Isak.

“I’m glad the beauty pageant contestant is finally leaving your body,” said Even.

“Piss off,” said Isak, bringing his hand to his face.

“My favorite song,” Even laughed.

“Shut up!” Isak laughed.

He was so high that he just laughed with Even as if he wasn’t on a mission. He was so high that he just giggled for five minutes straight while Even watched him with something like awe in his eyes.

“What are you staring at?” said Isak.

“You. You’re so pretty,” said Even.

“Ugh,” Isak shoved him and turned on his back. “You have absolutely no game. How did you manage to earn a fuckboy reputation being this lame?”

“Excuse me,” Even scoffed. “First of all I did not want the reputation. I slept around a bit. It happens. Second, how dare you when you spent all day batting your eyelashes at me.”

“Batting my eyelashes at you?”

“Yeah,” said Even. “Drove me crazy. And they’re so long, too.”

“What the fuck? I did not bat my eyelashes at you!”

“Yes, you did. And you lost at Fifa on purpose and you kept smiling. It was so weird.”

“So now my smile is weird? Wow,” said Isak.

“That’s not what I said.”

“You know what? You’re canceled,” said Isak, now sitting up, and getting off the floor.

“What? Canceled?” said Even, following him.

“Yes, canceled,” said Isak, making his way to Even’s bedroom.

“Where are you going?”

“Your bed,” said Isak.

“Why?”

“My back hurts. We’ve been on the floor all afternoon.”

“Right.”

They both fell back first on the mattress and Isak officially had no idea what he was doing.

“Shit,” he winced in pain. His back really hurt from staring at Even all afternoon.

“You’re what? Nineteen and you have backache already? Not good,” said Even.

“Go fuck yourself. I can literally carry you on my shoulders,” said Isak.

“Excuse me, have you seen how tall I am?”

“So what? Are you challenging me right now?”

“No. I would like to stay alive, at least for today. I’ll call you when I feel like dying again,” said Even.

“What?!”

“Nothing.”

“I’m serious. I can lift you. I’m strong!” said Isak, before feeling like a child.

“I know that! I licked your abs once, remember?”

“Ugh, shut up!” said Isak, feeling his own face flush.

“Also I can’t believe you asked me to open a bottle of water earlier and now you’re throwing a tantrum about being strong,” said Even.

“I’m not throwing a tantrum!”

But then Even started laughing and Isak joined him, and what a perfect way to spend a Sunday evening. Giggling in bed with the enemy.

“Want me to do it again?” said Even.

“Do what?”

“Lick your abs.”

“Just how high are you right now?” said Isak, turning to the side to face Even. Even who looked so breathtaking from every angle.

“Very,” Even laughed turning on his side as well.

Isak hesitated. But then he thought that he could figure him out later. That he could have this today. It's a win-win. 

“Wanna make out?” said Isak.

.

Even had Isak panting against his mouth in a few seconds, completely wrecked and ready for the taking. I did not think this through at all.

“Do that thing again,” said Isak.

“What thing?”

“Pin my wrists above my head.”

“You serious?” said Even.

“Yeah, shit.”

Even did as told and Isak was writhing and moaning beneath him until he could no longer take it. It felt so good. Even was an amazing kisser. He felt every stroke of his tongue all over his being. He felt as if he was eating his face at times. Damn boy.

“Even.”

“Hm?”

“I love your lips,” Isak mumbled.

“Let me guess, you’re horny,” said Even before kissing his neck and then his jaw.

“You’re so observant,” Isak smiled before rolling them around and straddling Even.

“I like this view,” said Even, grabbing a handful of Isak.

“Me too.”

“And these jeans. You wore them on purpose, didn’t you?”

“Yes.”

“Are you trying to seduce me?”

“Yes,” said Isak before going back down for another wet kiss.

They made out until Isak no longer felt like he was floating, until the weed dissipated in his system, until he was no longer in a happy place, until panic settled in the pit of his stomach again. He’s using you. He wants something from you.

Isak rolled over on his stomach and closed his eyes.

“Everything okay?” said Even.

“Yeah,” Isak mumbled.

“Your cheeks are so flushed.”

“Stop,” Isak hid his face in the pillows.

“So pretty,” said Even.

Isak instinctively turned his head towards Even and was met by a pair of blue eyes that stared into his soul. Dammit.

“Stop looking at me like that,” said Isak.  

“Like what?” Even laughed.

“Like you give a shit about me,” said Isak, and suddenly neither of them was laughing anymore.

Well.

Even brought his hand to Isak’s hair and he felt his breath hitch. So unfair.

“Isak.”

“Hm?”

“I don’t know why you won’t believe it, but I give a shit about you,” said Even, his fingers massaging Isak’s scalp. Isak who couldn’t help but close his eyes and almost purr. What the fuck.

“I don’t believe you,” Isak admitted.

“Why not?”

“Because I know you want to hurt me,” said Isak. “Everybody does.”

Okay. This was officially a bad trip. Weed wasn’t always good to him. This wasn’t going as planned. This was a disaster. Isak was blowing his own cover.

“Babe,” Even whispered, still running his hand in Isak’s hair. “I would never hurt you.”

“I don’t believe you,” Isak repeated, and okay he was high as shit.

“Why not?”

“I don’t buy it. I don’t get it. I’m a fucking asshole. Why would you care about me? Why are you chasing me like a fool when I’ve been nothing but awful to you? I don’t fucking get it!” said Isak.

He half expected Even to freak out but he never did. He just kept massaging Isak’s scalp, his fingers long and generous and soothing.

“You’re not an asshole,” said Even.

“I am though, and it freaks me the fuck out that you keep ignoring it. I don't know what to believe,” said Isak.

Even sighed and took his hand off his hair only to wrap both arms around Isak and pull him closer his chest.

“What are you doing?”

“Cuddling you,” said Even.

“Get off me,” said Isak.

“It feels nice I promise, just relax.”

“Ugh.”

But Even was right. It did feel nice. Almost as nice as kissing felt. Even nearly squeezed the air out of his lungs for he hugged him too tight, his chin on top of Isak’s head. Isak who couldn’t for the life of him complain. It felt too good. I can figure him out tomorrow. I can have this today.

“What are you thinking about?” said Even.

“I’m thinking I don’t trust you but I trust you.”

“Funny cause I feel the same way about myself,” said Even.

Isak sighed and wrapped his arms around Even’s back.

I can figure him out tomorrow. I can have this today.

“Spend the night?” said Even.

“Are we gonna have sex?”

“No, we’ll just cuddle.”

“I have class at 8 tomorrow,” said Isak.

“I’ll drive you.”

“Okay.”

“You’ll stay?”

“I’ll stay,” said Isak.

.

It turned out that cuddling was intimate and overwhelming. Even ran his hands all over Isak’s back and he was dying. He felt too good. Is this what Oxytocin feels like?

They were both breathing hard and curling into each other and sleeping with the enemy never felt this good.

“I spent my entire weekend with you,” said Isak.

“You did.”

Even pressed a kiss to his forehead and Isak melted. He melted. I can figure him out tomorrow. I can have this today.

“Isak?”

“Hm?”

“What do you want?” said Even.

“What do you mean?”

“Like right now.”

“Hm. Would like it if you could grab my ankles again,” said Isak, making Even laugh. “Why? What do you want right now?”

“You.”

.

Isak kissed him first because he could figure him out tomorrow and have this today. So hot. It was so hot, and Isak’s head was spinning, and he was falling and spiraling out of control, and this was the worst takedown in the history of takedowns.

“Why-” Isak interrupted the kiss. “Why are you so good to me? Why?”

Even grabbed his face with both hands and looked into his eyes for what seemed like an eternity. Say something. Say something! And when Even did. When he finally said something, it tore Isak apart.

“Because sometimes I feel like you’re as broken as me.”

Chapter Text

“Because sometimes I think you’re as broken as me.”

.

Isak didn’t know what to do with Even’s confession, but it hit him hard. He was full of doubts all the time, but this, this, he believed. There was no way this was a made up thing. There was no way this was part of the game. Even was genuine. Isak could tell. How? Because it felt like something Isak himself would say.

So he curled into Even, buried his face in his neck, and held him tight.

“We’re gonna be okay,” Isak mumbled against his skin.

“We’re gonna be okay.”

.

Isak slept like a baby in Even’s arms. He slept so well that he woke up before 7 in the morning without an alarm, feeling well rested and content, so content.

When he finally managed to crack an eye open, he was ambushed by Even’s blue eyes. They’re so blue. So so blue.

“You’re watching me sleep?” Isak mumbled.

“I’m watching you sleep,” said Even, his eyes crinkling and his hand cupping Isak’s cheek.

“That’s creepy,” said Isak, leaning into his touch. “Creepy and desperate.”

“I’m desperate.”

“I knew that already,” Isak smiled.

“I would be hurt but whatever I’m doing seems to be working so I’m fine with that,” said Even, brushing his thumb over Isak’s cheekbones.

“I’m not sure where you got that idea. Nothing you’re doing is working,” said Isak, getting out of Even’s hold and stretching his limbs.

He almost whimpered when Even’s arms wrapped around his chest and pulled him back down again.

“Well, you’re in my bed wearing my clothes, so,” said Even.

“I’ll have you know that these jeans are mine.”

“The jeans you wore to seduce me,” said Even. “I’m telling you it’s working.”

“Yeah, whatever,” Isak rolled his eyes before relaxing in Even’s arms.

“Has anyone ever told you that you shouldn’t sleep in jeans?”

“You don’t take a break when you’re seducing people.”

“I would have been seduced by your bare legs. You know that,” said Even.

“Shut up.”

“You don’t need to seduce me. I’m already seduced.”

“I don’t know what I was doing to be honest,” said Isak. “I’m sorry.”

“Oh.”

Isak wasn’t sure what he was apologizing for. But he still felt like he had to apologize. If anything, Even seemed like a good person. He had had multiple chances to take advantage of him, but he never did. Instead, he made him food and drove him around and praised him whenever he did anything at all. Even was no evil mastermind, and Isak should probably just leave him alone.

“You don’t have to apologize. It was a bit weird but now that I think about it, it was funny,” said Even. “Watching you act like a lady.”

“Alright, don’t force gender norms on me,” said Isak.

“Ah! Woke talk in my bed. I’m getting hard.”

“Oh my god,” Isak laughed, turning around in Even’s arms. “I can’t believe you.”

“What?”

“You’re so weird,” said Isak, tilting his head upwards so that he could look into Even’s eyes.

“But you like it,” said Even, his eyes darting to Isak’s lips.

“Maybe.”

“Isak.”

“Hm?”

“I’m going to kiss you now,” said Even.

“Okay.”

It was the softest kiss and Isak was melting in Even’s strong hold. It was the lightest touch on his lips, but he still felt it all over his being. It wasn’t one of those heated and passionate kisses that made his head spin with lust, but it was still intoxicating. It was soft, so soft. Just lips on lips, meeting and then parting only to meet again in another sweet yet intoxicating kiss. Even was intoxicating.

“Hmmph,” Isak whimpered, almost purring, bringing a hand to Even’s neck, his eyes still fluttered shut, his heart in his throat.

“Babe-”

“Hm?”

“You’re so sweet,” Even whispered before pressing another kiss to his lips.

.

Isak remained flustered all morning as Even made him breakfast and handed him a change of clothes.

“You should shower while I make us food,” said Even.

“Are you saying I’m smelly?”

“Oh my god. No!” Even laughed. “I’m just saying you can shower if you want to.”

“Okay. I was joking by the way,” said Isak, pouting a little, not knowing why he was pouting a little.

“I know,” said Even, before letting go of the spatula, making his way to Isak in two big strides, cupping his face, and kissing him until he was reduced to a stuttering mess again.

Isak couldn’t help but chase his lips. He was intoxicated from the mere touch. What is this feeling.

“Shower. Now,” said Even, his thumb brushing over his cheeks. “Don’t want you to be late for class.”

Isak did as he was told, and the moment water hit his skin, he realized that he was a mess, that he should confess what this was all about, apologize, and just leave Even alone forever.

But he decided to wait a little bit, just a little bit.

Even’s pink sweater was way too big for him, but it was okay. It felt like a hug. He didn’t even mind that it was pink. He loved it. It was so fluffy. And Even nearly fell over again when he saw him.

“You look so good in my clothes,” he said.

“Shut up,” Isak blushed.

“For someone who oozes confidence, you sure do blush a lot,” said Even.

“I don’t ooze confidence,” said Isak.

“You had me on the floor the first night we met,” said Even.

“Uh. Yeah-”

“I lost my chill that night. I would have normally waited, and it’s gonna sound lame but I was just too horny. Sorry again.”

What the fuck are you apologizing for.

“I wanted it. Stop apologizing. It’s insulting,” said Isak.

“Okay.”

“For a fuckboy, you’re really weird about sex,” said Isak, biting into his food and nearly moaning.  

“Only when it’s you,” said Even with a wink, the worst wink in the history of winks.

It still sent shivers down Isak’s spine. He didn’t know what it meant.

“Why is it different with me?” said Isak.

“Because I like you. Like really really like you.”

“Uh. Okay.”

Gosh.

.

Isak hugged himself in Even’s oversized sweater and made his way to the passenger seat. He was feeling anxious. He was going to show up to class in Even’s clothes, in Even’s car. Everybody was going to find out. Not that I care.

He almost tried to ask Even to drop him off a block away, but he knew it would hurt him, so he didn’t. He was so wrapped up in his own thoughts that he didn’t notice Even grinning beside him while looking at his phone.

“Hmm, let me guess. You’re going to play a lame song. Aren’t you?” said Isak.

“Yes.”

“What now-”

.

Now Playing: Carly Rae Jepsen - I Really Like You

I really wanna stop but I just got the taste for it

I feel like I could fly with the boy on the moon

So honey hold my hand, you like making me wait for it

I feel like I could die walking up to the room, oh yeah

Late night watching television

But how'd we get in this position

It's way too soon, I know this isn't love

But I need to tell you something

.

Isak knew it was coming but he still covered his face because he was dying from secondhand embarrassment and sheer fondness. Even belted out with the chorus and Isak was melting with his hands on his face.

“Oh my god, don’t!” Isak shrieked.

“I really really really really really really like you! And I want you, do you want me? Do you want me, too?” Even was singing at the top of his lungs with one hand on the wheel and the other one teasing Isak.

“You’re gonna get us killed!” Isak laughed, his face properly flushed now.

“Ooooooh! Did I say too much? I’m so in my head. When we’re out of touch! I really really really really really really like you! And I want you! Do you want me? Do you want me, too?”

“I can’t fucking deal with you,” Isak laughed.

“You love this!” said Even, bursting into laughter, too.

“Oh my god. This song is shit!”

But Even was dancing along and tapping the wheel and he knew all the words.

“I don’t want to be seen with you if you’re going to play this song when we get to campus,” said Isak.

“Shhhh. It’s the chorus again.”

“Even-”

“I really really really really really really like you! And I want you, do you want me? Do you want me, too? oHhhhh. Did I say too much?”

Isak couldn’t breathe because he was laughing so damn hard and his heart was bursting. He couldn’t believe him. They stopped at a red light, and Even turned his body towards him, took his hand and was singing in his face. Isak was dying.

“Who gave you eyes like that? Said you could keep them? I don’t know how to act or if I should be leaving. I’m running out of time. Going out of my mind. I need to tell you something.”

Fuck my whole life.

“Yeeaaaaaaaahhhhhh.”

.

Isak was still laughing with tears in his eyes when they got to campus and Even turned off the engine. Holy shit.

“You liked it. Admit it,” said Even, smiling so wide.

“Don’t expect me to reply to your texts after this,” said Isak.

“Ouch.”

“I honestly don’t know why I hang out with you,” said Isak, still laughing.

“Yes, you do,” Even grinned, wrapping a hand around Isak’s wrist and pulling him closer. “You know exactly.”

Even kissed him before Isak could even respond. And yeah okay. Maybe I know. Shit.

Isak wasn’t sure what he was doing anymore but he sighed into the kiss and buried his hands in Even’s hair, and purred?

“The sweetest,” said Even after breaking the kiss and booping his nose with his index finger. “You’re the sweetest.”

“Shut up,” Isak blushed. “I, uh, I have to go.”

He opened the door and was surprised when Even opened his, too.

“You have class?” said Isak.

“No, but I’ll walk you.”

“What the hell?”

“What?” said Even, grinning.

“I don’t need you to walk me to class.”

“Are you ashamed of me, Valtersen?”

“No!” said Isak.

“Then let me walk you to class.”

.

Isak was mortified. Everyone was looking at them. It was eight in the morning and everyone’s attention was focused solely on them. Isak was wearing Even’s sweater. Everybody knew this damn sweater. Even was wearing it the first time Isak saw him. The first time he saw him cross the yard in front of his building, and his breath hitched, and some stupid Radiohead started playing in his head, and Eva teased him for days. Even was wearing this damn sweater when Isak found out that his reputation preceded him and that he was nothing but an asshole, supposedly . Everybody knew this sweater. Not to mention that Even’s arm was around Isak’s shoulders.

They got a few looks, and Isak got so pissed off that he wrapped his arm around Even’s back.

“Hm. What is that for?” said Even, smiling.

“They can fuck off.”

“You’re like a grumpy kitten,” said Even.

“Call me a kitten one more time. I swear.”

They got to Isak’s building and he was back to feeling flustered.

“Uh, thanks for everything I guess,” he said, looking at his feet.

“Anytime. Thanks for hanging out with me,” Even smiled and he looked so beautiful that Isak couldn’t help it.

He leaned in and pressed a soft kiss to his lips.

“Bye,” said Isak with his heart beating fast, so fast in chest, turning around just in time to face the dicks.

Fuck.

“Look what we have here,” said Erik, the tall fucker. I’m not here for your shit.

“You can fuck off,” said Isak.

“Pink definitely suits you,” said Erik, grinning.

“Leave him alone, Erik,” said Christoffer. “Morning Isak, Even.”

The whole squad was there. Penetrator Chris and his douchey friends.

“Morning Chris,” said Even.

“Uh. How are you guys doing?” he said. “Missed you this weekend, Isak.”

Fuck off.

He was about to respond when Erik spoke again.

“So how’s my favorite crazy bitch doing?”

What? Isak was reeling. He was going to punch him. That was it. But then he quickly realized that he was talking to Even. What.

“You can fuck off, Erik,” said Even.

“The crazy bitch and the campus fag sharing clothes. Warms my heart,” said Erik, and that was it.

Isak shoved him in the chest so hard that he nearly fell. And if it weren’t for Chris and the other guys, a fight would have broken for sure.

“Feisty,” Erik grinned.

“Fuck you.”

“Are you boyfriend and girlfriend now?” said Erik.

It was Chris’ turn to shove Erik now and Isak was so angry.

“Shut the fuck up, Erik. Okay?” said Chris. “For fuck’s sake!”

“Housing the stray turned you into a weak bitch I see,” said Erik.

Isak was fuming. He was fuming but he also felt like crying. Jesus. He didn’t know that Chris had told everyone that he was living with him. God, I hate you.

He was about to cry and he couldn’t handle it. I can’t cry in front of these jerks. Fuck.

So when Even wrapped an arm around his shoulders and ushered them to leave, he felt grateful, so grateful.

“I’m not done ruining your life, Erik,” said Even.

“I’m not done fucking with yours either, Bech Næsheim.”
.

“Gosh, I’m gonna fucking kill him. I fucking hate him,” Isak yelled once they were inside. He was seeing red. He was fuming. He wasn’t even breathing.

“Hey, hey,” said Even, grabbing his face. “Hey it’s okay. Calm down. Breathe. Breathe, just breathe.”

Isak went from contemplating homicide to melting into Even’s touch. Even whose eyes were so kind and so warm. He had nothing to do with this.

“You’re gonna go to class and you’re gonna pay attention. And after that you can stop by where I work this afternoon and we can have coffee. What do you think?” said Even, brushing his thumb over Isak’s cheeks.

I love it when you do that.

“Hm?” Even asked again.

“Okay.”

“Okay?”

“Yeah, okay,” said Isak, feeling the anger leave his body.  

“Good,” said Even, before leaning in to press a kiss to Isak’s cheek, making him melt.

“How do you know Erik?” said Isak.

“I can’t believe I used to be friends with that fucker.”

“What?”

“We used to hang out at parties and stuff, but I found him one night trying to force himself on a drunk girl in my apartment. Jesus, I fucking lost it,” said Even.

Blood ran cold in Isak’s veins. He was suddenly trembling. He had trouble breathing. He felt like he was suffocating. Fuck.

“Isak? Isak, are you okay?”

“Uh, yeah. I’m fine. Uh, what happened after that?”

“I tried reporting him but the girl didn’t want to come forward. She was too scared of what people might think. So he got away with it. But I kept my eye on him. And I guess I fucked up one night and told everyone about it on Facebook.”

“What?”

“Yeah. It’s a long story though,” said Even. “You’re gonna be late for class.”

Even kissed him again and Isak went to class feeling like utter shit.

.

Isak couldn’t focus in class because his skin was crawling and he had trouble breathing. He hated Erik so much, so damn much, and whenever he saw him, he had to go lie down for days to feel okay again.

The truth was that Erik fit the description of the guy he had slept with. It fit it perfectly and it was disturbing. He was tall and his hair was almost blonde and his voice, gosh, his fucking voice. Isak wanted to throw up at the thought of sleeping with Erik. He couldn’t focus. It had been almost a year since the incident and he still couldn’t move on. What a pathetic fuck I am.

Isak could take Erik any day. He could fight him. He knew that. But somehow, his body just froze whenever he saw him. He just couldn’t do a damn thing. Erik also called him disparaging names whenever he saw him, and Mahdi had once punched him when he called Isak a slut.

Erik was the main reason Isak couldn’t trust Chris and anyone who hung out with Chris. He was his right hand and Isak hated both of them.

.

“What’s up?” said Eva at lunch.

“Can I crash at your place for a few days?” said Isak, feeling embarrassed and humiliated.

“What did Chris do?”

“He’s a dick.”

“I knew that already,” said Eva.

“So can I?”

“Yeah of course.”

“Thank you,” said Isak, still reeling, still feeling awful after running into Erik.

“What’s wrong?”

“Nothing.”

“Isak,” said Eva, turning around in her chair to face Isak. “I know I haven’t been around very much but I hope you know you can talk to me and stuff.”

“Uh, yeah I know that.”

“You can’t keep stuff bottled up forever. It’s not healthy and one day you will just blow up,” said Eva.

“What’s up with you being all wise and shit?”

“Uh. Nothing. My psychology class is making me reevaluate some stuff.”

“I see,” said Isak.

“But yeah, just make sure you talk to someone. Doesn’t have to be me or Jonas. It could even be strangers on the internet. Just talk to someone.”

.

Isak was in immunology class when he created a Yahoo account. He felt ancient but he figured it was an easy way to get some answers. He decided to start with the easiest question.

.

.

Do better’.

Gosh, Isak wanted to cry. This person had no clue. “Let him take pictures of you.” It hurt. It really did. But he figured that they were right. Whoever this person was, this person who had taken the time to read his question, and who felt like they just had to answer and break him like that, was right. Whoever this was, they were right.

Isak was a piece of shit . He knew that already. This wasn’t news to Isak. He had never thought of anybody other than himself. He knew that. He had fucked over Eva and Jonas at Nissen. He had left his mother because he couldn’t take it anymore. He hadn’t talked to his father at all and stopped answering his texts and calls two years prior. And he had used so many girls before he was forced out of the closet. So many. He had broken so many hearts because he thought his pain warranted him to. He had slept with so many guys and left them crushed the following day.

Isak knew this. He wasn’t a good person. He had never done anything for anyone in his life. Expect for that one time right before he moved to Eskild’s basement, when his mother had gone crazy again and spent a week at the hospital.


That one time

 

 

Isak tried to stay strong. His father wasn’t there and he had to stay strong. He spent all of his evenings at the hospital with her and had to listen to doctors talk about what was wrong without really understanding. He was sixteen and he did his best to stay strong and only broke down when he got to his wooden bench outside. His bench that he shared with someone else. Someone else who was maybe sadder than he was. Someone who wrote the most heartbreaking things on the wood every day.

‘I don’t want to be here. I don’t want to be here. I don’t want to be here.

Make it stop. Make it stop. Make it stop.’

Isak read this person’s words and started noticing new ones after each passing day.

‘I don’t sleep cuz sleep is the cousin of death’

‘I just want to disappear’

‘My suffering, always keeping me company’

‘Will I ever feel whole again’

.

Isak felt cruel but he found comfort in this person’s pain. He felt a little less lonely, a little less alone. Someone out there feels the same way I do.

He started looking forward to reading whatever the person was going to write on the hospital bench next. And sometimes it felt like the person was talking to him directly.

‘Hello <3’

‘Hope you’re not as void as me’

But Isak never had it in him to respond. It probably wasn’t even for him. It was all in his head. This was a popular bench. It was outdoors and it was right beneath a beautiful tree. Many people frequented this bench at the hospital.

His mother was feeling better and she was going to be discharged so he ran to the bench to check, just one last time.

‘I forgot that we’re all alone. All alone in the universe. I’m alone. I’m all alone.’

Isak wasn’t sure what he was doing, but he still pulled out a pen and scribbled something right under the new message.

‘You’re not alone.’


Even

16:19

Hey

You didn’t stop by

Everything cool?

I’m sorry

I forgot

I honestly forgot

It’s okay <3

Wanna do something?

I’m too tired today

Sorry

It’s okay


Isak went to Eva’s house and sighed into the all too familiar couch. It was ridiculous but it almost felt good to be back.

“Everything okay?” said Eva.

“Yeah,” said Isak. “Thanks for asking.”

“Thanks for asking? Why are you being sweet?”

“Oh come on,” Isak sighed. “I can be nice.”

“I know that. Just an observation.”

“Keep it,” said Isak.

“There he is,” Eva laughed. “So Even Bech Næsheim, huh.”

“I don’t want to talk about it.”

“Vilde said that she told you. I don’t know what his deal with Chris is, but just be careful.”

“He’s just friends with everyone. He’s just very kind,” said Isak.

“Uh, okay. Wow, that’s what I call a plot twist.”

Isak sighed and turned around on the couch.

“I’m gonna dump him,” said Isak.

“What?!”

“I don’t know what I’m doing right now but he doesn’t deserve this.”

“What are you talking about?” said Eva.

“I’m too fucked up. I don’t know why he likes me.”

“Maybe it’s because he knows you’re a softie deep down.”

“I don’t know,” Isak sighed.

They watched some reality TV show and Isak realized that he couldn’t laugh, that nothing was making him laugh today. That he was feeling uneasy and that he was still thinking of Erik and his smug face.

“Isak?”

“Huh?”

“I just asked if you wanted something from the kitchen,” said Eva.

“Oh, sorry. Uh, a beer would be nice.”

.

Isak drank with Eva until the yahoo answers were all he could see. He drank until Even’s sweater no longer felt like a hug but more like something choking him.

“Isak.”

“Hm?”

“You okay?” said Eva, her eyes big and worried, and Isak hated it.

“Of course!” he exclaimed. “Why?!”

“It’s been almost a year,” she said and his blood ran cold in his veins again. Fuck you.

“I don’t want to talk about it.”

“Isak, why didn’t you report him?” said Eva. “I don’t get it. I just don’t get it.”

“It was my fault. Whatever,” said Isak.

“No it wasn’t! You didn’t take those pictures! You didn’t post them.”

“It’s fine. I got too drunk to function. It’s my fault,” said Isak pouring himself another shot of Whiskey.

“Isak, what the fuck? If you were too drunk to function then you shouldn’t have been having sex in the first place,” said Eva.

“Seriously, Eva. Are you gonna tell me you never had drunken sex before? It’s fine!”

“Fuck! No it’s not!” Eva yelled, snapping Isak back to reality. “What the fuck?”

“Why are you getting so angry? This isn’t about you!”

“Isak, this is fucked up! Just tell me who took the pictures. Or tell someone at least. It makes no sense! Do you realize how selfish you are being protecting this person?”

Isak couldn’t take it. He wanted to scream. Selfish? Oh my god!

“Screw you, Eva! You know nothing!”

“Then tell me!” said Eva. “Tell me! Help me understand why you wouldn’t report a piece of shit who might have done it to other people. Just give me a good reason!”

“Because I don’t fucking remember who it was! I have no fucking clue who did this to me!” Isak screamed before passing out.

.

Isak woke up to a few messages that made him feel completely different things.


Even

01:13

Goodnight <3


Unknown Number

01:24

I wouldn’t fuck with even bech næsheim if i were you

He’s fucked up

Like really fucked up


 

Isak frowned when he read the Unknown Number’s messages. He wanted to reply but he was late for class so he ran with his phone in his hand and figure he would run and type.

 


 

Unknown Number

08:46

Who the fuck is this?

Someone trying to warn you about the car crash you’re getting yourself into

Even bech næsheim is batshit crazy

Run boy run

Go fuck yourself!

And get a life

What the fuck

Your hair looked so nice yesterday

All curls and all

What the hell?

It’s gonna be a full year tomorrow

Your hair looks as nice as in the picture


Isak never made it to class. He couldn’t breathe. His legs weren’t moving. He was frozen and his chest physically hurt. God. Nothing made it past his mouth. He was paralyzed. And this wasn’t him. He was strong. He didn’t fucking lose it in the middle of the street. This was a nightmare. His mind was in a jumble. He couldn’t handle anything. He was crouching and holding his chest because he couldn’t breathe. It felt as if someone had stabbed him. His phone screen was cracked now.

This was an attack. And Isak knew. He knew who it was now. But how could he ever prove it? How could he ever tell anyone? What was there for him to do? It wasn’t like he ever said ‘no’. He never stopped him from taking the pictures even he couldn’t remember. And everyone was just going to treat him like dirt. Even more so than they already did. He was just going to have to suck it up.

.

“What the fuck?!” Eva almost screamed when she saw him. “Oh my god, Isak! What did you do to your hair?!”

“Was feeling hot, okay?”

“Isak, we’re almost in December!”


Nei Isak

16:14

Magnus: holy shit bro i heard you got a buzzcut

Magnus: what the fuck hHAHAHA

Jonas: seriously?

Vilde: Is this about Isak?

Magnus: yeah

Magnus: where have you been bro? Haven’t seen you in like 4 days

Mahdi: a buzzcut? So now you’re like even uglier?

Jonas: you have a buzzcut too mahdi shut the fuck up

Mahdi: i’ve been like this my whole life though

Mahdi: Isak only had his hair going on for him

Chris: Isak’s prince curls?????

Christoffer: Isak seriously?

Noora: I’m sure he looks great. Why are you all so focused on looks

Vilde: says the girl setting trends left and right on campus

Sana: i’m sure Isak looks fine

Magnus: David says he looks like Eleven from stranger things now

David: I'm torn between Cersei lannister, Justin bieber, and Eleven

Mahdi: Cersei Lannister?? she has long hair bro are you drunk

David: like this

Magnus: kKFJDKJDFKJFDJKFDJKJDFKHKDSJ

Eva: where did you see him david?

David: I stopped by your place earlier to get Isak’s part of the project

David: he looked like shit though. What are you doing to him Eva?

Magnus: btw Even bech næsheim was looking for you today Isak :O!!


Isak hadn’t read his message in days. He didn’t want to deal with any of it. He didn’t want to deal with anything. He had spent the whole week curled around himself in Eva’s couch, feeling lethargic and completely helpless. He felt like crying but he couldn’t. He felt ridiculous because he had been down for days now. It didn’t make any sense. But he couldn’t move. He couldn’t do anything.

.

It was Friday and Isak was feeling better. He was feeling much better, so he finally turned on his phone.

Even had called him fifty times and had left so many messages. Isak felt terrible.


Even

16:18

I didn’t realize you meant it when you said you would stop answering my texts hahaha

22:39

Is everything okay?

Is this because of that dick Erik?

You can talk to me

07:18

I’ll come wait for you by your class today

10:07

Isak what’s going on? You can talk to me

I heard you’re staying at your friend Eva’s

I can stop by if you want me to

00:38

Don’t wanna pressure you but

Sometimes when it’s hard

Sometimes when stuff gets really tough

Asking for help can make a difference

Sometimes all you need is someone telling you that you’re not alone

Let me be that person for you

21:21

Hi Even.

I just wanted to say that I’m sorry for everything

It’s all my fault

Thank you for everything

I will never forget your kindness <3

But you deserve better

Goodbye. Isak.


Isak put his phone down and went back to watching the Simpsons on TV while trying to ignore the aching in his chest.

He was feeling much better. He had even showered and changed clothes. He would have gone out to some party if it wasn’t for his fresh haircut. It wasn’t the first time Isak had gotten messages from Erik. It wasn’t the first time he had locked himself in for days. He always managed to survive though. He always managed to get himself out of limbo, by himself. He didn’t need anyone. He didn’t need anyone at all.

He was about to switch channels when he heard the front door buzzer go off frantically. Whoever this was, they really wanted him to open the door. Isak could barely move his limbs but the person wasn’t giving up, and Eva was at Vilde’s. Ugh.

Isak left his couch, threw the cover on the floor, and made it to the door. He didn’t even think twice before opening it. He didn’t even stop to think about who might be behind the door. He just wanted to go back to watching TV.

So when he saw Even, Even who was wearing a t-shirt in November, a t-shirt and sweatpants and flipflops, Even who looked terrified and relieved at the same time, he couldn’t help but freeze again.

“What are you-”

Even hugged him so tight that it knocked air off his lungs, that he nearly fell backwards simply from their chest crashing together. Even was shaking and oh my god, what’s going on?

“Holy shit! Fuck! I was so scared!” said Even. “Are you okay?”

Even pulled back to take him in. He ran his eyes all over his body and Isak had no idea what he was panicking about.

“Even. Are you okay?” said Isak.

“I am now.”

Even hugged him and Isak let himself be hugged.

.

Isak was almost glad that Even panicked for absolutely no reason and ran to Eva’s house, because there he was sprawled on his chest again on Eva’s bed. She wasn’t coming back until the next day after all.

He suddenly remembered a very important detail.

“You didn’t comment on my hair,” said Isak.

“What about it?” said Even.

“It’s gone.”

“It will grow back.”

“I know that,” said Isak.

“Then why should I comment on it?”

“Because I look ugly. I did it myself,” said Isak.

Even laughed then cupped his face.

“You don’t look ugly. You’re still the prettiest,” said Even. "Look at this bone structure. You have the most attractive skull I've ever seen."

“Shut up! Oh my god!” Isak smiled, and wow, he hadn’t smiled in forever.

“I mean it. I might be crying on the inside because I'll miss running my hand through your curls but it will grow back. I can just do it later,” he smiled.

My god. How do you always say the exact words I need to hear.

“What?” said Even, grinning. “You look flustered. Are you perhaps falling in love with me?”

“Shut up!”

.

“This is a big ass house,” said Even.

“Yeah. Eva’s mom is never home so it’s like the party house,” said Isak.

“Hm. Interesting.”

“What are you thinking about?”

“I’m thinking that the bathtub upstairs is big enough,” said Even.

“Big enough for what?”

“For you and me.”

“Uh, Even. I’m not having sex in a bathtub,” said Isak.

Even burst into laughter, crinkled eyes and all. So beautiful.

“Oh my god! We’re not having sex in a bathtub. We’re not having sex, period,” said Even.

“Disappointing. You may go back home, Even.”

“So you only want me for my body?”

“For your dick and your mouth more specifically, yes,” said Isak.

"What about my hands?" said Even, grinning.

"Okay, your hands, too."

Even laughed and Isak laughed, too. It felt so nice.

“We’re gonna take a bath together,” said Even.

“No, we’re not.”

“Why? Can’t handle seeing me naked without jumping on me?”

“Oh please! I just don’t think your giant limbs will fit in a bathtub in the first place,” said Isak.

“You know I read somewhere that in good relationships you should tell the other person when they’re hurting you. Isak, consider me hurt,” said Even.

“Again with the relationship stuff,” Isak rolled his eyes. “We’re not in a relationship.”

“But we could be.”

“I’m good fam.”

.

Isak obliged and he showed up to the bathroom with a towel covering his bits, feeling embarrassed as if Even hadn’t kissed every inch of his body before. He almost gasped when he found Even in the bathtub already playing with bubbles.

“Bubbles?”

“It’s called a bubble bath. It’s good for your morale,” said Even.

“What about the candles? Good for my morale, too?” said Isak.

“No, but it’s romantic.”

“Gosh,” Isak rolled his eyes, flushing a bit.

“So are you gonna get in or do I have to drag you here?” said Even.

“I’m just trying to figure out how to get in the tub without setting myself on fire with all these candles,” said Isak.

“Right,” Even laughed. “And what’s with the towel? I had that in my mouth once already.”

“Oh my god! Stop,” Isak laughed as he put one foot in the tub.

He dropped the towel and covered himself with his hands before sitting down. The water was the perfect temperature. It was all so nice. Sitting in a tub across from Even Bech Næsheim.

“Do you do this with everyone you sleep with?” said Isak.

“Only the ones that make me leave my house in a t-shirt in November.”

“Right,” said Isak. “You must really like me, then.”

“I really do. I even sang you a song about it. Want me to sing it again?” said Even. “It goes like this: I really wanna stop but I just got the taste-”

Isak shut him up by lunging forward and covering his mouth with his own hands.

“Stop,” Isak laughed.

Even grabbed his wrists and kissed the palm of his hand, and Isak melted. He melted.

“You do things to me,” Isak mumbled.

“Hm?”

“You kill me,” Isak blurted out.

“In a good or a bad way?”

“In the best way,” said Isak before pressing their lips together right there in the bathtub.

And what a kiss. Even’s hands were now on Isak’s neck, cupping his jaw as Isak gave this damn kiss his all. Even really did things to him. He really did. Gosh.

So he kissed him as passionately as Even made him feel, accepting Even’s kindness and love and everything in between, feeling himself heal with every brush of their lips.

Isak was slipping, and their naked bodies were pressed together, and no amount of water could make this comfortable or not sexual.

“Jesus,” Isak panted against Even’s mouth.

“Baby.”

“This was your plan all along, wasn’t it? To get me all hot and bothered so that we could fulfill your weird bathtub sex fetish,” said Isak.  

“You’re so smart. And while we’re at it,” Even paused, wrapping both hands around Isak’s ankles. “We can take care of your ankle one.”

“I do not have an ankle fetish!”

“Yeah right.”

Isak laughed then got more serious.

“So are we gonna have sex?” said Isak.

“No.”

“Ugh. Just admit it. You were sent into my life to hurt me. To get me all hot and bothered and then leave me hanging,” said Isak.

“Maybe,” said Even. “I forgot you were a mind-reader.”

“I’m the master of reading minds,” said Isak.

“I knew that already.”

“I can probably guess more things about you.”

“I’m sure you can,” said Even. “Hit me with you best shot.”

“Hmm. You’re not as perfect as you seem,” said Isak.

“You think I seem perfect? Aww.”

“Shit,” Isak muttered.

“Ha! Alright what else?”

“You probably have a secret buried deep inside. You’re probably not who you pretend to be,” said Isak. “Am I close?”

“Uh. Yeah actually go on.”

“You look like you have the perfect life but you probably don’t. You’re probably as messed up as I am, except that you’re actually a vampire or something. You probably think you’re going to hurt me at some point which is why you never bothered talking to me before I decided that it was time for us to fuck.”

Even stared at him with the bluest eyes, looking like a dream in the candle lit bathroom, looking a dream, period, looking a bit taken aback, a bit stunned.

“Even?” said Isak. “You’re not a vampire. Are you?”

“No,” Even smiled, cupping Isak’s face with his giant hands.

“Cool. I was starting to wonder after you tried to suck blood off my neck the other night.”

Isak was proud of his joke but Even didn’t laugh.

“Even?”

“What if I told you that you’re right?” said Even, his eyes piercing through Isak’s being, their faces mere breaths away.

“About what?”

“What if I told you that I’m going to hurt you? What if I told you that you should have never slept with me or walked in my direction? What would you do?”

Even’s stare was intense and Isak couldn’t breathe. But this seemed too important. This seemed like a turning point. Isak had been ready to erase Even from his life just a few days before that. He was so convinced that he was a liability, that he was too broken, too messed up for him, that Even deserved better, so much better than someone like him, someone who was utterly broken and selfish and horrible and who had strangers on the internet call him childish and tell him that he should ‘do better.’ Isak had been so ready to let him go. But he didn’t want to. He really didn’t want to.

“What would you do?” said Even, his eyes big, and blue, and worried, so worried.

Isak smiled and pressed a kiss to Even’s lips before answering.

“I would do it again.”

Chapter Text

Eva Mohn

23:18

Okay we’re gonna need house rules

YOU SAID YOU WERE SPENDING THE NIGHT AT VILDE’S

IT DOESN’T MEAN YOU GET TO FUCK IN MY MOTHER’S BATHTUB

WE DIDN’T EVEN FUCK!!

THEN WHAT WERE YOU DOING NAKED?? PLAYING SCRABBLE????

WE WERE TAKING A BUBBLE BATH

IT’S GOOD FOR YOUR MORALE

I’m taking screenshots of this conversation

Screw you

Are you at his place now?

Yeah

<3

What’s that supposed to mean

I like him

I thought you said i should be careful

He’s been worried and asking about you all week

I like him now

Uh ok

Show him a good time tonight ;)

Piss off


Isak was mortified. He was on Even’s lap in the bathtub moaning into his mouth when Eva and Noora opened the bathroom door.

“This isn’t what it looks like!” he shrieked as soon as Noora covered her eyes and went running to the hallway.

“Of course not. You’re just rubbing each other’s backs,” said Eva standing by the doorframe with crossed arms and a smirk on her face, earning a chuckle from Even who just waved.

“Exactly!” said Isak. “We’re just taking a bath.”

.

Isak’s entire face was flushed. He was so embarrassed, but for some reason Even found it amusing. So it couldn’t have been that bad.

“Stop laughing,” said Isak, while struggling to get into his pair of pants with Even still giggling behind him.

“I can’t,” said Even, wrapping an arm around his chest and kissing his hair, his very very short hair.

“She’s gonna tell everyone. I’m so fucked!”

“Why are you fucked?” said Even. “I think many people know that you and I are a thing now.”

“Uh,” Isak turned around to face Even, still blushing furiously. “We’re not a thing.”

And he wondered how such bullshit could even make it past his mouth at this point. But luckily, for some reason, for some goddamn reason, Even saw right through him.

“Babe,” said Even, cupping his face and smiling so bright. “We’re a thing.”

He then leaned in and kissed him tenderly, so tenderly that Isak turned soft again and nodded into the kiss.

“We’re a thing,” he repeated, chasing his lips.

“A very good thing,” said Even, deepening the kiss.

So soft.

.

“Uh, you should take my jacket. It’s cold out there,” said Isak, a little bit worried that it wasn’t going to fit Even and his broad shoulders.

It was his favorite jacket, his most prized possession, and he had skipped so many meals to buy it. Mahdi and Jonas had the same one, and Isak really wanted one, too. He really loved that damn jacket, and he never let anyone borrow it. But it was Even. Even who ran to him in a t-shirt in the last days of November.

“I’ll be fine. It’s not that cold,” said Even.

“Are you saying my jacket is ugly?”

“No!” Even laughed. “No, I’m not. What?”

“Then take it,” said Isak, pushing it into his hands, his face flushing again.

“You’re worried I might get sick?” said Even, beaming.

“Yes,” Isak admitted, suddenly looking away.

“Isak, you should know that my heart is fluttering right now.”

“Oh, shut up,” said Isak, rolling his eyes, his heart soaring.

“Gosh,” Even sighed and grabbed his face. “You’re so fucking cute.”

Isak was beyond flustered and he hated how Even made him feel like an awkward teenager with a crush. He couldn’t even look him in the eyes anymore.

“Isak?”

His heart was beating fast, so fast, so he did the only thing he could think of. He rose on his tiptoes and brushed a short but soft kiss to his lips.

His soles had barely touched the hardwood floor when Even’s lip pressed back against his. And what a kiss. Isak was lost. Once again, he was whimpering in his arms. He had kissed countless people before. Isak loved kissing. He really did. But before Even, he never knew kissing could feel so sweet, so comforting, so healing.  

I could kiss you for the rest of my life.

Isak was gone. He was so gone. There was no doubt about it. He had never felt anything like this for anyone ever. Not even Jonas. He had fallen. He was completely and wholeheartedly his.

“Even-”

“Come home with me?” Even whispered against his lips, brushing their noses together, making Isak’s heart skip a beat.

“Yes. Okay.”

.

They walked in the cold side by side to Even’s apartment, but Isak still felt warm, so warm, because Even was the sweetest thing.

He looked adorable in Isak’s black Nike jacket. He looked so good and Isak didn’t even mind that it was probably going to stretch. He didn’t care at all.

“I’m wearing your jacket and you’re wearing my sweater,” said Even. “Are we in a relationship yet?”

Isak chuckled and shoved him gently.

“What?” said Even, beaming.

“You’re going too fast for me,” said Isak.

“Right. We probably won’t get together until next year at this rate,” said Even.

“The earliest.”

“Well technically, next year starts in a month.”

“Yeah no,” said Isak, laughing.

“Ouch.”

“Did I hurt you?” Isak smiled.

“That’s all you ever do.”

“Oh no,” Isak pouted. “I don’t want that.”

“You don’t want to hurt me?”

“Yeah, I would never want to hurt you,” said Isak, and he meant it.

Even paused and Isak had to stop and look at him. What’s wrong?

“Even?”

“Isak,” said Even.

“Yeah?”

“I think there’s something you need to know.”

Isak’s heart started racing and he dreaded the next few words. Oh gosh no. Please don’t fuck me up. You’re the only good thing in my life.

Even took a step forward and grabbed Isak’s hand.

What? What is it?!

“What is it?” said Isak, with fear dancing in his eyes, probably.

Even leaned in to whisper in his ear and Isak braced for the worst.

“I think we’re already in a relationship.”

.

“Oh my god! Fuck you! You scared the shit out of me!” Isak yelped like a child.

“What?” Even was laughing so hard and looking so beautiful that Isak couldn’t even be mad.

“You’re the worst.”

“I’m sorry I freaked you out,” said Even pressing a kiss to his cheek.

“Ugh,” Isak shoved him.

“Forgive mee,” Even pouted and Isak hated him.

“Whatever!” said Isak, not shoving him when Even wrapped an arm around his shoulders this time.

“What did you think I was gonna say?” said Even.

“I don’t know.”

“What could I possibly say that would make you scared?” Even chuckled.

But Isak didn’t laugh, and when Even noticed he immediately stopped laughing, too.

“Isak?”

“Nevermind. It’s fine. I’m just being weird. Don’t mind me,” said Isak, resuming walking again, hoping Even would follow suit.

I need to stop being such a weirdo.

Even was back beside him in a blink, and Isak was glad that he dropped it. They walked in complete silence for a few more blocks, and Isak thought that it was the most comforting thing. Walking in the cold with Even by his side. It was the most comforting thing.

But Isak was wrong, because the most comforting thing was Even’s hand bumping against his as they walked in silence. It was awkward and Even seemed almost hesitant, so hesitant, the brush of the back of his hand asking a thousand questions. So when they rounded a corner, Isak took his hand because he wanted to, because there was nothing more that he wanted at that moment.

He didn’t miss Even gasping beside him and Isak’s heart was bursting. And when Even finally laced their fingers together, Isak smiled like an idiot in the dark streets of Oslo.

Gosh. I like you so much.

Even’s touch was so comforting. Every few strides, he would brush his thumb along the back of Isak’s hand, making his heart skip a beat. So comforting and so sweet.

“Thank you,” Isak blurted out.

“Hm?”

“Thank you,” he repeated.

“What for?” said Even.

“For everything. For coming to check on me and for being so nice to me,” said Isak.

“My pleasure,” Even smiled.

“No, I mean. I never give you anything in return. And it’s so unfair.”

“You give me plenty in return.”

“That’s not true,” said Isak. “Compared to you, I’m not even close.”

“It’s not a competition, Isak.”

“I didn’t say it was one!” he said, right before stopping himself. “Ugh! See? I always turn into an insufferable defensive asshole. I’m sorry.”

“Hey,” Even stopped them to cup his cheek with his free hand. “It’s okay. Stop being so hard on yourself, okay?”

“I-”

“Isak..”

“Okay. Okay. Sorry,” said Isak, turning his attention to the floor. I’m such a dick.

“Just remember that you can tell me things. You can tell me anything.”

“Uh, okay. Same for you,” said Isak, and he meant it.

.

Isak had forgotten about his haircut until he got to Even’s apartment.

“Who’s this?” said Elias. “I thought you said it was going well with Isak.”

“Bro, that’s Isak,” said Mutta, without even looking away from the TV.

“Holy shit bro!”

Fuck my life.

.

“Don’t listen to Elias,” said Even.

“Fuck! I don’t know what I was thinking.”

“I maintain my stance. You look hot.”

“Well, believe or not. But that’s not what I was going for,” said Isak, falling into Even’s fluffy bed, face first.

“What were you going for?” said Even, sitting on the bed and cradling the back of his head.

“I just wanted to stop feeling disgusting,” said Isak, before realizing what he had just said.

“What?”

“Nothing,” said Isak, laughing nervously and quickly sitting up on the bed. “I’m super tired. Don’t mind me.”

.

That night Isak slept in Even’s arms and finally managed to get some rest. He hadn’t slept a wink all week despite spending his days on the couch. And it scared him. It scared him how safe and sound he felt in Even’s hold. It scared him because he was getting attached and he was becoming dependent on him. He was becoming weaker after each passing day and he could barely recognize himself. Isak never needed a shoulder to cry on or arms to comfort him before. And it scared him.

.

They spent the next day in Even’s apartment, doing everything and nothing, and Isak felt himself fall even deeper whenever he learned something new about Even.

“Did you draw these?” said Isak, smiling at the drawings on the wall that he hadn’t noticed before.

“Yes.”

“Were these here? How come I haven’t seen them before?”

“Well, the only times you were in my room, we were either sleeping or feeling high as a kite,” said Even.

“You forgot fucking,” said Isak.

“Uh, yeah. Uh. I guess.”

“Sorry. I meant having sex or what do you call it? Making love? ” Isak smiled.

“Stop teasing me,” said Even.

“I can’t believe you,” Isak laughed.

.

They cooked and watched crappy television and Even told him about his favorite movies.

“Romeo and Juliet? What the fuck?”

“What?”

“You’re a total sap,” said Isak.

“What if I am? Is it making you like me less?”

“No,” Isak shrugged, his head on Even’s chest, their limbs intertwined together on the couch.

When he looked at Even, he was grinning.

“Why are you grinning?”

“You just admitted that you like me,” said Even, beaming.

Isak couldn’t believe that Even liked him this much. It made no sense. This boy was going to make his heart burst, and Isak never gave him anything in return.

“I like you,” said Isak, his eyes back on the TV. “I like you a lot. Happy?”

“Did you have to ruin it by adding ‘happy?’ at the end?” said Even.

“You’re becoming very demanding.”

“When will you sing me a song?” said Even.

“I’m going home,” said Isak, his head leaving Even’s chest.

But then the older boy wrapped his arms and legs around him, brought him back down, and attacked him with the sweetest kisses all over the sides of face.

“Let go of me!” Isak laughed.

“No,” Even groaned in his ear, still kissing his cheeks.

“Oh my god!”

Isak couldn’t stop laughing because Even was tickling him now.

“Are you ticklish?” said Even.

“I’m going to punch you. I swear!”

“I’d like to see you try.”

Isak was pretty powerless because he was very ticklish indeed.

“Please stop. Please. I’ll be nice, I swear,” Isak pleaded, and just like that Even’s arms were off of him.

“Well that was easy,” said Isak.

“I don’t mess with the magic words,” said Even.

“What magic words?”

“”Please stop.””

.

Isak had a nightmare that night. In his nightmare, he was stuck and he was in pain. He couldn’t remember much or make out anything really. He just knew that he was stuck, that he couldn’t move, and that he was in excruciating pain.

In his nightmare, he repeated the same two words over and over again until they no longer made sense: “Please stop!”

.

“Isak! Isak! Calm down! It’s me! Isak! What’s wrong?! What’s wrong?!” Even was shouting in his face.

And for a moment, Isak wondered why. He then slowly realized that he was screaming too, that he was hysterical.

“Oh my god! Shhh,” Even held him. “It was just a nightmare. It’s okay. I got you. I got you!”

Isak calmed down after two glasses of water and felt utterly devastated and embarrassed at the same time. He had woken up Elias and Mutta. It was a disaster. What the fuck.

“I’m so fucking sorry. I don’t know what the hell happened. I never do this!” said Isak.

“It’s okay. Don’t worry,” said Even, cradling his head again.

“Your roommates must think I’m weird as fuck. I’m sorry.”

“Nah. They’re used to it.”

“What?”

“I get nightmares, too,” said Even.

.

Isak went back to Eva’s on Sunday, still feeling a little bit out of place, still trying to shake off the uneasy feeling.

“How was the sex?” said Eva.

“We didn’t have sex,” said Isak.

“Why not? What did you spend all your time doing?”

“I don’t know? Talking? Like actual people?” said Isak.

“First the hair and now this. Who are you and what have you done with Isak Valtersen?”

“Piss off!”

.

Isak had that nightmare again that night, but this time Even wasn’t there to calm him down. This time, Eva burst through the living room door armed with a vacuum cleaner because she thought someone had broken into the house.

“Holy shit, Isak! Are you okay?!”

.

Isak was adjusting the beanie on his head when Eva ambushed him during breakfast.

“We need to talk,” she said.

“About what?”

“About you.”

“What about me?” said Isak.

“You were screaming last night.”

“It was a nightmare. Some people get those,” Isak shrugged.

“Isak.”

“What?! What do you want?!” he bit back.

But then Eva took his hand and his gaze softened.

“I’m here for you. Just know that I’m here for you,” she said, and Isak almost choked up because there were tears in her eyes.

“I’m fine, Eva.”

“Oh Isak,” she sighed, bringing a hand to cup his cheek. “I wish I could do more. I really do.”

.

Isak walked to school with a lump in his throat. He was wearing a beanie and the hood of his sweatshirt but he still felt exposed, still felt like crap. And it wasn’t even because of the haircut.

But then he rounded a corner and there he was, Even.

Even. Even. Even.

“Even!” Isak blurted out.

“That’s me,” Even smiled.

“What are you doing here?”

Even was in his face in a few strides, and when he leaned down to press a short kiss to his mouth, Isak felt okay again.

“Morning,” said Even..

“Morning,” Isak mumbled, his head spinning a little bit.  

“And to answer your question I’m here to escort you to class.”

“What the hell?”

“It’s your first day back without the prince hair,” said Even.

“So this is like emotional support?”

“No, I just want to glare at anyone who says anything about your haircut.”

“That’s excessive,” said Isak.

“I’m excessive.”

“That’s true,” Isak laughed.

“Shall we?” said Even, holding his arm out.

“I’m not holding onto your arm!”

.

Isak held onto his arm and Even was all over him, pressing kisses to his cheeks and whispering the dumbest things in his ear, making him forget that other people existed at all. And when Even picked up a yellow flower and tucked behind his ear, Isak all but melted. Gosh. You’re killing me.

“Just in case you weren’t feeling as pretty as you look today,” said Even, tilting his head to the side and smiling and filling his heart with so much love.

Isak would have normally said something witty and rude, but he was physically incapable of doing so. So he just curled into Even’s chest instead and waited for his arms to wrap around him.

“Thank you,” he mumbled.

“Anything for you,” said Even before planting a kiss to the top of his head.

.

“Isak, we need to talk,” said Jonas as he ambushed him during lunch.

“Hi, Jonas. Long time no see,” said Isak, biting into his sandwich. The sandwich that Even made him and snuck into his bag.

What the fuck.

“That’s on you though,” said Jonas.

“Right. Sorry for not answering your calls and your messages.”

“It’s okay. I’m just glad you’re back,” said Jonas.

“Thanks. Me too.”

“How are you feeling?”

“Uh, pretty good. Why?”

“You skipped classes last week,” said Jonas.

“Oh yeah. I had, uh,” Isak brought a hand to his mouth and coughed. “A cold. I had a cold.”

“Right,” said Jonas. “Where did you buy that sandwich? Looks good.”

“Even made it for me,” said Isak before taking another bite, not realizing what he had just said.

“Oh. Nice. So you and Even, huh.”

“Uh,” Isak looked at Jonas and he genuinely looked happy for him, so he figured he might as well come clean. “Yeah. Even and me.”

“So you two are like a thing?”

“Yeah. He’s good to me.”

“Nice. I’m guessing the flower is his thing, too?”

“Uh, yeah,” said Isak, suddenly aware that he hadn’t taken the flower off.

“Looks nice. I’m happy for you. He’s handsome,” said Jonas.

“What the fuck?” Isak laughed.

“What?” Jonas laughed right back. “He’s hot. Objectively speaking.”

“Right,” Isak laughed. “Call me when you’re no longer in denial and finally realize that boys do it better.”

Jonas burst into laughter and Isak did, too. It felt so nice having this back. It felt great. There was no tension, no nothing. It was almost as if they were back to their first year at Nissen.

Jonas got up to leave and tapped him on the shoulder.

“By the way, your haircut looks great and I’ll fight anyone who gives you shit,” said Jonas.

“You haven’t even seen my haircut. I’m wearing twenty layers to hide it.”

“I’ll still fight anyone who gives you shit,” said Jonas.

“Right back at you,” Isak smiled and yeah , it felt great having him back.

“I can’t believe I’m saying this,” said Jonas. “But at least one good thing has come out of Penetrator Chris’ bullshit.”

Oh.

.

The nightmares weren’t stopping. They were only getting more graphic and more disturbing. Isak still woke up drenched in sweat in the middle of the night, but he no longer screamed. He knew what was going on now. He just knew. And Even was always there in the morning with warm hugs and kisses that made him forget everything. It was okay. The nightmares would eventually go away.

.

The nightmares weren’t going away. They weren’t nightmares anymore. They were thoughts living inside him and walking beside him and on top of his head and inside his chest. Isak couldn’t breathe most of the time because what the fuck is this. They weren’t nightmares. No, they were memories and Isak was losing bits of his soul after each passing day.

It was only when Even tried to kiss him and he flinched that he realized that he was fucked up and that he could no longer ignore this, no longer pretend that everything was fine. He was a logical person and he had taken psychology classes. He knew that he wasn’t doing too well mentally lately. He knew this.

.

.

Isak rolled around in bed and sighed. I don’t need to talk about my feelings. I don’t need to burden anyone with this bullshit. I don’t need anyone. This is no one’s business but mine.


Even

20:17

Missed you today

Hi

Sorry

Too busy

growing my hair for you

Haha

I’m sure your hair grows super fast

It does actually

Can I come over?

Just want to see you real quick

I have some work to do tonight

But we should hang out tomorrow or something?

Okay your classes have priority

Thank you valuing my education

That’s a sign of a good thing-ship

Thing-ship?

Lol like a relationship but with a ‘thing’ instead?

You keep crushing me

haha

It’s so that you miss me less

It’s just making me miss you more

Ok

Miss you too

Lol wth is wrong with this cat

It likes you too much

bye


“Isak!” said Vilde, making his eyes go wide with her high pitched voice.

“Uh, hi,” said Isak squinting his eyes when he noticed Eva and Noora were also joining his table.

“How are you?” said Vilde.

“I’m good. What’s this about?” said Isak, noticing how Eva was avoiding his gaze.

“Oh! Uh,” Vilde mumbled nervously. “So you know how we’re helping sponsor some of the safe Russ time events this year?” said Vilde.

“Yeah, you guys posted that shit everywhere on facebook,” said Isak. “We’re in university and you’re still obsessed with russ bullshit. What the hell.”

“Well, we’re not obsessed with “russ bullshit”,” Noora interrupted. “We simply want to make a difference and help end the violence during Russ time and stuff.”

“I guess,” Isak shrugged. “Isn’t that in May though? We’re in December.”

“Yes, but we’re starting early you know,” said Vilde. “We’re visiting schools and having sessions about, uh, you know, like, uh, sex and alcohol and consent and stuff.”

Isak’s eyes suddenly landed on Eva but she wasn’t looking at him and she looked even more nervous than Vilde. What is this.

“Uh okay.. And?” Isak narrowed his eyes.

“We’re having our first run through these tomorrow at one of the high schools, and we’d like you to join,” said Noora.

“What the hell?”

“It would be cool to have another guy in the group,” said Vilde. “Plus a gay guy would be even better that way like gay guys can relate to you and stuff.”

“What the fuck, Vilde? It doesn’t say ‘gay guy’ on my forehead!” said Isak.

“Yeah, but our point is that we want to diversify our group so that it’s not just three white girls talking. Nobody will take us seriously,” said Noora, and she was rambling. Noora never rambled.

“Why not take Sana with you then?” said Isak.

“She’s coming, too,” said Vilde.

“She’s coming?”

“Yeah and she’ll try to bring Yousef,” said Noora.

“Yousef? Are they finally a thing?” said Isak.

“I guess,” Noora shrugged.

“I still don’t understand why you want me there,” said Isak.

“It won’t be in front of a lot of people anything,” said Vilde. “We just want a diverse group.”

“Why don’t you invite Mahdi and Jonas?”

“Uh, they were, uh, busy,” said Vilde.

What are they playing.

“Yeah, no. I’ll pass. I have plans with Even anyways,” Isak shrugged.  

He went back to his book when Eva snatched it away from him.

“What the fu-”

“Isak!” she almost screamed and there were tears in her eyes. “Please! Just please, come. Please! Just do it for me! Please!”

“Eva-”

“Please!” she pleaded and it sounded like a sob, and everyone was looking at them in the cafeteria now. “I’m losing my fucking mind here. Just please!”

Isak said yes because he couldn’t bear seeing Eva like that. He knew that whatever they had planned was going to wreck him. He knew it. But he still said yes because he couldn’t break any further.


Even

14:19

Hey

Hi

Not getting bored of me already are you?

No

I would tell you

Of course

I expect nothing less

I got chu

Haha

What are you up to?

Can i see you?

I miss you

<3

I miss you too :)

Oh wow

I don’t know what to say to this excessive display of affection

<333333

Who is this?

<333333333

Ok this is getting weird

I knew it

You only like me when i’m grumpy

So you know you’re grumpy

Nice

Shut up <3

<33

So can I see you?

Uhhh. I’m bit tired today but we can hang out tomorrow?

Okay…

What time? After my 2pm?

I actually have a thing with the girls tomorrow so i’ll probably be done around 5?

A thing?

Yeah they’re doing some crap at Bakka or something to feel relevant again

Bakka

That’s where I went

I know

You know?

Yeah

I had a little crush on you my first week here

WHAT

WHATTTTT??

Ofdkjfdkhjhsjhhkdkds

What’s that

Did you die on your keyboard?

Fdhdfkfddf

Okay i’m going

Wait

First week?

What happened after that?

Uhm

Let me guess

Someone told you i sleep around and im an awful person yadayada

So smart <3

I can’t believe we could have had this months ago

Ughhh

...

Well we have this now <3

Want me to pick you up at Bakka when you’re done?

Okay

I’ll harass you with texts tonight though

Don’t be sad if i don’t reply

I’ll just keep telling myself that you had a crush on me your first week

Byee


Isak put his phone down and sighed. He had been avoiding Even all week and he knew that he noticed it, too. But for some reason, he just didn’t comment on it. He was giving him the space he needed when Isak didn’t even ask for it. Even just got him somehow and Isak couldn’t help but feel guilty because he wasn’t being fair to him. He wasn’t being fair to him because he was hiding so much from him, so damn much.

Sometimes he thought about opening up to him, but then he remembered how unfair it would be to Even. How hurt he would feel. Isak wondered what Even would think if he found out he had potentially slept with Erik. He could already see the disappointment in his face, the disgust. Gosh, Isak wouldn’t be able to handle it. He couldn’t. And whenever he saw Even, it was all he could think about. So he avoided him and sent him sweet texts as much as he could. For now. He couldn’t afford to lose him. He couldn’t. Not when his sweet smile was the only thing that made waking up okay.

.

“Isak, I’m so glad you made it,” said Vilde.

“Whatever, I’ll sit in the corner,” said Isak waving at Yousef who was sitting at the back of the room, looking much more excited than him. The hold Sana has on him.

Eva was standing next to Vilde and she looked anxious.

“Hello everyone! My name is Vilde and this is Noora, and today we’re going to talk about consent.”

.

Isak’s skin started crawling after the first powerpoint slide and kept crawling until the last. He wasn’t even hearing Vilde’s words anymore. He wasn’t even in the room anymore.

“CONSENT IS SEXY”

“A SLURRED YESSH DOESN’T MEAN YES”

“DRUNK IS NOT YES”

“SILENCE IS NOT YES”

“DON’T BE THAT GUY”

“UNCONSCIOUS MEANS NO”

“ASLEEP MEANS NO”

“WASTED MEANS NO”

“PLEASE STOP MEANS NO”

“SEX WITHOUT CONSENT IS RAPE”

Isak’s vision was blurry but he could see that Eva was looking directly at him. He knew. She had told the girls. She told them what he told her when he was drunk and empty. She did.

Fuck you. You had no fucking right!

His heart was racing and he was having trouble breathing and he hated them so much for putting him in the spot, so damn much.

“And finally,” said Vilde. “It’s not your fault. It’s never your fault. If this happens to you, you should never feel responsible for any of it. If you were drunk, it’s not on you. It’s never on you.”

“What the fuck!?” Isak all but yelled, his eyes wide and his breathing ragged.

“Uh, Isak, uhm. Anything to add?” said Vilde, and she looked like she was shaking.

“What the fuck? What if she says YES? What she remembers saying YES very clearly at the bar when the guy walked by? What if she said a big FAT YES?” said Isak.

“What the fuck?” said a girl at the back of the class. “Are you serious, what the hell?”

“He’s with them. It’s probably part of the session,” said another girl.

“It’s not yes if she’s drunk. It’s not yes if she’s wasted at the bar,” said Noora.

“How do you know she was wasted? How do you define wasted? What if she had a few beers? What if she remembers saying “Please fucking take me out of here”? What if she wanted it? What if she said “please fuck me”, huh?” Isak never knew his own words could cut him this deep.

“It’s not ‘Please fuck me’ if she’s drunk,” said Noora very calmly, but her eyes were sad, so sad.

“What the fuck?!” Isak screamed.

“Is this a test?” said one of the kids in the class. “Are we supposed to tell this dude to shut the fuck up?”

But Eva was crying now, and gosh Isak wished he could cry.

“This is bullshit!” said Isak. “It’s not fucking sexual assault if I beg him to take me out of the fucking bar!”

He hadn’t realized he had stopped using the hypothetical girl in his retorts until he saw the look on Sana’s face who seemed to have had an epiphany. She didn’t know.

But then Eva spoke again and broke him altogether.

“It’s sexual assault if he hurt her and she doesn’t remember who it was. It’s sexual assault if he takes fucking pictures and posts them online later. It’s sexual assault if she begged him to stop and he didn’t. It’s sexual assault if she’s still having fucking nightmares about it every fucking night!”

.

Isak knocked a chair on his way out and slammed a few doors and he couldn’t breathe and he couldn’t see, but he wasn’t crying.

He still wasn’t crying. He hadn’t cried in a year. There was no way he was breaking now. But he was dizzy, so dizzy, and he was shaking and he felt like someone was strangling him. please make it stop.

He went to the bathroom and sat on one the stalls and just did one of those breathing exercises from those useless meditation apps.

They’re wrong. They don’t understand. They don’t get it. Plus, I’m a boy. I’m a fucking strong boy, too. What the fuck! They have no fucking clue!


Even

17:00

I’m outside

coming


 

Isak considered making some bullshit excuse so that Even would just leave but he figured that he needed the distraction. His mind was in too much of a jumble. He could use Even’s sweetness if only for a car ride.

But then the moment he saw him, the moment he saw him leaning on his car and grinning like an idiot and waving, his heart sank and he wanted nothing more but to run in the other direction.

“Hi,” said Even, smiling and making his heart sink even further.

“Uh, hi,” said Isak, unable of looking him in the eyes.

His heart was suddenly hurting and his chest felt tighter than it already was. And gosh, this was a terrible idea.

“Everything okay?” said Even.

“Yeah. Just, uh, a bit tired.”

.

Isak put on his seatbelt and pulled his beanie lower on his face and the hoodie even higher. He couldn’t see Even unless he turned his head now.

“What’s with the ninja outfit?” said Even, starting the engine and driving off.

“I’m cold.”

“Want me to turn on the heater?”

“No it’s okay,” said Isak.

“Are you sure everything’s fine?”

“Yeah. I’m fine.”

“I don’t want to be annoying but just know you can tell me stuff. I told you already-”

“Will you fucking stop with this bullshit!?” Isak screamed, finally just exploded.

“Wha-”

“I’m fucking fine! I’m perfect! I’m fantastic! For fuck’s sake! Stop telling me that I can tell you stuff! I don’t want to fucking tell you stuff! There’s nothing to fucking tell! I’m fucking fine!”

Isak’s chest was heaving and his eyes felt like they were popping out of his skull, and every word he said he regretted, every fucking word.

Congratulations, you just lost the one thing that was going on for you. Congrats.

Even didn’t say a word and Isak looked out of the window. Fuck. He couldn’t even look at him.

I wish I could cry. I wish I could cry. I wish I could cry.

“Okay,” said Even. “It’s okay.”

What?

They drove in silence for a long time, perhaps ten or twenty minutes. And Isak didn’t understand how Even hadn’t kicked him out of the car yet, how he hadn’t asked more questions. So he lowered the window and let the cold air slap his cheeks.

“I thought you were cold,” said Even.

“I am,” said Isak. But somehow my skin is burning.

.

Even grabbed his phone at a red light and Isak didn’t know what to expect. Is he going to call someone?

Instead, Even pressed play on some song. And Isak was ready to roll his eyes, but he didn’t. He bawled his eyes out instead.

.

Now Playing: The Fray - Be Still

Be still and know that I'm with you

Be still and know that I am here

Be still and know that I'm with you

Be still, be still, and know

 

When darkness comes upon you

And colors you with fear and shame

Be still and know that I'm with you

And I will say your name

 

If terror falls upon your bed

And sleep no longer comes

Remember all the words I said

Be still, be still, and know that I’m with you

.

Isak was sobbing into his hands by the time the song ended. He was crying so hard, and his chest hurt so much, and his heart hurt even more, and gosh, make it stop please. Please help me.

He was crying so hard that he didn’t notice that the car had stopped and that Even was no longer in his seat. He was sobbing so hysterically that he didn’t notice that his door was open now, that his seat belt was undone, and that Even was on his knees with his hands on Isak’s thighs desperately trying to bring him back.

“Isak! Hey Isak! Look at me! Hey look at me! What’s wrong? Isak! Please!” Even’s voice broke after each word and Isak didn’t want to do this to him. He really didn’t. This is what he had feared all along.

“Isak, please! Talk to me!” Even pleaded, his hands now cupping Isak’s face that was still hidden in his own hands as he cried.

Help me, please!

Isak was so desperate and in so much pain that he couldn’t deny Even’s comfort. He wanted nothing more but to latch onto him. So he did.

He finally let go of his own face, turned in his seat, and wrapped his arms around Even’s neck, burying his face in its crook.

“Help me! Help me please!” he sobbed. “I don’t want to feel like this anymore! Please!”

“Oh my god, Isak!” he heard Even say. Even who immediately wrapped his arms around Isak’s back, and hugged him tight, so tight.

Isak was so grateful for his long legs for he was on his knees on the ground in front of him while he trembled in his arms.

“What’s wrong?! What’s wrong?! Please tell me! I’ll do anything!”

Isak had never said it out loud. He had never acknowledged his pain out loud. But there he was.

“He hurt me,” Isak breathed. “He hurt me so fucking bad, Even.”

.

Isak didn’t remember when they stopped hugging, or when he stopped crying, or how they got back in the car, or how Even drove them back to his apartment. But there he was curled against Even’s side in the elevator and then again when they crossed to his bedroom.

Isak was on Even’s bed now and he was still crying. It was as if something had gotten triggered within him. He just couldn’t stop crying. And the fire in his chest only dimmed down when Even took him in his arms, strong, and persistent, and just there.

.

Isak woke up in the middle of the night and poured his heart out to Even who just listened and caressed his hair, his short short hair. He didn’t even flinch. He didn’t even blink. He just listened and nodded and ran his hands all over Isak’s face, brushing his tears away while they both lay in bed.

“I’m so sorry,” Even repeated every few sentences. “I’m so fucking sorry.”

“It’s not your fault.”

“I’m sorry the world is this cruel. I’m sorry I couldn’t look after you,” said Even.

“You didn’t even know me until a few months ago,” said Isak. “This was a year ago which, I know. Pathetic.”

“Isak, It’s not pathetic,” said Even. “You’re not pathetic.”

“I am though. I really am,” Isak choked up, bringing his palms to his eyes. “I hate myself so much.”

“Oh god, no. Please don’t say that,” said Even, his hands gently wrapping around Isak’s wrists. “Baby, please. Please look at me.”

“I can’t even look at you,” Isak mumbled.

“Why? Look at me.”

Isak was as broken as he had always felt. But this was a whole new level of broken. This was it. Every single pathetic thing he had ever thought was making its way out of his mouth.

“Do you still want me?” Isak choked up. “Do you still like me now?”

“What? Oh my god. Isak, of course! What are you saying?!”

“Even if I’m.. Even if I’m dirty?” and gosh, the words sounded so awful to his own ears.

He couldn’t believe he had uttered them. He couldn’t believe he had finally said out loud how he had been feeling for a while. How he couldn’t even look Even in the eyes, or kiss him, or enjoy his touch on his skin. Isak felt dirty all the time and whenever he closed his eyes, he only saw himself from his nightmares, stuck and helpless and on his knees.

“Oh baby. You’re breaking my fucking heart!” said Even. “Don’t you even for a second think that? How could you think that? You are not dirty. You are not! How could you even- You’re so so strong. And you’re so amazing. And I want you just as I wanted you yesterday and the day before that. You are not dirty. You are not disgusting! You’re a survivor. And don’t ever forget that!”

“Even-”

“I will never let anything happen to you ever again,” said Even. “I promise you. I will make you so fucking happy you won’t believe it!”

Isak was crying again because what in the world had he done to deserve him? He couldn’t believe him. He couldn’t.

“You’re the strongest person I know, and when you don’t feel like being strong for a little while I’ll be there for you. I promise you. You don’t have to be strong all the time,” said Even.

“Even-” Isak choked up again, this time burying his face in his neck and hugging him tight, so tight.

But then Even’s hands came up to his face and made him leave the crook of his neck. Isak whimpered just as Even pressed their foreheads together. He couldn’t even breathe so he kept his eyes closed. What a shit show.

Even pressed the most tender kiss to his lips and Isak curled into it, folded himself as much as he could, and just curled into the kiss. It was the most comforting kiss, the most healing kiss. And Isak just wanted to cry.

“You’re breaking my heart,” said Even. “I can’t bear seeing you like this.”

“I’m sorry.”

“Don’t apologize. Please don’t apologize.”

Isak let himself revel in the tenderness that was Even’s touch and Even’s care and Even’s kindness. He let himself be weak and he let Even be strong for him for once. He had never let anyone take care of him before. His walls were up so high and he never, ever, would have imagined that Even Bech Næsheim would be the one breaking through them, that Even Bech Næsheim would be his helping hand when he sat on that kitchen counter and tried to woo him. But there he was.

“I feel so alone all the time,” Isak admitted. “I feel so fucking alone.”

Even kissed him again, just as softly, just as tenderly, then brushed their noses together before speaking again.

“You once wrote me a few words that changed my life,” said Even. “And I think it’s my turn to say them to you.”

Isak was too weak to move but he doubted he had ever written anything remotely life-altering to Even. But then Even said the words. He said them and Isak’s heart shattered and mended itself all at once.

“You are not alone.”

Chapter Text

Eva

19:12

Isak i’m so sorry

I fucked up real bad please know that i’m sorry

I never meant to blow up in your face

I never meant to corner you

I didn’t expect you to react like that i’m so sorry

I just wanted you to hear those words

I understand if you don’t want to talk to me

I’m so fucking sorry

23:28

Isak where are you?

I’m so fucking worried please pick up the phone

Just come home and get some sleep

02:03

I just talked to Even

I’m glad you’re safe

I’m so sorry


Isak woke up with a splitting headache, puffy eyes, and strong arms wrapped around his back. He was in Even’s bed and he had spent the entire night crying.

Well. Fuck.

He could barely keep his eyes open. And for some reason, his entire body hurt. Agonizing confessions suddenly flooded his memories and he wanted nothing more but to disappear. He was too embarrassed, too ashamed, too exposed.

The thing they never told him about mental breakdowns was the haunting feeling of emptiness that followed in the morning. He was in Even’s arms but he still felt lethargic and hollow and absolutely drained. He felt empty, so empty, now that everything he had been holding inside for the longest time was out in the open.

However, the feeling of hollowness was easily overpowered by that of shame and embarrassment. And looking at Even’s peaceful face sleeping beside him, Isak had only one all too consuming thought in mind. You deserve better.

Isak tried to get up and leave but he realized that he had nowhere to go. He couldn’t face anyone in that state anyways. And even if he could, his limbs wouldn’t carry him too far. So he closed his eyes and waited, waited for the gnawing feeling to go away, for Even to wake up, for his limbs to do something, anything. Isak waited.

.

When Isak came to again, Even was beside him, his eyes soft and blue and on him.

“Hi,” Isak mumbled, his vision still blurry.

“Morning,” said Even, bringing a hand to his cheek and brushing it against his skin. “How are you feeling?”

Isak didn’t respond because he wasn’t sure.

“You don’t have to answer that,” said Even as if he had read his mind.

Isak was suddenly reminded of everything he had said and confessed the previous night, and he was back to feeling ashamed and helpless. He curled into himself and hid his face in the pillow, hoping that it would somehow make the world stop, hoping that he would somehow wake up from this horrible reality.

But he didn’t. And he was almost grateful. Because Even’s arms embraced him again and he felt okay for a little while.

.

Even got him to sit up sometime in the afternoon the following day. Isak hadn’t left the bed in over 24 hours and he felt ridiculous and vain, so vain. But everything did lately.

He let Even remove his socks and his pants and his shirt. He let him lead them to the bathroom while holding him as closely as he could. He let him undress him, and Isak shuddered when Even removed his underwear. But Even wasn’t even touching him sexually. He wasn’t even looking at him sexually. His brows were furrowed and he was doing his best. Isak could tell that Even was doing his best for him, so he let him undress him and let him turn on the water in the shower. He let him wash him and shampoo his hair and rub his skin. Isak let Even take care of him without either of them uttering a word.

