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Felix's POV

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He can feel eyes on him. It's a distinct uncomfortable prickling down the ridges of his spine, his brain sensing something just outside the field of his vision. Something foreign and far too fixated on him. Somewhere in the back of his mind the thought, the name of this feeling, gets an articulate form.

Someone's watching.

Felix turns his head to the left, causing the long black cord of his headphones to shift over the thick myrtle canvas of jacket as his eyes scan over the bustling landscape of students meandering across the main courtyard's field with a look that's equal parts boredom and gray. He thinks, for a fleeting moment, that it's just his imagination. He's seen too many horror films and read too much Stephen King lately. It's just his mind playing tricks on him.

Regardless, he isn't the type to fret, so he doesn't. He goes right on reading Psycho with his legs sprawled out, ankles crossed, head hung over the worn pages of paperback.

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Felix has never been terribly interested in the people around him on campus.

A few semesters spent behind a curtain of sorority girls and frat boys constantly cantillating on about public service and humility had sucked the sociability right out of him. And the athletes, that were so deeply invested in perfecting their performance it was a wonder they had any room left in their brain to communicate with other human beings outside of their sport. He couldn't begin to fathom how they passed their academic classes. Perhaps it was the bleach white smiles. Grins so toothy it was a wonder they didn't leave teeth marks on the people they charmed, the people they had tripping over themselves to please and ripping out the seams of personality to fit a mold that just wasn't made for them. They didn't fit, but it didn't stop the underclassmen from trying anyway. As far as Felix was concerned, the athlete's skulls were cavernous halls, emptied of all critical thinking and capability to process something more complex than sports rankings or the best way to score a point.

All that aside, he still found a place for himself on the campus.

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Underneath a burly oak tree in the center of the courtyard, Felix took refuge from the moral injustice that was the average IQ and personality of the drones on campus. He had spent a great deal of effort making himself look unapproachable—the tattoos (an "x" behind his left ear, a slew underneath his clothes, an infinity symbol on the right of his right middle finger) and piercings (a small collective on his ears alone, matched nicely with the one black ring on the far right side of his mouth) and dark clothes. He thought that would be more than enough, but as an extra precaution he took the time to find himself a nice little spot in the usually abandoned courtyard between his dorm building and the art building. He sat slumped at the back entrance of each, the buildings facing away as if they were having a spat in which neither could bear to look at the other.

And for the most part he remained undisturbed, except for the occasional feeling that someone was watching him. He never saw anyone, but he knew someone was there, the same way a hunter sensed a nearby threat. But without any physical evidence, Felix was left bereft—save for the feeling of exaggerated paranoia. So he put these thoughts out of his mind. The thoughts making him feel as if he is the center of someone's universe, that someone would spend as much time watching him as he does getting lost between the pages of novel after novel, the twisted words of which are like the nurturing caress of home.

Home is where the heart is, that's what they say.

If that's true, then Felix's heart is surely located in the psychopathic, sadistic, deadly embraces of Norman Bates and Jean-Baptiste Grenouille. Though it might have been misguided, his affection for such tales of blood and terror could not be stifled by the norms of "socially acceptable" favorites.

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The voyeur finally manifests himself one Wednesday afternoon, his feet clad in Vans as they nudge one of Felix's legs. He looks up, eyes dragging across the expanse of legs so tightly wrapped in fabric it was impossible not to let his gaze linger. His pesterer has a paint splattered myrtle Henley and a shamrock colored material tied around his head, functioning as the most ineffective headband Felix has ever seen. The fringe right above his forehead is the only section that even remotely looks contained. While the rest of the half sandy half red tinged mass spills over the fabric and pours out from underneath the sides of the wrap, falling in haphazard lazy curls in front of and behind his ears. He's got the limbs of a gazelle, lean and shaped for ultimate performance.

And he looks smug as all hell. Too smug for someone with a lollipop in their mouth. Felix doesn't recognize him from any of his classes, so he figures it must be a case of mistaken identity, which is why he doesn't take his headphones out. The kid seems quite determined to have his attention, but seems totally unbothered when Felix doesn't speak to him. He crouches when Felix's eyes turn back down to the pages nestled in his lap, reaching with ink stained hands for the novel.

Quick as lightening, he snatches the book from Felix before the boy can even start raising his hand to stop him. He stands again as Felix immediately frowns, and pulls a headphone from his ear, opening his mouth to speak in protest.

"Oh don't mind me." The boy chirps, turning the book over until it's totally vertical. Felix is mildly concerned he'll lose his place—though he's read the novel four times over so it isn't that big of a deal. It'll just be inconvenient and annoying.

"That's impossible." Felix retorts, nearly deadpan as he moves to stand. He's much taller than this stranger, by at least a full head. "You have my book."

"Peter." The boy offers as he turns on his heel and begins walking as if he expects Felix to follow. And he does, but only because he wants his book back. "Is a book so important?"

It's said quietly, conversationally, as if he had expected Felix to follow him and now he's just played right into his grabby little hands. The realization is prickling to say the least. Felix comes to a halt just before they enter the art building, feeling petulant and rebellious. "Yes."

Peter continues wandering forward, as if he hadn't really wanted Felix's answer. He shifts his feet to swivel his body around in time to press his back into the push handle of the door, all the while keeping his eyes glued to the novel in his hands as he continues to turn it. Like reading it at different angles will enhance the experience or something. He takes three steps backward to ease the door open before he finally stops.

By now Felix is mildly curious as to where Peter thinks he's leading him, but he can't think of anything intelligent to say. He's speechless, which is kind of a first. He always has things he wants to say to people, he's just selective about who he actually speaks to. And he's already exchanged more words than he wanted to with this stranger. The door is opened wide enough for Felix to enter, and Peter stands, contently turning the book every now and then as his eyes flit across the pages.

He isn't sure why, but he says, "Felix."

Finally Peter looks up, grinning and chewing on the stick Felix now realizes has no candy on the end of it. "You coming, Felix?"

Felix's name on Peter's tongue is…quite lovely if he's being honest, and he decides in that moment that Peter is quite attractive for being a total asshole.

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Peter takes him to his work space in the studio, which is oddly empty for it being the middle of the afternoon. Felix quickly finds out that it mostly belongs to Peter, since he takes up the most space.

They enter a semi-circle half composed of paintings, drawings, and photography, and half composed of sculptures. It seems like too much artwork for one student to produce, but then Felix recalls the amount of papers he's written and decides it's totally plausible. They're stored electronically on the laptop in the messenger back on his shoulder and suddenly he relents.

Peter still has his book held hostage, with his finger closed between the bulk of pages. Psycho isn't a thick novel, which makes it easy for Peter to keep it closed and bookmarked with his fingers. There's a table to the right of the semi-circle of work, where a hash of art supplies and tools are splayed out across the surface. Pens, pencils, paint brushes, sculpting tools, virtually anything anyone could want to use for art all in one place. In between the jumble of tools lay two different sketchbooks, one of larger thick proportion that looked to be several inches tall and the other much more flat and less threatening. Both sport black covers and look well used. Peter hovers by this work table gesticulating with the book in his left hand as he reaches for a pencil with his right.

It takes a few moments for Felix to realize he's speaking to him.

"…and I mean if you're more comfortable living like a boring slop that's your choice. I'm just saying you could be so much more than that. You just need a little guidance. Perhaps a little more effort than most other people."

Felix's forehead wrinkles, nose crinkling. "What?"

Peter sniggers at him as he approaches an easel with large sheets of thin paper resting on its lip. "Have I got your attention now?"

