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Things were better.

Recently, Kao had found ways to settle Pete down a little and discourage Non’s feelings gently. That wasn’t to say he listened because he was young and determined in the way only a teenager could be, but Kao definitely felt he had a better handle on the two of them then he did before.

Of course, Non was still a real point of contention but Kao being Kao had struck a deal with his boyfriend. Dependent on his good behavior, he could come and do his homework with them as long as he didn’t cause any scenes or distract them. He’d never allowed this sort of thing before, but Pete was too important to him to just let him fester in his anxiety and jealousy over this. If he had to be here to see it was all innocent and keep an eye on the kid himself, Kao figured that was a better alternative than losing him. By a long shot.

The first time was weird but after that he got better, brought his headphones and listened to music so he wouldn’t be tempted to butt into their conversations, ankle hooked with Kao’s under the table and did his homework which made Kao happy. He managed to be, for the most part, well behaved so Kao couldn’t be upset with him over a couple heavy sighs or complaining towards the end of their study time when he was bored and tired and wanted to be anywhere but there with someone he didn’t like. But he loved Kao more, so he kept his mouth shut. Kao appreciated that.

Today, Non was late.

Really late.

That didn’t seem to bother Pete too much as he continued poking Kao’s side, murmuring things he shouldn’t be saying in public while Kao kept trying to shoulder him off. He was too heavy and strong though.

He stopped after a few more hissed warnings from Kao, said he’d listen when Kao reminded him of the many assignments, they had to do for class tomorrow. Pete, however remained focused on anything but his homework. He contented himself to sitting beside him, chin propped on his hand as he stared at his boyfriend.

Kao, sweet, studious Kao, continued trying to explain the equation from today’s physics class, blissfully unaware of Pete’s lack of focus. Pete smiled at him, watching, captivated at the way his mouth moved and lips formed words, eyes bright as he tried to decode things for him to understand better.

When he didn’t say anything to his question Kao twisted to look at him. Head tilting and eyes bugging when he caught Pete staring right back.

“Are you listening?” he asked, color high on his cheeks.

Pete nodded.

“What’d I just say?”

“Something I don’t care about,”

“Pete,” he scolded lightly, expression fond.

Pete sat forward, into his space in the way that made Kao’s breathing pick up. “Kiss me,”

Kao gave him a look, “homework Pete,”

“Kiss Kao,”

“No,” he huffed, pushing his face away from him.

“There’s nobody here baby,” Pete whispered, warm breath fanned over his cheek and made him shiver a little.

“No,”

“It’s just P’Sun and Mork and they know about us, please,”

Kao’s face scrunched a little as he thought which was way too cute and just a really cruel thing to do to Pete honestly.

“Please,”

“Will you do your homework and behave if I do,” he looked around the café quickly as he said it to make sure they were actually alone.

He hummed, nodding eagerly because yes! But, wait that worked?!

Kao’s scrunch turned into the tiny smile Pete liked because it meant he was indulging in his mischief and he knew it. He came forward, hand cupped the side of his face to pull him in and kissed him. Softly and then a little deeper like he was losing himself. But his resolve was always stronger than Pete’s as he patted his cheek and pulled back.

“Homework,”

“One more,”

Kao laughed, “no,”

“Please,”

“No, homework Pete, you said you’d do it,”

“I say a lot of things,”

“Pete,”

Pete groaned, knew that tone all too well. He couldn’t help leaning forward to kiss his shoulder though, rubbing his nose into the fabric of his shirt, smiling when he heard Kao laughing at him.

“Don’t wanna,”

“How about, you do your homework, all of it and I’ll give you something when we’re done,”

Pete perked right up, eyes on fire and smirk playing over the whole of his handsome face.

“What kind of something,” said in that deep, annoyingly attractive tone he put on just to take Kao apart. But Kao was getting better at that sort of thing too, he knew the buttons, owned the manual and liked making Pete grin like he couldn’t believe he was his.

“The, your dad’s out of town, no clothing kind of something,” he shot him a look, perfect mouth pursed to the side while Pete thought he’d catch fire on the spot. “Sound good,”

He nodded his head faster than he meant to but shuffled his papers and picked up his pen to get back to his homework.

Kao gave him a funny face which he caught out of the corner of his eye, “what?”

“Why was that the fastest you’ve ever agreed to do your homework?”

Pete didn’t look up, but his smile touched his eyes and lifted his cheeks, teeth bright against his tan skin.

“Because I’m in love with you and you look like that,”

Kao wanted to be caught by the first part of the statement and he was a little where his chest opened up, but his feelings latched onto the last part. Because, “what does that mean, look like what?”

Again, Pete didn’t turn, said to his homework worksheet, “you’re gorgeous but you weren’t supposed to hang onto that part,”

Pete was in love with him, his mind supplied. And he thinks you’re gorgeous, if he had less self-control, he would’ve thrown himself at his boyfriend. Instead.

Heat flooded his face. Only made more intense by the way Pete was looking at him. Kao swatted his shoulder but sagged into him a little too, nuzzled his head against his neck for a few moments longer than he would’ve allowed himself normally. Because Non wasn’t here yet. The café was empty. Sun said he liked when they were happy and free with each other. Pete was sweet and handsome and devilish and had such a way with him it was scary.

“Am I gonna get another kiss,” he said, smug and shock battling for dominance. The smug won out. It usually did.

Kao hummed, not willing to answer him because he’d tease him but tipped his face up, smiling when Pete twisted to kiss him once, twice and then the tip of his nose. Forgetting himself, he whined which made Pete smile wider.

“There’s people now baby,” he murmured, watching him sit back up straight and return to his own notes.

Consumed in each other as much as they were, they didn’t see Non standing outside the shop, watching them through the window with wide eyes and a knit between his eyebrows. He shook himself, not willing to give into the feelings that were threatening to choke him here and went inside.

“Hi P’Kao, I’m so sorry I’m late, I had to meet with a group from my class about a project,”

Kao turned to him, not looking like he’d just been kissing the boy next to him or snuggling his shoulder at all, but Pete looked all kinds of pleased with himself as he watched Non with a familiar look, the one that made so much sense now. It said, you never stood a chance. Which made things break apart inside him, but he couldn’t think about that right now.

“That’s okay, go get a drink and something to eat and then we can start,”

He put his stuff down, nodding to him before hurrying away.

“With any luck he saw us,”

“Shush,”

“What?”

“Stop it, please,”

He hummed, reached over to scribble on his notes, in his messy handwriting, Ok, for you. And he did. And he behaved. Which made Kao really happy. Which of course made Pete really happy too.