Even’s clothes were all wet now, and Isak hadn’t even realized that he was naked and that Even was washing him still fully clothed. His soul hurt and he was tired, but it still upset him to see Even all wet, so he tugged at his shirt.

“Hm?” said Even. “Want me to join you?”

Isak just nodded before turning around. He closed his eyes and tilted his head upwards facing the shower, feeling the water hit his skin, letting it fill his ears and reveling in the weird sensation.

Even rubbed his back and Isak closed his eyes again. The body wash smelled so nice and Isak felt reborn with each brush of Even’s hands. He was fine for a few moments until he remembered that he wasn’t, and he felt himself falter. It was the strangest feeling. He felt like he wasn’t in his own body anymore, like he was dissociating. He hated his body. He hated his naked body so much. He really did. And he felt so ashamed under Even’s touch and gaze. Even who was treating his body with so much care when it didn’t deserve any.

But Even brought him back. He brought him back by pressing his chest to Isak’s back and hugging his stomach.

Isak felt like crying again. He didn’t deserve all of this affection.

“Is this okay?” Even whispered.

Isak nodded.

.

Even was the kindest soul and it broke Isak’s heart. His heart. Even kissed his heart. He had kissed his heart the moment he entered his life. But now, right now, under the shower, Even literally kissed his heart. He placed his hands on Isak’s waist and pressed the softest kiss to his heart on the left side of his chest.

Isak couldn’t fathom what was happening. He couldn’t even wrap his head around it.

“What are you doing?” he asked hesitantly.

“They say kisses can mend anything.”

.

Even kissed his body tenderly, so tenderly under the water, and Isak felt himself break and heal every time Even’s lips brushed against his skin. He kissed his face, and his chest, and his hands, and his pulse, and his stomach. Even kissed his body as if it was the most precious thing and Isak couldn’t believe him. He couldn’t believe he was on the receiving end of so much devotion.

“Even if I’m dirty?”

Even was answering his question with the utmost respect, love, and care. He was leaving the most loving marks on his body. He was treating him like a treasure, like a temple, and Isak felt precious under that shower. He felt precious and he felt loved and cared for.

Even kissed his hair and Isak wrapped his arms around his back and squeezed. He squeezed so tight. He held on so fucking tight and only let out the breath he was holding when Even held him right back.

“Isak?”

Even could probably feel him shaking and trembling in his arms.

“You’re all I have,” Isak choked up. “You’re honestly all I have.”

“Baby-”

“Thank you. Thank you for everything.”

“Anything for you.”

.

The thing about recovery was that it didn’t happen overnight. And nobody had ever told Isak about that. He only realized the extent of his trauma when Mutasim reached out for salt behind him and he flinched with shivers running down his spine.

It was irrational but Isak suddenly felt trapped around other bodies, suddenly couldn’t bear crowded places. His heart started beating uncontrollably whenever anyone brushed against him and it broke his own heart.

Google Search - "Is it normal to feel scared of people touching you?"

It took him days but he eventually told Even. He didn’t want to hide things from him anymore. He didn’t know when they had reached that level of trust, but Isak felt like he could tell him anything. He felt like he could throw anything in his direction and Even would still somehow manage to make him feel like the most precious thing in the world. However, Isak always regretted it because of the pain that immediately colored Even’s eyes. Even who was so caring and so kind and who took on his pain as if it was his own.

“Do I- Do I make you uncomfortable?” said Even. “Cause I can back off. I’m sorry if I’ve been all over you. I’m-”

“No. Not you,” said Isak. “For some reason, your touch is the only touch I can bear.”

“Are you sure?”

“Yes.”

It was true. Isak’s body could somehow recognize Even’s. His presence was so unique that his body could recognize that it was Even before his brain did.

Isak was grateful that he could still enjoy Even’s touch. He was so grateful. It was the most comforting thing. Even’s cuddles were so comforting.

.

“Eva’s here,” said Even, propped against the doorframe.

Isak was curled around himself in Even’s bed and he had just woken up from yet another long nap.

“I can tell her to leave,” said Even. “Do you want to see her?”

“No,” Isak mumbled.

“Okay.”

.

Isak was so exhausted that he didn’t even have enough energy to be angry at Eva or to even think about her. Anger was emotionally expensive and Isak had no emotions left to spare. So he stored it at the back of his mind. His anger.

.

“Lie on my chest,” said Even, sprawled on the couch.

“What if Elias or Mutta walks in?” said Isak.

“Baby, lie on my chest.”

“Okay.”

Isak lay on his chest, face pressed right below Even’s, their limbs entangled on the couch and their stomachs touching. Even was running a hand over his nonexistent hair while Isak just tried to make his heart match the rhythm of Even’s.

“You have to go to work tomorrow,” said Isak.

“It’s okay. I told Jakob to cover for me,” said Even.

“You’ve been spending all your days with me for a week now.”

“What can I say? I really enjoy your company,” Even smiled.

“Even-”

“It’s okay really. It was a much needed break from working, too. Smiling at strangers can be exhausting,” said Even.

“What about class? You don’t even go to class.”

“I’m keeping up though. Elias is giving me his notes and stuff,” said Even. “Don’t worry.”

“Okay.”

Isak tried to ignore the feeling that he was ruining Even’s life. Even who never asked for anything in return. Even who did his best to make him feel loved and make him laugh.

.

“I just don’t want you to feel alone ever again,” Even admitted when Isak started dozing off on his chest, his cheek squished against his Jaws t-shirt.

“Even-,” Isak rubbed his eyes, trying to be awake for this.

“I mean it. I can’t bear the thought of you feeling alone.”

“Baby,” Isak mumbled, not missing how Even’s breath hitched and how his eyes went wide at the word ‘baby’. “When I think of you, I’m never alone.”

Isak wasn’t sure if he was missing something because of how sleepy he was feeling, but Even’s mouth was hanging open and he looked on the verge of tears.

Gosh. I’ll call you baby every day.

.

Google Search - How to get ready to face people after a long time

.

Isak woke up at seven in the morning with Even’s alarm and quickly got into one of his sweaters. He loved wearing Even’s clothes. He loved it so much.

“Morning,” said Isak, as he walked into the kitchen.

“Oh, uh, good morning!” said Even, looking a bit taken aback.

“What’s up?” said Isak with a raised eyebrow.

“Uh, nothing. Just glad to see you up so early.”

“Yeah. I have class at 8,” said Isak, walking closer to Even to give him a short hug then stealing his cup of coffee for a sip.

“Oh. Yes. Class! Oh my god. Yeah, we’re going!” said Even, looking like a child on Christmas day.

“I’ve never seen anyone this excited to go to class at 8 in the morning,” Isak smiled.

And when Even cupped his face to plant a fat kiss to his lips, Isak found himself smiling into it.

“Gosh, I’m so fucking happy,” Even sighed.

“Why? Cause your evil plan worked and I’m going to class so that you don’t fail this semester?”

“Yes,” Even grinned.

“This isn’t a healthy thing-ship. I think I’m gonna have to reconsider,” said Isak with something like light dancing in his eyes probably.

He hadn’t cracked jokes in so long.

.

Even had his backpack ready and they headed out right after having breakfast. Even got him to go back to school without even uttering the words. He never pressured him. He never even asked him about it. He just waited for Isak to make up his mind. He just waited for him to be ready to go back. And while Isak really didn’t want Even to fail the semester, his decision to resume classes was also for himself.

“We’re matching today,” said Even, referring to their blue sweaters and beaming.

“Yeah,” said Isak, blushing a little, not really sure why.

“Shall we?” said Even, holding out his arm.

Isak held onto it without any complaints or sarcastic remarks. He just held onto his arm as Even lead them to the elevator.

Even hugged his waist when the doors closed and pressed their foreheads together, and Isak was overwhelmed. He was so overwhelmed.

“I’m so proud of you,” Even whispered, breaking his heart a little.

“What for?” Isak mumbled.

“For being so strong.”

Isak rose on his tiptoes and pressed the softest kiss to Even’s lips. He felt so safe, so cared for.

I love him.

“Thank you,” Isak whispered, his eyes still fluttered shut and his heart racing.

“Anything for you.”

.

Isak felt anxious the moment they stepped out of the apartment complex. They were headed to Even’s car, and Isak suddenly realized that he was going to see everybody. Eva was probably going to ambush him. Jonas and Magnus probably wondered why he had disappeared and wasn’t answering any of their texts. His teammates were probably going to be angry. And Erik. Erik was probably going to be there as well.

Isak’s vision was suddenly blurry. He didn’t want to go anymore. This was a terrible idea. He was just going to have to disappoint Even once more and crawl back into his bed. Even who thought he was strong and brave. Even who always saw the best in him.

But then Even laced their fingers together in the car and Isak could suddenly breathe again.

“You okay, baby?” said Even, his voice soft, so soft, that Isak could feel his chest deflate and his fears slip away.

“Yes.”

“It’s okay to be freaked out,” said Even. “I remember the first time I went back to school after being gone for the longest time. It was so scary.”

“Really?”

Isak was surprised to learn that Even had ever felt something even remotely similar.

“Yeah. It’s scary having to face people again. Especially when some people are dicks,” said Even.

“Yeah.”

“You know what I do to get ready for those days?”

“What?” said Isak.

.

Isak knew where this was going the moment Even reached out for his phone and started scrolling down his spotify playlist.

“I’m getting prepared for secondhand embarrassment,” said Isak.

.

Now Playing: Beyonce - Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)

All the single ladies

(All the single ladies)

All the single ladies

(All the single ladies)

All the single ladies

(All the single ladies)

All the single ladies

Now put your hands up

.

Isak actually gasped when Even threw both of his hands up with the last line. He was laughing so hard that he shed actual tears. Even was so into the song and Isak couldn’t believe it.

“Stop! Oh my god!” Isak laughed.

“' Cause if you liked it, then you should have put a ring on it. If you liked it, then you should have put a ring on it. Don't be mad once you see that he want it. If you liked it, then you should have put a ring on it ,” Even sang the words with so much life, shoving his free hand in Isak’s face and pointing to his ring finger.

“I can’t fucking believe you!”

Oh, oh, oh. Oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh. Oh, oh, oh !” Even waved his hand like Beyoncé, and Isak was choking beside him, covering his face and holding his stomach.

Don't treat me to these things of the world. I'm not that kind of girl. Your love is what I prefer, what I deserve!

“What the fuck. Let me out of the car,” Isak laughed.

“Come on!” Even finally broke character. “Sing with me! You’ll love it I promise.”

“You’re gonna get us killed!”

All the single ladies! All the single ladies! All the single ladies!” Even went back to singing.

Isak eventually gave up and joined him for the last “Oh, oh, oh.”

.

Isak was still laughing when they got to school and he was still clutching his stomach as they crossed the yard to get to his building.

“I’m actually going to hold this against you forever,” said Isak, wiping the tears around the corners of his eyes.

“Good. Forever sounds good to me,” said Even, beaming.

“I can’t with you,” Isak smiled, his arms around Even’s waist, his face tilted upwards to look into his eyes. His eyes. They were sparkling.

So when Even’s hand cupped his left cheek, Isak leaned into it and closed his eyes briefly. Your touch.

“I love seeing you laugh,” said Even. “I’ll sing all of Beyoncé’s discography for you if it makes you laugh.”

Isak’s breath hitched and his heart ached and gosh.

I’m so in love with you.

Even pressed their lips together and Isak sighed into it. It was the most tender and delicate kiss and he forgot they were at uni and that people were probably watching and that he had been so afraid just a few moments before that.

.

Isak made it to class and he managed to pay attention for all of it. He had a lot of catching up to do but the girl sitting next to him gladly accepted to lend him her notes. He had never asked strangers for things before, always assuming they were simply going to shut him down. This was nice.

Isak felt a bit anxious going into his second class. Eva was in that one, too and he really didn’t want to face her or talk to her or even look at her. So he kept his head down and picked a random seat as far as possible from their usual spot.

His heart stopped when he saw her and the look on her face. She looked so remorseful. That he could tell. He had also read all of her messages and she had stopped by four or five times. Isak knew it in his heart that he would eventually have to face her, but he wasn’t ready. Not yet. Not today.

Her words played in his head the entire time and he couldn’t focus for the first five minutes of the lecture. But then someone stumbled into the auditorium and apologized before scanning the room. Even.


Even

10:07

What are you doing here?

Just got out of class. I don’t have anything until the afternoon

Figured i’d learn a thing or two about psychology

You should be paying attention

Why didn’t you sit next to me

Don’t want to distract you with my beauty

Pfft

You wish

Ouch

I’m a very serious student

Which is why you’re texting me during your lecture <3

Stop looking at me

You stop looking at me :p

Ugh

<3


Isak couldn’t concentrate. Even was sitting three rows down and several seats away but he kept his eyes on him the entire time. Isak couldn’t concentrate and neither could the girl sitting next to him because Even was making kissy faces and blowing him air kisses, and Isak was a mess. Oh my god.

“Shit, that’s cute,” said the girl to his right. “Is he your boyfriend?”

“Uh. No.”

“For real?” she rose an eyebrow. “Do you have a ‘no homo’ thing going on?”

“What the hell. No!”

“Anyways. You guys are cute,” she shrugged.

“Uh thanks.”

.

“Show him some love,” said the girl again. “Poor guy has been kissing the air for an hour now.”

“Shut up!”

Isak gave in. Of course he did. And by the time the lecture ended, he was blowing him kisses, too.

Gosh. We’re disgusting.

Isak was so giggly that he forgot that Eva was in his class and that this was a lecture he didn’t want to attend.

.

“Isak, can I talk to you?” said Eva, just as Even wrapped an arm around his shoulders.

“Uh, hi,” said Isak.

“I just want to say sorry again, like to your face and stuff.”

She couldn’t look him in the eyes and she didn’t even mind that Even was there for this conversation.

“I understand that you hate me,” she mumbled. “I would hate me, too. I made everything about myself and I’m sorry.”

Even rubbed his back and Isak felt comforted again. Eva was wrong. He didn’t hate her. He didn’t have an ounce of hate left in him.

“I don’t hate you,” said Isak. “I just need some time.”

“Okay,” said Eva.

“I know your intentions were good but you really hurt me,” said Isak.

“I’m-. I’m sorry,” she mumbled, looking surprised.

And he was surprised, too. He had never been this open and honest about his feelings before.

“It’s okay,” said Isak. “Thank you for caring about me.”

Eva hugged him and Isak let her.

“I love you, Isak. I really do,” she said, wiping a tear away with her thumb. “I hope you know that.”

“I do.”

Isak did.

.

“Why are you looking at me like that?” said Isak, while Even played with his hands where they sat on a bench eating lunch.

“Like what?” said Even.

“I don’t know. Like you’re gonna burst or something.”

“I feel like I’m about to burst to be honest,” said Even.

“Why?”

“Cause I’m so proud of you.”

“Stop saying that,” Isak’s face flushed.

“I am though.”

Even made him laugh and kissed his face and his lips and held his hand, and Isak couldn’t stop smiling all day. He was smiling with his eyes and with his heart, and he had no idea what he had done in a previous life to deserve Even.

Isak kept smiling until his worst fear materialized.

“Oh, young love!” Erik sighed with a hand on his chest.

Isak immediately tensed up and every muscle in his body contracted. His hand reached for Even’s and he held on so tight that he could feel his fingertips crushing Even’s knuckles.

Breathe. Just breathe. Just fucking breathe.

“What do you want, asshole?” said Even. And if he had noticed how Isak was on the verge of a meltdown, he didn’t act like it.

“Nothing. Just stopping by to see how everyone’s favorite new couple is doing,” Erik grinned and Isak’s heart was about to jump out of his chest. Gosh, help me.

“We’re doing great. You can fuck off now,” said Even, his fingers pressing back against Isak’s hand.

“Is he gonna join you for Greece, Isak?” said Erik, causing Isak’s heart to jump to his throat. “If not, you should definitely invite him. Schistad wouldn’t mind sparing a few more bills.”

What?!

“What?” said Even, making Erik laugh.

Isak was seeing red. He was about to implode. Oh my god. Erik knew. He knew about the bet with Chris. Isak had totally forgotten about the fucking bet. And now Erik knew. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck.

Isak looked at Even, and for a moment he wanted to kiss him because he was so sure that Erik would tell him and that he would never get to kiss Even again.

He was sure. He was so sure. But Erik never did. He just said something about how big the sweater looked on Isak and walked away.

And Isak only let out a breath after he rounded the corner.

“Isak? Are you okay?” Even asked.

But Isak wasn’t. So he latched onto him and hugged him and breathed. I can’t lose you. You’re the one thing I can’t lose.  

.

Google Search - how to stop being scared of the person who assaulted you

.

Isak never told Even that it was Erik. He remembered now. He was certain that it was him now. But he still omitted that part when he told Even. He just said he couldn’t remember who it was, specifically to avoid situations like these. Isak knew that Even was kind, but he didn’t know how he would react to Erik if he knew. So he didn’t tell him to protect Even’s heart, too.

But Isak could see the question marks in Even’s eyes. He could see him trying to piece things together without actually asking him any questions. He could see the toll it took on him.

.

“Even-” Isak mumbled later that night while lying on his chest.

“Hm?”

“I don’t want to hide things from you anymore.”

“Okay,” said Even. “You can tell me anything.”

“It was Erik,” he breathed. “The person who hurt me. It was Erik.”

.

Even didn’t sleep that night, and Isak could tell because he knew how his chest rose and fell when Even slept. It was Isak’s favorite song, favorite rhythm.

Isak regretted telling Even almost instantly because neither of them slept, and he could feel rage emanating from Even’s body beside him, just pure rage.

Isak found himself worrying about Even more than worrying about himself for the first time in a while. He couldn’t bear seeing Even so worked up over something that was out of his control.

“I shouldn’t have told you. I’m sorry,” said Isak.

“Please, don’t apologize to me. Please, Isak.”

They held each other until the sun rose and Isak couldn’t help but feel like he had just made the biggest mistake in his life, because around 5 in the morning he might have heard Even mutter the words “I’m going to kill him.”

.

Isak worried that Even was going to be less affectionate, less Even, but he was wrong. Even was still Even. He still smiled and made him food and pressed kisses to the corner of his mouth and sang him cheesy songs in his car. Even was still Even. His eyes simply got a little bit darker when Erik was in the room, his grip a little bit tighter around Isak’s waist when he got closer.

And the first time Erik approached them, Isak really thought he was going to lunge at him. But Even held his hand and pulled him closer in his arms and pressed the softest kisses to his temple and shielded him instead. And Isak was grateful because as much as he liked the idea of Erik getting punched and getting hurt, he didn’t want Erik to have that hold on Even as well. He didn’t want Even’s knuckles to be bruised. He didn’t want Even’s heart to be filled with hate. Even who was nothing but kind.

“Thank you,” he mumbled against Even’s skin.

“What for?”

“For not killing him,” said Isak. “For taking care of me instead.”

“I don’t get to make this about me,” said Even. “I’ll kill him when you tell me to.”

“Okay. Let’s do that,” said Isak.

"I might not kill him, but I promise you I'll make him pay. I will not rest until you never have to see him. I promise you."

.

Google Search - what to do during winter break (for couples)

.

The semester was over in a heartbeat and Isak was relieved, so relieved that he wasn’t going to see Erik for a little while. Isak wanted to make the most out of the break but he didn’t know how. But Even always had plans and simply spending the day in his apartment was enough for him.

.

Even made him watch Pretty Woman and Isak rolled his eyes and groaned at first. But then he genuinely got into it.

“I didn’t know it was this dark,” said Isak.

“What do you mean?”

“Like, I thought it was one of those fluffy romantic comedies you know. This is some heavy shit.”

“It is,” said Even, chuckling.

Isak’s breath hitched when Edward lifted Vivian on the piano and ran his hand over her chest down to her stomach. He felt suddenly aroused and he almost felt like crying. He hadn’t felt aroused in forever.

“Babe?” said Even, probably noticing how he had gone completely still.

“Even.”

“Yeah?”

“I want you,” said Isak.

.

Isak didn’t give Even much of a choice. He just climbed on his lap and undid his pants and planted a hot and wet kiss on his mouth.

“Isak, wait-”
“I want you,” Isak mumbled against his neck, kissing him there and feeling him stiffen under him.

Isak couldn’t help but feel proud. I still affect him.

“Want you so bad, Even.”

“Uh, we haven’t even finished the movie,” Even pleaded weakly as Isak’s hand made its way to the object of his desire.

“Fuck the movie, baby. I want you now,” said Isak, his voice hoarse, his head spinning with lust, his heart filled with hope. I can still have a hard-on. I can still have hot sex with my man.

“Are you sure? I’m-. It’s too-”

“Please. Please Even. I just want to feel wanted. I just want to feel good.”

.

Even carried him to his bed and Isak was writhing beneath him. He was ready. He was so ready.

“Fuck me,” he begged.

“Let’s take it slow,” said Even, pressing kisses down his stomach. “I can make you feel good in other ways.”

Isak grabbed his head and planted the filthiest kiss on his mouth. All tongue and moans, his back arching, his body aching for friction.

“Isak, fucking hell,” Even groaned.

“Fuck me baby, please.”

“How about I blow you or eat you out or something? I don’t know, I-”

“Want you inside me,” Isak mumbled, and for a moment he wondered if it was all too much. He was almost dissociating again. He was on the ceiling watching himself act needy and desperate while Even all but freaked out.

“Isak-”

“You don’t want me?”

“Gosh, no. Of course I want you,” said Even.

“Then have me.”

.

Isak broke down the moment Even settled between his legs. They hadn’t even done anything at all. He had barely touched him. But he still broke down and it killed him.

“Oh my god, Isak. I’m sorry! Please forgive me,” Even pleaded. “What can I do? Just tell me what to do. Please don’t cry.”

“I’m sorry, Even. I’m so fucking sorry!” Isak cried.

.

They went to sleep, and Even held him, and Isak realized the most awful thing. I’m never going to enjoy sex again.

.

Google Search - is it normal to be scared of having sex with someone you love

.

“What’s with the oversized sweaters?” said Jonas.

“Uh, they’re Even’s,” said Isak.

“What about the sweatpants? You never wear sweatpants. Are these Even’s as well?”

“No.”

The truth was that Isak started enjoying wearing clothes that didn’t smother his skin. Nobody could even make out the outline of his body anymore. It was a matter of comfort. Isak felt comfortable in his new clothing style and he didn’t even have to worry about someone looking at him the wrong way. Besides, he was losing his sex drive and his body was pretty much useless at this point. Even leaving him was just a matter of time now.

.

“Babe,” said Even. “Why are you wearing your beanie inside the apartment?”

“Uh, I don’t know. It’s cold,” said Isak.

“No, it’s not,” said Elias.

“I don’t know I just got used to wearing it,” said Isak.

“Isak-” Even him the look.

“It’s no big deal,” said Isak.

“I think it’s because of the hair,” said Mutta who seemed very focused on something on his phone. “You still don’t like your hair, right Isak? I personally think it looks awesome.”

Isak was always surprised at how good Mutta was at reading people.

“It’s not the hair!” Isak lied.

“I’m pretty sure it is,” said Mutta.

“Ugh,” Isak sighed. “Fine, it’s the hair. I fucking hate it!”

Even sighed loudly and he sounded exasperated.

“Alright, that’s it,” Even left his seat at the kitchen table and headed to the bathroom.

“Where are you going?” said Isak.

“Bathroom. I’m going to shave my head,” said Even.

“What?!” Isak, Elias, and Mutta all yelled collectively.

“Your haircut is fine and I’m going to shave my head right now to show you just how fine it is.”

“You can’t do that!” Isak ran after him.

“Yes, I can,” said Even. “Why? You gonna dump me if I lose the hair?”

Isak tried to imagine Even without hair and he shuddered.

“If you cut your hair I will never forgive myself,” said Isak.

“Well, I would hate to guilt-trip you but you’re not leaving me a choice here,” said Even, grabbing the scissors from the cabinet.

“No! What the fuck!”

“You don’t want us to match?” Even smiled.

“Even, some people already think we’re twins.”

Elias and Mutasim a little too much at that joke but Isak didn’t mind.

“Sorry but not even your pretty face can change my mind,” said Even.

“Even!”

“Unless…”

“What?!”

“Unless you accept that your haircut is fine and lose the beanie,” said Even.

“Are you seriously manipulating me right now?” said Isak.

“It’s not manipulation if I say yes.”

“It’s emotional blackmail!”

“I just want you to stop being so hard on yourself,” said Even. “I just want you to see how beautiful you are all the time.”

“Alright, that’s our cue,” said Elias, dragging Mutasim away with him.

.

Even didn’t cut his hair and Isak lost the beanie.

“Holy fuck, you’re like bald,” said Magnus.

“You can go fuck yourself. Even says I look great,” said Isak.

“He’s right. You look great,” said Jonas.

“Thanks, bro,” said Isak.

“Anytime.”

Isak was hanging out with the boys again and it felt great. Even Mahdi was giving him a break. But it didn’t last too long.

“What’s with the oversized outfits though?” said Mahdi. “Is this a new trend? Or are you showing off your relationship?”

“Alright, first of all, it’s not a relationship. Second, give me a break!” said Isak.

.

“Hmm baby,” Isak moaned against Even’s lips, the kitchen counter pressing against his back and hurting a little.

“You’re so hot,” Even whispered against his skin, making his head spin. “So fucking hot. Baby.”

Gosh.

Even lifted him on the counter and Isak made some space between his legs for him. They made out for the longest time. Just lips against lips and tongue sliding against tongue. Isak almost felt sexy when Even praised him like that. It made his head spin and he almost forgot about his breakdown in bed a few days before that.

“You’re so sexy. Do you know how sexy you are?” Even whispered against his ear, sending shivers all over his body.

“Even-”

“Your body drives me crazy. I love the shape of your body,” said Even, running his hands over his skin under his oversized clothes, Even’s clothes. “I want you to feel sexy all the time, baby.”

“Mhm.”

“Do you know what you do to me? Hm?”

“What?” Isak panted. “What do I do to you?”

“Look at me baby. I’m so hard for you. I’m a mess,” said Even, licking an obnoxious stripe over his neck, making him lose his damn mind.

“Even-,” Isak gasped.

They got interrupted by Mutta walking in to grab his camera from the kitchen table.

“Well, this is awkward, but by all means, please continue.”

They didn’t continue but Isak still smiled to himself and blushed all afternoon. I’m sexy.

.

Google Search - what to get him for christmas 

.

They were going late Christmas shopping and Isak spent an hour getting ready.

“Isak, it’s just shopping,” said Even. “You don’t have to-”

He then stopped talking and Isak had a little idea about the reason behind his silence.

“What?” he grinned.

“Those jeans,” said Even, his eyes fixated on his thighs.

“What about them?” said Isak, walking towards him as slowly as he could.

“I fucking love these jeans on you.”

“I know,” Isak smiled.

“These are your seduction jeans. Are you trying to seduce me baby?”

“Maybe.”

They kissed in the apartment, then in the elevator, then in Even’s car. And Isak was so happy. He was happy because he was wearing his favorite jeans, and he felt sexy and comfortable and wanted and so great in his skin.

.

“Stop staring at my ass!” Isak rolled his eyes.

“I can’t. Look at you!” said Even. “So fucking hot.”

“Ugh, stop!” Isak blushed.

.

They bought the most random stuff for random people and Isak stopped in front of a stand that sold rings. He suddenly got the worst idea ever.

“Even.”

“Yeah?”

“Can you try on this ring for me?” said Isak, handing him a ‘hello kitty’ ring.

“A ring? Who is this for?”

“Uh, it’s for Vilde. Can you try it on?” said Isak.

“Isak, I don’t think Vilde and I have the same finger size.”

“Oh, I know you have pretty big fingers. Trust me. I know that,” Isak winked.

“Oh god. Did you just make an inappropriate joke?” said Even.

“How is it inappropriate? I think everyone and their dog knows I had your fingers in my-”

“Shhh. Oh my god!” Even laughed and Isak laughed, too.

“Just try it on,” said Isak.

“It’s too small. Won’t fit,” said Even.

“How about this one?”

Isak had him try on different rings until he could figure out his size. And when Even started chatting up with a woman who couldn’t figure out what to buy her husband at the back of the store, Isak quickly found a ring and paid for it.

.

“Isak! Look! It’s a photobooth!” said Even.

“Uh, okay. I can see that,” said Isak.

“We’re going in.”

“Uh, no. Why? It’s such a waste of money.”

“Isak,” Even looked at him with the most serious expression. “We’re going in.”

.

Isak rolled his eyes but he secretly loved it. Taking pictures in a photobooth with Even like some cheesy couple.

“Let’s make a weird face on the next one,” said Even.

“I don’t want to.”

“Isak, please.”

“Ugh, fine!

Isak made a weird face on the next one. And then he did everything Even wanted on the following ones, too. He let Even kiss his cheek and boop his nose and bury his face in his neck and tickle him. He let Even wrap his arms around him and make him laugh and press kisses to his temple. And after ten minutes in the booth and an obscene amount of money later, Isak realized that they weren’t getting out of there until he put on a show for Even.

So he leaned in and pressed their lips together. It was so tender and so genuine that Isak surprised himself and Even at the same time. Even who let out a gasp that went straight to Isak’s heart.

Even who pressed their foreheads together and brushed their noses together, and for a moment it was too much. He was sitting on Even’s knee with his arms around his neck, and they were staring into each other’s eyes and it was all too much. Sitting with Even in such a small space and feeling his hot breath against his skin. It was too much.

.

Isak wanted to give Even the world, but he didn’t know where to start. Google. He grabbed Even’s laptop and went on Yahoo answers.

.

Isak sighed and started thinking about ways to do more. So he went back to the navigation bar and started typing “how to” when the autocomplete kind of made his breath hitch.

How to make my boyfriend feel beautiful and sexy?”

His heart was full, so full. He pressed enter and was led to a yahoo page that made him want to cry for a day or two.

.

Gosh. Isak stared at the post for way too long and he had tears in his eyes. I love you, too.

He felt bad for reading that post when he saw Even again. He knew that he would die from embarrassment if Even ever read his posts on fucking Yahoo Answers. He knew he should have stopped reading at some point but he couldn’t, and gosh, he loved him so much.

.

Google Search - How to take back control of my sex life after abuse

.

“What are you doing here?” said Even when he saw Isak enter KB.

“I’m here to escort you home,” said Isak. “Your shift ends in 5, right?”

“Uh, yeah.”

Isak sat at one of the tables and waved at Jakob who always greeted him with the nicest smile.

“Hi Isak,” said Jakob.

“Hey.”

Even frowned and turned to Jakob.

“Mine,” said Even with a serious expression before breaking into his larger than life smile.

“Ugh,” Jakob rolled his eyes.

.

“What owes me this pleasure?” said Even.

“Nothing. I just want to walk my boyfriend home,” said Isak, not daring to look at Even.

Even who had stopped walking.

“What?” said Isak, acting like his heart wasn’t in his throat.

“Can you say that again?”

“Say what again?” said Isak.

“That thing you said just now?”

“What thing?” Isak smiled.

“You know what thing,” Even beamed, wrapping his arms around his waist and pressing a soft kiss to his lips.

“Hm. Boyfriend?” said Isak.

“Oh my god!” Even squealed.

“What?”

“And you’re batting your eyelashes, too. Are you trying to kill me?!”

“I don’t know what you’re talking about,” Isak chuckled, wrapping his own arms around Even’s waist, both of them swaying in each other’s arms in the middle of the street.

And yes, he actually did bat his eyelashes this time.

“Gosh, I love you,” said Even right before kissing him, as if they were the easiest words, as if Isak wasn’t guilt-tripping for finding out that Even loved him through Yahoo Answers.

Isak sighed into the kiss and hugged his waist tighter. His head was spinning and his heart was full of love, so full of love.

When they pulled apart, when their lips finally parted and Even pressed their foreheads together and nuzzled their noses together as he always did, Isak opened his eyes as slowly as he possibly could. This was too perfect. This was the best moment in his life.

“Even-”

“Yes?”

“I love you,” said Isak. “I love you so much.”

.

Even removed his clothes so slowly. It was agonizing. But Isak wanted to go slow. He wanted to take his time. So he undressed Even just as slowly, just as carefully. He climbed higher on the bed and led Even between his legs, nodding whenever Even’s eyes asked the important questions. Their lips never parted unless it was to look at one another. Even’s touch was healing. Even’s touch was so healing.

He kissed his neck and his chest and his collarbones and his stomach. And Isak reveled in the intimacy, reveled in the sweet comfort that was Even’s touch and Even’s body. Isak was sure they were born for one another, that Even was made for him and that he was made for Even.

This was slow, so slow, unlike the first time they had a sexual encounter. Even took his time and made him feel loved and cared for. Isak was so overwhelmed but it didn’t make him any less aroused. The feelings only heightened his desire, only made it more pronounced, more urgent, more consuming. Isak had never had sex with feelings before. This was a first. This was his first time.

This is my first time now.

Even’s lips marked him. Even’s touch healed him and Isak leaned into it body, heart, and soul.

I’m safe.

I’m in control.  

I love my body.

I'm not dirty.

I'm not damaged goods.

I'm not used.

It wasn't my fault.

I’m sexy.

I’m beautiful.

And I’m going to enjoy sex again.

“I love you,” Isak moaned.

“Baby.”

“Make love to me,” said Isak. “Take all of me.”

.

Even did and he gave Isak all of him, too. It was so intense and Isak couldn’t help but cry at the sheer intensity of it all. He wasn’t dissociating. He wasn’t leaving his body. No. He was feeling all of it. He was here for all of it, arching his back, and wrapping his thighs around Even’s waist, and meeting him halfway for every thrust, every kiss, every touch. Even treated his body with nothing but love and care and respect and it felt so good. Even made him feel so good, pressing kisses wherever his lips managed to land, touching him as if he was the most precious thing, and looking at him as if he wanted to spend the rest of his life looking at him. Isak reached the most fulfilling orgasm in his life and trembled in Even’s arms for the longest time. Even. Even. Even. Even.

.

Even’s hand was on his cheek, his thumb drawing circles around Isak’s cheekbones as they lay around in bed, still coming down from a sex high.

“There’s so much I want to tell you,” said Even.

“Then tell me,” said Isak.

“I would never want to burden you.”

“You could never be a burden to me,” said Isak.

Even leaned in and kissed his lips.

“I’ll tell you tomorrow,” said Even. “I promise I’ll tell you everything tomorrow.”

“Why not right now?” said Isak.

“Because if I start talking I might not stop all night. And sleep is very important to me.”

“Okay,” said Isak. “As long as you tell me.”

“I’ll tell you everything.”

Tomorrow, I'll tell him about the dare tomorrow.

.

“I’m seeing Eva tomorrow to talk and stuff,” said Isak.

“I'm proud of you," said Even. "It’s very important to forgive people sometimes. You’ll feel good, too.”

“I’m not a very forgiving person and I tend to hold grudges though,” said Isak.

“I’m sure you can let go of those grudges. I’m sure of it,” said Even.

“You’re probably too forgiving though,” said Isak. “I bet people can do anything to you and still get away with it because you’re too kind,” said Isak.

“That’s not true!” Even scoffed. “I can hold a grudge!”

“Yeah, right. When’s the last time you broke a friendship or didn’t forgive someone?”

“Hm. A few years ago actually. I was eighteen or so,” said Even.

Interesting,” said Isak.

“Yeah, I had just transferred to a new school after Bakka and he was my only friend there.”

“Oh, what happened?” said Isak.

“He fucked me up.”

“How?”

“It’s a long story,” said Even, yawning. “I’ll tell you tomorrow.”

“I can’t go to sleep knowing that one of your friends hurt you,” said Isak. “Just give me the gist of it.”

“Hmm.”

Isak was on his side and Even’s hand was still on his cheek, his touch soothing, so soothing.

“He basically let me think that he had feelings for me and stuff.”

“What do you mean 'let you think'?” said Isak.

“It wasn’t real.”

“How?” said Isak, his heart racing a little bit in anticipation.

“Someone dared him to fuck me up.”

Suddenly, Even’s touch was no longer soothing, no longer comforting. Suddenly, Even’s touch was burning holes through his skin.

.

Google Search - How to get ready for heartbreak.

Chapter Text

“I’ll tell you tomorrow.”

Even didn’t. He didn’t because Isak never asked, because he was too terrified to ask.

“Someone dared him to fuck me up.”

Isak couldn’t sleep. He couldn’t breathe. Of course they’ve done this before. Of course they’ve tried to hurt him before. Fuck.

It was the second night and he still couldn’t keep his eyes closed. Isak knew that Even couldn’t sleep unless he relaxed in his arms, unless Isak’s breathing matched his. So he did his best. He closed his eyes and thought about the time Even took care of him in the shower, when he kissed his heart and his knuckles and his pulse, when he held him tight without breaking him, when he healed his soul and healed his heart through the mere brush of his lips. Isak held onto that memory with all his might and breathed softly. He held onto it and closed his eyes and begged. He begged the universe. Isak wasn’t much of a believer but he needed something, anything.

Please don’t take him away from me. He’s all I have. Please.

.

“Isak?” said Even in the car. “Is everything okay?”

“Hm?”

Isak had spaced out again. He was thinking about how to tell Even about the dare without hurting him. He was thinking about how to tell him without Even leaving him. He couldn’t handle it. He couldn’t handle the thought of Even leaving him.

“Did I do something wrong?” said Even. “You can tell me if I did something. I’d never want to hurt you.”

Gosh. Isak’s heart hurt even more. Even always found ways to blame himself. He was too good, too pure, too selfless. Isak couldn’t bear it.

“No babe. You didn’t do anything,” said Isak, reaching out to grab his hand and bring it to his own face.

“Are you sure? I know I can be a bit pushy. Like I didn’t really ask you if you wanted to meet my mom. And-”

“Even. Stop apologizing,” said Isak. “And yes, you did ask me, and I said yes. I want to meet your mom.”

“Okay,” said Even. “Sorry.”

“Stop saying sorry!” Isak chuckled, bringing Even’s hand to his lips and kissing it.

“Oh wow,” said Even.

“What?”

“My heart is beating really fast right now.”

“Shut up!” Isak laughed.

.

Even’s mother was wonderful and Isak didn’t feel awkward, not even for a second. She had the warmest smile and he could tell where Even got all of his kindness from. She was so kind and wrapped Isak in the tightest hug.

Isak walked around Even’s old room and stopped to look at the drawings on the walls. Some of them were funny and lighthearted, but most of them weren’t. Most of them were sad and dark, and Isak’s heart hurt a bit. There was an undeniable sense of despair in some of them, and Isak knew because he was all too familiar with that feeling. Some of these drawings were a cry for help and Isak wanted nothing more but to care and protect and shield.

‘Sometimes I feel like you’re as broken as me.’

Isak walked out of Even’s parents’ house with aching in his chest. He could see traces of Even everywhere in the house, but they weren’t happy traces. Isak realized that he didn’t care for Even as much as Even cared for him. That he was too focused on himself and on how he couldn’t bear it if Even left him instead of focusing on how it would affect Even. Isak was being unfair to him. He wasn’t asking him questions. He wasn’t telling him everything. He was protecting himself when all Even did was protect him. Isak wasn’t paying attention as closely as he should have been. Isak was unworthy, so unworthy.

.

Isak started paying attention. He noticed how Elias, Mutta, and Sonja always asked him if he slept well and how he was feeling. He noticed how Sonja monitored his drinking and smoking even if she seemed remorseful about it. He noticed how Even’s eyes got dark sometimes and how his words got too deep in the middle of lighthearted conversations. He noticed how Even wrote things down in a notebook every night before going to bed. And when he asked him what he was writing, Even answered: “I’m recording my moods.”

Isak noticed how Even laughed and smiled brighter than the sun and then how serious he got when they were eating lunch or smoking a joint sometimes. He noticed how Even breathed him in at night and how scared he was of losing him because he constantly told him. He noticed how Even never removed his watch, not even to shower or sleep.

Isak noticed that he had daily alarms and that he constantly disappeared into the bathroom or rummaged through his backpack for something. Isak kept paying attention until he saw him take medication, until he saw him run his hands across his face and sigh, until he saw him give himself a pep talk through the bathroom mirror.

Isak kept paying attention until his heart broke.

My baby is ill.

.

Isak didn’t know how to get Even to talk about it. He didn’t know the right words. He didn’t know how to tell him that whatever it was, he wasn’t going anywhere. He googled what he gathered were symptoms and was overwhelmed by the answers. I’ll just ask him.

So when Even told him that he had to go to the doctor’s one morning, Isak held his hand and told him that he would go with him.

“Uhm. It’s, uh, just a check-up,” said Even. “You don’t have to come.”

“I want to,” said Isak. “If you’re okay with bringing me of course.”

“Isak, it’s complicated,” said Even, his eyes on the floor now. “It’s not like a regular doctor.”

He was looking smaller than Isak had ever seen him look. So he grabbed his hand again and squeezed.

“I know,” said Isak, bringing his thumb under Even’s chin and lifting it.

“You know?”

“I think I do,” said Isak, not missing how tears had started welling up in Even’s eyes. Baby.

“And how do you feel about that?” said Even.

“I feel great,” said Isak. “Why? How do you feel?”

Even hugged him and they took the bus to the clinic. Isak kept running his hands through Even’s hair and pressing kisses to his face. He hoped, he prayed , that it would somehow convey how much he loved him, how he couldn’t care less about whatever Even thought was going to impair their relationship. I’m here for you.

.

“Hi, this is my boyfriend Isak,” said Even to the pretty lady doctor. “He wanted to tag along today.”

“Hello Isak. Nice to finally meet you,” she said.

.

Even was bipolar and Isak’s heart was hurting and bursting at the same time. Even looked so scared, so terrified when the doctor went over his dosage and his meds and his moods. He looked so terrified, so Isak did the one thing he could think of and reached out for his hand and smiled. I’m here for you. I’m not going anywhere.

.

They took the bus home and Even wasn’t talking. Isak knew he should be saying something but he didn’t know where to start. They were at the back of the bus and Isak was sitting by the window with Even by his side, Even who was holding his head in his hands.

“Even.”

“Hm?”

“Talk to me,” said Isak.

“I don’t know what to say.”

Isak cupped his face in both hands and made him look into his eyes. Even’s eyes were blue, so blue, and sad, so sad.

Isak smiled before pressing their lips together, soft and slow. He kissed him as tenderly as he could. He put all of his love and care into that kiss and hoped Even felt an ounce of what he did whenever he kissed Isak tenderly. Even gasped when their lips pulled apart and it broke Isak’s heart because he looked in total disbelief, as if Isak kissing him was something that hadn’t even crossed his mind.

“Baby,” Isak whispered.

“Do you- Do you still want to be with me?” Even asked and it crushed him. How could you say that.

“Of course I want to be with you,” said Isak.

“Really?”

“Really.”

“But it’s so hard. I just-. I don’t want to hurt you. I don’t want you to hate me,” Even mumbled.

“I can never hate you,” said Isak.

Even closed his eyes and Isak threw his legs over his knees before wrapping him in a tight hug. Even’s face was in the crook of his neck, and Isak’s arms were around his shoulders, hugging him tight and pressing kisses to his hair while almost sitting on his lap at the back of a deserted bus.

.

They missed their stop and Even told him everything on the back of that bus while Isak nodded and listened with his heart at his fingertips, his mind flashing to his own mother whom he couldn't help because he ran away.

Even told him about how much coming to terms with it had hurt him. About how hard it was on him and his family. Even told him about his deepest regrets and his most agonizing memories. Even told him about everything that kept him up at night and about every scar he carried around with him on his heart and on his skin. And Isak listened with as much care and respect as Even showed him when he had poured his heart out to him. He ran his hand through his hair and brushed his thumb across his cheek the same way Even had done for him.

“I want to give you something,” said Isak.

“Hm?”

He was beyond embarrassed but he reached awkwardly reached for his pocket and panicked until he could feel it between his fingers. The stupid ring.

“What is this?” said Even.

“It’s a ring. I got you this for Christmas but I didn’t know when to give it you,” said Isak, his face flushed.

“A ring,” Even repeated, his eyelashes still wet.

“Yeah. I mean I know it’s cheesy and like it’s girly or whatever but I figured you wouldn’t mind. I mean you don’t have to wear it or anything. I just wanted you to have it. I never give you anything. And-”

“A ring,” Even said again. And gosh.

Isak stopped rambling and ran his thumb across Even’s cheek, Even whose head was still leaning on his shoulder.

“I like it, so I’m putting a ring on it,” Isak smiled. And oh my god. This is so cheesy.

“I love you,” said Even, before hugging him again. “I love you so much.”

Isak’s heart was bursting with love, with so much love. And he wanted to give Even everything. He wanted to give him the world.

So when they got home, Isak had Even lie on his back on the bed while he straddled him and kissed his face and his neck softly. Isak had his doubts and he was terrified but he still did it. He held Even’s left wrist and started removing his watch.

“Isak-,” Even gasped, covering Isak’s hand with his own.

“Let me? If you want. Only if it’s okay,” said Isak.

There were tears in Even’s eyes and it killed Isak. It killed him. Even lay back down on the bed and nodded.

“Are you sure?” said Isak.

“Yes,” Even whispered. “I never told anyone.”

Isak nodded then removed his watch. He did his best not to cry when he saw the scars on his wrist right above his pulse.

“Baby,” Isak mumbled.

“I’m so ashamed,” Even blurted out, bringing his other arm to his eyes. No.

Isak kissed his pulse the same way Even had done for him. He kissed his pulse then leaned down to kiss his lips.

“You have nothing to be ashamed of,” said Isak. “You’re so strong.”

Even choked up and Isak couldn’t handle it.

“Where else does it hurt, baby?” said Isak.

Even put a hand on his own heart and gosh.

Isak leaned down and kissed his chest. He pressed the softest kiss to his heart and felt Even melt beneath him. Isak kissed him until they melted into one another, until Even wrapped his arms around him and buried his face in his neck.

“Thank you,” said Even.

“Anything for you.”

.

“I don’t tell people I’m bipolar because I don’t want to be seen as just that, you know. People can be very nice and kind but they’ll still treat you differently when they know. They’ll still try to turn everything into symptoms. They’ll still try to attribute some of the stuff you do to the fact that you’re mentally ill. It’s just the way it is. So I don’t tell people anymore. I don’t want to relive that nightmare,” said Even.

“What nightmare?” said Isak, stroking his face.

“When I transferred in my last year. I had just gotten properly diagnosed and I was getting used to it. I didn’t want to hide who I was so I told everyone on the first day. But then these guys decided it would be funny to break the bipolar kid, you know. How far can you go. It destroyed me. I was like a circus animal. People were placing bets. Who can make him lose his fucking mind first. And I did. I lost my mind. I crashed so hard that I didn’t want to live anymore. Everybody was talking about me on social media. Everybody was speculating. I was so tired of everything.”

I’m going to kill them.

.

Isak couldn’t sleep. He was fuming. He was angry. Who would want to hurt you? Who?!

Around 3 in the morning, Isak became furious with himself, with the universe, but mostly with fucking Chris Schistad. Chris who had pretended to be his friend for the longest time. Chris who made him coffee and let him stay at his place. What the fuck were you playing? What the fuck do you want from Even?!

Isak forgot about his fears of losing Even and drowned in his fears for Even. Even. Even who was sleeping soundly beside him, Even who looked so peaceful and so beautiful, Even who made his heart burst, Even whom he loved more than anything in the world. Isak reached out to brush his fingers against Even’s cheek and gasped when he leaned into his touch. He gasped and melted and he couldn’t help but wonder who could ever want to hurt him.

You deserve nothing but love.

It was 4 in the morning now and Isak was still furious.

What the fuck!

He rolled out of bed, put on one of Even’s sweaters, shoved his legs into a random pair of pants, and shuffled awkwardly into his shoes. He put on a beanie, grabbed one of Even’s scarfs -- because he knew he would be furious with him if he went outside in light clothing when it was freezing -- and left the apartment.

.

Isak had no plan whatsoever. He just knew that he was furious and that he couldn’t just lie in Even’s arms when fucking Schistad was out there plotting something with Erik.

He rang the bell maybe ten times in a row. Chris’ parents could have been home, but he didn’t care. He couldn’t care less.

.

“What the fuck?!” Chris yelled as he opened the door wearing nothing but his boxers.

“You tell me!” Isak yelled right back.

“It’s 5 in the fucking morning, Isak!” said Chris, rubbing his eyes then hugging himself because of the cold.

“Do I look like I give a fuck?!”

Chris sighed then tried to usher Isak inside by grabbing his arm.

“Don’t fucking touch me!” Isak flinched and shoved him hard.

“Wow, okay,” Chris held his hands up. “What the fuck?”

Isak made his way to the all too familiar living room and was a little bit relieved to see that Chris was indeed all alone in the house and that he hadn’t disturbed anyone else’s sleep.

“What’s going on?” said Chris, his voice a bit softer, his eyes a bit more anxious.

“What the fuck do you want from Even?” said Isak. “What’s your deal?”

“What?”

“Cut the bullshit Schistad! I know you did this to him before. I know you and your fucked up crew have something against him and really just enjoy seeing him break. I know this!”

“Isak, I have no idea what you’re talking about,” said Chris.

“Fuck you! I know you dared someone in high school to fuck him up just like you did with me!” said Isak.

But then he paused because Chris looked absolutely clueless. He knew Chris like the back of his hand. He couldn’t fake looking this surprised.

“Isak. I didn’t know Even until he got to UiO. I didn’t know him in high school,” said Chris.

Shit.

“I don’t believe you,” said Isak.

“You can ask him. We didn’t know each other then. Besides, he did his last year in Trondheim.”

“What the hell? Then who did that to him? It makes no sense. And why would you dare me to hook up with him? Why did you push me to make him fall for me? It makes no sense!”

“Shit,” Chris sighed. “We might need to sit down for this.”

Isak’s skin was crawling. He suddenly realized that he was in Chris’ house all by himself and that he had left his phone behind. He couldn’t even call anyone if something happened. He was so caught up in everything Even that he forgot he had never bothered answering any of Chris’ messages or calls and that he hadn’t confronted him about what happened. What was I thinking. What if he calls Erik to come here.

But then Chris made his way to the coffee machine and started making coffee?

“What are you doing?” said Isak, still standing by the couch, his body tense and his eyes wide.

“I’m making you coffee,” said Chris.

“I don’t want your fucking coffee!”

“Isak, please. I just-,” Chris sighed just as the coffee started brewing. “I don’t know what to fucking do. I’m trying my best but somehow I just keep making everything worse!”

“What are you talking about?!”

Chris walked up to him and Isak froze in his spot. He couldn’t breathe. His body was paralyzed and fuck, I thought I had this thing under control.

Isak was so helpless that he felt tears gather around the corners of his eyes. I’m stronger than this. I can fucking take him. He’s smaller than me. Why am I scared of him! What the-

“Isak,” Chris breathed, his hands on Isak’s shoulders, Isak who was petrified. “I just-”

But then he stopped talking, probably because he noticed that Isak was shaking.

“Oh my god,” Chris sighed. “Oh god! Isak. What the-”

“Get away from me!” Isak bit through his tears.

“Oh my god. Are you- Are you scared of me? What?”

“Fuck you!”

“Oh gosh! Fuck! Fuck this!” Chris took several steps back and held onto his head.

“What?!”

“Isak, I would never hurt you!”

“I don’t fucking believe you! I know you told Erik about the dare. Erik! Fucking Erik! You probably were on it together! You never cared about me!”

“Gosh! I’m so sick of this dare bullshit!” Chris sighed loudly.

“What?”

“I did it for you! This whole thing was for you! Because I was feeling like shit about what happened when you were in Nissen. I did it for you because I was sick of you bringing random dudes home who only wanted one thing from you! I wanted you to be around someone who cared about you! I did it for you!” said Chris.

Nothing made sense anymore, so Isak repeated the one word that played in his head.

“What?”

“Fuck’s sake!” Chris sighed, pulling a chair. “Even. That corny fucker! We used to hang out at parties all the time and he got completely trashed one night and told everyone in the room that he had the biggest crush on you! He kept talking about your face and your hair and how you saved him or some shit and it was just pathetic but really cute at the same time. I don’t know! I tried to get him to talk to you for weeks but he wouldn’t budge. He was scared of hurting you or something. I don’t know what that guy is on half the time but he seemed genuine. I kept throwing parties and inviting him so that you two could meet, but nothing was happening! You kept hooking up with the same douchebags and he kept looking at you from afar. I just had to do something-”

“So you dared me to hook up with him,” said Isak, a little bit stunned, a little bit disconnected.

“Yeah! We already dared each other to do stuff all the time so I thought maybe! I mean I just said hook up with him, not fuck him! I thought you two would talk or something. I knew he was crazy about you already. So when you told me that you two fucked I was confused as hell! And not only that but you came home that night. You just ditched him like you ditched everyone. So I felt bad for Even and-”

“You dared me to fuck him up,” said Isak.

“Yeah. I mean I just wanted you to talk to him or see him or something? I figured maybe you’d realize he’s a nice guy and then drop the dare thing. And you did. But then a few days later you said our deal was back on and I was so confused.”

“I found out you lied about having a sister and I thought you and Even were playing me,” Isak admitted.

“Shit. I always ruin everything,” Chris sighed. “I just wanted you to have a nice time with someone who cares about you.”

“You had no fucking right to manipulate me!” said Isak.

“I’m sorry. I just. I knew you wouldn’t do it. I knew you wouldn’t approach him if I just told you. You don’t trust anyone.”

“Can you fucking blame me?” Isak asked, his eyes wide and his heart sore.

“I’m sorry,” Chris mumbled, his head down. “I’m really fucking sorry.”

“For what, Chris? What are you sorry for?”

“For everything.”

“What is everything?! Tell me!” said Isak with tears in his eyes.

“I just-”

“No! You owe me this! You don’t get to get out of this one, Schistad! Fucking tell me!”

“Isak, please. Just go home. We can talk about this later,” Chris pleaded.

“No!” Isak yelled, lunging at him and shoving him in the chest. “Say it!”

“Isak. What the fuck!”

But then Isak shoved him again, a bit harder this time, until Chris lost his balance and nearly fell.

“Fucking say it!”

“Isak!”

Isak shoved him a third time and Chris held onto his wrists.

“Say it you fucking asshole! Tell me why you’re always so sorry! Why you were nice to me for months and let me stay here for free and bring randos every night! Why you never questioned what the fuck was wrong with me or why I spent days in bed because I was so fucking depressed. Tell me! Say it you piece of shit! Just-”

“Because I know what happened!” Chris yelled in his face. “I know what Erik did to you and I knew about the pictures and I knew he was going to post them because the other guys dared him to and I did nothing to stop him!”

.

Isak finished his coffee by the time Chris had stopped rambling. He didn’t even cry. He was numb to everything. He didn’t care. He didn’t even blink when Chris revealed that they had a bet going on when Isak was in his third year. ‘Who will get the closeted twink to give him a blowjob.’ He didn’t even blink. He didn’t even care. My life was destroyed because of a fucking bet.

“Say something,” said Chris.

“I want another cup of coffee,” said Isak.

.

“Why did you tell Erik about the dare?” said Isak.

“Even is busting his balls right now trying to build a case against him or something. I don’t know how exactly but I heard he’s trying to get people to come forward. And it’s driving Erik nuts, so he’s trying to get him,” said Chris.

“What?!”

“Yeah, he’s trying to mess with his mind you know, to get him to break or have an episode or something. But he doesn’t know how because Even isn’t biting. He’s been harassing him through texts for weeks now and Even doesn’t even respond,” said Chris. “Wait, you know Even’s bipolar, right? I only found out after he lost his shit last year on Facebook but not many people know.”

“Yeah I know. Fuck!”

“Erik was planning something batshit to get Even to break once and for all. Something big enough to make him drop out. I know he’s furious that you two are a thing. It drove him mad. And I freaked out so I told him about the dare. I told him that you were fucking with him and that he didn’t need to do anything. I don’t know what I was thinking. I’m sorry.”

“Oh my god.”

“I’m sorry.”

.

Isak was leaving when he remembered one thing.

“Why are you still friends with him if he’s so horrible?” said Isak.

“If he goes down, I go down, too. We grew up together.”

“Chris.”

“Yeah?”

“Don’t talk to me ever again.”

.

Isak walked back to Even’s apartment with his heart in pieces. It all started with a dare. He had started hating himself because some dudes thought it was funny to take advantage of him on the worst night of his life. He got outed through social media because those same dudes decided it was funny and dared the guy who assaulted him to post pictures of him online.

His heart hurt. It really did. But he couldn’t dwell on it. He had made peace with it. Sort of. He had more pressing matters to take care of. Even.

Even was trying to keep his promise. He was trying to get rid of Erik for him and Erik was messing with him in return. I can’t keep ruining your life like this.

.

Isak got back to the apartment, took off his clothes, and crawled back into Even’s arms, Even who was still sleeping.

“Hmm, cold,” Even mumbled, probably because Isak’s skin was freezing.

“Sorry,” Isak whispered, trying to get out of his hold.

“No,” said Even, bringing him back into the crook of his neck. “Let me warm you up, baby.”

Isak buried his face in Even’s neck and sighed. He didn’t know what to do. Everything was so complicated and he didn’t know what to do.

“I’m so scared,” Isak mumbled.

“Of what?”

“Of losing you,” said Isak.

“You will never lose me.”

.

Even was wearing the stupid ring and he named it the Beyoncé ring. Elias and Muta freaked out when they first saw him wearing it.

“What the fuck?” said Elias. “Are you getting married? You guys have only been together for a few months.”

“Oh my god! It’s just a ring!” said Isak, his face flushing.

“Why is it on his ring finger?” said Mutasim.

“It fits that finger perfectly, so,” said Even.

“Wait, isn’t this a girl's’ ring?” said Elias. “It has like an infinity symbol on it and all.”

“No, it’s Even’s ring!” said Even, storming away.

“Even, you don’t have to wear it all the time!” Isak followed suit.

“I’m never taking it off.”

“Even!” Isak whined.

“Yeah, not happening,” Even laughed.


Eva

10:13

Hi

Can we talk?

Oh my god!

YES!


They sat on one of the benches next to Nissen, and for a moment Isak wondered what he was doing.

“I’m sorry again,” said Eva.

“It’s fine. This isn’t about me,” said Isak.

“What’s going on?”

“I’m fucked,” said Isak.

“Why?”

“I have to tell Even about the dare.”

“You haven’t told him yet?”

“No,” said Isak.

“What are you waiting for?”

“It’s complicated,” said Isak. “I don’t know if he’ll forgive me. And if he doesn’t it will probably kill me.”

“It’s just a dare. I don’t think he’ll care about that. Besides, you’re crazy about him and he’s crazy about you. Just tell him.”

“I don’t know. Even if he forgives me, I still don’t want to hurt him you know? I feel like it’s going to hurt him a lot.”

“I think you should just tell him and give him space to process it. I’m sure he’ll come around,” said Eva.

“How are you so sure?”

“I can tell that he really cares about you. He made me feel like shit whenever I stopped by without even trying.”

“What did he say?” said Isak.

“Uhm. I tried to explain why I did what I did you know. I kept saying that you needed to hear those words and that you needed to realize stuff, and he shut me up in one sentence.”

“What?”

“He said that you can never tell people how to feel,” said Eva. “That you should never force people to see something if they’re not ready to see it.”

“Hm. Sounds like something he would say.”

“I think you’re getting too wrapped up in this and that it’s probably making him sad,” said Eva. “He’s probably imagining things. Stop being weird and go make him super happy then tell him.”

“Okay.”

.

“Isak.”

“Hm?”

“Thanks for telling me,” said Eva. “Thanks for trusting me with this.”

“I don’t have anyone,” said Isak.

“That’s not true,” said Eva. “We’re all here for you. Jonas would die if you called him right now.”

.

“Dude, here’s what you should do,” said Jonas. “Just pick the cheesiest song and sing it to him in his car or something. Then tell him about this stupid dare.”

“Yeah, after that give him a blowjob while he sulks and he’ll get over it. Case closed,” said Magnus.

“Oh gosh, shut up!” said Isak. “I’m serious.”

“If he kicks you out you can stay at my place,” said Mahdi.

“Shut up!” said Jonas, throwing a pillow to his direction. “Isak isn’t getting kicked out!”

.

Isak was nervous. They were in Even’s car and he had just asked him to take the highway.

“Why?”

“I want us to drive for a bit,” said Isak.

“Hmm. Where to?” said Even.

“Anywhere.”

“Okay,” said Even, squinting his eyes.

Isak fumbled with his phone and struggled to get it to connect to the car’s sound system. Oh my god. Calm down.

“What are you doing?” said Even, looking amused.

“I’m trying to connect my phone.”

“Here,” Even laughed.

“Thanks.”

“You gonna play me a song?” said Even.

“Yes,” said Isak.

.

Now Playing: Clean Bandit Ft Zara Larsson - Symphony

.

“I know this song!” said Even.

I’ve been hearing symphonies, ” Isak closed his eyes and just sang the damn song, trying to ignore how embarrassed he felt.

“Oh my god!”

Before all I heard was silence. A rhapsody for you and me. And every melody is timeless,” Isak started laughing because this was ridiculous but Even was laughing and he looked so happy. “ Life was stringing me along. Then you came and you cut me loose. Was solo singing on my own. Now I can’t find the key without you.

“Baby you’re killing me,” said Even running one hand the back of Isak’s head.

“Shut up, I’m trying to sing you a song!” Isak laughed.

The beat picked up and Isak felt all traces of embarrassment leave his body. Might as well enjoy this.

I’m sorry if it’s all too much. But every day you’re here I’m healing. And I was running out of luck. Never thought I’d find this feeling.

Even was dying behind the wheel while Isak moved his body with the beat, brought his hands up to his face, and starting dancing?

He was enjoying this way too much. Isak couldn’t recall the last time he had sang and danced along to a song without being completely wasted. This felt so nice. His heart felt so good.

“Ahhh!” Even squealed.

I just wanna be part of you symphony! Will you hold me tight and not let go?!

Symphony !” Even joined him, and Isak couldn’t believe they were that couple.

“We’re disgusting!” said Isak.

“We’re adorable!” said Even.

“Shut up!”

“SYMPHONY!”

.

“Thank you. You made me so happy,” said Even, kissing his hand.

“Stop.”

“You’re the best boyfriend in the world.”

“I can accept that compliment,” said Isak, laughing.

“I should get you a ring,” said Even. “So that we match.”

“No. I’m good.”

“Baby, I’m getting you a ring,” said Even.

“No!”

“Alright, it’s time for me to play a song.”

“No! Please!”

.

Now Playing: One Direction - What Makes You Beautiful

.

“Even!!!”

Baby you light up my world like nobody else! The way that you flip your hair gets me overwhelmed!

“Even, I’m fucking BALD!”


Jonas

21:34

Did you tell him?

Fuck i forgot

Isak…

Im gonna tell him!


“Even,” Isak panted on his lap. “Even wait.”

“Hm?” Even stopped sucking a bruise into his neck.

“I want to tell you something,” said Isak.

“Yeah? What do you wanna tell me, baby,” said Even before biting his collarbones softly and placing his big hands on Isak’s bum, parting his cheeks and making him moan like he was shooting a porno.

“Oh god,” Isak whined.

“That’s not my name, baby,” Even laughed, before kissing him on the mouth, all wet and sloppy.

“Shut up. Oh my god,” said Isak, now grinding against him because he couldn’t help it.

Even had been so good to him lately. He had him moaning through the sheets at the most random hours. He had him panting on the kitchen table and on the couch and on the floor. Isak was not only enjoying sex again, but he was having loads of it.

Shit I need to tell him.

“Babe,” Even nibbled at his jaw.

“Hmm.”

“What do you want?” said Even. “Anything you want.”

“Please,” Isak whined.

“Please what?”

“Take me from behind.”

“What?” Even stopped kissing his face, nearly choking.

“Oh my god,” Isak’s face flushed.

“Is that what you wanted to tell me?” Even laughed.

No.

“Uh. Yes,” Isak lied.

“But I want to look at your face. I always want to look at your face.”

“We can print a picture of my face and stick it to the back of my head,” said Isak.

“Why do you have to kill my boner like this?”

“Kill your boner? Kill your boner?!”

.

Isak didn’t tell him about the dare that day. They didn’t stick a picture of Isak’s face at the back of his head either, but Even still gave him what he wanted. And he was ashamed. He was so ashamed with his face pressed against the pillow and his moans probably waking their neighbors, but he felt reborn with every thrust. He always associated this position with the worst night of his life. But this, this was nice. This was nice because Even’s hands were gentle on him the entire time, because his voice was in his ears the entire time reminding him that he was beautiful and hot and perfect and in control, constantly asking if he was feeling okay, if this was okay. And when he wrapped his arms around Isak’s chest and pulled him towards him until his back was pressed to Even’s stomach, Isak nearly cried. He nearly cried because Even was a generous lover and he kissed his neck and touched him like he was the most precious thing. He nearly cried because it wasn’t rough, because it felt good, because it was sensual, so sensual. Holy shit.

It didn’t last long though, and Even quickly turned him around because he had to look at his face, always had to look at his face.

“I loved it,” said Isak, still panting.

“Yeah, but I want to kiss you when I make love to you. It’s what lovers do,” said Even.

“Shut up!” Isak blushed. “Also that ring hurt me. Take if off!”

“Never.”


Noora Sætre

14:18

Hi Isak. Hope you’re doing well

Wanna meet up for coffee?

I wanna talk to you

If you want

Hey

Uh

Sure


Isak didn’t know what he expected. He realized that he had never sat and talked to Noora outside of Kollektivet. He virtually knew nothing about her aside from the fact that she was a pretty girl, and that for some reason, she was still seeing William. Eva and Sana were very fond of her though, so she was probably a loyal friend.

Noora had probably hurt him the most out of the girls that day because of how composed she had been. Eva was on the verge of tears and Vilde was nervous, but Noora was calm and composed with sad and pitiful eyes. It was almost as if she knew how he felt. It felt horrible. It felt patronizing. And at that moment, he hated her the most. He really did.

But sitting across from her now in the new coffee shop that just opened near campus, he didn’t hate her as much. He didn’t hate her at all.

“Nice lipstick,” said Isak.

“Thanks,” said Noora, smiling. “Nice haircut.”

“Screw you,” Isak laughed.

“What? I mean it,” she smiled again.

“Anyways. What is this about?” said Isak.

“Hm. Wanted to say sorry for the other day,” said Noora. “It’s been keeping me up at night.”

“Uh. Okay.”

Isak couldn’t ever imagine that Noora of all people would stay up at night because of him.

“It was shitty. What we did. I mean it really was a thing for Russ time, but we made it about you. And we tried to force your hand. It wasn’t cool.”

“Whatever. I’m over it,” said Isak.

“No. It was very fucked up. And by the way, Eva only reached out to me but you know Vilde. She’s so nosy, she basically found out by herself. I’m sure she read my texts or something, but anyways,” Noora sighed. “Eva was so lost and she really cares about you so much. She reached out to me because she thought I would know what to do you know. And it was my idea. So please don’t hate her too much.”

“I don’t hate her,” said Isak.

“Okay. But yeah it was very cruel of me and of us. I should have known better. Especially given how I dealt with stuff like that myself you know.”

“What?”

.

Noora told him about how she had been terrorized during their first year at Nissen, how William’s brother let her think he had assaulted her for the longest time, making her lose her mind. She told him about how awful she felt, about how she couldn’t sleep, couldn’t eat, couldn’t look at William, let alone talk to him. She told him about how lonely and alone she felt, about how much she hated herself and her body. Noora told him things he never thought he would hear coming from her.

“I had no idea,” said Isak.

“I only told the girls and eventually William. But yeah it didn’t go as well as I hoped it would go. I didn’t handle it very well,” said Noora. “I was very scared and I also wasn’t sure.”

“But nothing happened?” said Isak.

“Yeah nothing happened,” said Noora. “I still wish I had someone to help me through it like you did.”

“Oh.”

“But yeah, my case wasn’t as bad as yours,” said Noora.

“You were sixteen,” said Isak, reaching for her hand. “I’m so sorry.”

Noora’s eyes widened and so did his. What.

“Wow,” Noora smiled. “I didn’t know you were so sweet.”

“It happens to me sometimes,” Isak smiled right back.

It turned out that Noora could press charges because of the pictures Nico had taken of her and because she got him to admit it in a recording.

“I’m sure there are laws for revenge porn and stuff,” said Noora. “I can help you. The girls helped me through it and I’m sure we can find stuff.”

“It’s okay,” said Isak. “I don’t want to think about this right now.”

“I understand,” said Noora. “Call me if you change your mind.”

“Okay.”

“And if there’s one advice I can give you it’s talk to him. Talk to Even. Don’t hide things from him. Just tell him what’s on your heart. Don’t ignore him and leave him in the dark because you want to protect him.”

“Uh, okay.”


Even <3

17:18

I agree

Lol

Is this effective immediately? Cause I will be angry if you don’t do this when we meet in an hour

You’re not even that much taller than me

Isak you sent this. not me

Right

Anyways

I’m not that short

Of course not <3

You’re the perfect height

It’s like you were made for me

Shush

Shush is cute. What happened to ‘shut up’

It’s too rude

:O

Who is this

It’s me your boyfriend <3

Who loves you <3

Who dis

Shut up

Haha <3

I do love our height difference though

Do you have any idea how much it kills me

When we’re standing face to face

And you lift your head up

And beg for a kiss?

Jldflkdfjdffkjkfd

Okay first of all i don’t beg

Second, did your fingers slip?

If my fingers slipped you would have felt it baby <3

Oh my god!

Shut up!

Bye

Haha <3


 

Isak was having lunch with Jonas when his phone vibrated. He choked on his kebab the moment he realized he was in a group conversation with an unknown number and Chris Schistad.



Unknown Number + Chris

13:08

Unknown Number: I’ve been keeping quiet cause I’m waiting for the huge blow

Unknown Number: But i’m getting impatient

Unknown Number: When are you gonna drop the act and take care of Bech Næsheim for me? :)

Unknown Number: he’s getting nosy

Unknown Number: my parents are starting to hear shit

Chris: patience bro :)

Chris: right isak?


What the fuck?!

Isak immediately called Chris.

“What the fuck, Chris?!” he yelled on the phone while Jonas looked confused.

“Okay, before you throw a fit. Just listen to me. This might be our chance. Maybe if we get him to admit what he did, you could use that to your benefit?” said Chris.

“I don’t want to play some fucking game!”

“You don’t have to! But remember that the only reason he’s not going after Even is because he thinks you’re playing him.”

“Fuck! I hate you so much!” said Isak.

“I know. I just don’t know what to do,” said Chris.

Isak hung up and went back to the conversation.


Unknown Number + Chris

13:14

Unknown Number: isak?

Unknown Number: you’re not on this with Even are you?

Unknown Number: cause i have some unseen pictures that would love to see the light of day

Of course not

Unknown Number: good boy

Chris: See. i told you :)

Unknown Number: but be careful. you don’t want him to try to kill himself again lol

Unknown Number: might fuck you up

Unknown Number: we don’t want that

Chris: yeah we don’t want that

Unknown Number: just want him to drop out this semester so these charges can go away

Unknown Number: can you do that for me isak

Chris: Isak?

Unknown Number: i mean if you don’t, i have other plans

I got this


Isak threw his phone on the ground and he was shaking. Oh my god. Oh my god.

“Isak, what the fuck?” Jonas’ hands were on his shoulders and he was losing his damn mind.

He typed those two messages in total panic over Erik fucking with Even. He didn’t even care that he had other pictures of him. He didn’t even care.

“Isak?” Jonas asked.

“I have to go.”

.

Isak walked for an hour, maybe more, before realizing that this was probably a good thing. Noora could press charges because she manipulated Nico into saying what she wanting him to say. Erik had already admitted that he had more pictures of him. He could get him to say more. This didn’t have to be the end of the world. This could be a good thing. This could be a great thing.


Even <3

15:17

Bby. When are you done with jonas?

I’m going to Schistad’s to pick up something

I’ll be done around 18:00?

Chris?

Yeah

We have to talk about some stuff

Hmm okay

Should i be concerned?

no <3

ok

Want me to pick you up?

Yess please

I’ll be there

I’m playing justin bieber today

I’ll walk

I’ll take the bus

Haha <3

<3<3


“How do I know I can trust you?” said Isak.

“You’ll just have to take my word for it,” said Chris.

“No offense but your word means jackshit to me,” said Isak.

“Okay. I deserve that.”

“Why suddenly decide to screw over Erik?”

“Cause he’s a fucking asshole and I’m sick of not being able to sleep at night?”

“What about the ‘if he goes down i go down’?” said Isak.

“I’ll figure it out,” said Chris. “He’ll try to involve me but I never did anything to anyone.”

“You never did anything for anyone either. You knew shit. You might get charged, too,” said Isak.

“I don’t care. I wanna make it right,” said Chris.

They sat down and Chris told him about every single awful thing he had witnessed Erik do. Isak couldn’t breathe. He knew he was an awful person but he didn’t know just how awful he was. And the worst thing was that he probably thought it was warranted, probably thought there was nothing wrong with what he was doing, taking advantage of people when they were at their lowest.

“He used to say ’ Then don’t get drunk’ whenever I told him that what he was doing was wrong,” said Chris. “He said that people are sad sometimes and that they just wanna have a good time so why not help.”

“Fuck, I’m gonna throw up,” said Isak.

“I’m sorry. I shouldn’t be telling you this.”

“I can take it. It’s fine.”

Isak found out about what they had done during their Russ time, about how they treated girls like garbage, about how they had dumped this one girl in a literal trash can after they were done with her. Isak couldn’t breathe.

“I have names and pictures and conversations. We can do something,” said Chris.

“Fuck.”

“Even already started contacting people who pressed charges but who couldn’t go too far. Like parents and stuff. But people don’t want to reopen old wounds,” said Chris.

“I’m. I’m gonna go home now,” said Isak.

“I’m sorry.”

“It’s fine.”

.

This was much bigger than just him. Isak was overwhelmed. He wasn’t sure if he was strong enough do this. Everybody was going to find out about what had happened to him and he couldn’t take it.

But then he remembered Even, Even who was fighting tooth and nail to bring him justice, Even who loved too much and wasn’t loved nearly enough.

I’ll do it. I can do this. I don’t give a shit as long as I have him. I’m going to tell him. I’m going to tell him everything right now.


Nei Isak

17:28

I’m gonna tell Even

I’m gonna tell him right now

Magnus: good luck bro!!!

Mahdi: my place is available if u wanna crash

Jonas: shut up mahdi!!!!

Eva: yayyy everything’s gonna be fine

Noora: <3

Sana: what?

Chris: what??

Christoffer: <3

David: not sure what’s going on but i’ll send a heart too

Vilde: isak we love you <3

Sana: i’m lost

Chris: i feel like we missed a few chapters

Vilde renamed the groupchat to “Ja Isak”

Haha

<3

I love you too Vilde

Magnus: ??

Chris: relax he’s gay

Vilde:

Wtf it’s Even’s meme

Vilde: i know :’)

You’ve been going through my messages?????

Vilde: lol no i just talk to Even sometimes

What?

Eva: i’m not even surprised

Noora renamed the groupchat to “Nei Vilde”


Isak laughed at the groupchat for a little while before closing it and opening one of the silly games that helped kill time while he waited for Even. His phone was about to die and he had about 20 minutes before to go, so he turned on airplane mode.

He immediately gave up on the game the moment he saw Even’s car round the corner despite being very competitive. Even was right on time and his heart was beating fast, too fast, in his chest. I’m going to tell him everything. We can do this together.

.

Isak shoved his phone in his pocket and made his way to the car.

“Hi bby,” said Isak, pressing a short kiss to Even’s lips before turning around to put on his seatbelt.

But then his phone fell from his pocket, and he awkwardly bent over to look for it.

“Shit,” he muttered before undoing his seatbelt and diving under his own seat.

He was so focused on finding his phone that he didn’t notice how his lips never landed on Even’s but on his cheek instead. He was so preoccupied that he didn’t notice how Even hadn’t uttered a word. He was so focused that he didn’t notice that the song playing was not by Justin Bieber until his fingers found his phone, and his seatbelt was back on, and Even had started the car.

.

Now Playing: London Grammar - Hell the the Liars

Hell to the liars

Here's to you and me

Hell to the best of us

Here's to you and me

Hell to the righteous ones

Here's to them

.

Isak couldn’t breathe because Even wasn’t looking at him and because he wasn’t smiling. Even always smiled when Isak got in the car. Isak couldn’t breathe because he wasn’t stupid, because he knew this was bad.

“Even-” Isak’s chest hurt. This was bad. This was really bad.

“Is it true?” said Even, choking up.

“I-. What-”

Even didn’t say a word. He just pointed towards his phone with his chin.

Isak fumbled with his phone, missing the combination three times. His heart was about to stop. He turned off airplane mode and his phone crashed with all the notifications and messages. He couldn’t read everything but the ones that stood out were:

Jonas: Isak what the fuck

Eva: Oh my god isak holy shit!!!! Are you with Even????

Christoffer: Isak i’m so fucking sorry i think he hacked my phone or something i don’t know what to fucking say he’s trying to take me down

Anna: Who knew isak was the real villain of the story

Elias: what the fuck??? Do you have a death wish????

Sana: isak what the hell is going on??

Even: isak whats happening?? baby please tell me this isnt truee plaees??

.

 

Chrisschistad2 tagged you in a post

“A plot twist more jaw-dropping than an episode of Game of Thrones! :O Who knew our beloved Penetrator Chris was behind everyone’s favorite new couple by daring @isakyaki to hook up with our favorite batshit bipolar fuckboy on campus @evenbn only to destroy him later on.

What’s the saying? ‘Fool me once shame on you. Fool me twice shame on me?” Heard this isn’t the first time Even Bech Næsheim gets played. Hope you survive this one, too <3.”

.

Isak couldn’t see through his tears. He couldn’t see and he couldn’t breathe. The post had screenshots from his conversations with Chris and from the groupchat.

 

Isak: I fucked him

Isak: You owe me 2000 kroner

Isak: A dare is a dare bitch

Isak: I really wanna go to Greece you see. Make him fall for me and you’ll pay right?

Isak: Are you chickening out cause you know I’ll win the bet?

Unknown Number: you’re not on this with Even are you?

Unknown Number: cause i have some unseen pictures that would love to see the light of day

Isak: Of course not

Unknown Number: but be careful. you don’t want him to try to kill himself again lol

Isak: I got this

.