Felix suddenly remembers that he doesn't know this kid, and despite the fact that he's growing more and more attractive by the second, he doesn't have the time to stand around here and watch this guy be…weirdly familiar with him.

(Coincidently, Felix does have the time. He just doesn't want Peter to know about it. Mostly because…he really doesn't want Peter to know about how much free time there is for him to fill in.)

"Can I have my book back?" He tries really hard to sound thoroughly put off by Peter and his antics, but even he can tell from the soft tone of his voice that the feeling doesn't come across. But it feels like he should keep his voice down in the presence of all this artwork. It's quite good actually. He catches his eyes drifting toward it during the lull between his question and Peter's answer. Each piece seems to fit together, a theme that strings them all together. Images and forms depicting splashes of an island so exotic it could only exist in someone like Peter's mind.

The pencil in Peter's hand flies, dragging graphite across the surface of the sheet paper, slivery arcs dipping and tumbling into sharp angles as the utensil scritches across the large plane of white. He's creating something and it's an effortless, jubilant, carefree process. The lines start to form vague shapes, the valleys of white becoming smaller and smaller as Peter erases them with stroke after stroke after each scrit-scratch of his pencil. Felix gets so absorbed watching him that he actually forgets about the book, and his question, and why he wanted to leave in the first place.

It takes Felix fifteen entire minutes to remember that he has a life outside watching this guy draw a picture of…something. He can't really tell, but it vaguely looks like something Felix should recognize, even though he knows he's never seen it before. Still, his consciousness is waking up, and it's telling him to leave. Because this kid is clearly a hazard to his health if he can render him speechless and stationary for such long stretches of time. Before his body can lull back into the oddly comfortable state of watching Peter, Felix shuffles his feet and paces forward.

Peter still has the book clutched between his ink stained fingertips, and Felix finds himself wondering what he had been creating earlier that left his hands so dirtied. He assumes it was part of the life of an artist. To be in a constant state of stained, splattered mess and covered with ink, paint, and oil, with blends of graphite and water thrown in. He means to make his tone firm and slightly harsh, to bite this stranger to keep him from acting so beamish with him, but when he speaks the tone is exceedingly intenerated.

"Are you gonna give it back or not?"

There's an impressive line of gray running in a curve on the lower right half of the canvas, and it's as if Peter can see the lines and shapes that he wants to draw already, he's got it right in front of him pristine and clear as crystal. The only reason he needs a pen or paper or pencil or paint is just so he can chase the images down. He pins them down and brings them to another dimension, where everyone else, everyone who isn't as gifted as he is, those people that can't see between the realities of art and truth, can see them just as he does.

The idea that everyone who isn't an artist can't see the true beauty in the world is a dyspeptic one to say the least, but watching Peter now, the way he can move a pencil so carelessly across paper as if there isn't a conceivable way he can mess up, is intoxicating and mind-blowing. And this dyspeptic idea suddenly seems so plausible.

Felix doesn't care that he can't see the world that Peter does—and why should he? They had met not but twenty minutes ago. Yet…it feels as if they shared a century's worth of history between them, possibly more, and now that Felix is here, in this studio, Peter can bring out that history from the depths of forgotten memories. Memories lost to the ravages of time.

To Felix, it feels like they've built an entire world, an entire universe that's all their own, and it's a concept he can't quite grasp. So he reaches toward the sanctuary and imagination of fiction to help guide him.

From beside him Peter finally speaks, "Can I borrow it?"

"No" is right there on the tip of his tongue, but the word that escapes is, "Yes."

Peter tells him to return for it in a few days, whatever that means. He doesn't seem terribly concerned with concept of time and the way it works. But before Felix can make it out the door of the studio Peter stops him, jogging up from behind to offer his hand—whether Felix wants it or not. He palms Felix's hand in his, the ink from his fingers just as warm as the skin beneath it, and in that moment it feels as if time stops.

A jolt of electricity hits him, crackling beneath his skin as Peter grins around his next words, "See you later, Felix."

Felix leaves feeling more or less assaulted by the utter presence of the artist named Peter. He looks at his hand, convinced that he'll see ink smudged onto his palm, and in a way he does. It's on the corner of a page torn from one of Peter's sketch books. A phone number.

Huh.

He doesn't remember asking for it, but he types it into his phone and sends Peter a text with his name and number regardless.

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He doesn't really know how it happens or why, but Peter starts becoming a part of his daily routine. If he isn't physically with him, he's getting texts from him, receiving pictures of works in progress or amusing sights. He finds out pretty quickly that Peter's entire schedule revolves around the art building, which isn't much of a surprise. He sends a lot of pictures, which Felix begins to understand is just the language Peter uses. He likes words if they're pretty or eloquent, but they aren't his craft. It isn't a style he's spent much time on, because he's always preferred to show rather than tell, which is why he had such a fascination with Felix's words.

He likes them, and often tells the boy so when he phrases something particularly well. He often has Felix read the papers he's written, just so he can hear the boy's thoughts articulated academically. Personally, Felix thinks the papers are boring as hell, but Peter doesn't seem to mind as he sketches on the dorm room floor, nodding his head every once in a while like they're having a conversation. He's encouraged him to write fiction several times now, under the premise that he'd love to see what Felix's "pretty little head" came up with. Peter likes the flowery language and run-on metaphors, the ones that stretch on for so long and use so many words that often times you lose sight of what it all means. There's too much crammed into one sentence for it to make sense. Felix likes the praise Peter gives him, because it's not just words. It's visual (a toothy smile framed in lips), tangible (warm and firm), intimate (fingers folded over the slope of shoulder).

It all feels so real, but at the same time it's so gorgeous, so magnificent, so beautiful that it feels ethereal.

He feels comfortable with Peter, like they've known each other for years instead of weeks. They feel so close, so irrevocably invested in one another that it's almost terrifying. How had he lived before he met Peter?

Well, in truth, he hadn't.

He had merely functioned.

And the difference between functioning and living was so vast that it could take you an eternity to explore it all.

He feels totally whole when Peter's around.

Which is why it's so natural when they're sitting in the studio one day and Peter leans over and kisses him right when he's in the middle of a sentence.

Felix blinks, utterly astounded by the action. He isn't sure what to make of it, but Peter moves on, standing and grinning as he always does with a finger pressed to his lips. "Don't question it."

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The next time it happens, Peter is in the middle of painting in his trademark Henley, but his head isn't wrapped. It hasn't been for the past couple of days and that's truly odd. He has to pause every now and then to brush the fringe out of his eyes with the back of his hand or his wrist.

"What happened to your headband?"

Felix is sitting on the floor in a camping chair that rides low to the ground. A shoeless, headbandless, Peter glances over his shoulder, paint brush poised over canvas. He points to the right with the thumb of his left hand. Felix looks to the work bench and spots the discarded material with blobs of paint and ink on it.

"Ran out of trays."

"Oh."

And so he gets up, heads back to his dorm room, and brings back one of his old black sheets.

Peter pads over on light feet, nearly soundless in his graceful steps, when Felix stands in front of the workbench. He finds what he's looking for, a pair of industrial scissors, and begins cutting strips of fabric in roughly (he's just guestimating based on what he's observed) the same dimensions as the discarded head wrap. When he's finished, he picks up one of the pieces and turns to Peter, who has remained at silent at his side, and ties the soft bit of sheet around his head, tucking all the fringe back and out of his eyes like he's played with Peter's hair a thousand times.

"There. Now you have extras." He says in lieu of explanation.

Peter looks more than satisfied, like Felix has passed some test. Setting the paintbrush on a the discarded headband, Peter curls his left hand round the back of the taller boy's neck and pulls him down till their mouths fit together.

