Draco Malfoy has been watching Blaise Zabini since the middle of sixth year. He watches as Blaise seems to glide in and out of classes without being seen, he watches as Blaise eats his breakfast in the morning - smiling demurely at the Slytherin boys and girls at the table. Draco watches still, during seventh year - shrouded in the darkness in the middle of the night - while Blaise pushes a pale, blonde boy against the wall, and kisses down his neck as he gasps and moans, putting on a show. He watches, oddly enthralled - as Blaise lifts him up, and buries his cock into the boy's warmth. Draco, being a keen observer, watches as the nameless boy tries to kiss Blaise's lips - and Blaise instead opts to kiss along his cheek - easily passing the kiss off, until his lips rest on the boy's neck, sucking and marking his pale flesh. And in the darkness, Draco's lips; pale, full, but still slightly pink - curve into a devious smile.

Because Draco Malfoy is the only one who knows that Blaise Zabini doesn't kiss lips. And he's determined to find out why.

"You know," Draco drawls, as he sits back in a deep, black leather armchair in the Slytherin common room, "I was wondering…"

"That can't ever be a good thing." Pansy smirks, looking up briefly from her nails as she files them smooth.

Draco shoots her a withering glare, "I wasn't finished."

Pansy looks up now, and raises her eyebrow - gesturing loosely with her hand, "Then by all means, continue."

Satisfied that he has her attention, Draco looks back towards the fire, "As I was saying, I was wondering - how much do you know about Blaise Zabini?"

Pansy shrugs freely, looking at Draco, "Not much. Why in Merlin's name would you be interested in him?"

"My own reasons." Draco answers quickly, and easily. Perhaps too easily. "Tell me what you know about him."

Knowing that you don't question Draco Malfoy, Pansy sits back and crosses her legs, smoothing her skirt over her long thighs, "Well…" she says, her eyes slowly finding Draco's, "I do know that he's a good fuck."

"…Is he now?" Draco can't help but feel a pang of jealousy grip fiercely at his heart, before immediately letting go, and leaving a slight coldness in its wake, "So you've fucked?"

"No, but a friend of mine has been fucked by him, and he was kind enough to relay the details to me…" She answers, examining her nails for a moment before looking up at Draco, perfectly shaped eyebrows furrowing, "Why do you ask?"

"I was just curious," Draco answers, sitting up and grabbing for the package of cigarettes he has left on the table.

"Curious, were you?"

"Yes." Draco answers, taking a cigarette out of the package, "What else do you know about him?"

Pansy watches as Draco lifts his wand to the tip of the smoke, inhaling as the brown tobacco leaves light up to a brilliant, almost neon red colour, "I believe he's good in school… He's Irish-"

"But his last name is Italian," Draco adds, pale eyebrows draw together slightly as blue smoke curls around his nose and face. He lifts a hand and waves the irritating tinted air away.

"Yes, but his first is Irish," Pansy shakes her head.

Draco frowns, "But he looks Italian."

"Have you ever spoken to him?"

"Well, no…" Draco was about to say 'just watched', but quickly caught himself, and fluidly raised the cigarette to his lips, sucking in and lighting up the embers.

"Well then there you go. He's got an Irish accent." Pansy lets out a light sigh, picking up her filing wand again as she sighs lightly, "He's got the most amazing blue-green eyes I've ever seen… Anyway - I don't know much more about him, other than that. I've never really talked to him other than when I've passed him in the common room to-"

"Shut up, I don't want to hear it." Draco interrupts her immediately, a look of disdain on his pale, and by most standards - beautiful face. "Did your friend and Blaise kiss when they fucked?"

Pansy stopped, apparently in thought as she tapped the tip of her filing wand against her lip - quite appropriately. "No… I don't think they did. Why?"

"Just a question," Draco shrugs dismissively, and ashes his cigarette on the floor, calling a first year over to clean it up.

"You're asking an awful lot of questions tonight, darling." Pansy observes - quite obviously.

"…Point?" Draco says, looking leisurely up from the first year kneeling beside him, cleaning up the ashes.

Shaking her head, Pansy shrugs and once more starts to file her nails. "Nevermind."