Isak was sobbing. His chest was on fire and his heart hurt so much, so damn much. Everyone knew that Even was bipolar now. Everyone knew that someone had played him before. Everyone knew that Isak was tasked with fucking him up . Everyone knew that Even had tried to take his own life. Everyone knew everything Even had worked so hard to hide. Everyone knew and it was all Isak’s fault.

“I can explain,” he sobbed.

“Is it true? Is that you? It’s not photoshopped?” said Even with a tear rolling down his cheek.

“I was going to tell you. I swear. I was going to tell you!”

“Then why didn’t you?” Even’s tone was too weak, too broken . Isak couldn’t handle it.

“I was scared. I was so scared,” said Isak.

Even wouldn’t look at him.

.

Here's to the things you love

Here's to those you find enough

Hell to the rest of us

 

Those who are born with love

Here's to you trying

And I'm no better than those I judge

With all my suffering

.

“I never told anyone. You had no right, Isak,” Even finally spoke, his voice cracking and tears streaming down his face.

“Even-”

“Baby, you broke my heart,” Even cried, stopping the car because he probably couldn’t see.

“No, please-”

"You told them everything and you broke my heart.”

I didn’t. I swear I didn’t. It wasn’t me! I didn’t. Please!

“Remember when we first met and I told you you were gonna make me cry?” Even sobbed.

Isak couldn’t breathe and he couldn’t speak. He was tongue tied and he was crying. His hands were reaching for Even but he just let them ghost over his skin, unable of closing the distance.

“I knew it was too good to be true. I knew no one could actually love me,” said Even. 

“Even, please-” Isak cried.

"You knew I was bipolar this whole time didn't you?"

"No. I-"

“Gosh. I can’t breathe. I can’t breathe!” Even sighed, removing his seatbelt, opening the door, and getting out of the car.

Isak’s heart physically hurt and the pain crippled him until he curled around himself and shoved his head between his knees. This was a nightmare. This was his worst fear materialized. He couldn’t move.

Even please!

.

By the time Isak had made it out of the car, by the time he had finally stopped sobbing uncontrollably and could finally form two words that weren’t ‘Even Please’, the streets were deserted.

Even had left his car, and his keys, and his Isak, and his Beyoncé ring behind. Even was nowhere to be found.

.

So this is what the end of the world looks like.

Chapter Text

Nei Vilde

18:23

hELP ME

Please help me

It’s not true

pelasee

Jonas: fuck Isak where are you???

Eva: what the fuck is going on????? Are you okaayy???

Mahdi: isak send me your location!!!

Magnus: BRO? EVEN IS BIPOLAR??????

I dont know where i am!!!!

Mahdi: just click on the three dots next to the chat emoji and press ‘Location’ on the menu

Mahdi: that will send your location!!

I cANT FUCKING SEE

Jonas: ISAK PICK UP THE PHONE!!!

Your Location. Tap to view on map.

I dont know what to do!!! I cant find him!

And he left the car in the middle of the street

I cant fucking breaatheee

Mahdi: im on my way!

Mahdi: should be there in 8 min

Mahdi: dont move

Magnus: im too far shit!

Eva: im coming

Eva: Vilde is with me


Isak had locked the car with trembling hands, grabbed his and Even’s stuff and went looking for him with a cracked chest. He was nowhere to be found. He had vanished and he had left his phone behind.

Isak knew his legs weren’t as long as Even’s. He knew that Even’s strides were big and that he could walk really fast if he wanted to. But he couldn’t have gone that far. Isak had only blacked out in the car with his hands between his knees for a few minutes at most. Even couldn’t have gone that far.

Isak couldn’t find him. He couldn’t see much with tears all over his face, but he was positive he could still make out Even’s silhouette. He was positive he could feel his presence. But Even was nowhere to be found.

Maybe he went back to the car.

Even hadn’t gone back to the car and Isak was lost. He was lost and he was scared, scared for them, but mostly for him. Baby please please be safe. Please.

Isak went behind the wheel, started the car, and tried to get it to move. But he didn’t know his right from his left. He didn’t know where to put his foot. He didn’t know anything.

Focus. Even tried to teach you once. Focus.

Even did try to teach him, multiple times actually. But Isak never listened, never felt like it, never wanted to learn. He was too scared of traffic, too lazy. He didn’t see the point.

“I have you to drive me around.”

“What if I’m no longer around?”

“Shut up!”

Fuck me. Just fuck.

Even was no longer around and Isak was lost. He was lost and he was hysterical again. The car was literally stranded in the middle of the road, just like he was, just like he felt. He didn’t know what to do, so he reached out for his phone and messaged the groupchat because his phone was about to die and he couldn’t message each person separately.

Please believe me. Please help me. Please don’t hate me.

They didn’t hate him.

.

Isak had fantasized about Jonas holding him like this for years. He had dreamt about it for the longest time. Jonas finally embracing him, finally giving him the warmth and care he needed. He had written stories in his head about this very moment, the moment Jonas would finally take him in his arms and make him feel safe and at home. But right now, in the middle of the street on the last week of December, Isak felt nothing but utter despair. He felt nothing but pain and shame and self-hatred. These weren’t the arms he wanted around him. He felt nothing.

“Isak, it’s okay. We’re gonna find him,” said Jonas, his hands on his shoulders.

“I fucked up. I fucked everything up,” said Isak, feeling defeated with tears reaching his neck.

Jonas had found him first and Isak only felt relieved for half a second in his arms before panic and agony settled in his chest again.

‘I can’t breathe. I can’t breathe.’ Even couldn’t breathe. Even was sobbing and he couldn’t breathe. Isak would never get over it.

He wasn’t sure when Mahdi got there, but he was behind the wheel and Eva was in the passenger seat.

“Get in!” said Eva.

Isak was pressed between Jonas and Vilde, and he was so crushed that he leaned against her shoulder. He never thought he would ever let Vilde touch his face, but there she was wiping his tears with her sleeves.

“Isak, which direction did he go?” said Mahdi.

“I don’t know,” Isak mumbled.

“Come on! Focus man,” said Mahdi. “You must have seen him go somewhere. You can cry later.”

“Just drive the fucking car!” said Jonas.   

.

Even was nowhere to be found and Isak’s mind was spiraling with all the possibilities. He couldn’t breathe. He couldn’t stop crying.

“Who the fuck leaves their car in the middle of the road though? Is he insane?” said Mahdi.

“That’s fucked up Mahdi!” said Vilde.

“What?”

“He’s bipolar. He’s not insane!” said Vilde.

“Wait. He’s bipolar?!”

“Oh my god! Didn’t you read the insta post?” said Eva.

“No!” said Mahdi.

“Then why are you here?”

“I don’t know! Isak said he was going to tell Even about the dare then he messaged the group all hysterical and shit,” said Mahdi.

“He just left?” said Vilde. “Like stopped the car and left?”

Isak nodded, feeling dizzy and disoriented and tired, so tired.

“Isak, how has he been acting lately? Do you think he might be going into an episode?” said Vilde.

“What?”

.

They couldn’t find Even. They spent around twenty minutes driving around in circles and there were no traces of him. Isak’s phone was dead, so he couldn’t even reach out to Sonja or Even’s mom.

“I have Sonja and Elias on facebook,” said Vilde.

“Thank fuck for your need to be in everyone’s business for once!” said Jonas.


Elias

19:15

We found him

He’s at his mom’s place

Oh my god!

Thank fuck

Thank you

Tell Isak to bring the car to our building

Is Even okay?????

I don’t know

Can you check with his mom?? Please!!

It’s isak!

….

Come pick up your shit


Isak choked up when he read Elias’ last text. He choked up and looked at Vilde with pleading eyes. Please keep this between us, please. She nodded and took her phone back, and for some reason he trusted her.

But there was no coming back from this. He wanted to explain himself. He really did. But he didn’t know where to start. Whatever he said would end up sounding like an excuse. Nothing could make this right and Isak was tired, so tired.

Mahdi parked the car in front of Even’s building and Isak made a mental note of how strong Vilde was physically as she nearly carried him out of the car. His limbs were failing him. Isak had read about heartbreak on Yahoo Answers but nobody ever mentioned anything about the crippling physical pain.

“Maybe we should come back tomorrow? When everything calms down?” said Eva.

“I don’t know what to do,” Isak faltered. “I don’t know what to fucking do.”

“Do you want me to go talk to the guys upstairs?” said Jonas.

“No,” said Isak. “I’ll do it.”

“No offense, but you’re not talking to anyone in this state,” said Jonas.

“Fuck.”

Vilde ended up taking Even’s keys and his phone upstairs while they all waited in the middle of the street. Isak was heartbroken but he was grateful for his friends. He didn’t know what he would have done if they hadn’t shown up. He didn’t even want to think about it. His heart hurt and his fingers did too from holding onto that damn ring for so long. He had given up Even’s clothes, keys, and phone, but he couldn’t let go of the ring. He was too scared that Even might throw it away. It was safe with him. He would keep it safe until he explained everything to Even. Until then.

.

Isak didn’t sleep that night. Mahdi’s couch was comfortable but his limbs hurt and his heart was in his throat. He knew that Even was at his mom’s place but he still called over a hundred times, hoping that his phone would have somehow gotten to him. He didn’t know what to do. He was getting notifications every few minutes but he couldn’t care less about other people. He couldn’t care less about what fucking Olivia from Biochem thought of him or about all the people talking behind his back and speculating. All he wanted was for Even to be safe, for Even to be okay.

.

‘Baby you broke my heart’

Isak couldn’t stop crying. The hurt in Even’s eyes, the hurt in Even’s voice, the hurt in Even’s words. Isak would never get over it. I did this. I did this to him. I broke him.

Even had looked utterly defeated, utterly broken. All Isak wanted to do was protect him but he broke him instead. He ruined everything and he broke the one thing that ever mattered in his life. The one thing that made waking up in the morning okay. The one thing that made him love himself again.

Isak couldn’t stop crying.


Even <3

03:17

Baby i am so sorry

i am so sorry i don’t know what to fucking do

I love you dont ever doubt that

Everybody loves you

You deserve all the love

You are love and i love you and i’m so sorry

Knowing that i hurt you is killing me

Please please be safe

Hate me all you want but please be safe

Please take care of yourself please be okay

Im sorry im so sorry


Isak curled around himself and tried to reorganize his thoughts, tried to come up with the words he would tell Even to explain himself once he saw him, tried to somehow put his feelings into words without hurting him. He tried but he couldn’t focus. His mind always flashed back to Even’s face when his voice cracked and he sobbed. Even actually sobbed.

Isak couldn’t take it. He was about to start crying again when his phone rang in the middle of the night.

It was Even’s mother and his heart was about to stop. It had to be bad news. Why else would Even’s mother call him at nearly four in the morning? Isak was about to collapse. He didn’t know if he could handle it.

No. No no no please let him be okay. Please.

With trembling hands and an urge to just drop to his knees, Isak picked up.

“Hello? Is he okay? Hello?” he breathed into the phone.

But there was no answer, no bad news just yet, only silence. It wasn’t the end of the world just yet.

“Hello?!” he repeated, slightly aware that he was probably waking Mahdi and his roommates up.

“Please say something,” Isak pleaded. “Is he okay?!”

Isak was about to start screaming and definitely waking Mahdi and his roommates when his soul broke.

“Are you okay?” Even’s voice went straight to his heart.

Oh my god. Oh my god.

“Where are you sleeping? Do you have somewhere to sleep?” said Even.

“Even!” Isak choked up. “I’m sorry. I’m so sorry!”

“Answer me baby.”

“I’m. Uh-. I’m at Mahdi’s. I’m fine. I’m-”

How could you be worried about me. How could you-

“Okay,” said Even.

“I- Even. Wait. I-”

“I’ll fix it, Isak,” said Even.

“What?”

“I’ll fix everything. Don’t worry about anything.”

“What are you talking about-”

“Goodnight,” said Even.

Even hung up and Isak couldn’t tell when he had dropped to his knees, but there he was, in the dark, with his heart on the floor, with his tears once again reaching his neck.

I’ll fix everything.

.

Even didn’t fix everything. Even lost his mind and Isak lost his, too. Even lost all control and Isak’s heart broke into the tiniest little pieces falling off his body everywhere he went, making it impossible for him to mend it back together.

Even decided that Erik manipulated Isak by blackmailing him with the pictures. Even thought that Isak was in it for himself. He thought that Isak had chosen himself over Even, but he still called him baby.

Isak would never get over it.  

.

Vilde (06:57): Isak! Even is in Erik’s house!!!

Eva (06:57): how do you know???

Vilde (06:58): his roommates just posted it in the big groupchat!

.

Even went to Erik’s house at seven in the morning a few days after everything went to hell. Vilde got someone to add her to one of those gossip groupchats who knew about everything and everyone, and she sent screenshots to their chat.

Isak left Mahdi’s apartment in the wrong shoes and in the light t-shirt he had attempted to sleep in. He had no plan. He had no idea what he was doing. He got the address from Eva and ran with wide eyes. Even please don’t do anything stupid, please.

.

Vilde (07:03): wtf they’re putting this on snapchat and insta

Jonas (07:04): wtf???

.

Isak ran with rage flowing through his veins now, with nothing but rage and pure fear in his blood.

.

Isak’s legs stopped carrying him when he got near the house. Gosh. This place. He hadn’t even thought about it. Erik had taken him back here that damn night. It all happened right here. Isak’s life had changed right here in this house. He could recall more things now, like how Erik had to carry him up the stairs because he couldn’t walk and couldn’t see, like how Isak had fallen and hit his head against the floor when Erik let go of him for a second to open the door. Isak could recall things now. You fucking piece of shit.

He was shaking with rage and with fear. He was shaking, but this wasn’t his time. This wasn’t about him.

.

Isak was too late. Even was no longer there, and Erik was no longer there either. He was lost. He hadn’t slept and he hadn’t eaten in days. His heart was sore, so sore in his chest. I’m so tired. Where are you.

Vilde (07:31): shit they called the cops on Even

.

They called the cops on Even, of course they did. Isak was sure he hadn’t done anything that warranted police intervention. But they were ruthless. They were cruel. Isak wasn’t even surprised.

But then he saw Erik’s fancy car on his way out and his jaw hit the floor.

Someone had keyed his car and spelled one word: rapist.

.

Isak knew he was being selfish. He knew that he had no right to worry about himself at that moment, but he couldn’t help but ask. He couldn’t help but wonder. Does everyone know now?

“No,” said Vilde. “Everyone thinks it’s about Even’s brawl with Erik from over a year ago.”

“What brawl?” said Isak.

“I didn’t know cause we were still in Nissen. But apparently, Even lost it one night and wrote stuff on Erik’s facebook wall about how he takes advantage of people and does horrible stuff to drunk girls at parties,” said Vilde.

“Oh.”

Even had told him about this once. He just didn’t know the extent of their fallout.

“Even deleted his facebook after that and created another one like a year later, but Erik never forgave him,” said Vilde. “I think that’s why he hates him so much. Because it reached the administration and his parents and stuff.”

“Okay,” said Isak.

People didn’t think it was about him. Okay.

“So what’s the story?” said Isak.

“Hm?”

“What are people saying about me?”

.

“Wtf I knew Isak was a ruthless bitch but this is fucked up!”

“I know right? I was there when Even showed up a few days ago to Erik’s place and he fucking lost it when Erik said ‘is this because i fucked your bitch?’”

“I can’t believe he cheated on Even with Erik wtf??”

“Isak looked so sweet lately?? Like i’m in one class with him and they were blowing kisses at each other and shit. I can’t believe it was all for some dare and on top of that he cheated?”

“That’s so fucked up. Poor Even”

“I didn’t know he was mentally ill. That’s so messed up. Apparently Isak knew.”

“Even should have punched him not Erik tbh.”

“I heard Erik just provoked him though to try and get him to hit him so that he could press charges”

“I was there cause i spent the night with Julian and I can confirm. Erik was saying the nastiest shit about Isak it drove Even crazy.”

“Poor guy. jesus.”

“Wouldn’t surprise me if he drops out.”

.

“I shouldn’t have showed you this,” said Vilde. “I’m sorry.”

Isak was broken. He really was. He brought the palms of his hands to his eyes and sobbed his heart out. He had cried more in the last month than he had in an entire year.

“Oh my god. Don’t cry,” said Vilde, with a hand rubbing his back. “Fuck what people think. It doesn’t matter. It’s okay.”

“I can’t believe this shit. I can’t fucking believe this shit!”

.

Isak tried to close his eyes but the only thing he saw was ‘is it because i fucked your bitch’ over and over again. He was crushed, but imagining how Even must have felt crushed him even more. Even.

Isak had stopped by his mother’s house multiple times. He had visited every police station, every clinic, but he couldn’t find him and no one was returning his calls. No one was telling him what was happening. No one deemed him worthy enough.

Even had deleted all of his social media accounts or maybe someone else did it for him. He wasn’t returning his calls and he wasn’t answering his texts. So Isak curled around himself on New Year’s eve and wrote Even a letter to explain everything. No bullshit. Just write all of it down.

He couldn’t find the words so he went on Yahoo Answers again. He knew that most of it wasn’t even helpful, but sometimes writing down what he felt in a question on Yahoo made him feel a little less alone.

He was typing when he remembered Even’s question from when things were alright. He remembered it and smiled for a moment before navigating to Even's user profile. Art Vendeley. He had one more question posted and when Isak read it, he felt like running to him again. But Even didn’t need this. He needed someone to answer his question.


Sana

10:43

Isak

Even is in his apartment

I stopped by to get something from Elias and i’m sure he’s here

Did you see him??

No

But he’s in his room

I think he’s depressed

fuck

You should come

I’ll stay until you show up

I’ll vouch for you


It was a silly thought but ever since meeting Even, Isak had been doing more running than he had in his entire life. He was constantly running, constantly crying, constantly begging.

He texted Sana so that she would buzz him in and didn’t think twice before getting in the elevator.

Elias is gonna beat the shit out of me.

But Isak couldn’t care less. He knocked once, twice, before Sana opened the door. Sana. Isak loved her more than he cared to admit. She knew things. He knew she knew. But she never pushed him. She never drove him mad.

“What the fuck are you doing here?!” said Elias the moment his eyes landed on him.

“Where is Even? I just want to see him,” said Isak, suddenly aware that Elias could easily send him to a hospital.

“You have 10 seconds to get the hell out before I punch you in the face,” said Elias.

“Touch him and you’ll have to deal with me,” said Sana. “I told him to come.”

“What the fuck?” said Elias.

“Is he okay? I just want to see him. Please,” Isak begged. “You can beat me up later. Please. I just want to see him. Just give me 5 minutes.”

“Dude. Do you have any idea what you did? How dare you show up here, what the fuck?” said Elias. “You wanna fuck him up some more?”

“Shut up,” said Mutta, yawning on the couch. “Look at the kid. He’s about to cry.”

Isak hated it when people referred to him as a kid. But he was on the verge of tears. That much was true. Mutta always saw right through him. It was almost scary.

“Do I look like I give a shit?” said Elias.

“It’s none of our business, Elias. They’re big boys. Don’t be that annoying guy in the movies,” said Mutta.

“What? What the hell?”

“You know that guy or that girl who won’t let the person who fucked up explain stuff to the other person. That guy everyone yells at in the theater.”

“Mutta, get your head out of your ass!” said Elias. “Have you even seen Even these last couple of days? He’s a fucking corpse.”

Gosh. It hurt. It hurt so much.

“Please,” Isak begged. “Please. I just need to see him. Please.”

Elias was a loyal friend. Isak could tell. He would have probably done the same thing for Even if he were him. He would have probably stood his ground. He would have probably punched himself the moment he opened the door. Isak deserved it. He deserved all of this. No amount of explaining could make up for the fact that he had hurt Even so deeply and that his entire life was a mess because of him. Nothing could make up for it.

But a voice deep down in his mind told him to just shove Elias and get to Even’s room. Mutta was right. It was none of his business. He was trying to protect Even but Isak didn’t want to hurt him. He just wanted to see him. He just wanted to tell him that he was sorry and that he never meant to ruin his life. He just wanted to tell him that he was there for him. That’s all Isak wanted to do.

So he listened to the little voice and roughly shoved Elias to the side before sprinting to Even’s room.

“Do you have a death wish? What the fuck!” Elias yelled behind him.

Isak was at the door and his fingers were curled around the handle when Elias lunged at him. Shit. I’m too slow. He’s going to punch me.

But Elias didn’t. For some reason, he didn’t punch him. And at that moment Isak was grateful, because he would have probably broken down if he had punched him. He would have probably lost it because he was so tired and so devastated. Isak liked Elias a lot. Isak wanted a friend like Elias. He really did. Elias who had him shoved against the wall by the door, holding him by the collar, with rage and something like pity in his eyes.

Hit me. Just hit me. Please.

“I wish I could fucking punch you,” said Elias. “I really do.”

“Elias, let go of him right now!” said Sana. And no. Please let him. At least I can drown in physical pain instead of this.

“Hit me,” Isak said weakly. “Just do it. I deserve it.”

.

“Let go of him.”

Isak’s heart dropped when he saw him. Even looked like his own personal hell. He looked weak and broken and utterly destroyed. His eyes were empty and his skin was pale. He looked utterly defeated. He looked like he had no idea how his limbs had carried him to the door in the first place. Even looked heartbroken and Isak couldn’t handle it.

“Even-,” Elias started when Even interrupted him.

“Don’t ever touch him again. Don’t ever lay a hand on him,” said Even before returning to his room and closing the door behind him.

.

Isak walked back home with Sana. He didn’t even cry. He just felt empty.

“He hates me,” said Isak.

“No, he doesn’t,” said Sana. “If he hated you, he would have let Elias beat you up. He doesn’t hate you.”

“I ruined everything.”

“Stop being so dramatic. Stop making everything about you,” said Sana.

“What?”

“Even is depressed right now. He’s barely hanging on. He hasn’t left his room in days, and he still got out of bed to make sure Elias leaves you alone,” said Sana. “Even when he’s in the most intolerable pain, he still puts you first. How about you do the same for him?”

.

Sana was right. Isak always made everything about him. She was always right. He pulled out the letter he had written and noticed how most sentences started with ‘I’. This letter was all about him and how everything had hurt him, not about Even. So when he got to Mahdi’s place, he pulled out a new piece of paper and he wrote.

.

 

Dear Even,

I love you. With all my heart, I love you. And I know these are big words, but what I feel for you is big, very very big. I didn’t know what these words meant before. But I do now. These words are what you are. What you gave me. What you taught me. I fucked up and I hurt you. I’m sorry. But this letter isn’t about me. It’s about you.

Please don’t listen to the voices in your head that tell you you aren’t worthy of love. You deserve every ounce of love you get. Please don’t feel like you aren’t deserving. Please don’t blame yourself. You did nothing wrong. It was all me. Your only fault is that you’re too good, too pure, too loving. I broke your heart but I hope I didn’t break your love. I hope I didn’t break your spirit. You are the strongest person I know and you inspire me everyday.

You healed me and I broke you. I will never forgive myself, but this isn’t about me. This is about you. Please stay strong. Please stay forgiving and bighearted. Fuck what people say. We don’t need them. We don’t need anybody. Please look after yourself. Please take all the time you need. Please don’t think about me, don’t worry about me. I know why you ran to me in a t-shirt in November the night I texted you the word ‘goodbye’ now. I know why now and i’m scared. But this isn’t about me. This is about you. Look after yourself. Be as good and generous to yourself as you were to me. Please baby. Please. Treat yourself with as much care as you treated me.

I love you.

Isak.

.

Isak folded the paper as carefully as he could and texted Mutta, hoping that he would accept to be the messenger, hoping that he would deliver it to Even.

.

“He just needs time,” said Mutta, spreading his limbs over the bench.

He had agreed to meet him in the little park by Mahdi’s apartment.

“I know.”

“He’ll come around. He knows you didn’t mean that stuff,” said Mutta. “I mean even I know.”

“Thanks,” said Isak.

“Chris stopped by multiple times by the way.”

“What?”

“Elias did punch him, ha! It wasn’t a strong punch but it did the job you know,” said Mutta.

“What?”

“Yeah, he just wanted to explain everything you know. Even wasn’t even leaving his bed. But he sat down on the chair in his room and told us everything. He explained the stuff with Erik trying to get Even and the stuff about trying to set you two up. He also said that you stopped the dare mess until you found out that he didn’t have a sister or something? Anyways. You still suck but we know you’re not the big bad villain.”

“Okay,” said Isak, his chest deflating a bit.

“Okay?”

“Yeah, okay,” said Isak.

There were tears rolling down his cheeks now. And he didn’t know why he was crying but he couldn’t help it. This was a good thing. This was good. But he still cried.

“You’re such a baby,” said Mutta, chuckling before wrapping an arm around his shoulders. “You seem so tough but look at you crying over a boy. It’s gonna be okay. I’m team Isak if you must know.”

“Thanks,” said Isak.

“I was team Isak since Even first told me about you. But yeah. I hope you work things out,” said Mutta. “He’s just so fucking happy when he’s with you.”

Isak nodded, not really sure why he was nodding.

“Just take it one day at a time like Sonja used to say. Or one hour at a time even,” said Mutta. “He’s really down right now. I don’t think I’ve ever seen him this down. It’s a little bit scary but we’re taking care of him. He’ll be fine.”

“Okay,” said Isak.

.

Isak went home with a little bit of hope roaming his chest. We’re going to be okay.

So when he got a text from Even a few days later, he nearly screamed in the bathroom. He nearly did. He must have read my letter.


Even <3

21:21

I don’t know wtf is wrong with me

I think i’m nothing without you and it scares me

I’m hurting and i don’t know what to believe but i still choose love

So tell me baby. wtf is wrong with me?

Why am I so alone? Why am i always hurting?

I did everything to make you love me but you still hurt me

I forgot that you can’t make people love you

That sometimes you’re just meant to be alone

I know it’s sad but i love you

You broke my heart but you didn’t break my love for you

And I can’t keep going like this, so I’ll go now. I need to think of myself now.

With love. Even.


Isak was running across the city again. He didn’t even run out of breath this time. He was too used to taking this route now. His legs just carried him, and he didn’t even have to think about which turns to make now.

Is this how Even felt that night in November? Is this how he felt?

.

Even was safe. He was in his bed, curled around himself. But he was safe. Mutta opened the door for him and Elias didn’t budge. He just made a hand gesture that Isak translated to ‘Go ahead’.

Even was safe and it was all that mattered.

Isak slipped under the sheets, the all too familiar sheets, the sheets where they had spent hours just rolling around and panting in each other’s mouths and laughing, laughing, like two lovesick fools who had no clue. We had no fucking clue. He took off his shoes and his jacket and slipped under the sheets until his chest pressed against Even’s back. Even who wasn’t sleeping, Even who broke under his touch, Even who gasped when Isak’s arms locked around him.

“I’m here,” Isak whispered in his hair. “I’m here.”

“What the fuck is wrong with me?” Even’s voice broke, but Isak had to be strong. He had to remain strong.

“Nothing, baby,” said Isak. “Nothing is wrong with you.”

.

Isak was surprised that Even let him into his bed, but only for a few moments because he realized that he was too weak to push him away even if he wanted to. Even was as broken as he had been a few weeks before that, and it killed him. It’s all my fault.

Even turned around in his arms sometime during the night and Isak did his best not to crumble. He did his very best and he hugged him with all the strength he could muster. He pressed their chests together and wrapped his arms around Even’s shoulders, pushing his face into the crook of his own neck and feeling his soft breath there. Isak played with his hair and ran his hand all over his back and whispered nonsense into his ears. I’m here for you. You’re not alone. There’s nothing wrong with you. You are loved. I’m here for you.

Isak stayed all night. He didn’t sleep a wink. He didn’t want to.

“I’m sorry,” said Even.

“Why are you sorry?” said Isak. “Please don’t be sorry. You didn’t do anything. You-”

“I’m sorry,” Even repeated, hugging him closer and making his entire body tremble. “I’m just sorry.”
.

Even left the next day. Isak had gone to Mahdi’s place to pick up a change of clothes because school was starting the following day. And when he made it back to the boys’ apartment, Even was gone.

“Where is he?”

“He left,” said Elias.

“What do you mean he left?”

“He moved away. His parents picked him up today,” said Elias. “I thought you knew.”

“What?!”

“He’s moving to Bergen with some relatives to start over and stuff,” said Elias. “He’s not in a good place. He can’t deal with the bullshit around here anymore.”

.

‘I can’t keep going like this, so I’ll go now. I need to think of myself now.’

‘I’m sorry. I’m just sorry.’

.

Even left the city and he left Isak.

And Isak deserved it. He didn’t even dwell on it. He didn’t even cry. He just went to Mahdi’s place and stared out of the window for an hour or so. He didn’t even cry. He barely remembered what he did for the rest of the day.

Sana texted him because she knew Even skipped town but he didn’t respond. He put his phone on airplane mode and went for a walk. He put on Even’s favorite shirt and went for a walk.

He didn’t cry. He put on Even’s spotify playlist, and he didn’t even cry when Zara Larsson came on. Even had given him access to his spotify account without even blinking and Isak never had the courage to listen to all the songs. He just waited until Even played them in the car.

But now, right now, he just wanted to be near him. He just wanted to feel him. So he pressed play and he didn’t even cry.

He didn’t cry until he got to the newest addition to the playlist.

The Irrepressibles - In This Shirt. Added 3 hours ago.

.

Now Playing: The Irrepressibles - In This Shirt.

I am lost in our rainbow

Now our rainbow is gone

Overcast by your shadow

As our worlds move on

In this shirt I can be you

To be near you for a while

In this shirt I can be you

To be near you for a while

.

I am lost

I am lost in our rainbow

Now our rainbow has gone

I am lost in our rainbow

Now our rainbow has gone

I am lost, I am lost

I am lost, I am lost

I am lost

.

So this is what the end of the world feels like.

.

.

.

.

Now

“You’re late,” said Jakob with a smirk on his face.

“And you’re annoying,” said Isak, shoving past him to get to the changing room.

“You were cuter when all you did was sit on one of the tables and wait for Even,” said Jakob, before bringing a hand to cover his mouth. “Shit. Sorry.”

“Whatever,” Isak shrugged.

It still burned. Even eight months later, it still burned. And everyone could tell, so they all just stopped mentioning Even, as if he never existed, as if he was a distant memory, as if he didn’t haunt all of Isak’s dreams every damn night. It was August and Isak was still pining.

.

Isak was doing his best. The first month was the toughest but he survived. He got himself together. He built himself up. It took him weeks but he finally sought some help, finally stopped by the school’s counseling center. He only wanted some sleeping pills but the counselor saw right through him.

He had to fill an online form before going in, and he might have revealed more than he should have. He was okay, he insisted. He really was. But after fifteen minutes of random questions that weren’t so random, he broke down and got referred to a specialist.

Isak wasn’t fond of talking about his feelings. He didn’t like the idea of needing people, of telling people how he felt. But the therapist was nice and it was free. This person didn’t know him and wasn’t going to judge him. So he let his walls down and cried every single time, each time revealing something new, something he had buried deep down.

The sessions helped him a lot. Isak realized that putting feelings into words helped him cope. He also realized that he was depressed for the longest time but that he hadn’t dealt with it, that he hadn’t dealt with a lot of things.

The money from the scholarship could easily get him a room with other people if he managed to get a part-time job and stop buying so much alcohol and kebab. He could easily get his life back together if he committed to it.

So he did. It was tough and it took him months but he did it. He accepted the job at Kaffebrenneriet, saved up some money, and moved out of Mahdi’s apartment. Magnus and David were looking for a third roommate and it all worked out perfectly.

It felt so good to pay the first month’s rent. It might have been silly but Isak felt so accomplished. It was his money and he had just paid rent himself. He was over the moon. He was so happy that he didn’t even think about Even that day. He didn’t even cross his mind until he felt the ring in his chest pocket. Well.

.

Even messaged him sometimes for the first few months, just harmless ‘how are you’s and ‘hope you’re doing well’s. Isak’s texts weren’t as detached, as polite, as generic. He poured his heart out into every damn text. Isak’s texts were just as emotionally charged as he always felt, at least for the first couple of months. But then he calmed down. His heart calmed down and his texts calmed down.

‘I got a job’

‘I moved into a new place. My name is on the lease’

‘I paid rent’

‘I nailed my exam’

‘I’m learning how to drive’

Even responded at first, but then he stopped. He stopped messaging him, stopped asking if he was okay. He just stopped.

He forgot about me already.

Isak allowed himself one night of self-pity and got drunk until he couldn’t see in Jonas’ house. He grabbed his phone and called. He never called.

“Hello?” said Even, as if he didn’t know who was on the other end of the line, as if he didn’t have his number saved anymore.

“Are you ever coming back?” said Isak.

“Isak-”

“I will wait forever if I have to,” he said. “Baby, I will wait forever.”

The pause on the other end should have been enough for Isak to hang up, but he didn’t. He waited. He simply waited. Break me. Hurt me.

“Baby, don’t wait for me.”

.

“Can I play you a song?” said Isak.

“Sure,” said Even.

.

Now Playing: Khalid - Shot Down

You take me to places I've never known

And you push me to places I'll never go

I would die for you

Tell me the truth

Am I all that you would need?

If we're keeping it a hundred, you're all that I need for me

From the jump until forever from now, I would ride for you

.

But you got me shot down by love

You got my heart now

Why won't you stop now?

Oh I've been knocked down by you

You got my heart now

Why won't you stop now?

.

It was August and Isak had built himself from the ground up. It was a little silly but he was proud of himself. He no longer had nightmares. He passed all of his classes in the Spring semester. He no longer asked people to crash at their places. He no longer drank every day. He no longer hooked up with strangers. People still talked about him but he couldn’t care less. He was labeled a cheater and an asshole but he didn’t care. And after a while, he realized that people looked up to him. He was a legend now. He was the new fuckboy . People forgot about the jodels and the pictures and only knew him as the guy who broke Even Bech Næsheim, the ultimate fuckboy.

What a bunch of assholes, all of you.

But Isak didn’t care. He focused on himself, on feeling better, on being a better person, on getting through every day, and on feeling good in his head and his body. Isak focused on himself and he hoped, he prayed , that Even was doing the same for himself.

.

“Semester starts next week,” said Vilde, munching on almonds on the couch.

“I know,” said Isak.

“You ready?”

“What kind of question is that?”

“It’s just a question,” Vilde shrugged.

“How come you hang out with me more than you hang out with your boyfriend?” said Isak, smiling. “Do you like me or something?”

“I thought we’ve already established that,” said Vilde, smiling right back.

“Well, consider yourself lucky. Cause I might like you, too,” said Isak.

.

“Wanna watch a movie?” said Vilde.

Pretty Woman was on and Isak didn’t have the heart to ask her to switch to something else. He hadn’t even realized that he never finished the movie when he watched it with Even. Might as well.

.

‘She rescues him right back.’

.

Isak cried as the credits rolled. He hadn’t cried in so long but there he was with tears rolling down his face in front of the cheesiest ending to any movie ever.

“Isak, what’s wrong?” said Vilde, as if she knew that it wasn’t just because of the movie, as if she knew that he was hurting.

“Nothing,” said Isak, wiping his tears. “Nothing. Richard Gere is just really fucking hot in this movie.”

"You're crying cause he's hot?"

"Yeah."

"What the fuck?"

"What? Go on Twitter or something. People cry over hot people all the time," said Isak.

“I guess I should cry cause Julia Roberts is fucking hot, too,” said Vilde.

“Yeah, I guess,” Isak laughed.

.

“Are you gonna be okay?” said Vilde around 2 in the morning.

Magnus was on a family trip, so Isak and Vilde just sprawled their limbs on the floor and slept in the living room.

“Why?” said Isak.

“He’s gonna be back this semester.”

“Who?” said Isak, his heart leaping momentarily in his chest.

But it wasn’t the ‘he’ she was referring to.

“Erik,” said Vilde.

Erik had taken a semester off to go study abroad. Of course, the fucker. But it was a good thing for Isak. It gave him time to grow stronger without having to worry about him. It gave him time to come up with a plan to take him down. Isak was going to take him down no matter what it took.

.

“You know I’ve been thinking,” said Jakob, leaning over the counter to check for new clients.

“Wow, he thinks!” said Isak.

“Let me finish, ugh.”

“Go on,” Isak laughed, taking off his apron and hanging it on one of the hooks.

“I think you should go out with me,” said Jakob.

“Huh?”

“Yeah. I think we should hang out sometime, just the two of us.”

“The fuck?” said Isak. “You’re into guys?”

“And girls. Yeah. Why?”

“Nothing,” Isak shrugged. “I didn’t know.”

“Well now you do,” said Jakob. “So?”

“So what?”

“Will you go out with me?”

Isak sighed and shook his head.

“I don’t even get a ‘no’? You’re just gonna shake your head at me?” said Jakob.

“Yeah. Sorry bro,” said Isak, pulling out his phone to check the time.

“Bro? Wow, you’re killing me here. Is it because we work together?”

“No.”

“Then why?” said Jakob.

“You know why.”

You know why. Everybody knows why.

“Isak, he skipped town,” said Jakob.

“He’ll be back,” Isak shrugged.

“What if he doesn’t?”

“He’ll come back. I know he will.”

That wasn’t true. Isak didn’t know that. And the last time he had spoken to Even, he explicitly asked him not to wait for him. Even was probably never coming back, but holding onto that glimmer of hope kept him rolling. It kept things going.

“What if he comes back and doesn’t want you?” said Jakob.

Isak hadn’t thought about this one.

“I’ll steal his heart just like I stole yours,” said Isak with a wink, making Jakob smile.

“Alright, I give up,” he said, holding his hands up.

“Well, that was disappointing,” Isak laughed.

“Wanted me to keep going?”

“No, but I thought you’d put more of a fight than the guys who harass me here every day.”

“Those guys just want to get in your pants,” said Jakob.

“Oh yeah?” Isak laughed.

“Or they wanna touch your hair. I’m not sure,” said Jakob. “You have some pretty amazing hair.”

“I know that,” said Isak, flipping his hair as dramatically as possible. “And they probably want to touch my hair. I lose contenders whenever I get a haircut.”

“Yeah, must be the curls,” said Jakob, laughing now. “They want to touch your curls.”

“And what do you want?” said Isak, a devious smile on his lips.

“I just want to make sure,” said Jakob.

“Hm? Make sure of what?”

“That you won’t break him again.”

“What?”

“Nevermind,” said Jakob with a wink.

Uh.

.

Isak rolled around in bed after snoozing his alarm twice. It usually took him at least eight alarms to get out of bed, but two did the job now. Small victories like these made him smile and give himself a pat on the back.

He dragged himself to the kitchen and made some coffee for the entire apartment. The smell of pure Arabica quickly filled up the room and Isak inhaled deeply. It was the smell of a good and productive day, the smell of a busy but good day.

“Ready for the first day of classes?” said David.

“Yup,” said Isak. “Why are you up though? Isn’t your first class a bit later in the day?”

“Yeah, but you make the best coffee. I had to,” said David.

“That’s right,” Isak smiled.

He took a shower, made his bed, made himself some scrambled eggs, put on his blue snapback, and on a new pair of jeans. They weren’t as tight as his favorite pair, but he didn’t have anyone to seduce, didn’t have anyone he wanted to show off his legs to.

He stopped in front of the shirt he had recently bought and stared at it for a while. He loved it so much. It was pink and fluffy and had a middle finger on it. Isak loved it. He was probably going to face Erik today. So he might as well show off how strong he was, how little he cared about him and his cruel games.

‘Pink definitely suits you.’

‘Your hair looked so nice yesterday, all curls and all … Looked as nice as in the picture.’

Isak was going to wear pink and he was going to show off his curls and Erik wasn’t going to stop him. He was both fragile and resilient. He was both broken and whole. He was both alone and never alone. Isak was strong and Erik could never get to him now. Nobody could break him now.

I’m strong. I will wear pink and flaunt my hair you will never break my spirit.

He put on Even’s Beyoncé’s ring because it somehow fit his finger as well, and made his way to the bus stop.

.

Isak took the bus because his apartment with Magnus and David was a bit far from campus. He grew anxious as they approached his stop. He grew anxious and restless. Perhaps his shirt was too much of a statement. He didn’t want to upset his professors. Perhaps he should go back and change, but then he would end up being late. Shit.

Isak took a deep breath and tried to focus. He no longer went to therapy but he remembered the basics. He had to stop running away from his feelings and face them head on. He had to immerse himself in his fears and accept them so that he could defeat them. He was anxious because he was scared of what the day might carry not because of the stupid shirt. The stupid shirt was okay. Nobody cared about the stupid shirt. He had to get through this day. He had to face everyone. He had to.

He sank deeper in his seat on the bus, closed his eyes, and breathed through his nose. I got this.

He was giving himself a pep talk in his head when the music emanating from the headphones of the person sitting behind him made him want to stab something. It was seven thirty in the morning and Isak didn’t deserve this. He tried leaving his seat but the bus was packed now. He was back to back with someone who obviously wanted him to go on a killing spree.

Not this fucking song.

Now Playing: Taylor Swift - Shake It Off

.

Isak considered his options before realizing that he could simply blast music as well. He scrolled through his own playlist now that he had a spotify account and no longer used Even’s. And he couldn’t help but wonder. Did he add new songs?

Even added news songs, so many new songs, and Isak’s head was spinning. He wanted to spend the day listening to them but he had to go to class. Dammit.

His eyes stopped at ‘Single Ladies’, and he smiled.

You know what I do to get ready for those days?’

It was Even’s song for tough days, for days when he had to face people he wasn’t ready to face.

Isak pressed play and closed his eyes, moving his feet and occasionally his hips to the beat. He tried to increase the volume through his headphones but accidentally pressed pause. Shit. He pressed too many buttons at once and made his phone freeze. Great. The Spotify app always crashed his phone for some reason. He needed a new one.

He sighed in frustration and disconnected the headphones to disentangle them.

‘Shake It Off’ was still playing through his neighbor’s headphones and Isak was feeling homicidal again. But then he smiled because it sounded like something Even would play him on their way to school.

Gosh. I miss you. I miss you so much.

He was about to plug his headphones back when the stranger behind him started playing another song.

Now Playing: Beyoncé - Single Ladies (Put a Ring on it)

All the single ladies

(All the single ladies)

All the single ladies

(All the single ladies)

All the single ladies

(All the single ladies)

All the single ladies

Now put your hands up

.

Isak turned around right on time for Even to put his hands up.

.

“You’re back.”

“So is your hair.”

.


Chapter Text

It all felt like a dream for a moment, and Isak couldn’t tell how long he stood there with his mouth hanging open in front of the very face that haunted every single dream of his. It could have been seconds or minutes. Isak couldn’t tell.

It’s Even.

“Even,” he blurted out once he could manage to move his lips.

“You remember my name,” said Even, now standing up as well on the bus and flashing him the most blinding smile.

Isak couldn’t smile. He didn’t want to. He forgot how to.

“You’re back,” Isak mumbled, slightly dazed, slightly out of touch with reality.

“So is your hair,” said Even.

It took Isak some time to adjust to this bizarre reality. Even and him on the bus, on their way to school. Even playing Taylor Swift and Beyoncé, and smiling and teasing him about his hair as if they hadn’t parted in the most heart-wrenching way, as if Isak hadn’t cried all the tears in his body when Even left him.

What is this.

“I didn’t know,” said Isak, his chest deflating a bit, a sweet and aching feeling settling right there, right where it belonged.

He hadn’t felt this way in months. One minute on a bus with Even, and his heart was getting torn apart all over again.

“What didn’t you know?”

“That you were back,” said Isak, now looking down at his feet. “Sorry.”

“Why are you sorry?” said Even, his smile making it hurt even more. Stop smiling.

“I don’t know,” Isak breathed.

Isak was sorry. He was constantly sorry when it came to Even. He was hurting but he was still sorry. Even had left without hearing him out but he was still sorry. Isak was always sorry. He didn’t know what for exactly but he was sorry.

“There’s nothing to be sorry for,” said Even. “I got back last month but I’ve been staying with my mom, helping her with the restaurant and stuff, keeping it lowkey.”

“Oh,” Isak managed. His whole being hurt.

You’ve been here for a whole month. A whole fucking month and you never bothered to fucking call me.

“Yeah. I thought Jakob would have told you,” said Even. “He came over the other day. Says you’re a handful at work, something about you being too demanding.”

And then he laughed. Gosh. Even was laughing and Isak felt like crying.

Fuck you. Why are you laughing. Why the fuck-

“Hey, you okay?” said Even.

He wasn’t laughing anymore. His brows were furrowed and his eyes were blue and his gaze was burning holes through Isak’s skin.

“Jakob didn’t tell me anything,” said Isak. “No one told me anything.”

“Oh.”

Isak’s heart was burning. This wasn’t how he imagined their reunion to be. He didn’t expect Even to be all smiles and cracking jokes. He didn’t expect him to be this detached. He didn’t expect himself to be so emotional and angry.

But Isak quickly realized that he wasn’t in a position to be demanding and picky. He never thought Even would come back in the first place. This was good enough. It had to be. The mere fact that Even was talking to him and asking him if he was okay was enough. It was enough.

Isak took a deep breath and a step back and looked at Even. He actually looked at him now. He took him in. Even looked great. He was wearing a white t-shirt and black jeans, and his ray bans were sitting on top of his hair. His hair. It wasn’t in a quiff. His hair was down and it was soft and fluffy. No products, no nothing. Isak was reminded of their lazy Sunday mornings when Even didn’t bother fixing his hair and just let it down. Isak loved it. He always told him that he loved it.

“I like you hair,” said Isak.

“I like your hair, too,” said Even.

They stood there in the crowded bus just staring at each other. And when Even smiled at him this time, Isak smiled, too.

It was almost contagious, his smile. Isak could be aching and hurting to the point where he couldn’t breathe, but he would always smile when Even smiled.

“You look nice,” said Isak, tilting his head to the side, feeling a little bit more confident.

“So do you,” said Even, moving his hand to hold onto the bar and balance himself.

“I’m still waiting for you to say something about my shirt,” Isak smiled.

“Nice shirt,” said Even. “I love the middle finger and the pink. It’s basically you in a nutshell.”

“I’m not sure why, but I feel like I should be offended.”

“What?” Even scoffed. “I’m complimenting you.”

“It sounded condescending,” Isak shrugged.

“Ugh. I forgot you can’t take a compliment.”

“Excuse me? You could just say I like this color on you or something.”

“I like this color on you or something,” said Even, beaming.

“Ugh,” Isak rolled his eyes and Even laughed.

He laughed and gosh, it was the sweetest sound. It was Isak’s favorite sound in the world, Even laughing his heart out until his eyes crinkled, until he could no longer see the blue in his eyes.

I missed you so much.

“I’m glad you’re back,” said Isak.

“So am I,” said Even.

They smiled at each other until the bus made a sudden stop and Isak all but lunged at Even, crashing their chests together. Oh gosh.

He felt embarrassed and stupid for not holding onto something when he knew for a fact that he could never hold his balance on buses. He felt embarrassed but he still felt thankful for the driver’s careless stop. He was thankful because Even’s arm was around his waist, holding him, keeping him there, burning through his skin. It felt so good to be back in his arms. It felt so good.

“I. Uh-,” Isak stuttered.

“If you really wanted me to hold you, you could have just asked,” Even smiled.

“Shit,” Isak muttered, getting out of Even’s hold and straightening his clothes. “Sorry.”

“Kidding,” said Even.

“Uh. Yeah.”

Isak remained flustered until they reached their stop. He couldn’t even look Even in the eyes, and the little bit of confidence he had previously mustered evaporated.

He walked face down as they exited the bus with Even behind him. He was keeping his distance but he could still feel him. His presence was overwhelming. Isak could feel him everywhere.

“Alright. I’m gonna go this way,” said Even. “I have to stop by the administration to settle some stuff.”

“Uh, okay,” said Isak, his face still hot, his eyes still on the ground.

“It was nice seeing you, Isak,” said Even.

“You, too,” Isak mumbled, suddenly aware that Even was not walking him to class like he always did, suddenly aware that he was probably never going to walk him to class again.

Even started walking away and Isak wanted to say something, anything. Something playful and flirty. Something funny and harmless that would make him feel less like a loser for the rest of the day, but he couldn’t manage a single word.

So he watched him walk away with his heart aching in his chest. He watched him until Even turned around, making his eyes go wide, so wide.

“Hey Isak!” he shouted from a distance.

“Yeah?” said Isak.

“Nice ring!”


Nei Vilde

07:51

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

!!!!!!!

Vilde: everything okay???

Vilde: is it that piece of shit Erik??

Jonas: fuck! I knew I should have come with you today

Mahdi: who is Erik?

Eva: mahdi… he’s the guy behind the insta post about Even

Noora: Isak i’m by your building. I can come by if you want?

!!!!!!

It’s Even

Vilde: what

Jonas: what

Eva: whatt

Mahdi: oh I know Even

He’s back!!

We were on the bus together just now

He talked to me

I don’t know what to do!!

Vilde: omg

Noora: I knew he’d come back :’)

Eva: Since when do you care about isak’s love life Noora?

Noora: since when do you wake up so early Eva?

Mahdi: since when does Isak broadcast his life in groupchats?

Jonas: bro

Magnus: morning what’s going on

Eva: Even is back

Eva: and he talked to Isak on the bus

Magnus: jhKFKDJHFDFJKDHJFD

Noora: what’s with the keysmashing?

Chris: get him back!!

Mahdi: is this chris schistad?

Chris: WTF? THIS IS CHRIS BERG

Chris: we kicked the piece of shit out ages ago

Mahdi: piece of shit? Why?

Jonas: bro!

Chris: anyways get him back Isak

Chris: don’t fuck up this time

Eva: don’t say that

Noora: i’m rooting for you

Vilde: i found this really good article about winning your ex back http://www.cosmopolitan.com/uk/love-sex/g1365/the-smart-girls-guide-to-winning-him-back-94362/

Magnus: wtf?


Isak smiled to himself the entire morning. He couldn’t focus.

‘Nice ring’. He replayed the moment in his head. Even saw that he was wearing his ring and he felt the need to comment on it. Isak was over the moon. This was a good thing. He could get him back. There was hope. Even didn’t hate him. He was back in town and he didn’t hate him.

Isak tried to focus on the introductory lecture but he couldn’t. So he quickly pulled out his phone and navigated to Yahoo answers.

Escobar: ‘How to fix things and get him back???’

Art Vendeley: ‘Start over. Do it all over again.’

.

It took Isak a second to realize that it was Even’s username. And when he did, he almost screamed in the middle of the auditorium. Oh my god.

He popped the lid of his pen and pulled out a notebook.

Shit. Calm down. Write it down.

 

 

 

 

What we know:

 

  • Even’s username on Yahoo Answers is ‘Art Vendeley’
  • Art Vendeley just answered my question on Yahoo Answers
  • I replied to one of Art Vendeley’s questions before
  • Art Vendeley could have seen my other questions on my profile by now
  • Two of my questions were about Even
  • One of my questions mentions ‘thing-ship’ and him singing to me in the car
  • If Even read those, then he knows it’s me
  • He probably knows it’s me. fuck
  • He probably read the question about me wanting to hurt him at first
  • Fuck my life

 

Conclusion: Even knows Escobar is Isak Valtersen aka me

.

 

 

 

 

Options:

 

  • Option1: Play it cool. It’s fine. I read his questions. He read mine. It’s chill. Don’t say anything
  • Option2: Be honest. Bring it up. No more hiding shit.
  • Option3: Start over. Do it all over again… <3

 

.

Isak was hysterical. He hadn’t paid attention to a single word the professor said. He couldn’t care less. And as soon as class ended, he ran back home with so much hope in his heart. He was going to listen to the songs that Even added to his playlist and wait for a text or a call.

We’re gonna get back together.

.

Isak locked his phone and went for a walk. Well, fuck.

Even never called. He never texted either. He never reached out and Isak was going mad. He was going mad because Even was so smiley on the bus. So smiley and so nice and so flirty. And now he wasn’t giving him anything. He had gotten his hopes up for nothing and his newest playlist pretty much told him to fuck off.

‘Do it all over again’. Right.

.

Two days had passed since he spoke to Even. Two agonizing days, and Isak only heard about Even from other people, from other groupchats. People were talking. Of course they were. They were wondering if Isak knew that Even was back, if Even was going to get revenge for being played, if they were going to have an epic fight in the middle of school that would end in blood and tears, if Erik was going to join in now that he was back too and fight for Isak, if Isak and Erik were a thing now. Isak hadn’t even run into him yet. But people talked a lot and Isak wasn’t interested but it still annoyed him. It still kept him up at night.

Cheater. Fuckboy. Asshole. He did it for money. Manwhore. Scum.

Isak didn’t care but it still ate at him. It still made his skin crawl. The chatter whenever he crossed the cafeteria still drove him mad. But it was okay, because he didn’t need people and because his friends knew that it wasn’t true.

Jonas and Magnus still wondered about the whole ‘fucked your bitch’ debacle, but they never pushed him. Jonas sat beside him once at a party smelling like weed and beer and asked him if he slept with Erik, and Isak scoffed and said no. “Of course not!” But Jonas probably saw it in his eyes.

Isak knew that he would have to tell him one day. But not today, not right now. He told him that Erik was behind the whole mess. He just spared him the details.

Jonas never pushed but he knew. Jonas always knew.

.

Isak was angry at Jakob for maybe an hour but then he let it go. He knew that Even didn’t ask Jakob to pull that crap on him the other day. Even didn’t care enough to do that.

“I’m sorry,” said Jakob. “I didn’t tell you he was back cause I figured you’d want to hear from him directly.”

“It’s fine. You suck but it’s fine,” said Isak.

“For what it’s worth, I meant it when I said we should go out,” said Jakob, laughing.

“You can fuck off.”

.

It was Wednesday and Isak didn’t wake up after two alarms. He woke up after six or seven. He dragged himself out of bed but he didn’t make it. He didn’t make himself eggs because he was late. He didn’t even make coffee. Today smelled like a tiring day. Today smelled like a heartbreaking day. He put on a black t-shirt that said ‘have a nice day’ and on his least favorite pair of jeans.

.

Isak took the bus and nearly fell asleep leaning on the window. He was tired and his heart hurt. He had been doing so well. So damn well. He had gotten everything figured out. And now everything was crumbling because his heart wanted what he couldn’t have. Because he loved someone who no longer loved him.

He was listening to songs from Even’s main playlist, those he added when he wasn’t around, and it just made everything worse.

Now Playing: Daughter - Smother

I'm wasted, losing time

I'm a foolish, fragile spine

I want all that is not mine

I want him but we're not right

.

In the darkness I will meet my creators

And they will all agree, that I'm a suffocator

.

He grabbed his backpack from his lap and placed it on the window, leaning his face against it for more comfort. He was about to doze off when someone tapped his leg, making him jump at the contact.

“Shit!” he flinched, startled and disheveled.

He couldn’t help but jump when random people touched him now. But it wasn’t a random person this time.

“Hey. It’s me. Relax,” said Even. “It’s me.”

“Uh. Hi,” said Isak, his heart racing. “Sorry.”

Seeing Even wasn’t on his list of things to go through today. He probably looked like hell. He was so embarrassed.

“I should be the one saying sorry. Didn’t mean to startle you.”

“It’s okay,” said Isak.

“Everything okay?” said Even. “You look tired.”

“I’m okay,” said Isak, now sitting up and putting his headphones away.

“What were you listening to?” said Even.

Why.

“Uh. I don’t know. Some song. Why?” said Isak.

“No reason.”

Isak put his phone in his pocket and readjusted his snapback. It was silly but the mere fact that their shoulders were touching turned him into a mess. You burn me.

“How are your classes so far?” said Even.

“Uh. Haven’t been paying much attention,” Isak admitted.

“Me neither to be honest.”

Isak turned around to look at him. Is this a crack in your cold hard façade? Are you letting me in?

“Why not?” said Isak.

“Well, I’ve already gone through this stuff, so it’s nothing new. I still have notes from a year ago,” said Even.

“What?”

“I’m retaking classes from last fall,” said Even.

“Why?”

“I failed three classes.”

“What?”

Isak was suddenly awake. He was no longer half-asleep and lethargic. He was fully conscious now. Even had failed three classes the semester they were together. Three fucking classes.

How? What? Why? Isak wanted to ask. But he knew why. Even had been all over him during and before finals. He had stopped going to class. He only cared about him. Isak wasn’t even sure he took his finals.

Isak had ruined his life even before everything went to hell.

“Fuck,” Isak muttered.

“It’s not your fault. It was me,” said Even, as if he had read his mind.

“Shit,” Isak took his head in his hands, threading his fingers through his own hair.

“It’s whatever,” said Even. “What’s done is done.”

Isak sighed beside him. I would fucking hate me too if I were you.

“I don’t blame you for anything,” said Even. “If that’s what you’re wondering.”

Isak just sat there, still holding his head, still trying to come up with something to say, still hating himself. Everything was so complicated and he felt like he was suffocating. Of course Even didn’t text him. Of course he didn’t contact him. He had ruined his life. Why would he text him.

He was drowning in self-loathing when Even nudged him.

“Here,” said Even, handing him one of his earbuds.
“What?”

“Listen to music with me,” said Even.

.

Now Playing: Daniel Caesar - Violet

Don't cut your journey short

Not anymore

You beautiful boy

Just run

Don't hit the floor

Not anymore

You brilliant boy

Just chill, you're made to sing

On anything, you golden child

.

You're my violet in the sun

You're my violet in the sun

.

Their shoulders were touching and their legs were touching and Isak felt warm, so warm inside. And by the time they reached their stop, his heart was no longer burning and he could breathe again.

“You good?” said Even.

“Yeah,” said Isak. “You?”

“I’m good,” said Even, offering him a warm smile that Isak took and stored in the back of his mind. This will get me through the day.

“Thanks for this,” said Isak.

“Anytime.”

Anytime? Do you mean it?

They were parting ways to go to their respective buildings when Isak took a deep breath and blurted it out.

“Do you wanna hang out sometime?”

It’s out there. Okay. Breathe.

Even looked at him for a while, his eyes just roaming his face, no words spoken. Isak was holding his breath, but he knew that this wasn’t good. He knew that he was searching for words to let him down easy.

“Forget it,” said Isak. “I’m sorry-”

“I would love to,” said Even.

“Huh?”

“Let’s hang out sometime.”

“Really?” said Isak, his eyes probably a little bit brighter.

“Yeah,” Even smiled. “Call me sometime.”

.

Isak stared at his phone for two hours. He didn’t know what to do.

“Are you trying to move it with your mind or what?” said Magnus, his feet on the coffee table when he knew how much David hated it.

“Feels easier than what I’m actually trying to do,” said Isak.

“What are you trying to do?”

“Call him,” Isak sighed. “I’m trying to call him.”

“Call who?” said Jonas.

“Even.”

“What?!” Magnus, Mahdi, and Jonas yelled at the same time.

“I saw him today. He said to call him,” said Isak, sinking back into the couch.

“Wait. Wait. Why doesn’t he call you instead?” said Mahdi.

“Cause Isak is the one who fucked up,” said Magnus. “The one who fucks up calls. That’s how it works.”

“Alright, I’m gonna stop you right there,” said Jonas. “Isak didn’t fuck up. He just didn’t say the whole truth. He didn’t lie or anything. He shouldn’t be apologizing all the damn time.”

“I honestly don’t know half the shit that went down,” said Mahdi. “But yeah if he said to call him, call him.”

“And what do I say?” said Isak. “He basically said that he failed his last semester because of me.”

“Why are you asking me?” said Mahdi.

“You know what? How about you text him instead? At least you can keep a poker face through text,” said Jonas.

“I don’t know what to say to him,” said Isak.

“I don’t know. Hey how you doing. You know.”

“Fuck this,” Isak sighed.

“Bro, have you never texted him or what?” said Magnus.

“No! It’s just that he was always the one texting me and initiating shit. And he said that we should do it all over again but he’s not budging. He’s not doing anything and it’s all up to me.”

“Hm.”

The boys all fell silent after that. Mahdi was playing scrabble with himself and humming along to whatever song was playing while Magnus and Jonas were playing Fifa.

“Maybe do what he did?” said Mahdi. “Like send him texts he used to send you or something. Might be nice.”

“Huh?”


Even

21:21

Hi

Wanna hang out today or tomorrow? Or anytime really?

I’m not usually this rude or desperate I promise.

This sounds familiar

Hi :p

Hello haha

How are you?

I’m good and you?

I’m alright

What are you doing?

Thinking of you


“Bro, that’s too much,” said Mahdi. “Thinking of you? What the fuck? What happened to taking it slow?”

“Shut up!” said Isak.

“That was a bit desperate to be honest,” said Jonas.

“Oh fuck off.”


Even

Who is this?

Isak

Isak doesn’t say stuff like ‘thinking of you’

I’ve changed

It’s been a while :)

That’s true

Yeah i do laundry and make eggs in the morning and clean my fridge now

I can believe the 1st two ones

The fridge thing is a bit too much

How dare you

Just saying

What am i supposed to be seeing here?

Me cleaning the fridge

Doesn’t look very clean to me

:O

Looks pretty gross actually

Why are you hurting me?

I thought we were doing a role reversal :p

I wasn’t this cruel

Uhmm

Alright alright maybe i was

Besides how do i know that’s you cleaning the fridge

That’s my hand

How do i know for sure

Baby if you can’t recognize my hand i’m ending this conversation

Haha

Okay okay i’m joking

I would recognize your hand anywhere :)

Good

What are you doing?

Hanging with muta and elias

Just moved back in

Nice

:)

Who do you live with now?

Magnus and David

Cool

Don’t think i’ve met david

I’ll introduce you sometime if you want

Okay

So will you hang out with me?

Hmm

You never answered my question

Sure

Maybe friday?

Are you busy tomorrow?

Yeah

Okay

Friday then

i will wear the beyoncé ring again :)

lol bye

haha see you then


Isak was dying. This was pure torture. He wasn’t used to this. He had never asked anyone out. He had never chased anyone. This was awkward and pure torture.

“You’re doing amazing sweetie,” said Magnus.

“What the fuck?” said Isak.

“I don’t know. Vilde always says it to me.”

“You guys are so weird,” said Isak.

“That was good,” said Mahdi. “I think he’s digging this role reversal thing. You should do more shit he used to do.”

“Ugh.”

.

Isak felt beyond embarrassed. People were watching. People knew this wasn’t his building. People knew that he didn’t belong here. But he swallowed his pride, dipped his snapback further so hide his face and waited. He gets off in a few minutes.

.

“What are you doing here?” said Even, fully beaming.

You’re so beautiful, goddammit.

“Waiting for you,” said Isak, smiling too.

“Oh, wow. Are you-. Are you using my cheesy shit on me?” said Even.

“Maybe.”

“Let me guess. Now you’re gonna say something like you’re just here to look at me for a bit?”

“Yeah,” said Isak, smiling.

“I’m surprised you even remember that time when I chased you around like a fool.”

“I remember everything, every moment,” said Isak, his eyes focused, his hand in a fist.

He meant it. He meant every word. He wasn’t going to run from his feelings anymore because it was embarrassing. Nothing was embarrassing when it came to Even.

But his breath hitched when he noticed how affected Even was by his honesty. Isak was surprised too, but it warmed his heart to see Even lose his cool for a second. It warmed his heart.

“Uhm, I, uh,” Even stuttered.

“Did I leave the great Even Bech Næsheim speechless?” said Isak.

“I wasn’t expecting you to be this candid.”

“You said do it all over again. This is me trying.”

“Oh,” said Even, taking a step back as if he had remembered something. “Uh, well. Thanks for this. I have to go somewhere right now, but I’ll see you tomorrow?”

“Oh, uh. Yeah,” said Isak, taking a couple of steps back, too.

Even was letting him down gently and it hurt.

.

 

 

 

 

“Did you hear Isak ambushed Even on his way out of class today??”

“Seriously?”

“Yeah. And Even blew him off. It was kinda sad.”

“Isak has some big balls going after him after what he did.”

“I’m more surprised that Even was just smiling at him the whole time tbh. I would tell him to go fuck himself. He’s too nice.”

“Maybe it’s because he was also a fuckboy? He gets it lol”

“Wtf. Fuckboy or not Isak did make him lose two semesters. He was on academic probation last semester”

“What? For real?”

“Yeah he failed most his classes in the fall and Erik filed something against him about how he assaulted him on school ground”

“What? But he never did wth?”

“I don’t know. But yeah it wasn’t his choice to leave uni in the spring.”

.

Isak threw Vilde’s phone away and sighed.

“Fuck! Please don’t let me check these fucking conversations again,” said Isak.

“You say that every time and then you beg me for my phone,” said Vilde.

“I fucking hate everyone!”

“I know.”


Even

19:18

Hey

Why do people think you cheated on me?

Ugh

Just ignore it

??

It’s bullshit don’t worry about it

It’s not bullshit. I don’t like this

Sorry

Why are you sorry?

I don’t know. Don’t worry about it.

I don’t care what people say


“Isak!” Vilde ran to his room.

“What?”

“People on the gossip groupchat are saying that Even just told someone that you didn’t cheat on him. That it was completely unrelated,” said Vilde.

“What?”

“Yeah. People are now saying that they feel bad for accusing you but that you’re still a dick for the dare thing.”

“Ugh,” Isak groaned. ”Fuck everyone.”


Even

22:04

You didn’t have to

Of course i did

Why

You don’t need more pain and more bullshit in your life

Being strong is good but you don’t have to deal with more shit

Okay?

Okay?

Yeah okay.


Isak slept with a warm but confusing feeling in his chest. What do you want from me.

.

It was Friday and Isak was excited even though they hadn't made any plans. He waited outside his class again like an idiot and developed a new sense of appreciation for Even’s resilience and how he kept trying when Isak was nothing but a dick to him at first.

What did you see in me.

.

“Oh, what a nice surprise,” said Even, his hands in his back pockets and his smile blinding.

“Wanted to see you,” said Isak.

“You’ll see me later when we hang out.”

“Wanted to see you in the morning, too.”

“Oh well. Here I am,” said Even, smiling big and wide and holding his arms up.

“Here you are,” Isak replied, smiling right back.

They stood there awkwardly, Isak shuffling his feet and kicking small rocks while Even played with his fingers.

“What do you want to do later?” said Even.

“Uh, I don’t know,” said Isak. “I work until 5 but we can go somewhere after that? Just drive around or something?”

“Uhm. I don’t drive anymore,” said Even.

“Oh.”

Isak’s heart sank. Even didn’t drive anymore. Even loved driving. He loved it so much. And Isak could only think of one reason that would make him stop. That damn evening when they both broke down in his car.

“Don’t be sad,” said Even.

Stop worrying about me.

“I’m not sad,” said Isak.

“No?”

“No,” said Isak. “And I’ll pick you up.”

“You have a car?”

“No, but I use David’s,” said Isak.

“And you drive.”

“I drive, yes,” said Isak. “I told you in my texts.”

“You did.”

“Uhm. Where should I pick you up?”

“I’ll stop by KB and we can go from there,” said Even.

“Okay.”

.

“Even is gonna show up soon. Please don’t make a scene,” said Isak.

“What?!” Jakob shouted. “Are you back together already?”

“No. We’re just gonna hang out. Maybe talk and stuff.”

“Wow. That was fast. You saw him what? Like Monday?”

“We’re just gonna hang out. Just don’t make a scene,” said Isak.

“Okay. Don’t worry.”

.

“Hi Even!” Jakob greeted him too eagerly.

Ugh fuck you.

“Hey man, miss me yet?” said Even.

“Every day,” Jakob sighed. “This guy is a nightmare to work with.”

“Pfft,” Isak rolled his eyes.

“See? See what he just did? He does this to me all the time,” said Jakob.

“Consider yourself lucky. It’s from endearment,” said Even.

“Uhm no,” said Isak.

“What?” Even scoffed. “And here I thought that whenever you rolled your eyes at me, it was because you were fond of me.”

“Just you,” said Isak. “Only when it’s you.”

“Uhm. Okay, I’m gonna leave,” said Jakob making Even laugh.

.

Isak was nervous behind the wheel under Even’s stare. He knew how to drive now. He didn’t drive that often but he knew how to get a car moving and where to put his feet and he had a freaking license. He didn’t get as nervous behind the wheel. But right now under Even’s careful eyes, he couldn’t help but doubt himself.

“How did you pay for the license?” said Even.

“I saved up,” said Isak.

“Who taught you?”

“Mahdi.”

“Nice,” said Even. “Very nice.”

“Yeah.”

.

Isak took the route Even used to take and rolled down the windows. It was nice. Driving with Even beside him was nice and comforting. He felt him all around him. His mere presence was intoxicating. He didn’t have to look at him to know that he was there. He was just there, and it hurt so good.

Isak fumbled with his phone at a red light and put on music.

Now Playing: Vaults - Cry No More

And I don’t wanna cry no more

And I don’t wanna die a little more every day

.

“Nice,” said Even.

“Hm?”

“Didn’t know you listened to stuff like this.”

“I changed. I already told you,” said Isak, smiling faintly.

“I like the new you,” said Even.

Those were harmless words, Isak was sure. Even didn’t mean anything by them, Isak was sure. But they still hurt. Gosh, they hurt.

“I liked the old you, too,” said Even.

He could always tell. He could always fucking tell what was on Isak’s mind and it killed him.  

“I like the new you, too,” said Isak.

“Really?”

“I like every version of you.”

“Oh.”

They rode silently after that, and Isak was spiraling out of control but he couldn’t say a word. Vault’s entire discography was playing and his heart was sinking with every song.

Now Playing: Vaults - Poison

Won’t you let me poison your heart?

(let me fall in under your skin)

Won’t you let me in?

Won’t you let me poison your heart?

.

“Can I?” said Even.

“Hm?”

“Can I play something?”

“Sure,” said Isak.

.

Now Playing: Amy Winehouse - Love Is A Losing Game

For you I was the flame

Love is a losing game

Five story fire as you came

Love is losing game

One I wished, I never played

Oh, what a mess we made

And now the final frame

Love is a losing game

.

Isak couldn’t take it.

Fuck. You’re killing me.

He stopped the car very slowly in front of a coffee shop he had never seen before and ran his hands all over his face. He wanted to cry. He really did.

“Isak-”

“You’re breaking up with me, aren’t you?”

“What?”

“We never broke up,” said Isak with tears in his eyes, hoping, praying that they never reached his cheeks. “You left but we never broke up. So now you’re playing me Amy Winehouse to tell me to go fuck myself, right?”

“No. That’s not what I’m doing.”

“Then what are you doing?” said Isak with a voice so faint, he couldn’t recognize it himself. “What should I do cause I’m lost over here. I’m so sorry for what happened. I just-. I don’t know how to make it up to you. I never meant to hurt you. I never meant for any of that shit to happen.”

“I know,” said Even. “I don’t blame you-”

“Yes, you do!” Isak finally turned around to look at him, no longer caring if his tears made it to his cheeks this time. He just didn’t care.

“You left without hearing me out. You just vanished. And then you stopped responding to my texts. And I know you don’t owe me shit but it still hurt.”

“Isak,” Even sighed. “It wasn’t about you. I didn’t leave because of you. I had to leave. I couldn’t breathe. I couldn’t do shit. I had to leave.”

“My heart is broken, too. You know?” said Isak. “I’m doing my best. I had my shit together. And then you came back and it’s like I’m back to where I was 8 months ago.”

“I’m sorry,” said Even.

“Stop saying that you’re sorry! It was all my fault!”

“No, it wasn’t,” said Even. “It was all Erik and Chris’ fault. You just got sucked into it. It wasn’t your fault. I don’t think it was your fault. Chris explained and stuff.”

“Then why don’t you love me anymore?”

Isak mentally punched himself in the face. He didn’t want to know the answer to that question. He didn’t know why he asked it in the first place. This was a disaster. Whatever Even was about to say was going to break him. But he still waited. He still waited for him to answer.

“I don’t think it was love,” said Even.

So this is what getting stabbed in the heart feels like.

He heard it crack. He couldn’t breathe and his tears reached his neck again.

“I was so unfair to you,” said Even. “I put you on a pedestal. I treated you like this thing that I had to take care of. Like a fantasy. I always wanted to rescue someone. My whole life I wanted to live a love so epic and so big. You saved me and I was obsessed with saving you and taking care of you. I was obsessed. I did everything to make you love me. I treated you like a project, like a mission you know. I wasn’t fair to you. I don’t think it was love. I think it was obsession and I think you deserve better.”

.

Isak cried in David’s car for hours.

He never loved me. He doesn’t think it was love. I was a fucking Arts project. It fucking hurts.


David

00:19

Where the fuck are you?

You said you’d be back early

I need my car

I’m a block away


“What happened?” said David, sliding into the passenger seat where Even broke him.

“He broke up with me,” said Isak.

“What?”

“Or more like, he said it was never real or something. I don’t know.”

“Huh?”

“I’m tired, I’m going to bed.”

.

“We’re going to a party,” Jonas announced the next day, towering over him in his bed.

“Not in the mood,” said Isak.

“You have to!” said Magnus. “We’re gonna have a boys night.”

“Yeah no,” said Isak.

“Come on! We’re going to find you a nice boy to have sex with. How does that sound?” said David.

“Sounds like you’re a piece of shit and you told everyone what I told you yesterday!” Isak bit back.

“Shit,” David muttered.

“I’m not fucking going out!” said Isak.

“Jakob will be there,” said Magnus. “You can fuck him. No? I think he likes you or something.”

“Shut the fuck up!” said Jonas.

“What?”

“I’m not going!” said Isak.

.

Isak ended up getting dragged to this damn party. Jonas kept playing that 'New Rules' Dua Lipa song that Even had in his playlist and said that he would play it all night if he didn’t get dressed.

Talkin' in my sleep at night, makin' myself crazy

Wrote it down and read it out, hopin' it would save me

My love, he makes me feel like nobody else, nobody else

But my love, he doesn't love me, so I tell myself, I tell myself

(I do I do I do)

.

Perhaps it was the song or the brief sense of ‘fuck yeah’ he got from Jonas’ pep talk. But he wore his favorite jeans, the ones that made Even’s head spin, a black t-shirt, and let his hair down, no snapback tonight.

He got plastered during the pre-game and was already hanging off of Mahdi’s arm.

“Shit. Perhaps this wasn’t a good idea,” said Mahdi.

“He said it wasn’t love!” Isak laughed. “Can you believe it?! Here I am feeling like someone put a knife in me and he says it wasn’t love. Wow!”

“Jesus, we’re gonna have to carry him back,” said David. “Maybe we should dump him in the apartment and go to the party without him?”

“What the fuck?” said Isak. ”I’m going to the fucking party and I’m gonna get laid!”

.

Isak shoved every single guy that tried to talk to him. He had no recollection of how they made it to the party but there he was on the couch trying to make everything stop spinning. He was drunk out of his mind. He hadn’t drunk this much in over a year. Dammit.

“Not you!” he yelled in some guy’s face. “You’re not tall enough!”

“Shit rude,” said the guy.

“Fuck you!”

“Fuck you!” said the guy. “People said to stay away from you but shit you’re worse than I imagined.”

Worse than you imagined. Yup that’s me.

“Isak, let’s go home,” said Jonas. “This was a bad idea. I’m sorry.”

“I want to stay,” Isak shoved him.

“It’s not worth it. Come on.”

“Why are you so persistent? Why do you want to leave so bad? I’m fine!”

“Hey, bro. Let’s get the fuck out,” said David.

“Why?” said Mahdi.

Isak was drunk, but he didn’t miss David giving Mahdi the look.

“What are you hiding from me?” said Isak.

“What are you talking about?” Jonas laughed nervously.

“We’re not hiding anything,” said David.

“Holy shit guys!” said Magnus who had just appeared out of nowhere. “Even is here! Did you see him?”

Jonas and David both brought their palms to their faces and sighed.

“Fuck’s sake, Mags,” said Jonas.

.

Isak was making his way through the crowd with Jonas trying to hold him back when he saw him. There he was, Even, looking as charming and beautiful as always. His hair was down, and he was wearing a white shirt and a blinding smile. How dare you.

“Isak, don’t do anything stupid!” Jonas’ arm was around his chest now.

“What do you mean? I just want to say hello,” said Isak, hiccuping now.

“Here’s what we’re NOT gonna do,” said Mahdi.

Even was talking to some girl and Isak’s blood was boiling in his veins. It was irrational. He was too drunk, too hurt. Yes, he had no right over Even. He had absolutely no right whatsoever. But he was too drunk too far gone.

“I just want to talk to him. I won’t cause a scene. I just-”

“Stop acting like a fucking child!” said Mahdi in his face, sobering him up a bit.

“Wha-”

“Mahdi, bro,” said Jonas.

“No but seriously. I don’t know much but you basically fucked the guy over by hiding stuff from him. Now everybody and their dog knows his entire life story because you couldn’t tell him the truth. Just imagine the mental strain it must have had on him. He wasn’t doing so good in the first place and you decided to fuck around with his number one enemy. Just let him breathe. He’ll come around,” said Mahdi.

Isak’s chest was heaving at this point. Mental strain? You don’t know shit.

“Mahdi, you need to shut the fuck up,” said Jonas. “You don’t know what you’re talking about.”

“Then enlighten me,” said Mahdi. “I feel bad for both of them at this point but I don’t get what Isak is so mad about. Nobody told you to go fuck around with fucking Erik.”

Isak couldn’t take it anymore and he shoved Mahdi so hard that he fell in the hallway.

“What the fuck?!” said Mahdi.

“Fuck you! You don’t know shit! You don’t know fucking shit! Fuck you!” Isak shouted. “You don’t know how I fucking feel. Nobody told me to go fuck around with him? Oh my god! Fuck you! Fuck all of you. You have no fucking clue!”

He didn’t realize he was crying until his vision became blurry. And when he wiped his tears, everyone’s eyes were on him.

Might as well come clean. Might as well give everyone what they want to hear. Huh.

“You wanna know about fucking Erik, huh? You wanna know! I’ll fucking tell you! I’ll tell ALL of you. So gather around children. Come join the fucking show! Where do I start, huh? Where-”

.

The rest was a blur. He wasn’t sure how it all went down but he was on the elevator with Even. Fucking Even.

He had one arm around his waist and another one one his neck, holding him there, keeping him from falling.

“You should have let me tell everyone,” said Isak, pressing closer against his side.

“No, I shouldn’t have.”

“I haven’t drunk like this in over a year,” said Isak.

“Me neither,” said Even.

“You’re drunk?”

“Not as much as you, but yeah.”