It's like coal burning slow. Heat radiates from mouth to mouth, with hot touches of tongue to teeth, seeking out the dips and valleys. This kiss melts into another, and another, and another, and it's nearly suffocating. Felix nearly drowns in the vacuum between where his breath blends with Peter's. He inhales carbon; it warms his tongue, and for a few moments that's all there is. Kisses and tongues and carbon instead of oxygen. He feels light headed; dizzy; lost in the wonder of the moment.

Arms wrapped around Peter's waist, Felix pulls him in so tight that their bodies both fight to push air in and out at the same time. But Felix is taller so it gets easier—his diaphragm pushes up higher on Peter's torso as he snickers against the teeth nipping at his bottom lip. It's all playful, unhurried, and over much too soon.

There isn't much room to breathe. But if Felix has to choose between breathing and kissing Peter there isn't much of a contest. Air loses every time.

Peter tilts his head back and laughs. Presses another kiss to the other boy's mouth, the fingers on Felix's neck squeezing minutely. There's a secret in the way he pulls away from Felix with a twinkle in his eye, but Peter doesn't elaborate.

Felix gets the feeling he's just toying with him, but it doesn't stop his stomach from doing somersaults at the thought of Peter kissing him again.

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Peter likes looking at his tattoos.

He spends long moments just…staring, memorizing every detail of every image. Taking everything in, pinning them down in his head the way he pins down his paintings. Felix can't quite understand it, but Peter seems to think of him as a masterpiece. Perfectly crafted and made to be admired.

Sweat sticks to the carpet as it rubs against Felix's skin. It warms his back as he lay sprawled in front of the couch in Peter's dorm room, a cigarette wedged between his teeth waiting to be lit. He doesn't make a move because Peter is staring at him so intently, almost like he's looking through him. Right down into his soul or something. The lighter is in his hand, waiting to strike flame into the air, waiting to burn the cancer right onto his tongue. It sort of feels like a showdown to see who will move first. Quick draw. But at the same time the first who moves will be the first to break the spell. Whatever that means.

On his right he's got an old sailing ship curving around the side, with an anchor etched in thick lines of black and blue under his bicep, and a compass under his forearm. A tiny palm tree, on the top side of his arm, crosses over another and sways above the lines of a snake as it coils around the swell of an apple with its head poking out of the soft flesh of the fruit on the right far side. The illuminati symbol stares out boldly from the top side of bicep, and there's so many smaller, insignificant images squeezed in between the bigger ones that Peter gets a little lost.

He reigns the focus back in and nips at the two swallows crying out in ecstasy on Felix's left hip. The bulk of ink is on the boy's arms and sides, leaving his chest and the rest of torso mostly blank. Peter finds it curious as he keeps kissing up till he hits the line of Felix's sternum.

"Why so bare?"

Felix knows what he means, shuddering as Peter catches the metal stud on the left side of his chest. The skin around it is soft and tightens immediately under the onslaught of flat presses of tongue and nips of teeth. His unlit cigarette forgotten as it falls out of his mouth and onto the carpet.

Peter crooks two fingers inside him, pushing forward, well passed the knuckle, and recedes—like the waves of the ocean. Felix gets these short bursts of warmth down his spine as he shivers, thoughts sputtering to keep up with the slow burning rhythm.

"…no inspiration." He manages between the little gasps.

Peter hums, withdrawing his fingers completely before shoving forward again, grinning at the breathless moan it pulls from the other boy. He leans down and bites at the stud again, the hard tang of metal a sharp contrast to the taste of soft warmth of skin, and kisses the area after suckling harshly for a few moments.

"I'll draw something for you."

It isn't a question.

Felix nods, ready to whine when the fingers leave him. Standing, and still fully clothed, Peter tilts his head, a silent indication to follow, and pads toward the bedroom. If he weren't already well aroused and halfway to begging, Felix might've questioned why they had started on the floor in the living room if they were going to have to move to the bedroom anyway. But he doesn't.

He stands on unsteady naked legs and pads after Peter. Who's in the slow process of shedding his clothes and tossing them over his head to litter the floor and the furniture. At the sight of him, Felix can't contain himself any longer, so he pushes the boy down and strips the rest of his clothes off much less elegantly.

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Honestly, when Peter asks Felix to fuck him it's a complete surprise. They've only just started making out on the bed and from the way things have been progressing, with Peter being the one constantly using his fingers to make Felix see stars—crooking in one, two, three at a time—he really expected Peter shove him down and fuck his brains out at any given time. But he can't say he doesn't visibly shudder in pleasure at the idea of being able to dominate the other boy.

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For a guy who uses his hands for ninety percent of his major, Peter's nails are terribly kept. Despite the bulk of them being blunt, they still bite into Felix's skin like they're razor sharp, dragging down the length of his back as Peter arches into Felix like a cat rubbing its body against the sharp corners of furniture. The pain is dull, but addictive. Like the burn of a cigarette as the nicotine winds its way into the system.

And the sounds Peter makes.

Felix can easily go mad listening to Peter keen into his ear, biting at the first bit of metal he can get his teeth around. Sometimes it's a sudden, short little gasp, a hitch of breath or a harsh exhale. But more often than not it's a needy, heavy sound, in the back of his throat and deep in his chest. Like he feels the need all the way down to his heart.

He's pretty small for a college kid. But personality wise, Peter should be the sun, and Felix, the moon. Cause all he ever does is reflect Peter's light. He's just like a mirror; flat; a conduit. Just a vessel—a catalyst to get you to the real thing just around the bend. Peter is the sun, the light, the life of the party. The world couldn't exist without him in it.

(This logic is a little flawed, cause Felix doesn't think of himself as being nearly as effective as the moon. He doesn't pull waves in and out, nor does he light up the night landscape. Every now and then, he's like the moon in the way that he hides himself from the world, showing only the outlines of his being, and not the true merit within. But enough about that, back to the sounds.)

In his left ear, Peter's purring, thighs hitched up high on Felix's waist, nails biting into the small of his back, pushing him in further, deeper, harder.

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Over all, for his first time, it isn't bad.

It's a little awkward when he comes so much faster than Peter. (Whoops). Though it feels like hours, it's only been minutes and it feels like they've barely gotten started. He can feel the warmth of the ejaculate stuffed in deep, waiting to leak out the moment he pulls back.

Needless to say, it's really, really, really, really, really embarrassing.

Peter for his part looks…amused. Like he expected this to happen.

But Felix doesn't want to hear what he has to say about how fast he just got off, so he pulls out and shuffles down until his lips fit around Peter's cock.

Now he's no expert at giving head, but he's certainly received enough of it to have an idea of what feels good. Then it occurs to him that Peter's probably expecting this too, and worries that he might be a little too predictable too quickly.

So naturally, he swallows down as deep as he can manage, presses two fingers into the leaking ring of muscle, and pushes in at the same moment that he swallows.

And he thinks—but he could be wrong here—he thinks he hears Peter say something like, "Jesus fucking Christ, Felix."

Thankfully, Peter isn't too far behind him on the orgasm train. Maybe a car or two down. Regardless, Felix makes a point to catch him up as fast as possible. And if that means nearly choking himself to death on the boy's cock to get him there then so be it. Peter seems to appreciate the sentiment, fingers tangled in his hair, palms soft on Felix's head as it bobs up and down rapidly.

He's bending his back up, like he's trying to restrain himself, and squirming his hips—tiny little twitches in the muscles like he wants to cant his hips up, so Felix shoves another finger inside him as he swallows again. And the way he moans has Felix nearly seeing things. Or maybe it's the lack of air. Either way it gets him to the station.

