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Pran is, predictably, sitting at a table in the middle of the room. He has his trays upon trays of fancy markers laid out neatly in a defensive semicircle around the drafting pad that's sitting directly in front of him.

Pat watches him for a drawn-out moment, chewing on fish balls. The fish balls are great. Really fresh and springy. He's made a mental note to tell Chang that the new kiosk by the Faculty of Fine Arts building is so much better than the place by Mo's dorm.

He tugs another fish ball off its skewer with his teeth and makes his way through the maze of tables and pushed-out chairs to Pran's table.

They've been covering finite elasticity in one of Pat's materials classes this semester. There are a bunch of equations for calculating the effect of stress and strain on different materials; the likelihood that a material will return to its original size and shape when an external, deforming influence is removed. Now that they've 'broken up,' even though there are still occasional strains, Pat likes to think that his and Pran's relationship has settled back into the size and shape it had during those liminal, perfect days at the beach.

So as he makes his way through the crush of students desperately preparing for the end of the term, Pat pictures filaments, stretching between him and Pran, settling into place with every obstacle Pat dodges. A backpack here; a student drooling on their open textbook there. The way Pat's dumb breath catches when Pran taps the covered end of one of his markers against the corner of his mouth and drums his fingers on the surface of his drafting pad, the way he always gets when he's lost in thought. Pat is pretty sure Pran doesn't see him coming. Pran has his focused face on, not the weird expression he makes when he tries to convince everyone that he's not paying attention to Pat. The dimple-of-focus isn't etched deeply enough into Pran's cheek for that.

He's gratified by Pran's eyes darting up to his face, widening as Pat sinks into the seat in front of him. "Uh, hey," Pran says.

Pat nudges his foot against Pran's under the table. Pran flicks his eyes around the room and then presses back, his foot a firm presence against Pat's. "Fish ball?" Pat asks, offering the half-finished skewer to Pran.

Pran shakes his head, so Pat shrugs and takes a bite of another one instead. "Whatcha working on?" He knows that Pran was planning on getting started on his final project, but this doesn't look like the new development proposal he's been assigned.

"Oh," Pran says. "Just... warming up."

"With what?" Pat asks, leaning forward.

Pran jerks the drafting pad back as Pat reaches to pull it close enough to get a good look at it. "You'll get your gross fingers all over it," he complains.

He doesn't bother hiding the page, though, and Pat can see he's mostly just been doodling different sizes of cubes. Hm.

"You need to warm up," Pat says, taking another bite of his fish balls and chewing it loudly. Sometimes when he's obnoxious enough, Pran will cover Pat's mouth with his hand and force him to eat properly, and that always leads to a good time. "I think you should draw me."

Pran raises an eyebrow at Pat, glancing around the room. "Draw my ex boyfriend," he says, sliding his foot forward under the table so that his shin is pressing against Pat's. Pat can feel the rolled cuffs of Pran's trousers bunch up against the seam of his own jeans and the heat of Pran's leg below it.

Ah, there's that dimple. Pat goes to press a knuckle into it, to really tease it out, but Pran gives him another warning look, so Pat sinks back in his chair. "Why not?" he says instead, tilting his head in a way that he knows accentuates the cut of his jaw. "I have angles. Buildings have angles. It's good practice."

"Yeah, you have so much in common with a building," Pran says, really laying the sarcasm on thick. "Windows..."

Pat gestures to his eyes.

"Doors..."

Pat starts to get up so that he can gesture to his ass, but Pran pushes his other foot forward and traps Pat's leg between his feet, keeping him pinned to the seat.

"You're the worst," Pran says, voice thick with laughter.

"Just for you," Pat says, batting his eyes at Pran and making a kissy face.

"There are people here," Pran hisses.

"No one who matters," Pat points out. It's not like they're near the Architecture or Engineering faculties. He didn't recognize anyone in the room while he was wandering through it, and no one seemed to recognize him, either. "So you'll draw me?"

"I don't draw people," Pran says.

"So draw me like one of your architecture-y building designs," Pat shrugs. He slides the last fish ball off his skewer and pops it in his mouth. Mid-chew, he adds, "Sometimes you climb me like you climb the stairs. That's another starting point."

"You're so annoying," Pran tells him, but he's running his foot up Pat's leg again so Pat doesn't take him too seriously.

Pat swallows his fish ball and wipes his fingers on his unbuttoned shirt. "Okay, then give me your markers, I'll draw you."

Pran peers at him suspiciously. "You don't draw."

"I might draw!" Pat says. "I could draw."

"You don't, though," Pran says.