“How do you know?”

“What?” said Even.

“How do you know you’re drunk?”

“I've been wanting to kiss you all night.”

"You noticed me?" said Isak.

"Of course I noticed you."

“Then why don’t you kiss me?” said Isak.

“I’m not drunk enough.”

It hurts so good.

.

“Where’s Jonas? Jonas must be worried,” said Isak, snuggling up against Even in the taxi.

“I told him I was taking you home,” said Even.

“And he let you?”

“Yeah.”

“I need new friends,” Isak sighed.

“You don’t want me to take you home?”

“I don’t want you to see me like this,” said Isak, snuggling up even closer, his arms around Even’s chest, his cheek against his collarbones, breathing him in.

And Even let him. He let him.

.

“I’m gonna touch your back pockets right now to get your keys out,” said Even.

“You don’t have to tell me before touching my ass,” said Isak.

“Yes, I do.”

Isak was pressed against the door while Even struggled to get it open. He had never been so thankful for their shitty lock. Never.

Even’s brows were furrowed as he struggled with the set of keys, and Isak was watching him with so much love in his heart. How can I ever hate you when you’re so sweet to me. How can I ever get over you.

Isak arched his back and brought his hands to Even’s back pockets, pulling him closer between his legs.

“What are you doing?” said Even.

“Baby, I miss you,” Isak mumbled, his lips a few breaths away from Even’s.

“I’m trying to open the door,” he said, tilting his head upwards so that Isak was met with Even’s jaw instead. Not fair.

“And I’m trying to kiss you,” said Isak.

“No kissing,” said Even, just as the door opened.

“No?”

“No kissing,” Even repeated, dragging Isak inside by the waist and pushing the door closed with his foot.

“Like Pretty Woman?” said Isak, making Even laugh.

“Yeah like Pretty Woman.”

“How do you know where I live?”

“I know things.”

“You’ve been stalking me again?” said Isak, leaning on the wall for a second and dragging Even with him, one hand in his hair, pulling at his soft locks.

There wasn’t enough light but Isak didn’t miss how Even’s eyes closed at the contact. Cute.

“I love how you close your eyes when I pull your hair,” said Isak. “It’s so cute.”

“You think I’m cute?” said Even.

“The cutest.”

“We’ve had this conversation before,” said Even.

“Maybe. Or a variation of it at least,” said Isak, grinding down Even’s leg.

What is happening.

“I’m getting flashbacks to our first night together,” said Even.

“Hm yeah,” Isak arched his back again and brought his other hand to Even’s hair. “We fucked for hours. We fucked so good.”

“Then you left,” said Even, dragging Isak off the wall and back to the hallway. “And it was all a dare.”

“Yeah, I left,” Isak hiccuped. “I’m sorry about the dare. And I thought you’d kick me out anyways.”

“I would never,” said Even.

“Liar,” Isak mumbled.

“Where’s your room?” said Even.

“Hm?”

“Where’s your room, baby?”

Baby.

“First door on the right,” Isak sighed against his skin, feeling all hot and bothered, alcohol dancing in his blood and his head spinning with lust.

Isak was hanging off  Even’s neck, his tall tall neck, and the world was spinning, spinning, spinning. So when Even tried to lay him on the bed, Isak dragged him down with him.

“Baby, I miss you,” he mumbled, his arms locked around Even’s neck. “I’m going crazy. I miss you.”

“I miss you, too,” said Even, his hands locking around Isak’s wrists to gently remove his arms.

“Really?”

“Yeah.”

“Do you love me?”

“Isak-,” Even sighed.

“Do you hate me?”

“I can never hate you,” said Even.

“I love you,” said Isak.

“No, baby. You don’t.”

Isak wasn’t sure where he got all of this sudden surge of energy, but he rolled them around and climbed on top of Even, straddling him.

“Isak-”

“I want you,” he mumbled, kissing his neck and his jaw.

“Isak, you’re wasted.”

“I don’t give a shit,” Isak breathed, trying to kiss his lips but constantly being met with his chin or his jaw.

“No,” Even groaned, his hands on Isak’s arms, trying to get him to sit up.

“Please. I miss feeling you. I want you. It will be like the first time,” said Isak. “We’re doing it all over again right? Please.”

“Baby, not like this,” said Even, cupping his jaw now and trying to get him to focus on his eyes for a second.

But Isak couldn’t focus. He couldn’t even see.

“Why not?” said Isak, his hand now wandering down to the object of his desire.

“Isak, stop,” said Even, his hand covering Isak’s.  

“Kiss me,” Isak begged.

“No kissing,” said Even.

“Then fuck me.”

“Isak!” Even sat up with Isak on his lap, both arms around his back so that he wouldn’t fall off.

“What?”

“What are you doing? Just what is this?” Even asked with so much sadness in his eyes that it hurt him.

“What do you mean? I just-”

“Baby, you’re drunk. You’re fucking wasted. How could you for even a second think that I would do this to you?”

“What? I-”

“Do you think I hate you? I don’t hate you. I could never hate you. And even if I did, I would still never have sex with you like this. I would never,” said Even.

“I just-”

But then it hit him. It hit him like a truck. It him so hard that he was in physical pain. It hurt so much.

What am I doing. What am I doing.

.

“It’s okay,” said Even holding him, both of them on their side in the bed now. “It’s alright.”

“I’m so fucked up.”

“No, you’re not.”

“I thought I was fine. I thought I had everything figured out. I thought I was a new person but I’m the same old piece of shit I was before,” said Isak.

“No you’re not,” said Even. “You had a rough night and you almost told everyone about Erik. You’re allowed to fuck up for one night.”

“I can’t stand you,” said Isak, burying his face in Even’s neck and locking his arms around his waist.

“What?”

“I can’t stand how nice you are to me. I can’t stand it. I hurt you and all you do is repay me with kindness. What’s your problem? I can’t stand it.”

“I can’t stand you either then,” said Even, holding him closer, one hand in his hair now and the other drawing circles on his back.

“Hm?”

“I can’t quit you. I don’t know how to.”

“You don’t have to,” said Isak. “I’ll be good. I’ll be good for you. I promise.”

“You don’t have to be anything for me. If you’re gonna be good, be good for you,” said Even.

“Stop talking, Even. Just stop.”

“Okay. Just don’t throw up on me.”

“You’ll stay?” said Isak.

“Yeah.”

“Okay.”

.

“You said you never loved me,” said Isak in the middle of the night.

“I lied.”

“You hurt me.”

“I know. I’m sorry,” said Even. “What else?”

“Hm?”

“What else hurts?”

“Your playlist fucking hurt me,” said Isak.

“Which one?”

“New Rules. The one with the break-up songs.”

“Elias made that,” said Even.

“Oh.”

“What else?”

“That's it," said Isak. "What about you?”

“Hm?”

“What hurts?”

“That you didn’t trust me,” said Even.

“What?”

“You didn’t trust me with the Erik stuff. You didn’t tell me anything.”

“I wanted to protect you. I’m sorry.”

“It’s okay now.”

.

Isak woke up with a splitting headache in Even’s arms, and for a moment everything was fine. It was 6 in the morning and his phone was blowing up. Everyone was talking about them, about how Isak had a mental breakdown in the middle of a party and tried to beat up his friend then left with Even. Everyone was talking and Isak was so tired.

“Morning,” said Even.

“Morning,” said Isak. “How are you feeling?”

“Hungover.”

“Me too,” said Isak.

“I have to meet my mom at 10,” said Even.

“I’ll drive you.”

“You look like you’re gonna get us killed,” said Even.

“Ugh, shut up,” Isak rolled his eyes. “Give me an hour and I’ll drive you.”

“Okay,” said Even, stretching in his bed, making Isak do a double take.

Even was in his bed, stretching his limbs and looking comfortable and adorable. In his bed. He was here. He was back. He didn’t hate him and he had once again come to the rescue.

Isak felt pathetic but he was still happy. Baby steps.

“What?” said Even.

“Nothing. I’m just happy.”

“Hm?”

“I’m happy you’re here,” said Isak.

“Me too.”

.

Isak showered and made them breakfast. Even didn’t even wince when he took a bite out of his eggs.

“This is actually edible, holy shit,” said Even.

“Shut up.”

They laughed and Isak was so happy that he could have cried. Even was laughing in his kitchen and filling it with so much life and he was eating his food, food Isak had made himself.

He was so happy that he didn’t even blink when Magnus and David came in around 7 in the morning and Magnus actually screamed.

“Oh my god!”

“Shut up,” said Isak getting up to pour them a cup of coffee. “How’s Mahdi? I need to say sorry.”

“Yeah, no shit,” said David. “Hey Even! I’m David.”

“Hi. Nice to meet you.”

“You, too,” said David, before turning his attention to Isak. “He’s not mad though. Don’t worry. Nobody’s angry with you.”

“Thanks,” said Isak. “I’m still crawling to his apartment to beg for forgiveness.”

“Good idea,” said David. “He taught you how to drive and housed you for the longest time.”

“True.”

“Oh my god!” Magnus repeated.

“Fuck’s sake,” Isak stood up. “I’m driving Even home. Can I have your car, David?”

“Of course!” said Magnus.

“It’s my car,” said David.

“Shut up! It’s Even!”

.

Isak started the car while Even chuckled beside him.

“I like your friends,” said Even. “I never hung out with them much.”

“They’re a pain,” said Isak. “But they had my back.”

“I can see that,” said Even

He then rolled down his window and placed his head on his crossed arms, letting the wind blow through his hair.

Isak watched him for a while before switching lanes.

“Where are we going?” said Even.

“Somewhere nice,” said Isak.

He drove to the beach because he had been wanting to go all summer, but he never did. It was seven in the morning so no one would be there, hopefully.

They drove silently and Isak’s heart felt heavy in his chest, so he decided to let some of it out.

“I’m gonna play a song,” said Isak.

“Okay.”

“I stalked your playlist by the way. And Spotify eventually led me here.”

“I see,” Even smiled, the sun shining on his blonde hair, making Isak’s heart full, so full.

.

Now Playing: Jacob Banks - Silver Lining

I'm a train about to crash

But you take me as I am

Through it all, I know the sun will rise again

You are my silver lining

.

You are magic, my amazing grace

Full of wonder, please just stay the same

Stay by me, don't you fade away

You are my silver lining

.

“You’re my silver lining, too,” said Even, his giants legs on the dashboard, and his hand in Isak’s hair.

Isak couldn’t turn around. He couldn’t look at him. One, because they probably would get into an accident if he did, and two because his heart might burst.

Isak slowly stopped the car on the side of the road in the middle of nowhere, but at least they were overlooking the beach. The sky was so blue, almost as blue as Even’s eyes, he guessed. And when he finally turned around to face him, Even’s eyes were shining with tears. Gosh. We’re so fucked up.

His hand was still in Isak’s hair and he let him play with it. He let him thread his fingers through his locks. He let him.

“You and I, will we ever be okay?” said Isak, taking Even’s other hand.

“I don’t know.”

“Will we ever love each other like we did before?”

“I don’t know, baby.”

“Okay,” Isak mumbled.

His heart was out in the open. He had nothing to hide. So he held onto Even’s hand, laced their fingers, and waited.

“What’s your favorite color?” said Even.

“Hm?”

“I don’t know what your favorite color is.”

“I don’t know. I don’t really have a favorite color,” said Isak.

“What’s the color that makes you the happiest when you see it?”

“Blue,” said Isak. The color of your eyes. “What’s yours?”

“Green.”

Isak smiled.

.

“I want to know everything about you,” said Even. “I don’t want us to be co-dependent and curled around each other in my apartment and not actually talking. I want you to tell me everything. I want you to trust me and I want to trust you. I don’t want you plotting stuff behind my back to protect me. I want you to talk to me. I want to get to know you. I want to be your bestfriend.”

“You’re going too fast for me already,” Isak laughed.

“Alright, maybe a good friend. I want to be your friend. We can figure out if we’re good for each other later.”

“Okay.”  

“Yeah?”

“Yeah, okay,” said Isak.

“No more crying. No more getting shitfaced.”

“Okay. No more crying. No more getting shitfaced,” said Isak.

.

Isak restarted the car and they eventually made it to the beach. He parked it somewhere and groaned when he realized that he had to pay for parking. He remained grumpy until Even splashed him with water.

“How dare you!”

But then Even splashed him again and he smiled. And Isak’s heart was bursting. He was powerless in front of Even’s smile. He couldn’t do much but smile right back. So he put his phone down and chased him along the beach like a lovesick fool at best. He chased him until Even became the one chasing him somehow.

It was ridiculous but he felt so happy getting all wet and gross at seven in the morning with the boy of his dreams. He felt so happy feeling the sand going in between his toes. He felt so happy pretending to get out of Even’s hold who was hugging his waist from behind. He was so happy fighting him off and rolling around in the sand and ruining his clothes in the water.

Isak was over the moon. I’ll be your friend. I’ll be your bestfriend if it involves ending up in your arms like this.

.

They drove back all gross and wet, and Isak felt slightly bad for messing up David’s car. But he promised himself that he would wash it once he headed back.

“Elias will give me shit,” said Even.

“Hm?”

“This is his shirt.”

“I wondered why it was so tight,” said Isak. “Thought you were trying to make a statement.”

“I knew you were gonna wear the tight jeans that drive me nuts. I had to match,” said Even.

“You knew I was going to the party?” said Isak.

“I hoped you would.”

“Okay,” Isak breathed, face flushing slightly, his heart racing again.

“You okay?”

“Yeah.”

“Do you think Elias will ever forgive me?” said Isak.

“Forgive you for what?”

“For what I did to you.”

“There’s nothing to forgive. You don’t have to worry about that,” said Even.

“He hates me. I don’t want your friends to hate me.”

“My friends don’t hate you. You don’t have to apologize to anyone,” said Even. “And if they give you shit, it’s because they don’t know what you’ve been through.”

“I haven’t been through anything compared to you,” said Isak.

“Don’t say that. Don’t undermine your own experiences. Don’t ever do that. You’re strong. Don’t forget it.”

“Okay,” Isak mumbled. But I’m not. I’m not half as strong as you.

.

“This song reminds me of you,” said Even.

“Hm?”

“Whenever I listen to it, I think of you.”

.

Now Playing: Kesha - Praying

I'm proud of who I am

No more monsters, I can breathe again

And you said that I was done

Well, you were wrong and now the best is yet to come

.

I'll bring thunder, I'll bring rain

When I'm finished, they won't even know your name

You brought the flames and you put me through hell

I had to learn how to fight for myself

And we both know all the truth I could tell

.

I'll just say this is "I wish you farewell"

I hope you're somewhere prayin'

I hope your soul is changin'

I hope you find your peace

Falling on your knees, prayin'

.

They were in front of Even’s mother’s house and Isak tried his best not to cry in the car. He knew what this song was about.  Fuck’s sake.

“You’re strong. You’re so strong,” said Even, holding his free hand. “I’m in no position to say anything but I’m so proud of what you did these past months. Look at you. You have a job and an apartment and you can drive and you make eggs in the morning. Don’t be anything less than proud of who you are.”

Isak just nodded because he wasn’t confident he could speak without crying.

“And we’re gonna get that piece of shit,” said Even. “We’ll make him pay. I hope he’s somewhere praying. I really do.”

“Me too,” said Isak, with big fat tears rolling down his cheeks. “I hope so, too.”

“Come here,” said Even, undoing his seatbelt and Isak’s and wrapping his arms around him, crashing their chests together.

Isak closed his eyes and breathed in his arms. He breathed and thanked the universe for giving him this boy back, this boy who made everything so much brighter, who made everything so much more beautiful. He hugged him because he wasn’t sure when he would get to hug him again. He hugged him so tight, he was probably crushing him. But he couldn’t let go.

You’re all I want.

Isak let go painfully, so painfully. He never wanted to be apart from him, but he knew that he had to stand tall on his own two feet before completely latching onto him. He had to be good for himself, because he wanted to get better, not because Even was someday going to take him back. He had to do it for himself. He had to be strong for himself. So he let go. And when Even’s hands cupped his face, he closed his eyes and prayed he wouldn’t break him. He prayed he would survive it.

Even’s lips landed on his forehead and Isak shivered in his embrace. He shivered from the mere touch, from his lips merely brushing against his forehead. His lips. His lips had once healed him, had once made him whole again. So when Even’s lips moved to his cheeks, leaving the softest kisses there, he nearly crumbled.

His chest was heaving and no one should be feeling like this at nine in the morning. No one should be feeling like fire was being set to their chest at nine in the morning.

“I thought you said no kissing,” he mumbled, his face flushed and his hands shaky around Even’s wrists.

“On the mouth,” Even breathed against his skin before pressing another soft kiss to his cheek. "No kissing on the mouth."

“No kissing on the mouth,” Isak repeated, curling his fingers around Even's wrists even tighter. “Like Pretty Woman.”

“Like Pretty Woman.”


Even <3

10:18

new rules: no crying, no getting shitfaced, no kissing (on the mouth)

what is this

for future reference

i see

the first two weren't in pretty woman though

and she actually broke her 'no kissing' rule in the movie

yeah she did

because she loved him

yeah

because she loved him..

Have a good day, Isak

Have a good day, Even

 

Chapter Text

The Bench

Even met Isak at the second lowest point of his life. Well, maybe. He couldn’t tell for sure. Every low seemed like the lowest at the time. But judging by the scars he carried with him, it had to be the second lowest.

Isak was crying on his favorite bench when Even’s empathy took over as it always did.

.

For some reason, Even couldn’t bear seeing this boy cry even if he had stolen his favorite spot in the entire hospital. He couldn’t really see his face but his hair was a soft mess of blonde curls, and his shoulders were hunched as he sobbed into his own hands. Even wasn’t sure why, but he felt sad too. He had already been feeling sad, but for some reason he took in this boy’s sadness and forgot about his own for a few moments.

Even stood tall in front of him and watched him. He didn’t seem to be physically hurt. He was wearing regular clothes and nothing indicated that he was a patient. He must have been someone’s family. Someone he cared about was probably in pain, and his cries were so desperate and haunting that they almost sounded like Even’s when everything became too much. It was the type of cry that one let out after holding it in for the longest time. This boy probably wasn’t used to crying, probably didn’t do crying in the first place. He probably smiled a lot to hide his pain. He probably cracked jokes all the time. This boy was probably very strong and he was probably very tired right now.

He couldn’t have been older than sixteen and Even felt silly but he wanted to protect him. He wanted to help him even though he could barely help himself. So like a fool, Even put a hand on the boy’s shoulder and asked him if he was okay.

The boy jumped and flinched, immediately getting up from the bench and turning his back to Even, probably to hide his crying face. I knew it. This boy definitely didn’t do crying. He was embarrassed. He wouldn’t look at him. And to be frank, Even was thankful. He felt ridiculous in his hospital gown and would have hated for this boy’s first impression of him to be associated with it. The boy mumbled a weak ‘I’m fine’ before sprinting back inside, leaving Even dumbfounded and with a curious feeling in his chest: aching, but not the kind he was familiar with.

.

Even loved creating stories in his head for every single person he crossed paths with. It helped him forget his own demons and made him feel in control. It made him feel like a movie director, like someone with a say in how things went down. In his head, nobody ever got a happy ending because endings had to be memorable and realistic. Nobody ever remembered the happy endings, just the sad and heartbreaking ones. But for some reason, sitting on his favorite bench where he usually scribbled his most desperate thoughts and drinking the banana milk one of the nurses got him from the vending machine, Even wanted nothing more but to give this boy a happy ending. For some reason, he couldn’t bear the idea of him crying ever again.

Weird.

Even went back to his room which he shared with another man and thought about the boy until his demons found him in the dark, until his thoughts no longer made sense, until all he could see was darkness. His mood had gone from a 3 to a 1 on a scale of 1 to 10 in the span of minutes. Great.

Even had just gotten diagnosed with bipolar and he was still trying to figure out Lamictal from Lithium, still getting the gist of mood stabilizers and why they were important. He hadn’t been under Lithium long enough, however. And the doctors didn’t really expect him to feel better so soon. ‘You’ll be able to see results in a few months’. Sure.

He had gotten hospitalized after a major manic episode followed by his second worst crash, maybe. The first two days were the hardest and he did nothing but cry. Everything he felt was magnified and a thousand times more intense and overwhelming. And when his parents had to leave, it felt like the end of the world. He had never felt so lonely and alone, even under all of the doctors and nurses’ watchful eyes, let alone the other patients’.

He didn’t really talk to anyone for the first three days, but it got easier. Talking to people in similar amounts of pain was always easier than talking to people who had no clue what it was like, people who just assumed that he was weak for having such thoughts, people who asked him why he was sad as if depression needed specific reasons, people who wondered why he considered death an option when it was ‘the equivalent of giving up.’ Gosh. Go fuck yourself. Talking to people who got it was easier. Still, Even felt constantly alone. Constantly lonely and alone.

Sometimes, his heart hurt so much that he felt like it was being physically torn apart. Even hurt all the time and he quickly realized that the only certainty in his mind was that all he had were his thoughts and that the only way to stop them was to die. However, dying was tricky in a hospital where everybody was constantly watching him. He didn’t really want to ruin some nurse’s day either. But everything hurt. And even though he enjoyed occupational therapy because he got art supplies and got to draw, he still felt alone all the time.

.

The boy was on his bench again, and Even was annoyed for a full three seconds before realizing that he wasn’t crying today. Nice.

He could see his face now too, and it was such a pretty face. Even managed a smile when he realized that his mind was able to perceive beauty in something, in someone, finally . He sat two benches away and watched him. He gave him a name in his head: Baby. It was childish and uninspired, but it sounded better than ‘the boy’. He had a baby face after all, and Even had just rewatched Dirty Dancing with Nils, the guy who shared his hospital room. Baby seemed like a fitting name.

.

Baby was on his phone and he was smiling from time to time now. He was adorable and incredibly pretty with dimples and golden hair. Even couldn’t help but smile whenever Baby touched his hair now, and in his mind he even got to run his own fingers through it. Baby probably went to school because he was only around after 5, and he quickly became his favorite part of the day.

Watching Baby read some of the words he left on the bench became Even’s 3 on his mood scale, sometimes almost 4. But it always went down to 1 as soon as he got back to his room, as soon as he saw Nils.

Even really liked Nils, but he just made him feel even more miserable. He was older and married and he really loved his wife. However, he told Even that it was the worst part of the whole thing.

“What do you mean?” said Even.

“Every time she visits me here, I feel like I’m dying a little bit inside. I hate that she loves me so much. I hate it,” said Nils.

“But why? Why wouldn’t you want to be loved?”

“Because I’m a burden,” said Nils. “You and I, we’re a burden and when we allow people to love us, we doom them to a life of misery.”

“You can’t allow people to love you though. They either love you or they don’t.”

“You can always set them free,” said Nils. “You can make that choice for them by walking away.”

“Why would you do that if you love them?” said Even.

“Because you don’t want to be selfish with them. Because you want them to have the best life possible.”

“Why don’t you set her free then if you can’t take it?”

“I can’t survive without her,” said Nils. “Not being selfish is no longer an option for me.”

“I don’t get it,” said Even.

“People like you and me are not designed for love. When we love someone, we love them too much and we ultimately ruin their lives and ours in the process.”

.

Baby always ran his fingers over his words on the bench while reading, and Even felt like he was somehow touching his heart, touching his deepest thoughts, his deepest secrets. Even might have sat two benches away, but he didn’t miss how Baby’s brows furrowed and how sad he looked while reading them. They were pretty sad words after all, and for some reason, Even started wanting to leave him happy words, too. He didn’t want to make him even sadder than he already was.

In his head, Even gave Baby his happy ending and they had the fanciest wedding in the entire city after all. In his head, Even married Baby and took care of him and made him the happiest boy on the planet. The last thing he wanted to do was make him sad because of what he scribbled on a stupid bench. So he started leaving him nicer words with the hope that he would see them.

‘Hello <3’

‘Hope you’re not as void as me.’

But Baby never noticed, or if he did, he never replied.

.

The Lithium wasn’t doing its job because Even was sinking even deeper. He hadn’t left his room in a day and he hadn’t showered in several ones. He wasn’t eating, wasn’t participating in group therapy, wasn’t drawing. Today was a consistent 1 in his mood scale. Today was not a good day and all he did was cry in his bed.

Even was not a complicated man. All he needed was a sign that he wasn’t completely alone in the universe. And anything would have done the job. Even was willing to accept anything. But nothing came his way. He was all alone.

Still, around 4 in the afternoon, he dragged himself to the bench after negotiating with his favorite nurse and wrote one final goodbye to Baby. Baby who was his favorite person in the world, who was his dedicated and loving husband in his mind. Baby who was almost as broken as he was. In his head.

‘I forgot that we’re all alone. All alone in the universe. I’m alone. I’m all alone.’

.

‘You are not alone.’

Even sat on the bench for hours with silent tears streaming down his face. I’m not alone. Four simple words. They were four simple words but they meant so much. No one had ever thought of telling him that. No one. It was absurd but it was all he needed. All he needed was a silver lining. It was all he needed.

So Even held onto it and kept it close to his heart, forever.

.

University

Even loved being in University. It was big enough that most people had no idea who he was and it wasn’t nearly as draining as secondary school. He took it easy and the nightmares from his time in Trondheim had stayed in Trondheim. Nobody knew who he was and nobody cared either. So he rekindled his friendships with the boys from Bakka and kept quiet about his bipolar. He didn’t want people turning him into a social experiment this time around, and he could still be proud of who he was without making a big announcement to everyone after all.

University was good to Even and his first few months were pretty uneventful. But then he started sleeping around. Not because he couldn’t control his sex drive but because he enjoyed it most of the time. He was a young man after all and he was pretty good in bed. No strings attached. People like me are not designed for love.

Even wasn’t sure how he earned himself a ‘fuckboy’ reputation, but he was pretty known on campus now. It bothered him a little bit but he didn’t dwell on it. At least no one was making bets on how to fuck him up now. Things were good. He worked at a coffee shop and made friends here and there. Lithium was good to him and his moods were mostly stable. Even liked who he was and no longer struggled with the demons in his head. Even was alright.

But then he got into a fight with Erik, the most despicable person in his class and things weren’t so alright anymore. He was so stressed over what he had witnessed him do or rather attempt to do at one of his parties to a passed out girl that he quickly went off the rails. He couldn’t sleep, couldn’t function, and he ended up writing the entire thing on Erik’s Facebook wall.

Once again, his empathy had taken over.

Shit.

.

Even ended up alright. And luckily, the Erik incident took place after the school year had ended. So he had time to get back on his feet. All good.

He kept to himself and was focusing on getting his act together when his life turned upside down on the first day of classes in his second year. He was talking to Mutta and Elias about how overrated Game of Thrones was when the prettiest face all but knocked air out of his lungs, brushing past him, looking like the moon and the stars. Even couldn’t breathe, couldn’t hear a word Elias was saying. Baby.

Baby no longer looked like a baby, but Even still wanted to call him that. He was still the prettiest thing and Even’s heart was beating fast, so damn fast in his chest. Oh my god.

“Are you listening?” said Elias.

“Fuck me,” Even mumbled, his eyes still following the boy as he crossed to another building with a big haired guy.

“No offense, but I’d rather not,” said Elias.

“Oh god. Who is that?” said Even. “What’s his name? Is he new? Is he a first year?”

“Bro, calm down. What happened to not fucking the entire campus this semester?” said Elias.

“You don’t understand!”

.

His name was Isak and Even was obsessed. He tried to get him to notice him for an entire week but nothing seemed to work. Isak was effortlessly beautiful and was constantly surrounded with people. He was also into guys and Even had never wanted anything more in his life, but he had no idea how to approach him.

Uh hey. I think you might have saved my life 3 years ago. I want to love you. Go out with me. You’re so fucking hot by the way.

.

“I give up,” Even sighed, sinking into the couch at one of Chris Schistad’s parties.

“What? Already?” said Mutta.

“I bumped into him maybe four times now and he never even looks at me,” said Even.

“Maybe he heard you’re a fuckboy and actively ignores you.”

“Ugh,” Even groaned.

“Kidding!” Mutta laughed. “Besides I don’t think he would mind. I heard he sleeps around, too.”

“I don’t want to hear it,” said Even, bringing his palms to his ears like a child.

“That’s fucked up, bro,” said Mutta. “He’s allowed to sleep around. Doesn’t make him any less of a person.”

“I never said that,” said Even. “Of course he can sleep around.”

“Then why are you weird about it?”

“I don’t know,” Even sighed. “In my head, he’s mine and mine alone.”

“That’s fucked up,” said Mutta. “Fucked up and backwards. You’re like a caveman.”

“Shut up,” Even laughed. “I didn’t mean it like that.”

“Then how did you mean it?”

“I don’t know. I almost convinced myself that I invented him, that he only exists in my head you know. But now he’s real and he’s here and he won’t notice me and it’s so weird.”

“That’s still fucked up,” Mutta shrugged.

“Forget it,” he sighed.

Even got up to get himself another beer when Isak’s back slammed against the wall next to him. He had his hands in some guy’s hair and they were making out rather frantically, all tongue and moans. Even felt silly but his heart sank. That should be me.

.

Even got drunk for the first time in a while and admitted to Schistad that he had a crush on Isak. Of all people. Shit. Chris didn’t fit the description of people he was normally friends with, but Even wasn’t one to discriminate. Chris also seemed pretty harmless and almost naive sometimes, except for the fact that he was friends with Erik. But still, Even didn’t judge people based on who their childhood friends were and preferred to base his opinions solely on his interactions with them.

.

Chris teased him about the Isak thing for weeks and Even regretted his decision to drown himself in alcohol that night. Chris kept finding him at parties and encouraging him to make a move on Isak, but he didn’t even know where to start. Isak was constantly roughly backed up against the wall by some douche from his year, and Even wanted nothing more but to love him right, but to treat him with the care and love he deserved.

I would treat you right. I would kiss your neck. I would eat you out. I would-

“You’re pathetic, man,” said Elias.

“I don’t want to hear it,” Even sighed.

“It’s like you show up to parties to pine and stare at him. It’s very creepy,” said Elias. “What happened to you having game?”

“Ugh. I’m gonna get another beer.”

.

“Need some help?”

Even’s heart almost stopped right then and there with his hand still on the fridge. Isak was right there on the kitchen counter with his legs swinging in front of him, looking at Even, talking to Even. Oh my god. Chill. Chill. Fucking chill.

“Uh. Wow. Hi,” Even breathed.

Fuck. I blew it. Fuck.

.

He didn’t blow it. Well, actually he did. He blew Isak to be precise. And he was over the moon. He was hysterical. He couldn’t believe it.

I’m going to treat you right.

Sex with Isak was an out of body experience. Even was so shocked that Isak had expressed interest in him in the first place that he couldn’t help but give it his all. Isak wanted sex and he was going to give it to him. Perhaps he could get him to spend the night, too. Perhaps he could make him breakfast in the morning.

Isak had so much game and knew exactly what he wanted that Even’s head was spinning with lust from the moment their lips first met. Jesus. Calm down.

He couldn’t calm down. Every time Isak whimpered, Even got a little bit closer to the edge. Every time Isak pushed his tongue into his mouth, Even’s mind spiraled out of control a little bit more. This was his wildest dream and he had to physically stop himself from pinching his arm. How the hell is this real?

Even was aware that he was a hopeless romantic but he was sure he wouldn’t mind dying with Isak’s legs wrapped around his waist. He never wanted to have sex with anyone else. Isak was a dream. He was a fantasy. He was perfect.

“Fuck me,” Isak whined under him.

“You’re so fucking hot, baby.”

“Fuck!”

.

Isak left in the middle of the night and Even tried not to take it personally. Perhaps I wasn’t that good. Perhaps he thinks I just wanted sex.

“Text him,” said Mutta the next morning.

“I don’t have his number.”

“Friend him on facebook.”

“And say what?” said Even. “Oh hey, I think you’re the love of my life and I’m sorry I asked to have sex our first night together?”

“He can be the love of your life and have sex with you on the first night, you know.”

“Not the point, Mutta.”

“You’re so dramatic when it comes to this guy. What happened to you having game and being chill?” said Mutta.

“Yeah bro. You can have anyone you want. Just chill and if you like him tell him,” said Elias.

They were right.

.

The Chasing

Even chased Isak like a fool and he enjoyed every second of it. He waited for him after class, sent him texts whenever he thought of him, which was all the time, and did his best to make him smile. Isak was cold and dismissive, but Even could tell that he wasn’t mean just for the sake of being mean. He could tell that he was just looking out for himself. And for some reason, it made him a little bit sad. Isak pushed him away with everything that he had and it made him sad because he seemed lonely, because he seemed a little bit broken, just like Even. It was just a hunch but Even was almost sure that he was right. Almost.

.

Even was right. And when the word that there was something between Isak and him started spreading, he started receiving upsetting text messages from an unknown number.


Unknown number

Isak Valtersen?

I would stay away if I were you

Filthy little whore

He’ll do anything if you get him drunk though :’)


Even was furious. It wasn’t the first time he had received texts from an unknown number. But they usually targeted him, not the person he was trying to win over.

 

Even started paying attention and noticed how Isak made everything about sex, as if it was the only reason anyone would want to spend time with him. It drove him insane that Isak didn’t seem to know that he had so much more to give. Even loved sex and he really wanted to have sex with Isak again. But he didn’t want him to think that was all he wanted from him, and for some reason he started doubting that Isak loved it as much as he claimed to.

.

‘What if I told you that I slept with you on a dare. Would you still pursue me then?’

This was a tricky one and Even panicked for a few minutes. Does he know. Does he know what happened to me in Trondheim?

Even then remembered than nobody knew, that he had never told anyone. This was probably a mere coincidence. Isak wanted to push him away and Even wasn’t going to back down. He didn’t want to. It probably wasn’t even true. Who could possibly dare Isak to sleep with him? And why would he accept in the first place? It was an attempt to push him away. It had to be. So naturally, without really thinking about it, he replied, ‘I would do it again.’

.

The Car

Even started taking Isak out on long car rides, and it quickly became his absolute favorite thing in the world. Isak always looked so peaceful and beautiful leaning on his rolled down window. He was breathtaking, so Even made sure to tell him.

He started playing him songs, hoping Isak would realize how he felt about him. It was ridiculous but Even’s feelings only grew deeper the further Isak tried to push him away. It only made him want to break through his walls even more, because he could see it. He could it in Isak’s eyes. He was lonely, too. He wanted this, too. He didn’t trust Even but he always whimpered when he kissed him. He always opened his eyes a second after Even opened his. He always chased his lips after they broke apart. Isak wanted this, too. Even just needed to convince him that he wasn’t going to hurt him.

.

The Haircut

Even quickly realized that Isak was far more broken than he let on, and it made his heart ache for him. Isak got a buzzcut, and Even was all too familiar with impulsive decisions and weird hair patches. He could recognize a mental breakdown when he saw one.

Isak wasn’t doing too well and Even wanted nothing more but to help him and find out why. But he didn’t push him. He didn’t want to push him. Isak could tell him whatever was on his mind when he was ready. Even knew all about being pressured into speaking up and he never wanted to put Isak through that.

So he just did his best to be there for him, to shower him with love and affection and compliments. It was all he could do for him.

.

The Pictures

Even always believed that human beings were only horrible out of necessity. But right now, looking at his phone and at the pictures that the infamous unknown number had just sent him, he was starting to doubt his own theory. They were pictures of Isak, clearly taken without his consent, clearly taken when he wasn’t in a state to give consent. Even’s blood was boiling and he wanted to find whoever had hurt Isak, whoever had taken these pictures of him and was holding them against him, but he couldn’t.

Isak was far more broken than he could have ever imagined and it tore his heart apart. He didn’t know how to talk to him about it. He didn’t know if he wanted to bring it up in the first place. So he just deleted the pictures whenever he got them and blocked the number.

.

The Breakdown

Isak broke down on a Friday evening around 5 o’clock after meeting with the girls, and it broke Even’s heart into pieces. He couldn’t bear seeing him like this. He couldn’t bear it. Isak was sobbing hysterically in the passenger seat, and Even had to stop the car and fall on his knees in front of him to calm him down.

“Help me! Please help me!” Isak sobbed.

Even held him and took him home. He held him and he listened to him even though it killed him. He was angry and he was holding back tears. He was so angry and so sad for him. Why is this universe so fucking unfair?

“Even if I’m dirty?”

It broke Even’s heart. It really did. Oh my god. My baby.

.

The Love

Isak was so strong. He was so strong and so beautiful, and Even made it his life’s mission to be there for him, to help him through this, to make him feel beautiful and wanted and safe. Even wanted nothing more but for Isak to feel whole again. He was his number one priority. He was his everything.

So he missed class, and he missed work, and he missed everything in between.

This isn’t about me. This is about Isak. I can always focus on class later. I can go to work later. I need to be there for him now.

.

It wasn’t easy but Even was all too familiar with PTSD, all too familiar with the nightmares and how tough getting adjusted to things after breaking down was. Even wanted nothing more but to break Erik’s nose but he couldn’t put Isak through that stress. He had to be there for him. He needed him. So he gave him all the time and space he needed until Isak started loving himself again, until Isak was ready.

.

The first time they had sex after everything had gone down in flames, Even was careful, so so careful. He was so happy and so consumed with love, and the only thing that mattered was that Isak felt good in his skin, good in Even’s arms. So he constantly asked only to be met with Isak’s lips and Isak’s hands. Isak was whimpering, moaning, yelping and he was beautiful, so beautiful.

Even grabbed a condom from his nightstand then felt bad.

What if he thinks I think he’s dirty. What if he thinks-

Even made love to Isak without protection because he wanted him to feel him. He couldn’t bear the thought of him feeling dirty ever again. The simple thought killed him. So he forgot all about safe sex and how he always refused to have intercourse without a condom on. He tossed it all aside. All that mattered was for Isak to feel good, for Isak to feel loved and wanted and appreciated and safe. It was all that mattered.

.

The Bipolar

Even had never felt closer to any human being in his life as he did when Isak went to the doctor’s with him. It was the very last layer separating them. No more secrets now. Even was fully exposed. His heart was out in the open.

This is me. This is all of me. This is all I have to give. I am not designed for love but my heart tends to want what it can’t have. So I want it. I’m not designed for love but I still want it. I still want you. If you’ll have me.

“Do you still want to be with me?” he asked with his heart in his throat, with tears in his eyes.

.

Isak still wanted to be with him for some reason.

For some reason, Isak stayed even after finding out that Even was bipolar. For some reason, Isak had figured out that something was up with him even before he told him and he still wasn’t leaving.

I love you. I love you with all my heart.

.

The Heartbreak

Isak broke his heart and his soul. Even had never been so crushed, not even when everyone laughed at him in high school in Trondheim, not even when the guy who had pretended to like him pushed him away when Even tried to kiss him, then told him that he was just fucking with him to see if he could break him, to see if he was really bipolar.  

Even had never been so crushed but he still drove to Chris’ house because he had promised to pick up Isak, because it could be Photoshopped. It wasn’t true until Isak said so. There was still hope.

.

Hell to the Liars.

Isak was crying in the passenger seat now.

“I can explain,” he cried.

No. You’re supposed to say ‘what the hell is this’. You’re supposed to say ‘I don’t know where this is from!’

Gosh, Even couldn’t breathe. This was his worst nightmare. He couldn’t breathe. He couldn’t handle it. He was utterly broken.

So he walked away. He left everything behind and walked away.

And what hurt the most somehow, was that Isak never came after him.

.

Isak never explained, never helped him piece things together. Even’s mind was in a jumble and he was entertaining hundreds of theories at the same time. He couldn’t figure it out, so he kept reading the texts and replaying everything in his mind.

For a whole minute Even truly believed that Isak had played him the entire time, that he had partnered with Erik to fuck him up for good. But then he remembered the kisses and the loving and the tears. Gosh, the tears. Isak wasn’t playing him. There was no way. He had just gotten entangled in something. He had to be. Isak always kissed his shoulder blades when he was pretending to be asleep in the morning and it was the sweetest thing. Isak loved him, too. He knew it.

Erik was blackmailing Isak with the pictures. That’s it. And Isak had probably played along with Erik’s plan until he actually fell for Even. That’s it. He would never hurt me like this on purpose. He’s just looking out for himself.

.

Even wasn’t a violent person but he ended up with a few charges pressed against him. He keyed Erik’s car, held him by the collar, and might have even thrown a few punches. Even never threw punches.

“Is it because I fucked your bitch?” Erik grinned.

“Shut up!”

“Did he tell you how much he loved it?” said Erik.

“Shut the fuck up!”

“He begged for it, too. Have you tried taking him from behind? What a sight! He loves it when you pull his hair, too.”

“Fuck you, you fucking piece of shit! I’m gonna fucking kill you!”

His knuckles hurt and there was blood, but it was probably worth it. He was in a police car now, but it was probably worth it.

.

Everything fucking hurt. His heart, his soul, his knuckles, his limbs. Everything.

Even crashed so hard and he didn’t even notice he had been hypomanic for a while. Everything fucking hurt.

This was the lowest point of his life. It had to be.

.

Isak never explained. He sent texts saying ‘I’m sorry’, but he never explained. Sure, Even was in his bed the whole time because he couldn’t move and he couldn’t breathe and all he wanted to do was fall asleep and never wake up, but still. Isak never explained. He had stopped by then left as soon as Even told Elias to leave him alone.. Isak never explained.

Chris showed up and tried. But it still hurt. Isak didn’t trust him enough to tell him what was going on. Even had told him about how much the whole ‘dare’ story had messed him up, but Isak still didn’t tell him anything. Even had stopped going to school and to work. He had been putting so much energy into getting Erik locked up and it was all he ever thought about. Even had given up on everything for Isak, and Isak never bothered telling him what was going on. Isak didn’t trust him. Isak didn’t think he was strong and reliable enough. It hurt. It really did.

Where are you. Where are you.

.

The Letter

Isak’s letter made Even cry. It was heartfelt, that he could tell. Isak was in pain, too, and it killed him. Why do I care about your pain more than about my own when you just cracked my heart open? Why?

.

Even felt like hurting himself that night. He couldn’t bear it anymore. He couldn’t handle his thoughts anymore. I don’t want to be here. I don’t want to feel like this.

He called his mom as a last resort and they all quickly coordinated for him to move away. She was going with him to Bergen, and they were going to stay with relatives for a few months until Even felt better.

.

He asked for one last night in the apartment with the guys, and his mother reluctantly accepted after Mutta promised he wouldn’t let anything happen to him.

He texted Isak and he came running as expected. Even just wanted to feel him for one last night. He just wanted to sleep beside him one last time. He was probably breaking his heart, but he allowed himself to be selfish for one last night.

 

.

Bergen

Even was depressed. He could barely eat. He could barely go outside. He could barely move. And he could barely leave his bed. This was the worst he had ever felt, probably. He felt like he went from having everything he had ever wanted to having nothing at all. And it hurt.

What hurt even more was that he was just as in love as before. Isak never left his mind, not even for a second.

He must be hurting. He must be blaming himself.

So he sent him a few texts when he had some energy to remind him that he didn’t blame him for any of it, then never followed up because he was too tired, too drained.


</3

How are you?

I don’t know how to live without you

Please forgive me

please come back to me

I’ll do anything

I’ll fucking do anything

I’m nothing without you

I’m so sorryy baby i’m so sorry


Even’s family didn’t get it and he didn’t expect them to. His aunt patted him on the back and said that heartbreak was temporary, that he was a man, and that he had to stop being sad and thinking of hurting himself because of matters of the heart. She didn’t get it.

Even wasn’t simply sad because his boyfriend had kept the truth hidden from him. Even was depressed. There was no ‘why’ when it came to bipolar depression. It may get triggered by something, by a specific event, but once the person was in it, there was no ‘why’ anymore. There was no specific reason. He wasn’t depressed because ‘x’. He was simply depressed. It was just like the weather. Nobody ever asked “Why is it cloudy today?”. It was just fucking cloudy.

Even was depressed and they didn’t get it.

“Explain it to me then,” said his aunt. “Sometimes putting stuff into words helps.”

“You won’t get it,” said Even.

“Try me.”

.

“Do you know David Foster Wallace?” said Even, his feet on the table as he smoked a cigarette with his aunt.

“No, who is he?” she asked.

She was the cool aunt. That one person in the family who did their best to be super cool and let you smoke inside their house.

“He was a writer. He took his own life at 46,” said Even.

“Oh.”

“He wrote one of my favorite pieces on depression and thoughts about ending his life.”

“What did he say?”

“Hm. Do you know how a person stuck in a fire will eventually jump from the window of a burning high building?” said Even.

“Well, not everyone,” said his aunt.

“Many people will though. Because of the flames. Because of their fear of dying from the flames,” said Even.

“But won’t that person die anyways if they jump?”

“Yeah, that person will be scared of jumping too and wouldn’t jump if they weren’t stuck in a fire,” said Even.

“Then why jump if they’re dying anyways?”

“Because their fear of burning alive surpasses their fear of jumping in that moment. They’re still afraid of falling from a high building, but not as much as they’re afraid of burning alive.”

“Hm.”

“People on the sidewalk watching the person by the window will never understand the person jumping because they don’t know how scary the flames are. They will never get it unless they’re trapped in that high building, too,” said Even.

“Uh, what does this have to do with depression?”

“I’m currently trapped in a burning high building and you’re on the sidewalk right now telling me to hang on and not to jump. But you don’t understand that jumping is less scary and less painful than staying and burning alive. You don’t get it because you’re not trapped in the building with me.”

.

Even tried to hurt himself and ended up in a program in some hospital after regaining full consciousness.

Fuck. here we are again.

.

The Hospital

“Hey,” said a girl with short dark hair while he perfected the sketch he had been working on for a couple of hours.

“Uh, hi,” said Even, glancing at her for a second before turning his attention back to the drawing.

He had seen her around in group therapy. She had a thick accent, too. She must have been from the area.

“I’m Lynn,” she said, pulling a chair beside him. She was sitting too close. Their hospital gowns were basically touching.

“Uh, Even.”

“Do you always start your sentences with ‘uh’?” she said.

“Uh, no.”

“You did it again.”

Even shrugged and went back to his drawing.

“I heard it’s your second time,” she said. “You must really wanna die, huh.”

“Excuse me?”

“Relax. It’s my fourth time,” she said.

“What?” Even put his pen down and turned his attention to her.

“Heard you’re bipolar. I’m kinda jealous. I have major depressive disorder. I never get to experience the highs. Heard they’re fun,” said Lynn.

“Is this a prank?”

“No. why?” said Lynn, before going back to her point without listening to Even’s answer. “For me it’s like I’m low all the time, then I’m okay for a second before feeling low about potentially feeling low again. You feel?”

“I have to go,” said Even, closing his notebook and getting up to leave the common area.

“What’s that ring you keep playing with? Looks kinda girly,” said Lynn.

“See you,” said Even before storming off.

What the fuck.

.

Even saw her again after one of the group therapy sessions. She wasn’t leaving him alone. She was two years older than him at most.

“I couldn’t sleep last night because I kept thinking about your ring,” she said, ambushing him just as he had started drawing.

“My boyfriend got me this ring,” said Even.

“Boyfriend,” she snorted.

“What’s so funny?” said Even, slightly annoyed. “Are you homophobic or something?”

“No! No!”

“Why did you laugh?”
“Cause you said boyfriend, but I feel like you meant ex-boyfriend,” she said.

Ouch.

“So what happened?” she asked.

“I don’t really know you,” said Even, turning his attention back to his drawing.

“That’s the whole point. Just tell me. Heard you’re from Oslo. I don’t know anyone from Oslo. Treat me like your therapist or your social worker. God knows I hate mine. I don’t tell her shit. Her name is fucking Evelyn. She pretends to care about me and keeps telling me that I can do better when I know she hates me. Like it’s what pisses me off the most. They treat us like we’re dumb. Like I know you’re getting paid to listen to my shit.”

“Uh, okay,” said Even.

“Anyways. Just tell me. I won’t tell anyone. I like knowing that some people are sadder than me,” said Lynn. “Makes me feel less alone.”

What the fuck.

.

Lynn quickly became Even’s best friend and confidante at the hospital. She was too much most of the time but talking to her was kind of easy. She was too eccentric and Even sometimes felt like she was straight out of a movie, but it was still comforting.

“So he slept with you on a dare but then he fell for you,” she said, cooking something in the kitchen.

She couldn’t draw or get immersed in the arts, so they got her vegetables and food and cooking supplies.

“Yeah,” said Even.

“And you’re not upset about that.”

“No.”

“What fucked you up is the fact that he didn’t trust you and that your whole past got exposed,” said Lynn.

“Yes.”

“I would be fucking pissed though if I were you. Why don’t you blame him?”

“I just don’t,” said Even.

“That’s fucked up. Like I understand that he eventually fell for you. I watched ‘10 things I hate about you’, too. But you said you found his question on Yahoo Answers saying he initially wanted to hurt you.”

“He’s just-. It’s not his fault. He’s gone through a lot of shit. It was like the byproduct of all that crap,” said Even. “He’s a victim, too.”

“That’s bullshit. You should be allowed to resent him even if he went through stuff,” said Lynn.

“I don’t know. I feel like shit for walking out actually. I said I’d never leave him.”

“This sounds like the most unhealthy relationship ever, and I’ve been in a my fair share of shitty ones,” said Lynn.

“That’s not true. We were good together.”

“If someone steps on your heart and you still find ways to blame yourself, then it’s not very healthy sweetheart,” said Lynn.

“It’s complicated.”

.

“So he’s been through trauma,” said Lynn.

“Yes.”

“You leaving probably fucked him up,” she said. “He probably thinks you’re the only person who could ever love him given what happened to him. He’ll probably never trust you ever again now that you left or even worse: he’ll cry for you his whole life.”

“What?”

“This is so fucked up. I’m sorry,” said Lynn.

“What do you mean?”

“Sounds like both of you blame yourselves for everything because you’re both in love with the idea of each other.”

“Huh?”

“You said you were obsessed with this guy since he was like 16 right?”

“I wouldn’t say obsessed,” said Even.

“You said you stopped going to school and to work and stuff. Were you always this dumb?” said Lynn.

“What the fuck?”

“No. I mean like are you this unreliable with yourself?”

“No. I just wanted to be there for him,” said Even.

Lynn shook her index finger in his face.

“You wanna know what I think?” she said.

“No, not really.”

“Sounds like you two were co-dependent.”

“What?”

“You were all over each other. Both of you were doing some heavy self-loathing. Then the other person shows up and you just want to be with them all the time cause they make you feel a certain type of way. But the moment this person is away, you’re back to hating yourselves and blaming yourselves for everything,” said Lynn.

“What’s your point exactly?.”

“I don’t think it was love, Even. I think you’re a hopeless romantic who loves movies from the 80s and 90s and who has always wanted to be saved and save someone in return. I think Isak reminded you of yourself and you wanted to save him back or whatever, so you put him on a pedestal. I think you never bothered getting to know the real him and I think you were unfair to him. I also think he was unfair to you and that he felt loved and safe and forgot to tell you about stuff going on because he didn’t want the bubble to burst. I think both of you were obsessed with each other and both of you deserve better.”

.

“You don’t know how I feel and how I felt. That’s not true. We both loved each other. We loved each other so fucking much,” said Even.

“What’s his favorite color?” said Lynn.

“What?”

“Isak. What’s his favorite color?”

“Uh. I don’t know. How is that relevant?”

“It just is,” said Lynn. “You don’t know him that well.”

“That’s stupid,” said Even. “I’m pretty sure he doesn’t even have a favorite color. Why does it even matter?”

“I don’t know but I’m sure you don’t know the answer to the most basic things because you were too busy living an epic love story,” said Lynn. “Movies are movies for a reason, Even. In movies, they don’t even need to go to the bathroom for like hours when my bladder is threatening to explode from sitting at a theater for two hours. Like it’s so stupid.”

“What?”

“I’m digressing again. Anyways, I feel like you two skipped the ‘getting to know each other’ stage and jumped straight into curling into each other in your apartment. And that’s why you two might never work.”

.

Even was feeling a little bit better and his mom had just visited with homemade food. He was very happy for a few hours until Isak texted him.

.

“Isak got a job,” said Even with a smile on his face.

“Oh wow, good for him,” said Lynn, cooking something during occupational therapy again.

“Yeah,” Even mumbled.

“You don’t seem too happy for him.”

“What? Of course I am,” said Even. “He’s moving into a new apartment soon and he’s doing really well.”

“Uhm, okay,” said Lynn, her brows furrowing before she brought the spatula to her lips and licked the sauce.

“What?”

“He’s moving on and you’re feeling like shit about it.”

“I didn’t say that,” said Even.

“You don’t have to say it. It’s all over your face.”

“That’s not true. I’m very proud of him.”

“He’s moving on and it hurts,” said Lynn.

“I’m leaving,” said Even as he started walking away.

“If you really love him, you’ll let him be. Don’t answer his texts.”

“I’m walking away.”

“He’ll probably call you drunk one night and tell you he loves you or something. Don’t cave in,” Lynn kept yelling as he left the room. “Set him free. Otherwise, he’ll spend the rest of his life waiting for you to always respond to his texts and tell him that he did well. He needs to do well for himself, not because you’ll think it’s good.”

“Bye.”

.

Even let Isak be. He didn’t reply to his texts, not that he knew what to say. Lynn was probably right. Isak was moving on and he was making progress in his life. Even didn’t need to hold him back, so he stopped responding. He read every text and wrote lengthy responses in his head but never sent out any. I can’t be selfish with you. You deserve better.

Besides, he had to focus on himself. He had to focus on getting better.

Isak called drunk one night as Lynn predicted, and it hurt. It hurt so much.

“Baby, I will wait forever.”

“Baby, don’t wait for me.”

.

The road to recovery was rocky and tumultuous and Even was still wrapping his head around the fact that he had lost an entire year of university. He was going to graduate on the same year as Isak now since he had already lost a year in high school. Great.

Even was doing better and he was back to his aunt’s house, back to smoking on her couch. His mother expected him to come back to Oslo, but he wasn’t ready yet. Not now. Not yet.

.

Google Search - How to heal self-harm scars

Google Search - How to cover self-harm scars

.

“So when are you leaving this place exactly?” said Even.

“I keep coming back,” said Lynn. “It’s like my home now.”

“That’s messed up.”

“Yeah but at least you know where to find me if you miss me,” said Lynn, smiling.

“I miss you but I don’t miss this place.”

“Thanks for visiting me even though you hate it.”

“Of course,” said Even, smiling right back and holding her hand.

“I thought you’d be back to Oslo by now,” she said.

“I’m not ready,” Even admitted, fiddling with his fingers.

“Is it the scars?” said Lynn.

“How is that you read my damn mind every time?” said Even.

“I didn’t read your mind. I just noticed how you keep pulling at your sleeves.”

“Hm. Observant.”

“Is it because of Isak? Are you scared he’ll freak out if he sees them?” said Lynn.

“Well, yeah. But not just him. Everyone else, too. But yeah, I think it might kill him. He’ll think it’s because of him,” said Even.

“Just tell him your theory about people jumping from high burning buildings,” said Lynn.

“Okay, I already told you it’s not my theory. It’s-”

“Yeah yeah, some white man from America. Got it,” said Lynn.

“You’re insufferable,” Even sighed.

“But you love me.”

“Yeah, a little bit,” said Even.

“Come here,” Lynn wrapped him in a tight hug.

Even let himself be held. Lynn was tiny but her hugs were so strong. She was so strong. She was having trouble getting over a miscarriage but he knew she would pull through. He knew it.

“You’re the strongest boy I know, Even,” said Lynn. “Take care of yourself and call me anytime.”

“I hope you get out of here soon,” said Even.

“I hope that next time we talk, it won’t be about Isak.”

.

The Return

Going back to Oslo was hard. It was so freaking hard. Even had to hold back tears when he realized how much he had missed out on. It was so unfair. He had lost an entire year of school. An entire year from his life, gone forever. It was so unfair. He couldn’t get over it.

Everybody knew he was bipolar now and he didn’t even care. He had deleted all of his social media accounts, so he wasn’t sure what was happening most of the time anyways.

His mother walked around him as if he was about to implode. It was frustrating, but he understood. He had put her through so much already. Being understanding was the least he could do.

.

“I missed you so much, bro,” said Mutta as he suffocated him with a bear hug.

Elias and him were taking turns smothering him with love and Even was so happy he could have cried.

“Stop it,” Even laughed.

“We were so lost without you. Seriously, we didn’t throw a single party in your absence,” said Elias.

“I appreciate your loyalty,” Even smiled.

“So when are you moving back in? I can’t deal with Adam’s lazy ass anymore.”

“I might stay with my mom for a bit. Just until the semester starts,” said Even.

“Got it.”

“I’ll probably go to KB tomorrow to beg for my job back though.”

“Uh. I wouldn’t do that,” said Elias.

“Hm?”

“Isak works there now,” said Mutta.

Even’s heart made a leap inside his chest at the mere mention of his name. Oh.

“Yeah, he works with Jakob. I almost feel like they’re a thing,” said Elias. “But don’t quote me on it. I just always see Isak on Jakob’s insta stories.”

“Oh okay,” Even managed, visibly shaken.

The thought of Isak and Jakob together made him want to set fire to something, but he had no right. I’ve been gone for seven months. Of course he moved on.

“Do you know where he lives by any chance?” said Even.

“Oh hell no!” Elias scoffed.

.

Elias kept making him the most ridiculous playlists on Spotify. ‘Get over him!’. ‘Forget him!’. ‘Move on!’. ‘New Rules.’

Even always smiled and brushed it off. And they didn’t get it.

He didn’t think he could simply move on. His heart was still sore but he still couldn’t find it in him to resent Isak for any of it. If anything at all, he felt guilty for leaving. He really did.

.

“Here you go,” said Mutta, slipping him a piece of paper over the table when Elias went to the bathroom.

“What is this?” said Even.

“Isak’s address.”

“Huh?”

“You said you wanted to know where he lived,” Mutta shrugged.

“How do you know?” said Even.

“You told me to look over him.”

“I didn’t think you’d actually do it.”

“I like him,” Mutta shrugged again, his feet over the armrest of the couch now.

“You’re a good person,” said Even.

“Shut up.”

.

Even’s heart was beating erratically against his ribcage, and breathing had suddenly become extremely difficult. He was in front of Isak’s new apartment building and he didn’t really know what to do.

Should I text him? Should I wait here? What should I do?

Even didn’t want Isak to find out he was back through someone else. He didn’t want to just run into him one of these days either. He wanted to tell him himself. And by the looks of it, Isak had moved on with his life, so he probably wasn’t going to care all that much.

Even’s heart stopped and his breathing hitched the moment he saw him. He was beautiful as ever. He was wearing the widest smile on his face, and his hair was back to being a messy mop of curls. Even wanted nothing more but to run to him and pick him up and kiss him right then and there with one hand in his hair and the other on his waist. Even wanted nothing more.

But then a boy Even had never seen before emerged from the building behind him, all freckles and ginger hair, then wrapped an arm around Isak’s head and ruffled his hair. Oh.

Isak shoved him gently and laughed. They then made their way to a car and Isak went for the passenger seat.

Oh.

Even couldn’t even drive anymore. He couldn’t stand behind the wheel anymore. And Isak was giggling behind the passenger seat.

He moved on.


Lynn

14:07

You’re right

I feel like shit

??

I just went to see Isak and i think i saw him with his new boyfriend

Uh??

I doubt he would have moved on THAT fast

I don’t know

Don’t jump to conclusions

But at the same time it’s probably for the better

Yeah

Focus on yourself

Get ready for school and catch up

Leave him be

If he’s happy good for him

He’s very strong for making it

Don’t ruin it for him

Okay

Just lie low until school starts i think

Yeah

Thanks.


“My man,” said Jakob as he wrapped him in a tight hug. “We miss you a lot at KB.”

“When are you finally gonna get a real job?” said Even, laughing

“Ouch,” Jakob laughed, too. “Is your mom hiring?”

“No. Stay away from my mom.”

“Gosh. I didn’t mean it like that.”

“I know you,” Even laughed.

“No you don’t. I’ll have you know I don’t mess with my friends’ family and exes,” said Jakob.

“Yeah right.”

“What? If I were a dick I would have made a move on Isak a long time ago.”

Fuck.

“Oh,” Jakob’s face fell, probably because he noticed the look on Even’s face. “Sorry about that.”

“It’s fine,” Even smiled. “You can talk about Isak. There are no hard feelings there.”

.

“He’s a handful. But he’s very popular though. Almost more popular than you,” said Jakob.

“I’m not surprised,” Even laughed.

“Yeah, so many guys show up just to try their luck with him. It’s kinda pathetic.”

Even laughed but it sounded so fake, so weak.

“Anyways. Want me to tell him you’re back?” said Jakob.

“It’s up to you. I don’t mind,” said Even.

“Hm. Okay.”


Lynn

22:19

I start school tomorrow

I’ll probably run into isak

Hmm

Whatever you do, don’t ignore him

Ok

Smile a lot

Show him you’re happy for him

Don’t be a downer

Okay

But don’t hurt yourself either

If you’re sad then be sad

I’m not sad

I’m just saying don’t internalize stuff

yeah

Good luck

Thanks


Even ran into Isak on the bus at seven thirty in the morning. So unfair.

He looked so beautiful and ephemeral, and Even wanted to hug him or kiss him or something in between. But he couldn’t. His heart hurt. It really did.

But he had to be happy for him. So he smiled. He smiled the entire time. He was so used to smiling when his insides were writhing and being torn apart. Even was really good at smiling and pretending he wasn’t broken inside. So he smiled.

He kept smiling until he noticed that Isak wasn’t smiling at all.

He was on the verge of tears. Oh gosh. No. Please.

.

Isak eventually relaxed and started smiling, too. It felt so abnormal talking to Isak on the bus on their way to uni, as if they were two really good buddies, as if they hadn’t parted in the most heartbreaking way possible, as if Even’s heart wasn’t bleeding as they spoke.

Isak crashed into him when the bus made a sudden stop and Even noticed the ring around his finger. He’s wearing it. Oh god. How.

Perhaps Isak didn’t have a new boyfriend after all. Perhaps he really had jumped into conclusions. Gosh, he was happy. It was absurd and they weren’t getting back together but he still felt happy.

“Nice ring!”

.

Even went on Yahoo Answers because he couldn’t figure out what Isak wearing his ring meant, and his heart melted when he saw ‘Escobar’s new question. He had figured out it was him after Escobar answered his question, then Isak mysteriously used the same words in his letter.

‘Start over. Do it all over again.’

.

Even was so happy that he took a screenshot of Isak’s question and sent it to Lynn.


Lynn

13:04

Even… :(

What?

What’s wrong?

This isn’t good

Huh? Why?

He hasn’t moved on. He’s still fixated on you

Isn’t that a good thing?

At this rate you’ll end up in the exact same unhealthy spot as before

You don’t know that

You skipped town for 8 months and he’s still wearing your ring

Working at your old workplace and asking strangers on the internet how to win you back

Why is this a bad thing?

He hasn’t grown

He still doesn’t understand why you two are a recipe for disaster

He still worships you

That’s not true

I bet he would throw away everything he worked for if you take him back

I don’t understand what the issue is with us getting back together??

You hurt each other too much

You can’t jump into something so soon

He didn’t hurt me!

Yes he did

And the fact that you’re not blaming him at all is fucked up

He probably doesn’t blame you for leaving him either

Why do you make everything so complicated?

Who cares about “healthy” relationships

I’m as fucked up as it gets

Healthy is not even a word in my dictionary

Even

Listen to yourself

You deserve to be happy

You deserve to be in a healthy relationship

And so does he

Don’t do this to him

Don’t do this to yourself

?

Even?


Even was furious. He had been so excited to tell her and she ruined everything. She was probably just jealous of what they had. She was probably just jealous that he had someone who loved him.

.

Even thought about it some more then realized that she was probably right. He was fucked up. That was a fact. Isak was doing great. He couldn’t be selfish with him.

What the fuck was I thinking.

Isak never asked him how he was doing. He didn’t ask him what he had been up to those past 8 months. He didn’t ask him how it felt to be completely removed from everything he was familiar with. He didn’t ask him anything. He never texted or called either.

This is good. This is for the best.

.

Even ran into Nils, his old hospital roommate, at the clinic when he went for a check-up and he went for a hug. Even loved hugs. He really did.

He felt sad when Nils told him that he was divorced now and that he mostly focused on feeling okay and working.

“I’m sorry,” said Even.

“It’s okay. It’s for the best. It should have happened years ago,” said Nils.

“Hm.”

“It was about time she left me. I drove her mad. She deserves better you know?”

Even didn’t respond to that. He didn’t know what to say.

“How are you?” said Nils.

“I’m alright. All good,” said Even.

“Nice.”

“Can I ask you a question?”

“Hm?”

“If you somehow went back in time to the moment you met your ex-wife, would you do it again?” said Even.

Nils looked up at the sky and brought a hand to his beard, thinking, probably.

“No. I wouldn’t.”


Lynn

19:18

Sorry for not answering your texts

It’s ok :)

How are you?

Good

I’m sorry for being a dick last time

All good

You’re right

I need to focus on myself

I need to leave him alone

Yeah

Just remember to be kind

Don’t be cruel

Let him down easy if he comes to you

Ok


‘Let him down easy.’ How do I do that when all I want is to hold onto him.

.

Isak was a sweetheart. He chased him around and used Even’s cheesy lines. He waited for him after class and looked as lovely as ever. Isak was a sweetheart and Even’s heart hurt.

I want this, too. But we’re not good for each other. I will just destroy you.

“Wanna hang out?” said Isak.

“I would love to.”

.

Isak drove now and Even was slightly sad that he wasn’t the one to teach him how to drive, but just a little bit. He was in Isak’s roommate’s car, who most definitely was not his new boyfriend, and he felt like crying.

Isak was playing him heartfelt songs and Even knew what he was doing. He had done it before. He had tried to win him over before.

‘Let me poison your heart.’

Baby, I can’t be selfish with you.

.

Even knew it was cruel but he played him an Amy Winehouse song. Perhaps this was going to convey his message. The message he didn’t have the courage to utter.

You and I won’t work. We both need to move on.

But then Isak was crying and Even’s heart was breaking. Don’t cry. I can’t handle it when you cry.

“You’re breaking up with me, aren’t you?”

Yes.

“Why don’t you love me anymore?” Isak cried.

I love you. I love you. I love you. I love you. I love you. I love you. I love you. I love you. I love you.

But I can’t be selfish with you.

“I don’t think it was love,” said Even.

.

Even walked out of the car and left his heart on the passenger seat. Isak cried the entire time as Even repeated Lynn’s speech to him. It was bullshit. Some of it was true. The bit about Isak deserving better was true. But the part about it not being love was utter bullshit.

Still, it was necessary. Isak was never going to give up. He was never going to let go. Even knew it. It was the only way.

.

He broke down in tears the moment he rounded the corner. His chest was on fire and he couldn’t deal with the pain anymore. His heart was in pieces, but what hurt the most was how devastated Isak looked, how utterly devastated he looked. He didn’t even try to hide it. He just sobbed as if his heart had gotten ripped out of his chest, and Even couldn’t take it.

Forgive me, baby.

He cried all night.

.

“You look like shit,” said Sonja as she sat on the edge of the bed.

“I know,” said Even.

“Elias said you haven’t left your bed all morning. Are you okay?”

“Not really,” Even admitted.

“What’s up?”

“I fucked him up real bad last night,” said Even.

“Who?”

“What do you mean who? You know who.”

“Isak,” Sonja sighed.

“Yes.”

“What happened?”

“I had to break up with him. I had to push him away for good. I’m not good for him but he won’t give up,” said Even.

“Why aren’t you good for him?” said Sonja.

“You know why?”

“Ugh,” she groaned then rolled her eyes. “Because you’re bipolar?”

“Among other things.”

“I thought we got over that,” said Sonja.

“Last time I checked I’m still bipolar.”

“Why does it matter?”

‘It just does. We’re also not good for each other. I worship him and he worships me. I forgive him everything and he forgives me everything. It’s not healthy,” said Even.

“So your solution is to break his heart and lie to him and push him away?”

“Don’t say it like that.”

“That’s exactly what it is though,” said Sonja. “Why don’t you trust this kid?”

“What? Of course I trust him.”

“Why do you keep making decisions for the both of you?”

“He’s too blinded by his guilt. He’ll keep coming back to me. I’m not even sure he loves me at this point,” said Even.

“Gosh,” Sonja sighed then got off the bed. “You’re so fucking controlling.”

“Excuse me?”

“That’s what you used to say to me when I got too weird and controlling,” said Sonja.

“Huh?”

“You sound exactly like me when I used to doubt your own feelings.”

“Uh, that’s not true,” said Even, slightly sitting up in his bed.

“Yes, it is,” said Sonja. “How could you feel what he feels? It’s not fair to him.”

“I-”

.

Even was stuck in a fire in a high building by the window. He was so focused on getting away from the flames that he didn’t notice that Isak was right there, too.

Isak wasn’t on the sidewalk.

Isak was stuck in a fire in a high building by the window, too. He was just in a different building.

.

“I invited Vilde’s boyfriend to this party,” said Sonja.

“Why did you do that?” said Even.

“He’s friends with Isak. He might get him to show up. Perhaps, you two could have a talk. An actual talk.”

Perhaps.

.

Isak was at the party and he looked beautiful as always. He was wearing those jeans and a black t-shirt. His hair was bouncy and he was just so damn beautiful. Even noticed him the moment he walked through the door. It was almost as if he could feel his presence.

But Isak was drunk. He was completely out of it, and Even’s heart hurt because Isak had told him in one of his texts that he no longer drank that much.

This was his fault. It had to be.

I’m sorry, baby.

Even had originally planned on talking to him, but he no longer knew what to say. So he drank, and he drank, and he drank, until he could almost taste Isak’s lips, until he no longer felt like just walking to him and grabbing him by the neck and kissing him.

.

Isak was so drunk and he was about to tell everyone about Erik. Even could no longer afford to just stand by. He had to intervene. So he walked towards him in two big strides, grabbed the back of his head, and wrapped his arms around him until Isak stopped screaming.

“What the hell?” he heard a few people wonder.

But he couldn’t care less. So he told Jonas that he had him and ushered both of them towards the exit.

Isak pressed against him on the elevator and then in the cab, and Even let him because this was the closest they had been in almost a year.

“How do you know you’re drunk?” Isak asked.

“I’ve been wanting to kiss you all night.”

“Then why don’t you kiss me?”

“I’m not drunk enough,” said Even.

I’m not drunk enough to be selfish with you. I’m not drunk enough to take what I want and hurt you.

.

Isak was a mess and he wanted to be kissed. He demanded kisses from Even, but Even had to be strong. He had to remain strong and not kiss him because he couldn’t be selfish with him. He simply couldn’t.

.

Even stayed the night and held him. And when Isak told him that he hurt him when he said that he never loved him, Even admitted that it was a lie.

“I lied.”

It felt liberating. Even had probably never been this honest with Isak. This was nice. This was really nice.

.

Even didn’t get much sleep. He just watched Isak snore softly on his left arm which was completely numb now. He watched him sleep and ran his thumb over his cheekbones, just like old times.

His fingertips burned from simply touching his skin, from simply brushing against his cheeks. Even only ever wanted to touch him. He only ever wanted to love him. But he wasn’t sure. He wasn’t sure he could love him without destroying him and himself in the process. He wasn’t sure it was fair to either of them.

Lynn wasn’t completely right but she wasn’t completely wrong either. They were co-dependent. They were obsessed with each other. That was a fact he could no longer ignore. He didn’t know most things about Isak. He never hung out with his friends, and most of their time was spent in his apartment, in his bed. They had completely skipped the ‘getting to know each other’ phase. They were both consumed by the sheer intensity of their feelings and never took a step back to breathe. They had completely latched into one another without ever actually communicating. It couldn’t be healthy.

The foundation was there. He knew that they loved each other. But he wanted it to be fair to both of them. He didn’t want Isak to drink until he couldn’t see anymore. He didn’t want him to hurt and cry and blame himself for everything anymore. Even wanted so much more for both of them. He couldn’t take another day of self-destructive behavior anymore. He simply couldn’t.

He knew that Isak made him want to be better. He was his silver lining after all. But he wasn’t sure he was Isak’s. He didn’t want Isak thinking that no one could ever love him but Even. He was so wonderful, and loving him was easy. It was so easy. Anybody could love him. He didn’t want Isak to feel stuck with him. He didn’t-

Isak made a sound in his sleep and Even sighed.

His thoughts were consuming him again.

.

So he thought about it and touched his face until Isak started shifting in his arms. He was going to wake up any minute now. This was his last chance.

Even leaned in and pressed their lips together, pouring his whole entire soul into it, hoping Isak could feel the love pouring out of him in his dreams.

One kiss. Just one kiss.

It was the softest kiss, a mere brush of their lips together, but it was everything. It was all he wanted. He breathed him in. He inhaled him. He had him in his bloodstream now.

He pressed another kiss to his lips before hugging him tight, so tight.

Gosh, Even never wanted to let go.

But he did. He had to. He let go and Isak opened his eyes ever so slowly, and they were green, so green.

I guess I do have a favorite color.

.

They were in David’s car again. Isak played him Silver Lining by Jacob Banks on their way to the beach and Even wanted to cry. He really did.

You’re my silver lining, too. You’re everything to me.

“You’re my silver lining, too,” he admitted, all choked up, his hand in Isak’s hair.

Even decided that he was going to stop making decisions for both of them. He was going to stop jumping to conclusions and not trusting Isak to feel what he felt. He was going to stop. But he wasn’t going to kiss him. He wasn’t going to drag him to his bed. He wanted to get to know him better. He wanted to know everything about him. He wanted to be his friend. He wanted to trust him and to be trusted by him. Even wanted everything.

“What’s your favorite color?” said Even.

“Hm?”

“I don’t know what your favorite color is.”

“I don’t really have a favorite color,” said Isak.

I knew it.

“What’s the color that makes you the happiest when you see it?” said Even.

“Blue.”

My heart.

.

Isak and Even decided to get to know each other. They decided to be friends and to let time do its thing. They decided to stop hiding things from each other. They decided to take it slow and figure out if they were good for each other later.

“No more crying. No more getting shitfaced.”

After that they ran on the beach at seven in the morning like two teenagers who really enjoyed each other’s company. Even stopped thinking about the pain and the suffering and the sense of selfishness that roamed his chest. He tossed all of it aside and chased Isak along the beach until his giggles filled his ears, and his mind, and his heart.

Isak was so beautiful and he was smiling so wide. Even only ever wanted him to smile.

We can heal together. We can take it slow. We can be beautiful together.

.

Isak was wonderful but he was still hurting. He had done so much in those last 8 months, and Even was so proud of him. But he realized that Isak still didn’t like himself. He still didn’t treat himself with as much care and love as he treated Even. He wasn’t following his own advice and he was so, so harsh on himself. So Even played him the one song that always, always, reminded him of Isak. Prayer by Kesha.

Isak cried and Even wrapped him in a tight hug in the car. He was shaking and Even couldn’t bear it. My baby. My baby. We will get them I promise. I promise you that we will get him.

He knew that Isak was hurting, so he did the only thing he could think of to help him heal, the only thing he knew always made Isak feel better.

He closed his eyes and pressed his lips to his forehead, feeling Isak melt in his embrace. He then left kisses all over his cheeks, his eyelids, and his nose. Even loved Isak’s nose. He loved it so much. He kissed him everywhere but on the lips. He kissed his face until Isak stopped crying.

“On the lips. No kissing on the lips,” he mumbled.

“Like pretty woman,” Isak mumbled.

Gosh, this boy. This boy.

“Like pretty woman.”


Lynn

11:03

i think we can make it

i think we can be in a healthy relationship if we try

:)

<3

<3


 

The Doing It Again

“Hi,” said Even as he made his way to the seat next to Isak’s on the bus.

“Good morning,” said Isak, a blush creeping its way to his cheeks.

He looked adorable. He was wearing a baby blue t-shirt, black jeans, and a black snapback.

“Happy Monday,” said Even.

“Ugh,” Isak groaned, putting his headphones away. “I hate mondays.”

“Me too,” Even smiled.

“What did you do yesterday?”

“Hm. Nothing special. Helped my mom with the restaurant and stuff. You?”

“I cleaned David’s car,” said Isak.

“Oh, yeah. The beach.”

“Yeah,” Isak laughed.

“Was he pissed?”

“No. It was alright. His car is a mess anyways. If anything he was thankful, I gave it a good wash.”

“I can’t believe you’re washing cars and stuff now,” Even laughed.

“It’s too early for you to tease me,” said Isak.

“Maybe I could tease you later?” Even smirked before realizing that it sounded inappropriate. “Uh. like in a totally friendly and platonic way if you wanna hang out later today.”

Isak gave him a look and rolled his eyes.

“Tease me in a platonic way? Really?”

“Sorry. I panicked,” said Even.

“As if,” Isak huffed. “Why would you panic?”

“Because I’m nervous around you,” Even admitted.

“Uh. No you’re not,” said Isak.

“Yes, I am.”

“You made me feel like shit the other day on the bus. You’re not nervous around me. I’m the one who’s nervous around you.”

“I never meant to make you feel like shit. I’m sorry,” said Even.

“It’s okay.”

“And I was very nervous. It’s just easier for me to smile and stuff.”

“I see,” said Isak, turning his attention to his own fingers now, fiddling.

“Uh, so wanna hang out later?” said Even.

“I know it’s gonna sound like a bullshit excuse but I have to do laundry,” said Isak.

“Oh.”

“I promise this isn’t me playing games or pushing you away and stuff. I just really have to do laundry or else I won’t have anything to wear for the rest of the week.”

Even could think of at least three witty responses involving Isak not having to wear clothes at all, but he voted against those. He didn’t want this to turn into a flirty mess. He meant it when he said he wanted to take things slow.

“It’s okay,” said Even. “I understand.”

“Really?”

“Yeah. I’m glad you’re doing laundry.”

He expected Isak to tell him off but he smiled instead.

“Me too,” he said. “I’m glad I’m doing laundry, too.”


Isak

20:29

I think you left your jacket at my place

I was wondering where that went

I’ll bring it tomorrow. I’ll give it to you on the bus

Thanks!

I gotchu

What are you doing?