This is where the conversation dies, because Draco gets up - and walks away. He wanders down the corridor to the private room he acquired - considering he's Head Boy, and once he mutters the password ('Slither me timbers'), he flicks his still lit cigarette down the hallway - opening, then closing his door behind himself. Leaving the cigarette to smoke in the hallway, unattended.

That is of course until Blaise Zabini walks by, and smothers the smoking embers with his shoe against the worn cement floor of the dungeons.

Draco has spent the last three days thinking about a way to, for lack of a better word, slither his way slowly into the life of Blaise Zabini's so called friends. Draco wants to find out what makes Blaise tick, what kind of a person he is, and most importantly, why he doesn't kiss lips.

He charms one Daphne Greengrass on Friday, with his perfectly shaped and located white teeth, his slight touches along her arm, or neck… but finds no useful information (aside from the fact that Blaise enjoys muggle theatre - something Draco finds rather repulsive, and the fact that Blaise has no brothers or sisters) - so he tosses her aside like wet rag.

She doesn't mind. Because she sees herself as blessed that Draco would grace her with his presence, and even further blessed that he should touch her. But Draco can't stand touching girls; girls are disgusting. Girls are gross. Girls are… well… not boys.

On Sunday, after dinner, Draco sits himself three down, and one across from Blaise at the dinner table, trying to catch the timbre of his voice. Draco finds that he does indeed have an Irish accent. But in all his time watching, Draco has never really noticed before how soft his voice is when he speaks. The tone of it never seems abrasive, it never sounds condescending; always soft, and always kind. Very un-Slytherin.

But then, seemingly out of nowhere an odd thing happens… Draco has decided that he never wants to anger Blaise, because he's found that he rather enjoys the melodious sound of Blaise's voice.

Draco has by this point, spent most of dinner listening to Blaise laugh and talk to his friends, and hasn't touched a single morsel of food on his own plate.

Blaise notices.

"Not eating tonight, then Malfoy?" Blaise asks, head tilted as a slightly harsh smile tints his rather full lips. A fake smile. A smile that Draco immediately wants to rip off of his face, and crush on the floor without remorse.

Draco looks at Blaise, and raises his eyebrow, immediately (and oddly) displeased with Blaise's question. "What matter is it of yours if I eat, or don't eat Zabini?" Zabini seems harsh to say in Draco's mind, as 'Zabini' has changed into 'Blaise' over the course of these last few months, and he's become comfortable with the way the name roll off of his tongue.

"Absolutely none."

"Then why, pray tell - did you ask?" Draco tilts his head in the same direction Blaise has - to the left, and raises his other eyebrow.

Blaise's lips simply melt into a smile that Draco has never seen before, and Draco finds himself incapable of breathing. Blaise's eyes connect with Draco's for a split second, and Draco sees far to many if's, far to many maybe's, and certainly far to many promises in those blue-green eyes. So when Blaise looks away - it's a relief. Because it means Draco can breath again, it means Draco can blink again, it means Draco can stop his heart from pounding in the middle of his throat.

Draco doesn't like the idea of getting lost in those eyes and being comfortable with the fact that perhaps he wouldn't ever want to be found - something he found himself thinking split second when his eyes locked with Blaise's.

But when Draco looks back to his plate, slightly shaken - and by a single bout of eye contact no less, Pansy notices. She doesn't say anything, bless, but she does notice.

Sometimes noticing something is far worse than actually saying anything at all.

It's Monday afternoon, a week and a half after the 'Blaise Incident' - as Draco has so labeled it in his mind, put on a badge, and hung next to his Slytherin tie - and Draco finds himself in Potions.

Draco has, without even trying, found out that Blaise's birthday is in two weeks, he's tried out to be Keeper for the Quidditch team but failed, his mother is a hypochondriac, and he once shaved his head during the summer when he was four because he wasn't allowed to get the broom he wanted.

He thinks this new information over in his mind, when a shadowed figure comes to stand in front of him. Looking up, Draco is met with Blaise's face.

"…Yes?" Draco asks, sneering slightly.

"Professor Snape has put us together."

Draco's heart jumps automatically as the words 'together' tumble out of Blaise's mouth - and his mind instantly forms a picture of himself and Blaise, walking down some quiet beach in the middle of the summer holding hands. Blinking twice, once to clear his mind of the ridiculous image, and another to wet his eyes, Draco then speaks, "Then sit down and stop blocking my view of the board."