"Bet I could draw better than you," Pat says.

"You really want me to draw you?" Pran asks. He's dragging his foot up and down Pat's leg now. Pat's pretty sure there will be scuff marks on his trousers. He's not mad about it; he's fine looking rumpled. Especially when Pran is the one who's rumpling him. "Fine, I'll draw you."

He flips to the next page in his draft pad and blinks up at Pat. Fuck, Pran's eyes are so pretty. He's got a mischievous expression on his face and Pat just wants to... kiss it away. Turn it into mischievousness of an entirely different intent. But that would be too obvious, even if they're just among strangers.

"Let me see," Pran says, giving Pat a long, lingering look. His gaze travels along the ripped neckline of the t-shirt Pat has underneath his button-down top, then back up over the mark on Pat's neck that Pran left there last night. He switches his attention to his markers, selecting a couple of colors from his trays and lining them up, perfectly even, at the edge of the table.

"Do your best," Pat says. He presses his leg against Pran's foot, then lets it fall to the side. Pran takes up the invitation, scooting closer to the table and pressing his knee right against the inside of Pat's thigh. "I deserve it."

Pran pauses long enough to roll his eyes at Pat. "You always get my best," he says, then pauses. His gaze goes far away for a moment. "Or my worst," he muses. "If the situation calls for it."

"Yeah," Pat agrees. Fuck, he loves when Pran does his worst. "That's true." He nudges his leg against Pran's, watching as Pran tilts the drafting pad just enough that Pat can't clearly see what he's doing.

"Don't you have work to do, too?" Pran asks, as he uncaps a marker with his teeth and makes a few quick marks on his paper. He glances over Pat again, eyes now dragging over Pat's face. "That project you mentioned?"

"My group is meeting later," Pat shrugs. "Did all my prep. Got a snack. Thought I'd find you and kill some time."

Pran hums and switches out his markers. He frowns at his pad, then glances at Pat, then makes a few more marks. "How long do you have?"

"Eh," Pat wiggles his hand. "I have time."

Pran gives him a suspicious look, so Pat widens his eyes right back and holds his gaze until Pran rolls his eyes and turns back to his drawing. He's really hamming it up, too: pursing his lips, giving Pat the absolutely most smoldering looks over the edge of the pad, shifting his feet every time Pat starts to fidget — nudging Pat's legs just enough to keep him interested.

And Pat is interested. He knows the look in Pran's eyes. The sly, calculating look Pran gets when Pat is lounging in Pran's bed, covers pushed down far enough to reveal the low rise of his boxers that always precedes Pran flinging himself on top of him, putting all of his weight into tackling Pat into the bed and then —

and then —

— well.

"Stop it with your bedroom eyes," Pat complains, warmth flooding his body. "There are people around."

"You like it," Pran says. There's that confident dimple of his again, etched wickedly into his cheek. He selects another marker and makes a few more strokes on the paper.

Pat does. "If that's what you want to think," he says, but he's smiling. He can feel it stretching his cheeks wide enough that they ache. He bites his lip to try and rein it in, but his cheeks don't stop aching.

"It's what I know," Pran says. He taps the end of his marker to his lips, then nods, and makes another few marks. "Are you ready to see my masterpiece?"

"Give it to me," Pat says, the anticipation burbling through him.

Pran turns his drafting pad around and tilts it toward Pat. On it, he's drawn a big smiley face over a stick figure wearing a rough sketch of Pat's t-shirt.

Pat clutches a hand to his chest. "So beautiful," he says. He really is genuinely touched. There are a few scribbles that he's pretty sure are supposed to be his hair. It's definitely not Pran's best — Pat has see his designs for classes — but it's still cute. Pat is pretty sure Pran was leaning into a joke by making him a stick figure, but it's still just. It's nice. "You have so much talent, Pran."

"I was really inspired," Pran says. "With a muse like you, I had to do my best."

"I can see that," says Pat. He wants to kiss Pran so badly. "You should frame that. Hang it above your bed. A crowning jewel of your efforts."

"Maybe I will," Pran says. He catches Pat's eyes and smiles, a crooked, secret little thing. He runs his foot up and down the side of Pat's leg. "Come over tonight and see if I put it up."

"I come over every night," Pat says.

He really wants to kiss Pran, which means that it's time to go.

"I'm gonna go meet up with my group now," he adds, screwing his face up into a look of devastation. "I'll see you tonight?"

The look Pran gives him is heavy, loaded with promise. "Tonight," he confirms.