Somehow, despite the way his jaw is already sore and cramping up, Felix swallows down the come as it hits the back of his throat, even licks his lips when Peter's all spent like he wants seconds.

Peter's eyes glaze over, "Get up here," he says as his hands shift down to curl around Felix's jaw, pulling him up by the face to kiss his swollen lips. It's comfortable between Peter's legs. He likes it there. And with the boy trailing kisses along the line of sore muscles in his jaw, Felix thinks he could easily fall asleep. So he does.

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He wakes up alone in Peter's bed. Or at least, he thinks he's alone till he picks up his head and looks to the left to find the other boy sitting on top of the desk in his room, legs crossed, with a sketchbook poised on his lap. He's sketching without a shirt or pants on (he thinks he catches a glimpse of boxer briefs), but from this angle Felix can't see what it is he's drawing exactly, so he asks, "What're you drawing?"

Peter keeps glancing between him and the sketchbook, a slow smirk spreading over his lips. "You."

Felix groans, drops his head back down to the mattress, and brings up his arms to cover his head. He's lying on his stomach, so it's easy to hide his face with his arms. Normally he doesn't mind being naked—and for the most part he doesn't care if others see him—but somehow the idea that Peter is sitting there studying him hard enough to draw him is horrendously mortifying. More mortifying than coming too early during their first round of sex. He hears Peter tsk and assumes he's shaking his head. "Oh come on. You're gorgeous, and I'm almost done. Just a bit longer."

Another groan is his response and the boy laughs. "I had no idea you were so sensitive." Another laugh at the dirty subtext, "Well, I had an idea, but who knew you were such a delicate flower."

"I'm not a flower." He grumbles out from the tiny sliver of space between his arm and the mattress.

He hears Peter getting up from his perch on the desk, padding over to press a kiss to the back of his head. Then his neck. The bed dips under the added weight as Peter shifts onto it above him, knees pressing softly to Felix's body.

"Seriously." He murmurs, pressing a kiss to the top of spine where neck blends into back, "You're absolutely gorgeous," another kiss down just an inch, "I've never seen a body as well-crafted as yours." Down, "Like your spine," down further, "when I think about all the ways it can bend," further down, " and about how long your body is," further down still, "and about all the ways we can fuck…"

"I get a little dizzy." Without his permission, Felix's body has been relaxing under Peter's touch, arms falling from their spot keeping his face hidden. Now that it's exposed Peter is suddenly at his ear, kissing the shell and nipping at the piercings there. His next admission is a groan right into Felix's ear canal and it leaves the boy impossibly warm and aroused, "You drive me crazy, Felix. Most days I can hardly contain myself around you."

Felix turns his head toward Peter, catching his lips as the boy presses forward. He smooths a hand down Felix's back as they kiss quietly for a few moments, breaking away after the sixth or seventh, to grin. "So lemme finish."

There aren't many options at this point, so Felix rolls his eyes and heaves a sigh. "Fine."

"Bless you, you gorgeous, sexy beast you." Felix snorts as Peter pecks a kiss on his cheek before he's gone from the bed, heading back toward his perch.

It's weird and embarrassing to think of why Peter feels the need to compliment him so much. He's not obligated and surely it can't be true. He's probably just messing with him. After all it's not like they're dating. Right?

They fall into silence as Peter keeps sketching.

Right?

"Hey, Peter, can I ask you something?"

"I'd say you already have," He turns the sketch book on his lap, presumably to begin shading, "But if you have a more exciting question, go ahead. Shoot."

This is so stupid. The question is heavy, stupid, and like solid lead on his tongue. "Are we…dating?"

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Peter's POV

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"I don't like that word."

He sees Felix swallow from across the room, with millions—possibly billions—of little questions buzzing around in his pretty little head. Peter waits for him to catch up.

"Which?" He says finally, after rolling his tongue around in his mouth for a few moments, folding his arms underneath his head so he can prop his chin up on his forearm.

"Dating."

"Oh." Felix looks dejected, like a sad puppy sitting in a bathtub.

Peter steels himself as the silence rolls in, bracing for the awkwardness to come. He likes this kid. (Really, he does.) He likes how easily Felix bends for him, likes the way he accommodates and acclimates around his every need. And he can tell by the way Felix is starting to shift around on the bed like he wants to leave, that whatever he says next is important. He has to think his next words through very, very, very carefully. Lest he break the boy entirely. (Which he realizes with a mix of horror and amusement, he could do pretty easily if he sets his mind to it.)

Stupidly, he says, "It's not like I have a problem with the concept."

What?

(He does, in fact, have a problem with the entire concept. It's stupid. And trivial, and usually, a total waste of time in the grand scheme of things. So why the hell had he just said he'd be okay with it?)

Still, he gets a weird rush of satisfaction—giddiness—when Felix perks up, proverbial tail starting to wag. And Peter thinks to himself: Fuck.

"Really?" The excitement is evident, despite Felix's valiant attempt to hide it underneath a layer of monotone.

He knows in that moment that he's really and truly fucked. And not in the good way.

Peter really doesn't like labels. What's the point of naming things anyway? Words are so interchangeable, and half the time people choose the wrong ones and change around the meanings so often that nothing ever really permanently means the same thing after a while. As time passes, so do the meanings of words. Nothing is permanent.

But Felix is looking at him, looking about ready to beg or roll over if Peter asks him to, so he feels a little obligated to elaborate.

"I don't like labels. They're like…" His shoulders hunch briefly, head lifting as he searches for the right words. They're so much harder to pin down than pictures. His mind reels as it tries to construct an explanation that suits him, trying to go sentence by sentence to figure out an order that works. But ultimately his mind falls on pictures, and all he can picture is a box, so he rolls with it. "A box."

Felix's nose crinkles endearingly, and Peter can tell he's using that brain of his to piece things together, like fitting variables into an algorithm. "You don't like being contained." He says easily, after a few moments to think things over.

It's a rush of pleasant endorphins. Once again, Felix has passed. He's let Peter lay out the pieces of the puzzle, all jumbled and disjointed, and then he just picks them up and puts them together like it's the most natural thing he's ever done in his life. The feeling is beautiful and warm, filling his muscles and puffing out his chest, and he could swoon over the notion that Felix was made just to put all his puzzles together. He feels a boundless bliss pumping through his veins, feels free to say whatever he wants regardless of sense or diction. But he doesn't know how to articulate any of it into dialogue.

So he shrugs, as if he has nothing else to say on the matter and focuses on the steadily forming graphite version of Felix coming to life on his sketchpad to distract him from the jovial thoughts beginning to stir in his head.

Thankfully, Felix doesn't ask him to elaborate on what that means for "them".

.

Weeks later they've moved passed the concept of "dating" and launched into something more…complicated.

First of all, it should be noted that Peter has always kept a semi-wide array of available fucks at any given time—it keeps things interesting and most of the time he bores easily. He needs more than one person to keep him satisfied. Usually. As of two days ago however, the array of people he knows that are able to fuck him to ultimate satisfaction has dwindled. They've all become horrendously dull, and boring doesn't even begin to encompass a description for the way they make him want to beat his head against the bland drywall.

He leaves the room of some guitarist (that he can't remember the name of) feeling restless. Jittery with the tension of going unsated. And as he hikes up the stairs on his way to Felix's dorm room, he thinks about how hard the guitarist had tried to make him come. Moaning and pleading like a wanton whore, gagging himself a few times as he tried to shove Peter's dick as far into his throat as it could possibly go, he'd even fucked him until he went soft. The technique was about average, and surprisingly, it wasn't the size. That much Peter's certain of. Him and Felix are roughly the same size and dimension.