Blaise merely smiles, and turns to walk around the desk, taking his seat beside Draco. It is at this point that Draco makes a deplorable mistake. A mistake he will berate himself relentlessly over and over again that very night.

He breathed in.

Oh… if a smell could melt someone into a small, shimmering puddle - this smell would do it. Blaise smelled sweet, but musky… unusually woodsy as Draco would come to discover much, much later. But this smell, this wonderful, full but faint smell - was absolutely… Blaise. There was no other way to describe it.

Snapping out of his near three second daze, Draco immediately looks over at Blaise's text, watching as Blaise looks over the things they'll need for the potion, "Make yourself useful and go gather the ingredients, while I go get the cauldron."

"Of course," Blaise says in a low voice, as he gets up with a slight sigh, and walks towards the back of the classroom.

Returning a few moments later, Blaise stands in his position beside Draco, and places the ingredients he holds in his hands on the table, and guides the floating ones to sit directly in front of him.

"Did you get the billywig stingers?" Draco asks as he looks underneath the cauldron in order to start the fire they'll need to begin the potion.

Blaise merely nods, "Yes," before he digs the container with the billywig stingers in it out of the neat, orderly pile in front of him. After placing the container in front of himself, he slips on a pair of dragon hide gloves.

"Good. We need the venom from inside, so you'll have to cut six of them up into four quarter length sizes, and give them to me as they need to be scalded to help the powdered poison turn into liquid once we add the magic from the unicorn hairs." Draco drawls as he looks down at his own hands, taking a moment to admire his milky, well groomed hands and fingernails, before slipping them into his own pair of (rather expensive) dragon hide gloves.

"For how long?" Blaise wonders aloud, as he picks up the knife and handles it with seasoned ease, before reaching across the table, and scooping the stingers up onto the blade of the knife, letting them tumble to rest on the cutting board in front of him.

Draco glances over at Blaise, and finds himself entranced with the way Blaise handles the knife. The movements are fluid, graceful, easy. The silver of the knife catches the light, and the sound of the blade slicing through the stingers is crisp. Clean. Just the way it should be. "Until they turn from blue, to golden brown."

"Then bank the fire a bit, because if we put them in at this temperature they'll turn black in seconds." Blaise says without even looking up from the cutting board as he cuts six stingers into four precise quarter length pieces.

Draco glances up from his current task - dipping seven strands of silver unicorn hairs into an acidic potion to burn off the magical properties and turn them into liquid - and towards Blaise before his eyes turn to the cauldron. He raises an eyebrow, "…Seems you know what You're doing, then." Then lifts his wand and banks the fire.

"Of course I do." Blaise remarks, before scooping the stingers into his hands, and dumping them into the cauldron, "Potions is my best subject, as it is yours." With this comment, Blaise looks up at Draco for a moment before turning back to the cutting board, and grabbing something that needs to be ground into powder.

Draco merely stares curiously at Blaise for a moment before lifting the vial of potion he's holding in his hand, and dumping it over the golden brown stingers with a searing sound, strangely reminiscent of bees and water hitting a hot surface, "…Indeed."

And as he hands the vial to Blaise to dispose of, Draco swears he hears Blaise's breath hitch just so when their gloved fingers touch. Then, as he watches Blaise for a moment, Draco notices that the tint of Blaise's cheeks turns slightly pinker than they had been before, as he grinds up twelve dried newt tails.

Then, with shocking clarity, Draco realizes that Blaise isn't quite as mysterious as he had once thought.

Draco has spent the next week thinking over every single possibility as to why Blaise could have blushed. There's a theory that Draco's tossing about in his mind, that perhaps the heat could have gotten to him, so his cheeks naturally flushed. But then Draco's mind wandered back to the time he caught Blaise in the hallway - and he immediately abandoned that theory as he had to take a bit of time to himself in the shower.

After this (supposedly) unfortunate incident regarding the shower - Draco has decided that the reason Blaise blushed is because he has an unnatural skin coloration problem. But then that reason served to make Draco grimace, so he threw the reason out the window, and watched as it made a loud splatting sound on the pavement below.

