Summary: A Luke/Seth near miss. Two little companion fics. Seth remembers an incident Luke can't get over.

He is Flawed

As he passed by, Luke called Seth a name and Seth just waved it off. It didn't matter. It was just background noise. He was used to it. He hardly ever even thought about when it started.

It was in the locker room, where Luke probably felt in his element. Seth felt the opposite. He wore his Gym clothes under his regular clothes so he wouldn't put the other guys to shame with his cut to perfection physical form. Yes, that was the reason. He was nothing if not considerate of his fellow man.

Seth didn't hurry out there either. No rush getting to run around or contort himself or otherwise place his superior physique in mortal danger of getting sprained or something. He stuffed things into his locker almost in slow motion. He could waste even more time by putting things in order so they wouldn't spill out the next time he opened it. But where's the fun in that?

He held the stuff with one hand and slammed the locker with the other. And without losing a finger. When he turned, Seth found that Luke was leaning next to him. Like in a horror movie, when the killer pops up out of nowhere.

Seth sighed. Luke was grinning and staring at him. It was never good to have the full, undivided attention of a guy like that. And they were alone. So full and undivided attention it was.

Seth didn't know what to make of it then. Luke's hand brushed up against his hair. When Luke put his hand on the back of his neck, it felt heavy and very warm. Seth didn't remember any of the chattering he did at the time. Luke seemed to be playing with him, not hurting him. Like a cat playing with a mouse as Seth heard they liked to do. Luke was touching his ear, holding him by the arm, resting his arm on Seth's shoulder so that Seth thought he would collapse under the weight. Luke put his hand on the back of Seth's head and twisted his fingers into his hair and tugged so that Seth's head went back. It was then that he became aware that Luke was pressing into him. There was a look on Luke's face, playful and a little mean, but also sort of burning into him. Seth remembered what he said then. It wasn't chatter.

"What are you doing?"

Seth remembered how clear and sharp the words had been. How Luke jumped and looked confused.

Seth honestly didn't think Luke knew what he was doing. And he would have been perfectly happy to go on not knowing, if only Seth hadn't asked. And in that tone. Like when you catch someone.

Seth got out in one peace by doing some fast walking-the-hell-out-of-there before Luke could get his brain into the right gear.

The name-calling started after that, of course. The words were just waves in the air. Seth knew it hardly had anything to do with him.


The teacher was talking while writing stuff on the board. Luke wasn't getting either one. He wrote down some of it, but he mostly fought to keep his eyes open. He would just have to wait for his tutor to explain it to him.

He could see Cohen out of the corner of his eye writing everything down. Not just the equations, the stuff the teacher was saying too. Seth wrote fast. He got more and more hunched over so that he was bent over his desk. Luke cold see him clearly now. Mostly that weird, really dark, sort of curly hair and the side of his face. And he seemed completely lost, like he was going to fall into the notebook. Luke thought about grabbing the back of his collar to pull him back. Like when your drunk buddy is about to do a face-plant into the dip. Except that sometimes you let him because it's worth the laugh.

They were sitting right where Luke could see them as he ate. Well, he could see Seth, Ryan's back was to him. Seth was talking a mile a minute. He would move his sandwich up to his mouth, as if to take a bite, but never make it as he kept talking. The sandwich got lowered to the plate and then got back up only to go back to the plate untouched.

Luke couldn't hear any words, just the low, jittery sound of Seth's voice. Ryan was leaning back with his legs stuck out into Seth's space. Seth was leaning toward him. Even though he couldn't see him, Luke pictured Ryan looking at Seth with that steady, hooded gaze. It reminded Luke of something he couldn't place. Maybe a calm sea, or something like that. One of those things people like to fall into.

Sitting forward, Ryan reached out as if to take Seth's sandwich. Seth grabbed up his sandwich defensively and finally took a big bite.

Luke got this equation. Ryan wasn't in town for two seconds and they were stuck to each other.

Though Luke was right in his field of vision the whole time, Seth's eyes flicked to him only once.

The end