Working on my schedule

I might have to switch shifts with jakob or someone

This semester is crazy

Yeah same

i’m taking more classes than usual to catch up

Oh cool

It sucks that you have to retake classes

Yeah

But it’s fine

I’m actually learning a lot that i missed before

Nice

Me too i guess

I focused on this class today and i was so shocked

I actually learned something interesting lol

That’s cool. I hope i stay motivated for the rest of the semester

Me too

I signed up for some student societies cause i got too eager and im not sure how to opt out of those though

Oh

Yeah they seemed to be excited to have me

Don’t know how to say oh i wanna focus on classes instead without looking like a dick :/

Just tell them

They’ll understand

Yeah we’ll see

Or if in doubt

Lol hahaha

:p

I wonder what escobar would have to say

He would tell you to do what you gotta do

Right

:)

What are you thinking about

You once called me the most beautiful boy in the world

I did

You called me the kindest person in the whole universe

I did

On yahoo answers

Yeah on yahoo answers

:)

I meant it

Me too

Alright :) i have to get back to work

Can i see you?

What?

Can i stop by?

Like right now?

I just want to tell you something

I wont take too much of your time

Uh ok


Even had to get it out of his chest. He had to. So he asked Mutta to drive him to Isak’s apartment on a school night.

“Hi,” said Isak, looking slightly flustered and waiting for him outside the building.

“Hi,” said Even, breathless from running from the car to the door.

“Is everything okay?” said Isak.

“Yeah I just really wanted to tell you this to your face.”

“Uh. Okay.”

“I’m sorry for what I said in David’s car the other night,” said Even.

“Hm?”

“When I said I didn’t love you and you were a fantasy and a project or whatever. It was very cruel of me. I’m very sorry,” said Even.

“Oh, uh-” Isak looked dumbfounded.

“You once called me the kindest person in the world and I failed you. I’m sorry. I hurt you and I want you to know that I will never do that to you again,” said Even.

“Okay. It’s okay.”

“Yeah?”

“Yeah. Thank you for apologizing,” said Isak.

“No problem,” said Even, starting to walk away.

“You’re leaving?”

“Yeah. Just wanted to say that. Mutta’s waiting for me at the corner.”

“Uh, okay,” Isak mumbled.

“Oh, I forgot,” Even slapped his forehead. “When I said I wasn’t drunk enough to kiss you. That was fucked up. I’m sorry.”

“Oh.”

“I didn’t mean it like that,” said Even.

“I see,” said Isak.

“You can be angry with me. You know,” said Even. “From now on if I say something that upsets you, tell me. Okay?”

“Okay.”

“Yeah?”

“Yeah. It really hurt me when you said that,” said Isak.

“I’m sorry.”

“It’s okay now.”

.

Even slept well that night. He slept really well.

He didn’t see Isak the following day but he ran into him in the cafeteria on Thursday.

“You’re more than welcome to sit, you know,” said Isak from his seat.

“Uh, yeah sure. Thanks,” said Even, putting his bag down and joining him.

All eyes were on them. People probably had no idea what they were doing having lunch together. But Even didn’t care.

“They’re talking about us,” said Isak.

“Yeah.”

“They’re probably confused.”

“They can fuck off,” said Even, smiling.

“Yeah they can fuck off,” Isak smiled right back.

.

“Have you seen Erik yet?” said Isak, biting into an apple.

“Hm. No. You?”

“Me neither,” said Isak. “Heard he got himself an American girlfriend after his study abroad and that she followed him here.”

“Hm. Interesting,” said Even, sipping on his orange juice. “Erik, a girlfriend?”

“Yeah, perhaps you could seduce her and get her to dump him,” Isak laughed.

Even didn’t respond. He just sipped on his juice.

“Was that fucked up?” said Isak. “Did I cross a line?”

“No, it’s fine,” said Even. “I just don’t want to be used in games anymore.”

“I’m sorry. I didn’t mean it like that.”

“I know. Don’t apologize. It’s okay,” said Even. He meant it. “We’ll get him by using the law and stuff, not games.”

“Yeah,” Isak mumbled. “I’m working on that, too.”

“You are?”

Magnus and David interrupted their conversation by joining their table and Even realized that he really enjoyed their company.

“Bro, everybody’s talking about this in the gossip groupchat,” said Magnus.

“You got got added to that groupchat?” said Isak, rolling his eyes.

“Yeah, I got Vilde to do that for me.”

“You two are so fucking weird,” said Isak.

“Yeah well, weird or not, let me tell you this. Even and you have everyone shook,” said Magnus making Even laugh.

“Nobody says shook anymore. What the fuck,” said David.

“What?”

.

“Wanna hang out this weekend?” said Even as they were emptying their trays.

“Hm. Sure,” said Isak.

“I’ll be at my mom’s on Saturday. Wanna chill there?”

“Uh. Okay.”

.

They spent time in Even’s room and he wasn’t so nervous this time around. The last time Isak had visited his mother’s apartment, he didn’t know about Even’s bipolar yet.

Isak walked around his room and stopped in front of every drawing on the wall, running his fingers over them. They weren’t anything special but Isak was smiling and it warmed his heart.

“What’s up?” said Even, nervous and giddy.

“I love your art,” said Isak.

“Oh,” Even’s heart started beating even faster. Isak had never commented on his drawings before.

“I really do. I never told you before.”

“It’s okay. Thank you,” said Even.

.

They smoked on Even’s windowsill and talked about random people from their classes. Even didn’t think he had ever heard Isak speak so much in his life. So he savored every second and listened to every word. Isak talked about customers at work and about how Sana was too smart and about how Eva was doing so much better at school. Even watched him and smiled the entire time. This was nice. They were just talking and it was so nice.

.

“You haven’t posted new songs on your spotify in a while,” said Isak.

“You’re still stalking my playlists?” Even laughed.

“Yes,” Isak laughed, too.

“I don’t know. I’ve been listening to the same songs lately. Haven’t found anything new. Not that I’ve been looking.”

“I see,” said Isak. “You can check out my playlists if you want.”

“Oh really?”

“Yeah,” Isak grinned.

“Alright, I’ll do that.”
“There’s some rap and hip hop in there though. Don’t know if it’s your thing.”

“What? Excuse me?” Even scoffed. “Of course it’s my thing.”

“How would I know?” Isak shrugged.

Right.

.

“Have you ever listened to Nas?” said Even.

“Nas? NAS? Na-s?” Isak repeated.

“Yeah, Nas.”

“Uh, I don’t know. Let me google it.”

“So disrespectful,” Even laughed.

“Google says he’s an emotional rapper. I’m not sure I want to listen to him.”

“Oh my god, Isak. I’m sorry but I’m gonna have to kick you out.”

“Yeah right!” Isak laughed, and Even laughed, too.

This was nice, so so nice.

.

Even was high and he suspected that Isak was, too. They were on his bed just passing the joint back and forth, barely touching at all.

“I was in a bad place when Chris dared me to hook up with you,” said Isak.

“Hm.”

“I didn’t say yes because of the money by the way. I was just pissed that he told the guys that you were out of my league. He knew how to push my buttons. But it wasn’t because of the money. Not that it makes it any less shitty,” said Isak.

“We don’t have to talk about this-”
“No, I want to. I never explained anything. I know that Chris told you stuff but I want to tell you stuff, too,” said Isak.

“Okay.”

“I turned down the dare after that until Vilde said you knew Chris. Chris was Erik’s right hand and I thought you were related to him, too. I thought you were trying to hurt me. So I wanted to hurt you first,” said Isak.

“I read the yahoo answers question,” said Even. “It’s fine.”

“But it was real for me. I forgot about the dare and stuff. I just want you to know that I didn’t give a shit about the pictures. I texted Erik and Chris because Chris said that Erik was coming after you if I didn’t act like I was cooperating. I freaked out but it wasn’t for me. I didn’t give a shit about the pictures. I just wanted to protect you.”

“It’s alright,” said Even.

“No. You can be pissed at me, too you know.”

“It’s in the past now. It’s fine now,” said Even.

.

“I saw the pictures,” said Even.

“What?”

“Erik harassed me with pictures of you after we started hanging out.”

“Oh.”

“I know you don’t need to hear this but I don’t want to hide things from you anymore,” said Even.

“Is that why you didn’t wanna have sex?” said Isak.

“The pictures didn’t have any context. But yeah. I didn’t want you to feel like I was using you for sex,” said Even before passing the joint to Isak, but he wasn’t taking it.

When he turned around he noticed that Isak was on the verge of tears.

“Fuck,” Even sat up. “Shit. I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have told you. I’m sorry.”

“You knew,” Isak mumbled.

“I didn’t know for sure until you told me,” said Even. “I’m sorry I didn’t tell you about the pictures before. I just deleted them.”

“It’s fine. It would have fucked me up anyways.”

“I’m sorry,” said Even.

“It’s alright.”

.

“Almost broke a rule there,” said Isak, huffing a cloud of smoke in Even’s face.

“Hm?”

“The no crying rule.”

“Oh yeah,” said Even. “Right. No crying.”

“No crying.”

.

It was dark outside and it was late, but they were both so high. Even didn’t want to fall asleep in his mother’s house with Isak lying on his stomach but here they were.

He was about to doze off when Isak broke his fucking soul.

“I get it now,” said Isak.

“Hm?”

“The co-dependency stuff or whatever. The unhealthy stuff.”

“What do you mean?” said Even.

Isak took a deep breath, then turned around on his stomach so that he was looking into Even’s eyes. Even was having trouble breathing and his heart was beating in his throat.

“I was thinking about stuff,” said Isak. “And you know what I realized?”

“What?”

“That you always put me first even if it fucks you up,” said Isak.

“I'm not following.”

Isak crawled on his elbows so that their faces were closer. He then brought a hand to Even’s face, making his skin burn.

“That night when we had sex after I had my breakdown.”

“What about it?” said Even, slightly nervous. What about it.

“You didn’t use a condom,” said Isak.

Oh.

He was stroking his cheek now and Even was holding his breath.

“I didn’t really pay attention to it because I was so focused on the fact that I was having sex again in the first place. But I get it now,” said Isak. “I get it.”

“What do you get?” Even’s voice was shaky.

“You didn’t use a condom because you didn’t want me to feel dirty. Because you wanted me to feel like you wanted me, all of me.”

Even’s chest was heaving and his heart hurt. I fucked up. I fucked up so bad.

“I get it now," said Isak, huffing out a cloud of smoke. "And while the old me would have found it romantic, the new me doesn’t.”

“I’m sorry,” Even blurted out.

“Gosh, don’t apologize to me. You neglected yourself. I still can’t believe you would actually put yourself at risk just to make me feel better about myself. But then I remember that you’re you.”

Even brought his arm up to cover his eyes. Fuck.

“Don’t ever do anything like that again. Don’t ever make a decision that puts you at risk just to cater to my self-esteem,” said Isak. “It only puts both of us at risk. Okay?” 

“I’m sorry,” Even mumbled. He truly was. He felt awful. He felt so guilty. He wanted to cry.

“I want us to get tested,” said Isak. “I got tested last week and I’m clean, but I still think you should get tested just to be sure.”

“Okay,” Even mumbled with tears in his eyes. “I’m sorry.”

“No crying,” said Isak, his hand cupping Even’s face. “No crying, baby.”

.

Isak left sometime after that and Even spent the night curled around himself in his old bed. All this honesty was draining but it still felt good. It still felt alright.

They started spending more and more time together, just talking and smoking and laughing. No touching unless one of them was on the verge of tears. No crying. No getting shitfaced. No kissing.

It was nice although nobody understood their arrangement. They hadn’t even really talked about it. It was just ‘hanging out’. And Even loved it even if he ached to press their lips together. He loved it.


Isak

11:09

I just saw Erik..

What?

Where? Did he talk to you??

No he was with the american girl

Acted all nice

Gave me shivers

Fucking asshole

Someone should warn that girl

Yeah

Where are you?

I get off class at 11:30

Ok

Meet me in cafeteria?

Ok


Even was having hiccups and it was the most annoying thing. He thought they would only last for a few minutes, but he was still struggling by the time he left class.

“Hey,” said Isak handing him a cup of coffee.

“Hi,” said Even.

Hiccup.

“Oh, hiccups?” said Isak.

“Yeah.”

“Try water.”

“Already did that,” said Even. "Even had the girl sitting next to me try to scare me."

Hiccup.

“Sucks,” said Isak, shrugging.

“It’s been going for more than 30 minutes now.”

“You were texting me with the hiccups?”

Hiccup.

“Yeah, I guess,” said Even.

“It will pass,” Isak shrugged again. “Anyways. Wanna sit next to me instead?”

“Uh, why?” Even narrowed his eyes.

Hiccup.

“To give them more shit to talk about today,” said Isak, referring to everyone staring at them in the cafeteria.

“I guess,” Even shrugged before pulling a chair next to him.

Hiccup.

“What do you want for lunch?” said Even, looking at his phone.

“You,” said Isak.

“What?” Even’s eyes shot up.

“I want you,” Isak mumbled closer to his ear.

“Uh,” Even turned around to check if someone was listening.

Hiccup.

“I want you to fuck me.”

“What the-”

“I want you to pound me into the mattress and choke me,” Isak breathed against his neck.

“Is this a prank? What the hell?”

“Baby, I want it rough. I want you to make me scream. I want you to fucking spank me,” Isak’s nose brushed against his neck and Even could almost feel his lips on his skin.

“What the fuck is going on?!” Even felt like he got thrown into an alternate reality.

Isak smiled then pulled his chair away from Even’s.

“Nothing,” he grinned to himself.

"What?”

“Your hiccups,” said Isak.

“What about them?”

“They stopped.”

.

More rules

 

  • No crying
  • No getting shitfaced
  • No kissing
  • No giving each other boners by resorting to dirty talk in public because the other person has the hiccups

.

“This is excessive,” said Isak, snorting.

“I had to go to two back to back classes with a boner! It fucking hurt. You played me,” said Even.

“Sorry. I just saw this in a movie once and I thought I’d give it a try,” said Isak. "Meredith's step-mom died from the hiccups. I just wanted to help."

“This goes on the list of things I’m holding against you.”

“I said I was sorry.”

“Right.”

.

Even realized that they were friends now, that they told each other almost everything now. They spent so much time together but without it being filled with tension and an overload of feelings. They just hung out for the sake of hanging out, and it was so easy. Even was never bored with Isak.

However, he couldn’t help but wonder if Isak was falling out of love with him, if the magic was finally wearing off. But he couldn’t ask. They were taking it slow after all. He was focusing on school and other stuff after all.

What if we just become friends and it gets too weird when we try to be anything else.

.

They were breaking the second rule, or at least they were getting there. Isak and Even got a little bit drunk at this pre-game and they were giggling in a corner by themselves.

“You guys are so weird. Are you like back together?” said Elias.

“No!’ they both answered at the same time.

.

Around 22:00, Even got the best idea. He grabbed eggs from the fridge and dragged Isak with him.  

“Let’s go,” he said.

“Where are we going?”

“To do some stress relieving activities.”

.

“Even, we’re gonna get arrested,” said Isak.

“Since when are you the voice of reason?” said Even.

“This is stupid.”

“But it’s fun,” said Even, right before throwing the first egg on Erik’s car.

“Oh my god!” Isak laughed.

“Come on. You’ll feel great I promise,” Even laughed too.

Isak grabbed an egg and threw it on the car with all of his strength.

“Don’t dislocate your shoulder,” said Even.

“Shut up.”

They were drunk and sleepy and this was probably very stupid, but what the hell. Isak was laughing so hard, Even felt reborn. It was the sweetest sound, his favorite sound.

They kept egging the car until they ran out of eggs and the lights turned on in the house.

“Shit!” Isak muttered.

“What the fuck?!” Erik yelled. “Who the fuck did this?!”

But Isak and Even had fled the house. They were running and Erik and some of his roommates were following them.

Oh god.

Even grabbed Isak’s hand and dragged them away.

“I’m tired. Wait,” Isak pleaded, out of breath behind him.

“I thought you worked out.”

“Shut up.”

.

They kept running until Even located a narrow alley and shoved both of them in there. Isak was in no condition to run anymore and the boys weren’t giving up.

Even was trying to regain his breath when Isak’s face pressed against his collarbone.

Oh.

It was a very narrow alley. It was very very narrow and they were pressed against each other, bodies completely flushed together.

“Fuck, I shouldn’t skip cardio,” Isak groaned, his chest still heaving, desperately trying to catch his breath, his face leaning on Even’s chest.

Even's eyes kept growing wider by the second. Isak was adorable. He was adorable and he was leaning on his chest as he tried to regain his breath, panting beneath his chin. Even was dying.

He never really dwelled on their height difference. But right now, pressed against each other in this narrow alley, it was flagrant. It was undeniable. Isak was adorable. Isak was-

Oh.

“Oh,” Isak mumbled.

“Shit,” Even muttered under his breath, painfully aware of the bulge in his jeans.

“Someone’s happy to see me,” Isak laughed.

“God,” Even sighed, looking up.

“Don’t worry. I’m getting there.”

Isak did get there, and there they were awkwardly pressed against each other with hard-ons. Great.

“There’s something in your pocket poking me,” said Isak.

“Uh, did you mean my dick?” said Even, smiling.

“Shut up. Oh my god!” Isak laughed. “No, it’s something hard.”

“Uh, again. Did you mean my dick?” Even burst into laughter, too.

“I can’t with you! Holy shit,” said Isak, still laughing. “No, it’s like small and prickly. Like a sharp object.”

“Small? Okay, definitely not my dick.”

“Stop talking about your dick, Even!”

“Yes, sir.”

Even reached out between them and shoved his hand in his pocket to get the presumably small sharp object out. He briefly wondered if Isak had noticed that he had gotten a new watch. A new watch that he wore 24/7. A new watch that was bigger than his previous watch because he had more scars to hide now.

“What is it?” said Isak.

“Oh.”

It was his ring. His Beyoncé ring. It never left him. It was always on him.

“Huh? You stole my ring?” said Isak, bringing his own hand up to his face then going completely quiet when he realized that his ring was still around his finger.

“No. This is my ring,” said Even.

“What-”

“Mine has the little sharp edge in the corner. Remember you used to complain about it all the time,” said Even. “Yours has smoother edges and-”

Isak’s face fell completely.

“Isak, what’s wrong?”

“What the fuck, Even?” he sounded like he was about to cry.

“What?”

Isak crying in his arms while they were both pressed against each other in a narrow alley wasn’t on his list of things to do for the night.

“You’ve had the ring all along?!” said Isak, choking up.

“Of course,” said Even. “I just got you another one that looked similar.”

“Oh my god!” Isak covered his face with his hands.

“What’s wrong?”

“I thought you left it behind. I thought you left your ring on the dashboard. I was so crushed.”

Oh my god.

“No, shit. No. I was gonna give you the ring that day before shit went down. I left it on the dashboard for you. I put it there before everything went to hell. Of course I kept the ring you got me,” said Even.

“Shit.”

“You thought we had the same ring size or what?” Even laughed.

But Isak wasn’t laughing. He was shaking and Even could feel him everywhere pressed against him.

“Baby,” Even breathed. He couldn’t help it. He couldn’t.

“I was so fucking hurt,” Isak mumbled. “You have no idea how much it hurt.”

“I’m sorry,” said Even. “I didn’t know.”

Even wrapped his arms around Isak’s waist and pulled him even closer, hugging him and hooking his chin over his shoulder while Isak threw his arms over Even’s neck.

It was so comforting. It was so sweet. It was so nice. And Even’s heart was about to leap out of his chest. Feelings. Feelings. Feelings.

When they pulled apart, they both had tears in their eyes. They both looked emotionally drained. They both smiled at each other.

“We keep breaking the rules,” said Isak, smiling through his tears.

“Yeah,” Even breathed, suddenly aware of how easy catching Isak’s lower lip between his own was, suddenly aware of how close their lips were.

We already broke two rules. Might as well.

Isak was still giggling when their eyes met. Suddenly, he wasn’t giggling anymore.

Suddenly, breathing became hard and the air was filled up with palpable tension. Breathing hurt and Even wanted nothing more than to close the distance between them, nothing more than to finally press their lips together and take what he wanted, what he had wanted for so long.

I want you. I love you. I want you back. Please. I’ll do anything.

Isak’s eyes were staring directly into his soul and Even shivered at the thought of finally slipping his tongue inside his mouth, of finally sharing the same breath. They were so close and Even’s nose was now bumping against Isak's, mouth hanging open, both of them breathing hard, both of them panting.

“Isak-”

“Even-”

Isak grabbed his face with both hands then threaded his fingers in his hair, pulling ever so gently. Even couldn’t help it. He closed his eyes at the contact. It always felt so good having Isak's hands in his hair. It was the most gentle yet inciting touch.

“So cute,” Isak mumbled.

“I-”

Even couldn’t breathe, and waiting for Isak to make a move was agonizing with his fingers on his cheeks. It was pure torture when he could feel his breath against his skin. Kiss me. Kiss me, please.

Isak’s face got closer and it was finally happening. They were finally going to kiss. They were finally-

.

Isak planted a soft kiss on his left cheek instead. It was the softest kiss, just lips brushing against his cheek, and Even felt it all over his being.

Isak kissed his soul. He then let go of his face and hair altogether, putting distance back between them.

“Isak-,” Even breathed hard.

“No kissing. We broke enough rules for the night,” said Isak, flustered and out of breath.

“Uh.”

“We should go back to the party. I think Erik and his minions went back home.”

“Oh. Uh. Okay,” Even mumbled.

They awkwardly disentangled their limbs and left the alley. And Even’s heart was burning.

No kissing.  

.

They got back to the party and neither of them looked at anyone else all night.

Even kept watching him and tilting his head and smiling at him, until Isak's face fell, until he looked like he was on the verge of tears again. What's wrong?


Isak

00:21

what's up? you look sad in the corner

everything ok?

Even

yes?

did you get a new watch?


 

 

Chapter Text

Isak and Even were friends now and Isak really loved it most of the time. Most of the time and not all of the time because he really wanted to kiss him for the rest of the time. Alright, maybe he wanted to kiss him all the time. But he couldn’t give in. He couldn’t do that. He couldn’t ruin what they had so carefully built.

A friendship. Something genuine and honest and pure and sacred. Something filled with giggles, accidental hand brushing, accidental sleepovers, lazy talks about the universe while smoking joints, and silent promises for a better tomorrow. Something to look forward to during lunch and quiet bus rides. Something that should have felt less than what they had once had, but that somehow felt like more. Isak valued it even if it hurt, even if he wanted nothing more than to close the distance between them and finally breathe him in, even if it left him sexually frustrated. Isak valued it and cherished it. Their friendship.

Even was his friend now but Isak was falling even deeper in love with him after each passing day. Our friendship.

.

They talked about the tough stuff, and it only took Isak two joints to bring up the unprotected sex incident. He trusted Even with all his heart, but it wasn’t until he realized that Even had done it for him that he became aware of just how incredibly selfless and blind he was. What if I gave you something? What if I ruined your life?

They both got tested and they were both clean, but still. Isak started understanding where Even was coming from. They were constantly doing things for each other to protect one another, but without ever talking about it. And that couldn’t have been healthy. Even shouldn’t have to neglect himself just to make Isak feel good in his skin.

.

Isak’s heart was sore and burning, and he cried so easily for weeks. But not anymore. Isak started focusing on himself a bit more, paying attention to class, doing laundry, doing the dishes, and spending more time with other people. He started breathing, and it felt good because his heart didn’t hurt as much when he looked at Even now. He still ached for him. He was still in love with him. Gosh, he was so in love. But it wasn’t destructive anymore. It was comforting. It felt like he was never alone. And when Even smiled or teased him or so much as touched his forearm, Isak memorized his face and his voice and his touch and stored it in his heart.

Isak would take anything Even was willing to give but nothing more. He never asked for more than smiles and banter. Because he was waiting. It wasn’t right just yet. Isak was still rebuilding himself. They were still getting to know each other.

And Even. Even still brushed it off when Isak tried to apologize. He still acted as if nothing had happened. Isak voiced all of his frustrations now, but Even never did. Even still acted like Isak had never done anything wrong, and he knew that they had to address that. He knew that they had to talk about Even’s time away but Isak never had the courage to ask. He wasn’t sure he wanted to know.

He saw him constantly text someone and asked him about two hangouts in because he didn’t want to keep it in his heart and watch it turn into something ugly.

“It’s Lynn,” said Even, passing him the joint.

“Lynn,” Isak repeated.

“Yeah, she’s my friend. She was there for me these past 8 months.”

I could have been there for you, too.

“As a friend,” Even added, as if he had sensed what was going on.

.

Isak tried but it still turned into something ugly in his heart. He was only human after all. He knew that Even meant nothing by it, but he couldn’t help but feel insecure and jealous. He couldn’t help but imagine that Even had met some girl in Bergen and fallen in love with her.

But then he remembered that Even was there with him and not with her, and he mentally slapped himself.

Stop being a little shit.

Still, he wanted to know what Even had been up to. Did he pick up a job at a coffee shop? Did he draw? Did he talk about him? Did he go to concerts? How did he meet Lynn? Did he meet other people? Isak wanted to know but he didn’t know how to ask.

.

They had just egged Erik’s car and they were both tipsy and giggly. Everything was so perfect and they were pressed against each other in a dark alley, feeling breathless and invincible.

But then Even took out a ring, his ring, the Beyoncé ring, from his pocket and Isak couldn’t laugh anymore, couldn’t do this rules thing anymore. His heart was bursting and breaking at the same time and he just wanted to cry. Even had kept the ring. He had kept it and he just carried it around with him. Isak wanted to cry but felt alright in Even’s arms in this dark and narrow alley. He felt home. He felt good.

You kept the ring. You kept the fucking ring. You still love me. Maybe.

They were so close but there was something undecipherable in Even’s eyes, something between fear and anticipation. He looked on the verge of tears, too. He was trembling, too. My sweet, sweet Even.

Isak was feeling brave so he cupped his face then threaded his fingers through his hair, pulling gently. And when Even closed his eyes as he always did, Isak’s heart burst.

I’m going to kiss you, baby.

Isak was going to. He was about to when he realized that Even wasn’t doing anything, that Even wasn’t closing his eyes, wasn’t pulling him in. When he realized that Even was hard in his jeans and that if they kissed right now, it would be just that. When he realized that Even carried the ring with him, but that he didn’t wear it. Isak always wore his ring but Even never did.  

Gosh.

It burned and it hurt, and Isak kissed his cheek instead, tender and soft. He kissed his cheek instead because Even couldn’t break his heart if he did that, because Even couldn’t push him away, because this wouldn’t be about the problem in Even’s jeans. No, Isak was going to pour all the love he carried in his heart into that cheek kiss and pray for the best.

“We broke enough rules for the night,” he mumbled, feeling stupid and empty.

.

They walked back silently to the party and it was the most awkward thing. Just two friends walking around with their visible boners. They both burst into laughter by the time they crossed the fourth street. It was ridiculous, so ridiculous, but it felt so good.

.

“Where did you guys go?” said Jonas, raising an eyebrow as soon as Isak got back.

“I can’t tell you or else you’ll be an accomplice,” said Isak.

“Huh?”

“Dude, did you fuck in public?” said Magnus.

“We did not fuck in public!” Isak screeched.

“Oh,” said Magnus, eyeing the front of his jeans. “Never mind.”

“What’s that supposed to mean?” said Isak.

“You’re both sporting boners, so yeah I guess you didn’t go that far,” said Magnus, laughing.

“Ugh, shut up!” Isak tried to sound bitter but he ended up laughing, too.

He turned around just in time to catch Even staring at him. Even. He was so sweet, so caring. He always looked at him like he mattered, and Isak didn’t think anyone could ever make him feel the way Even did. And when he tilted his head and smiled, Isak tilted his head and smiled, too.

“You guys are gross,” said Eva. “You should just get back together. This is getting ridiculous.”

“We’re friends,” said Isak, still maintaining eye contact with Even who was across the room.

“Like friends with benefits? Sounds hot,” said Eva.

“No! Just friends. Strictly friends. Platonic friends,” said Isak.

“If you feel the need to add platonic in front of the word ‘friends’, then you’re in a mess bro,” said Jonas.

“Not you too,” Isak sighed.

“Just saying.”

They laughed until Magnus said something about Even always looking hot.

“That’s a bit gay,” said Isak.

“Huh? Now I can’t appreciate another man’s beauty without being labeled?” said Magnus.

“Shut up,” Isak rolled his eyes.

“He does have killer style,” said Jonas. “I’d drop the denim jacket though. Seems like the only thing he owns sometimes.”

“It’s true that he’s always wearing that jacket,” said Eva.

“Shut up,” Isak sighed.

“Can you ask him where he got his watch?” said Magnus. “Looks really cool.”

“His watch?” Isak’s heart did a thing in his chest.

.

Isak was really good at making up scenarios in his head that were the furthest thing from reality. He was quite pessimistic and imagined the worst every single time. So when he finally looked at Even’s wrist and noticed the new watch hugging his pulse, his heart broke a little, his eyes widened a little.

It was a bigger watch, too. It was wider than his previous one, and Isak couldn’t breathe.

It’s in your head. It’s probably in your head.

But then Even texted him about why he looked so worried and he couldn’t hide it, so he asked.

‘Did you get a new watch?’

It was a simple question and the answer shouldn’t have required much thought. It was a yes or no question. And Isak knew that the answer was yes, because he knew what his previous watch looked like. But still, Even stared at him for the longest time from across the room, his eyes getting sadder by the second. Isak’s heart was breaking as he watched Even eventually type a response.


Even <3

00:25

Yes

It was on sale

I got a good deal :)


Isak couldn’t help it. A tear rolled down his cheek as he all but flew across the room to knock the air out of Even’s lungs, hugging him so tight that he got dizzy from the mere feeling of his heartbeat against his own.

Oh my god. Oh my god. Oh my god.

“Isak, what’s wrong?” Even asked against his neck, but his voice was so weak. He sounded terrified.

“Baby,” Isak squeezed him tighter and hid his face in his neck.

“Isak,” Even whispered. “Everybody’s staring at us.”

“I don’t give a shit.”

.

They didn’t really talk that night. And when they pulled apart and Isak was about to cry again, Even put on a show for everyone.

“We wanted to give all of you something interesting to talk about in your groupchats,” said Even with a smile while Isak curled against his side to hide his face.

They then separated and Isak walked back to his apartment with the boys.

“Bro, no offense, but what was that?” said Jonas.

“God, I’m such an asshole,” Isak sighed.

“I thought we got over the self-loathing thing already.”

“This whole time I made everything about me. I never asked him how he was doing. I never asked him about his time away.”

“If he wanted you to know he would tell you though, no?” said Magnus.

“You don’t get it.”

“Why not ask him?” said Jonas.

“I don’t know,” Isak mumbled. "It's complicated."

“Or ask Mutta or Elias,” said Magnus. “Those guys are cool although I thought Elias was trying to flirt with Vilde at some point.”

“He shouldn’t go behind Even’s back though,” said Jonas.

“Yeah you’re right,” said Magnus. “You should just ask him.”


Even <3

02:38

I can’t sleep

Me neither

Are you okay?

Yes why

Just asking

I don’t ask you this question enough

I don’t really like this question

Me neither

It’s basically euphemism for ‘are you in pain’

Yeah I guess

I walked Eva back home btw

She thinks we’re ‘friends with benefits’ :O

Ugh

Don’t listen to her

Why would you even walk her back home

We’re friends and she was a drunk

Yeah i guess. Sorry for asking

For what it’s worth Magnus thinks we fucked in public tonight

What the fuck hahaha

Yeah i dont know

I should hang out with him more

He thinks you’re hot

:O

Are you trying to set me up with magnus?

asshole

Wow

I was joking :(

Don’t hit me with the sad emojis you make me feel bad

Okay sorry :DDDD

That’s just weird

What emojis are you into

none

Just the smiley i guess

Is that even an emoji?

I don’t know why but I picture you as the devil emoji

Wtf wow

No i mean in the movie Emoji

Wtf that was crap

i loved it

Of course you did

:(

Here we go again with the sad emoji

Sorry

^-^ 

Oh god

Wanna come over tomorrow?

Uhm

Where

My place

Oh like

With mutta and elias

Yes

They don’t hate you

Elias won’t give you shit

I think he actually misses having you around

Yea i doubt that

I’m serious

So?

Alright i’ll come

We can watch a movie :)

Yeah if it’s the emoji movie i’ll pass

We’ll watch armageddon

Wtf is that

Wait i just googled it

1998? I wasn’t even born

So what? I was 1

Why do you wanna watch a space/disaster movie from 1998?

Because it’s epic

And i like the music

Also liv tyler and ben affleck are hot

Why are you like this

^-^

..

I’m falling asleep

Goodnight even

Goodnight isak


Isak ended up bringing Magnus with him because he was genuinely scared of Elias kicking him out. Even almost winced when he opened the door.

“Magnus said he wanted to come,” said Isak once they were both in the kitchen.

“Of course he did,” said Even.

“Okay, I lied. I asked him to come.”

“I know," said Even. "But it’s nice of you to admit it.” 

“Are you pissed at me?”

“No. Of course not,” Even smiled. “I understand that you feel nervous.”

“Really?”

“Yeah.”

“Okay,” Isak finally breathed. “Cool.”

.

“You’re pissed,” Isak whispered while Magnus offended Mutta by saying something worth a facepalm.

“No, I’m not,” said Even.

“Even, I know when you’re pissed.”

“Okay. Fine. I’m just a little bit disappointed.”

“Why?”

“I told you I wanted us to watch the movie,” said Even.

“We can still watch it.”

“Even with Magnus with us? The boys are gonna leave in thirty minutes or so.”

“Magnus will love your pompous movie,” said Isak.

“Okay.”

.

Isak was rummaging through the cupboards in the kitchen when Elias cleared his throat by the door.

“Oh, hi,” said Isak, suddenly very nervous and self-conscious. “Sorry, Even asked me to get crackers.”

“It’s cool, man. I just wanted to say hi,” said Elias.

“Oh okay. Hey,” Isak waved awkwardly. “Haven’t seen you since that party a few weeks ago.”

“Yeah,” Elias fiddled with his keys. “I wanted to talk to you but like I couldn’t get you alone.”

“Oh.”

“Mutta gave me shit for how I treated you and stuff and I wanted to say sorry,” said Elias.

“Oh, uh. You don’t have to. I deserved it,” said Isak, a bit bewildered.

“Nah. I mean it. I would kill for Even or any of the guys, so I got a bit too much. I shouldn’t have threatened to hit you. Sorry about that,” said Elias, looking at his feet.

Isak almost wanted to hug him. He felt so warm and comforted inside.

“It’s cool, man,” said Isak. “No hard feelings. I get why you did what you did and I wish someone would do that for me.”

“For real?” said Elias, looking up and smiling like a child.

“Uh yeah.”

“Everybody tells me I get a bit too violent. Can’t control my temper sometimes.”

“I get violent, too,” said Isak. “It’s fine.”

“Okay,” said Elias smiling and walking up to Isak holding his arm up in a fist. “So bros?”

Isak smiled and met him for the fist bump. “Yeah, bros.”

.

“I don’t know how to say this but Even is like very fragile. He’s strong. Like very very strong. But it doesn’t take much to break him. That’s why we’re super protective of him, you know,” said Elias.

“Yeah, I understand.”

“I don’t know what he told you about his time in Bergen, but it was really hard on him. Like really fucking hard, and he won’t talk to us about it.”

“Oh, okay.” For some reason Isak couldn’t breathe.

“I thought maybe you could get to him, you know?” said Elias. “There’s only so much Mutta and I can do. Sonja usually gets him to talk but he won’t bite this time. I don’t know what’s going on in his head right now, but I thought you should know that it hasn’t been rainbows and unicorns for him all this time.”

“Okay,” Isak was choking up. “Thank you for telling me.”

“Sure. Although I feel like shit for plotting behind his back.”

“I won’t do anything stupid,” said Isak.

“My money’s on you, Isak.”

“Thanks.”

.

“What were you two talking about in the kitchen?” said Even when Isak sank on the couch beside him.

“You. We were talking about you,” Isak admitted.

“Oh, okay,” said Even. “Did you talk shit about me?”

“Of course,” Isak smiled and shoved him with his foot.

“This friendship is going to hell already,” Even laughed.

“Just play your terrible movie so I can roll my eyes already,” Isak laughed, too/

He laughed but his heart felt heavy. I’ll just make you laugh for now.

.

For some reason, Magnus was forced to leave by Mutta who needed him for something very urgent . And it ended up being just the two of them.

Isak cringed throughout the entire first half hour. The movie was incredibly bad and he was sure it was scientifically inaccurate as well. But then it was by Michael Bay, so of course.

Even was so into it, however, that Isak stopped being insufferable and just watched the damn movie.

.

“Wait, did he just slide a cracker in her underwear?” Isak exclaimed from the other couch.

They sat in different couches. They were friends, alright.

“He did,” Even laughed.

“What the fuck?”

“It’s romantic.”

“Please don’t tell me they eat it afterwards,” Isak cringed.

“Shh, you missed an important part. I have to rewind now,” said Even.

.

‘Baby do you think it’s possible that anyone else in the world is doing this very same thing at this very same moment?’ said Grace.

“I love this line,” said Even.

“Why?”

“I don’t know. It’s just. It makes the world seem so big but still connected in a way.”

“Hm. I need a joint,” said Isak.

“No, but think about it. How many people do you think are sitting on a couch watching Armageddon right now?” said Even.

“I’m pretty sure it’s just us. This is shit.”

“Isak,” Even pouted. “You’re hurting me.”

“Oh,” Isak sat up. “Sorry about that. I didn’t mean to be rude.”

Isak half expected him to brush it off and say that it was a joke, but he didn’t. And it felt good somehow.

Even was obviously passionate about what he was saying and Isak was being a little shit.

“Sorry,” Isak repeated. “I’ll be nicer from now on.”

“Thank you,” said Even.

“It’s the first time you admitted I hurt you.”

“Well I didn’t mean it like that,” said Even.

“No, I like it. We should keep this going,” said Isak, before panicking when Even paused the film and got up. “Where are you going?”

“You said you wanted to smoke,” Even smiled.

.

“You know I think the universe is even bigger than that,” said Isak, puffing a thick cloud of smoke above him.

“Hm?”

“Like it’s not just how many people are doing this in this world. It’s how many versions of us are sitting around doing this very same thing in the universe,” said Isak.

Even turned around and grabbed Isak’s legs to put them on his lap. They were on the same couch now. They were high, alright.

“That’s some deep stuff.”

“You know. The parallel universe theory. The possibilities are endless. I’m sure there’s another Isak and Even in the universe watching another shitty Michael Bay movie,” said Isak.

“So like Transformers?” said Even, smiling.

“Yeah no. What the hell.”

“Or maybe we’re still lying around but doing something else.”

“Yeah, something else,” said Isak, looking at Even for a little too long.

But then everything exploded on their screen and Bruce Willis died.

.

Now Playing: Aerosmith - I Don’t Wanna Miss A Thing

I could spend my life in this sweet surrender

I could stay lost in this moment forever

Every moment spent with you is a moment I treasure

.

Don't want to close my eyes

I don't want to fall asleep

'Cause I'd miss you baby

And I don't want to miss a thing

'Cause even when I dream of you

The sweetest dream will never do

I'd still miss you baby

And I don't want to miss a thing

.

Isak wasn’t sure why but he got teary eyed at the ending of this dumb movie. It wasn’t even good. Bruce Willis died and Ben Affleck lived and married Liv Tyler.

“You know that’s the actress’ dad singing right now,” said Even.

“What’s this band?” said Isak.

“Aerosmith.”

“So weird that her real father is singing about how her dad in the movie died to protect her happiness.”

“He also saved the world,” said Even.

“Right. I’d still feel weird if my dad sang the song that plays while I make out with Ben Affleck.”

“Why? My dad would probably be happy for me,” Even grinned.

“Shut up,” Isak laughed, shoving him.

“I fucking love this song though.”

“It’s so cheesy,” said Isak.

“It’s epic. It was the best song in 1998.”

“In 1998,” Isak repeated.

“It was the number one song in Norway as well when it came out,” said Even.

“You remember it from when you were one?”

“Why are you a little shit?” said Even, laughing.

“Sorry. I forgot we were doing this ‘don’t hurt Even’s feelings’ thing,” said Isak, laughing, too now.


Even <3

22:28

Thanks for having me today

Sorry for being a sarcastic asshole

Thanks for coming and watching Armageddon with me

And it’s all good

You only made me watch it for the song right?

Yes

I knew it

I just want to stay with you in this moment forever

Oh uh

It’s from the song

Oh yeah i’m stupid i just looked it up

You’re not stupid


Isak fell asleep to the cheesiest song in the world blasting through his headphones.

I could spend my life in this sweet surrender

.

Isak hadn’t seen Mahdi in a while after he apologized, but Jonas had promised him that he wasn’t pissed at him, that he was just busy with classes being in Engineering and all.

Still, Isak felt like something was never the same after he shoved him in front of everyone at that party. And he wanted to make it right so he stopped by his building with waffles one day.

“Bro! Waffles? Are you after my heart?” said Mahdi.

“Something like that,” Isak smiled.

.

“You haven’t been around at parties and stuff,” said Isak, readjusting the straps of his backpack around his shoulders.

“Yeah, I’m studying my ass off right now. There’s a scholarship I really want to get,” said Mahdi.

“Oh, that’s really cool,” said Isak.

“Yeah, you know. More money for waffles,” Mahdi smiled.

“Right.”

“So what’s up with you?”

“Hm. Nothing much. I just miss hanging with you,” said Isak.

“Are you sure this isn’t about that party again?”

“No. Why?”

“I already told you. It’s all good. You were pretty drunk and I overstepped. If anything I should apologize to you,” said Mahdi.

“No, you don’t. You’re right in the sense that I never told you much. But you still let me stay at your place and didn’t ask me to pay rent. You also taught me how to drive.”

“I wanted to. Although you did make me want to kill you most of the time when you didn’t want to start the car,” Mahdi laughed.

“Yeah, fear of traffic and stuff.”

“You did great, bro. You should be proud,” said Mahdi, taking another bite.

“Yeah. Thanks,” Isak said nervously.

“What?”

“I just wanna say that I admire you and stuff. And I’m glad you’re my friend.”

“Aw. Bro.”

“I realize that you’re my Elias, you know,” said Isak.

“Who’s Elias?”

“Nevermind,” Isak laughed.

Mahdi was telling him about this girl who was driving him crazy in one of his classes when the bane of Isak’s existence materialized before him. It didn’t matter how at peace he was with it himself, he still felt nothing but fear and panic when Erik was in his vicinity.

Fuck.

“Sunshine,” said Erik. “Hello.”

“Where’s your girlfriend today?” said Isak, not even looking up from his food.

It was his first time running into Erik without the American girl, but he still always made sure to throw remarks his way. Isak wasn’t used to it though. He didn’t think he could ever get used to it.

“Why? You jealous?” said Erik, grinning.

“Does she know you’re a sex offender?” said Isak very casually, so casually that Mahdi almost missed it, probably.

“Oh, fuck you.”

“Fuck YOU!” Isak bit back with so much fire in his chest that he was standing up now.

“Why are you such a drama queen? It was sex. Get over it,” Erik shrugged.

“Fuck you!” Isak repeated, his chest was heaving.

He forgot about Mahdi sitting there next to him in broad daylight in the middle of campus. He forgot about the fear in his chest and his plans to get other people to come forward by picking up what Even had already started. He forgot all of it.

It was sex? Get over it? You fucking destroyed me you piece of shit!

Isak was still writhing with rage when Mahdi surged out of nowhere and threw a punch so hard that Erik was on the floor now.

“Mahdi!”

“I’m gonna fucking kill you, you fucking piece of shit!” Mahdi shouted before throwing another punch.

.

“Shit,” Isak sighed, holding a bag of ice they got from the health center over Mahdi’s hand. Mahdi who was holding his head.

“Why didn’t you tell me? Why didn’t you tell us? Fuck, I will fucking kill him. Jonas will fucking lose his fucking shit,” said Mahdi.

“Sometimes you seem clueless, but most of the time you’re too smart for your own good,” said Isak, still wondering how he figured everything out from that mere conversation.

“The pictures. That was him, too, right?”

“Yes.”

“Fuck!” Mahdi stood up in frustration. “What the fuck! How is he just walking around like nothing happened? What can we do? Is there something to do other than beat him up? Cause I’ll fucking beat him up I swear!”

“I know,” Isak chuckled even though everything hurt. “Let’s not beat him up. Never ends well.”

“Shit,” Mahdi muttered. “Isak, I’m so fucking sorry.”

“It’s okay.”

Isak realized that Mahdi and him never hugged like that before. It was so comforting, so strong. He also realized that it was his first calm conversation about what had happened with anyone ever. It was the first time he didn’t cry, the first time his heart didn’t burn, the first time he didn’t feel utterly ashamed and disgusting, the first time it didn’t feel like his fault.

It was so comforting.

“Don’t tell the guys,” said Isak. “Especially Jonas.”

“I won’t.”

“Thanks.”

.

“I told Mahdi what happened with Erik,” said Isak, falling face first on Even’s bed, then feeling his weight on the mattress.

“Are you okay?” said Even, reaching out for Isak’s hair.

“I’m not in pain if that’s what you’re asking,” said Isak. “It was nice actually.”

“Really?”

“Yeah. I didn’t break the rule. I didn’t cry,” said Isak, feeling like a kid, feeling a little sheepish.

But he knew he could tell Even anything, and when his hands ruffled his hair, Isak let him.

“Good boy.”

“I also called Erik a sex offender to his face,” said Isak.

He then mewled when Even planted a kiss to his hair.

“I'm proud of you.”

.

“What’s this?” said Isak, holding a rainbow colored ball in his hand.

“That’s my rainbow bouncy ball,” said Even.

“Rainbow what?”

“It helps relieve stress and stuff. And I like to play with stuff in general. Makes me less fidgety,” Even shrugged. “I’ve been doing this for a while.”

“Playing with balls?” Isak snorted.

“Oh gosh.”

.

Isak continued his exploring of Even’s room, eyebrows furrowed in concentration. It seemed to find something new every day.

He picked up a green sketchbook when Even all but snatched it away from him.

“Uh, give it back,” said Isak.

“No, not this one,” said Even.

“Huh?”

Isak reached up on his tiptoes as Even kept holding the sketchbook above his head.

“Not fair! What’s so special about this one?” Isak whined.

“It’s just old,” said Even.

“Do you have naked sketches in there?”

“No!”

“Then show me,” said Isak.

“No.”

“Even,” Isak pouted, bringing his hands to Even’s neck and noting how he melted under his touch.

“Fuck. I can’t resist you.”

.

“These are sketches of me,” said Isak, a bit dumbfounded.

“Uh, yeah. They’re just. Uh. Nevermind,” Even stuttered, his hand over the back of his neck.

“Oh my god. You drew my hair from when I was like 16. It was a mess. So curly.”

“Uh.”

“Wait, how do you know what my hair looked like when I was 16?” said Isak before remembering that Instagram existed. “Instagram.”

“Yeah,” said Even. “Instagram.”

“I like this one,” said Isak, running his fingers over a sketch of him sitting on a bench.

He was about to flip the page when Even snatched the sketchbook from his hand again and handed him a new one.

“This is just stupid. Here, you can look at the drawings on this one.”

“Were you obsessed with me when I was younger or something? Did you know about me all along?” Isak laughed.

But Even didn’t.

.

Even was becoming distant again. He started bailing on him from time to time and saying that he was tired. He started looking at him with big sad eyes that made Isak want to wrap him into the tightest hug. He started talking about how Isak should be spending less time with him and more time with his friends.

Isak started wondering if Even was falling out of love with him, if he was growing sick of him, if the magic was wearing off. But then Mutta reached out to him to ask if he knew what was up with Even.

Even was feeling a bit down and Isak didn’t know how to get to him, how to reach him, how to talk to him about what he thought was the issue. He didn't want to push him. He could wait. He could wait like Even waited for him.


Even <3

22:19

Hi

I heard you missed class today

Everything good?

Yeah

Don’t worry

Just needed a day off

Okay

You can talk to me

If there’s stuff going on

Yea i know


They were on the bus on their way to school when Isak noticed Even frantically pulling at his sleeves. Even looked as if his skin was crawling. He looked on the verge of a meltdown and Isak couldn’t take it.

“Even?”

“I have to go,” said Even before grabbing his bag and leaving the bus several stops before theirs.

.

“How do I bring it up?” said Isak over the phone with Sonja.

“There’s no easy answer, Isak.”

“I don’t know what to do.”

“I don’t know what to do either,” said Sonja.

.  

Even started missing more classes and drinking a little too much and smoking a little too much.

And Isak’s heart hurt. He had no idea how to deal with this. He had no idea how to help him. He didn’t know if he wanted help in the first place, if he wanted his help at all.

.

“You’re breaking the rules,” said Isak in a desperate attempt to get him to talk while playing it cool.

They were at someone’s party and Even was drunk. Isak had never seen Even drunk before.

“I’m not kissing you though,” said Even, his hand sliding to the small of Isak’s back and settling there.

“You got shitfaced.”

“That’s not true. I’m not drunk,” Even smiled, his breath reeking of alcohol, his legs wobbly.

“Baby,” Isak mumbled into Even’s neck, his voice low, so low.

“Don’t call me baby, Isak. Please don’t,” said Even, his hand still there on his back, his breath hot and heavy against isak’s cheek.

“I’m sorry,” said Isak.

“It burns whenever you call me baby. I can’t take it anymore.”

“Even-”

“I miss you so much,” said Even, his hands hot and strong on his skin.

“I’m right here,” said Isak, his hands curled around Even’s forearms and his heart beating out of his chest.

“But I can’t have you.”

“Baby,” Isak mumbled.

“Isak, please. Please stop burning me.”

.

Even drank until he could no longer stand and Isak quickly ran to his side to support him before he fell, quickly threw Even’s arm around his neck and shoulder and leaned them against a wall.

“Isak,” Even smiled so beautifully, his fingers in Isak’s hair, brushing it off of his forehead.

“I got you,” said Isak, struggling a bit to handle Even’s lanky body.

“I’m sorry.”

“Why are you sorry? It’s alright to get shitfaced sometimes.”

“I’m sorry for being so fucked up. For not being strong enough for you.”

.

“Holy shit. Is he okay? What did he take?” said Eva.

“I don’t know. I think he’s just drunk,” said Isak while Even’s kissed his cheeks and smiled. “I’m gonna take him to my place. Can you drive?”

“Uh, sure,” said Eva. “But David said he was having some after-party at your place.”

“Shit,” Isak muttered. “I think Elias’ cousins are staying at their apartment. I can’t just bring Even like this.”

“We can go to my place,” said Eva.

“Really?”

“Yeah. My mom’s not home as usual and I’ll go back to Jonas’ later.”

“Oh,” Isak took a moment to absorb the Jonas information, but he had more pressing matters to take care of.

.

Isak was thankful for Eva, because as strong as he was, he couldn’t handle a passed out Even.

Even was snuggling up against him in the backseat while Eva got some random guy to drive them.

“I thought you were driving,” said Isak.

“I had a few drinks,” said Eva, looking back from the passenger seat.

Even was asleep, breathing softly into the crook of his neck, and Isak’s face was flushed from the intimacy.

“Why aren’t you back together?” said Eva. “Both of you are suffering so much. I don’t get it.”

“We’re not good for each other,” Isak admitted, covering Even’s hand with his own.

“What the hell is that supposed to mean?”  

“We’re co-dependent or whatever.”

“Co-what?” said Eva.

“Co-dependent. It’s when you rely on each other too much and do unhealthy stuff.”

“That’s dumb. You’re supposed to rely on each other in a relationship. That’s the whole point.”

“Yeah but like I need him and he needs me and when he’s not around I feel like I’m dying and it’s the same thing for him, you know. Like I can’t be my own person without him. And that’s not good.”

“I get that. But I don’t think it was the case with you two. I saw two guys become better versions of themselves when they got together,” said Eva. “That’s what I saw.”

“It’s more complicated than that,” said Isak, shivering when Even’s lips brushed against his neck.

“It shouldn’t have to be. In my world, when people love each other, they get together.”

“I don’t even know what he feels for me at this point,” said Isak.

“Isak, look at him,” said Eva. “He’s all over you all the time. You know what he feels for you.”

“We’re good right now though. It’s really good and I just don’t want to ruin it.”

.

Eva opened the door for them and helped him get Even to bed before heading back to the party.

“Thanks a lot for this. I’ll pay you back with lots of sushi,” said Isak.

“No worries,” said Eva.

She had started walking away when she turned around and spoke again.

“Isak.”

“Hm?”

“Just remember,” said Eva.

“What?”

“People need people.”

“Uh.”

“Communicate! Use your words!”

“Bye Eva.”

.

Even was sleeping soundly beside him on Eva’s bed when the lyrics of that stupid Aerosmith song popped into his head.

Lying close to you feeling your heart beating

And I'm wondering what you're dreaming

Wondering if it's me you're seeing

Then I kiss your eyes

And thank God we're together

I just want to stay with you in this moment forever

Forever and ever

.

Isak ran a hand all over Even’s face. He couldn’t bear the thought of him suffering so damn much. He couldn’t bear the thought of him not riding unicorns during the eight months he was gone for. Isak couldn’t bear it. He didn’t even want to think about it.

He felt awful for resenting Even for leaving him. He felt awful for making it about him and his pain. He felt so embarrassed of those texts he had sent Even begging him to come back. Isak felt awful. Still, he did his best to keep those feelings at bay and focus on Even who always focused on him. Even who never blamed for anything at all.

So Isak didn’t sleep. He just watched him all night and held him when Even reached out for him and whispered sweet nonsense into his ear when Even looked like he was having a bad dream.

Isak didn’t sleep.

.

“Morning,” said Isak, from where he stood over the bed.

“Morning.”

“How are you feeling?”

“My head hurts,” Even mumbled.

“You had tequila last night,” said Isak, chuckling.

“Fuck,” Even muttered. “Keep me away from that next time.”

“Noted,” Isak smiled, climbing on the bed and scooting over until his hand was on Even’s face.

“Hi,” said Even.

“How are you?” said Isak, well aware of what this question meant now.

“I’m okay,” said Even, moving away from Isak’s touch.

“Okay.”


If isak and even dont get back together im gonna choke

13:14

Interesting groupchat name

Eva: hiii

Eva: hope you didnt fuck in my bed :p

Vilde: morning isak

Magnus: bro seriously

Mahdi: what’s up?

Magnus: Mahdi giving a shit in the groupchat :O

I need some help

Even won’t talk to me

He hasn’t left bed/won’t eat

Magnus: perhaps he’s down?

I don’t know

Vilde: when you say he won’t talk to you

Vilde: did you actually ask him questions?

Sana: what she said

I dont know how to initiate it

I keep cracking lame jokes

Sana: just ask him whatever's on your mind

Jonas: Just ask him. Straight up

Ughhhh

Magnus: Me very soon

Eva: hahahaha good one

Mahdi: do what he used to do to get you to talk

Hm


“Where are we going?” said Even as Isak ushered him upstairs. “Last time we were here-”

“Yes, Eva showed up and it didn’t end well,” Isak laughed. “She promised to stay away today.”

“Why? What are we doing?”

“We’re taking a bath,” said Isak.

“Hm. No.”

“Yes,” said Isak. “It’s good for your morale.”

“Isak, people take baths naked.”

“Babe, I’ve memorized every curve on your dick. I can probably draw it from memory,” said Isak. “I’ll be fine.”

“Isak,” Even laughed.

Success.

“You laughed,” said Isak.

“I did,” said Even, crossing to Eva’s mother’s bathroom.

Isak left him by the door and walked over to the giant bathtub to turn on the water. It had to be hot. It had to be steaming hot.

Even was standing awkwardly behind him while Isak watched the steam thicken the air above them.

“I’m gonna get towels,” said Isak. “Just strip whenever you’re ready.”

“I still don’t see how we’re gonna do this bath thing. I have a dick. It does things when it sees other dicks,” said Even.

“Gosh,” Isak rolled his eyes. “I’ll bathe in my boxers.”

“That’s not a bath then.”

“Yes, it is. It’s a platonic bath,” said Isak.

“A platonic bath?” Even smiled.

“Yeah, a bath between friends.”

“That sounds like a load of crap,” said Even.

“Don’t hurt my feelings now,” Isak smiled before leaving to get towels.

.

He took his time because he wanted the bath to be filled by the time he got back. He also wanted to avoid the awkward moment Even was going to get in.

Even was already in the bathtub when he announced himself.

“Can I come in?” said Isak, sheepishly holding one hand in front of his eyes and another between his thighs.

“Covering your eyes, really?” said Even.

“What?”

“I thought you memorized the curves of my dick.”

“I did. I was just giving you privacy,” said Isak.

“Thank you,” Even chuckled.

“Alright move over so I can get in,” said Isak.

“There’s plenty of space,” said Even.

“No, I’m getting in behind you.”

“Huh?”

“Yeah that way I can rub your back and wash your hair. And you can focus on the bath and not on my dick,” said Isak.

“It will poke me in the back though,” said Even, laughing.

“Jesus christ!” Isak sighed. "I’ll put something on it.”

“Okay. Thank you.”

“Move,” said Isak.

Even folded his legs and moved to the center of the bathtub to make space for Isak behind him. Isak felt ridiculous and sappy and cheesy and he couldn’t wait for Even to catch up.

“No candles,” said Even.

“Hm?”

“When I drew you a bath, I had candles,” said Even.

“I don’t want to sacrifice you in a satanic ritual,” said Isak.

“No?” said Even, feigning disappointment. 

“No, I just want to rub your back,” said Isak.

“In our platonic bath.”

“Yeah our platonic bath,” said Isak, before sliding closer until his chest was completely flushed against Even’s back.

Shit.

“I can feel it poking my back,” said Even, laughing.

“I hate you,” Isak mumbled.

.

“I don’t have candles but I brought music,” said Isak.

“I was wondering why you carried speakers to the bathroom.”

“Wait until I play my song of the moment,” said Isak.

.

Now Playing: Hailee Steinfeld - Love Myself

When I get chills at night

I feel it deep inside without you, yeah

Know how to satisfy

Keeping that tempo right without you, yeah

Pictures in my mind on replay

I'm gonna touch the pain away

I know how to scream my own name

Scream my name

Gonna love myself, no, I don't need anybody else

Gonna love myself, no, I don't need anybody else

.

Even started laughing by the second verse. He was laughing so hard that it made Isak’s heart melt.

“Oh my god! I heard this song before but I never paid attention to the words,” said Even.

“What’s wrong with the words?”

“This is basically an anthem for masturbation,” said Even.

“What? No! It’s about loving yourself and not needing anybody else,” said Isak.

“She’s singing about touching the pain away and satisfying herself while screaming her own name without this other person,” said Even.

“Shut up!”

.

Isak was mortified. The one time he tried to play Even a cheerful song about loving himself, it ended up having a nasty hidden meaning. Great.

“I still love it though,” said Even.

“You do?”

“Yeah. It’s happy. I like it.”

Even was so tall and so big but he seemed so small with Isak’s legs around him in the bathtub. Isak who was sitting behind him, waiting for him to open up, just waiting. He seemed so small and Isak wanted to hold him. So he did.

He wrapped both arms around his chest, one over his shoulder and the other one under his arm, and locked him in his embrace, burying his face in Even’s neck.

“This isn’t very platonic, Isak,” said Even.

“I don’t care.”

“This is like Pretty Woman,” said Even.

“Yes.”

Even’s hands rested on Isak’s forearms, just squeezing, and Isak realized that he was wearing his ring in the bath.

“Sorry,” Isak unhooked his arms from around Even’s chest. “Gotta take it off.”

“Okay.”

Isak put it down on the floor and waited for Even to say something, anything.

But nothing came so he hugged his chest again and pressed a kiss to the back of his head.

“Isak-”

“Hm?”

“This isn’t platonic at all.”

“I’m not breaking any rules,” said Isak.

.

Now Playing: Cigarettes After Sex - Nothing's Gonna Hurt You Baby

Whispered something in your ear
It was a perverted thing to say
But I said it anyway
Made you smile and look away

Nothing's gonna hurt you baby
As long as you're with me, you'll be just fine
Nothing's gonna hurt you baby
Nothing's gonna take you from my side

.

“What do you need, Isak?”

“Hm?”

“What are we doing right now?” said Even.

“We’re taking a-”

“Yes, a platonic bath, but why?”

“It’s good for your morale,” said Isak.

“My morale is fine.”

“No, baby. It’s not.”

The silence was too much. There was water all around them but Isak could still see Even’s chest rising and falling. He could still see that he was having trouble breathing. He could see it.

“What do you need, Isak?” said Even.

“I need you to be okay.”

“I’m okay.”

“Why are you lying to me?” Isak’s voice cracked. “Why won’t you open up to me?”

And okay, this wasn’t going as planned.

“I’m literally cracked open for you to see,” said Even. “I don’t know what else to do.”

Isak felt ridiculous having such a conversation without actually looking at Even’s face. But here they were.

“Tell me where it hurts,” said Isak, taking Even’s left hand in his right.

“It doesn’t hurt.”

.

Isak thought about it. He thought about it long and hard. But he still decided to go for it because gosh. What else was there to do really?

He laced his right hand with Even’s left and squeezed until Even squeezed back.

“We fit,” said Isak. “You and I, we just fit.”

Even sank deeper in the tub, his back sliding along Isak’s chest, his face now clearly visible to Isak.

“I don’t know what to do,” said Even, his chest heaving, his eyes watering. My sweet, sweet Even.

“Where does it hurt,” said Isak. “Tell me.”

“Everywhere,” said Even, his voice cracking. “It hurts everywhere.”

Isak hugged him in the tub again, this time time even tighter, this time probably leaving bruises, this time probably crushing his chest. But Even held onto him with just as much despair. He turned to his side and buried his face in Isak’s neck.

“Where does it hurt? Where does it hurt, baby?”

Even grabbed Isak’s hand and placed it on his heart, making his own break. But it wasn’t until he placed his hand on top of his head that Isak truly started crying.

“It hurts in my brain. I’m always hurting in my brain,” said Even with silent tears streaming down his face. “I’m always hurting. I’m always alone.”

Isak kissed his temple and tried not to cry. He really did. But it was so hard.

“What happened those eight months, baby?”

“I can’t tell you,” said Even.

“Why not?”

“Because it will hurt you. Because you'll blame yourself.”

Isak knew he was crossing boundaries. He knew that there was no coming back from this, but he still did it. He brought Even’s left hand to his lips and kissed his pulse. He kissed his pulse right on his new watch. He pressed the softest kiss right there.

And that was all it took for Even to break.

.

Isak kissed him everywhere when they faced each other again. He kissed him everywhere but on the lips. Any bit of skin he could find, he kissed. He kissed him until both of them stopped crying, until Even finally, finally, let him remove his new watch.

Isak felt like screaming. He felt like jumping out of the tub and running away naked. He couldn’t take it. He couldn’t bear it.

I did this. This is my fault.

But he couldn’t do that to Even, Even who was sobbing again after seeing Isak’s reaction to his new scars, Even who looked even more broken than that day in the car.

“I’m sorry,” he mumbled.

“Oh my god. Even. I’m the one who’s sorry. I’m so fucking sorry.”

“I couldn’t come back. I couldn’t face you,” said Even. “I didn’t take care of myself like you asked me to. I was trapped. All I could do was jump.”

“I’m so fucking sorry.”

.

Platonic baths. 10/10 don’t recommend.

.

Even told him everything in agonizing detail and Isak did his best not to cry again, his best not to make it about himself again. They were wearing Eva’s mother’s bathrobes and lying in Eva’s bed, Even pouring his heart out and Isak touching his face and listening. Everything was so hard but he had to be strong. He had to be strong. 

Slowly, ever so slowly, Even bared his soul to Isak with no reserve, no layers separating them. Even told him about every single thing that hurt him. He told him about how shitty he felt when it sunk in that the best night of his life turned out to be a bet for Isak, how heartbroken he felt when he realized Isak didn't actually trust him, didn't think he was strong enough to handle some of the stuff, how crushed he felt when he realized Isak waited to tell him about the dare even when he had told him about his previous experience with something similar.

He told him everything that hurt and Isak listened to every word, committing every syllable to memory. I'll be better.

.

They spent the rest of the day at Eva's and Isak drove him back to his place in the evening. 

"I'll see you on Monday," said Even, leaning on Isak's window in front of his building, looking tired but beautiful, always beautiful. 

"Monday," Isak repeated. Why not tomorrow.

"I need some time," said Even, once again reading his mind.

"Oh okay. I understand," said Isak.

"Thanks for the platonic bath," said Even. "And sorry about getting shit-faced."

"It's all good."

"Thanks for taking care of me," said Even. 

"You always take care of me," said Isak, earning a smile from Even. 

He then watched him walk away and go inside his building. He watched him go in with his heart following right after him.

Isak stayed in David's car for a few more minutes to breathe. Just to breathe. 

.

Isak didn't hear from Even on Sunday and he was starting to panic. Perhaps, it was too much. It was really heavy stuff. What if he left? What if he can't bear talking to me anymore? What if I pushed him too much? 

.

Isak got up early on Monday and made himself eggs. He also made coffee for everyone in the house and let Vilde kiss him on the cheek. This was probably going to be a good day. It had to be. Except that he hadn't heard back from Even, and he was feeling nervous and anxious. 

He put on his sweater for tough days and on his favorite snapback. Wearing pink had started as an Even thing, but it just became an Isak thing. It gave him comfort. It gave him strength. It felt like a big fuck you to the universe and it felt great.

He then put on his ring because 'people need people'. His feelings for Even didn't make him any less strong. His feelings for Even didn't mean he was weak and dependent on him. His feelings for Even just meant that he was in love and that he wouldn't give it back for the world. And if Even wasn't ready to have something again, to get tangled up with him again, then it was okay. Isak's life wasn't stopping. It was okay.

.

Isak stepped into the bus with a heavy heart. He didn't think Even was coming to school after all. He was probably still feeling emotionally drained and Isak couldn't blame him. He sat by the window and sighed. 

He then put on his headphones and played that damn song again. I Don't Want To Miss A Thing.

And when Even got on the bus wearing his pink sweater and smiling big and wide in his direction, Isak's heart burst and felt whole again. 

.

"We're matching today," said Even. 

"We are," said Isak, offering him a smile back. "You'll have to tell me where you got your sweater though." 

"I'm not talking about our sweaters," said Even. 

.

Even was wearing his ring. 

Chapter Text

Nei Isak

10:19

Vilde: Isak

Vilde: Are you and Even back together?

Magnus: jfkjdkfdkjfdkjkfd

Eva: omg what did I miss

Vilde: Everybody’s talking about it in the gossip groupchat

Jonas: talking about what?

Vilde: about how Isak and Even are matching today

Jonas: matching?

Vilde: They’re wearing the same clothes. Like a couple

Noora: Could be a coincidence :)

Vilde: Yeah but apparently they got off the bus together and Even walked him to class

Magnus: ohmygoddddddd

Jonas: :’)

Eva: AAAAAaaaahhhhhhh

Wanna have lunch later?

Eva: ???

Shit

Wrong chat

Eva: Ohmy god did you want to ask Even?

BYE

Magnus: fkjdjfdjj

Why are you all so obsessed with my life

Vilde: :’))))


Isak felt like a little boy with a crush. He was smiling so wide and so embarrassingly on the bus that he had to bring his hands to his face to cover his mouth. He anticipated that something quite horrifying, a giggle for instance, might slip from between his lips and embarrass him even further.

He never thought seeing his ring on Even’s finger could make him this happy. He couldn’t stop smiling.

“Everything okay?” said Even, beaming knowingly.

“Yes,” Isak nodded.

“You look a little fidgety, a little nervous,” said Even, tilting his head and raising his eyebrows. This fucker.

“I’m just happy,” Isak admitted.

He half-expected Even to reply with something sarcastic, but he didn’t.

“I’m happy, too,” said Even.

They then looked at each other for a little while. No words spoken because none were needed. They just looked at one another and smiled. And Isak thought for the first time in a while is this what a happy ending feels like?

“Wanna listen to a song with me?” said Even.

“Not sure,” said Isak. “Are you gonna play some Taylor Swift?”

“No. Why? What’s wrong with TSwift?” Even smiled as he disentangled his earphones.

“You know what’s wrong with Taylor Swift,” Isak rolled his eyes.

“You’ll have to tell me one of these days because I’m not sure what you’re talking about.”

“Sure, when you actually stop ditching me. I’ll tell you,” Isak smiled.

“Excuse me,” Even scoffed. “I literally spent my weekend with you. I even took a bath with you.”

“Shh,” Isak brought his hands to Even’s mouth.

“What?” Even smiled, holding onto Isak’s hand, making his heart race.

“Spies everywhere,” Isak whispered.

“Let them talk,” said Even, reaching out to put an earbud in Isak’s ear and brushing the hair behind it.

“O- okay,” Isak mumbled, his heart burning from Even’s touch. “What, uh, what are we listening to?”

“It’s a surprise.”

.

Now Playing: Gabrielle - 5 fine frøkner

.

“What the fuck?” Isak laughed.

“What?” Even smiled, his eyes crinkling and making Isak’s heart beat like crazy now.

“This is like some sort of hashtag what the fuck.”

“What?” Even’s laugh made Isak want to listen to Gabrielle for the rest of his life.

“This is like a hashtag,” Isak brought his palm to his forehead and sighed.

“What hashtag?”

“Like when you find the man of your dreams and he turns out to listen to Gabrielle,” said Isak.

“Man your dreams?” Even pointed to himself and smiled so wide that Isak could feel butterflies in his stomach. “Me?”

“I mean you know. It’s the hashtag,” Isak rolled his eyes.

“Excuse me. I think you just called me the man of your dreams.”

Isak looked at him for a few moments. He just took him in. Even was smiling and playing a freaking Gabrielle song after he had poured his heart out to Isak, after he had shared all of his demons with him, after he had told him about the poison that seeped through his veins and his roamed his mind. He was smiling so wide and so earnestly, and Isak didn’t know how he did it. He didn’t know how he managed to smile after hurting for so long, after hurting so much and for so long. Isak didn’t want to play games anymore. Isak didn’t care about his pride and looking like an idiot. Isak didn’t care as long as Even was smiling.

“You are,” said Isak. “The man of my dreams. You are.”

“Oh,” Even gasped as if he didn’t expect Isak to get intense and honest on a bus at eight in the morning.

I’m making this awkward.

“But yeah I should have expected you to listen to Gabrielle,” said Isak after a long period of agonizing silence.

“What is that supposed to mean?”

“You listen to TSwift and Carly Rae Jepsen and One Direction,” Isak shrugged.

“I also listen to Nas and Amy Winehouse, so what?”

“Do you really need me to answer that?” Isak laughed.

“Anyone who pretends they don’t enjoy Carly Rae Jepsen’s music is a blatant liar.”

“Right.”

They both laughed until they reached their stop, until it was time for Isak to feel awkward again.

“I, uh. I’m going this way,” said Isak when they got off the bus. “I’ll see you later.”

He waved awkwardly and started walking before he embarrassed himself any further by calling Even the man of his dreams again.

But Even’s aura never left his senses. He was still feeling him around him. And when he looked up and saw Even walking beside him, he couldn’t help the gasp that escaped his mouth.

“What are you doing?” said Isak.

“I’m walking.”

“Your building is the other way.”

“I’m walking you to class,” said Even.

“Why?”

“Because I want to,” Even shrugged.

Oh my god.

“You’re gonna be late,” Isak protested weakly.

“I have another hour before my class.”

“Oh.”

Oh my god! Isak was singing Carly Rae Jepsen in his head. There were fireworks in his heart. His face was probably flushed. But he didn’t care.

They didn’t even talk. They just walked side by side while everyone stared at them. Everyone knew that Even had no business being on this side of campus. They were all going to start spreading stuff. But Isak couldn’t care less. He simply reveled in Even’s presence and in the fact that he was walking him to class again.

“Uh, so this is me,” said Isak his eyes moving nervously from the floor to Even’s face.

“Alright,” Even smiled.

What is happening. What if he kisses me. Holy shit. Did I brush my teeth today?

But Even didn’t kiss him. He didn’t even touch him. He just waved and started walking backwards.

“Have a good day, Isak,” he said.

“Uh. You, too.”

.

Isak had a little trouble concentrating in class. His heart was still beating uncontrollably in his chest and his face wasn’t cooling down.

“Are you okay?” said the girl who always sat next to him in immunology class.

“Yes, I’m fine.”

“You look like you’re gonna pass out.”

“I’m just happy,” said Isak, folding his arms on the table and resting his face on them.

“Oh.”

“Yeah,” Isak sighed.

He couldn’t stop smiling. He couldn’t even breathe. His heart felt too full.

“I didn’t think it was real,” said the girl.

“Hm?”

“What they say about love,” she laughed.

“It is. It’s true,” said Isak, laughing right back.

.

He pulled out his phone after class and spent five minutes debating how to invite Even to lunch. And when he finally decided to send the message, he ended up sending it to the ‘Nei Isak’ groupchat. Fuck.


Even <3

10:28

Hey

Wanna grab lunch later?

Hi

I have lunch plans today

But we can hang out later? If you want

Uh ok


Even had a lunch date. Sure. Whatever. Isak wasn’t even angry. Even was wearing his ring and having lunch with someone else, whatever.

Isak went to his second class and actually paid attention this time. It was his favorite class and he had this little competition going on with Sana. They were both confident that they were the professor’s favorite student and they took answering his questions very seriously. It was a nice little distraction and Sana always knew how to get him to focus.


Even <3

12:07

Actually Lynn wants to meet you

Wanna join us for lunch?

Lynn?

Yes Lynn

Your friend from bergen?

Yes.


Isak hated Lynn. He really did. It was probably irrational because she actually hugged him and ruffled his hair when she introduced herself. But he still hated her. She was too eccentric, too full of life. She looked at him as if she knew his entire life story. Not to mention that she kept her arm around Even’s waist, Even who was so much taller than her.

Get the fuck away.

Her hair was shorter than Isak’s and it was dark and prickly. She was almost as tall as he was and she had a very lean and slim body. Isak hated her.

“I’ve been dying to meet you,” said Lynn. “Even wouldn’t shut the fuck up about you.”

“Stop,” Even mumbled.

“What? It’s true. It was Isak this, Isak that , 24/7. I was so done,” Lynn laughed.

What the hell is this bitch.

“You probably think I’m a loud bitch,” Lynn laughed.

“What?” Isak’s eyes went wide.

“I know what you’re thinking. Who’s this crazy woman and why is she all over my man. But don’t worry Isak. I did not fuck Even.”

“Oh my god,” Even covered his face. “Lynn, you said you were gonna behave!”

“Okay maybe we fucked like once or twice. But it doesn’t count. He still thought about you the whole time,” Lynn laughed.

“Shut the fuck up!” Even moved his hands to Lynn’s mouth while she cackled, her laughter feeling like poison going down Isak’s throat.

It felt like a punch to the gut, like a slap to the face. And gosh, it hurt. Isak didn’t even know what to say. He just stood there in front of his Kebab with wide eyes and a cracked heart.

Of course. Of course he slept with other people.

“But yeah you look so strong and manlier than I imagined,” said Lynn. “Love the pink.”

“What?” Isak was growing angry now.

“Oh my god!” Lynn squealed, jumping out of her seat and grabbing Isak’s hand. “Oh my god. You’re wearing the matching rings!”

“Lynn, please,” Even groaned.

“Woah! Even, I thought you were gonna take care of yourself this time,” said Lynn, sinking back into her chair.

Isak pushed his chair as dramatically as possible as he stood up. He couldn’t listen to this anymore. He couldn’t sit through this anymore. Fuck. He was so angry. His blood was boiling in his veins and he felt like crying.

“Isak-,” Even stood up as well, his eyes big, blue, and worried.

“I have to go,” Isak muttered.

“You haven’t even eaten your food,” said Lynn.

Fuck you and fuck your food.

“I just remembered I have to take care of something,” said Isak, gathering his stuff.

“Isak, are you upset?” said Even. “Finish your food at least.”

Gosh I hate you so much right now.

“I’m fine. I have to go.”

.

Isak was not fine. He was fuming. This was cruel. This was way too cruel and he didn’t deserve this. Why would Even invite him to lunch with the girl he used to sleep with? Why would he do something like that to him? And why did she know about the rings?

Isak was fuming.

He felt like texting him that he was angry but then he remembered that Even had just opened up to him two days before that. That Even had gone through hell during those eight months and that he didn’t owe Isak anything. That he could sleep with whoever he wanted. Isak had no right to be angry.


Even <3

12:51

Isak i’m sorry about lynn

She’s a bit too much

But she’s a good person

Please don’t be upset

I’m not upset

Isak

I know you

I’m fine

We’re friends

Friends don’t get upset with each other

Isak

I have to go


“What’s up with you?” said Magnus.

“What?” said Isak, curled around himself in the couch and glaring at him.

“Well, for one you’re glaring at me.”

“I’m always glaring at you, Mags,” said Isak.

“That’s not true. Sometimes you roll your eyes at me and on good days you smile.”

“Today is not a good day,” said Isak.

“Ugh,” Magnus sighed dramatically before throwing himself on the couch beside him.

“Why are you sighing?”

“I don’t know why your thing with Even is keeping me up at night, but I thought things were fine after the groupchat this morning,” said Magnus.

“Why do you even care?”

“I don’t know. I just do. I just think you’re good together.”

“Creep,” Isak shoved him.

“Why am I a creep for wanting two good looking dudes to be together?”

“Shut up,” Isak smiled then hid his face under the pillow.

“Was that a smile?” Magnus laughed, trying to yank the pillow away. “Was it? Let me see.”

“Piss off, Mags!” Isak laughed.

“Show me!”

“Fine!” Isak threw the pillow on the ground. “I smiled, okay? Now leave me alone.”

“I didn’t know that calling you a good looking dude would get you to smile,” said Magnus. “I didn’t think you were self-absorbed like that.”

“Magnus!”

“But then I remember that you started going to the gym lately which means you’re becoming self-absorbed. So I guess it’s my fault for not noticing.”

“Oh my god, I’m going to punch you,” Isak groaned.

“Alright. Alright,” Magnus held his hands up in defeat, laughing. “I’ll stop giving you shit if you tell me what’s up with Even.”

“Nothing. Nothing’s up with me and Even. I had lunch with his girl,” said Isak.

“His what?!”

“His girl.”

“I repeat. His what?!” Magnus shrieked.

“I don’t know. This girl he texts all the time and slept with once or twice in Bergen,” Isak shrugged.

“What the fuck! What the fuck is this?!” Magnus seemed even more upset than Isak.

“What?”

“Even fucks girls?”

“What?” said Isak.

“I thought he was gay!”

“He’s not gay. He’s into both girls and boys,” said Isak. “Everybody knows this.”