+++

Pran's lap is nice. So nice. Pat stretches, tilting his head back so that he can look up the long lines of Pran's chest and see the cut of his jaw looming above. There's a rough patch on the underside of his chin, a little spot that he must have missed while shaving. Pat reaches up and presses a finger to it, feels the rasp of the short, growing hairs there.

"Stop it," Pran says. He tosses his phone onto the couch cushion next to him and swats Pat's hand away; when Pat goes to rub the patch with his other hand, Pran captures that, too, and laces their fingers together. "You're drunk."

"Yes," Pat says, comfortably. He'd gone out with Korn and Mo and Chang, a new bar that isn't waited on by anyone from the Architecture faculty. He's really been hamming up the breakup and kicking Korn under the table every time Korn gives him an expression like slow your roll, buddy, you're exaggerating way too much. It's nice; Mo bought him several pity beers as Korn watched with growing exasperation.

Never mind that Pat and Pran have been 'broken up' for almost a year now. Some of the Engineering girls who overheard the story decided Pat and Pran were star-crossed; a set of sorrowfully-fated lovers, and Pat has leaned into their stories. It minimizes the amount of times his friends offer to help set him up with someone new. Hearing Chang talk about a cute new girl or guy he's seen in the freshy classes is funny sometimes, especially when Pran overhears and gets a complicated, jealous look on his face, but it wears thin quickly the more it happens.

"Usually you get cranky when you're drunk," Pran says.

"How can I be cranky?" Pat asks. "It's way too nice to be cranky." He's so comfortable. Pran's lap is nice. His pants have an annoying seam that's digging in at the nape of Pat's neck, but everything else is so comfortable.

Plus, as a bonus, Pran smells amazing. At first, Pat thought that Pran just smelled fresh, like his laundry and shampoo and his fastidious use of air fresheners and surface cleaners. But it's more than that. It was when they were staying at Uncle Tong's, far away from Pran's usual ungents and soaps, that Pat grew to really appreciate just how enticing Pran's natural scent is. It's musky and deep and intoxicating.

He twists his head, seeking the smell. It's at its thickest at the dark sweaty corners of Pran's body — his crotch, his armpits, the crease at the back of his knees — and, by having his head in Pran's lap, Pat has very convenient access to the source of Pran's aroma.

"What are you doing, silly boy," Pran laughs. He releases his grip on Pat's hand to run his fingers through Pat's hair, tugging lightly at the ends of the short strands at the nape of Pat's neck. Pat can't tell if Pran is trying to ease his face away from his crotch, but since Pran hasn't told him he can't nuzzle against the gentle swell of Pran's soft cock through his pants, Pat's not going to stop. "You're so weird."

Pat hums. He feels so wobbly and nice. His arms are heavy from the beers, and his heart is full from a fun night with friends capped off by melting all over Pran's lap. He's mostly passed through the bloom of all-over horniess that always marks the edge of his descent into tipsiness, but, as he twists his head again, trying to catch a whiff of Pran's musk, he figures that he could be convinced of a second flush of arousal.

"If you wanna suck my dick so bad, you could just ask," Pran says. He pinches Pat's earlobe, then strokes gentle fingers down Pat's neck from there.

Pat shivers.

"Don't wanna suck your dick," he says. Lies. Sort of? It's a partial truth. He likes the flavor of Pran, too, but it doesn't intoxicate him the same way that Pran's smell does. "Just wanna get drunk on you."

"You're already drunk on alcohol," Pran says. When Pat manages to bring himself to squint upward — pulling his nose away from the source of smell — there's a secret smile tucked away on Pran's face.

Pat bites his lower lip. If he sucked Pran's dick, Pran's smile would get even bigger. Or else he'd open his mouth and pant, raggedly, hips thrusting up into Pat's overfull mouth. Pat could gag on him, and Pran's smell would rise up to greet him.

Tempting.

"You smell like you," Pat says, tipping his head back to the nexus of Pran's lap, puzzling through it. "Not soap. Not detergent."

"Oh, this again," Pran says, on a staccato huff of laughter. "You and my smell. You're obsessed."

"You smell good," Pat says. He pats the closest part of Pran he can reach, which ends up being where Pran's ribcage meets his stomach.

"You smell like stale beer," Pran says. He catches Pat's hand up in his again and brings it to his mouth, brushing a kiss against his fingertips.

Pat pokes one of his fingers into Pran's mouth. Mmm. Sharp teeth. Pran left a mark with those sharp teeth on Pat's chest, right above his right nipple, just before Pat left for the night. It's one of the only parts that's actually covered by that ridiculous shirt you're wearing, he'd explained, tugging at the hem of Pat's top to settle the fabric back into place.