Peter stops in his tracks, frozen to the spot by one very simple question. Since when did he know the exact size and dimension of Felix Nyström's dick? His foot is poised on the last step. Just one more step, down the hall, take a left, two doors down on the ride side of the hall. And there's Felix's room. Presumably with Felix himself inside. (He didn't do much on Thursday nights, cause of the early class on Friday mornings.) Which means if he just keeps walking without thinking too much he could get this problem of being unsatisfied taken care of.

Wait.

What?

When did details about Felix's day become part of his everyday knowledge? Since when did he run back to Felix to finish him off as a result of an unsuccessful tryst with a lowly guitarist? Peter should have been flipping that unsuccessful fuck over and pounding his musical ass into the mattress until he reached completion, then be moving on with his life. As he always did. Instead he's been spending all his free time with Felix, apparently memorizing his schedule, and measuring his dick to even out the horrible monotony that he's fallen into. And, curiously enough, it's been working.

He's always liked the idea of having Felix's full and undivided attention. Especially after seeing how the boy could sit in one spot and read a book from cover to cover in one sitting. Felix was loyal; determined; devoted to the task at hand. And a few weeks ago, Peter had made the conscious decision that he sort of (desperately) wanted that devotion for himself.

So he drew a web and snared Felix in it (with all the grace of a turtle on ice, but still, it'd worked.)

Fast forward to the present. He's got a raging hard on and on he's his way to Felix's room to take care of it. There's a moment taken to adjust himself against the strain of his pants, hissing "fuck," as he takes the last step onto the third floor. Some awkward steps forward as thoughts of Felix bare and willing beneath him surface. He looks down at his groin, feeling betrayed by its antics. Shame on you, he thinks, almost ashamed of how easily his body has begun to crave another. Well, he isn't about to run back down three flights of god damn stairs with his dick this hard.

.

When Felix answers the door and sees his…situation he steps aside and doesn't ask any questions, but Peter offers an answer anyway to dilute the notion that he's there just cause it's Felix and no one else can satisfy as well as he can, "Was thinking of how good you'd look with your hands tied and I got a little excited."

It gets a blush and a nervous laugh out of the tall boy, and Peter can only purr as he saunters into the bedroom. "Got any handcuffs?"

.

He doesn't.

But they've got Peter's trademark head scarf (so graciously donated by one Mr. Nyström) to play with and plenty of other fabrics to use, to make up for the lack of sex toys. He's gotta admit, the way Felix winds his "scarf" around the pale skin of his own wrist as he explains a good way to secure it tightly, is damn near molten it's so hot. And he's gotta give extra points for creativity too. The hard on is (needless to say) uncomfortable and it's made him impatient, he almost loses interest in what Felix is saying and is ready to forgo the whole "tying up" idea altogether if he could only just fuck him—but the other boy stops suddenly, staring at him with this calculated, programming look, like he's spinning a web of long and pretty sentences in his head.

The scarf seems all but forgotten, and Peter knows he gets it. He understands that Peter really just needs him to lay himself out so he can fuck him into the mattress. Felix's fingers are deft as they pull apart the leather of his belt from the faded iron of his buckle, moving so quickly that the material makes a nice, smooth sliding sound as he pulls it off his jean clad hips. He's on his feet next, pushing button through stitch and slowly sliding the zipper down with his head tilted back as if he's…teasing and Peter loses it. He's got the boy stripped and pinned down on the mattress in a matter of moments, has Felix sitting on his knees with his hands planted on the bed below him.

Felix doesn't protest as Peter's fingers slip into his hair, palm warm against his scalp as his fingers dig in, gripping tight at the same moment his hips snap forward. He pulls his hair the same moment he moves his hips back, surging forward again in rapid, short bursts, pulling every time in between pushes. It creates this beautiful jarring effect, moving Felix's body in the most appealing ways. And he just goes with it so easily, letting Peter thrust so hard he has to be jolting joints out of place or grinding bones together. The room is filled with the sound of hips slapping against the supple curve of ass, outlined by these addictive, guttural groans coming out of Felix's throat. They off set the high pitch of Peter's moans perfectly. In a flawless, well balanced song, of high melodies and low bass.

Their bodies collide over and over, like two forces trying to whittle away the corners and round out the edges until they melt into one solid being. The desperation of it all makes it feel like passion—or something akin to it—like finishing a masterpiece.

The pleasure of being fully seated in Felix is quickly becoming Peter's favorite feeling in the world, and he suddenly can't imagine going without it. He's an addict. Addicted to the sights of Felix sweat laced and well fucked, the way his eyes glaze over afterward as they both melt in the afterglow. He's addicted to the way Felix sounds when he's been moaning for so long his voice goes hoarse, or the soft chuckle as he sinks into the mattress with his arms splayed as he waits for Peter to settle in at his side. Addicted to the smell of their rooms after sex and the way the scent of the musk wraps around his fingers like a fine silk as he sketches afterward. Addicted to the taste of sweat on the other boy's skin, and the way his mouth waters when he gets just a peek of the skin hidden under Felix's clothes. And the way Felix feels like he'saround him at all times. Whether he's fucking or getting fucked. Felix is there, clenching around him, wrapping his arms and body around Peter's, keeping him constantly close and pressed near. He thinks, sometimes, about how he'll have to figure something out soon because they've only got two more years left of easy access to each other. And Felix might go abroad.

But all of this is inconsequential, because it doesn't really mean anything. Or at least, that's what he keeps telling himself. It's what he thinks rapidly as he keeps a hand on Felix's hip, fingers curling around to stroke the swallows on the front. It doesn't mean anything that he's got the details of Felix's day memorized or the fact that it's quickly becoming apparent that he's the only one that can satisfy.

Felix cries out his name when Peter surges forward with impossibly more vigor. But it doesn't mean anything. And it's definitely not the reason Peter comes shortly after.

It isn't. Really.

It's not like he's in love or some shit.

It's just the way Felix clenches around him desperately, like he's trying to hold on and smother at the same time that has Peter coming so quickly. Honestly.

As the glowing warmth of the orgasm washes over him, Peter realizes they didn't even have a chance to kiss in the midst of all the hurried, rushing movements. He doesn't pull out at first, realizing too late that the condom he was supposed use is sitting in the back pocket of the pants that are barely half way down his thighs. But it's hot and pleasant and he isn't ready to leave the heat of Felix yet. So to remedy the situation he leans forward, sloping his stomach along the length of Felix's much longer back, and kisses the boy's spine. And kisses it and kisses it.

Detangling his fingers, he slips his hand around the front of the boy to find him still hard, and grins, pressing his teeth into the nearest vertebrae. He hears a little whine as the fingers that had moments ago been tugging on hair start tugging on hot hard flesh, and he knows Felix is close.

He keens as Peter keeps steadily jacking him off from behind, and even though he's spent and soft he doesn't want the come leaking out just yet, so he remains where he is, pressed up as close as he can be to keep it from spilling out. And then he gets a very good idea.

He leans back to push Felix's head down with his other hand, delighting in the way the boy easily shifts his chest down, his ass bending upwards as Peter withdraws, relinquishing his entire hold on Felix to tug the material of his pants back up his hips and to tuck himself away.

"Such a good boy," Peter coos, stroking a hand half way down Felix's spine and pressing his thumb to the curve of the boy's tailbone as he watches the come start to leak out with a grin that surely rivaled that of the Cheshire cat. Then he can't help himself, he's curious and he really wants to know what sound Felix's throat will make.