“What the fuck? I’m so offended right now.”

“Why are you offended by Even’s sexuality?” Isak frowned.

“I’m offended by the fact that he slept with some girl while you were out here crying for eight months.”

“I was NOT crying.”

“No offense but you were!” said Magnus.

“Shut up.”

“Oh my god. Is this how Tyra Banks felt?” said Magnus.

“Who?”

“Tyra Banks,” Magnus sighed. “Gosh, you’re so uncultured.”

“What the hell does Vilde teach you?”

“Gosh. I feel so betrayed. I was rooting for him. We were all rooting for him,” said Magnus.

“You’re being dramatic. He actually went through a lot those eight months.”

“Like what?”

“I can’t tell you,” said Isak.

“Why not?”

“Not my story to tell,” Isak shrugged, burying himself under another pillow.

“He brings his side chick to lunch and you still keep his secrets?” said Magnus.

“Yes.”

“Wow,” Magnus gasped.

“What?”

“I’m kind of proud of you,” said Magnus.

“Thanks,” said Isak.

.

Isak was the worst at letting things go. He was also the worst at denying Even anything. He was angry, but he was also aware that he had no right to be angry, no right to cause Even even more stress. So when Even texted him, he responded.


Even <3

23:19

Hey

How was your day

Great how was yours

It was good

Lynn just showed up out of nowhere so i had to shift things around

I see

Isak are you upset

No

I’m just busy

Because i want you to tell me when you’re upset

If you don’t then we’re not communicating

We’re communicating

And i’m not upset

Okay

How long is Lynn here for?

I don’t know. She didn’t say

Okay..

She just got discharged from the hospital and she wanted to travel a bit

But it’s a bit spontaneous even for her

Oh

The hospital?

Is she okay?

Yeah

We were in the same program

That’s where we met

Oh

Oh i get it now

Sorry

Why are you sorry

I dont know

I didn’t ask you how you met

I just assumed stuff

What did you assume

I don’t know

Yeah we met at the hospital

I found her a bit eccentric at first but you quickly grow fond of her

We’ll see about that

:)


Isak did not grow fond of her. She got on his nerves every single time he saw her. Isak was sitting in the cafeteria with Jonas and Eva when she showed up out of nowhere and hugged him again.

Get the fuck away from me.

Even followed behind after a few moments, and Isak had to physically stop himself from rolling his eyes.

“Isak! Hi. So nice to see you!” said Lynn.

She was wearing a sundress that felt too little for the chilly weather, and she had Even’s ray bans sitting on top of her head.

“Hello,” said Isak.

“Hi,” said Eva. “I’m Eva.”

“I’m Lynn. Even’s best friend slash life coach.”

Best friend. My ass.

“Your accent. Are you from Bergen?” said Eva.

“Yes, are you?”

“Can’t you tell?” Eva laughed.

“What are you talking about? You sound just like any other girl from Oslo.”

“Oh please!” Eva laughed.

What the fuck.

“Uh. Jonas, Lynn. Lynn, Jonas. Jonas is Isak’s best friend,” said Even.

I haven’t even said that out loud in years.

Jonas looked a little bit taken aback, probably because Lynn’s voice was so high pitched and because Isak never told them about Lynn.

“Even is giving me a campus tour again today. I love it here,” said Lynn.

Can you please fuck off.

“Uh, yeah. We’re gonna go. Enjoy the rest of your food,” said Even.

“See you,” said Jonas.

.

“What the fuck was that?” said Eva.

“Ugh,” Isak groaned, taking a bite out of his salad quite aggressively.

“Who is she?” said Jonas.

“His fuckbuddy from Bergen,” said Isak.

“What the fuck?” said Jonas.

“Huh? Doesn’t sound like it to me,” said Eva.

“And how does a fuckbuddy sound, Eva?” Isak rolled his eyes.

“I don’t know but not like that.”

“They gave me sister/brother vibes to be honest,” said Jonas.

“That’s creepy. Let’s stop talking about this,” said Isak.

“Besides why would Even introduce you to his fuckbuddy from Bergen?” said Eva.

“I don’t know.”

“I think it’s bullshit that you’re just assuming things without talking to him,” said Eva. “This is what your problem is. You take a piece of information, turn it into a big movie in your head, then just base all your feelings on it. That’s the unhealthy stuff. Not you leaning on each other.”

“Oh gosh. Stop talking. I need to go,” Isak groaned.

“What did I miss?” said Jonas.

“Isak and I had a heart to heart in a car last week.”

“I’m seriously going,” said Isak, gathering his stuff.

.

Isak couldn’t really get Eva’s words out of his head. She was probably right. Probably.


Even <3

20:19

Do you and Lynn have a thing going on?

No

Okay

Is that why you were upset?

Yes

I know it’s unfair but yes

Nothing ever happened between Lynn and me

We’re just friends

Just like you and me

Isak ..

Have a good evening Even

You too


Isak was a little bit tense around Even now. He didn’t mean to be. He just was. He smiled a little less and got easily irritated. He still accepted his earbuds when Even wanted to share music with him on their bus ride, but he didn’t say a word. He just looked out of the window while some pop hit from a few years ago played in his left ear.

“Isak.”

“Hm?”

“Are we okay?” said Even, bringing Isak back to reality.

“What do you mean?” said Isak, finally looking him in the eyes, finally drowning in the blue that haunted his dreams.

“You and I, we’re okay, right? If there’s something going on you would tell me right?” said Even.

Gosh. I’m making you worry.

“Of course,” said Isak.

“I feel like you don’t want to spend time with me anymore.”

“That’s not true,” said Isak. “That could never be true.”

“Really?”

“Yeah.”

“Okay,” said Even.  

They rode the bus silently until they reached their stop, but the feeling of guilt never left Isak’s gut.

I’m self-absorbed and I’m making him worry.

“I’ll walk you to class today,” said Isak.

“Hm?”

“I never walk you to class.”

“You don’t have to,” said Even.

“I want to.”

“Okay.”

.

Even gave him a tour of his department and Isak realized that they had both taken an earlier bus when their classes didn’t start until later. They always took the earliest bus now, no matter which day it was. They always met on that same bus. Isak smiled and didn’t even have to pretend to be interested. He simply was. Everything Even said was always so interesting unless it was about Lynn who was still somehow in town.

“This one time, one of our professors caught this couple nearly fucking against the projector. It was quite the lecture,” Even laughed.

“For real?” said Isak.

“Yeah. They didn’t notice people coming in and it took the professor telling them to ‘please stop’ to notice us.”

“Oh my god. How do you not notice? What?”

“I don’t know. Some people kinda lose sight of everything else when they’re doing sexual stuff. You know, when it gets too intense,” said Even.

He probably didn’t mean it like that but his words went immediately to Isak’s lower parts. Dammit.

Like how I forgot the world and my own fucking name whenever we got lost in each other.

“Yeah, I know,” Isak mumbled, holding Even’s stare for a little too long.

“Yeah,” Even breathed, his words sending cold shivers down Isak’s spine.

.

Sexual tension is a social phenomenon that occurs when two individuals interact and one or both feel sexual desire, but the consummation is postponed or never happens.

.

It became a thing. They would spend some time together and joke about something completely unrelated, then they would end up staring at each other longingly, neither of them making a move, neither of them breaking eye contact.

Isak felt as if his soul was burning. He felt as if there was fire in his chest that either needed to be put out or be allowed to consume everything in its way. He was constantly staring and pining with parted lips and a naked heart. He wanted, and wanted, and wanted, but he never got anything. This slow-burn or whatever they called it was killing him. Isak wanted to give in. He wanted to take the first step and engulf him in his flames, but he was terrified of the backlash. He was terrified of the outcome.

Perhaps, he’s feeling the same way I do.

So he just went home and watched porn, closing his eyes and thinking of him while gripping the sheets. Always thinking of him.

.

“You look stressed today,” said Even as he settled in the chair next to him on the bus.

“I have to give a presentation at 13h,” said Isak.

“Oh. You’re not prepared?”

“No, I am. I just get nervous speaking in front of a lot of people.”

“Really? You?” said Even.

“Yeah. Why?”

“I don’t know. But you don’t look like the type of person who would shy in front of a crowd.”

“Really?” said Isak. “Or are you just telling me what I want to hear?”

“No, really,” Even smiled and tapped him on the leg. “I’m sure you’ll nail it.”

.

Isak was having lunch with Even and David in the cafeteria and he was still feeling nervous and stressed. Lynn wasn’t even around today but he still couldn’t even finish his sandwich. His nerves always got the best of him before big presentations because he couldn’t stand the idea of not doing well.

“Bro, drink some water,” said David.

“I’d rather not. The last thing I want is for my bladder to become an issue during my presentation,” said Isak.

“I don’t get why you always freak out before presentations. You always do better than all of us,” said David.

“Ugh. I don’t know. I just start imagining myself blowing it and fucking up big time,” said Isak.

“You should watch one of those videos of people falling and hurting themselves on Youtube,” said David. “They always make you de-stress before a big exam or something.”

It didn’t work. Isak had thirty minutes before his presentation and he was still tense and fidgety. Shit.

“Hey,” said Even, moving his chair closer to Isak’s when David went to get some water. “Just breathe.”

“I’m fine,” Isak smiled nervously. “I’m not this big loser who can’t give a presentation.”

“I didn’t say you were,” said Even, putting a hand on his shoulder. It burns.

“Shit I’m gonna fucking blow it. I’m gonna look like a total incompetent up there, and I’m really trying to impress this professor because he’s leading this research lab and I just-”

“Do you know how hot you look right now?” Even interrupted his self-loathing speech by breathing down his neck.

“Wha-?”

Isak looked around to check if anybody was listening. They were in the middle of the freaking cafeteria.

“You look so fucking hot talking about science and shit like this,” Even cupped his jaw with one hand and looked directly into his eyes, making his heart race.

“Even, what are you doing-”

“Gosh, I want you so fucking bad right now,” Even whispered, his other hand gripping Isak’s waist under the table.

“I’m, uh-,” Isak didn’t know what to say. His mouth was hanging open and he was both lost and aroused and-

“You’re so fucking smart. Do you know how hot it makes you? Fuck!” Even’s nose brushed against his jaw and Isak was now breathing through his nose with a boner in the middle of the damn cafeteria. Amazing.

“Oh my-” Isak nearly moaned, his eyelids heavy, the fire in his chest spreading everywhere else.

“Wanna make you feel good after you nail this fucking presentation. Wanna make you relax and take care of you. Would you like that, baby?” Even nibbled at his ear, and yeah that’s it I’m about to climax in public.

Yes. yes. Yes.

.

“Am I interrupting something?” said an all too familiar voice.

David.

“No,” said Even, completely leaving Isak’s personal space and pulling his chair away. “I was just giving Isak some advice for his presentation. Right, Isak?”

“I, uh-” He was completely disheveled, flustered, and lost.

“Feeling less stressed?” said Even with a wink.

Oh my god. He fucking got me. Oh my god.

Fuck you.

Isak got up from his chair with rage flowing in his veins. He knew exactly what Even was doing.

“You’re such a fucking asshole,” he groaned.

“What?” Even frowned.

“How dare you?” Isak bit right back, gathering his bag and his papers.

“What? You did the same thing to me with the hiccups,” said Even, smiling. “Thought it might help with the nerves.”

“How the fuck do you expect me to give a presentation like this?!” Isak pointed to his boner.

“Holy shit, I left for like three minutes!” David shouted.

“Isak, I’m sorry-”

“Forget it!” Isak stormed off to the bathroom.

.

Oh my god. Fuck you. Fuck you.

Isak was beyond embarrassed. It felt completely surreal but he actually let himself think for a second that Even meant it. He actually did.

What do I do now.

Isak’s options weren’t looking too good. He could either take his chances and go to class with his boner and hope that he didn’t have to go first which would give him some time to think about ugly and sad things, or he could go take care of the issue in the bathroom which was just as disturbing.

I do not want to jerk off in a public bathroom, dammit.

But he didn’t have a choice. He actually wanted to go first and make a strong first impression. Whatever. Fuck it.

Isak was unbuckling his jeans in one of the stalls when Even entered the bathroom.

“Isak? Isak where are you?” said Even.

What the fuck.

Even quickly found him because his stall was the only occupied one.

“Open the door,” said Even. “I saw you go in. There’s no one else here.”

Isak stayed silent, hoping Even would just feel weird and leave.

“Isak. Open, please.”

“No. What the fuck?”

“Isak, just open the door.”

“Are you insane?” said Isak.

“Yes, I am. Open!”

Isak wasn’t sure what possessed him but he did as he was told.

“Shit, I’m so sorry,” Even whispered right after locking the door behind him, his eyes darting directly to Isak’s pants.

“I hate you,” Isak mumbled.

“I know,” said Even, his hands finding Isak’s zipper. “I know.”

“What are you doing?!” Isak shrieked.

“Shh,” said Even, just as someone came into the bathroom.

“Even, what the-”

Even’s index finger came up to his face and rest on his lips while his right one was undoing his jeans.

Oh my god. Is this really happening.

“Let me make it up to you,” Even whispered into his ear.

Isak knew that this was his only option really. He knew that he could push Even away, but that his body wanted other things.

“Only if it’s okay,” said Even, his hand hovering over what was now aching between his legs.

“I-”

“Can I?”

Even looked so earnest, so willing. And how could Isak deny Even’s touch when it was the only thing he ever wanted to feel?

“Yes,” said Isak, feeling completely wrecked already, and it came out like a sob. “Please.”

.

Isak never thought Even would give him a handjob in the bathroom by the cafeteria. He never thought he would have him panting against the thin walls separating the stalls. He never thought Even would bury his face in his neck and kiss the sensitive skin there. Isak never in his wildest dreams thought Even would thread his long fingers through his locks and pull while kissing his neck and getting him off. Jesus christ.

Isak wasn’t going to last. Even knew he could never last when he kissed down his neck and pulled his hair. He knew it. Even knew Isak had to go to class soon and he was using all his tricks to get him off quick and dirty. Even knew Isak’s body like the back of his hand. But he wasn’t kissing him on the mouth. Even knew how much Isak got off on mere kissing. He knew it. Still, he didn’t kiss his lips.

Gosh, why does my heart fucking burn.

“Some people lose sight of everything when they’re doing sexual stuff,” Even had once said.

So Isak tried his luck and grabbed Even’s face in both hands, begging to be kissed, begging to be fucking kissed.

“No,” Even mumbled before pressing his lips to Isak’s neck again.

Isak no longer had control over his body but he still felt his heart crack. He still felt it. So he bit down Even’s shoulder to muffle a cry.

.

“Isak-.”

They were both panting, still in each other’s arms, still against the wall, and Isak felt like crying.

And when Even pressed a kiss to his forehead, he wanted nothing more than to somehow be engulfed by the ground.

He didn’t even say a word when Even rolled out toilet paper to clean him up. He didn’t say a word when Even pulled up his pants and buckled his belt. He didn’t say a word.

“Isak, I’m sorry,” Even mumbled. “I didn’t mean to-”

“Forget it,” Isak was finally coming down his high.

He gathered his bag and shoved Even so hard against the opposite wall when exiting the stall that he actually heard him hit the back of his head against it.

Fuck.

He had already crossed the bathroom door when he turned around and went back in.

“I’m sorry for shoving you. I didn’t mean to fucking push you like that!” he shouted with tears in his eyes.

“Isak-”

Isak shoved someone else on his way out. Great. Now everybody’s going to have wild theories.

.

Thankfully, Isak’s professor had the flu that day and the Teaching Assistant didn’t feel confident judging their presentations, so they postponed them.

He grabbed a seat at the back of the huge room and actually cried. He felt so utterly devastated. He rested his head on his arms and cried. It hurt so much and Isak was so tired of hurting. He was so tired of wanting and receiving nothing in return. He was so tired of these rules and all this bullshit.

People who love each other get together.

Perhaps, he just doesn’t love me enough.


Even <3

14:09

How did you presentation go?

God I’m such a fucking asshole

Please forgive me

I wasn’t thinking

I thought i could get you to relax but then you were fucking crying

Christ i’m such a fucking moron

I’m sorry

Isak please talk to me

I’m so fucking mad at you

I know

You have every right to be

I’m sorry i tricked you like that

That’s not even why i’m angry

Then why are you angry?

The fact that you don’t know why is just making it worse

Isak

I need some time to breathe

Please don’t text me

okay


Because you won’t kiss me.

.

“Isak, why are people saying that Even made you cry in the bathroom?” said Vilde as soon as she crossed the door before even putting her bag down on the floor.

“Ugh!” Isak groaned.

“Oh my god. Is it true?” she gasped.

“Yes,” Isak admitted.

“What? Why? What happened?”

“I’m just fucking tired. I’m tired of waiting and hoping. I’m tired.”


Even

21:21

The only way to have something forever

Is to lose it

You keep breaking my heart

And mine


Isak and Even didn’t really talk much after that for a few days. It hurt him to take the heart off his contact name on his phone, but he couldn’t keep doing this to himself. He couldn’t keep waiting forever. He just couldn’t. He understood that Even needed time, but it was hurting him too much. He couldn’t keep doing this to his heart. He had to take care of his heart, too. He had to.

And when he calmed down, his heart did, too.

It still burned. It always burned. It was just a nicer burn.

.

Now Playing: Wafia - Heartburn

All this time you left me wanting more
Had me swallowing all of my pride
Wonder where this part of you came from
It was hidden in the shallow of your eyes

And tell me why does my heartburn
When I see your face?
You have made your decision
Put me in my place

Tell me why does my heartburn this way
When I see your face, when I see your face

.

“Hey, you look like you need some company,” said the guy who sat next to him on Olivia’s couch.

Isak hated Olivia, but everyone he knew had gotten invited to her birthday party and he didn’t feel like locking himself in his room and moping. He was done moping.

The guy in question wasn’t too bad to look at. He had brown curly hair and green eyes. He wore glasses but they didn’t make him look nerdy. They made him look polished and smart. Isak would have normally rolled his eyes and shoved him, but he was done being a brat.

He could enjoy a nice conversation with a good-looking guy. He was desirable. Isak knew this. He deserved to feel desired and wanted. He deserved it.

“You’re right,” said Isak, smiling as genuinely as possible. “I do.”

“My name is Vegard and I would gladly keep you company if you tell me your name.”

“Isak. My name is Isak.”

.

Vegard was quite nice. He was studying journalism and he was tolerable despite using too many pretentious words to describe the most mundane things. Isak enjoyed his company and didn’t feel bored even if he only had one beer. He was nice and he didn’t even touch him inappropriately or allude to wanting to hook up. Isak wasn’t even sure he was into guys. Perhaps he was just some nice guy who wanted to talk to someone.

“Can I have your number?” said Isak with a polite smile.

He was putting himself out there. He hadn’t hooked up with anyone in almost a year. It was quite pathetic. And it wasn’t even about the sex. He just wanted to connect with another human being without his heart bleeding in the process.

“Uh, sure,” Vegard scrambled to get his phone out. “Of course.”

It was almost adorable and it made Isak feel good. Someone wants me.

.

Isak didn’t go home with Vegard. He couldn’t. He wasn’t quite ready and it would have been unfair to the guy. But he did save his number on his phone. He had never saved any other guy’s number but Even’s.

Baby steps.

.

Isak texted Vegard a few times. He wanted to know what it felt like to text someone other than Even and mean it. They didn’t have many common interests but it still felt nice having someone ask about how his day went. It felt nice.

Isak had stopped taking the early bus because there was no point in doing that. He stopped waiting for Even’s texts. He stopped waiting for Even’s heart.


Unknown Number

15:19

Hey

Can we talk?

Who is this?

Your favorite person

?

It’s lynn :))

?

Oh come on

I know you hate me but you must remember who i am

Fine

Lol you’re a petty bitch

Wtf

I say that as term of endearment

I know you just got out of radiology

Meet by your building?

Wtf how do you know

I told you Even won’t shut the fuck up about you


Isak didn’t know why he had agreed to this. He hadn’t talked to Even in almost two weeks and whatever Lynn had to say was only going to make him feel worse. He was doing better. He didn’t need this.

“Alright, what the fuck is your deal, kid?” said Lynn, the moment she sat down on the bench.

“Excuse me?”

“Why are you fucking him up like this?” she said, adjusting Even’s ray bans on the bridge of her nose.

They kept sliding off because they were too big for her small face and Isak couldn’t help but stare.

“What are you talking about?” said Isak, towering over her.

“Could you sit down? You’re making me nervous,” said Lynn, grabbing his sweater and pulling him down next to her.

“Me making you nervous? What?”

“I don’t like it when people tower over me. Makes me feel anxious,” said Lynn. “It’s like when nurses put shit in you, you know.”

“What the hell are you talking about? What is this about?” said Isak, running out of patience and still baffled by the fact that she pulled him on the bench.

“Even. This is about Even,” she said and grabbed Isak’s hand.

“What the-”

“Just stop being a fucking child for a second and be a human with me,” said Lynn, keeping his hand in her own. “Just breathe. I won’t chop off your hand.”

“Just what the fuck is your problem?”

“I have major depressive disorder and a fucked up sense of self. Being eccentric is my only outlet and it drove everyone around me away. For some reason, Even stuck around so I really like that kid.”

Isak stopped trying to get out of her hold and let out a breath he didn’t know he was keeping.

“Well, that got you to calm down,” Lynn laughed. “I would have told you I was crazy before this if I knew.”

“You’re not crazy,” said Isak, despite still feeling annoyed.

“You’re sweet,” Lynn smiled. “See, this is why I root for you.”

“What do you want?”

“I already told you. We need to talk about Even.”

“What about him?”

“You got him so fucked up,” said Lynn.

“I didn’t do anything!”

“He’s very fragile, you know.”

“I’m very fragile, too!” Isak nearly shouted. “I did everything I could but I have to look after myself, too!”

Lynn grabbed his other hand and squeezed and Isak felt so overwhelmed that he didn’t even notice his chest heaving.

“I know,” said Lynn, her eyes suddenly too sad for his liking. “I know.”

“I don’t know what to do!”

“Just talk to him. Why don’t you ever fucking talk?”

“I just-,” gosh, Isak was choking up.

“You’re not broken,” said Lynn, her fingers now digging into his flesh. “No matter what the voices in your head say, you aren’t.”

“What?”

“You might feel like you’re broken sometimes. But you’re not. You can love and many people will love you throughout your life. You have a big heart and you’re cute as fuck. People will fucking love you. Many men will fucking worship you and love you. Even isn’t the only man who will ever love you,” said Lynn, her eyes so wide that they were borderline scary.

“You’re fucking scaring me. What the fuck?”

“I just want you to know. I don’t know if anyone will ever tell you,” said Lynn. “I know stuff about you. I’m sorry.”

Oh. He told her.

“He didn’t mean to tell me. I kind of harassed him. He never thought I would meet you. And I never thought I would either. But he called me after you had a platonic bath or something and I had to come down here,” said Lynn.

“Shit,” Isak muttered.

Lynn knew what happened to him. Great.

“I don’t think any less of you. I don’t see you as what happened to you. I see you as a person, nothing more nothing less. We’ve all been through shit. I treat everyone the same way.”

“Okay,” Isak mumbled. She had a way with words.

They both sat there on the bench by his second favorite building holding hands, and Isak felt absurd. But he hated her a little less.

“You know. I wish I had someone when I was going through hell,” said Lynn, turning her head to look at him, the giant ray bans sliding off her nose again. “I wish I had an Even.”

“I didn’t have Even when I went through hell,” said Isak, knocking a rock by his feet. “I met him a year or so later. I didn’t have anyone.”

“Sorry,” Lynn mumbled, pushing the ray bans back to her face. “Guess we have more in common than I thought.”

“Hm,” Isak hummed.

“You have nice hands,” said Lynn. “Do you put on hand lotion?”

“What happened to you?” Isak interrupted her train of thought. “I mean. If you don’t mind telling me.”

“I lost my baby,” said Lynn very matter-of-factly.

“Me too,” Isak chuckled but when he looked up Lynn looked broken. Oh.

“I had a miscarriage. Kind of fucked me up.”

“Oh. I’m so sorry,” said Isak, and he meant it.

“Not your fault. I always hate it when people say sorry when you tell them about your pain. Like what the fuck. It’s not your fault. It's not about you. Why are you making my pain about you?”

“Uh. Sorry.”

“But you know what? I always tell myself that it was for the best,” said Lynn.

“What do you mean?”

“My baby. It’s probably better that he was never born. He would have probably hated having a mother like me. He would have probably had to take care of me and not the other way around. Like what kind of life?” she chuckled, but it was so heartbreaking that Isak felt like holding her.

“Don’t say that,” said Isak. “Don’t ever say that.”

“Just think about it. My child would have hated his life anyways,” she laughed. “He would have had a terrible childhood and awful teenage years. He would have hated every minute. He would have been so embarrassed of having a crazy mother.”

Every word felt like a punch to his guts. Every single word. Isak couldn’t even comfort her because he had had similar thoughts. His mind immediately flashed to his own mother and he felt so ashamed. Does she feel this way?

“Your child would have loved having you as a mother,” said Isak, now digging his own fingers into hers, feeling tears in his eyes. “He would have been a little shit sometimes, but he would have fucking loved you. He would have never been ashamed of you. Never. Okay?”

“You’re so full of shit,” Lynn mumbled, her voice cracking.

“I mean it,” said Isak. “I really do. And you’re not crazy.”

“Shut up before I fall in love with you, too,” Lynn laughed but there were tears rolling down her cheeks.

“Come here,” said Isak before wrapping her in a tight hug.

She was small but she gave mean hugs. Isak could barely breathe.

“I can’t believe I came here to talk to you about taking Even back and I end up falling for you instead,” Lynn laughed in his arms.

“I’m not into older women, sorry,” said Isak, laughing, too.

“You’re such a bitch.”

“So are you,” Isak chuckled.

.

Isak was on a bus on his way to see his mother when he pulled out his phone to text Even. And he gasped when he realized that his last message to him was “Stop texting me.”


Even

13:18

I’m sorry when i said don't text me

I didn’t mean forever

I just needed some time


Isak was afraid that his mother wouldn’t recognize him, and not because he had grown significantly in a few years. He just hoped that she was lucid and that she was okay. He hadn’t been to her house in what felt like ages.

“Hi, mom,” said Isak waving awkwardly by the door.

And it took all of his self-control not to bawl his eyes out when she hugged him and cried against his chest.

.

“You’re so handsome. Look at you. My son,” she said warmly, running a hand through his face as if she couldn’t believe he was there.

“You look great, mom,” said Isak. “I’m sorry I haven’t visited.”

“Don’t worry about it. It’s all good. You’re here now,” she smiled.

Isak felt so out of place. This was the same woman he had resented half of his life. This was the same woman he had abandoned for a better tomorrow. And now she was touching his face.

.

Isak was about to leave when he finally decided to stop chickening it out, when he finally decided to utter the words he wanted to say.

“I just want you to know that I’m happy you’re my mom,” said Isak, feeling absurd and nervous and weird.

His mother didn’t even reply. She just stared at him with a dumbfounded expression as if those were the last words she had expected him to say.

“I want you to know that I’m glad I was born and that I’m glad you’re my mom. I really am,” said Isak, taking her hand in his own this time.

“My son,” her eyes watered. And gosh, I should have done this sooner.

“Don’t cry,” Isak pleaded with a weak smile.

“Even after all the suffering I put you through?” and she had never looked so small.

Isak nodded then felt braver.

“It wasn’t easy. I won’t lie. And when I left, I actually had it worse. But I’m still glad you’re my mom. Because if you weren’t then I wouldn’t be me. And I like me. I like myself,” said Isak, feeling more emotional after each word.

“My son-”

“It took me so much time to like myself again, but I do. I really do, mom. And I really want you to know that I don’t resent you. That I’m glad I was born and that I’m alive. And that I’m glad that you were the one who gave birth to me.”

.

Isak never thought he would cry so much over something that wasn’t a matter of the heart. But he did. His mother could probably tell that he wasn’t as manly as usual sons were because he couldn’t stop crying. But he didn’t have it in him to care. And he hoped, he prayed, that she didn’t have it in her to care either.

“I’m so proud of you,” she said. “I’m always proud of you.”

.

Isak was emotionally drained as he exited her house with promises and silent confessions, and it took him a few minutes to collect himself.


Even

16:18

Just saw your text

How are you? :)

Just saw my mom for the first time in years

Are you okay?

It kinda fucked me up to be honest

Where are you?

Other side of the city

Just send me the address

It will take you forever to get here by bus


Isak’s heart dropped the moment he saw Even’s black car round the corner. He couldn’t believe it.

Even. Driving again. He couldn’t believe it.

He felt like crying again. Not because Even had driven across Oslo to come get him but because Even was driving again. Simply because he was driving again.

.

“You drove,” said Isak, standing outside and looking at Even who had rolled down his window.

“Fastest way to get to you,” said Even. “Get in.”

He wasn’t smiling but it still felt warm.

.

“When did you start driving again?” said Isak after he put on his seatbelt.

“Thirteen minutes ago,” said Even, his eyes on the road, his hands on the wheel.

“Thanks,” said Isak because he didn’t know what else to say.

“Of course.”

.

“I stalked your Spotify playlist,” said Even.

“You did?” Isak turned around to look at him, his arms still on the rolled down window despite the October chill.

“Yes. I didn’t know Wafia before, so thanks for introducing me to her music.”

“Oh,” Isak’s mind flashed to her song ‘Heartburn’ which kept him company for a few days. “Spotify’s heartbreak playlist is the gift that keeps on giving.”

Even didn’t even react and Isak felt a little bit cruel. He felt a little bit mean. But he couldn’t help it.

“I was mad at you because you didn’t kiss me,” Isak admitted, looking out the window again, his heart feeling tight in his chest again. “It made me feel like shit. It made me feel worthless.”

“I’m sorry,” said Even. “It’s not true.”

"You hurt me so fucking much. I cried so much."

"I'm so sorry, Isak. I never meant to hurt you like that. I'm sorry."

“Felt good to just say it," said Isak.

"I wish you had told me sooner."

.

Now Playing: Wafia - 83 days

Our love ran deep
And boy I gave you all of me
But I was young and so naive
'Cause you were never mine to keep

I've moved on
Till they're playing me our favourite song
How quickly my resolve is gone
Makes me realise you ain't done, you ain't done

83 days and I'm still not over you
83 days and I still can't cut you loose
83 days and I don't know why I'm still counting

Are you thinking of the high before the fall
Are you thinking of the nights you used to call
Are you thinking of the way we had it all
In the way we were together (together)

Are you thinking of the plans we made for us
Are you thinking of the way we used to touch
Are you thinking that you maybe said too much
When you promised me forever (forever)

Are you thinking of me?

.

Isak hadn’t heard this song before but it still hit him hard. Of course I’m thinking of you. I’m always thinking of you.

Isak realized that perhaps the fire in his chest was also soaring in Even’s heart as well. Perhaps, Even was longing for him as well. Perhaps they were both just too scared, and too clumsy, and too fragile to do something about the fire in their hearts. Perhaps.

83 days. This song had so much hurt and so much longing, and it was still fresh, still recent. It was 83 days.

It had been so much longer for them. Still, it never stopped hurting. Even after all this time, it never stopped hurting. Isak never stopped wishing for a kiss, even after all this time.

Isak couldn’t even remember their last kiss. He thought about it long and hard but he couldn’t remember where it was or how it happened. He couldn’t remember it.   

.

“A penny for your thoughts?”

“Hm?” Isak was startled back into reality.

“You look deep in thought,” said Even, hands still on the wheel.

“I am,” said Isak, turning his attention back to the view outside the window.

“What’s on your mind?” said Even, speeding up a bit, the wind now harsh against Isak’s skin.

The last thing he wanted to do was tell Even what was on his mind. But they were doing this honesty thing, so what the hell.

“Our last kiss,” Isak mumbled.

“What about it?”

“I don’t remember it,” Isak admitted, running a hand through his hair. “I don’t remember it and it’s driving me crazy.”

“Hm. It hasn’t been 83 days. That’s for sure,” said Even, his eyes on the road, his tone a bit icy considering Isak’s chest was burning. Gosh, fuck you.

“294 days,” said Isak, turning around to look out the window again just in time for them to stop at a red light. “It’s been 294 days.”

“Not true.”

“Hm?”

By the time Isak managed to turn around, Even had already curled a hand around his wrist and pulled him in.

For a moment, Isak really thought Even was going to kiss him right then and there. He really did.

“What are you doing?” Isak frowned, his chest already rising and falling abnormally, his heart already racing and aching.

Even looked at him with so much tenderness that Isak felt like melting. And when Even tucked hair behind his ear and brushed his thumb over his cheekbone, Isak felt like giving up, like giving in.

“It was like this,” said Even. “Our last kiss. It was right here.”

The fire was now burning his insides and Isak wished he could open the door and run away, but he couldn’t. He didn’t want to.

“I drove you to Jonas’ place. You were gonna have lunch with him. Kebab to be more specific. You were complaining about how 9gag posts the lamest shit nowadays, and I said that you look cute when you’re grumpy. You rolled your eyes at me and when we got to a red light I pulled you in like this, then I tucked your nonexisting hair behind your ear like this, then I brushed my thumb against your cheek like this, then I-”

Even paused and it took Isak a moment to realize that it was because a car was honking behind them, because the light had turned green now. Isak couldn't breathe.

Then you kissed me like this.

.

Isak was in his room and his heart was still on fire. His chest still felt too tight. Even had dropped him off over an hour ago but he still couldn’t breathe, still couldn’t calm down.

He was going to kiss him. Isak knew it. He knew what Even looked like when he was about to kiss him. He hadn’t seen that face in over a year, but he knew that face. He was in love with that face. It was one of his favorite Even faces. He knew that face.

Magnus and David were on a trip for the weekend, and Isak spent over thirty minutes pacing around their apartment. He couldn’t calm down. He couldn’t focus. And when his phone buzzed, he nearly tripped getting to it. Oh my god.

It was Vegard. Poor Vegard. Isak didn’t want Vegard. Isak would never want Vegard. Yes, he could get Vegard, and he could get Jakob, and Thomas, and Fredrik, and Anders, and Henrik, and Petter and anyone he freaking wanted because he was hot and he was smart and he was charming. He knew it. He could get anyone he wanted. But he didn’t want anyone.

He wanted Even.

.

So when he heard the all too familiar knocks on the door, the fire in his heart leapt and soared and swallowed him whole.

Talk. Try to talk.

He opened the door with a heaving chest and a naked heart. Even looked as dreamy as ever, as ethereal as ever with soft hair and blue eyes and full lips. He looked as terrified as Isak felt, with a thousand questions dancing in the shallows of his eyes.

We should talk. We should probably talk.

But the thing about blazing fire was that it could rarely be quenched. Not when it held two parts of the same heart, two halves of the same soul in its flames. Not when passion burned in its core. Not when the heart wanted what it wanted.

Even waited until Isak pulled him by the shirt to press their lips together, hot and heavy and desperate. Love and lust and passion burning through their veins. All the longing, all the despair, all the pining went into that kiss. Every bit of pain, every bit of hurt, every bit of want went into that kiss.

Isak forgot his own name.

Even had both hands on his face and Isak’s fingers were lost in his hair, pulling gently, not daring to open his eyes yet knowing that Even was squirming with every pull, with every brush of his tongue.

Lips on lips. With the passion of a thousand suns.

Isak had kissed Even before. They had kissed and kissed and kissed. But never like this. It never felt as heavy as this. It never hurt so good like this.

And when they both finally pulled apart, mouths hanging open, chests rising and falling rhythmically together like the sweetest song, Even kept his hands on Isak’s face, on the verge of tears. On the verge of fucking tears, speaking like his heart was being cracked open.

“Then I kissed you like this.”

.

Isak bit Even’s shoulder again that night but it wasn’t out of frustration. It wasn’t to stifle a cry. It was out of pure want. Even was writhing and panting beneath him while Isak moaned against his neck, feeling completely spent and blissful all at once, his thighs burning but the pain having been replaced with nothing but pleasure.

Isak was in total control and the weirdest thought crossed his mind.

They had had sex before. Plenty of sex actually. But it never felt like this. It never felt this equal?

Isak kept lowering himself on Even’s lap with his arms wrapped around his back until Even flipped them around and kissed down his chest, trailing down his stomach until Isak cupped his face and brought him back up.

“Kiss me,” he panted.

Even kissed him and melted in his embrace, naked chests flushed together, Isak’s arms wrapped around his neck as Even licked into his mouth and pushed into him, spreading fire to places Isak hadn’t felt anything in in the longest time.

“Gosh,” Isak moaned against Even’s bruised lips.

Isak couldn’t stop kissing them, couldn’t stop biting them. He couldn’t stop because he had wanted this for so long. He simply couldn’t stop. Not when Even was ruining him for anybody else yet again.

They had never kissed this much during sex. Their lips never parted. Not even to look at each other. Not even when Even laced their fingers together on both hands and Isak could feel his ring and Even's pressing firmly against his knuckles. Perhaps it was the pent-up tension. Perhaps it was all the times Isak had wanted to kiss him but couldn’t. Perhaps.

.

Passionate sex after a year of bullshit. 10/10 would recommend.

.

Isak woke up in the middle of the night in total panic. Even was sleeping beside him, holding him. And Isak had to pinch himself to make sure that he wasn’t dreaming, that this was actually happening, that this had actually happened.

He painfully disentangled himself and lay beside Even, watching him sleep. His mind flashed to that stupid Aerosmith song and smiled. It’s true. I don’t want to miss a thing.

He ran his fingers through Even’s hair then along his face before panic settled at the pit of his stomach again. They hadn’t even talked. This wasn’t taking it slow. This was probably the complete opposite of taking it slow. Fuck. It felt good in the moment but what if they had ruined everything again by jumping into bed?

Isak sighed then threw the covers off himself. He needed some water. He was about to leave bed when Even’s hand curled around his forearm and made him gasp.

“Stay,” Even mumbled. “Don’t leave me.”

“Even, we’re in my apartment,” Isak laughed.

But Even didn’t.

“Please don’t leave me,” Even pleaded, breaking Isak’s heart.

“Okay,” Isak lay back on the bed and crawled back against Even's chest. “I won’t leave you.”

They slept in each other’s arms under Isak’s fresh sheets in his new apartment. And for the first time in months, Isak felt home.


Even <3

14:18

So we have sex now

I guess we do

What does that mean for our rules :/

We should rectify rule number 3

probably

  1. No crying
  2. No getting shitfaced
  3. No kissing (on the mouth) (unless we’re making love)

How about this?

3. No kissing (on the mouth) (unless we're fucking)*

:/

  1. No kissing (on the mouth) (unless we’re having sex)*

Better?

Better


One day, we’ll talk. But for now, let’s just make love.

Chapter Text

It was still dark outside when Isak’s eyes first cracked open. And for a brief moment, he had no idea where he was. No idea who he was.

His brain needed some time to catch up with his body and the rest of his surroundings sometimes. It didn’t happen very often, but he didn’t usually panic when it did. Something within him always said, ‘ Wait, you’re in a hybrid state. Just wait. Nothing’s foreign here ’.

But today, for some reason, today wasn’t like most days. Today, Isak panicked because something wasn’t quite right. Something was quite foreign. This couldn’t be real life. It had to be a dream. It had to.

Because Isak was feeling warm. Because Isak was feeling safe. Because the other side of the bed wasn’t empty and cold. Because Isak was in Even’s arms. His head safely tucked under Even’s chin. His cheek warmly pressed against Even’s collarbones. His heartbeat slowly catching up to Even’s. Flesh against flesh. Limbs intertwined. He was safe. He was sound.

This has to be a dream.

So Isak wrapped his arms around Even’s chest, dug his fingers into his skin, snuggled even closer, then pressed a kiss to his jaw before dozing off again.

.

Isak woke up several times after that, each time greeted by more rays of sunshine seeping through the window. Each time finding himself latched onto Even in a different way. They hugged. They spooned. Both ways. Sometimes Even was holding him, his lips brushing against the back of his neck, his arms tightly wrapped around his stomach. Other times, Isak was holding him instead, his chin hooked over Even’s shoulder, pressing kisses there whenever he could reach some skin, his leg over Even’s, nearly wrapped around his waist. Isak couldn’t get enough. He wanted to get closer. Always closer.

Sometimes when he woke up, Even was kissing his neck. Other times, he was sleeping soundly, barely moving as Isak drew circles over his collarbones with his index finger then kissed his heart because he could. Sometimes, Even was lying on his stomach and Isak kissed his back and his shoulderblades. And some other times, Isak was sprawled on Even’s chest while he pressed kisses to his forehead and played with his hair.

They stayed in bed until it no longer made sense.

Isak was fully conscious now. But he was terrified. He didn’t know how to act. He didn’t know what to do. It was probably around 11 in the morning. And neither of them was budging. Both of them pretending that they were still asleep. Both of them pretending that all the kisses and the touches were because they were still in between dreams.

Isak knew that no one breathed this hard while sleeping. He was breathing through his nose and his chest was probably heaving noticeably. Still, he couldn’t open his eyes. Because Even’s hand was on his face, his thumb gently brushing against his cheek.

Isak couldn’t open his eyes because he wasn’t sure he could handle the blue in Even’s. He wasn’t sure he was ready to face reality. He wasn’t sure he could bear not having Even’s hand on his face anymore. His touch. He had missed it so much. He just wanted to feel it a little longer. So he did his best to keep his heart from bursting in his chest. He did his best to even out his breathing. He did his very best.

But then he felt Even’s face getting closer and closer. He felt his soft breath against his cheek. He felt him shift closer in his bed, and Isak had stopped breathing altogether. Gosh.

Even kissed him on the lips. Just a brush of his lips. And it was the softest touch. It was so soft that Isak couldn’t help but tilt his head upwards, couldn’t help but part his lips. His eyes still fluttered shut, his hands still in a fist, silently asking for more.

Even kissed him again. This time with more intent, with more want, with more fervor, breathing through his nose, both hands on Isak’s face, making his heart leap inside his chest. Isak who forgot all about pretending to be asleep

Isak’s hands found Even’s neck and Even’s hair. They just found their way there. And he was breathing through his nose, too. He was kissing him back. He was licking into his mouth, too. Isak ran his hand through Even’s hair and it sent him into a frenzy.

This was a dream. It had to be.

They were panting against each other’s mouths, never parting, not even to breathe. Even was towering over him now, and Isak was pulling at his hair, arching his back and growing painfully aware of the problem between his legs and Even’s, too.

They weren’t pretending to be asleep anymore. And it wasn’t until Even kissed his neck that Isak all but moaned. Shit.

“Good morning to you, too,” Even mumbled against his neck, chuckling.

“Fuck,” Isak groaned before grabbing Even’s face and pulling him up for another kiss.

Isak dragged Even’s lower lip between his teeth, and it seemingly pushed him over the edge because Even groaned and threw the covers off of them, still kissing him. They were both naked and Isak was back to feeling nervous, back to panicking.

He realized that he had never had anyone in his bed before. That he didn’t have a bed when he was with Even. That this was his first time naked with another soul in his very own bed. That sleeping in his bed would never be the same again.

“What’s wrong?” Even breathed down his neck, hands on his sides, squeezing gently.

He knew him too well. It was almost terrifying.

“We’re in my bed,” Isak mumbled, feeling sheepish and ridiculous, his hands in Even’s hair.

“We are,” said Even.

“I’ve never had anyone in my bed before,” he admitted with his heart beating in his eardrums.

Even’s eyes were blue and sad and piercing holes through him. Don’t look at me like that.

Even kissed him again, this time gently. So gently that it made Isak’s toes curl, that it made his heart burst. Isak met him halfway, and they kissed until it was no longer gentle, until it got heated again, until Isak’s head was spinning with lust again.

It turned out that kissing while completely naked could be very awkward, especially when certain body parts tended to react to certain touches in certain ways. Isak kept trying to position himself so that Even wasn’t too aware of his raging hard-on. But it was pointless. He kept trying to get them back on their sides, and it was so ridiculous that Even actually laughed.

“Don’t laugh,” Isak mumbled.

“You’re adorable,” Even laughed again before sitting up on the bed.

The loss of contact was so brutal that Isak felt like shouting ‘what the fuck’. His eyes were probably wide, too. There were no covers to hide his nakedness. He was completely exposed.

“Isak,” Even smiled. “I would like to introduce you to something that I hold very close to my heart.”

“What the-”

“Isak, my dearest. Meet my penis. I call it Baz,” said Even while gesturing to his very own problem between his legs. “Baz doesn’t always look like this as you already know. But it tends to do this when I’m very aroused. Like right now. I heard it’s biology. I heard that most men experience this.”

“What the fuck, Even,” Isak hid his face in his hands, laughing. This guy.

“Now. I can see that you have your very own Baz, which is great, honestly. You know how much I love your Baz. I worship your Baz. I would gladly spend the rest of my life kissing your Baz. Although you might want to name it something else though cause it could get weird,” Even laughed. “But yeah. Penises tend to do this sometimes. It’s okay. You don’t have to be embarrassed.”

“I can’t fucking deal with you,” Isak laughed, grabbing a pillow to shove him with it.

Even chuckled and dodged the pillow quite skillfully, smiling down at Isak who was still sprawled on the bed, still very exposed.

“My point is that you can either keep trying to make me forget that your dick exists which is rather impossible. Or we can do something about it,” said Even, back to straddling Isak who wasn’t as nervous as before.

“Oh yeah? Something like what?” said Isak, already writhing in anticipation, his hands back to cupping Even’s jaw.

“Something like this,” Even whispered before kissing down Isak’s chest while maintaining eye contact.

Oh god.

“And what is this specifically?” said Isak, his chest rising and falling the lower Even’s lips got.

“I’m gonna suck you off, baby. How about that?”

Baby. baby. Baby. baby. Baby. baby.

“Uhm. Sounds good to me,” Isak shrugged while his brain melted.

“Yeah?”

“Yeah.”

Isak had forgotten how good oral sex felt. He had completely forgotten how good being taken care of felt. He couldn’t believe it. He was in a frenzy. This had to be the best blowjob he had ever gotten. Hands down. 10/10. It had to be. His senses were heightened, and it wasn’t until Even grabbed his hand which was curled around the sheets and buried it in his own hair instead that Isak moaned with no reserve.

“Oh my god!”

Isak couldn’t move. It was as if invisible threads were tying him down. He quickly realized that Even’s hands were keeping him in place, pushing his hips down whenever he tried to get out of his hold. Isak felt his thoughts melting in his head. He was reaching Nirvana, probably. He threw his head backwards and was intending on leaving it there before Even spoke again.

“Look at me, baby,” he mumbled from between his legs, looking like a dream with wet eyelashes and swollen lips.

“Even-,” Isak breathed.

“Gosh, I fucking missed seeing you all wrecked like this.”

.

“I can return the favor,” said Isak once his chest had stopped heaving, once his head had stopped spinning.

“It’s fine,” said Even, laughing and reaching for the toilet paper roll on the bedside to clean up Isak and himself.

“Your mouth is a fucking sin by the way. How do you do that?”

“Do what? Make you shoot it in my face?” Even laughed.

“Oh my god! Shut up!” Isak’s face flushed.

“You’re so adorable,” Even smiled, before pressing their lips together again. “Here. Taste yourself.”

“You’re gross!” Isak shrieked. “Get off me. Oh my god.”

Even laughed and Isak’s heart couldn’t handle it. He was so happy. He was so incredibly happy. He felt like crying. I missed you so much. I missed this so much.

So he reached up and kissed him again. Just for the heck of it.

.

“So what do we do now?” said Even, his hair tousled, his lips red and swollen, his breathing erratic and uneven.

Isak wasn’t sure how but after fifteen minutes of making out and rolling around in bed with Baz poking him in the stomach, he was back to feeling completely aroused. He was a loaded gun.

“Now we take care of Baz,” said Isak, pressing an obscene kiss to Even’s neck and feeling him laugh against him.

“Hm. And how do you suggest we do that?” Even smiled.

Isak grabbed his face and brought it down to his.

“I suggest we fuck,” he whispered in his ear, then felt him squirm on top of him. “Would you like that?”

“Fuck,” Even muttered, running a hand through his hair.

“What?” Isak laughed.

“The return of Game Master Isak Valtersen. I’m gonna fucking lose it.”

Isak licked his lips then kissed him roughly. Might as well.

“Wouldn’t want you to lose it before you’re inside me though,” he whispered then pulled back to admire the results of his work.

He knew dirty talk always got Even going. And gosh, he had missed seeing him this wrecked, too.

.

“Wait,” Isak put a hand on his chest, making Even panic for a few seconds.

“What?”

“We need-” Isak stretched his arm to open the top drawer of his bedside and grab a condom. “This. We need this.”

“Oh. Yes. Of course,” said Even. “Sorry I got carried away.”

“Don’t worry,” Isak smiled, before tearing the packet with his teeth.

“They say you shouldn’t use your teeth. Might tear the condom,” said Even, watching him with mesmerized eyes.

“Don’t worry. I know what I’m doing,” Isak winked, before rolling it down on Baz with his mouth.

“Shit,” Even muttered. “Isak, are you trying to kill me?”

“What?” Isak laughed. “I fucked half the campus too. I have lots of tricks up my sleeve.”

.

Isak regretted saying those words. He regretted them because Even didn’t laugh. Because his eyes got darker and things got intense a little too fast.

Even was biting his neck and Isak was losing his mind. Even never bit his neck. He only ever kissed it. This was too much. Even was going to split him in half.

“Even-.”

Isak wrapped his legs around his waist and met him halfway for every push, for every pull. Isak couldn’t believe they were having sex in broad daylight, with no covers, in his bed. He couldn’t believe it.

But that wasn’t the reason it didn’t feel quite right. It didn’t feel quite right because Even wasn’t looking at him, wasn’t smiling, wasn’t telling him he was hot and beautiful. It didn’t feel quite right.

“Even-”

“Yes,” Even breathed in his neck.

“Look at me,” said Isak, grabbing his face. “Look at me.”

Even wouldn’t meet his gaze. And Isak knew that his thoughts consumed him sometimes, that he thought too much sometimes, that he probably took that comment and turned it into something hurtful in his head. Isak knew this.

Isak didn’t know why it affected Even so much. Was he jealous? Did he feel weird because he thought Isak wasn’t being himself? Did he think he slept with people while he was away for eight months?

Isak didn’t know. But he wasn’t going to apologize for sleeping with people before him. All he could do was remind him that no one had touched his heart like Even did.

“No one takes care of me like you do,” said Isak, his hands on Even’s cheeks, forcing him to look into his eyes. “No one.”

“Yeah?” Even asked, and for a moment he seemed innocent and sheepish as if wasn’t wrecking Isak right then and there.

Isak nodded then kissed him on the lips. He kissed him because it felt right. He had had plenty of sex with plenty of people before. But no one was as good as Even. No one was as generous as Even. And he wanted him to know that. He wanted him to know that he was he was his number one, that he didn’t mean anything by that comment, that it was just banter.

Gosh. Sometimes, Isak forgot how fragile Even could be. He had to somehow make this fun and happy again. He had to say something obscene again.

“No one feels as good as you do,” Isak whispered in his ear, fingers digging into his back. “No one pays as much attention to my ankles as you.”

“Yeah?” Even laughed.

“Yeah, no one,” Isak laughed, too.

“You have pretty ankles,” said Even.

“I know,” Isak smiled.

“Good. It’s good to know your strengths. You need to capitalize on them.”

“Shut up,” Isak laughed.

.

Even’s face was buried in his neck and Isak was moaning and squirming in his arms. Nothing has ever felt this good.

“Isak-”

“Yes?”

“Did you sleep with other people when I was gone?” said Even, sweat dripping off his forehead.

“No,” Isak panted, pulling his hair a little too roughly.

“Okay,” said Even, pressing a kiss to his neck, still rocking into him.

“Did you fuck Lynn?” Isak asked, feeling spent and wrecked but loving the ache. “Did you fuck her?”

“No,” Even panted. “I didn’t fuck anyone when I was gone. I haven’t slept with anyone since you.”

“Good,” said Isak, pulling him down for a kiss and dragging his bottom lip between his teeth again, biting it.

“Gosh,” Even groaned.

“Can we stop talking now?”

“Is this- Is this hate sex?” said Even. “Are we having hate sex?”

“Oh my god,” Isak shoved him and laughed. “Why are you like this?”

Even laughed before moving abruptly, reminding Isak that they were still very much having sex.

“I just wanted to see you laugh,” said Even, pressing kisses to his neck.

“I can’t handle you,” Isak laughed again.

“By the way, have you been working out? Your abs, baby. I’m losing my shit.”

“Oh my god. Can we go back to fucking? Stop talking,” Isak laughed.

They both laughed until it hurt. And Isak never knew it was possible. Never knew that laughing during sex could feel so good.

10/10 recommend. Tickle him next time.

.

They took a shower together and Isak grew anxious when Even started cooking. What are we doing.

“Where are Magnus and David?” said Even.

He was wearing Isak’s Jesus t-shirt and looking like a sex god. Shit.

“Uh, they were out this weekend. They’ll be back in the afternoon around like four,” said Isak, sitting on one of the stools in the kitchen while Even made them eggs.

“Cool. I haven’t seen them in a while,” said Even.

Is he implying-

Even couldn’t stay. The boys were definitely going to misinterpret the situation. He knew it. This wasn’t going to work. They hadn’t even talked. Shit.

“Uh-.”

Isak was about to start explaining to Even why it probably wasn’t a good idea for him to stick around when someone started unlocking the front door.

Oh my god!

It all happened too fast, but Isak quickly dragged Even by the hand across the apartment and shoved him in his room.

“Isak, what-”

“Shhh! Fucking Magnus will hear you,” Isak whispered.

“So what?” said Even. “Also I left my phone in the kitchen.”

“Shit! Stay here. I’m gonna go get it.”

“Isak-”

“I’ll be right back!”

.

“Isak!” David greeted him as soon as Isak made it to the kitchen.

He hadn’t even put his bag down.

“Uh. Hey. You guys are back early,” said Isak, running his hand through his disheveled hair.

“Yeah we ended up taking an earlier train. Weather was shit. Might as well get back,” said Magnus.

“Oh, okay,” said Isak nervously.

“What’s up with you?” said Magnus.

“Uh, nothing. What do you mean?”

“You’re like fidgeting,” said David.

“No, I’m not.”

“Also you look kinda..” Magnus squinted his eyes.

“Kinda what?” said Isak.

“I don’t know. But you’re like rosy? Like you’re glowing?” said Magnus.

“Glowing?” Isak scoffed. “What the fuck?”

“You know. Like you had a good weekend,” said Magnus.

“I think what he means to say is that you look like you got some good dick,” said David, walking to the oven and putting some of the eggs on his plate.

“What the hell!” Isak shrieked, his face probably turning ten shades redder.

“Bro, it’s good. We’re happy for you,” said David. “Also what the fuck, these eggs taste amazing!”

“Huh? Isak’s eggs taste awful,” said Magnus. “Let me try.”

“Here,” said David, handing him a fork. “Also why are you cooking breakfast at 1 in the afternoon?”

“Holy shit, this is incredible,” said Magnus, his mouth still full.

“And why are there two plates on the table?” said David.

“Oh my god!” Isak brought his hands to his face.

“Holy fuck!” Magnus screamed, putting the plate down.

“Oh my god!” David joined him. “Oh my god. Is he still here? Are you finally hooking up with people again?!”

“Fuck my life,” Isak groaned.

“Can we meet him? Where is he? In your room? He’s making you breakfast already? You let him spend the night? Who is he? The guy you’ve been texting with lately? Vegard or something?” Magnus spoke without even taking a breath.

For some reason, the idea that it was Even hadn’t even crossed their mind. And Isak wasn’t sure if he was happy or sad about that.

“You’re not meeting him. It’s too early, okay? You’ll freak him out,” said Isak.

“Shit. You’re probably right,” said David. “But oh my god I’m so happy for you.”

“Shut up!” Isak groaned. “Now just go to your rooms so he can leave quietly.”

“You don’t have to kick him out,” said Magnus.

“Just stop!”

.

When Isak got back to his room, Even was wearing his shoes and his jacket. He was ready to leave and Isak didn’t have to make things even more awkward.

“Uh- Here’s your phone,” said Isak, probably looking nervous and awkward.

“Thanks,” Even smiled.

“I’m sorry, uh, about-”

“It’s okay. I get it,” Even smiled again.

“I’ll walk you to the door,” said Isak, feeling weird and a little bit cruel.

“Thank you.”

Isak walked down the stairs with him and stood by the front door of his building in his pyjamas. He had no idea where to go from there.  

“I’ll see you at school tomorrow?” said Even.

“Yeah,” Isak holding the door open and leaning against it.

“I had a good time last night,” Even smiled. “And this morning, too.”

“Me too,” said Isak, blushing, probably.

“Let’s do it again sometime,” said Even.

“Uh, yeah. Sure,” Isak felt his face flush, his skin burning when Even’s hand came up to cup it.

“Text me sometime,” said Even.

“Okay,” Isak looked down at his bare feet. His heart was about to burst.

“Bye, Isak.”

“Bye, Even.”

‘Let’s do it again sometime’. So we have casual sex now?

Isak smiled then pulled out his phone. He found Even’s contact and added the heart back next to his name.


Even <3

14:18

So we have sex now

I guess we do

What does that mean for our rules :/

We should rectify rule number 3

probably

  1. No crying
  2. No getting shitfaced
  3. No kissing (on the mouth) (unless we’re making love)
  4. No kissing (on the mouth) (unless we’re fucking)*

:/

  1. No kissing (on the mouth) (unless we’re having sex)*

Better?

Better


“So I heard you and Even are fucking,” Eva said very casually while sipping on some sort of cleanse juice.

“What the fuck?” Isak shrieked, his eyes growing so wide that they felt like popping out of his skull.

“What? It’s not true?” Even looked up from her book.

They were at the cafeteria and Jonas had just gone to get more coffee.

“I. uh. Where the hell did you hear this? What the fuck?” said Isak.

“David told me,” she shrugged.

“David?!”

“Yeah, he said you had a guy over yesterday and that you looked like you had just gotten fucked,” said Eva.

“Jesus Christ!” Isak stood up. “You guys can’t keep talking about me like this! And who said it wasn’t me who did the fucking?”

“Too much information,” Eva held up a hand to Isak’s face.

“Seriously?! This is what you consider too much info?” Isak groaned. “Why is everyone so obsessed with my life?”

“We’re too invested in your wellbeing at this point. There’s no going back,” said Eva.

“Also who said anything about Even? I can hook up with other guys!”

“I know that. But David said he made you eggs and that they tasted like they had sour cream in them,” said Eva. “Even made us eggs once.”

“Wait, what the fuck?”

“Yeah, at this party. We were starving and he made us breakfast at 2 in the morning. Love that guy,” said Eva. “Also Even is wearing your Jesus t-shirt today.”

“Just what the hell is going on?” Isak sighed. “Fuck!”

“You tell me. Are you back together? Are you just having sex?”

Isak took a moment to look at her and realized that he was still standing and towering over her. He sighed then sat back down.

“I don’t know,” he admitted. “I don’t know what we’re doing.”

“Oh Isak,” Eva sighed.

“Just drop it. I know what you’re gonna say.”

“Just don’t get hurt.”

“I’ll be fine,” Isak shrugged just as Jonas regained his seat.

“What did I miss?” said Jonas.

What haven’t you missed honestly.

“Nothing,” said Eva.


Even <3

19:18

Didn’t see you today

Missed you on the bus

Took a diff bus

I overslept

Oh okay

Everything good?

Yeah

Just couldn’t sleep last night

?

What’s wrong

Nothing

That’s the thing

Nothing’s wrong

:’)

What are you doing right now?

Studying

I have a big exam in two days

You got this

I know

You’re so humble

:p

I know my shit

It’s just stress that gets to me

Hm..

What?

I can think of a few things that could make you feel better

Do they involve you getting me off in the bathroom by the cafeteria?

Ouch

I’m still sorry about that

It was a dick move i’m sorry

It was a dick move

Sorry

It’s okay now

:(

How do i make it up to you?

We could put rule 3 to good use

?

Want me to come over?

Yes

Are you gonna kick me out in the morning?

Shit..

You’re salty about that aren’t you

Yes

I was making you eggs

And you kicked me out

Well sorry about hurting your feelings

Consider it payback for making me cry before my presentation

Isak :(

I’m sorry

I didn’t mean to make you cry

I’m just being a dick

Don’t mind me

It’s fine

Presentations were postponed and i actually ended up nailing it

Of course you nailed it

Still

Im sorry

:(

are you gonna keep sending me sad emojis or are you gonna come here and fuck my stress away?

I’m literally in my car

Texting and driving is a shitty move Even

Ugh

Can’t wait to fuck your grumpiness away too

Wtf

<33333


Alright, the sex was great. It was more than great. It wasn’t 10/10. It was probably 21/10. And Isak couldn’t get enough. Even was so good to him, and he was so good to Even. Even who had him moaning at obscene hours during the night. Even who took him against the wall and on the floor sometimes. They did more things now, too. They did things Isak never thought they would do.

“Have you topped before?” said Even.

“Excuse me?”

“Like before we met.”

“Yeah, of course,” said Isak. “Why?”

“Wanna have a go at it? I don’t want you to think I only ever want to fuck you,” said Even.

“Is Baz tired tonight?” Isak laughed.

“Oh my god!”

.

They laughed and rolled around bed and talked about their days. Isak got to complain about Olivia and about how much she irritated him in class and about that one Teaching Assistant who made his skin crawl.

“He fucking hates me. It’s insane. I had to ask for my exams to be regraded twice already because he keeps tanking me for no reason,” said Isak sprawled in bed on his back, sharing a joint with a very naked Even lying beside him.

“Who could hate you? Why would he hate you? I’m pretty sure you can report this,” said Even.

“I don’t know. But he really pisses me off. Sometimes he even glares at me,” said Isak, taking a long drag and stretching his limbs.

“Do you think he might be a homophobe?” said Even.

“I don’t know. I don’t think so. I think I saw him at a gay bar before.”

“What? So you mean he’s gay?”

“I don’t know,” Isak ran a hand over his face, a sudden realization washing over him. “Shit!”

“What?”

“Fuck. What if I slept with him and forgot? Fuck,” Isak groaned. “Oh my god. I don’t remember half the people I hooked up with.”

“Isak,” Even placed a hand on his thigh.

“Oh my god. He’s gonna fail me. I probably hooked up with him and forgot his name or something. Shit! Why was I such a fucking manwhore?” Isak sighed.

“Hey,” Even curled his hand around Isak’s wrist. “No self-loathing. Okay? Besides you don’t know what happened. Perhaps he just really likes you and shows it in awkward way?”

“I fucking hate myself,” said Isak, throwing one arm over his eyes. “No matter what I do, the dumb shit I used to do comes back to haunt me.”

“Hey,” Isak felt Even shift beside him, probably to sit up, hand curled around his forearm covering his eyes. “Isak. Look at me.”

But Isak didn’t want to. He didn’t even know why he was telling Even about this. Even didn’t need to hear about him potentially sleeping with his Teaching Assistant.

“Baby,” Even whispered, making Isak melt on the spot.

“Shit.”

“Look at me.”

Isak did. He removed his arm and looked at him and Even’s eyes were shining. Gosh.

“You are not your past. What you used to do doesn’t have to define you or haunt you. It’s okay. You don’t have to hate your past self to be okay with your present self,” said Even. “Okay?”

Isak looked up at Even who was towering over him and sighed.

“Okay?” Even repeated.

Isak shrugged then nodded. “Okay.”

“I’m gonna kiss you now,” said Even, placing both hands on Isak’s cheeks.

“We’re not fucking though,” said Isak.

“We’re naked. Baz is literally chilling on your thigh,” said Even, smiling.

“Shut up and kiss me,” Isak laughed.

.

“Good morning fellas. Sorry to interrupt but I think Isak stole my charger,” said Magnus who had walked in on them while Isak was straddling Even, both of them panting.

“Oh my god!” Isak groaned, bringing the covers to hide both Even and himself.

“Hey Even. We missed you, man,” said Magnus.

“Hey Mags,” said Even, his face fully hidden behind the covers and his hand poking from under the sheets to wave at Magnus.

“I would have stopped by sooner but you guys wouldn’t stop fucking all night yesterday.”

“Mags!” Isak shouted. “Get the fuck out!”

“Sorry,” said Magnus. “Gay sex sounds really fucking hot. I think I get it now.”

“Mags!!!”

.

“Does this mean you won’t kick me out this morning?” said Even, smiling and looking like a dream.

“For a fuckbuddy, you’re very clingy,” said Isak, grabbing a pillow to hide his naked behind while walking to his closet.

“Oh we’re fuckbuddies now?” Even laughed, still sprawled on Isak’s bed. “Also why are you covering your ass? I’ve literally lived in it.”

“You’re a fucking asshole,” Isak turned around and threw the pillow at Even who was choking from laughter.

“Come here,” said Even, crawling on his knees until he got to the end of the bed, then pulling Isak by the wrist.

“What?” Isak mumbled, feeling sheepish and flustered.

“Nothing. I just want to kiss you,” said Even, one hand on Isak’s face. “Can I?”

Isak nodded and barely had time to take a breath before Even’s lips were on his. Soft and warm. Isak felt safe and warm. He felt intoxicated. He felt so much and his heart couldn’t handle it.

When Even pulled back, Isak’s lips remained parted and his eyes remained shut. It was too perfect. Everything was too perfect. And when Even’s lips landed on his forehead, Isak melted and wrapped his arms around Even’s chest.

“I’m gonna go,” said Even. “You don’t have to kick me out. I’ll kick myself out for you.”

“Wait just a little bit,” said Isak, tightening his arms around Even’s back. “Just a little bit.”

“Okay,” said Even, rocking both of them gently, pressing soft kisses to his hair.

.

Isak was studying with Mahdi and Jonas in the library when Erik walked past them, sending shivers down his spine. Isak hadn’t seen him in a while. Erik wasn’t in his face as much as he used to. He was probably too busy lying to his girlfriend. He leaned against one of the tables and seemed to be chatting up with some people there.

Isak did his best to ignore him. He did his best to remain concentrated and not cause yet another scene. But Mahdi. Mahdi wasn’t doing so well. His hands were in fists and he was glaring at Erik.

“What’s going on here?” said Jonas.

“Nothing,” Isak responded nervously, tapping Mahdi with his foot under the table.

But Mahdi kept glaring at Erik, Erik who had turned around and who was facing them now. He smirked and raised his hand to wave his fingers at Isak. shit.

Mahdi left his seat before Isak could even react. They were going to cause a scene. Dammit.

“Mahdi, please,” Isak pleaded, standing up as well now, both hands on his shoulders. “Please.”

“Fuck this!” Mahdi groaned.

“Please,” said Isak. “For me.”

That seemed to have gotten to him, for Mahdi exhaled deeply and closed his eyes.

“It’s okay,” said Isak. “Just ignore him.”

“Okay,” said Mahdi, regaining his seat.

Erik eventually got bored and moved along, but the problem was Jonas. Jonas sat there with wide eyes and with question marks all over his face. But neither Isak or Mahdi said a word. They just went back to their books, sparing him glances every once in a while.

Jonas had stopped working. He had pushed his books and papers across the table and was just staring at both of them now. Isak felt his eyes on him. He really did. But he didn’t want to talk about this. He really didn’t want to.

“What the fuck guys?” Jonas finally broke the silence.

“What?” said Mahdi.

“What the fuck was that?”

“What the fuck was what?” said Mahdi.

“You almost threw yourself on fucking Erik!” said Jonas.

“Yeah. So? I really hate that guy. He’s a dick,” said Mahdi, while Isak played with his fingers, feeling as if someone was strangling him.

“What the hell is going on? Eva loses her shit whenever she sees him. You were about to pounce on him. What exactly is happening?” said Jonas.

“He’s just a dick. That’s all,” Mahdi shrugged.

“And what does Isak have to do with this?”

“Jonas,” said Isak. “Just drop it.”

“Did he say something homophobic to you? Is this what this is about?” said Jonas. “Because I’ll fuck him up. You know I will.”

“Jonas. Yes, I know. It’s fine. Don’t worry about it. Let’s just go back to studying,” said Isak.

.

Isak was feeling guilty. Even called Jonas his bestfriend but Isak had stopped treated him as such. He had stopped treating Jonas as anything more than a good friend. He spent plenty of time with him but he never actually talked to him. He never told him anything. Both Magnus and Mahdi knew more about Isak’s life than Jonas did. And it wasn’t fair.

But Isak could never tell Jonas about what happened with Erik. He could never.


Even <3

15:19

My place tonight?

Is lynn still around?

No she left a few days ago

Are the boys around?

No :p

Tempting

Bae come over

Oh gosh

Bae? Really?

What’s wrong with bae

I can’t with you

Actually forget about tonight

Are you free now?

Calm your horses bech næsheim

I’m doing some shopping with Vilde

:o what kind of shopping?

Kinky stuff?

Shut up

I’m buying clothes

I’m seeing my mom this weekend again

Oh that’s nice

There’s this website that reminds me of stuff i can totally see you wearing

Huh

Look

?? are you calling me lazy?

That’s the name of the brand actually

Wtf even

What?

Plus the guy is hot

Asshole

what

Don’t ever say that another guy is hot ever again

Wow

For a fuckbuddy you’re kinda clingy

I hate you

<3

I’m buying you this

wtf

I don’t want you spending money on me

I could be your sugar daddy

Why are you like this kjfdd

Haha

Come over

Babe

Come over

<33

Ditch vilde

Come over

Ugh

Fine

Dammit


“What’s wrong?” said Even, his head poking from between his legs. “You don’t like this?”

“Are you kidding me? I love this,” said Isak.

“Then what’s wrong,” said Even, pressing kisses to the insides of Isak’s thighs. “What are you thinking about?”

“Stuff,” said Isak, his hand in Even’s hair.

“What kind of stuff?”

“Stuff I shouldn’t be thinking about while you’re between my thighs,” said Isak.

“Are you thinking about school right now?” Even scoffed. “Because if you are then I’m very offended.”

“No,” Isak laughed, playing with Even’s hair. “No I’m not.”

“What is it then?” said Even, kissing the inside of his knees and making him melt.

“I think I should tell Jonas about some stuff,” said Isak.

“Oh,” Even sat up on the bed. “Oh!”

“I don’t know. He keeps asking questions and I keep shutting him out. We ran into Erik the other day. I feel bad. We used to be so tight and now I just don’t talk to him anymore,” Isak sighed.

He hated feeling like this. He hated it.

“Isak.”

“Yes?”

“Are you seriously telling me that you’re thinking about Jonas while I’m eating you out?” Even laughed.

“Oh my god, shut up,” Isak shoved him and laughed, too.

“What? This is basically what you’re saying. Do you know how insulting it is?” Even was beaming for someone who was offended.

“Why do I fuck with you? I don’t get it,” Isak was still laughing.

“Do you think about him when we’re making love, too?”

“I’m going to punch you I swear,” said Isak.

“Tell me,” Even pressed kisses to his stomach. “Do you think about him when you’re with me?”

“Gosh,” Isak groaned. “You’re so fucking needy. That’s my job. I’m the needy one in this relationship.”

“This relationship. I like it,” Even smiled, still settled between his legs.

“Come here,” said Isak, holding out his arms open.  

“Why?” said Even.

“I want to tell you something,” said Isak. “I want to look at you while I tell you.”

Even obliged, crawling back to Isak’s face, pressing a kiss to his mouth.

“What is it?”

“I only ever think of you when we’re fucking,” said Isak. “Okay?”

“What about when we’re kissing?”

“Still you,” said Isak.

“Just hanging out?”

“When we’re hanging out I tend to think about someone else, I reckon,” Isak laughed.

“What? Who?”

Isak wrapped both arms around his neck then brought him down to whisper in his ear.

“Baz.”

Even burst into laughter and Isak laughed with him. It was too perfect.

.

“I was trying to get Erik to back off before I left, you know,” said Even in the middle of the night, just as Isak was starting to doze off.

“I know,” said Isak.

“I met with these girls he had hurt and I was trying to get them to come forward,” said Even. “I know it’s hard. And it took me a lot of time to gain their trust. But then I blew it and I left. They won’t talk to me again.”

“You never told me,” said Isak.

“I know. I was trying to do everything by myself. I didn’t want you to be exposed to more painful stuff. So I left you out of it. And I realize that I wasn’t fair to you now,” said Even. “We never did things together.”

“It’s okay,” said Isak, snuggling a little bit closer. “I actually tried to get something against him. I don’t have proof for much but I still have the texts he sent me. I still have the jodels and the overall harassment stuff. I thought I could maybe build a case against him for targeted harassment.”

“Hm,” Even ran his hand through Isak’s hair. “Then what happened?”

“I don’t know. I feel like it’s useless now. I feel like it doesn’t matter, like I can’t get to him. I’ll just get upset. I don’t know if it’s worth it.”

“I could probably join you for the targeted harassment stuff. He did try to fuck with me for the longest time. I still have all the evidence,” said Even.

“I’m sorry,” said Isak, wrapping his arms even tighter around Even’s chest.

“What for?”

“I couldn’t protect you when everything went to hell,” said Isak.

“It wasn’t your fault.”

“I know that now,” said Isak. “It wasn’t your fault either.”

“Thank you,” said Even, pressing a kiss to his forehead.

“Do you think you can introduce me to one of those girls? I think I’d like to talk to them,” said Isak.

“Really?”

“Yeah.”

“Okay,” said Even. “And by the way, if you think it’s going to make you feel better, you should tell Jonas. If it’s eating away at you, you should probably tell him.”

“I can’t do that. It will change everything,” said Isak.

“It’s alright,” said Even. “Whenever you’re ready.”

.

“For fuckbuddies we have very deep pillowtalk,” said Isak.

“We do, don’t we?” Even laughed.

.

Isak didn’t realize how sticky their arrangement was until they both found themselves at the same party, until it dawned on him that he couldn’t just kiss Even whenever he pleased.

“Hello,” said Isak, feeling slightly nervous because Sonja and Mutta were right there.

“Hi. You look nice tonight,” said Even, hiding a grin.

Nice? Nice?! I look fucking hot!

Isak was wearing a brand new t-shirt. And it was baby blue. Isak loved it.

“So do you,” Isak smiled.

“I’m gonna go get a drink. Anybody want anything?” said Even.

“Uh-”

Really?

Isak was a little bit upset. He was reminded of the first party Even had invited him to, the one in which he didn’t spend time with him and left him hanging all night. He felt a little bit pathetic. Am I pining again? So he shook his head and went looking for the guys.

“So, you and Even. What’s the relationship status?” said David.

“Friends with benefits?” said Magnus.

“Shut up.”

“I thought you guys were playing when you said you weren’t back together but I see Even hasn’t left that girl’s side,” said David.

“What?” Isak turned around and saw Even with Sonja. “Oh, that’s his friend Sonja.”

“Friend? I heard she’s his ex,” said Magnus.

“Wait what?”

“Yeah I heard they were together for like 4 years,” said Magnus. “According to Vilde at least.”

“What?!”

.

“You look pissed,” said Even after he found him in the kitchen. “Am I not giving you enough attention?”

“Sonja,” said Isak.

“Uh, what about her?”

“She’s your ex?”

“Yes,” said Even.

“What the fuck?”

“What do you mean?”

“You were together for four years?!” said Isak, leaning awkwardly against the fridge.

“Yeah, why?” Even shrugged.

“What do you mean why?”

“It’s in the past. Who cares?”

“I’m in the past, too!” Isak all but shouted.

“Wait,” Even reached out to hold his arm. “What is this about?”

“Ugh, I had too much to drink,” said Isak.

“That sucks. No sex for you tonight,” said Even.

“What the fuck?”

“I don’t make the rules.”

“Ugh. I can’t believe you and Sonja were together for that long!”

“Why does it matter?” Even chuckled. “I don’t get it.”

“Because I’m a jealous asshole!”

“Isak, you’re not supposed to say you’re jealous. Otherwise it will ruin our fuckbuddy relationship,” said Even. “Besides what are you jealous of?”

“I thought I was the ex for you. You know. Everybody has that ex,” said Isak.

“Oh,” Even smiled. “So this is what this is about. You want to be my favorite ex.”

“Yes,” Isak stumbled a little bit, then closed his eyes when Even’s hand curled around his bicep, steadying him.

“You’re my favorite ex, baby. Length of the relationship doesn’t matter,” said Even, his thumb brushing against Isak's cheekbone. “You’re the ex for me. Happy?”

Isak smiled like a child on Christmas day and didn’t even try to hide it.

“Yes. Very,” said Isak.

“You really are needy, oh my god.”

“I’m gonna go find Jonas now,” Isak laughed, then pushed past him.

“Unbelievable.”

Isak turned around and winked at him before leaving the kitchen altogether.

.

Isak was upset because Even left before the party ended. He had finally acquired joints and was so excited to share them with him. But he just left instead.


Even <3

01:04

Where are you?

I went home

I’m a bit tired

What? Seriously?

Yeah

Besides you’re drunk as shit

No sex for you

I told you


“What’s wrong?” said David, taking a seat next to him on the couch.

“Even left,” Isak pouted.

“Oh. And you’re upset?”

“Yes,” Isak admitted.

“Oh boy, you got it bad.”

“I don’t know what we are. I like what we are now but I don’t know if I’ll like it forever,” said Isak. “I don’t know if he actually loves me.”

“Isak bro. No offense, but this conversation just got really deep out of nowhere,” said David.

“I’m not ashamed of my feelings anymore. That’s all,” Isak shrugged. “I’m also kinda drunk.”

“I can see that. I’ll take you home.”

“Thanks.”

.

“You know, one way to know how he feels about is by checking your contact name on his phone,” said David in the car.

“Huh?”

“Yeah. If he has you as Isak ‘heart’ and not just Isak, then it’s probably a good sign,” said David.

“I guess.”

“It would be funny if he has you as Isak ‘peach emoji’.”

“Shut up.”

.

Isak was kind of drunk and kind of needy. He didn’t really know what to do or who to turn to for advice. So he navigated to Yahoo answers.

He suddenly remembered that he hadn’t checked it in so long. What if Art Vendeley had posted a new question?

He did.

.

Isak grinned like an idiot. He couldn’t believe it. He couldn’t believe him. Ugh.


Even <3

03:19

Are you still awake?

Hi yes why? Everything ok?

Can you send me a screenshot of this conversation

Why? What?

It’s for science

What?

Just send it

Please <3

Ok

Thank you

<3

Fkdjdlfdfjkskjsd

Isak are you okay?

Are you home?

I’m home

I’m okay

I’m so happy

What?