Sure, Pat had cut really big armholes on the shirt. Sure, he'd widened the neckline. But he's a good-looking guy! He's gotta go out there and do himself proud! He'd flexed for Pran, wincing through the residual ache from the bite, laughing as Pran swatted at him and hustled him out the door to his friends.

Maybe he should flex again. He likes the way Pran rolls his eyes every time he does it. But when he goes to stretch his arm out, Pran's body is in the way.

"You think I'm a sexy, sexy boy," he says, instead, which he's pretty sure communicates the same general message as flexing.

"You know," Pran says, conversationally. "I genuinely can't tell if you're trying to rile me up or not."

"Hmmmmm," says Pat. He rocks his head back and forth; it's neither a nod nor a shake. "Mmmm-mmmm. Mmmm-hmmm?"

Pran makes one of Pat's top ten favorite Pran faces — the one where he drops his mouth open with a tiny little huff and widens his eyes in a display of incredulous pretend-shock.

"Me neither," Pat clarifies. He shifts his head back and forth a little, nestling deeper into Pran's lap. "I just like how you smell."

"That much is obvious," Pran says, rolling his eyes. He tousels Pat's hair too, though, scrubbing his hand through it with a rough sort of fondness.

Pat wriggles, pressing his head against Pran's touch, twisting until the pad of Pran's thumb catches at his hairline and drags through his fringe.

"You're such a puppy," Pran says, so Pat waggles his eyebrows at Pran and then sticks his tongue out, panting lightly.

"Woof," Pat adds, as clarification, when Pran raises an eyebrow at him.

Pran rolls his eyes. "The worst puppy," he amends.

"Your favorite puppy," Pat says. He shifts again. Pran's lap is comfortable, but his neck is at a bit of an angle and it's starting to feel stiff.

"You're really going to have to stop that," says Pran. "Unless you've changed your mind about sucking my dick."

Pat twists his head to the side again, pressing his cheek against Pran's crotch to feel. Sure enough, he can feel the line of Pran's cock, half-hard and warm through the thin fabric of Pran's sleep pants. "Okay," Pat mumbles against the bulge, and giggles when Pran jabs a finger at his side, tickling his ribs. "Hey!"

"If you're gonna annoy me, I'm gonna annoy you right back," Pran tells him. "That's the deal."

"I'm not annoying you," Pat protests. "I'm appreciating you."

He punctuates his words by reaching up and draping his hand around Pran's neck, then using that leverage to haul himself halfway up — and pull Pran half way down.

"See?" he says, and smacks a kiss to Pran's cheek, then another to the corner of his mouth. "Appreciating."

Pran catches Pat as he pushes forward to press a kiss to Pran's lips, gripping the base of Pat's head and holding him against his mouth. It's an awkward press for about half a second, and then Pran gentles the quick peck Pat was going for into a sweeping, ardent kiss. It heats up quickly. Pran's fingertips dig into the soft places at the edge of Pat's hairline, right where his skull meets his neck, and Pat clings right back. He tangles his fingers in the short hair at the back of Pran's head, holding himself half-aloft, stomach muscles tensing with the effort. The rigidity with which he's holding himself is a stark contrast to the way that Pran is working Pat's mouth open with his lips, gently probing past them with tiny swipes of his tongue. Pran's tiny movements have Pat bobbling gently back and forth, floating on the trailing edge of his tipsiness and the intermittently-lax grip Pran has on him. Theirs is an elastic sort of connection, pulling apart and snapping back with every movement of Pran's mouth against Pat's.

Pat feels like he's going breathless with the kiss. Warmth is spreading through him, coiling in his stomach, curling through his toes. It follows the flush he felt when he first started drinking earlier that night; he buzzes more from Pran's mouth than he did from the beer.

Pran eases his mouth away, and Pat cranes up for more, but Pran sits up, disentangling his hands from the back of Pat's head and easing him back down firmly onto his lap.

"That's appreciation," he says, sternly, brushing a finger against the curve of Pat's cheek.

Pat blinks up at him, dazed. He tugs the hem of Pat's shirt and pulls it over his face. Enveloped in Pran's scent, he buries his nose in the soft hair on Pran's lower belly.

"Okay, I feel appreciated," he mumbles. Pressing his lips to Pran's belly, he inhales deeply.

+++

Dating is basically impossible when you're "broken up," it turns out, unless you go somewhere where nobody at all knows you — which is inevitably far enough away that people will start to realize you're both gone before you come back.