Leaning forward, he laps at white liquid as it runs down the crease—like dalles, rivers running up against the walls of a canyon-tasting his own ejaculate. It's salty, sour, just a bit wrong. Like he shouldn't be the one doing this. But he presses forward with his tongue again regardless, trailing up and pushing passed the tight ring of muscle into the heat where his dick had previously been squeezed so tightly. And the sound Felix makes has him instantly seeing stars. Like the first hit of nicotine as the embers of a cigarette burn the tongue.

First it's one finger then two, pushing in and sliding out, mixed with pushes of tongue, stretching bit by bit,as he gathers almost every drop on his tongue. When he's sure he can't hold any more he continues with his fingers, a steady rhythm in and out, rolling forward and back like waves lapping at the shoreline. He leans back, slips an arm round the boy's torso and pulls him upright, in and out—with a bit more vigor. Pulls at Felix's hair with his other fingers, palm warm as it caresses gently at the half formed dirty blonde curls. Felix tips his head back, resting it against Peter's shoulder open mouthed, as Peter keeps on fucking him with his fingers. He waits a moment, enjoying the soft puffs of warm breath as they're exhaled sharply, punctuated by little gasps as Peter purposely nudges his prostate.

Then he leans forward, leading with a tongue full of come, and feeds it right into his open mouth. Unsurprisingly, Felix accepts it easily. What is surprisinghowever, is his how eagerly his tongue moves forward to slip it off Peter's tongue, rolling over it greedily as he practically inhales every last drop. By then, Peter feels the resurgence of arousal stirring in his groin and he has to groan into the kiss, beyond overjoyed at this turn of events.

.

In the aftermath, when the sweat dries and their bodies cool, Peter lays his head on Felix's chest. They're sprawled out on his bed, and the two of them are…still. Felix with American Psycho in front of him, reading aloud as he always does when he's around Peter, and Peter with a sketchbook opened in his lap. He doesn't recall when exactly, but at some point he'd starting leaving things in the other boy's room. Sketchbooks, shirts, pencils, pants, the like. Enough has accumulated at this point that he's actually taking up a full drawer. His own full drawer.

Some of Felix's fingers are stroking at his skin, and he's so comfortable he almost wants to fall asleep. His pencil is still in his hand, fingers lazily cradling it in his palm, spinning the utensil around uselessly as he works up the energy to drag graphite across paper.

And then it happens. He falls asleep. Right in front of Felix. He falls asleep. In the middle of the day. He falls asleep.

He never falls asleep in front of others.

.

Listening to Felix read to him is where it must have all gone wrong, Peter thinks as he sets his sketchbook aside, taking a moment to palm the sheets that had, just a few hours before, held the warmth of the other boy's long and gorgeous body. He lost sight of what he really wanted the moment Felix began reading aloud to him.

It must have been the words.

Words, words, words.

They were so tricky.

Peter'd never quite gotten the hang of them. At least, not in the way he wanted to anyway. He'd always liked the way the more developed, run-on language sounded. And rhetoric, done well, had always held his interest. He could appreciate it all spread out on a wall before him, like artwork in a gallery, a gallery of consonants and vowels, all squashed together in different forms to make different sounds. And how curious it all was! How you could put one letter in one spot and have it sound one way, only to move it to a new spot a few words later and have it sound completely different. And the words that sounded the same but looked different. How had English managed that?

He liked to think that novels were just a writer's way of painting a picture. Where instead of colors he used letters and instead of shapes he used carefully constructed sentences. Words built to look and sound a certain way. And with the addition of punctuation he could accent a sentence with shadows, giving it shades and layers, like a well contoured painting.

All Peter knew was, the closest art came to making one painting look like another was in the way people painted photographs or forged artwork. There were copies and inspired works, but no two paintings were essentially the same in sound and feel in the mouth, but entirely different in appearance. They couldn't capture the realism of speech the way words could, couldn't articulate thoughts with such varied vocabulary. And Felix's ability to master words, his ability to put them in different orders in different sentences, stacking each sentence on top of another, stacking them higher and higher and higher until it made tall and wide paragraphs, made Peter truly jealous.

He could use several words that all sounded the same but meant different things, and looked different to the eye when you laid them out side by side. Seas; Sees; Seize. All the same sound and yet vastly different purposes and meanings.

And what about those words that were spelled the same but meant different things?

Ship;ship;ship.

Noun. A vessel, especially a large oceangoing one propelled by sails or engines.

Verb. To send away, especially to another country or assignment

A native English suffix of nouns denoting condition; character; office, skill, etc

It was all so open and vast, with nearly endless possibilities. There were so many words! Peter often got lost when he tried to think of the ones he wanted and when he wanted to use them and why—cause you've always got to have a reason for using certain words, haven't you? Which is why he found Felix's ability to navigate them so easily so impressive. How'd he find his way?

The moment the first sentence of Felix's paper ended, was the exact moment Peter made it his mission to understand Felix and his ability to navigate the never ending sea of words in every capacity he could.

.

Somewhere along the way his mission had lead him astray. Perhaps he'd gotten lost again in a new valley of words. Felix's. With their long winding curves, each paragraph unfolding fresh ideas, new things to contemplate with every passing word. Every period was like a small jab—a jolt of electrical current in the brain, firing off a new question every now and then. What did it all mean?

But he never asks.

He likes to sketch while he listens, to see how his brain will translate Felix's ideas. And most of the time the artwork just turns into something so abstract that even he can't tell what the hell it's supposed to be. But when Felix sets aside his laptop to peer over at the finished sketch, with confused wrinkles in his forehead, and asks, "What's that?"

Peter always says, "It's art!" like he knows exactly what it all means.

.

Around December things are a little dismal on Peter's end. (And by dismal he means fantastic.) Somehow he's invested three and a half months in one guy. Count them. Three and a half. Consistently too.

This has never happened before. He reaches over to poke at the miniature pigtail that's made from tying the fringe of Felix's bangs together as he types up yet another essay. Peter gets the notion that this kidis a serious hazard to his carefree—artistic lifestyle. He's actually started buying things! On whims. For Felix. That don't involve sex or seducing or the intention of impressing him to get sex. He just buys shit when he's out shopping for art supplies cause he thinks Felix can use it. He's being considerate.

This has never happened before.

Peter doesn't buy things for other people just because. Most of the time, when he's out shopping for art that's the only thing on his mind, another person doesn't even enter the equation. Half the time he can't even remember the names or faces of the people he's fucked let alone what they could find useful. But he's got Felix's schedule down to a T. What he's taking and who he's taking it from and he's actually—and he's honestly a little ashamed of this—he's actually taken the time to learn when Felix has big projects or papers due. And tries to help him out.

Where the fuck has his life gone?

It's a disaster. That's for sure. He can't be busy caring about other people's schedules when he's got serious fucking around to do. Devotion will ruin all his hard earned laziness and procrastination!

(Yet his artwork has never reflected his imagination so clearly. He's finished a record number of pieces since Felix began distracting him. He feels tuned in when it comes to art, and before he had always seen things laid out before him, like vague shadows, sort of like foresight. He could see what he wanted to draw and even the process he'd have to go through to draw it. But there was a bit of interference, and it was hard for him to maintain the focus enough to draw consistently for long periods of time. But then Felix came along, adjusted the frequency, and now things were clear as crystal. He didn't even need to try to see the picture's process. And that was truly astounding.)

But this whole devoted to "one person" thing is really throwing off his social life, so he starts thinking of ways to improve the situation. But every time he gets started on an idea, his mind wanders, trailing back home like a loyal little dog. It's troubling. He's never had a problem focusing like this before. But he still tries. He tries thinking of ways to get back to the way things were before, but he always gets sidetracked. By Felix and his words. Felix and his donated headscarfs. Felix and his lip biting. Felix and his hickeys, and the little sounds he makes when Peter gets his teeth on him. And his voice and his face and his whole…person.