<333333333333

goodnight

Haha goodnight


Mannen i mitt liv. man of my dreams.

Isak couldn’t believe him. He left his room and knocked on David’s door then hugged him very tightly before rushing back to his room and getting the best night of sleep.

.

Isak used to hate Mondays but they meant he got to ride the bus with Even and go to his favorite class in the afternoon. Isak liked Mondays now.

He left his apartment feeling sleepy and tired already. He was going to spend the morning studying in the library with Eva. His brain already hurt.

But then the biggest grin spread on his face as soon as he stepped out of his building. His heart was about to burst.

Even. Even leaning against his car. Waiting for him.

“Good morning sunshine,” said Even.

“What are you doing here?” said Isak, beaming, probably.

“Was waiting for you. I decided to drive to school today and I thought you wouldn’t mind the ride.”

Isak just stared at him with the biggest smile on his face. He couldn’t stop smiling. His heart was bursting.

“What’s up?” said Even.

Isak walked up to him in three big steps and wrapped his arms around his neck. Then before he could overthink it, he rose to his tiptoes and kissed him on the mouth. He kissed him deep and hard. He kissed him and hoped Even felt an ounce of what he was feeling.

Please.

Even kissed him back. He wrapped his arms around Isak’s waist and kissed him back. And Isak’s head was spinning. Spinning. Spinning.

“We’re not fucking,” said Even, panting, his blue eyes shining.

“Fuck your rules,” said Isak, before kissing him again.

“Baby, they’re your rules,” Even breathed against his mouth, before dragging Isak by the waist and turning them around, pressing him against the car instead.

“Hm,” Isak sighed into the kiss, and smiled. His heart smiled and his face smiled. He was happy.

We’re making out against your car at eight in the morning. Great. 11/10.

“Uh, guys,” David cleared his throat behind them, forcing them apart. “Glad this is happening. But you forgot your laptop in the living room, Isak.”

Isak’s face was completely flushed now. Amazing.

“Uh, thanks,” he said, grabbing the laptop from David’s hands.

“I’m gonna try to keep this to myself but it’s probably not gonna work,” said David.

.

“We should, uh, probably get going,” said Even.

“Uh, yeah.”

Isak’s face was red. He checked the mirror, too. This was a disaster. He didn’t know what to say. He was so happy. His heart was bursting. He could barely breathe.

“I’m gonna play some music,” said Even.

“Okay.”

.

Now Playing: Miguel - coffee (f**king in the morning)

I wish I could paint our love
These moments and vibrant hues
Wordplay, turns into gun play
And gun play turns into pillow talk
And pillow talk turns into sweet dreams
Sweet dreams turn into fucking in the morning

.

I don't wanna wake you
I just wanna watch you sleep
It's the smell of your hair
And it's the way that we feel
I've never felt comfortable like this

.

Isak brought his hands to his face to hide his grin and the overall fact that he was dying inside.

“What’s wrong?” Even laughed. “Everything okay?”

“Interesting song choice,” said Isak, laughing, too. “Love the lyrics.”

“Sweet dreams turn into fucking in the morning?”

“Yeah. Morning sex is certainly interesting,” said Isak, biting his lower lip to keep himself from bursting into laughter.

“Yeah it’s kinda nice,” said Even, as he slowed down to stop at a red light.

“Yeah kinda.”

“I will sing along with the next song,” said Even. “Just a forewarning.”

“Oh god, no. Please,” Isak groaned.

Now Playing: Cheat Codes & Kris Kross Amsterdam - Sex

That was unbelievable
I wanna do it again
I'll eat you like a cannibal
You're sweet like cinnamon
Tell me all your dreams and darkest fantasies

Let's talk about sex, baby
Let's talk about you and me
Let's talk about all the good things
And the bad things that may be
Let's talk about sex, baby
Let's talk about you and me
Let's talk about all the good things
And the bad things that may be
Let's talk about sex

Isak was holding onto his stomach as Even sang the entire song with one hand on the wheel and the other in Isak’s face.

Any way you want it, you can have it ,” Even gestured to his lap and Isak shoved him, still laughing. “ Do it on the counter. We’ll fuck for hours.

“Shut up. Oh my god. I get it!” Isak yelled with tears in his eyes.

“Gosh, you’re so fucking cute when you get all embarrassed like this,” said Even, stopping at another red light.

“Stop!” Isak groaned and rolled his eyes.

“There it is.”

“Hm?”

Even pulled him by the wrist and pressed their lips together, quick and deep, making Isak’s head spin, making him mewl and squirm in his car.

Is this really happening? Oh my god.

“Even-”

“Fuck your rules, baby,” said Even, before pulling back and pressing a kiss to his forehead.

He’s gonna kill me one day.

.

Everybody was staring at them as they exited the car. Isak didn’t even care. He was still reeling from all the kissing. His head was still spinning. His heart was still bursting. My god.

“Where are you going?” said Even.

“Library. Meeting up with Eva. You?”

“I have class in 30 minutes.”

“Okay.”

“But I’ll walk you,” said Even.

“Why?”

“I wanna see Eva,” he smiled.

“Right.”

.

“Hi Eva,” said Even, waving adorably while Eva’s eyes went from Isak to Even with a huge grin on her face.

“Hello. Long time no see, Even.”

“I know. I missed you,” said Even just as Isak put his backpack on the table and started pulling out his laptop.

“Aw. I missed you, too,” said Eva, with grabby hands. “Come here.”

Even gave her a kiss on the cheek and Isak threw both of them a death stare.

“Aw bby, are you jealous?” said Even, smiling.

“Ugh,” Isak rolled his eyes.

“Come here,” said Even, grabbing his face in both hands and pressing stupid kisses all over it.

“Stop it!” Isak groaned.

“Nothing but excess for my favorite ex,” said Even, still pressing his obscene lips to Isak’s skin.

“I hate you,” Isak groaned.

“Aw. Music to my ear.”

Isak couldn’t bear it. He just started laughing, too. He couldn’t handle him. He laughed until Even stopped kissing his face.

“You’re unbelievable.”

“I know,” said Even before pressing one last kiss to his hair. “I hope that was enough affection for you.”

“It was good. Thank you,” said Isak.

“You are most welcome,” said Even. “Alright, I’m gonna go now. Eva, always a pleasure. I would kiss your cheek again but Isak here might kill me. So I’m just gonna go.”

“I understand,” Eva laughed.

.

Eva wouldn’t stop stealing glances.

“Ugh,” Isak sighed dramatically, pushing his notebook away on the library table. “What is it?”

“Nothing,” Eva shrugged, taking a sip of her ginger juice with a knowing smile on her lips.

“Just spill it,” Isak rolled his eyes.

“You two are certainly the most affectionate fuckbuddies, or whatever you call yourselves these days, I’ve ever seen,” said Eva, using air quotes when she got to the word that lost all meaning even in his mind. “That’s all.”

Isak wanted to protest and throw another tantrum but he just blushed instead.

We are. Aren't we.


Even <3

11:38

One of the girls got back to me

She agreed to meet up with me this afternoon

If you want to join me

Oh

Yeah okay


Isak was nervous again. He hadn’t thought about this in a while. He had meant it when he asked Even to put him in contact with one of the girls who wanted to press charges against Erik. But right now, he was scared. He didn’t know what to tell her. He didn’t know what he had intended on telling her in the first place. He wasn’t so sure of anything anymore.

He was scared. But Even was going to be there. So it had to be okay.

.

Her name was Sigrid and she was beautiful. She had long blonde hair and she was dressed mostly in black. Her eyes were green, greener than Isak’s, and they looked a bit tired. They looked a bit empty.

Sigrid looked a bit tired. Sigrid looked a bit empty.

“Hi I’m Isak,” he introduced himself nervously.

“I know who you are,” she said.

“Okay.”

What exactly does she know.

“Erik pissed you off after he posted some stuff online about you and Even and some dare, and now you want him to pay for it. Am I right?” said Sigrid.

“Uh. Sort of,” said Isak, feeling himself relax a little bit when Even’s leg slid under his thigh under the table at the little coffee shop where they were seated.

Even always knew how to say ‘ i’m here, i’m right here’ without actually saying it.

“So you get poor little girls whose lives were destroyed by that fucker to do that for you? Am I right?” said Sigrid.

“Oh. I. Uh. That’s not what. That’s not what we’re doing,” said Isak. “I just wanted to meet you. I don’t want to convince you to do anything.”

“Why would you want to meet me?” said Sigrid.

“Because I feel like you and I can help each other,” Isak swallowed painfully. His palms were sweaty now.

“You want me to come forward,” Sigrid sighed. “I almost did. Last year when Even convinced me. But then he took off. And I was left with nothing again.”

“I’m sorry,” said Even. “I’m very sorry for leaving.”

“It’s okay. I heard Erik fucked you up really bad. I understand the need to just take off. I wish I could just do that.”

Isak didn’t know what they were doing with this girl. He didn’t know why he thought this was a good idea. He didn’t know what he was doing.

“I actually wanted to meet you to ask you to stop contacting me, Even. I understand that you have very noble reasons to do this, maybe. But I don’t think you guys realize how scary it is. I don’t think you guys have any idea how fucking terrifying coming forward is,” said Sigrid. “You have no idea what I went through. None. You have no idea how I felt.”

Gosh, Isak couldn’t breathe, his sole source of comfort being Even’s hand on his thigh.

“I, uh. I know someone who went through something similar,” said Isak, his hands fixated on the drink in front of him.

“What?”

“Yeah, a friend of mine was also hurt by Erik, and uh, I guess I’m just trying to make sure he pays for it,” said Isak, feeling like a complete coward, not daring to look at Even’s face.

He probably thinks I’m a fucking coward.

“What happened to your friend?” said Sigrid, her tone having shifted from total disinterest to actual concern. “Is she okay?”

She.

“Uh. Yeah. She’s okay now. She wasn’t for a while. But now she’s alright. She has a lot of people helping her,” said Isak.

“Oh god,” Sigrid held her head, elbows on the table. “What was it? Did he drug her?”

“No,” said Isak.

“What happened?” said Sigrid, now completely engaged, a deep frown on her face.

“Uh. She got very drunk and met him at a bar. And he took advantage of her. Took her to his place and used her while she was unconscious, then took pictures of it and posted them everywhere.”

Isak never thought he could summarize what had happened to him in a few sentences. It was almost terrifying.

“Motherfucker,” Sigrid groaned. “This fucker! Fuck! I just. I could have stopped him. I just-”

“But she’s okay now,” Isak mumbled. “It’s okay.”

Isak couldn’t believe how riled up Sigrid had suddenly gotten. She seemed so detached at first but there was fire burning within her now.

“It’s never okay, Isak! How do you know? Where is she? Are you sure? Because this shit fucks you up. Trust me. I wasn’t okay. I wasn’t okay at all. It’s been fucking years but I’m still not okay sometimes. This shit can make you wanna hurt yourself. It really does. Are you sure she’s okay? Because I can talk to her if you want. I know what it’s like. Also my therapist is really helpful. I can give you their number. And. Uh, wait.”

Sigrid stopped rambling and started fishing for something inside her bag. She pulled out a piece of paper and a pen, then scribbled a number.

“Here,” she said, handing it to Isak. “This is my number. Tell her to call me any time. Okay? When did this happen? Was it recent? When was the last time you checked up on her? Is she really okay?”

Isak couldn’t breathe. His chest was heaving and he felt like crying. Sigrid was so full of compassion and empathy. And Isak realized that he never thought about all the other people that this had happened to. He was always focused on himself and on his pain. He never stopped to think about others who went through the same pain. Sigrid, on the other hand, had completely forgotten about her own struggles and immediately jumped into trying to be there for Isak’s hypothetical friend.

Isak felt like a coward and Even’s hand was squeezing his thigh now, fingers digging into his flesh.

“Isak?” Sigrid asked again. “Are you okay? Was she a really close friend? Were you affected by this?”

“I. I’m-. Yeah. But she’s okay. Don’t worry,” said Isak.

“How do you know?”

Isak looked into her green eyes and saw kindness. He saw someone who had once been broken but who rebuilt herself from the ground up. He saw someone who had once been a completely different person but who was okay with who she was now. He saw someone who carried scars in her heart and in her soul but who refused to give up. He saw someone who wanted to come forward and do the right thing but who felt terrified and all alone. He saw someone he could trust. He saw someone he wanted to be honest with.

“Because she is me.”

.

Isak was drained by the time they got to the car. He could barely walk. His heart hurt and some of his old wounds were reopened. He really thought he had gotten this under control. He really did.

He felt dizzy. He felt dizzy and tired, and Even held his hand the entire time. He opened the door to the backseat and ushered Isak in. Isak who didn’t ask any questions.

Even got in next to him and closed the door behind him. He then wrapped his arms around him and held him. Plain and simple. He held him until Isak stopped trembling.

“I’m so tired,” Isak breathed against his neck. “I’m so fucking tired.”

“I know,” said Even, pressing a kiss to his temple. “I’m so proud of you.”

“I didn’t do anything.”

“You’re so brave,” said Even, tightening his hold around his back. “So fucking brave.”

“Thank you,” Isak closed his eyes. “Thank you for everything.”

Isak waited for Even’s answer. He waited for the three little words that always made his heart always burst. For the three little words that Even always used instead of saying ‘you’re welcome’.

“Anything for you.”

.

“Even,” Isak whispered in the middle of the night, his heart about to rip itself inside his chest.

“Yes, baby?”

“I want to come forward,” said Isak, making him sit up and turn on the little bedside table.

They were in Isak’s room. Even hadn’t left his side that night after their meeting with Sigrid.

“Are you sure?” said Even, reaching up to cup Isak’s face. “It’s so brave of you.”

“I’m sure,” said Isak. “But I want you to be okay with it, too.”

“What do you mean?”

“Everybody’s going to know what happened to me,” said Isak.

“Baby,” Even ran a hand across his face. His touch so soft, so gentle. Always.

“Is it okay?” Isak felt himself choke up. “Would you still want to be my, uh, my fuckbuddy?”

“Isak, what are you talking about-”

“I just. Everybody will probably talk about me. But you don’t need that kind of stress in your life. It’s okay if you want to break this off and run away,” said Isak.

“Isak-”

“I’m just saying that it’s okay. I’ve been thinking about it for a few hours now and I really want to do it even if it might kill me. I want to do it for other people out there who don’t have an Even to kiss their hearts. And I want to give you options. You know. I don’t want you to feel trapped and obligated to always hold my hand. I don’t want you to-”

Even interrupted him by pressing the softest kiss to his lips. It was just so soft. So full of love. And Isak let himself have it. He let himself be kissed.

My heart.

“Isak.”

“Yes?”

“I will gladly continue to be your fuckbuddy while you rip Erik to shreds,” said Even.

“Really?” Isak asked with tears in his voice.

“Really.”

“Okay,” said Isak, holding his arms out for Even to snuggle him.

“My baby,” Even kissed his hair while embracing him.  

“Fuckbuddies don’t say shit like that,” said Isak, his heart bursting and his chest heaving.

“We’re special fuckbuddies.”

“Special fuckbuddies,” Isak repeated. “I like it.”

.

“Even-”

“Hm?”

“I want to say one more thing,” said Isak, feeling nearly smothered by all the love.

“Go ahead,” said Even, brushing Isak’s hair off his face in the dimly lit bedroom.

Isak awkwardly disentangled himself from Even’s hold and brought a hand to his face and the other to his chest.

“Isak, what is it?”

Isak placed his hands on both sides of Even's chest and lowered his face until he could hear his heartbeat.

“Isak-”

“My baby,” Isak mumbled right before pressing a kiss to Even’s heart. Even who seemed lost and taken aback.

“Isak, what are you-”

“I’m sorry for breaking your heart in the car,” said Isak. “It’s the one thing I’m still not over. The one thing.”

“Isak-” Even’s hand came up to his face to brush against his cheeks.

“I will never forget how you looked at me that day. I will never forget how you looked when you said ‘baby, you broke my heart’,” said Isak. “I’m so sorry for breaking your heart when all you do is fix mine over and over again. I wish I could go back in time and fix it. I wish I could go back and change things. I really do.”

“Oh my god,” Even sighed, wrapping both arms around him. “Oh gosh, Isak. Please-”  

“Please forgive me,” Isak pleaded with tears in his eyes. “Don’t tell me it wasn’t my fault. Just forgive me.”

He then waited. He waited and waited and waited until Even smiled with tears in his eyes, too.

“I forgive you,” said Even. “I forgive you.”


Isak woke up to a note the next day and panicked for four seconds before reading it.

 

 

Isak, bby not bae because you hate that. I had to leave early to help Elias with a presentation. I'll be back at 10. Don't leave bed. Just stay there until I get back. I want to cook you breakfast and watch you try to kick me out.

PS: If I could go back in time, I still wouldn't change a thing. Because right here, right now, is perfect. As long as I know that we'll end up like this, right here, right now, I would do it again. A thousand times over. A million times over. I would do it again. 

Love, 

Even

Chapter Text

“Did you just bite my shoulder?” Isak shrieked, his arms still wrapped around Even’s neck, his legs still wrapped around his waist, his body still on his lap.

“I think I just did,” Even laughed, both arms tightly locked around Isak’s back, sitting up with his back against the headboard.

Isak wondered why Even’s bed had a headboard. He didn’t know anyone else with a headboard. He was about to ask the question when Even bit him again, his teeth gently sinking into his skin, sending jolts throughout his entire body. I’ll ask him about the headboard later.

“So you bite me now?” said Isak, smiling right back and leaning down to press a soft kiss to Even’s cheek.

He didn’t miss how Even shivered at the gesture, how the grin on his lips got momentarily replaced by panic. He was flustered, and it filled Isak’s heart with joy to know that he could still affect Even in such ways while literally sitting on his lap, naked. A kiss on the cheek. A caress to the heart.

They did soft things now such as kiss each other’s cheeks and play with each other’s hair. It was allowed, alright. They were in Even’s bed and they were naked. It was okay.

“I guess I bite you now,” said Even, burying his face in Isak’s neck and gently nibbling at the skin there. “Do you like it?”

“I do actually,” Isak mumbled, burying his fingers in Even’s hair. “I like it a lot.”

“Good,” Even breathed against his skin. “I can think of other places I would love to sink my teeth into.”

“As long as you keep your teeth away from my dick, we’re good,” said Isak, making Even chuckle and lean back from his neck.

“You think I would bite your dick?” Even laughed, making both his and Isak’s chest reverberate.

“I don’t know what you’re into,” Isak shrugged, catching a strand of Even’s hair and rolling it around his index finger.

“Yes, you do,” said Even, giving him a short peck on the lips. “You know what I’m into.”

“My bad. I meant what else you’re into.”

“I’m into anything that involves me and you, naked,” said Even, his hand trailing lower down Isak’s back. “Or not naked. It’s not a requirement.”

“You wanna fuck with our clothes on?” said Isak, squirming on his lap in anticipation, feeling Even’s fingers linger over the spot where they had become one a few moments before that.

“Or we can talk with our clothes on, you know,” said Even, raising his eyebrows. “We only ever talk when we’re in bed.”

“We talk when we’re in your car, too.”

“Yeah. We talk about going home and having sex,” said Even, now spreading Isak’s cheeks with both hands, arms still holding him on his lap.

“We’re fuckbuddies. That’s what fuckbuddies do,” said Isak, his breath hitching ever so slightly at the feeling Even’s hands there .

This couldn’t end well. He had to go home.

“We’re special fuckbuddies though,” said Even, nudging Isak’s nose with his own and making him forget that his fingers were doing wonders under the sheets.

“Yeah, you make me breakfast,” said Isak.

“Somebody has to feed you.”

“You make me refer to your dick as Baz.”

“I don’t make you do anything,” Even laughed. “You started calling it Baz all by yourself.”

“That is not true,” Isak scoffed before leaning down to press another soft kiss to Even’s other cheek.

He couldn’t help it. He reveled in the softness. And it was allowed when they were in bed, limbs tangled, skin on skin. It was allowed. So he kissed him whenever he remembered to and felt his heart combust in his chest whenever Even did so much as close his eyes at the contact, his arms tightening around him.

Isak probably loved it more than sex.

“By the way, have you decided what we’re naming your dick?” said Even, a little out of breath, his cheeks a little bit flushed.

“We’re not naming my dick anything!” Isak shrieked.

“How about little Isak?” Even smiled, gently pushing Isak off his lap to lay him on the bed.

“I’m gonna go home and you’ll never hear from me ever again!” said Isak, barely registering that he was no longer sitting on Even’s lap and that his back had now hit the mattress.

“Nas? How about Nas? Baz and Nas worked on a Netflix show together. I think it would be an iconic duo,” said Even, brushing the back of his hand over Isak’s cheek, then leaning in to press a kiss to his neck.

“Nas? The emotional rapper? Are you shitting me?”

“What?” Even laughed.

“And you said that the show they worked on got canceled,” said Isak. “Not that iconic.”

“Do you have to hurt me like this? Right in front of Baz?” Even leaned back and pointed to his groin.

“Why do I spend time with you?” Isak rolled his eyes, unable of holding in his chuckle, then pushed Even off of him.

Even looked at him, his back blocking the little bit of light they had allowed into the room, and smiled. He gave him his softest smile. All crinkles and sunshine and everything good in the world.

“I don’t know,” said Even, his thumb brushing Isak’s cheekbone. “Why do you?”

Isak cupped his face with both hands and brought him down for a silent but heated kiss. His answer, he poured into that kiss. His heart, he poured into that kiss. Isak barely used any tongue. It was just lips on lips. Skin on skin. Hands in hair.

And so they kissed. With Isak’s legs around Even’s waist and Even’s hands on Isak’s face. His hands were always on his face, and it was perfect because Isak’s face was probably in love with Even’s hands.

They kissed for maybe five or ten minutes, until Isak’s lips were sore, until his head was spinning with lust again, until he could feel Even getting hard against him again.

I have to go.

“I have to go,” Isak mumbled, barely breathing, barely thinking.

“Why?” said Even, pressing more kisses to the corners of his mouth.

“It’s late.”

“Spend the night,” said Even before kissing him on the mouth again.

Gosh. Give me strength.

“I have to go,” Isak mumbled again, this time gently pushing Even off of him. “I have class early in the morning. I have to shower and change my clothes.”

“I have a shower and I have clothes,” said Even, his lips on his neck now.

Not fair.

“If I stay, we’ll fuck again. I need to catch up on sleep,” said Isak, his chest nearly heaving.

“We’ll just cuddle. I won’t even join you in the shower. I won’t even look at you while you shower,” said Even, now resting his weight on one of his elbows while his other hand caressed Isak’s face.

“What’s the point of showering at your place if you’re not looking at me?” said Isak.

Even laughed and it made Isak smile. It made his heart smile. I want to always make you laugh.

“You’re right,” said Even. “There’s no point.”

“I know,” Isak laughed.

“I’ll take that chair over there and place it in front of the shower. You shower and I watch. Deal?”

“Why are you such a weirdo?” Isak laughed again.

“Baz is having a hard time right now. Quite literally. It will help blow off the steam if I give him a hand while you shower,” said Even.

“Oh my god!” Isak shoved Even’s chest with both hands, laughing like a child because he couldn’t handle him. “Do you spend your free time coming up with puns or what?”

Even laughed then brought Isak closer to his chest again.

“No, right now my free time is spent on trying to find a name for Baz’s companion.”

“You’re an idiot,” Isak laughed, hiding his face under one of the pillows.

“Come here,” he heard Even say before both his hands found his face and brought him back to the surface.

“Hm.”

Even kissed him while his thumbs stroked his cheeks. Gently, ever so gently. And what a feeling.

“Stay,” Even whispered the moment their lips parted. “Stay the night. You never stay the night.”

“I, uh.”

Isak couldn’t find the words. It was true. Even typically stayed at his place until Isak kicked him out the next morning, but Isak always left at night before anyone could see him. He never spent the night in Even’s bed. Perhaps the morning after scared him. Perhaps it was the weight of their memories in that bed. Perhaps Isak was scared he might wake up and realize that they were never going to go back to that point in time, that their relationship had been severed beyond the point of return.

Isak still didn’t know what they were or what they weren’t. But spending the night somehow felt like an insult to the Isak and Even who were helplessly in love and who had healed each other in that bed. The Isak and Even who would never refer to each other as fuckbuddies. Never in a million years.

“Don’t overthink it,” said Even, as if he had peered into his thoughts again, as always.

“I just-”

“Let’s take it easy. We solved the shower dilemma. Now it’s clothes. I’ll give you clothes,” said Even.

“Everybody will know they’re yours,” Isak pouted.

“Then let them know.”

“Yeah?” Isak looked up.

He didn’t know what they were doing. He no longer knew who minded everyone finding out about their arrangement.

“Yeah,” Even replied before pressing their lips together.

A kiss on the lips. A caress to the heart.

Isak stayed the night.

.

Isak woke up in Even’s arms. So far so good.

Their limbs were intertwined. Isak’s hair was in Even’s mouth. One of his legs felt numb. His lower back hurt. He felt sore but still well rested. He always slept better in Even’s arms. An interesting paradox, he thought. Every single thing about them was an interesting paradox.

But it was a regular morning. Nothing had changed except the location of the bed. They weren’t doing anything that may have counted as an insult to the Isak and Even who had once healed each other in this very bed. Nothing groundbreaking was happening. Nothing but two boys lying in each other’s arms at an obscene hour in the morning. Nothing but two boys insisting that this was nothing when this was everything.

Nothing was happening and it was okay. Because this was alright and his heart wasn’t breaking inside his chest. This was enough. He didn’t want to ask for more. He didn’t want more. He felt nothing but pure domestic bliss.

So when Even shifted beside him, Isak closed his eyes and pretended to be asleep.

“Are we pretending we’re sleeping again?” Even mumbled in his groggy morning voice. “Because you might miss class if we do that.”

“Ugh,” Isak sighed then tried to push Even off of him, Even whose arms had tightened around him.

Don’t fight it, Isak thought. He didn’t want to fight it. He loved this. He loved it so much. But for some reason, a voice deep down in his head insisted that this was temporary, that he shouldn’t be getting used to it, that he should somehow protect himself.

He stopped fighting it, however. He relaxed in Even’s arms. Of course he did. Because no matter how loud that voice was in his head, it still got muffled by the sound of the drumming in his heart.

“Morning,” Isak mumbled, suddenly feeling soft, so soft.

“Morning baby,” Even whispered before pecking him on the lips.

‘Baby’. A peck on the lips. A caress to the heart.

Isak curled against Even and hoped he couldn’t hear his heartbeat, hoped he couldn’t see how flushed his face was.

I’m a mess.

Isak didn’t know much, but he doubted any fuckbuddies in any universe were this soft in the morning.

“Wanna shower first or do you want me to go?” said Even.

“Hm? You don’t have class till the afternoon,” said Isak. “And it’s still very early.”

“I’ll drive you to your place so you can pick up a change of clothes,” said Even. “Unless you wanna wear mine.”

Isak snuggled closer, always closer, and closed his eyes once his head was buried in the crook of Even’s neck.

“I’m so sleepy,” he groaned. “I can’t think. It’s too early.”

Even laughed then wrapped his arms around him.

“You’re wearing my clothes then.”

“It was your plan all along. Admit it,” Isak mumbled.

“My plan was to get you to stay the night but this works, too,” said Even, his thumb resting under Isak’s chin before pulling him up for a kiss.

Isak almost mewled. He was melting. They did this every morning when they woke up in his apartment. But for some reason, being there, in Even’s bed, Even who had a headboard, and kissing in the morning like they used to was too much. His heart was bursting.

“You should brush your teeth,” said Even when their lips finally parted.

“Are you saying I have bad breath?” Isak frowned.

“No,” Even smiled, running his thumb between Isak’s brows, smoothing the crease there. “I’m just saying you should brush your teeth.”

.

When Isak made it to the bathroom, he found himself missing the feeling of Even’s thumb between his eyes because another frown had appeared there.

There was a new toothbrush on the sink and it was pink. Isak knew it was new because he had spent plenty of time in Even’s bathroom in the last few weeks and he knew which toothbrush belonged to whom. This was a new one. And it was pink.

Did Sonja leave her toothbrush? Did Elias or Mutta get a girlfriend? Whose toothbrush is this?

Isak stared at the toothbrush for a few seconds, his thoughts spiraling out of control in his head.

What if Even is seeing someone else? We’re not exclusively together. We’re not even together. I don’t even see him every day. Alright, maybe I do. But still.

Isak furiously yanked the toothbrush out of the holder and put some toothpaste on it. It’s mine now.

He brushed his teeth for four or five minutes, the frown never disappearing from his face. He was probably being ridiculous but he couldn’t help it. His insecurities never really left his mind.

“What’s taking you so long?” said Even, his head peeking from the side of the door.

“Nothing,” said Isak, spitting one last time into the sink and putting the toothbrush back where it belonged.

“Oh, I see you used your toothbrush,” Even smiled, stepping inside the bathroom.

“My toothbrush?”

“Yeah. whose toothbrush did you think it was?” said Even. “I got it a few days ago but you never stay the night.”

“Oh. Uh,” Isak stammered.

He was beyond flustered. He didn’t know how to react to such gestures. He didn’t know what to make of them. His face was probably flushed. He couldn’t even hide it now.

“Were you perhaps jealous?” Even grinned, crossing his arms and leaning on the wall.

“Shut up,” Isak groaned.

“You were. Weren’t you. Aww,” Even grabbed both of his cheeks and gently pinched the skin there.

“I’m not a baby, Even.”

“Yes, you are. My baby. Remember?”

“Ugh,” Isak pushed past him and made his way to the room, feeling Even follow close behind.

Some song was playing in the room and Isak was sure he had heard it before.

Now Playing: DNCE - Toothbrush

Stuck in a limbo
Half hypnotized
Each time i let you stay the night, stay the night
Up in the morning
Tangled in sheets
We play the moment on repeat, on repeat
.
When you’re standing there in your underwear
And my t-shirt from the night before
With your messed up hair
And your feet still bare
Would you mind closing the bedroom door

.

“You’re literally the worst!” Isak laughed into his own hands.

“What?” Even smiled, leaning on the doorframe.

“This damn song,” Isak scoffed. “If you sing it I will scream, I swear.”

Baby you don’t have to rush. You can leave a toothbrush at my place! At my place! We don’t need to keep it hush. You can leave a toothbrush at my place! At my plaaace!

“Oh my god! Shush!” Isak laughed, walking in Even’s direction and placing both hands on his mouth. “The boys will hear you.”

“Then let them hear,” Even spoke against his palm, his eyes locked on Isak’s, his stare so intense that it felt like it was drilling holes through his soul.

Isak kept his hands there until Even kissed his palm, making his heart jolt inside his chest and his knees nearly give out. I’m a mess.

“Do you like it at least?” said Even, running a hand through his messy and tousled hair once Isak left his personal space to get into his jeans.

“Do I like what?”

“The toothbrush,” said Even, now in Isak’s face once again after a few strides.

“It’s a toothbrush, Even,” Isak rolled his eyes, still shirtless but with pants at least.

“Yes, but it’s pink. Your favorite color.”

Even ran a hand through Isak’s hair, making his breath hitch for a second.

“That’s not my favorite color,” said Isak. “My favorite color is-”

“Blue,” said Even, both hands on Isak’s face now. “It’s blue. I know.”

Isak was suddenly reminded of the day Even asked him about his favorite color in David’s car. When Isak was tempted to say ‘the color of your eyes’ but said blue instead. When Even replied with green. When Isak drove them to the beach because he thought everything was going to be fine now. It was over three months later and they weren’t even close to who they once were.

I miss you. I miss us, Isak thought.

“What’s your favorite color?” said Isak, bringing one of his hands to Even’s where it lay on his face.

It was over three months later now, and Isak wanted to know if green was still Even’s favorite color. He needed to know if his heart was still even remotely his. He needed to know what ‘special fuckbuddies’ entailed. He needed to know.

But Isak could barely breathe with Even looking at him like that, hands stroking his cheeks. He could barely breathe.

“What’s your favorite color?” Isak repeated.

Even leaned in and kissed him on the mouth, hands still on his face, his lips soft and full and overwhelming, and Isak melted into it. He loved the kissing. He wanted all the kissing. Isak could never get enough.

“My favorite color is the color of your eyes,” said Even when he pulled back. “Most of the time, they look green. But sometimes they look gray and sometimes they look hazel. Whatever color is in your eyes is always my favorite color.”

Isak’s heart was melting and he was sure that his eyes didn’t deserve so much affection. But Even was Even and Isak melted all the same.

“That’s very cheesy,” Isak managed.

“I’m very cheesy.”

“That’s true,” Isak nodded.

“I’m going to kiss you again now,” said Even, hands on Isak’s still naked waist.

“Are you always going to announce it?”

“Yes, you’re not naked now. I have to.”

“I’m shirtless though,” said Isak.

“Yeah, we can fix that later. Let me look at your abs a little longer,” Even smiled.

“Ugh. Just kiss me already so I can go to class.”

.

Isak ended up wearing the sweater he wore the first time Even drove him to school. The pink one. Even put it on the bed and watched Isak with careful eyes. The gesture was both a question and a statement and Isak wasn’t sure what to make of it. He wasn’t sure what his answer should be. He could always ask for another sweater, but what was the point?

‘I would do it again. A thousand times over. A million times over. I would do it again.’

Isak thought about the little note Even had left him a few days before that. The little note they hadn’t talked about because it carried a solemn promise that Isak wasn’t sure he could afford to believe in.

The pink sweater was both a statement and question. I would do it again. I’m doing it again. Do you wanna do it all over again with me?

Isak put on the sweater and grabbed his books. And when Even brushed past him and pressed a kiss to his forehead, he let him, closed his eyes, and curled a hand around his forearm.

I want to do it all over again with you.

.

Even drove him to school and Isak sat on the passenger seat with an arm outside the window, feeling the bitter cold fill his lungs and bones but never his heart. His heart was too full, too warm.

And when Even grabbed his left hand and laced their fingers together, Isak let him and pressed his fingertips against his knuckles.

“Do you like it? Being in the car with me?” said Even.

We’re doing it again.

“I love it,” said Isak, turning his head to stare at his favorite color. “I love it so much.”

“We can do it anytime you want.”

Now Playing: Dodie - Intertwined

Skin
Heat
Hair in your mouth
Feet touching feet

Oh you
And I
Safe from the world
Though the world will try

Oh, I'm afraid of the things in my brain
But we can stay here
And laugh away the fear

.

Isak walked to class with a blush high up his cheeks. Even didn’t walk with him because he had to go meet Elias somewhere, but Isak could still feel his fingers pressing against his own. He could still feel his lips pressing against his own. They had spent ten minutes making out in the car when they finally got to school, with Even’s big and overwhelming hands cupping his face while Isak held on for dear life.

What are we? what are we doing?

Isak couldn’t stop smiling and he almost felt feverish. I’m a mess.

.

“You look happy,” said Jonas when he met him for lunch with David later in the day.

“I am,” Isak admitted, folding both arms on the table and resting his chin there.

“I’m happy you’re happy,” said Jonas.

“Thanks, man.”

“I mean it. I hope you know that I notice when you’re having a tough time and that you can talk to me whenever,” said Jonas. “I just don’t want to be a dick and pressure you and stuff.”

“I know,” said Isak. “Thank you.”

“Of course.”

Isak had three bites of his sandwich then pushed it away on the table.

“Not hungry?” Jonas raised one of his brows.

“He’s just in love, man,” said David.

“I’m not in love!” Isak scoffed.

“What? With who?” said Jonas.

“Which planet do you live in, bro?” said David. “The Evak ship has sailed again.”

“What?” Jonas furrowed his brows in confusion.

“I give up,” David sighed.

Isak couldn’t help but flush again. The ‘in love’ comment threw him off but the fact that Jonas seemed to be the person who knew the least about his life made him feel uneasy as well.

“You’re back with Even?” said Jonas.

“They’re just banging 24/7 right now. But I’m sure they’ll get married by the end of the month,” said David.

“David!” Isak groaned.

“What? You two are always kissing and staring at each other like the world is ending and writing poems about your undying love,” said David.

“What the hell are you talking about?”

“You left that note in the living room,” David shrugged.

“Ugh! I hate you!” Isak shrieked. “Stop looking at my shit!”

“Isak, it was right there on the couch. Magnus wanted to frame it and put it in his room but I figured you’d want to keep it.”

“Why are you two so weird?!” Isak stood up from his chair and started gathering his belongings, sparing Jonas a short glance.

He looked completely lost.

“Isak. You’re a total dick and living with you is a nightmare,” said David in a slightly dramatic tone. “But if I could go back in time, I wouldn’t change a thing. I would do it again, Isak!”

“Shut up! Oh my god!” Isak started walking away.

“A thousand times over! A million times over!” David shouted behind him.

“I’m moving out!”

“I would do it again, Isak!”

.

“That’s Even’s sweater,” Jakob greeted him the moment he walked into KB.

“Whatever,” Isak rolled his eyes.

“Are you back together?”

“When does your shift end?” said Isak, pushing past him to get behind the register.

“That’s very rude, Isak,” Jakob pouted.

“I’m gonna go chill with my bio book at one of the tables for like 15 minutes before my shift.”

“Want some coffee?”

“Not if you’re gonna make it,” said Isak.

“Ouch!”

“What? Your coffee is basically water.”

“That’s very insulting. All you ever do is insult me,” said Jakob.

“Yeah well. All you ever do is talk about Even. I’m more than that. I wish you would talk to me about other stuff, you know!”

“Oh,” Jakob frowned. “I’m sorry. I didn’t realize I was doing that. I know you’re more than your story with Even. Sorry.”

“It’s fine,” Isak bit harshly before brushing past him again to get to a table.

He had barely sat down when Elias walked into the coffee shop with a girl he had never seen before. Isak wasn’t sure why but he always got nervous around Elias. He didn’t know if he knew about his arrangement with Even and if he disapproved, not that it really mattered. He simply had no idea what Even had said about him.

“Isak!” Elias waved in his direction.

“Hey,” said Isak, closing his bio book and smiling at the girl hanging off Elias’ arm.

“Long time no see,” said Elias.

“Uh, yeah. Uh. Busy with school.”

I literally showered three times in your bathroom in the past 24 hours and I was moaning against the wall two out of those three times.

“How are you holding up?” said Elias. “Have you seen Even lately? I didn’t keep up with the drama.”

“Uh. Yeah. I see him, uh, sometimes,” said Isak.

“Really? That’s cool, man. It’s good that you two put that stuff behind you and that you’re cool even though he’s moving on,” said Elias, looking a little bit nervous, running his hand over his short hair.

Huh.

“What?”

“I don’t know, man. But I think Even’s seeing someone lately? I’m not sure though but yeah. I thought he would have told you,” said Elias.

“What makes you think he’s seeing someone?”

“I don’t know but he doesn’t always spend the night at home and he had someone over this morning. There’s also a new toothbrush in the bathroom,” said Elias. “Wait, why am I telling you this?”

He didn’t tell them about us, Isak thought dumbly. Even didn’t tell his closest friends while David and Magnus knew every single development in their relationship.

“Here’s your coffee,” said Jakob, appearing out of nowhere and placing a large cup of black coffee in front of him.

I said I didn’t want it.

“Jakob, my man! How are you?” said Elias.

“All good,” Jakob smiled. “How are you?”

“I’m good. You should stop by sometime. We miss you.”

“Will do,” said Jakob.

Isak was reeling while they had casual shatter. Great.

“Seven minutes until your shift,” said Jakob.

“Thanks.”

“By the way, Isak. Is that Even’s sweater?” Jakob added.

Huh.

It took Isak a while to figure out that Jakob was listening to his conversation with Elias. His table was close to the register after all. He probably didn’t mean to eavesdrop but he must have sensed Isak’s frustration.

That’s MY toothbrush! He’s seeing ME!

“You’re right,” said Elias. “It does look like Even’s sweater.”

“Uh.”

“Did you buy the same one?” said Elias.

Jakob’s attempt failed and Isak replied with a bitter ‘yes’ because he didn’t know what else to say.

He didn’t tell them about us.


Even <3

17:09

Can i stop by your place?

I forgot something

What is it?

I can bring it to you

No it’s fine

I don’t think you’ll be able to find it

?

Can i come over?

Of course

Wanna make out for an hour?

I only have 20 minutes

Meeting with Sigrid afterwards

Want me to tag along?

No it’s fine <3

Wanna make out for 20 minutes?*

On my way


They made out for eighteen minutes and Even caught him placing the little sticker on the toothbrush before sneaking out.

“What are you doing?” said Even, both arms crossed, leaning on the doorframe of the bathroom.

“What?” said Isak.

“Did you just put your name on the toothbrush?” Even laughed.

“I did,” said Isak.

“Why?”

“Because it’s mine.”

“Who said I didn’t lie to you and actually offer that toothbrush to anyone who spends the night?” said Even.

“You’re a dick!” Isak frowned.

“I’m joking! It’s yours. Of course it’s yours.”

“Whatever,” Isak rolled his eyes.

“So you put little stickers with your name on what’s yours now?” Even smiled. “Where did you even get glittery stickers?”

“Vilde gave them to me,” Isak shrugged. “Why?”

“You’re adorable,” Even got off the wall and cupped his face. “That’s why.”

“Stop it.”

“Did you put your name on your charger? The one Magnus keeps stealing? Because I think you should.”

“Not a bad idea,” said Isak, feeling himself relax with Even’s thumbs caressing his cheekbones.

“Right?” said Even before pecking him on the lips. “Wanna grind against Baz some more or do you have to go?”

“Ugh,” Isak rolled his eyes and smiled. “I have to go. I’ll text you if I get lonely.”


Even <3

17:42

You only came here to put a sticker on the toothbrush didn’t you?

Yes

So possessive

:p

The make-out session was a great plus though

10/10

Next time bring a sticker for me

K

K?

Ok

Wow so cold

<3


‘Next time bring a sticker for me.’

Does this mean you’re mine?

.

Isak shoved his phone in his pocket and headed to the little pizza place Sigrid had suggested with tightness in his chest. He wanted to meet her by himself. He wanted to talk to her without Even holding his hand and being a virtual crutch. Isak wanted to do it by himself.

Sigrid was sitting by the window and drinking from a can of coke with a straw. Her clothes were mostly black again and her hair was in a ponytail this time.

“Hi,” Isak greeted her awkwardly.

“Hi Isak,” she got up from her chair and gave him a tight hug that left him a bit flustered. “How are you?”

“I’m good and you?” said Isak, now sitting on the chair opposite hers.

“Good, good. The pizza here is shit though,” she said.

“You ordered already?”

“No, but I just know it’s terrible.”

“Why did you pick this place then?”

“Because everybody knows their food is not edible. So we don’t risk running into people from school here,” she said, bringing the straw back to her lips.

“Oh. Why wouldn’t you want people to see us together?” said Isak.

“Because everybody knows me and my story and I wouldn’t want people to start talking shit about you.”

She then leaned back in her chair and ran a hand through her long blonde hair.

“Oh.”

Isak ordered a can of Fanta and stared at his hands awkwardly. He didn’t really know why he texted her. He had kept her number safely tucked and decided to shoot her a message when he caught a glimpse of Erik in the cafeteria. But now that she was in front of him, he didn’t really know what to say.

“So what did you wanna talk about?” she asked.

“Uhm. I don’t know. But. I kind of decided to report him? But I don’t know how it works, you know. The police and stuff. But you probably don’t know either. So it’s a bit stupid. Sorry.”

“Oh, I reported him though,” said Sigrid, taking another sip.

“You did?”

“Yes. I did. I fucked up and did it all by myself. Very dumb of me,” she said.

“What do you mean?”

“You know. It’s embarrassing enough and you don’t wanna look weak, so you go by yourself to the police station because you’re strong and shit. Also because you don’t want your friends and family to know the details of your assault. So you go alone. And then the police start asking you questions and looking at you like you’re a fucking liar and a lunatic, so you start crying. And after that they bring you tissues and ask you more invasive questions. Questions you don’t have answers to because you don’t remember shit. And they somehow start cross-examining you, like if you don’t remember this how come you remember that? Are you sure this happened? How much do you trust your memories? Did you tell him to stop? Are you sure? How can you be sure if you don’t remember? Why didn’t you report it the night it happened? Did he spread your legs? Were you a virgin? How long did it last? And then you break because this shit breaks you. Because they make you doubt yourself, because they don’t treat you like a human being. And then you cry some more and you run out feeling empty and humiliated. And no charges get pressed because there isn’t enough evidence even if they did their little investigation or fuck knows what that means. And sexual assault laws in our country are not even consent based. So you can pretty much go fuck yourself. And then you lock yourself in your room for weeks and cry and hate yourself and hate the skin on your bones. And nobody understands because you didn’t tell anybody. And when you tell somebody, they look at you weird. And somehow a few weeks later, everybody knows what happened to you. Everybody knows that you falsely accused a poor boy of assaulting you and tried to ruin his life and his bright future because you’re a jealous bitch and you slept with him and he didn’t follow up with you later. They say you blew it out of proportion and that you're weak and whiney. And the police isn’t an option anymore, you know. So your life is kind of over and you start wearing black and you start hiding in pizza joints. And a blonde boy with stupid perfect hair and an angelic smile promises to help you put a case against the fucker who ruined you. And he puts you in contact with other girls this happened to and everything is good for a little while, but then he takes off and you’re back to having nothing.”

Isak probably started tearing up when she mentioned the police part. He wanted nothing more but to lower his eyes and look at his hands. But for some reason he couldn’t stop looking at her. He couldn’t stop staring at her. Everything she said, he pictured in his head. And it hurt. She had gone through so much and he could see himself going through similar pain. He knew that reporting something like this wasn’t going to be easy. He looked it up online and most of the articles he found addressed women and young girls. He couldn’t find a single thing that targeted young men. Still, he couldn’t stop reading because it was so unfair. He couldn’t believe just how unfair the entire system was. Who are we protecting?

“I’m sorry,” he mumbled, bringing his sleeve to his eyes to wipe the tear that threatened to spill.

“Not your fault,” she shrugged. “And trust me. I’m not trying to deter you from reporting it. Reporting is always better than not saying anything, although it just makes the scars even deeper. It counts in stats and stuff and maybe one day they’ll change the way they handle these crimes. I don’t know. But yeah.”

“I understand,” said Isak.

“But no matter what you do, don’t do it alone. You can’t do it alone. It’s too hard. And I know that you want to be strong and independent and stuff. But people need people. Relying on someone when shit gets tough doesn’t mean you’re weak. It just means you’re human.”

“I, uh. I kind of have someone.”

“You mean Even?” she smiled, both elbows on the table now.

Isak nodded.

“That’s awesome,” she smiled. “He’s such a lovely guy. I had the tiniest little crush on him for a while. And his hair. God! How does he do that with his hair?”

Isak laughed and Sigrid laughed, too.

“He’s handsome. Good for you,” she added.

“He is,” Isak smiled.

“But one person won’t be enough.”

“Hm?”

“You need to tell your closest friends. You need as many people on your side as possible. You don’t want them to find out through someone else or through some facebook post,” she said.

Isak thought about it and the only people who knew for sure were Even, Mahdi, and Chris. Eva, Noora, Vilde, and maybe Sana knew what happened but they didn’t know who was behind it. Magnus and David probably wouldn’t understand and Jonas was probably going to take it the hardest.

“I don’t know. I’m not sure they’ll understand,” said Isak. “Maybe they’ll think it was just sex, you know. I don’t want to risk having that as their reaction. I might never want to talk to them again.”

“If they don’t understand, then you’re better off,” said Sigrid.

“I don’t know,” Isak shrugged, finally opening his Fanta can and taking a sip without a straw.

“You should wipe it before drinking directly from the can,” she said.

“I feel too empty,” Isak blurted out, unable of holding it in anymore.

He felt empty. He really did. He had put it off for the longest time, thinking about coming forward as a black box. He didn’t know how he would do it but he was convinced it couldn’t take more than half a day. And now. Now he was realizing just how daunting it was going to be. He had to tell people. He didn’t know if he could.

“If you had to go to war and you could only take one person, who would it be?” she said. “And it can’t be Even.”

“Jonas,” said Isak. “I would take Jonas.”

Sigrid smiled and moved her chair next to Isak’s before grabbing his hand.

“Call him,” she said.

“It will kill him,” Isak mumbled, squeezing her fingers.

“I’m sure it’s killing him already. I’m sure he can tell things are happening.”  

Isak walked Sigrid back to her place, watching her as she tried to balance herself on the edge of the pavement like a child. For some reason, it filled his heart with ease. It filled his heart with peace. So a few blocks later, Isak grabbed her hand and felt the remaining tightness in his chest leave his body.

“I’ve never held hands with a girl before,” said Isak, blushing slightly.

“Are you hitting on me?” she asked, smiling.

“I’m as gay as they come,” he laughed. “But I don’t mind holding hands with pretty girls.”

“Smooth. I bet you make Even lose his shit all the time,” she laughed.

Isak winked and she laughed again throwing her head backwards, before lacing their fingers together.

“This is too intimate,” Isak chuckled.

“I don’t have anyone to hold my damn hand. Just do this one thing for me, will you?”

“I’ll be your hand holder. Anytime you want,” said Isak.

“Thank you,” said Sigrid. “I’m so jealous you have someone to hold your hand in public like this.”

But I don’t.

When they got to her apartment, they hugged for a full minute in the middle of the street, her on the pavement, Isak on the road. They hugged until she started crying and had to run inside, leaving him dumbfounded and teary-eyed, too.

Isak stayed there for a few more minutes, just looking at the street lights and at the different buildings around him, lights turning on and off. And he wondered. He wondered about these people in the comfort of their homes. He wondered.

Do they know? Do they know how much hurt there is in this world? Do they know how much pain some of us have to go through? Do they know?


Jonas

22:18

Hi!

Yo!!

Do you have some time tomorrow?

We’re grabbing lunch tomorrow as usual no?

Can we just hang out like just the two of us?

Uh yeah sure

What’s up?

I’ll tell you tomorrow

Meet me at 11 before lunch?

Biotech building?

Ok that works

Talk to you tomorrow


Isak couldn’t sleep. His heart was still beating uncontrollably fast in his chest and he was terrified. He wondered how he would feel the next day at that very same moment. He wondered how Jonas would react. He didn’t know what scared him the most, Jonas losing his shit or Jonas barely reacting at all.

Isak rolled around in bed until he could no longer bear the thoughts in his head. So he grabbed his phone and called Even.

“A phone call? From Isak Valtersen? Is this the real life? Or is this just fantasy?” Even laughed on the phone.

But Isak couldn’t laugh. He was tired and he was scared and he didn’t want to laugh.

“Isak?”

“I miss you,” Isak breathed into the phone, curling into himself on the bed. “I just wanted to hear your voice.”

“Is everything okay?” Isak could tell that Even was frowning from his tone. “How did it go with Sigrid?”

“It went well. I’m fine. I just miss you.”

“You saw me this morning,” Even chuckled.

“I still miss you. I’m always missing you.”

“Baby-”

“I have to go,” said Isak. “I’ll talk to you tomorrow, okay?”

“Want me to come over tonight?” said Even.

“No. It’s fine. I have to sleep.”

“Okay. Goodnight, baby.”

“Goodnight, Even.”

Baby.

It was ridiculous how one word could provide him with so much comfort and so much ease.

Isak slept.

.

“What did you want to talk about?” said Jonas, his skateboard sitting between them on the bench.

“How are your classes?” said Isak nervously.

“Oh, uh, they’re good why?”

“You had that big test last week and stuff,” said Isak.

“Yeah. It went well. I already told you.”

“Yeah,” Isak mumbled, rubbing his palms against each other. It was cold. Too cold.

“What did you want to talk about?” said Jonas. “Classes?”

“No. Uh. Something else. But I don’t know how to bring it up,” he admitted.

“Hm. Did you get involved in something?”

“Something like that,” Isak shifted in his seat.

Just tell him. Just spill it. Just tell him like you told Mahdi. You rehearsed this. Just do it!

“Remember that party when-” Isak started when Magnus came out of nowhere.

Ugh.

“What’s up boys!” said Magnus, visibly unbothered by Isak rolling his eyes.

“We’re having a serious talk,” said Jonas.

“Serious talk? About what? Can I join?” said Magnus.

“No, you can’t,” Isak sighed.

“Why not? Wait. Are you giving him the Evak updates?” Magnus grinned.

“Ugh.”

“What Evak updates?” said Jonas.

“Did you know that they bang 24/7 now? It’s insane! I wonder how Isak can even sit down at this point.”

“Oh my god! Fuck you!” Isak shrieked, leaving the bench to stand now.

“Though it sounds like you’re spicing things up now. You guys are versatile right?”

“What the fuck, Magnus? Just what the fuck is your problem?” Isak all but about shouted.

“My problem is that you two won’t let me sleep! You realize we have thin walls right?” said Magnus. “I feel like I know every development in your sexual relationship.”

“Mags, seriously,” Jonas brought his palm to his face.

“Anyways, is that what you were gonna tell Jonas?” said Magnus.

“Yes. That’s it,” said Isak, slightly annoyed but embarrassed all the same at the thought that Magnus heard everything he moaned in bed those last few weeks.

“Why are you blushing?”

“I am not blushing,” said Isak.

“Anyways. I’m proud of you for tying him down like that,” said Magnus.

“What?” Jonas raised his eyebrows.

“No, not like literally tied him down. But like Even used to be this sex god on campus you know. Everybody wanted to bang him. But he only wants to bang Isak. It’s cute,” said Magnus.

“Gosh!” Isak sighed.

“What?” Magnus shrugged. “I heard he was Olivia’s favorite.”

Olivia?!

“Olivia?” said Jonas. “ That Olivia?”

“Yeah, the one who rides dick like a pro!” said Magnus. “Even only slept with her once but she kept trying to get him again because he was that good apparently.”

He slept with fucking Olivia!!!?!

“Isak, are you okay?” said Magnus.

“I’m fine!”

“Isak, you got a text,” said Jonas.

Isak was furious even though he had no right to be furious. But olivia!? Isak had spent hours complaining about fucking Olivia to Even and he never thought of telling him?!

“Isak, are you sure you’re fine?” said Magnus.

“I’m fine!”

“Isak, who’s Baz?” said Jonas.

“What?”

“Even says that Baz misses you in his text.”

“Oh my god!”

“Did Even get a dog or something?” said Jonas.

“Something like that.”


Even <3

11:23

Baz misses you <3

Why are you like this

How are you bby?

I’m coming over

?? don’t you have class

My next class is at 2

What do you wanna do?

I wanna ride Baz

???? :O

:)

See? you’re calling it Baz all by yourself


Isak had read about it a few times. He was going to be a doctor after all. But he never actually thought he would get to see it. He never thought he would get to live it. He never thought he would get to cause it.

Isak had never heard Even scream in agony before and he never wanted to hear it ever again.

“Oh my god! Oh my god! What did I do?! Oh my god!” Isak’s eyes were probably going to pop out of his skull.

He quickly climbed off of Even’s lap and shifted to the side to assess the damage.

“Even, talk to me!”

But Even kept screaming in pain, covering his groin with the sheets.

“Let me see! Let me see,” Isak pleaded.

Even let him and Isak almost fainted right then and there at one in the afternoon in Even’s bed.

“It looks- It looks broken? Like bent? Oh my god! We have to take you to the hospital!”

“My dick is broken?!” Even yelped in the highest pitched voice Isak had ever heard him speak in.

“Oh my god! We have to go to the hospital as soon as possible to avoid permanent damage!”

“Permanent damage?!”

.

“It’s a penile fracture,” said the doctor in the emergency room.

“What the hell does it mean?” said Even, with a tear rolling down his cheek that Isak quickly wiped with his sleeves.

Even was wearing one of Mutta’s bath robes. He couldn’t even get into regular clothes.

“Penile fractures occur when an abnormal force is applied to the erect penis and it results in a cracking noise combined with intense pain,” said the doctor.

“Oh my god!” Even sighed. “I’m gonna die. I’m gonna fucking die.”

“We’ll take you to the operating room as soon as possible. Just wait here with your friend,” said the doctor.

Your friend. Isak was probably more as disheveled as Even. His cheeks pink, his hair a mess, wearing two different shoes, and feeling on the verge of tears.

“I’m so sorry, Even. I’m so fucking sorry,” he said, the moment the doctor was out of sight.

“I’m gonna throw up,” Even closed his eyes. “I’m gonna die!”

“No. It happens to young men sometimes. It’s just a tear in the tunica albuginea. It should be treatable with pain relievers, ice packs, and anti-inflammatory drugs.”

“Isak, baby. I can’t listen to your science stuff right now. I’m sorry.”

“I didn’t mean to break it. I’m so sorry! I’m such a jealous fucking idiot,” Isak sighed.

“What?”

“I heard you slept with Olivia and I wanted to show you a good time because I heard she’s really good with uh, you know, like riding. And I’m a fucking moron. Please forgive me!”

“Isak,” Even sighed. “Oh god. And I was wondering why you were trying to kill me.”

“I’m sorry.”

“Why don’t you ever talk to me about this stuff?!”

“I just-”

Isak got interrupted by another painful scream. Even was in so much pain. Isak couldn’t even bear thinking about how it felt. He was an idiot.

“I’m so sorry!”

.

“What’s up with you?” said Eva the moment he walked into his last class. “Sana said you missed class earlier today.”

“I was at the hospital,” said Isak, feeling completely drained.

“What? Are you okay?”

“I was with Even,” said Isak, putting his bag down and resting his head in his folded arms.

“What’s wrong with Even?”

“I broke him.”

“Huh?”

“I hate myself. I’m such an idiot,” Isak sighed.

“What?”

“If you say this to anyone I will actually kill you,” said Isak.

“What? Tell me. I won’t tell anyone.”

.

“You broke his penis?!” Eva yelped in the auditorium.

“Oh my god! Shut up!” Isak cringed at all the heads that turned around to look at them.

“I hate myself,” Isak sighed.

“Holy shit! It’s like that Grey’s Anatomy episode.”

“What?”

“When Lexie breaks Mark’s penis,” said Eva, both hands on her face, holding her laughter.

“Who are they?”

“Just this couple on the show.”

“Was he okay afterwards? Did he dump her?” said Isak.

“What? No? And yeah he was okay.”

“I can’t believe this shit,” Isak sighed.

“You’re so iconic. I can’t fucking believe you!” Eva laughed. “Just how hard did you go to break his dick?!”

“Shut up!” Isak opened his book.

“So you just left him in the hospital?”

“He was too embarrassed and he begged me to leave basically,” said Isak.

“Oh, no,” Eva sighed.

“What?”

“I just remembered that you two mostly have sex. What are you gonna do now?”

“What?”

.

Isak didn’t hear from Even for a couple of days, and it hurt. Because he truly thought they were more than that.

He called him one morning to ask if he should come over and Even replied that Baz was still down, that he would need a week or two to be operational again, hopefully.  

Isak laughed but it still stung. Because Isak didn’t want to have sex. Isak just wanted to see him and hold him. But what kind of fuckbuddies held each other and nursed one another?

I want more.

.

Isak quickly realized that ever since they had started seeing each other again, they had done nothing but roll around in bed, order pizza, make out in Even’s car, and in bathroom stalls. They barely talked. They never went for coffee. They never held hands. They never watched a movie. They never went out to eat. All they did was have sex and come up with dick jokes.


Even <3

20:23

I found a name for your penis

Even..

“Abnormal force”

Oh my god

Or perhaps it’s not for your dick since that’s not what broke baz

Even!!

I just remembered you love Narcos

What about Pablo?

Wtf

I named my dick after my favorite director

Who’s the person you look up to?

I don’t know

Stephen Hawking?

Isak he’s paralyzed

Oh my god

Why are you like this?!!

What other scientist makes you hard?

I can’t stand you!

Who’s the guy who came up with the parallel universes theory?

Idk Erwin Schrödinger?

Omg

Schrödicker!

ugh!

Shouldn’t you be focusing on getting better?!

Why? Miss me baby?

Yeah

Miss you too

Baz is doing his best to get better for you

We could do other stuff you know

It might hurt even if you’re the one doing the drilling

Oh my god Even!

I’m joking

I don’t want to fuck you

I just wanna talk to you

I can think of a TV show we could watch together

? which one?

Breaking Baz

Breaking Bad* oops

EVEN!

Want me to stop by KB tomorrow?

Can you walk?

I can now

But people can tell my dick isn’t working

I’m sorry bby :(

<3

It’s ok


Even showed up to his workplace and Isak did his best not to run towards him and wrap him in a tight hug. He looked so soft in his gray sweatshirt, loose pants, and messy hair. He was smiling but Isak could tell he was having trouble walking.

“Feeling better?” said Isak, on the other side of the register.

“I am now that I saw you,” Even smiled.

“Smooth,” said Jakob, holding out his hand to high five Even.

“What can I say?” Even winked.

“What can I get you?” said Isak.

“Surprise me,” said Even.

“Something sweet?”

“Something sweet.”

.

“You can go hang out with him for a bit. I got you,” said Jakob.

“Really?”

“Yeah. Go,” Jakob smiled.

“Thank you.”

“I’m trying to make it up to you for being a dick to you for so long.”

“You’re not that bad, Jakob,” Isak smiled, shoving him lightly on his way out.

“My heart is fluttering.”

“Shut up!”

.

“Hi,” said Isak, pushing the sweetest drink he had ever made into Even’s hands. “How are you?”

“I’m tired of putting ice on my junk,” said Even.

“I’m sorry.”

“I’m also tired of you saying sorry. It’s not your fault my dick got too hard,” Even smiled.

“Oh my god,” Isak shrieked. “There are kids here!”

“Oh sorry,” Even laughed. “How are you? I miss you.”

“I’m okay. I miss you, too.”

They sat there in silence for a few more minutes while Even sipped on his chocolatey drink and Isak watched him with both elbows on the table, chin propped on his hands.

I want more. Isak thought.

He wanted more. The fact that he couldn’t spend time with Even because he couldn’t perform in bed was beyond hurtful but he couldn’t even say it.

“What are you thinking about?” said Even.

“You.”

“I’m right here,” Even smiled.

“Still.”

Even was about to say something when Magnus walked in looking furious.

Gosh no!

“Isak!”

“What,” Isak sighed, knowing exactly what this was about.

“You broke my charger!” said Magnus.

“No I didn’t.”

“Yes, you did,” said Magnus. “Look!”

He pulled out a charger from his bag and it was indeed all torn. It was all his doing.

“And don’t say it wasn’t you. I found it in your room,” said Magnus.

“Okay, first of all. This is my charger, not yours. Look it even has a sticker on it that says ‘Isak’.”

Isak couldn’t help but steal a glance in Even’s direction. He was smiling. Isak smiled, too.

“It doesn’t mean it’s yours! You can take mine and put a sticker on it,” said Magnus.

“I’m telling you. It’s mine. It’s undeniably mine. I can break it if I want to!”

“I can’t believe this,” Magnus sighed.

“Listen, I’ll just buy you a charger,” said Isak, grabbing Even’s drink and taking a sip as it it were his.

“But then you’ll just use it and break it later,” said Magnus.

“I’ll do my best to stop breaking stuff. I promise,” Isak smiled.

“Ugh. I’m gonna go talk to Jakob. He gets me,” said Magnus.

“Bye.”

Isak was still drinking Even’s coffee when his hand came up to his face, his thumb lingering over the corner of his mouth.

“You have cream all over your face,” Even laughed, making Isak smile and melt inside.

“Thank you,” he mumbled after Even was done wiping the cream off his face.

“Undeniably yours,” said Even, chuckling.

“Hm?”

“Your charger. My dick. My heart. Do you always break what's undeniably yours?”

.

Even left right after that and Isak went back to work feeling both flustered and confused. Undeniably yours.

Out of context, that comment could have been considered passive aggressive. Even had forgiven him for breaking his heart. So why would he bring it up again?

But in his heart, Isak was melting because it somehow implied that Even’s heart was still his. Maybe. Hopefully. Isak didn’t know.

“Oy! That’s too much milk,” said Jakob

“My bad.”

“Get it together, Valtersen.”

“Sorry.”


Nei Isak

21:34

Vilde: I heard someone broke Even’s penis

Magnus: wait what

Chris: ?????

Eva: lol

Noora: where do you hear stuff like that

David: ISAK KJFDKJJ

Jonas: broke his penis? What?

Vilde: Someone was at the hospital and saw him getting treated for a ‘penile fracture’

Chris: lol maybe he broke it himself

Vilde: they said someone was with him

Chris: who??

Vilde: they didn’t say

Vilde: it’s in the gossip groupchat

Vilde: but it was over a week ago

Chris: that’s his karma for dumping Isak

David: ?? he did not dump Isak

David: Isak you kinky fucker

You have left this conversation


I want more. I want everyone to know that I broke Baz. I want everyone to know that you’re mine. Are you mine?

.

Isak was at one of Olivia’s parties and he hated her even more now. He hated her because not only did she know what Even looked like when he was experiencing pleasure, but she also drove him insane to the point of breaking Even’s most prized possession: Baz.

And now they hadn’t seen each other in days. Isak couldn’t bear it anymore.

I need to talk to you. I need to touch you. I need to kiss you. I need to hold you.

.

“Are you okay?” said Even, leaning against the wall next to him at the party.

“I drank a bit,” said Isak, bringing both his thumb and his index finger to his right eye to show just how little. “Just a bit.”

“You can barely stand.”

“That’s not true,” said Isak. “I can stand. I’m standing.”

“Want me to keep you company?”

What kind of fucking question, you dick!

“No. I’m fine. Just go. I have to find Jonas,” said Isak.

“No offense but I don’t want to leave your side.”

They weren’t touching. They hadn’t touched since that day at KB when Even wiped the cream off his lips.

“Look! It’s Eva!” Isak shouted the moment he saw her. “Eva! Come here.”

Eva obliged and Isak watched Even press a kiss to her cheek, his teeth grinding. I want a kiss on the cheek, too.

They chatted for a little bit until Even said he was going to go grab a drink and asked if they wanted one.

“I think I’ve had enough,” said Isak, both hands folded behind his back, feeling a little bit sleepy.

“Okay.”

Even left and Isak let out a breath he had no idea he was holding, his head falling against his chest. He was burning up. He was tired of holding all of it in.

“What’s up with you?” said Eva, now leaning against the wall next to him.

Isak sighed then let his head slowly fall on her shoulder.

“I love him,” said Isak. “I love him so much. And it’s making me do stupid things.”

“Oh Isak.”

“I love him and I’m going crazy because I want more.”

“You should tell him,” said Eva. “Perhaps, he feels the same way.”

Isak nuzzled closer against her neck and grabbed her hand.

“What are you doing?” said Eva.

“Holding your hand,” said Isak. “You’re the second girl I held hands with.”

“You’re drunk,” Eva laughed.

“I’m just tired of wanting things and not being able to ask for them.”

“Just talk to him,” said Eva. “Seriously.”

“What if he doesn’t want what I want? What if he doesn’t want more?”

“Well then at least you’ll know.”

.

Isak smiled when he spotted Vegard in the crowd. He had nicknamed him ‘poor Vegard’ in his head because he never even gave him a chance, but he was still so polite and civil about everything.

“Isak,” Vegard greeted him, stopping in front of him.

Isak was sitting on a chest of drawers, his legs hanging like a child. Anyone could easily fit between his thighs, but he closed them when Vegard approached him.

“Vegard!” Isak smiled then threw an arm over his shoulder to greet him.

“How are you?”

“I’m good. A bit tipsy. But good.”

“It’s good to see you,” said Vegard. “Although I did mope a bit when you stopped texting me.”

“I’m sorry. I just had stuff going on,” said Isak.

“Hm,” Vegard raised an eyebrow. “Is that stuff still going on?”

“Yes,” Isak chuckled. “I don’t think that stuff is ever gonna go away.”

“No?”

“I don’t want it to,” Isak admitted.

Vegard smiled and put a hand on Isak’s knee.

“Well, if you ever change your mind, I intend on keeping my number,” he said.

Isak gave him a polite smile and gently moved his hand from his knee.

“Oh.”

“The stuff going on is in this party, too. I don’t want to be a dick to you or him,” said Isak.

“Oh, I get it.”

“Yeah,” Isak smiled.

He enjoyed Vegard’s company. Perhaps in another universe he gave him a chance. Maybe. Probably not.

.

“Here,” said Even, handing Isak some water. “Drink this.”

He was still sitting on the chest of drawers, his legs still swinging.

“I’m not tipsy anymore. I had plenty of water,” said Isak, yet accepting the glass.

“Was that Vegard?” said Even.

“Yes,” said Isak. “How do you know him?”

“David and Magnus talked about him when you locked me in your room that morning cause you didn’t want them to see me.”

“Oh. I hung out with him a bit when you and I weren’t talking,” said Isak.

“Do you like him?” said Even.

“No. Why?”

“Because I’m a jealous asshole sometimes.”

“You’re jealous?” Isak smiled.

“I’m a bit tipsy,” said Even, placing both hands on Isak’s knees.

“Yeah?”

Even nodded then let his head fall on Isak’s chest gently. Isak couldn’t see but he knew that he closed his eyes. And when he parted his legs to make some room for Even, he all but latched onto him, wrapping both arms around Isak’s back.

My baby.

“I miss you,” Even mumbled. “Miss you so much.”

“I miss you, too,” said Isak, now stroking Even’s hair with one hand and his back with the other.

They stayed there, in each other’s arms in a packed party where nobody cared about them because they were all drunk and high, until Olivia popped out of nowhere and handed Isak a joint.

“What’s this?”

“A peace offering,” she smiled.

Bitch.

“Thanks,” said Isak while Even didn’t even budge, his arms still tightly wrapped around Isak, still between his thighs.

“Baby,” Isak mumbled, both hands cupping Even’s face.

“Hm?”

“Wanna smoke with me?”

“I’m fucked up,” said Even, nuzzling closer, always closer.

“I’ll take care of you.”

“Okay.”  

Isak watched Even take the longest drags, his long fingers looking like a dream in the dimly lit room, his cheeks hollowing, his eyes crinkling. Isak couldn’t help it. He reached out and started stroking Even’s face while he smoked, running his fingers over the smooth skin then getting lost in the hair behind his ears. Isak couldn’t help it.

Even offered him the joint but Isak’s hands were busy so he opened his mouth and tilted his head upwards instead.

“Wanna shotgun?” said Even.

Isak nodded, his eyes droopy, his senses tingling, his skin prickling.

Even took a long drag then leaned in as if he were going to kiss him, making Isak forget that this wasn’t what they were doing.

Isak buried his fingers in Even’s hair and opened his mouth, inhaling all the smoke he was handing him in one sharp breath. It hurt. But it hurt so good. Isak kept his eyes closed and only exhaled when he felt Even’s fingers on his waist.

“Again,” Isak mumbled, pulling Even closer between his legs, forgetting about injured Baz and how they were supposedly in public.

“Okay,” said Even.

They did it a few more times. Their lips slightly touching every time. Their hearts slightly grazing every time. Isak’s arms permanently thrown around Even’s neck and Even’s having found a home underneath Isak’s shirt.

“Again,” Isak asked.

The joint was almost over, and Isak was probably high as it wasn’t his first joint of the night. He arched his back and waited for Even to exhale in his mouth, keeping eye contact this time. Even who was taking his time.

Isak watched his cheeks hollow, his mouth watering in anticipation. Even was breathtaking. Everything he did was beautiful. And Isak’s heart ached. It ached for him. I want more.

So when Even exhaled in his mouth, Isak slid his hands back to his face and pressed their lips together with the utmost care.

Weed. And your touch. And your lips. And my heart in your hands.

Even kissed him the same way he did the night he first showed up to his apartment. Desperate and hot and heavy. Nothing but fire in his heart and his chest and his bones. Nothing but fire.

There were people around them but Isak didn’t care because Even didn’t care. He pulled him closer between his legs and let him set fire all throughout his being. I want more.

Isak pulled his hair and moaned when Even bit his lower lip. He pressed him further up against the wall and Isak’s entire world was spinning. I want more.

They somehow went from kissing to hugging again, and Isak knew it in his heart that Even wanted more, too. For he buried his head in Isak’s neck and held him like he wanted to break him.

“I want more,” Isak mumbled.

“More what?”

“More you. More us.”

“More how?” said Even, his head leaving Isak’s neck, his stare probing visual caress.

“More of this,” Isak pecked him on the lips.

“What else?” said Even. “What else do you miss?”

“Holding hands,” said Isak, brushing hair off Even’s forehead. “I miss holding your hand the most.”

“Like this?” said Even, lacing their fingers together in Isak’s free hand.

Isak nodded before pressing a soft kiss to Even’s cheek, watching him squirm.

“Isak-”

Isak wasn’t sure what he was doing but they had finished a joint and the air was thick and hot around them. So he slid his hand to Even’s crotch while maintaining eye contact.

“Does it still hurt?” he asked.

“I’m better,” Even breathed.

“Is it mine?”

“What?”

“You said it was mine and that I broke it,” said Isak.

“It’s yours,” said Even.

“What about this?” said Isak, sliding his hand back up to rest it on Even’s chest, right above his heart.

Even didn’t answer, but he kissed him instead. And while it broke his heart a bit, Isak gladly wrapped his arms around his neck again and kissed him back.

They kissed until Mutta showed up and announced that it was time for them to go because Elias had blacked out.

“We’ll talk later,” said Even. “I promise.”

“I want more,” said Isak, holding onto his forearm. “I want to watch movies and go to restaurants and walk down the street with you. I want us to go on dates and to walk in the damn park. I want to do cheesy shit like in those American shows. I want more. And it’s okay if you don’t. I would just like to know.”

.

Isak walked away before Even could give him an answer. He wasn’t sure he had the heart to listen to his answer. So he roamed the house until he spotted Jonas smoking outside by himself in the cold.

“What are you doing by yourself?” said Isak, taking a seat beside him in Olivia’s garden.

“Thinking. Smoking,” said Jonas.

“Thinking about what?”

“Life. Friendship. Love. stuff,” Jonas shrugged.

“Love?” Isak laughed. “Are you in love?”

“I don’t think I ever stopped being in love.”

“Hm? Is it Eva?” said Isak.

Jonas nodded then took another drag.

“What’s going on between you two? Last time I checked you were-”

“Sleeping together. Taking it chill,” said Jonas.

“So you’re fuckbuddies?”

“Something like that,” said Jonas.

“And now you want more.”

Jonas nodded.

“You love her,” said Isak.

“I do.”

Isak laughed then walked to the grass to lie on his back.

“It’s cold,” said Jonas.

“It feels good,” said Isak. “Join me.”

“I’m wearing a white shirt.”

“Who cares?”

“You’re right.”

Jonas lay down beside him until their shoulders were touching then passed the joint to Isak.

“I’m sorry I wasn’t paying attention,” said Isak. “I can be very self-absorbed sometimes.”

“It’s all good,” said Jonas. “I haven’t been the best of best friends either.”

“What are you talking about?”

“I feel like I’m the last one to find out about anything in your life lately,” Jonas laughed. “And I’m not gonna lie. When Even introduced me as your best friend to that girl Lynn, I almost cried.”

“You’re my best friend,” said Isak, handing Jonas the joint back.

“Then why does it feel like we haven’t talked in years?”

“Probably because we haven’t.”

They stayed on the grass for a while. Just smoking and laughing about the most stupid things.

And Isak laughed until he could no longer laugh. Until the tightness in his chest came back to haunt him. Tell him.

“I missed you,” said Jonas. “We should go get Kebab sometime.”

“Jonas?”

“Hm?”

“Remember that party when you asked me if I slept with Erik?” said Isak, feeling poison go down his throat at the string of words he had just uttered.

“Yes.”

“Remember when I said no?” said Isak, inhaling more than he could bear probably.

“Yes,” Jonas replied carefully.

“I lied to you,” said Isak.

Silence.

“Okay,” said Jonas after a few agonizing moments. “That’s okay. We’ve all slept with shitty people and regretted it afterwards. It’s okay.”

Isak took another drag before speaking again.

“I didn’t want it,” he said.

“You didn’t want it,” Jonas repeated.

“I was blacked out,” said Isak, fixing his stare on one of the stars in the sky because he couldn’t bear looking at Jonas.

“You were blacked out.”

“I begged him to stop but he didn’t,” said Isak.

“You begged him-”

Jonas stopped and it sounded like he was choking up, but Isak couldn’t afford to stop now that he had started.

“He took those pictures of me and posted them on Jodel. He harassed me for months. He hurt me a lot.”

“Isak.”

“I’m fine now. Even helped me a lot. And the girls, too. Mahdi knows as well,” said Isak, wondering how he wasn’t crying when his chest was imploding.  

When Isak finally turned around to look at Jonas -- despite his fear of being met with disgust or pity -- his heart broke all over again. Jonas was crying. Isak had never seen Jonas cry.

“Jonas,” Isak sat up on the grass.

“It was that night, right?” Jonas mumbled.

“What?”

“The night you kissed me.”

Hurt me more. Why don’t you.

“Yes,” said Isak.

“Fuck!” Jonas brought both hands to his face and sat up.

“It’s not your fault,” said Isak, bringing one hand to Jonas’ shoulder.

“I knew it. When those pictures came out, you were wearing the shirt from that night. And I knew something fucked up happened. I knew it but I couldn’t ask you! And I didn’t go after you when you left my house and I just! Fuck. I’m so fucking sorry!”

“Don’t be. It’s not your fault,” said Isak. “What was meant to happen in this universe happened. It’s not your fault and it’s not mine either.”

“I’m going to fucking kill him. I’m going to murder him!” Jonas suddenly stood up, breaking his heart all over again.

“Hey,” Isak left the grass as well, placing both hands on Jonas’ shoulder. Jonas who was much shorter than him now. “You’re not going to kill him and you’re not going to murder him. I don’t want to have to visit you in jail.”

“But-”

“It messed me up for the longest time but I’m alright now. I don’t have nightmares anymore. I don’t sleep with assholes anymore. I don’t think I’m worth nothing anymore. I made peace with it,” said Isak. “I’m okay. I just wanted to tell you because I’m going to report him and I didn’t want you to find out through someone else.”

“I can’t believe you went through so much shit, Isak. I don’t know what to say except that I’m sorry for being such a shitty friend.”

“I was the shitty friend. I kept pushing you away whenever you tried to talk to me. It’s not on you,” said Isak.

“I don’t know what to say,” Jonas looked down on the grass. “I wish I hadn’t pushed you away that night. I wish I had kept you in my room.”

“Sometimes I wish for the same thing, but I’m glad you never loved me like that. I might have lost my best friend otherwise,” Isak smiled.

“You will never lose me, Isak,” said Jonas.

“I know.”

