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almost (sweet music)

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"Whyyyy," Wylan groaned, throwing himself dramatically onto the mattress, his head landing in Jesper's lap. Jesper absentmindedly patted a hand through Wylan's curls.

"That's your name," he said mildly, scrolling through Twitter on his phone, "don't wear it out."

"I'll wear it out if I goddamn want to," Wylan groused, and then huffed a breath.

"Whassa matter, merchling?" Jesper asked, tossing his phone down to give Wylan is full attention. "You never swear."

Wylan tilted his face up to meet Jesper's eyes carefully.

"My uterus is trying to kill me."

Jesper made a tck sound in the back of his throat and petted Wylan's hair again.


Wylan pressed his face into Jesper's thighs again.

"It's making me pay," he moaned, voice muffled. "Making me pay for having a good day where I don't absolutely loathe my body."

"Unbelievable," Jesper commiserated. His hand paused in Wylan's hair. "Are we-"

"Out of frosting?" Wylan finished. "Yeah. I'm going to die. I'm going to die by my body's own hand. I'm basically killing myself."

The corners of Jesper's mouth pulled down, and he tugged on one of Wylan's curls.

"Hey." He waited until Wylan met his eyes again. "Don't say that."

Wylan pushed his head up until it bumped into Jesper's palm and didn't reply. Sorry his gaze said, and Jesper released a breath and patted Wylan's head. He laid his head back down and pushed the abandoned phone into Jesper's hand.

"Play some music," Wylan asked softly.

Jesper did.

A few minutes later, Wylan was asleep, napping quietly with his head pillowed on Jesper's lap, and Jesper exchanged his legs for a pillow. He slid onto the floor, tucked his phone into his pocket, and kissed Wylan's forehead. Then he pulled on his shoes, grabbed his wallet, and headed out to the store.

Wylan's father was not someone anyone would consider accepting . Between the severe dyslexia and autism as a kid, and then transphobia, and homophobia to a lesser extent, Wylan had a rough time at home. Then, when Wylan was sixteen, after a long, complicated, and drawn-out few months, Jan van Eck was thrown in jail, Wylan’s mother - who Wylan himself had been lead to believe was dead - was able to come home, Wylan also was able to come home after running away. Jan van Eck was unfairly wealthy, but it was less unfair now that it was Wylan’s - or at least, it would be, once Wylan turned eighteen. He and his mother were given a check each month from the bank when enough money to see them comfortably through the month, since Marya was in no condition to be working and Wylan was going back to school. Jesper knew Wylan was both uncomfortable at having all his father’s money at his disposal once he was eighteen, and relieved that he wouldn’t have to worry about the expenses of caring for his mother. There was also the fact that covering the costs of transitioning would be technically paid by his father. 

Jesper felt savage satisfaction at the thought. It was what Wylan deserved.

Jesper technically did not live with Wylan and his mother, but he was over there often enough that he had a toothbrush in the bathroom off Wylan’s bedroom, and a drawer was full of Jesper’s things on the dresser. That made him feel something warm and tingly in his chest, something he could not identify at this time - or maybe did not want to, because he was almost eighteen years old and was fucking fantastic at repressing emotions. 

Jesper shuffled into the dollar store and collected supplies: tampons, the kind he liked, a can of vanilla buttercream frosting, and a random collection of candy bars. Wylan liked variety. Today, Jesper thought, as he surveyed the conveyor with satisfaction, Wylan got Reese’s Cups, Mars Bars, and several Kitkats. 

It was an older black lady ringing him up, older even than his father. She glanced over the items as Jesper pulled out his phone to answer a text from Wylan - checking out. Be home soon <3 - and send a snap to Inej of the conveyor of stuff - does kaz treat you this good - and looked up to see the cashier giving him a knowing look. Oh boy, Jesper thought. Here it comes. 

“Your girl is very lucky to have a boyfriend like you,” she said approvingly. Jesper bared his teeth.

“Yes,” Jesper agreed. “He is.”

The cashier barely paused.

“My daughter and her boyfriend get their periods at the same time,” she said next, scanning the items along quickly. 

Jesper’s hands, which had been tapping restlessly against his tighs, paused mid-tap.

“Oh,” he said. “That must be rough.”

She nodded, and he read her nametag: Denise. He’d tell Kaz he better her on the list of people to Not Terrorize. She scanned the last chocolate bar and gave him his total. 

“There you go, sweetie,” Denise said, handing him his bag and receipt. “You go take care of your boy.”

Jesper grinned, genuine.

“I will. Thanks.”

When Jesper got back to the house, Wylan was awake, hair sleep-ruffled, and eyes still creased with sleep, a thick, fluffy blanket drawn over his shoulders. He looked up from where he was curled around both a book and his phone, snapchatting Inej, probably. 

“Hey,” he said softly, and Jesper tossed himself and the plastic bag down at the foot of the bed. 

“Hey, you beautiful genius,” Jesper replied with a grin. Wylan hid his blush under his blanket. Jesper reached out and tugged the blanket away. “I got you chocolate and tampons. Also, I think the cashier-lady might have adopted us.”

Wylan laughed, reaching for a kitkat.

“Why would she do that?” he asked, spewing crumbs as he chewed.

“Many reasons, one of which being that I am incredibly charming,” Jesper said, reaching out to wipe a crumb from Wylan’s chin.

Wylan laughed again. The nap must have helped, and Jesper said as much. Wylan lifted a shoulder.

“I took some ibuprofen and got the heating pad. If you’d come up here and cuddle me, I’d feel even better.”

Jesper was moving before Wylan even finished talking, kicking the bag to the floor and tackling Wylan - gently - around the waist and dragging him under the blankets. Wylan laughed, surprised and genuine, a sound that seemed to burst out of his chest. Pulling the blanket up over their heads as Wylan adjusted his limbs around Jesper’s, the two boys settled into bed and each other. Jesper could taste the laughter, and also chocolate, when he leaned to kiss Wylan softly. He deserved the world, and Jesper would want to set Kaz on whoever made Wylan feel like he was less, bu Jan van Eck was already in jail. Jesper doubted even Kaz could make things worse for him. 

Wylan pressed up against Jesper and looked at him, his edges all gone soft in the low light seeping through the blanket. He sighed, once, and all the tension drained out of him. Jesper reached out to push Wylan’s curls away from his forehead.

“Thanks,” Wylan said, a whisper.

“For what?”

Wylan shrugged.