One big giant distraction.

.

Before long he's even thinking of inviting Felix to spend winter break with him. Which is, obviously, something he's never done before either.

His hips are moving without thought, undulating with the beat of the French saxophone, shoulders swaying in time, feet bare against the cool concrete of the studio, feet shifting back and forth in a short little jig. Moving with the waves of French melody as they fill in the empty spaces between artist and artwork, artwork and furniture, washing in through his ears and cleaning out his thoughts, sweeping them out as the sound waves recede, ebbing and flowing as the song unfolds into the climax.

He groans because this song is just gorgeous and it's the only thing he can listen to without thinking of Felix. Although this beat is kind of reminding him of the way they have sex, long and effortless and—

Damn it.

He's done it again. Brought Felix in on something that wasn't his. Not even listening to foreign music can drown the thoughts of the boy out. He keeps rising up, buoyant and persistent. Like a pesky flower sprouting out of the concrete sidewalk. But it's too late, he's picturing the boy clearly in his head now, and the way he smiles into a kiss pressed to his lips, or the way his tongue carries the vowels of Peter's name.

Three steps forward and he brings pen to page, trying to run with the vibe he had going just a few moments earlier, before he starts thinking of the boy patiently waiting to be fucked just one building over.

.

"You going home for the winter?" Felix is the one who asks, and Peter's honestly a little relieved.

"Depends," He tries to look uninterested as he pulls at the bulk of Felix's bangs with his fingers, gathering the fringe carefully and securing a child's hair tie around it. It's pink and poufy and it looks quite silly on Felix's head, but Peter gets a little thrill out of all the things Felix lets him get away with.

Felix merely blinks, waiting for Peter to elaborate as he always does, fitting a palm around one of Peter's thighs as the boy sits comfortably on his lap. He's wearing one of Felix's sweaters, it's striped, black and grey, and it's much too big for his shorter frame. But it's warm and it engulfs him in Felix's scent.

After a few moments pause, and a moment to settle back into the spot he'd left to secure Felix's bangs out of his eyes, he finally speaks again, "On what you're doing."

The way Felix's eyes twinkle in delight makes Peter want to barf a little bit—but only cause his stomach is busy doing somersaults. He feels like a fucking grade schooler with how excited he gets.

"Do you have something in mind?"

Peter pretends to deliberate over this, shifting to lay his arms on either side of Felix's neck, pulling him in a bit as he hums in thought. "I do." He leans in, nipping at the metal ring in the right corner of Felix's mouth. "But all my ideas involve us being in close proximity."

It takes him a few seconds, the gears turning slowly in the face of Peter sucking on the skin of his mouth and neck. "…you wanna come home with me?"

Well, he hadn't quite been expecting that. The idea that Felix has a place to go home to during the winter is slightly irritating, it's different from the image Peter has in the center of his mind. The idea that Felix doesn't have anything important to him outside of his relationship with Peter fizzling out and promptly dissolving into a blob of disappointment.

Relationship?

God damn it.

.

Like a dumbass, he agrees to go home with Felix. The good news is, he'll get an entire month away from school with him with the added bonus of potential access to alcohol. The bad news is, he'll have to share the time with Felix's family which—from the look of the pictures he finds on the boy's laptop a few days before they leave, look nothing short of loving and happy.

So much for Felix being dependent on him.

.

Felix's family is nothing short of picture perfect. He can tell how happy they are from the moment they pull up to the large light house, two happy stories stacked on top of each other like fluffy pancakes, syrupy vines spilling over the side and dribbling onto the immaculately kept garden which spreads out and wraps around the house, acting as the plate on which the pancakes sit.

"How peachy." Peter croons snidely as he shifts to sit upright, having slouched down during the drive out into the country.

The emergency brake cranks as Felix pulls it up right, after shifting into neutral to put the car in park. "What?"

Peter shrugs, he isn't sure what he expected, but it wasn't this. "I figured we'd pull up to something a little different."

"Like a hovel?" Felix chuckles, rich and deep and just sweet enough to make Peter's fingers tingle.

He grins at the other boy as he leans in, "I dunno. Maybe." It's murmured in a kiss, a kiss that's all lips and closed mouthed, they don't have time for one of their long convoluted metaphor-like kisses. Their mouths are soft against each other, a gentle press of mouth to mouth, before it's gone, flaring up like the tail of a firefly and dimming just as suddenly.

They get the bags out of the car and it dawns on Peter that he knows nothing about Felix's parents. He doesn't particularly care about their personal lives, but knowing their personalities and how they'll feel about their son dating a boy might be useful Personally, if Peter just gets introduced as a "friend" he'll be perfectly happy. No fuss no mess.

.

He doesn't get introduced as just a friend. And he isn't introduced to Felix's father. But his mother. And then…his…other mother.

It's a pair of women.

Felix was raised by a pair of women. No wonder he can be so motherly.

.

Felix has two mothers, and the two of them love and adore Christmas. The inside of their house looks even peppier than the outside, like the "Christmas spirit" itself staggered in (high off the jovial tone of the holidays) and barfed decorations everywhere. Fluffy cotton lines every shelf and nearly every flat surface in the house, with rosy cheeked miniatures with grins so wide it's amazing the smile doesn't fall of their tiny faces. It's sugary sweet and warm, the scent of fresh gingerbread nearly suffocating.

Peter counts at least twelve Santas on his way upstairs after he's ambushed by the two women Felix is claiming are his parents. They coo and coddle him—treat him like one of the family—despite the fact that this is his first time to their house. It's an open and welcoming place.

He finds himself wondering how on earth a 6'4'' recluse who has piercings, tattoos, reads horror fiction, and wears nothing but dark colors came from such a vibrant and happy place.

Mulan is of Asian descent, exotic and firm in a classic "rule breaker" sort of way. She's cheery and considerate around her wife, but Peter can tell she'd lay him out if he irritates her too much. From what he can tell their marriage is as close to heavenly as human beings can manage.

Aurora is something of a fairy tale princess. She sings, she dances, and she loves openly—selflessly. And she's so small that when she goes to wrap her short arms around Felix's neck she has to stand several steps up—and they're still not the same height.

There's a pair of eight year olds too. And they run around the house like twin comets tearing through the atmosphere.

They're kind of like the Brady Bunch. If the Brady Bunch consisted of three people plus a weird kid who didn't really fit in. Peter's about to make a snarky remark about the décor, until he glances over his shoulder and sees Felix hoisting one of the eight year olds into the air while the other small boy is tugging at his pant leg. His mouth promptly closes, stunned into silence by the display of utter…domesticity.

.

There's mistletoe strung up on almost every archway or doorway in the household. And at first, Peter is slightly worried he's going to get caught underneath it with one of Felix's mothers. They're always pacing in and out of a room, flitting about to maintain the title of "excellent hostesses". Or one of the his tiny siblings , a pair of copies that scurry across the floor and charge around the corners of the happy house, nearly knocking over several decorations in their constant haste. Interestingly, they're quite clean for a pair of typhoons.

Thus far he's been extraordinarily careful. He's taken the time and watched, remembering who went where and when (if he was going to be memorizing people's schedules he might as well put it to good use, turn the odds in his favor). He hasn't been caught under that damn mistletoe yet, and he doesn't plan on it happening anytime soon.

But as usual, Felix throws a wrench in his plans.

.