It helps, Pat thinks, that Pa and Ink and Wai and Korn are in on the secret. They can help cover for Pat and Pran's relationship. Ink has all but moved into Pat and Pa's room, since Pat has — despite "breaking up" — spent almost every single night for the past four months in Pran's dorm bed. He has a drawer. He has his shampoo in Pran's shower and a toothbrush tucked away in the vanity mirror — plausible deniability, for when Pran's other friends show up. He has a tin can phone that he can throw at Pran's childhood bedroom window on the occasions when one of them has to go back home for the night.

But it's date night, and Wai and Korn are both busy with some kind of work thing, and Ink is photographing Pa for a class project.

Pran is twiddling his pencil in between his fingers. The eraser doesn't hit the desk every time, and it sets up an inconsistent rhythm. "There's a curry place, um, half an hour away? In the opposite direction of the mall."

"Curry sounds good," Pat says. He reaches forward and captures Pran's hand in his own, stilling it. "Wanna go now?"

"I just gotta text Safe that I can't come over to work on homework tonight," Pran says.

"Which excuse are you using today?" Pat asks. "Hanging out with Korn?"

Pran shakes his head. "Dad needs help with inventory," he says, waggling his eyebrows.

"Is the inventory my dick?" Pat asks, pressing a hand to the front of his jeans, close enough to his thigh that he can outline the soft swell of it.

Pran snorts. "You're not 'dad,'" he says, with a roll of his eyes. "Anyway, what's your excuse?"

"Laundry," Pat says, sighing. "Since Pa is so busy and can't do it anymore."

Pran laughs outright. "Like you'd ever do your own laundry," he says.

"That's what Chang said," Pat sighs. It's true, though. Pran's been doing his laundry for months now. If Pat can get away with never doing laundry in his life, he'll do so happily.

They make their way to the curry place, sitting across the aisle from each other on the train until they're what Pran deems to be a safe enough distance from the university to sit next to each other. Then, he lets Pat tangle their fingers together and rest their hands on his thigh, which he presses up against Pran's leg.

"We should talk about what we're going to do after college," Pran says.

"We have a whole year to figure it out," Pat says. He doesn't like to think about life after college. He knows what the expectations are if he doesn't get hired by some engineering firm. The internship he has lined up for the summer will be good, but he hates that it will keep him separated from Pran for so long.

Pran gives him a sharp look. "Okay," he says, finally. "We can table it."

Pat tilts his head against Pran's shoulder. "Okay," he says. "Okay."

After dinner, they walk down the street together, just wandering. Pat has a vague intention of getting ice cream before they head back to the dorm, but neither of them have a particular destination in mind — this part of town is semi-familiar, but Pat hasn't really spent time in the area since he and Pran were in school together years ago.

They're not quite hand-in-hand, but Pat keeps slowing down so that he can let the back of his hand brush against the back of Pran's with every step. A promise of closeness, even if they can't act on it in the middle of the city like this.

Suddenly, Pran freezes. "Wait," he hisses. "Is that—"

Pat follows Pran's gaze and spies an eminently familiar ponytail across the street. "I thought Korn was at work," he says, frowning. Korn is laughing and leaning against someone, but Pat can't quite make out who.

Pran shakes his head and nudges Pat, hard, knocking him just enough to the side that he can see —

"Is that Wai?"

Wai starts to turn around, and Pran shoves Pat down an adjacent alley.

"What—" Pat says.

Pran shoves a hand over Pat's mouth, miming a shush with his finger to his own lips. "This isn't where Wai said he was going to be tonight," he hisses.

Pat stares Pran dead in the eye. "This is my move," he says, his words a mumble against Pran's hand.

Pran just lifts an eyebrow at Pat, so Pat licks the palm of Pran's hand. It doesn't work — while there was maybe a point in their past when Pran would make a disgusted noise and shove Pat away, that time has long since passed. Now, Pran just raises an eyebrow at Pat, like is this the best you can do?

Pat could lick Pran's palm again, wetter this time, but he just tugs Pran's hand away instead so that he can twist and look out into the street again.

"Are they..." he starts, frowning at the way that Wai has crossed his arms and is laughing at something Korn is saying.

"Wai hasn't said anything," Pran murmurs. "They're probably just... getting something for their project."

"What project is that again?" Pat asks. He blinks. Korn has his hands on his hips and he's doing a weird little shimmy. "Korn said something, but I thought they were... separate. For school."

A third, unfamiliar person comes out of a shop door across the street and says something to Korn, who alters his posture to invite the guy into their conversation.

"I guess we could go say hi," Pran says, after a beat. "They're just talking."