Jonas hugged him and they spent a few minutes just holding each other and crying like idiots, Isak thinking back to a time where he would have died for such an embrace.

“And I might not love you like that, but I love you,” said Jonas. “I hope you know that I love you.”

“I love you, too.”

.

Isak slept like a baby that night. He felt as though a huge weight got lifted off his chest. Telling Jonas was probably the biggest hurdle for him. It was probably what scared him the most because he couldn’t bear the thought of losing him. He simply couldn’t.

So Isak slept and didn’t even think about the fact that Even hadn’t answered him when he asked him if his heart was still his. He didn’t even think about it.

He made himself eggs when he woke up and made coffee for David and Magnus.

“What’s this?” said David.

“Coffee. To apologize for being the worst roommate ever.”

“You’re not the worst roommate ever. I like you better than Magnus,” said David.

“Now that’s just rude,” said Magnus.

“You know, I don’t even remember how we met,” said Isak.

“Perhaps we met in another one of those universes of yours,” said David. “And I followed you here.”

“You know him through me, Isak,” said Magnus. “I met him at a party the summer before we started uni.”

“Weird. I feel like I’ve always known you,” said Isak.

“Sometimes I feel like I was born to be the president of the Evak fanclub,” said David.

“Back off, that’s my job!” said Magnus.

And so they laughed. It felt good. The sun was shining even though winter was around the corner.

Life was good.


Even <3

13:48

What time do you get off work today?

17:00

why?


Even didn’t answer and Isak stopped waiting for a reply after ten minutes. The ball was in Even’s court. They might have been high as a kite but Isak had made his wishes very clear. He wanted more and all Even had to do was either meet him halfway or let him go. No hard feelings.

Isak couldn’t afford to act like a reckless teenager with a crush anymore. He couldn’t afford to have jealousy and envy live in the confines of his heart anymore. He couldn’t afford to have poison and insecurity seep through his bones anymore. He couldn’t live with the feeling of fearful apprehension and foreboding anymore.

He needed stability. He needed answers. He couldn’t bear living with the knowledge that everything might crumble the very next minute, with the what-ifs and the maybes. Isak wanted answers. Isak wanted things. He wanted more. He wanted to go on dates. He wanted to do it all over again, but properly this time. Rolling around in bed filled his heart with ease, but it was moments where they just sat silently bumping knees and stealing glances that felt cathartic.

And Isak loved Even. Gosh, he loved him. With every fiber in his being, he loved him. He would die for that stupid boy. He would do anything for that stupid boy. But he no longer wanted him to be an affliction. He no longer wanted him to be both poison and medicine. He no longer wanted to run like an idiot placing stickers on things to be able to sleep at night. He no longer wanted to undress him and sink onto him without enough prep just to prove that he was better than fucking Olivia. Isak had barely spared a thought to his own self-inflicted pain that day because all his concern went to Even and Baz.

Losing sight of himself was so easy when Even was around. It was the easiest thing because Isak probably loved him more than he loved himself. And it scared him sometimes. When he woke up in the middle of the night and couldn’t feel Even’s arms around him. It scared him. Because he didn’t always love himself. Because he mostly loved the version of himself he was when he was with Even. Therefore, he wanted more. More for them, more for Even, and more for himself.

I want to love myself like I love you. I want to love myself all the time, not just when I’m with you.

.

Isak was serving his last customer when Even texted him that he was waiting outside.

He took his time. He took off his apron and said something nice to Jakob because they were friends now. He went to the changing room and put on the baby blue sweatshirt he bought the previous week. He loved it.

But then he realized that he probably loved that sweatshirt too much to have his heart break while wearing it. He was probably never going to wear it again. He considered asking Jakob for a sweater but then felt ridiculous.

What’s another heartbreak at this point.

Isak knew that Even wanted more, too. But he wasn’t sure he was willing to take a leap of faith. He wasn’t sure. He hadn’t even told his roommates about them. He hadn’t told anyone. And Isak didn’t want to live with that anxiety anymore.

He waved goodbye to Jakob, put on his hood, and shoved both hands in his pockets.

.

Even was waiting outside, wearing a pastel green hoodie and dark jeans, both hands in his pockets, throwing some rocks around.

Isak could only see his back but his heart was still beating fast in his chest. Even was probably going to break him, but Isak couldn’t help the smile on his face. Simply seeing him filled his heart with so much nonsensical joy.

He didn’t know how to announce himself. He didn’t know how to to let him know that he was there. Turn around. Look at me. Break me.

.

Even turned around as if he read his mind. Again. Always reading his mind. Always feeling his presence. Isak could probably get intoxicated off of him and him alone.

Isak smiled and his heart smiled and his soul smiled and the skies smiled. The flickering light at the end of the road stopped flickering and the voices inside his head stopped chanting, muffled by the sound of his heart, beating, beating, beating.

“Hi,” said Even, smiling. “You’re 4 minutes late.”

“You’re 4 minutes early,” said Isak, his eyes never leaving the spot on Even’s chest.

“What are you staring at?” Even smiled again.

“Where did you get it?” said Isak.

“I asked Vilde,” said Even.

A sticker. A stupid glittery sticker with Isak’s name on it. Placed right above Even’s heart. On his green hoodie.

Isak’s heart was about to explode.

“It says Isak,” he observed dumbly.

“It does.”

“Why?”

“Because it’s yours,” Even smiled, extending one of his hands to Isak. "I forgot to answer your question the other night."

Gosh.

“What are you doing?” said Isak, his face probably flushed, his heart probably out in the open.

Even looked at him with a fond expression and Isak never knew what to do with those. He never knew how to react to this much affection. So he waited, and waited, and waited. With his heart in his throat and his heart squeezed between his hands, staring at Even's green sweatshirt and then back at his blue one. Our favorite colors.

“Wanna go on a date with me?” said Even.

“Huh,”

“I got us tickets to a lame movie and a coupon for a dinner for two,” said Even, smiling.

“I, uh-”

Even moved his extended hand again. He was waiting.

“Wanna go out with me, Isak Valtersen?”

Isak smiled like an idiot, probably, resorting to biting his upper lip to stop himself from giggling. He couldn’t believe him.

Isak walked sheepishly until they were close enough, then grabbed his inviting hand.

“Is that a yes?” said Even, tilting his head and grinning.

“Yes,” Isak nodded shyly.

“You’re very shy for someone who literally broke my dick a few weeks ago,” said Even.

Isak shoved him gently before Even grabbed his hand again and laced their fingers together, making his heart jolt.

Isak wondered if Even felt even an ounce of what he felt sometimes.

“Where’s your car?” he asked.

“I thought we could walk,” said Even, brushing his thumb against Isak’s knuckles.

“We can walk.”

“And hold hands,” said Even.

“And hold hands,” Isak repeated.

Even smiled and Isak smiled, too. His heart about to burst. His heart about to implode.

“We do everything in reverse,” said Isak.

“We do. Don’t we?”

“I can’t believe I had to break your dick for you to take me out.”

“I know right?” Even laughed before pressing him against a wall nearby, making his breath hitch.

Even and Isak. Isak and Even. Under the flickering light that no longer flickered.

“Are you going to kiss me?” said Isak.

“Only if you want me to.”

They kissed. They kissed under the flickering light that no longer flickered, and against another wall a few blocks after that, and in front of the movie theater, and then inside the movie theater. They kissed in the restaurant, and they kissed when they got dessert, and when they ran into fucking Olivia. They kissed on the tram and they kissed on the bus. They kissed. And they kissed. And they kissed.

“We took special fuckbuddies to a whole new level,” said Even, laughing against Isak’s hair, still on the bus.

“Yeah, we can be fuckbuddies who go on dates and hold hands and kiss everywhere and don’t fuck at all,” said Isak.

“We can do that,” said Even. “We can do anything you want.”

“Anything I want.”

.

I just wanna be undeniably yours again.

Chapter Text

December had never been Isak’s favorite month of the year. It was probably his least favorite month actually. December rhymed with cold, snow, finals, old wounds, and ‘please don’t leave me’s. December rhymed with Christmas, religious nonsense, empty apartments, and echoes of voided promises.

The one time December had seemed to be good to him also ended in his heart shattering into countless little pieces that he still wasn’t sure he was finished assembling. That cold December evening when he broke his and Even’s hearts all the same right after Christmas. That cruel December evening when everything changed and was never the same again.

Isak wasn’t a fan of December. And slowly, his deepest insecurities crawled into the confines of his heart, finding home there. Around the edges and the corners, safely tucked, right there, in his heart, keeping him warm and scared and anxious. His insecurities. His deepest fears. Never leaving him.

.

Isak drowned himself in books and busied himself with finals. Ignoring the little voices in his head that screamed at him every once in a while, “a year ago, you ruined everything a year ago.”

He spent countless hours in the library, brows furrowed in concentration, hair pointing in all directions, stomach grumbling because he couldn’t be bothered to feed himself, heart shrinking inside his chest because he hated everything. He hated the bitter cold. He hated how the trees looked exactly like the day Even left him in that car, the day his father left him in that driveway. He hated how the sky was gray and sad just like his heart was for the remainder of that December and every December before that. Isak hated it. He hated all of it. But most of all, he hated himself because he couldn’t let go.

And Even could feel it. Isak knew that Even felt it. Even knew him way too well. A curse. A blessing. Whatever.

They went out for lunch now. They went out for dinner, too. They held hands in the cold, and Even walked him home and pecked him on the lips when Isak dared to look him in the eyes. They were taking their time. They weren’t rolling around in bed. They weren’t breathing the air in each other’s lungs. They were taking it slow.

Even came up sometimes to the apartment when Isak was in a good mood and hung out with David, Magnus, and Vilde. They were taking it slow. They weren’t locking themselves in Isak’s room and having sex until the sun rose. Even was still injured and they were taking it slow anyways.

Isak watched him crack jokes in the kitchen and thought about a year ago when Even would say those same jokes to him, but only him. Only him because they breathed the air in each other’s lungs and spent all of their time intertwined, together, alone, in a bubble. A year ago, when Isak didn’t have a home, and didn’t have a bed, and didn’t have anyone. A year ago, when Even fed him, and sheltered him, and clothed him, and held him, and healed him, and fucked him, and nursed him, and loved him like he had never been loved. Goddammit, he loved him so much. A year ago, when Even was his whole world right before it crashed and burned. A year ago, when Isak lived the perfect illusion right there on Even’s lap, in his arms, under his skin. A year ago.

“Are you okay?” Even whispered, snapping him back to reality, both hands on Isak’s face, eyes soft and worried.

Shit.

“You look like shit, man. Everything good?” David added.

Isak’s eyes were wide and his breathing was uneven.

“Are you having a panic attack?” Vilde asked. “You’re sweating.”

But then he felt the ring on his skin. Even’s ring on his skin, brushing against his cheek. The ring he had gifted him a year ago. The Beyonce ring. Isak felt it and his breathing evened out again, his chest rose and fell normally again. They both had tan lines around their fingers from wearing their rings. And although Isak’s were more pronounced than Even’s, it still warmed his heart.

If Even could let go of all the pain they had both gone through a year ago, surely, Isak could, too.

“Isak?”

“I’m fine,” Isak’s hands came up to rest on Even’s, the static noise in his head suddenly clearing out. “I’m okay. I just spaced out a bit. Just stress.”

“Want me to stay tonight?”

.

Even stayed the night and Isak allowed himself to latch onto him, to curl into him, to breathe him in, to crawl under his skin. Isak’s heart was swollen and there was fire in its chambers. And Even was right there to quench it.

Even kissed him slow and Isak whimpered because his thoughts were eating him alive.

December. Isak couldn’t control his thoughts in December. Isak couldn’t control his heart in December.

“I hate December,” Isak admitted.

“I hate December, too,” said Even.

.

Even stayed another day until Isak’s mind no longer made him want to peel off the skin off his own bones. Until he could look Even in the eyes again. Until he could eat something again. Until he could smile at Magnus’ lame jokes again.

His breakdown only lasted a few days but it left him exhausted and listless.

“Thank you,” he mumbled, linking his pinky with Even’s in the kitchen.

The kitchen. Neutral territory.

“You’re welcome,” Even smiled.

They kissed on the couch until David came in and started gushing over them, making Isak blush and roll his eyes and Even bark out that golden laugh that made him feel things he had no idea he was capable of feeling.

Everything was alright again. Finals went well. Isak could finally breathe. He was on a break and Christmas was around the corner. December was almost over.


Nei Isak

22:28

Chris: any xmas plans kids?

Magnus: going to my parents

Eva: same

Jonas: ditto

David: i'm staying with issy

Magnus: jelly you’ll get to hang out with Even :(

Chris: wait! What’s the status with Isak and Even?

David: they’re back together

no we’re not!

Magnus: -_______-

David: they’re “dating”

Chris: ?

David: like in the american movies

Chris: the fuck?

ugh. We’re just not officially together or anything

Magnus: isak you’re basically married

Magnus: minus the sex

Magnus: cause you broke his dick

omg!!!! just shut up!

David: no offense but this looks pretty official to me

David: right there on my couch two hours ago

A FILTER REALLY?

DAVID: to bring out the pink

Chris: <33333333333

Eva: omgg <33333333333 the pink sweater jkdkjdfkj

Vilde: you should post it on instagram :’)

Jonas: <3

Chris: it’s true you haven’t updated your instagram in literally 2 years?

DAVID YOU PROMISED YOU WOULD KEEP IT TO YOURSELF

David: you promised you would stop bullshitting me but here we are


Isak hadn’t updated his instagram since Erik posted those pictures of him. He wasn’t even sure why he still had an account. And the first time Isak got a call from Erik after everything that happened, his blood ran cold in his veins. He felt as though someone had shoved their hand in his chest and squeezed his heart.

He wasn’t scared. It just felt like a slap to the face.

“What do you want?” Isak bit harshly on the phone, his teeth grinding.

“I heard things,” said Erik.

“Cool. I’m gonna hang up now.”

“Apparently, you’ve been walking around with that psycho.”

“Fuck you!” Isak nearly barked.

He wasn’t going to tolerate any Even slander. He wasn’t going to bite his tongue anymore.

“I didn’t mean Even,” Erik laughed. “Although you do seem to surround yourself with crazies. Even, Sigrid...”

Pause.

“Your mom.”

Isak couldn’t breathe. He wasn’t even sure he could see.

“I did my homework, Isak. Your mom is crazy, too, right? Is that why daddy left?” Another bitter laugh.

“What the fuck do you want?” Isak bit through tears.

“For you to back off.”

.

Isak couldn’t sleep that night. He called Sigrid but she didn’t pick up. He thought about calling Even but he remembered his most recent ‘December’ themed freakout. Even couldn’t hold his hand whenever things went south. It wasn’t fair to him. Even needed to breathe, too.

Isak knocked on Jonas’ door at one in the morning and poured his heart out to him, watching his jaw clench and unclench with careful eyes. I don’t mean to upset you.

But Jonas was wise, and Jonas was kind. If anyone was going to be calm and rational about the whole situation, it was going to be Jonas.

“He’s scared,” said Jonas. “He feels threatened by you.”

“Hm?”

“I looked him up, you know. At least seven girls have filed complaints against the guy. He doesn’t give a shit,” said Jonas. “But for some reason, you scare him. He’s just trying to intimidate you so that you don’t speak up.”

.

Jonas was right and Erik called him again.

Isak was prepared this time around. His fingers didn’t shake as he held the phone this time around.

“What’s another complaint to you? Is it your little girlfriend?” said Isak, smirking to himself at his desk.

“Listen here, Valtersen. I’m not fucking around with you-”

“What is it about me that makes you so damn scared?”

Isak was so confident. He forgot about how December wasn’t over, about how December was never over until his heart was properly bleeding. Isak forgot about that when he asked that question, when he picked up Erik’s call when he could have just ignored it. Isak forgot about that.

“Because I don’t want my parents finding out I fucked some fag!” said Erik.

The word burned in Isak’s mind and Isak’s heart and Isak’s bones. It burned.

“Does your daddy know you’re a faggot? Was that why he left you?”

.

Isak locked himself in his room for a whole day. Then another one. December always left him empty. December always broke him in his core. December always, always, always left him with absolutely nothing.

Even texted and called and Isak asked for time. Just time. And time, he gave him.

He picked up the phone on the third day and called Sigrid. Because perhaps she knew how he felt. Because perhaps Erik had called her, too. Perhaps she needed someone. Perhaps they could be each other’s someone.

Sigrid picked up in tears and Isak felt as though someone had cracked his heart open.

“What’s wrong?!” he asked.

“I’m so tired,” she cried.

“Where are you?”

“Why?”

“I’m so tired, too,” said Isak.

“I don’t know what to do,” Sigrid sobbed, her cries feeling like razor blades in Isak’s ears.

“Where are you?” Isak’s eyes felt as though they were about to pop out of his skull. “Just tell me where you are.”

“Trondheim.”

.

“Trondheim?” Even’s smile suddenly fell off his face.

He was leaning against Isak’s doorframe while he packed, looking tall, and gorgeous, and concerned. Very concerned.

“Yes, Trondheim,” said Isak, shoving whatever he could find in his backpack. “Sigrid isn’t doing well and I said I would come get her.”

“Isak, it’s like seven hours away,” said Even.

“I know that,” said Isak. “Erik harassed her because of me and she just jumped on the first train and she’s not answering my calls anymore.”

“Erik bothered Sigrid?!”

“Yes,” said Isak, pausing to look at his pink toothbrush with his glitter sticker.

“What’s your plan?”

“I have no plan.”

.

Even joined him because he was Even. And Isak barely batted an eye when he found him waiting for him in front of his building at seven in the morning.

“I have a train ticket,” said Isak. “We’re not taking your car.”

“I got a train ticket, too,” said Even. “We’re walking to the station. I can’t drive for seven hours.”

Sigrid called him right before they boarded. She was at her grandma’s house. She was fine. She just freaked out and hung up. Isak didn’t need to come get her. She would be back soon.

Isak looked at Even and repeated her words to him.

“We don’t have to go,” said Isak, finally breathing again, his eyes probably begging, begging, begging.

“But we could.”

.

It took Even four minutes to switch seats with the woman who was sitting next to Isak on the train.

“Well, that was easy,” said Isak, one elbow on the window.

“Yeah. She was nice. A lovely woman,” Even smiled, taking off his jacket and folding it before sitting down.

“What did you tell her?” said Isak.

“That I wanted to sit next to my boyfriend,” Even smiled.

Isak’s heart was still beating fast from the whole Sigrid episode, but for a moment it felt as though it picked up. Boyfriend.

It felt like the glitter sticker all over again. Boyfriend.

“She believed me. How sweet,” Even added, ripping the sticker off his heart right then and there.

Asshole.

.

“I brought my iPad,” said Even. “What do you wanna watch?”

“We can just sleep,” Isak shrugged.

“Oh come on! Look at all these films I downloaded.”

Even put on Moana and Isak had to physically stop himself from squealing. Half the time, he couldn’t believe this boy.

It didn’t take long for two small heads to pop out of nowhere and start clapping and singing along, much to Even’s delight.

Kids, Isak sighed.

Isak hated kids. Isak couldn’t stand kids. Whose kids are these?

But Even was smiling. Even was beaming. Even was making faces and being ridiculous and adorable, and Isak was fond, so fond. He couldn’t handle the swelling in his heart. He couldn’t handle the fact that Even knew all the words to the songs in Moana. He couldn’t handle the fact that he had been stuck in a cycle of self-loathing and shame and anxiety for days, and that watching Even sing Disney songs with two kids on a train was making this December okay again.

Isak leaned against the window and breathed and smiled. And when the little girl climbed into the space between Even and him while the little boy crawled on his lap, Isak didn’t roll his eyes and complain about kids in his head. No. Not even once.

“Which movie should we watch next?” Even smiled at all of them, looking like the damn sun.

“Moana! Moana!” the kids chanted.

They watched Moana three times in a row, and Isak only rolled his eyes twice, his heart bursting for six hours straight.

.

The thing about traveling to some city with no plan was that as soon as one arrived, one immediately wanted to head back.

Isak had no plan. He didn’t know where they would spend the night. He didn’t know what they were doing. He didn’t know a damn thing. And Even. Well, Even was humming some song from the Moana soundtrack and Isak couldn’t even be mad.

“I’m sorry I dragged you all the way here,” said Isak, his chest deflating. “I don’t know what I’m doing. I’ve been doing the weirdest shit lately.”

“I know,” Even smiled, throwing an arm around Isak’s shoulder and leading the way.

“Do you know which way we’re going?”

“I lived here for a year. Remember?” said Even.

Isak quickly realized that Even was too attuned to him, that he knew Isak was lashing out and being impulsive because he was hurting, that he knew Isak had absolutely no plan and was going to strand himself by taking that train alone, that he knew Isak simply wanted to get away by going anywhere, really, anywhere.

.

Even had some family in Trondheim. Isak could breathe again. They didn’t have to get a hotel.

He only realized just how rash his entire decision to jump on the first train to Trondheim really was when he re-read his text messages with Sigrid. They weren’t that bad. He couldn’t even remember booking the train ticket.

December.

“I’m sorry,” he mumbled when Even asked if he was okay. “I’m acting like a fucking child.”

“It’s okay,” Even replied with a soft smile. “It’s December.”

“It’s December.”

.

Even’s grandma was a delight, and she nearly crushed Isak when she wrapped him in a tight hug. She smelled like home -- at least what Isak imagined homes smelled like --, cookies, and everything good in the world.

Isak almost wanted to ask for another hug, and he only refrained because she hugged him again before he asked.

“What a beautiful boy,” she repeated over and over again, making Isak blush and squirm.

He was so happy that he didn’t even mind Even introducing him as his friend.

Friend. That word had never sounded so bitter. But Isak only frowned for a few seconds because his senses were suddenly overwhelmed.

The food. Gosh, the food. It was amazing and Isak couldn’t recall the last time he had soup, freaking soup.

“My whole life I thought I hated soup,” said Isak, his chest and his tummy feeling warmer than they had in ages.

“I’ll feed you soup every day from now on,” said Even, smiling at him across the table and making him blush.

Behave yourself.

“That kind of friends, huh?” said his grandma, causing Isak to nearly choke on nothing but air.

“Grandma!” Even laughed.

“I have a TV, Even,” she laughed right back. “I have an iPad, too. I know boys like boys sometimes. I have the Youtube.”

Isak put his spoon down for he couldn’t handle the little scene unfolding in front of his very eyes.

Even’s kindness. Isak could see where he got it from.

.

“I love her,” said Isak later that night, sprawled on Even’s chest while he played with his hair.

“She loves you, too.”

Even told him about how she never really liked Sonja, and Isak felt irrationally proud and giddy. She likes me better.

“That was an interesting way to come out to my grandma though. I guess,” Even laughed, making Isak’s head shake on his chest.

“Yeah,” Isak mumbled. “I guess.”

‘Does daddy know you’re a faggot. Was that why he left you?’

“My dad lives here,” said Isak, his words heavy as they rolled out of his tongue.

“In Trondheim?”

“Yeah. He moved here after he left me and my mom,” said Isak.

His words. Heavy and bitter, cutting him.

“Have you seen him since?” said Even, his fingers sinking deeper in Isak’s hair, massaging his scalp, his touch soothing, so soothing.

“No,” Isak mumbled. “He called and stuff but I never picked up. Bla bla teenager bullshit.”

“Do you want to see him while we’re here?”

“I don’t know,” said Isak, tucking himself even deeper into Even’s side. “It’s December.”

“Was that when he left?”

Isak nodded then closed his eyes, letting Even play with his hair some more. His touch soothing, soothing, soothing. His lips occasionally landing on his forehead, his temple, his hair. Soothing, soothing, soothing.

His walls were completely down, and Isak didn’t think he had ever had a conversation about his family situation with anyone before. Ever. Not even Jonas. He felt almost naked. Too vulnerable. Too exposed. But safe. Always safe.

“Do you want to text him?” said Even.

Isak nodded again, feeling sleep gently take over his body. One of his favorite feelings in the world, probably. When his thoughts dissipated in his head, finally allowing his body to breathe.

“Tomorrow,” Isak mumbled, curling a hand around Even’s wrist as if he was about to disappear.

“Tomorrow.”

.

Isak was nervous. He hadn’t thought this one through. He hadn’t seen his father in almost four years. This was going to be a disaster he wasn’t nearly ready for. Even offered to go with him, but Isak needed to do this alone. He needed to stand tall. He needed to show his father that he still made it, even without him. Even though he left him and broke him, Isak still made it.

His father seemed too excited, too happy on the phone. Isak couldn’t help but squint his eyes, but hold onto his heart. This couldn’t be the same man who left him wide-eyed, choking back tears in a driveway in December while he begged and begged and begged. This couldn’t be the same man. Why was he so happy that Isak called? It didn’t make sense.

He texted him his address and Isak took his time navigating there. He got lost multiple times. Sometimes, on purpose. His heart was too heavy in his chest. He wasn’t ready. It was December.

The house looked lovely from the outside. Too lovely for a divorced man’s house. Isak’s heart was bleeding already. It’s December.

House of

Terje og Natassia Valtersen

Luka og Odin

.

Isak’s heart broke every December. It was the only constant in his life. If there was one thing Isak knew was that December was never good to him.

He walked back, feeling completely shattered while the cold air filled his nostrils and his lungs and his heart and his bones. He couldn’t even knock. He couldn’t even budge. He read the doorplate a few times before taking a step back and absorbing the rest of his surroundings.

Lovely house.

It had a small garden and there were toys in the backyard. Baby toys and pet toys.

His father got a family. A brand new one. With a baby and a pet.

A baby and a pet . Isak laughed, a sob stuck in his throat.

.

Isak walked into a McDonald’s and cried in a bathroom stall for thirty minutes. Maybe more. His heart was too worn out. He could have held it in but Even was going to see right through him. So he cried. He cried and he cried and he cried until he remembered it was December. And December was almost over. He got some french fries to go and hoped they would still taste good by the time he got back to Even’s grandma’s house.

On his way back, he wondered which one was his brother. Luka or Odin. Probably Luka since he came first on the doorplate. Or perhaps he had two brothers? Were they his brothers? Perhaps his dad wasn’t the biological father?

Isak stopped at a convenience store and bought cigarettes. He didn’t smoke, but today he felt like smoking.

He took a few drags and it stung. His throat burned and his lungs burned. And somehow deep down, he convinced himself that he deserved it. The burn.

‘Does daddy know you’re a faggot?’

Isak laughed again. A bitter laugh that turned into a cough. I bet Luka will like them girls.

.

“You smell like cigarettes,” Even frowned.

“I had a few,” Isak shrugged, throwing the cold McDonald’s bag on the bed.

“You don’t smoke.”

“I do. I just did,” said Isak, sitting on the bed and sighing.

Even sat next to him, keeping some distance between them. Doesn’t feel right.

“How did it go?” said Even.

“Great. Wonderful,” Isak smiled, not looking into his eyes because Even could easily crack him open with one glance. “I got us some McDonalds but I got a bit lost and it’s cold now.”

“Isak-”

“I don’t want to talk about it,” said Isak, trying to sound mean and serious, but sounding broken instead.

Even moved closer and Isak whimpered, his body betraying him. His body always betraying him. Nearly melting into Even when he embraced him.

“What do you need?” Even whispered in the crook of his neck.

You. To hold me. To make me feel like I matter. Like someone out there gives a fuck about me. Like I’m not disposable. Like I’m not replaceable. Like I’m not forgettable. Like I matter and like I’m here. Like I’m not a waste of space. Like I’m someone’s priority. Like I’m someone’s number one in this universe. That’s what I need.

Isak brought his hands to Even’s face and kissed him instead. Tasting the cigarettes on his tongue after licking into his mouth, insisting, desperate, eager.

Isak remembered those times when he would just fuck the pain away, like some cliche, like some terrible Top 40 song. He remembered those times and he suddenly felt bad for putting Even in such a situation. Even who knew that he was hurting but who would never push him away too abruptly.

Can December end already?

“I’m sorry,” Isak mumbled, letting his hands fall on his lap. “I’m sorry. Forgive me. I’m sorry.”

“It’s okay,” said Even, running a hand across his face. “It’s alright.”

They hugged again in bed until Isak’s walls went down, until he was no longer prickly and ready to pounce, until his heartbeat matched Even’s. Then he told him.

“I didn’t see him,” he admitted. “I ran away.”

“Why?”

“Because he has a new family.”

.

They met Sigrid the next day and she didn’t look as good as she claimed she was. Isak knew Erik called her and he could only imagine how she felt. However, he didn’t wish to push her because he didn’t feel too good himself either.

“It’s almost Christmas!” she clasped her hands together, smiling big and wide, and not fooling either of them. “Did you guys get gifts for each other already?”

Gifts.

Isak hadn’t really thought about it. He wasn’t sure they were doing gifts in the first place. What are we? Are we even together?

He was still lost in thought when Even replied.

“Already wrapped my gifts,” he declared proudly.

“Gifts!” Sigrid gasped. “Plural! How wonderful!”

Isak watched him for any sign of sarcasm but Even looked genuine. He was smiling. He was wonderful. So wonderful. Gosh, Isak wished he wasn’t so twisted inside and could just shower him with all the love he felt for him. He really did.

“What about you Isak?”

“I haven’t wrapped it yet,” he said.

Not exactly a lie. He didn’t have a gift yet, so he hadn’t wrapped it yet.

Even blew him a kiss and Isak pretended to catch it with his hand, making him gasp. They all laughed and Isak promised himself he would get Sigrid a gift, too.

Even went to get them coffee and Sigrid let her head fall on Isak’s shoulder on the bench. He mentally thanked Even for giving them some space. Even. My sweet, sweet Even.

“How are you?” said Isak.

“Fucked,” Sigrid sighed, grabbing Isak’s hand and clasping it with hers.

“I’m sorry I got you into so much shit.”

“You didn’t get me into anything,” said Sigrid, her blonde hair almost floating in both their faces with the wind.

They stayed there for a little while, hands clasped together, with Sigrid’s head on his shoulder. It was cold but his palms were still sweaty.

“Thank you for coming after me,” she said. “No one ever came after me.”

“You’re my friend,” said Isak. “I’ll always come after you.”

“Sweet talker, you are,” Sigrid laughed.

“You better get me a nice Christmas gift,” he grinned.

“I’ve been saving up for a while. I doubt your gift is as great as mine.”

“Haven’t you heard that I’m the master of gifts?” Isak scoffed.

"Could you hook me up with an orgasm? I've never had one of those," said Sigrid with a completely serious expression.

"What the-"

"It's a joke! Relax! I know you're gay. Gayer than gay! I probably am, too. I don't even know," she sighed.

"You just completely threw me off my game right now," Isak burst into laughter. 

“Honestly, I would probably be happy if you just update your instagram or something.”

They laughed and talked until breathing was alright again, until it didn’t feel foreign anymore. Sigrid started humming the melody of some song Isak had probably heard before while he watched her with a smile on his face. She made him smile. Even with all the scars and bruises and wounds and sad eyes, Sigrid made him smile.

“My dad lives here.”

.

Isak felt awkward standing between Even and Sigrid in front of his father’s lovely house. He didn’t feel as nervous as the previous time though. At least he knew now. At least he knew.

“What’s the gameplan?” Sigrid asked.

“What do you mean?” said Isak.

“Are we all friends? How are you introducing us?”

“I don’t know! What do you-”

The door opened before Isak could come up with a gameplan, and he was so nervous that he grabbed Sigrid’s hand first. He thought he could hear Even’s disappointment, but it was probably in his head.

Sigrid was his suddenly his girlfriend and Even was tagging along. Isak couldn’t hate himself more than he already did.

“Isak!” his father exclaimed, and Isak had never hated the sound of his own name that much before.

He got older. He looked older. He had more wrinkles and he had gained some weight. But he smiled more now. It was almost comical. What are you smiling about.

His wife, lovely Natassia, was just as revolting. Isak felt himself wither inside when she hugged him. She was nervous and she was fidgeting. She was much younger than his mother and she was wearing a yellow dress and makeup. Her hair was done, too, and she was wearing heels. Who wore heels in the comfort of their own home? What kind of travesty?

She got ready for this, Isak thought. Meet the reject. The remains of my previous life.

Isak hated her. He hated her with all his heart. He felt sick.

And Luka.

Isak thought he was baby, but he looked almost three. His hair was blonde and he was cute as a button and Isak wanted to poke his own eyes out.

“How old is he?” Sigrid asked, bending over to pat Luka’s head.

“He just turned three,” said Terje.

Isak did the math in his head. His dad got this woman pregnant a few months after deserting them. Wonderful.

“And you’re?” Natassia asked Even.

“I’m Even,” he replied with a polite smile. “I’m Isak’s friend.”

“Oh wonderful! Amazing! How about some tea?”

.

Isak let go of Sigrid’s hand and grabbed Even’s when Odin made his way to the living room. Odin was a dog. He was Luka’s dog and he looked exactly like Lea.

Isak couldn’t stand being there anymore. Even the fucking dog. Are you fucking kidding me?

He remembered the day he couldn’t find Lea anymore, that cold day in December when Lea simply left home and never came back, breaking his heart and breaking his spirit. Isak had looked for her until the cold seeped through his veins, until his father had to physically carry him back home. He was still young back then. His dad never wanted him to get a dog in the first place but his mom had agreed because she wasn’t in her right mind, probably.

Lea wandered off after a month or so, vanishing without a trace. Not even the dog wanted him.

Isak was only eight but he never got over losing his dog. And when he finally dared to ask for another one, he got met by the coldest stares.

Being jealous of a three year old was probably a new low for him. But Luka had it all. A lovely home, and a lovely mom who wasn’t crazy, and a lovely dog who didn’t leave him.

Isak squeezed Even’s fingers and didn’t realize he had blown his cover until Natassia’s eyes widened. Even tried to play it down but Isak laced their fingers instead.

“Oh,” Natassia gasped while Sigrid pretended to look at her phone.

Terje didn’t gasp. His face never morphed into something hideous either. He just watched Isak and waited. He waited and waited, but nothing made it past Isak’s mouth.

“Sorry,” Even chuckled nervously, finally breaking the silence and offering his other hand to Terje again. “I should probably reintroduce myself. I’m Even. Your son’s boyfriend.”

“Nice to meet you, Even,” said Terje, offering him what resembled an honest smile.

Isak wasn’t sure what made his heart beat faster.

.

“So how did you two meet?” said Natassia, still fumbling with her hands, still being overly irritating.

Someone dared me to fuck him. And I did. Then we fell in love. Then I blew it and I hurt him so bad. Then he came back and he hurt me. And now we’re trying to fix it.

“Saw him on a hospital bench one day and I had to make him mine,” said Even with a smile, squeezing Isak’s fingers and making his head immediately shoot up.

Huh.

“Hospital?” Natassia frowned.

“Yeah. I’m bipolar and I was hospitalized for a little while after I got diagnosed,” said Even. “I wouldn’t be here today if Isak hadn’t told me that I wasn’t alone. Quite literally.”

Isak was lost. Out of all the stories Even could come up with, why would he pick one with hospitals and pain, and benches, and-

No way.

“Oh. I see. And how long have you been together?” said Natassia.

“A little over a year now,” Even smiled.

.

Isak felt empty as they were leaving the house. He felt even more empty when Luka held onto his leg and repeated his name over and over again.

“I think he likes you,” said Terje.

Isak didn’t want to be rude but the last thing he wanted to do was play coy and smile again. He didn’t feel like smiling anymore. He didn’t feel like being polite anymore. He was exhausted and this was way more information than he could process.

So he watched Even crouch in front of Luka to pick him up, and he thanked the skies for his mind-reading capabilities. Even always knew what to do. Always.

Isak realized that he had more than a dad in common with Luka. He was absolutely smitten with Even, too.

Same.

.

Isak walked between Sigrid and Even again, holding both of their hands, feeling a little bit silly but smiling regardless.

The wind was cold and harsh against his skin, but it still felt alright. He felt a little bit empty but it was alright. Because he had two hands to hold.

“Your brother is cute,” said Sigrid. “Your stepmom freaked me out though.”

“Don’t call her that,” Isak shrieked.

“Sorry,” she laughed.

They walked aimlessly until their legs got sore, Sigrid talking about the patterns in Natassia’s dress, and Even drawing patterns on the back of Isak’s hand with his thumb. Soothing, soothing, soothing.

“How are you feeling?” said Even.

“Replaced,” said Isak. “Like a piece of shit.”

“You weren’t replaced.”

“I was though. But it’s okay,” Isak shrugged. “I don’t care.”

.

They ended up in some Karaoke bar, and Sigrid wasted no time getting drunk and hopping on one of the tables.

Isak would have normally minded causing a scene but he couldn’t care less tonight. He simply couldn’t care less.

He was on his third drink when he started noticing Even’s face falling, falling, ever so slowly. Isak had been so wrapped up in his own thoughts and his own inner struggles that he didn’t pay enough attention to Even and his mood. Even might have been attuned to Isak, but isak was attuned to him, too. Isak could read him, too.

“Hey,” he whispered, one hand on the small of Even’s back. “Everything okay?”

“Yeah. Why?” Even smiled.

How long are we going to keep faking our smiles?

“Are you jealous because of Sigrid?” Isak smiled.

“Yeah. Sharing you with her is starting to get to me,” Even laughed, resting both hands on Isak’s hips.

Isak smiled then wrapped his arms around Even’s neck, pulling him closer until their foreheads touched, until their noses bumped.

“Kiss me,” he whispered.

Even kissed him while Sigrid delivered an amazing rendition of Eye of the Tiger with two other girls Isak had never seen before.

They kissed slowly, softly, tenderly. ‘Hey baby, i know you’re hurting, here’s a soft kiss’ kind of kissing. Isak curled into Even and breathed him in and they held each other long after their lips broke apart, simply rocking in each other’s arms.

Isak didn’t know what they were doing or what they were or how things were going to be when they got back to Oslo. But right now they were together and it was all that mattered.

.

Even’s face fell again, this time while he was singing The Jackson 5’s “I’ll Be There” at Karaoke. Isak followed his eyes until they led him to some guy across the room. A guy who looked apologetic and shaken, too.

For a moment, Isak felt like he was intruding. There was history there.

Who is he?

Isak’s insecurities came raging to the surface and jealousy was burning in his bones. Who is he?

Even had lived an entire year in Trondheim. This could be anyone. An ex? Maybe?

Isak suddenly remembered. Like an idiot, he suddenly remembered.

Gosh. I’m such a fucking idiot.

Isak quickly made his way to the stage and wrapped an arm around Even’s waist, ushering Sigrid to join him as well. He felt his heart swell when Even finally leaned against his touch, when Even wrapped an arm around his shoulders and smiled right back, when Even offered to share the microphone with him.

Isak hated karaoke and he hated singing in front of people. But this was Even. Even who followed him to Trondheim and held him and introduced him to his grandma and promised to make him soup for the rest of his life. Even who visibly carried scars from his stay in this city and who hadn’t visited his grandmother in years probably because he couldn’t stand the idea of setting foot there, and who still followed Isak there. Even who told the entire universe that they were boyfriends but to him.

It was Even.

And Isak would do anything for Even.

.

“Was it the guy who hurt you in high school? With the dare stuff?” Isak asked later that night with Even tucked into his side this time, both arms around his chest, sprawled on what he learned was his bed during his stay in Trondheim.

Even nodded and buried his face in the crook of Isak’s neck.

My baby.

Isak pressed a kiss to his forehead and wrapped both arms around his shoulders, pulling him closer, always closer.

“I will never hurt you again,” said Isak. “I promise.”

“And I will never leave you again,” said Even. “I promise.”

Why are we so hurt? Why are we so broken?

.

Even didn’t keep his promise. And as soon as they got back to Oslo, he slipped out of Isak’s life like a one night stand running for the hills.

But Isak saw it coming. He saw it in his eyes. That glassy look. The chapped lips. The exhausted sighs. The hunched shoulders. Isak saw it coming because Even could barely leave bed the morning they had to head back, and he slept the entire seven hours on the train, right there on Isak’s shoulder. No Moana, no kids, no humming. Even slept so heavily that Isak couldn’t help but worry for a little while. He eventually pulled out a blanket Even’s grandmother had given him and covered Even with it, even covering his eyes with the hood of his sweatshirt.

Isak saw it coming because Even wasn’t talking to him and wasn’t looking at him and went directly to bed when Isak dropped him off with Mutta and Elias.

He had barely walked two blocks before he circled back and slipped in his bed again.

You hold me. I hold you.

.

Even left for his mother’s house the next day and Isak knew it was coming. Even was depressed and Isak had never seen him depressed, but he was prepared for it. He was prepared for the pushback. He was prepared.

It was still December and Isak hated December. But Even hated it, too. So he could suck it up. For Even, he could suck it up. He wasn’t doing that much better himself, but the knowledge that Even drove himself into a depressive episode just so that he could be there for Isak, was enough to get him out of his slump.

Luka and Odin and Natassia and Terje and Marianne and Erik and Chris could wait. The world could wait. Because Even needed him right now. And he might not be that helpful but he wanted to be there. He wanted to be there for him.

Not because it was a competition but because it was what they did. Isak and Even. Even and Isak. They took care of each other because no one else was going to.

So Isak wrapped his Christmas gift and put a stupid glitter sticker with Even’s name on it over his heart, and asked David to drop him off at Even’s mother’s house.

He didn’t even feel embarrassed sitting there in the car with a sticker on his chest. He didn’t care. Let the whole world know that I’m a fool for you. I don’t care.

“Are you official now, or?” said David.

“I don’t even know what that means anymore,” said Isak, leaning against the window and listening to Christmas songs on the radio. “It really doesn’t matter.”

“Do I sense an Instagram update?” David grinned, eyes widening.

“Oh shut up,” Isak laughed.

.

Even was curled around himself in the dark in yet another bed and Isak’s heart broke at the sight. It just broke. When will December end?

He put his gift on the nightstand, removed his shoes and his socks, and climbed under the covers next to Even, waiting for him to open his eyes.

It took some time but Isak didn’t mind. He watched him wander in and out of sleep with nothing but wonder in his eyes. How can something so beautiful be in so much pain? His pain, Isak wished he could take on instead.

Is this how you feel about me, too?

Even groaned when his eyes finally opened and Isak was nowhere near ready for the utter sadness that roamed their shallow.

“Hi,” Isak whispered, one hand brushing against Even’s cheek as gently as he possibly could, lying on his side.

“What time is it?” said Even.

“Hm?”

“What time is it?” Even repeated.

“21:21,” said Isak.

“Really?”

“Really.”

“What are you doing here?” said Even, something like shame coloring his expression.

“Lying next to you,” said Isak, moving closer on the bed, still on his side.

“You shouldn’t be here,” said Even, momentarily closing his eyes, as if tears were about to fall, as if he couldn’t bear seeing anymore.

Isak moved his hand from Even’s face to grab his fingers, letting their fingertips touch, just their fingertips. Electric.

“Why not?” said Isak, now pressing their palms together, skin against skin, soothing, soothing, soothing.

“Because it’s Christmas,” said Even.

Isak then laced their fingers together the same way Even had done so many times before, slow, intimate, personal, and overwhelming. We fit. You and I, we just fit.

“What about Christmas?” said Isak, now placing both their laced hands on the empty space between them on the bed.

“You spend Christmas with family,” said Even.

Family. Not fuckbuddy, slash favorite ex, slash only ex because you’ve never had an actual boyfriend before him, slash 'who the fuck knows at this point'. Family.

Isak took a deep breath then moved closer. Whatever it takes.

“I am,” he whispered.

“Hm?”

“Spending it with family. Right here. Right now. With you.”

.

They slept.

They could unwrap their gifts tomorrow. They could face the world tomorrow. They could get through the rest of this December tomorrow.

Tomorrow.

Chapter Text

Christmas Day

When Isak woke up on Christmas day, Even was still sleeping, right there beside him, looking pale and small and angel-like.

Isak felt tired and his heart was still weary but he counted his blessings nonetheless. He pulled the covers off of himself and wrapped them tightly around Even’s back, tucking the ends under his chin, then pulling him closer into his chest.

For the longest time, Isak thought he loved nothing more than being held by Even. But he was wrong. He probably loved holding Even more. For Even curled into him, molded into him, latched onto him, until they felt like one, until they stopped being Isak and Even and just became IsakAndEven.

For the longest time, Isak thought he loved nothing more than being loved by Even. But he was wrong. He loved loving Even more. Loving Even made him stronger. Loving Even made him kinder. Loving Even made him more human.

Loving Even.

Isak couldn’t remember the last time he told him that he loved him. Perhaps it was in those wounded texts he sent when he was crying hysterically after Even took off to Bergen. Perhaps it was on those drunken nights when he couldn’t help but pour his heart out to him in long voicemails. Perhaps it was when Even broke his heart the second or the third time. Perhaps it was when they were making love while pretending it was casual sex. Perhaps it slipped then. Isak couldn’t tell, couldn’t remember. Sometimes he couldn’t discern his thoughts from his spoken words. He thought it all the time, but did he say it? Isak couldn’t remember.

Isak sighed and ran a hand across Even’s face, gentle and soothing. Even who was sleeping with his hands curled into tiny fists lying against Isak’s chest. Are you dreaming right now? Is it a nice dream? I hope it is.

After a couple of hours of watching Even and holding Even and touching Even, Isak held his breath when he realized he was emerging from his deep sleep. Perhaps it wasn’t that bad. Perhaps Even was going to leave bed today.

“Morning,” said Isak, a hand on Even’s face, but just the lightest touch.

The last thing Isak wanted to do was be overbearing and cumbersome. He wanted to let him breathe, too.

“Hi,” Even mumbled, his voice groggy, his eyes red, his skin pale.

Isak wanted to ask him how he was doing but he chose not to. ‘ How do you think I’m doing?’ He knew Even wouldn’t say it but that he would think it. So he didn’t ask.

“Merry Christmas,” said Isak instead, smiling a bit because he knew Even loved it when he smiled.

“Merry Christmas,” Even replied, not smiling back but leaning against Isak’s touch.

His eyes were blue. A different shade of blue than usual, but still Isak’s favorite blue. ‘Whatever color is in your eyes is always my favorite color’.

Isak decided that they were going to be soft and gentle with each other from now on. He decided that he was going to be as tender as his heart felt inside his chest when Even looked at him. So he brushed his thumb over his cheek again and leaned in to rub their noses together, feeling a bit silly and self-conscious but his heart racing from the tenderness of the gesture nonetheless.

Even curled a hand around Isak’s wrist and melted into the touch.

We’re going to be okay.

“Do you want to kiss?” Isak asked, feeling brave again.

Even nodded, face cupped in Isak’s hands, looking like a kitten, looking precious and holy and like something Isak had to protect at all cost. Isak had never thought of Even as a kitten before. He almost laughed at the thought. But there was no time to laugh. Only time to kiss.

Isak leaned in to close the distance between them, soft and tender and loving. He kissed him the way Even kissed him in the shower the day he mended his heart. As if he was about to break. He kissed him soft and slow, the way Isak ached to be kissed when he was hurting, the way Isak would have wanted Even to kiss him if he was allowed to feel the pain he had hidden inside over his dad ruining yet another December.

This is about Even.

But it wasn’t just about Even. Somehow the tenderness in those kisses healed his heart, too. Somehow the delicacy and lack of urgency in those kisses mended the void in his soul, too. Isak needed those kisses, too. Just lips brushing against lips on a lazy morning. Slow, healing, tender, soft, so soft. The softest touch with a hint of tongue, but just that, a hint. Borrowed breaths, slow, slow, slow. We have all the time in the world - kisses. I don’t want to overwhelm you, baby - kisses. Isak loved these kisses. Isak would die for these kisses.

“I want to kiss you like this forever,” Isak let out in a moment of pure vulnerability, feeling raw and exposed.

Why am I so emotional over freaking kissing?

“I want that, too,” Even mumbled. “It’s all I want.”

.

Isak knew Even wanted to go back to sleep and that he felt bad about it, so he kissed the top of his head and decided to let him breathe for a few hours.

“Where are you going?”

“To see my mom,” said Isak with a smile. “It’s Christmas. I’ll be back later.”

Isak only got the idea after he realized he needed to kill some time on Christmas while everyone was out there with their family. And he felt a bit guilty that it hadn’t crossed his mind earlier. His mother was all alone after all. He was becoming a better son after all.

“That’s nice,” said Even, watching him put on his sweater from where he was curled around himself in bed, something like a faint smile on his face. “You’re nice.”

You’re trying so hard for me. I want to try just as hard for you.

“You’re nice, too,” said Isak, feeling the urge to run back to the bed and thread his fingers through Even’s hair.

“Will you give her my gift?” said Even. “It’s in the second drawer.”

“You got my mom a gift?” Isak blinked in disbelief.

Even nodded, his eyes a bit droopy. He looked exhausted. Gosh, Isak had to leave.

“Why?” Isak asked.

“Because she brought you into this world,” said Even, hugging his pillow. “I’m grateful.”

My god. Even at his lowest, Even Bech Næsheim still wrecked havoc in Isak’s heart. A good kind of havoc. The best kind of havoc. He still made him weak in the knees.

“What is it?” Isak asked, opening the second drawer and grabbing a green package.

“She will tell you.”

Isak examined the meticulously wrapped present and he imagined Even sitting cross-legged on the floor with tape and scissors. Isak had no idea what it was but he loved it already. He knew his mom would love it, too. Everything Even touched was beautiful and perfect because he poured his heart into all of it, even wrapping gifts for his ex-boyfriend’s mother.

Isak walked slowly towards the bed and felt something within him swell.

“Can I kiss you?” Isak asked once he sat down with his heart in his throat, the lump never going away. He wanted nothing more than to shower Even with affection.

“Kiss me slow again?” Even mumbled.

Isak kissed him slow again. Soft and slow, sitting on the edge of the bed with a hand on Even’s cheek while Even held onto his wrist. Soft and slow. Hoping that his quivering lips somehow conveyed the quivering in his heart. I love you.

Isak left Even’s mother’s house with a heart full and ready to burst. It was Christmas. It was still December. And things were alright.

.

Marianne looked beautiful and she let out a few tears when she saw Isak at her door. He didn’t tear up but he closed his eyes when she embraced him. She gave the best hugs. His mom.

Isak was growing restless by the second, and it didn’t take him long to tell her that he saw his dad in Trondheim. He would have normally held it in but he didn’t want to. He was tired and his heart was weary. He didn’t want to hold things in anymore.

She told him that she knew. And Isak had to blink a few more times because he was sure he hadn’t heard correctly.

His mother knew about Luka and the dog and the new wife. She spoke very often to his dad too apparently. He took good care of her apparently. He helped pay for her treatment apparently.

“He’s a good man,” she said, looking out the window as if she was avoiding Isak’s gaze.

“He abandoned us,” Isak bit harshly.

“He just wanted to live his life. He just wanted more for himself than… this,” she said, pointing to herself with both hands.

Isak didn’t want to fight it. He could have gone on and on about how ‘this’ also included him. About how he was robbed of his teenage years and of a father figure. About how much it had hurt him. About how the word ‘family’ had stopped having meaning.

But Isak didn’t want to fight. It was Christmas and his mother loved Christmas. She loved it so much. So Isak took a deep breath and pulled out the two small packages from his bag. One green and one blue. Even’s and his.

“Merry Christmas, Mamma,” said Isak, handing her his gift first.

“You got me a gift,” she beamed.

“I got you a gift,” he smiled right back.

“What is it?”

“Open it,” said Isak, feeling a bit embarrassed at the lack of originality of his present.

It was terrible of him, but he had been so down after getting back from Trondheim that he didn’t have enough time to put some thought into his gifts. He had also spent most of his money on Even’s, so he couldn’t even afford to be generous.

“It’s a coffee mug,” she said as she was unwrapping it.

“Uh, yes,” Isak rubbed his neck, feeling nervous and guilty. “I’m sorry. I promise I’ll get you a better gift next time.”

He felt awful. He truly did. He should have asked Vilde for her help.

“I promise I’m not this stingy usually. I just-”

Isak stopped rambling because his mother had tears in her eyes. Gosh. I made her sad.

“Mom, I’m sorry,” said Isak, reaching for her hand across the table this time.

“Do you mean it?” she asked through her tears, holding onto the stupid mug as if it was the most precious thing.

“What?”

“Do you mean it? What it says on the mug?”

Best Mom Ever.

Oh.

Isak forgot how the silliest thing could mean the world to some people. How the simplest words could make someone’s day. Three simple words: best, mom, ever. Those three words were all it took to make his mother’s eyes shine with tears and break into the most beautiful smile. Three simple words.

What are your three simple words?

“Of course I mean it,” said Isak, smiling right back. “You’re the best, mamma.”

Isak wasn’t sure if he really meant it. And a part of him still resented her for refusing treatment for the longest time and for putting him through so much. But it didn’t really matter right now. Whether he truly meant it or not didn’t matter because the smile on her face was the most heartwarming thing, and Isak could use all the warmth he could get it. It was Christmas, and if those three simple words made her heart smile, then Isak meant them with all of his.

“And you’re best son in the world,” she replied, finally letting go of the mug to hold his hands. “The most wonderful boy. My son.”

Isak knew he was the furthest thing from the best son in the world but the words still made his chest fill up with happiness and pride. Isak loved his mother. She wasn’t perfect. She wasn’t ‘Natassia’ perfect. But she was his mom. She was his very own. She was family.

“What’s the other package?” she eventually asked after Isak finished his soup.

“Hm?”

“The green one.”

Isak had momentarily forgotten about Even’s gift. He hadn’t really thought through what he was going to say about it. His mother didn’t know Even. She barely knew Isak himself.

Hi mom, this is my ex-boyfriend/ex-fuckbuddy’s gift to you. He couldn’t come cause he’s currently depressed which is partly because of me cause he followed me on my spontaneous mid-breakdown trip to Trondheim which triggered some pretty bad memories for him. Oh, and by the way I’m gay.

“This is Even’s gift to you,” said Isak, pushing the package across the table.

“Even?”

“Yeah Even.”

“Who is Even?”

Who is Even? He is part of me and I’m part of him. I no longer know where I end and where he begins. No one makes me feel as much as he does. No one drives me mad like he does. He saved me and he claims that I saved him. I don’t know know about either claims, but he is in me and I am in him. He is with me and I am with him. I think he’s half of me and that I’m half of him and I’m not sure what that means anymore. That’s who Even is.

“Even. My boyfriend,” said Isak.

“Oh.”

The world stilled for a moment, probably. Isak couldn’t hear much after that but the beating of his own heart. He didn’t really know he was going to say that. He just did. So many falses in those two words. So many truths.

Even. My boyfriend.

Isak suddenly understood why Even introduced them as boyfriends to people who didn’t know their story. He couldn’t explain it if someone asked. But he understood.

Even. My boyfriend.

Marianne didn’t say anything and Isak felt a lump in his throat. Say something.

She grabbed the package and started opening it with a faint smile on her face instead.

“I wonder what it is,” she hummed. “Lovely wrapping.”

I know right.

Isak wondered, too. His palms hurt from digging his nails into them so hard under the table. His heart was racing and he felt inexplicably overwhelmed.

“Oh my god,” Marianna exclaimed. “How beautiful!”

It was a scarf. Even got his mother a yellow scarf and it was beautiful and delicate. It looked a bit expensive, too.

“Oh,” she gasped again, holding what looked like a card.

“Uh. What. What is it?” Isak asked.

Merry Christmas dearest Marianne. Thank you for raising the most wonderful person I’ve ever met. With love, Even, ” Marianne read the card.

“Oh.”

Gosh. Isak was probably blushing and his heart was bursting at the sight of how happy his mother looked.

“He sounds wonderful. I would love to meet him,” she said, trying to sound as casual as possible, but the lump in her throat betraying her.

“He is wonderful,” said Isak. “You would love him.”

Isak never really thought he would come out to his mother in this lifetime. But there he was. Coming out. It was certainly interesting how the only people Isak had ‘come out’ to were his parents. Isak never got to ‘come out’. He never got to make that choice for himself. He was forced out of ‘the closet’. He was forced out of it while he held on tooth and nail when Erik published those photos of him.

It was silly but it felt good. Having that kind of control back, however little. It felt good. Control over who knew and who didn’t. Control over his life, however little. It was his decision, his rules, and it felt good.

“Does he make you happy?” his mother asked.

He broke my heart more times than I can count but yes he does.

“The happiest.”

“Good. That’s all that matters,” she said, her words heavy and carrying more meaning than she let on.

“Really?” Isak asked, probably looking as vulnerable as he felt.

Really? You don’t mind? Even though God says it’s wrong? You don’t mind?

“I love you,” she said, both hands holding his, squeezing. “I hope you know that.”

She wasn’t making a big deal out of it. She was trying. Isak wondered if she had known all along. Not that it really mattered.

“I love you, too,” said Isak. And he meant it.

“Really?” she asked, sounding exactly like Isak did a few moments before that. Vulnerable.

“Really.”

Before leaving, Isak made sure to write his mom a note, too. Notes were stupid but they made people happy and they could be kept and treasured. So Isak wrote her a note.

 

 

 

Mom,

You’re more than just “this”. You’re not a burden. You’re not a liability. You don’t deserve to be abandoned. Nobody does. I’m sorry I left you like he left us and I promise I will never leave you again.

They say that we don’t get the family we deserve. They say that we don’t get to choose our family which is why we have friends and lovers. But if I could go back in time, I would still choose you. I would still be your son. I would do it again. A thousand times over, a million times over, I would do it again.

Merry Christmas to the Best Mom Ever.

Love you.

Isak

 

Isak walked back to Even’s apartment with little tears rolling down his cheeks. He wasn’t sad. He wasn’t crying out of heartache. It was just pure relief and happiness. My mom loves me just the same.

.

“How was it?” said Even when he woke up later that night in Isak’s arms.

“She liked your gift better than mine,” Isak pouted.

Even’s head was resting on Isak’s left shoulder as he played with his hair in bed, and he didn’t have enough energy to joke right back. He barely hummed as a reply, so Isak dropped it.

“I told her about me. About, uh, us,” said Isak, locking a strand of hair around his index finger.

“What did she say?” said Even.

“That she wants to meet you,” said Isak. “If you want.”

“Yeah. Would be chill.”

“It would be chill.”

They both slept early that night. A tangle of limbs and hair and bruises. They slept until it was no longer Christmas, both of their gifts unwrapped and unclaimed.


December 26th

Even’s depressive episode wasn’t a major one, Isak learned. And although he didn’t leave bed the following day, Even’s mother told Isak not to worry too much.

He did as he was told and went back to his apartment for a good portion of the afternoon. He spent some time playing Fifa with David who was oddly quiet, then Vilde cooked both of them dinner.

Isak had no idea why Vilde wasn’t with her family or with Magnus’. He wanted to ask but he was a little tired. He didn’t know why when all he did was look after Even and lie in bed all day. It was weird.

“I spent all my day sleeping and doing nothing and I’m still tired,” Isak sighed on the kitchen table.

“It can be tiring to look after someone who’s feeling down,” said Vilde, placing a hot bowl of soup in front of Isak.

“That’s extremely rude, Vilde,” said Isak, frowning a little bit but still curious that she chose to make them soup.

“Why is it rude?” said David. “Also why the fuck would you make soup? Soup is not even food.”

“First of all, I didn’t have to make you anything. This is for Isak. And second of all, it’s not rude. It’s just true. I’m not saying don’t look after Even. I’m just saying that it’s okay for you to feel tired,” said Vilde.

“What do you mean the soup is for me?” said Isak.

“Even texted me,” Vilde shrugged.

“I can’t believe you,” Isak sighed again. But he blushed. Of course he did. He couldn’t help it.

Even in his bed, Even still made sure to look out for Isak. i hate you.

“He’s a keeper,” Vilde winked. “I’m jealous.”

“Uh, I know Magnus is not here but we’re here,” said David.

“Magnus and I aren’t together anymore,” said Vilde very casually, not noticing how the soup went through Isak’s nose.

“What?!”

.

Magnus and Vilde had apparently broken up a few months prior but they hadn’t told anyone. Isak was beyond confused because he was sure she still spent an incredible amount of time in their apartment and that they were still close, very close.

“What the hell happened?” he asked.

“Nothing. We just decided to be friends,” said Vilde.

“That makes no sense! You guys were crazy about each other.”

“It is what it is,” said Vilde. “It’s okay. We’re still best friends.”

Isak was angry and he didn’t even know why. Perhaps he didn’t pay enough attention to his friends. He always made everything about himself after all. He had been completely blind to the Jonas and Eva situation as well. Perhaps he needed to be a better friend.

“I’m sorry it didn’t work out,” said Isak.

“You don’t have to be sorry. It’s not your fault,” Vilde smiled.

Isak’s friendship with Vilde was probably the weirdest of them all. It even surprised him how similar they were and how easy it was between the two of them. She made him soup. She told him to take care of himself. She didn’t tell anyone about his breakdown at Bakka that previous year. Vilde was loyal and strong. Isak would take Vilde to war with him, too.

He realized that the weird feeling roaming his chest was gratefulness. His life wasn’t perfect but he still had great friends. Isak was grateful.

.  

Halfway through their Dirty Dancing rewatch, Isak’s phone rang and his heart sank. It was his dad.

Don’t pick up. Don’t pick up.

Isak picked up the phone because he didn’t want to hold things in anymore.

“Merry Christmas,” said his father on the phone, sounding a bit nervous.

Isak was grateful he couldn’t see him.

“Thank you. Merry Christmas to you and to your family too, Terje,” said Isak.

I hope it burns. I hope it hurts. I hope you feel the poison in my voice.

His father probably felt it. Isak had never called him by his name before. It was vicious but Isak was wounded and it was the only way he could retaliate.

Tell me I’m your family.

His dad never did. He just thanked him politely and mentioned something about Luka mentioning his name a few times.

“They talk at age 3?” Isak replied in a detached tone.

He was being insufferable. He knew three year olds could say names. He was just being condescending.

“They do,” said his dad.

“Uh, cool. How’s Natalia?” said Isak, well aware of how stupid it made him look. He was being completely transparent.

“Natassia’s doing well. Thank you for asking,” his dad replied. No hints of annoyance or mischief in his voice.

Why the fuck are you calling. What the fuck do you want from me.

“Listen Isak. I wanted to apologize about your visit. I feel like I should have done more,” said Terje. “I’m thinking of coming down to Oslo soon and I was wondering if you would want to see me.”

“I’m, uh, a bit busy.”

“I’m sure you are. But if you have some time, I would love for us to meet again. Just the two of us,” said his father.

Just the two of us. It was absurd but it still made Isak happy. He was only human after all. Any type of attention made him happy. It was pathetic.

“I’ll think about it,” said Isak.

“That’s all I ask of you. Thank you.”

“Sure.”

“Oh and I hope you don’t take this the wrong way but I’ve been sending money to an account ever since you stopped taking my calls and accepting my transfers. It’s all still there in that account. If you ever want it. I’ve mentioned this in some of my voicemails, but I don’t know if you’ve listened to them.”

.

“How was the soup?” said Even, greeting him from where he was sitting on the bed with a smile as he crossed his bedroom door.

A smile. What a sight. What a sight.

“You’ve been texting Vilde behind my back? Are you interested now that she’s single?” said Isak, dropping his bad on the floor and crawling on the bed on his knees, before grabbing Even’s face and planting a big and loud kiss on his mouth.

“Yes, it’s finally my chance to shine and swoop her off her feet. How did you know?” said Even.

Banter. I could cry.

“Asshole,” Isak muttered with a smile and squinted eyes.

“Your asshole,” said Even with another smile. The sun was shining in Oslo at 22:00.

“What about my asshole?” said Isak. “Is Baz feeling alright again?”

“Oh my god,” Even laughed. “I meant I’m your asshole.”  

“That’s the literally the worst thing to ever come out of your mouth,” Isak shrieked, covering his face because he was about to burst into laughter.

“I do have a pretty filthy mouth, I reckon,” Even laughed again.

My heart.

“Oh my god! Shut up!” Isak smiled then without giving it much thought, leaned in to kiss Even again.

Another soft and tender kiss. They kissed until they were both lying on their sides in bed, until Even’s head found home right under Isak’s chin.

“How was your day?” he asked.

“I’m apparently rich now,” said Isak, drawing circles on Even’s back.

“Hm?”

“My dad just gave me access to this bank account he’s been filling with money since I was like 17,” said Isak.

“Oh wow.”

“Guess I’m gonna be your sugar daddy now,” Isak laughed then felt Even laugh against his body, too.

“You can be my daddy. I don’t mind,” said Even.

“Magnus will be disappointed though. He’s convinced you’re the daddy in this relationship,” Isak chuckled absentmindedly until he felt Even’s breath hitch against his chest.

“This relationship,” said Even.

“Yeah you know,” Isak shrugged before pulling back to look at Even. “This thing-ship.”

“Thing-ship,” Even smiled. “Like back in the day.”

“Yeah like back in the day.”

They slept in each other’s arms again and Isak was already planning their next day.


December 27th

Even wasn’t cracking jokes when he woke up this time around. He couldn’t even leave bed and Isak was only disappointed for half a second, not daring to imagine how Even must have been feeling.

Isak wanted to give him space, so he hung out with literally anyone who could spare him a few hours.

.

“I’m shit at basketball,” said Isak, throwing both arms up in defeat.

“You’re shit at everything,” Sana laughed.

They were in Sana’s parents’ backyard. And although Elias was the one who invited him, he ended up ditching him not too long after that.

Isak didn’t mind. He liked spending time with Sana.

“Excuse me! I’m the master of football! Have you seen me play?” he scoffed.

Sana rolled her eyes and threw the large basketball at him so hard that it nearly crushed his chest.

“Are you trying to murder me? On Christmas?”

“Just play the damn game, Isak,” Sana groaned. “I need to de-stress.”

“De-stress from what? We’re on a break.”

“Not everything is related to school, you know. I can worry about other things.”

“What’s on the great Sana’s mind? Boy trouble?” Isak grinned.

“We’re not doing this.”

“Oh come on. I’ve been told I’m good listener.”

“Not interested,” said Sana.

“Gosh, why do you sound exactly like me?”

“Now I’m offended,” she laughed.

Isak laughed, too, from the bottom of his heart. He really did. He should spend more time with Sana. Sana was good for the heart. No bullshit . No awkward conversations about things he couldn’t care less about. No awkward silences. Just comfortable company.

“How is Even?” she eventually asked after humiliating him on the field.

“He’s better. He’s smiling now.”

“Good. That’s nice,” said Sana. “He has a nice smile.”

“He does,” Isak smiled. “And you do, too. Killer dimples.”

He was going to be sappy and tender from now on. He didn’t care.

“What’s gotten into you?” Sana grinned.

“What do you mean?”

“You’re all sappy and bubbly.”

“Since when is that a bad thing?” said Isak. “Embrace the sappiness and bubbliness, Sanasol.”

“I’m good right here in my bubble-free world, Isabell.”

“Speaking of bubbles.”

“Hm?”


Eva <3

16:17

Merry Christmas to the most beautiful girl in the world

Wtf isak

I need a favor

Of course you do

Your bathtub

No

Plis

No wtf you’re not having sex in my mom’s bathtub

We’re just gonna take a bath

Seriously what is it with you and baths

Plisss

I promise we can’t even have sex cause of the uh incident

His dick still doesn’t work?

Can’t you use yours?

Wtf Eva we’re not talking about this

I meant your bathtub not your dick omg

Jkfjsdjkds

Ugh

But it’s SO SMALL

Fkddffd omg

MY BATHTUB NOT MY DICK

I’m dying

...

But idk about your bathtub

Might be cozy

Have you seen his legs?!

As I said. cozy <3

Would never fit!

Seriously half of your messages can be interpreted in the wrong way

Are you even trying

Forget it -__-

Seriously try having a bath in your apartment

If it doesn’t work i’ll kick my mom during christmas from her own home

So that you and Even can take a bath in her bathroom :)

You’re the worst

You love me

I can’t stand you

<3333

<33


When Isak got back to Even’s mother’s home, he was fully dressed and packed. He still looked tired but he was smiling. He was trying.

“What’s up?” said Isak.

“Can we go to your place?” said Even, looking soft and listless.

“Of course,” Isak smiled.

“I just don’t want to worry mom anymore.”

“Yeah of course.”

Isak was beyond happy. He was probably grinning and blushing. He couldn’t help it. It was the first time Even had ever leaned on him willingly. The first time Even had ever accepted and requested his help explicitly. The first time he was allowing himself to be vulnerable in front of Isak. As an equal. And it was great. Even didn’t have to take it all upon himself. Isak was happy to help. Isak was happy to take care of him. The happiest.

So Isak drove Even’s car and played him a song because it was what Even would have done for him.

Now Playing: Daniel Caesar - Blessed

Everywhere that I go, everywhere that I be
If you were not surrounding me with your energy
I don't wanna be there, don't wanna be anywhere
Any place that I can't feel you, I just wanna be near you

And yes, I'm a mess but I'm blessed
To be stuck with you
Sometimes it gets unhealthy
We can't be by ourselves we
We'll always need each other, and
Yes, I'm a mess but I'm blessed
To be stuck with you
I just want you to know that
If I could I swear I'll go back
Make everything all better, whoa

.

When Even reached out for his hand, Isak let him have it and laced their fingers together. And when they got to a red light, he brought their laced fingers to his face and pressed his lips to each one of Even’s knuckles, kissing the one with the Beyoncé ring twice. And when Even closed the distance between them and kissed him on the lips as if to stifle a cry, Isak turned on the car’s distress signal and pulled him closer when the light turned green.

It was stupid and a drunk driver could have collided with them but he didn’t care. It was still December, and the streets were empty at that time anyways, and they needed this. The tenderness, the romance, the windows that were now foggy because they were breathing in each other’s mouths and because it was freezing outside. They needed this.

They went to bed early that night.


December 28th

Even seemed to be doing better. He wasn’t as energetic as usual and he barely chuckled when Isak beat him at Fifa the third time and decided it was time to put on a show, jumping around in bed while rapping along to ‘POWER’ by Kanye West in nothing but his boxers.

Even was trying. It was alright.

“Want me to draw us a bath?” said Isak with damp palms after a day of nothing but Fifa in bed.

“Sure,” said Even.

“Okay.”

They barely fit in the tub and they were facing each other. It was ridiculous and Even was probably in pain because of Baz.

“This wasn’t a very good idea,” Isak chuckled nervously.

“This was the best idea,” said Even.

“Feeling good?”

“Feeling great,” said Even, leaning back against the edge of the bathtub and spilling water everywhere.

“David’s gonna be pissed,” Isak laughed.

“It’s okay. David loves me.”

As I do.

“Yeah, he does,” said Isak, splashing him with a bit of water and a few bubbles.

“Jealous?” Even grinned.  

“No.”

“No?”

“I know you’re mine,” Isak smiled, and he meant it. He knew it.

What they had, no one could possibly have. He didn’t need to be jealous anymore and he didn’t want to.

“One of my Christmas gifts is gonna make me look like a dick now,” Even sighed.

“Huh?”

“I’ll just hold onto it.”

“Excuse me?” Isak scoffed. “I want all my Christmas gifts.”

“I haven’t given them to you yet. They’re not yours yet,” Even laughed.

“I want them all,” Isak frowned.

“Fine. Fine.”

Isak laughed and reached out underwater to hold onto Even’s thighs, just a dumb and useless touch, but a touch nonetheless.

“When are you gonna give me my presents?” said Isak.

“When are you gonna give me yours?”

“I don’t know.”

“How about January 1st? That way it’s not December anymore,” said Even.

“It’s not Christmas anymore either.”

“No one really knows when Jesus was actually born. Churches just agreed on December 25th,” said Even. “For all we know, he could have been born in January.”

“Some actually believe he was born towards the end of September,” said Isak. “David took a religious studies class or something and I helped him with flashcards.”

“Nerd,” Even laughed.

“Excuse me! You brought this up! How dare you?”

“It’s just hot. That’s all,” said Even.

“Me being a nerd?”

“Yeah.”  

“You like it when I work on my flashcards?” Isak laughed.

“It makes me so hard,” Even teased. “Well. Used to. Given that my dick will never work again.”

Gosh.

Isak’s heart dropped and he frowned again. They hadn’t even talked about it. The elephant in the room.

Isak suddenly snorted.

“Are you seriously laughing right now?” Even laughed, too.

“I just,” Isak laughed again. “I was thinking about how we didn’t talk about, you know, the elephant in the room. And then I just pictured Baz as an elephant. I don’t know. I’m sorry. I’m just tired.”

But Isak couldn’t stop laughing.

“An elephant? A giraffe and now an elephant,” Even sighed.

“I’m sorry. It’s not even funny. I don’t know why I’m laughing,” said Isak with actual tears in his eyes.

“You’re lucky you’re cute. No one would tolerate such blasphemy.”

Isak kept laughing until Even cupped his face and made his breath hitch right there in the tiny bathtub.

“You’re so beautiful,” Even whispered. “Do you know what you do to my heart when you laugh?”

“Uh, I-”

Isak was at a loss for words. Mostly because this was the most tender thing Even had said to him in ages. But also because of how intense his gaze was. How intense everything was.

Say it now. Now is your chance.

Isak didn’t say it. Or them. The little three words constantly playing in his mind whenever Even so much as breathed in his direction. He kissed him slow instead. Soft and slow and tender. Just like they had all week. As if they had all the time in the world.

They only stopped because Isak got carried away and touched Baz, making him yelp in pain.

“Oh god. Does it still hurt? I’m sorry!”

“No. No. It doesn’t hurt anymore. It’s just in my head,” said Even.

Then why aren’t we having sex.

“Then why-” Isak started.

“I can’t get it up,” Even blurted out in defeat.

“Oh.”

“Yeah.”

“Is it. Is it me?” Isak asked with a blush high up his cheeks. He was being stupid. He knew it wasn’t him specifically.

“Don’t be silly,” Even rolled his eyes. “Baz is just still recovering or something that’s all.”


December 29th

“Baz and Armageddon?!” Even scoffed as he made his way to where Isak was curled on his couch. “Excuse me?!”

“What? You saw my instagram post?” Isak asked, feeling a bit shy all of a sudden. That instagram post had taken him so much courage.

“Yeah. Mutta sent it to me. He says we look cute.”

“We do,” said Isak. “How’s Mutta? I miss him.”

“You’re stalling,” Even narrowed his eyes sitting cross-legged by Isak’s side.

“How am I stalling? I seriously miss Mutta. I love Mutta,” said Isak.

“You cannot love other men.”

“I thought I was the bitter jealous asshole in this thing-ship,” Isak laughed.

“I didn’t mean it like that,” Even frowned, looking apologetic.

“I think it’s hot,” Isak shrugged.

“Being possessive isn’t hot, Isak.”

“Are you kinkshaming me?” Isak laughed, letting himself lean against Even.

“What is this conversation?” Even sighed.

“I don’t know. But you were throwing a tantrum over me naming my dick Armageddon.”

“I’m not throwing a tantrum. I’m just a bit sad you didn’t consult with me,” said Even.

“Consult with you?! Did you consult with me when you named your dick Baz?!”

“No, but it was before we even met.”

“Whatever. It’s my dick, Even.”

“It’s mine, too!” Even laughed, wrapping both arms around Isak and dragging down on the couch. “You didn’t even want to give it a name!”

“I changed my mind,” Isak shrugged. “And how is it yours?”

“Shouldn’t I get a say in naming what goes up my ass?”

“Oh my god, shut up!” Isak shoved him so hard that he nearly fell off the couch.

“I mean seriously? Armageddon? The final battle up my ass? Really Isak?” Even laughed.

“I can’t stand you!” said Isak before trying to get off the couch, only to have Even’s long legs lock around his body.

They wrestled on the couch for a few more minutes until Even started tickling him.

“Get off me. Oh my god!”

“I love hearing you laugh,” said Even.

“I hate you!” Isak barked with tears in his eyes from laughing to hard, still locked between Even’s legs on their stupid couch, wondering if David was getting sick of them yet.

“You love me,” said Even, still laughing, too, not realizing that Isak had stopped.

I do.

Now is your chance. Say it.

Isak kissed him instead. Because he couldn’t say it. Because it could have been a joke. Because “I hate you” and “You love me” went well together in banter. They did.

.

“No but seriously, I consulted the internet to come up with a name for your junk,” said Even.

“Don’t tell me you went on-”

“Yahoo Answers, that’s correct,” said Even.

“God, do I even wanna know?” Isak rolled his eyes.

“The most popular option was Warrior Princess but I figured you’d get upset. There was also Nas, LeRoy, Pablo, Lil’ Isak, Einstein, Usain Bolt, and Princess Vivian, but yeah.”

“Usain Bolt?!”

For some reason, Isak found that one to be the most offensive.

“You know, uh, cause you’re, uh, fast,” Even snorted.

“I’m seriously going to throw my biology book on your face.”

“What?” Even laughed.

.

Alright. Isak missed sex. He missed it a lot. He wasn’t going to die and his alone time in the shower was enough to blow off some steam. But he missed it. He missed rolling around in bed naked and he missed feeling wrecked and spent and blissful. He missed it. And he was sure Even missed it, too. Even who couldn’t ‘get it up’.

.

“You know I heard that dicks have minds of their own,” said Sigrid while munching on the terrible pizza from their usual spot. “His dick is probably mad at you cause you broke it. That’s why it won’t get up.”

“What the fuck?” said Isak.

“Just talk to it and say you’re sorry.”

“Sigrid. What the hell?” Isak couldn’t help but laugh.

“Seriously, just try apologizing. You said his doctors said the nerves and stuff are fine and that he doesn’t have any tissue damage or whatever. It’s all in his head now. Just talk to it.”

“That is the worst piece of advice I’ve ever heard.”

“I think you need some alcohol to properly appreciate my wisdom,” said Sigrid.

.

Isak and Sigrid stumbled into his apartment at 22:00 yelling obscenities as if it were dawn. They never meant to get drunk but here they were. He had just wanted to spend some time with Sigrid and give Even time to go see the boys. But here they were.

“Are you seriously drunk before midnight?” said Vilde as she opened the door, Magnus right there behind her. He had just gotten back.

“Magnus I missed you!” Isak exclaimed, nearly throwing himself on him.

“I missed you, too, buddy. You reek of booze!” said Magnus.

“I’m so sad you two broke up!” Isak pouted. “You were my favorite couple.”

“That’s a lie. You always made gagging sounds,” said Vilde.

“That’s true. You’re right,” said Isak, smiling to himself. “Even and I are my favorite couple.”

“How cute and disgusting,” said David, where he sat on the couch. “Even, why don’t you collect your man and take him to bed.”

Even. Isak didn’t know he would already be