Felix catches him by the waist, arms snaking around and reeling him backward just as he steps clear of the doorway. Peter grunts as his back presses against Felix's chest, and squirms to get free before he's put under the commercialized holiday obligation of Christmas.

"Felix."

He tries to sound firm, but the toughness is lost the moment the other boy's mouth falls on his neck. All he gets in response is a curious noise, as Felix starts mouthing at the expanse of skin between the curls at the nape of Peter's neck and the collar of the peppy red and green knit Christmas sweater he's been forced to wear. (Felix had only gotten it on him after a few rounds of sex and by slipping it on when Peter was half asleep). It's a gift from Aurora, and she knit it herself.

It's only been a few days and Peter's already located all the alcohol. And Jesus. Does he want to drink it.

"I will not be kissed under some ridiculously commercialized form of a holiday." He insists, squirming in Felix's hold as he's unwillingly reeled backward, toward the threat of clichés and Christmas spirit. Perhaps its cause Felix is huge and all around stronger, but he gets Peter under an archway. Peter tries to squirm and shove as much as possible to discourage the other boy, but he still manages to slip around to the front, so they're facing each other as Felix leans back against a door frame.

"Alright." Felix says easily. Too easily. Peter squints at him as the boy's arms shift, hands slipping down to fit around Peter's hips. He knows Felix is up to something, but he isn't sure what. He's distracted by the sound of the rest of the family watching A Christmas Story two rooms over. The house is pretty open, with few actual doors separating the rooms, and plenty of floor space throughout, which means sound travels.

"I won't kiss you."

He strokes Peter's hips through his jeans with his thumb, leaning forward to drop a kiss in the crook of Peter's neck. And honestly, Peter should push him away right now. Because this is cheating. He isn't allowed to kiss other parts of him underneath mistletoe. But he can't make his mouth say stop as the tall boy keeps mouthing grins into his neck, his shoulder, pulling the collar of the sweater around as his kisses travel. Then he pulls away, looks up and fucking grins. Before Peter can gather his thoughts enough to scold him for disobeying, Felix is moving to his knees, pulling Peter's belt free and undoing his pants.

Oh. And this is possibly the most delicious idea Felix has ever had.

His family is two rooms over, they've got a very open floor plan, and there's very good chance someone could see them. But instead of worrying and trying to stop the situation, Peter grins right back, weaving his fingers in the messy dirty blonde curls of Felix's hair as the boy mouths at him through the soft cotton of his underwear.

It takes a bit of shuffling, but eventually Felix gets him free, and the moment he gets his mouth around him, Peter lets his head drop back and his eyes close. Suddenly, mistletoe doesn't seem so bad.

It's tough keeping quiet, and it's impressive how Felix manages to slick up his dick so quickly and with so little sound and so much salvia, and how he manages keeping quiet as his head bobs up and down so vigorously. His tongue wraps around, warm and slick around the hot flesh, and Peter can't keep still. He starts thrusting, basking in the glory that Felix is letting him fuck his face when his family is practically in the same room.

There's something dirty and sickening about it and Peter loves it.

.

When they join the rest of the family a short time later, Peter is relaxed. His nerves are calm, his mind settled with the realization that it might not be that bad if Felix is the only guy he fucks for a few more months. So what if they spend Christmas and New Years together?

It doesn't mean anything.

.

Just like it doesn't mean anything that they fuck constantly, like they can't stand to be apart for more than a few hours. Peter's been counting, and the number of times they fuck in a day is getting astronomically high. It's kind of hot—the way they can fuck anywhere as long as there's a semi-flat surface around. They've fucked on the floor of the den, on the bed Felix has had since high school, on a few of the couches, in the shower, on the back porch, against the few of the windows, against the door of Felix's closet, in a few of the bathrooms, the floor of Felix's room, in the kitchen, in one of the armchairs, in the car (just for the hell of it), on one of the swings in the backyard, even in the playroom—the list of places they've fucked is actually starting to be longer than the places they haven't fucked. It's a little scary.

And wickedly fun.

There's a thrill in the notion of being caught at any moment in the middle of something so primal. But they haven't been caught yet, and it's kind of a miracle. (If Peter actually believed in that sort of a thing).

.

On Christmas morning, Peter wakes up to the feel of Felix hard and pressing into his thigh. The grin is slow and lazy as it spreads across his lips.

"Someone's eager." His voice is low, a sleepy scrape against his throat, having been unused for a full eight hours.

Felix grumbles something into his shoulder as he rolls on top of him, moving to kiss the curve of his collarbone. The metal ring in his lip is cold, chilled during the night, and it leaves Peter's skin tingling as he watches Felix make his way down the length of his body, head disappearing underneath the comforter.

Sleep is rapidly evaporating, leaving Peter's addled mind, as the crisp air settles on his chest. He likes to watch Felix work, so he tosses the comforter off just as Felix gets his mouth around him, groaning happily as he works him to full hardness.

Moaning his name, and tugging on his hair is enough to get the tall boy to sit up, popping off Peter's prick with a satisfying pop. They tend to sleep naked—it promotes easy access and it's comfortable—so Peter can admire the small expanse of tattoos that's appeared on Felix's chest since they've been together. It's a few tropical elements, a tiny parrot perching on his right collarbone, a crude map dotting a trail from collarbone to nipple to navel to a spot marked with an "x" on the left ribcage, a split mango on the right side of his hips, but the best (and admittedly, Peter's favorite) was the word "Pan" scrawled across his heart in bold thick letters, with an immaculate crown tilted atop the first letter. They were all by Peter's deign, things he'd sketched out and colored himself. It had taken time and effort to find the right artist who could replicate Peter's work, but once they'd found her they returned time and time again.

Peter reaches forward to stroke the lettering of Pan, "Ruby does good work."

"She does good replicating your work." Felix murmurs against his mouth, nipping at Peter's lips as he kisses back. "Nobody does better work than you."

"You flatter me," Peter chuckles, shifting to nudge a thigh against one of Felix's hips. The boy takes the cue, reaching down to grope the skin, aligning their hips as one hand reaches to stroke the inside of Peter's thigh, taunting him. But Peter doesn't think he can handle teasing today which is yet another first. "Now fuck me."

Felix stares, gaze unwavering as he obediently reaches to steady himself, hips shifting forward easily, slipping inside like there's nothing to it. Peter's spine curves, feline arch producing a pleasant pull in the muscles of his back. The rhythm they fall into is slow, meticulous, and calm. Almost like a mindless peaceful act that doesn't require much thought. His arms are splayed lazily over his head, one hand tucked between the pillows, the fingers of his other hand toying with the corner of another pillow. Felix doesn't pick up the pace, thrusting in and pulling out at the speed of the calm ocean.

Peter doesn't ask him to go faster.

Just enjoys the slow push and pull of the boy's hips as he moves in and out, pressing against the right spot every time.

Felix kisses him, open mouthed and gentle, and it's like they carry an entire conversation like that. Kissing, and kissing, speaking with tongue and teeth and lips. Eventually Peter curls a hand in the Felix's hair, his other hand reaching up to join it shortly as they continue kissing.

It's slow and gentle and sweet.

And…Peter actually kind of…loves it.

He loves the way Felix takes his time mapping out every inch of his body, with his fingers and his mouth, the way he can keep a steady pace, the way he can do exactly what Peter wants the way he wants it without having to take verbal cues. He loves how Felix moans into his ear, and into the mattress a few times cause he's getting too loud. He loves how much pleasure Felix takes in giving pleasure to him, and how his breath hitches when he comes.

But most of all he loves how finally, as he feels the warmth of afterglow start to set in, it doesn't feel weird when he thinks about how much he enjoys having sex with his boyfriend.