Pat tugs him back before he can head out of the alley. "I have a better idea of stuff we can do," he says, and trails a finger down Pran's lips. "Since we can't tuck away like this back on campus."

"Oh, do you?" Pran asks, raising both eyebrows at Pat, the corner of his mouth quirking up and etching toward his dimple. He turns to face Pat fully, slumping toward the wall.

He's so pretty. Pat knows that Pran is pretty — he sees him every day; he knows how beautiful Pran looks in all lights, in all stages of dress and undress, in all moods and fits of pique and wild hares.

But it's striking, just how pretty Pran is in this grimy alley, the harsh neon glare from the street outside streaming through as the last remnants of daylight start to ebb away. The light plays out on his cheeks in reds and blues; his eyes glitter with it. Pran's t-shirt has a boat neck and it slips over Pran's collarbone. Pat wants to put his mouth on it. He knows he can't taste the neon of the streetlights on Pran's skin, but he wants to try anyway.

"We could go find out what Wai and Korn are doing all the way out here," Pat says, taking a step forward, crowding Pran against the wall. "Or..."

"Or?" Pran asks, reaching out and sliding a hand along the side of Pat's waist.

Pat kisses him, deep and insistent. Pran tastes like the curry he had for dinner, rich and coconutty and savory.

"I should have got what you had," Pat muses, licking his lips as he draws back just far enough that Pran leans forward to chase his lips.

Pran pauses at that, a scant inch away from kissing Pat again. "You're so annoying," he says, and then he's pulling Pat forward, sharply. His mouth is a hot slide against Pat's, slick and urgent as he leans back against the alley wall and tugs Pat's hips against his.

"Hi," Pat says, inanely, pushing one hand through Pran's hair and resting the other on his hip, working his fingers under the hem of Pran's shirt and stroking along the tender skin of his hip.

Pran doesn't answer; he just tilts his head and shifts the angle of the kiss, tugging Pat's lip into his mouth and biting down, just enough to send a frisson of arousal through Pat's body.

Pat likes to think of their relationship as elastic, but he wants to be plastic for Pran. He wants the marks that Pran leaves on his body to remain forever, an indented reminder of the load Pran has applied to his skin. Deformed, Pat's professors call it, but Pat likes to think of it more as remaking. The same way they've remade their relationship over and over again, changing its central properties until it can withstand the stress and bounce back every time. Forced enmity shifted into friendship; friendship adjusted into love. The rest of the world might think that the added strain of people finding out led to them irrevocably shearing apart, but they've adjusted. They're made of sterner stuff than that.

But it would be nice, if Pran was the one who could destabilize Pat. Pat already feels like he's inwardly yielding to Pran, changing in tiny, permanent ways in response to Pran's presence in his life. And sometimes he just wants the rest of the world to be able to see Pran's effect, too.

For now, all he can do is pull Pran away from his mouth and offer up his neck instead. Pran bites down gladly — Pat's pretty sure Pran also wants him to be plastic — irreversibly moldable — for him. He likes bruising Pat up and then applying cream to soothe him back down.

"I want you," Pat tells Pran, tightening his grip on the back of Pran's head to hold him harder against his collarbone. Pran's mouth is a wet, hot thing, and Pat can feel his own skin heating under it. Pran's teeth are as sharp as his tongue is soft. Pran is always a study in polarity: happy faces and sad faces; strength and yield; sternness and softness. He likes to rigorously define his emotions and then ignore them entirely. He likes to piss Pat off and make him happy in equal measure.

Pran just hums his response, one hand dropping down to Pat's waist and gripping on tight. Pat can feel Pran's dick starting to chub up against his thigh. His own cock is stirring, too, intrigued by the bursts of sound coming from the entryway of the alley and the way that Pran is sucking a bruise right into a spot where the last one has only just started to fade to a sickly yellow.

"I love you," Pat amends, and jerks Pran's face up, pulling him into a kiss.

"So needy," Pran murmurs against his lips. "You always want my attention, don't you?"

"Yes," Pat says. It's not an admission; he's just reiterating a fact they're both intimately familiar with. "Always."

Pran hums, pleased. "Good news," he says. "I'll always give it to you."

He pulls Pat in for another kiss, and Pat loses a little time like that, caught up in the push and pull of holding onto Pran, opening up for him and working Pran's mouth open with his lips in return. His entire body is tingling. His dick is getting harder in his jeans, but it's almost an afterthought to the way that Pran's fingers are digging into Pat's side; the way Pran's teeth are digging into Pat's lips.

Almost.

Then there's a larger flush of sound than the stuff that's been trickling in from the street. A door swinging open, the clatter of chatter between two people coming into the alleyway.

It takes Pat a moment to register the fact that there are people, standing there, watching as he ruts his hips forward against Pran's, kissing him frantically. When he realizes, he jerks back. "Pran," he says.

"Shit," Pran says. His lips look bruised in the dim light of the alley. There's a flush of brightness from the open door, cut through with the shadows of two people standing there, watching in shock. "Uh, we should. We should go home."

"Yeah," says Pat. "Yeah. Let's — sorry," he calls, to the guys who are just standing there. He laces his fingers with Pran's and pulls him out of the alley.

Wai and Korn are no longer standing on the other side of the street, but then again, the sun has fully set in the time that Pat and Pran were making out against the wall, so that's not particularly surprising.

+++

They're not kissing as they slam through the door of Pran's dorm room, but that's only just because they could be seen by someone who thinks they're broken up.

The second the door closes behind Pat, Pran is shoving him against it, locking it with one hand as he pushes the other down Pat's pants.

Pat has lost part of his hard-on during their trip back to campus, but he's still got a half-chub from all the designs Pran was drawing on his knee with delicate, occasionally-sharp fingers. His dick perks up quickly as Pran wraps a hand loosely around it, pressing the heel of his palm down in a way that's lightly painful but mostly just titillating.

"I want you in my bed five minutes ago," Pran tells him. "Naked and calling my name."

"Gonna have to let me away from this door if you want that to happen," Pat replies. He starts pulling at Pran's shirt, trying to fumble it over his head.

Pran lets him, bringing his arms over Pat's shoulders as Pat tries to tug his sleeves all the way down, trapping him with his half-removed top. "I got you now," he says, wrestling Pat away from the door and pulling his arms tight around him.

"Do you?" Pat asks, smacking a kiss to Pran's lips and then darting down, free from his grip. He rushes into the bedroom, jumping to avoid the snap of Pran's shirt as he flicks it at Pat's backside, only to get wrestled to the bed by Pran, who has divested himself entirely of the shirt and unbuttoned his pants for good measure.

"I do," says Pran, lying on Pat with his entire bodyweight, pressing him into the mattress.

"Wait," Pat says, as Pran shifts to start pulling Pat's clothes off, too. "Wait wait wait! Nong Nao can't—"

"Yeah," Pran says, rolling his eyes fondly. He reaches over and grabs Pat's Nong Nao doll, then tosses it in the corner of the room, carefully, so that it can't watch them. "I know, buddy."

"Thanks," Pat says, patting Pran's dick through his pants in appreciation.

Then he surges up, wrestling Pran over and slamming his back onto the bed, too, leaning in to kiss him deeply.

They have a game, of sorts. The first one to slick their fingers up with lube tops. It's always in the same bedside drawer — on Pran's side of the bed, because Pran insists that it's his room, so he gets to decide how it's decorated.

Not that lube is a decoration.

Not that Pat is really fighting Pran having closer access to the lube, either.

Today he feels like playing, though, so he wrestles his clothes off — part of the stipulation of their game is that you have to be naked to go for the lube — climbing off Pran just long enough to shove his pants and boxers down. By the time he's kicked them off, he sees Pran just pushing his own briefs down, pants puddled at the side of the bed.

"I'm gonna win," Pat tells him, and lunges for the bedside table.

Pran laughs. "You're gonna let me win," he says, confidently, and elbows Pat just hard enough that Pat has to skitter away to keep it from landing in a way that actually hurts.

Pat considers grabbing Pran's leg and dragging him across the bed — it's an appealing thought, especially when he thinks about the disgruntled look Pran would get on his face when Pat started pulling — but then he thinks about Pran's smart, thin fingers working him open.

It's a distracting thought.

Pran gets to the lube first.

"Told you," Pran says, smugly, squeezing some out onto his hand. "Lie back and be quiet."

"I'm always quiet," Pat says. "And I never lie back."

"Neither of these things is true," Pran says, and he leans in to kiss Pat, stroking his slick hand over Pat's dick as he does so, giving it a few lazy, tight pumps that have Pat moaning and pressing his hips into Pran's touch.

Pran uses his leverage to wrestle Pat back down onto the bed, pressing him into the mattress once more. "Spread," he says, tapping a finger to Pat's thighs.

Pat gives Pran a long look. He glances down at Pran's fingers, slick and pale against the dark flush of his own cock. He glances at Pran's dick, too, which is big and hard between his legs, curving up and to the right, swaying a little with his movements.

"Fine," he groans, and flops back, letting his legs fall open. He props one up, foot pushed against the mattress, to give Pran better access, and tries not to groan super loud when Pran brushes a wet, warm finger against Pat's entrance.

Sometimes, Pran will finger Pat until he cries and begs for more.

Today is not one of those times.

He works Pat open perfunctorily, two fingers pressed quickly in, getting Pat good and wet. (Pat is, in truth, still a little loose from that morning.) Then he's pulling his fingers out and pumping his fist over his own cock in slow, tight drags, smirking down at Pat as Pat pouts back at him.

"If you want me to be quiet, you should actually give me what I want," Pat points out, licking his lips and stretching in a way he knows Pran finds particularly appealing.

He doesn't kiss his biceps, even though he knows Pran likes them. He doesn't want Pran to pause to tease him for it. Focus, that's the name of the game now.

"Didn't you say earlier that you'll always give me attention?" he adds.

Pran sighs audibly, rolling his eyes in the way that means he's hiding how overwhelmingly fond he's feeling. "Fine," he says, sounding very put-upon indeed.

But he kisses Pat, and presses Pat's legs wider open, so Pat doesn't mind the affectation too much.

Then the blunt head of his cock is pressing against Pat's entrance, splitting him wide and pushing him open.

Yield strength, Pat thinks, inanely. The point at which stress pushes something from elasticity to plasticity. He wants his body to fundamentally reshape itself, altered so that it can always be a home for Pran.

Also, it just feels really fucking good. Pat loves Pran's big cock, the way it makes him feel stretched-out and wild. It's electrifying, sending his nerves singing throughout his body.

Pat hooks a leg behind Pran's, using it to pull him tighter in, closer, forcing Pran to rock back and forth in small, sharp movements. He likes feeling like Pran is grinding into him — not the long, slick slide of Pran pulling out nearly to the tip and diving back, but close enough that Pran's lower belly is brushing against Pat's balls, Pat's dick caught between their bodies, the friction of the closeness drawing out blurts of precome and slicking its slide.

"Shhh, shhh," Pran murmurs, which is what makes Pat realize he's chanting oh fuck oh fuck oh fuck, Pran, please in between his other noises — moans, gasps, grunts. "The neighbors will hear, shhhhhh."

Pat wants the neighbors to hear. He likes the idea of it, the idea that they'll give him a dirty look in the hall in the morning.

Or maybe not him. They'll know it was Pran eliciting the noises, not that it was Pat making them.

Even better. They'll be jealous that they're not being fucked by Pran. That they're not being stretched open by his huge dick, held as he grinds into them with smooth rolls of his hips.

"Make me shhhh," Pat says, pushing up against Pran, trying to pull him even deeper, so Pran presses an openmouthed kiss to Pat's mouth. Pran is panting into it, lips loose and wet and cool against Pat's, and it's not like Pat can do much better.

At least it muffles some of his noises, he thinks, as Pran pulls back farther and then dives in, pressing their bodies tightly together.

It doesn't take long for Pat to come, a spring reaching its fullest extension and then snapping back into itself. The tension in his body unwinds with his orgasm, rocking through him and leaving him boneless on the bed as Pran fucks him through it.

"Come on, buddy," Pat says, thrilled with the ache growing around his groin. His stomach is wet with his come; it's smearing against Pran's belly, too. "Come on. Let go for me."

Pran reaches to the side, grabbing at the bedclothes until Pat shifts his arm, letting Pran's fingers reach his wrist. Pran grips on tight, then slides his hands up, tangling their sweaty fingers together.

Then he's groaning and collapsing against Pat. Warmth and wet spreads inside Pat. He thinks about making some kind of joke — gross, now I have to deal with the fact that you were too impatient for a condom, maybe — but he's happy and he likes the feeling of it so instead, he just lets Pran pull out and flop down on top of him, fingers interlocked, pressing a sweaty kiss to his jaw.

"You're thinking of elastic again, aren't you," Pran says, tiredly, as he rolls slightly to the side, using Pat's chest like a pillow, tilting his head over so he can kiss a bead of sweat from one of Pat's pecs.

"What," Pat says. He had been ruminating on how this was their best natural state; the one which they seem to always come back to. Naked and tangled up in each other, stuck together by sweat and jizz and all their affection. "How did you—"

"Saw all of your sappy little doodles in the margins of your Materials Science notebook," Pran says, smugly. "You like me so much."

"Guess I'm a winner, then," Pat says. He tugs their joined hands up to his nose and takes a big whiff. Pran's hand smells like both of them, thick and musty with it.

Then he kisses their tangle of fingers.