There was one last hypothesis (as Draco has now started to call them) that perhaps… just perhaps… Blaise blushed because he touched Draco's hand. But when Draco replays the image through his mind, it doesn't seem to make sense. Their hands were gloved, weren't they? Perhaps it was because Blaise openly complimented Draco on his Potions expertise?

Whatever the reason, it's been bothering Draco since it happened. But luckily, the constant nagging of the reason abruptly stops when an Idea pops into Draco's mind. Yes, that's right... an Idea. Draco has taken the time to capitalize the Idea, because of course - it's a grand Idea, it's a superb Idea, it's the Idea that's going to get Draco the answer he's been looking for.

The Idea, naturally, will serve to inform Draco as to why Blaise doesn't kiss lips.

"I want you to go up to him, and chat him up."

"…Chat him up?"

"Yes, chat him up. You know, be clever… be suave, charming if you will. Try and kiss him or something."

"Why am I doing this for you again?"

"Because if you don't, I'll tell your mother and father that you're taking it up the arse, curtsey of Terry Boot."

"…Right."

Draco grins in spite of himself, and watches as Theodore Nott toddle off in the direction Blaise is currently in. Draco sits back and congratulates himself on thinking up this absolutely brilliant Idea, and grins like the Cheshire cat when Blaise nods, letting Theodore sit down beside him.

But then something Draco doesn't expect happens.

His breath catches in his throat, and if they were able to, his eyes would have turned green with jealousy. Because Theodore is leaning in, and whispering in Blaise's ear, and Blaise is - of all things - smiling! Draco watches, in near rage as Blaise turns his head towards Theodore, and allows Theodore's hand to fall and rub high on his thigh.

This is not chatting up! This is arranging a shag!

Draco knew he shouldn't have trusted him! Well… trust wasn't the word. Blackmailed is more like it. It takes all the energy and self-restraint that Draco has not to stalk up to that slag Theodore, and punch his face until it's unrecognizable and bleeding profusely for touching his Blaise.

…Wait.

His Blaise? Since when has Blaise suddenly become 'his Blaise'? Draco immediately turns away, just as Blaise moves his head aside when Theodore tries to kiss him, and stalks out of the common room as he suddenly feels he's going to be sick all over his freshly polished shoes.

This is taking an unexpected and very nasty turn straight for left-field. Draco suddenly, and desperately decides to re-think this so called 'brilliant' Idea.

It's been a week, and Draco has finally cooled down enough not to glare daggers at Theodore every chance he gets. He's finally managed to quell the urge to pull out each one of Theodore's eyelashes one by one, melt his feet to the ground, and hex his face and fingers off. He's decided, that, well… boys plainly aren't the answer. So he'll try someone he knows very well. Someone he knows he can trust to get the job done right.

Himself.

Draco's decided that since he can't stand the sight of someone else touching Blaise, that he may as well be the one doing the touching. It saves Draco feelings of supreme jealousy, and at the same time, cement that he'll, personally, be the one to do the touching. This is a prospect that Draco quite enjoys the thought of. There is no better reason to approach Blaise than to try and figure out why he doesn't kiss. It's as simple as that and he wonders why he didn't think of it in the first place. Draco knows that he's certainly good enough both in looks, and attitude. He knows this because not only does he tell himself this every day in front of a mirror, but he's constantly complimented from his peers in Slytherin house.

Now, in order to get this right (as it has to be executed absolutely perfectly), Draco spends three nights planning what he will say, how he will act, and figure out just how much of Blaise he'll be touching. And finally… either a way to inject the question into the conversation without seeming obvious, or of course, how to go about trying to kiss him if he should feel so brave.

That evening, being a Friday - Draco has tidied his room up to make it look respectable, ordered a House Elf to change his sheets, and carefully worded his invite to Blaise to come to his room, and brush up on some Potions homework. Coincidentally… it is also 'date night', and Blaise accepts the invitation.

At precisely 7:37pm, a knock sounds at the door, and Draco's study of his hair in the washroom mirror is interrupted. Jumping slightly at the noise, Draco tousles his hair quickly and neatly, and leaves the bathroom to greet the visitor at the door. Taking a deep breath, Draco reaches forwards and curls his long fingers over the knob of the door, and twists it open.

Blaise looks up from the floor and to Draco, a smile forming slowly on his lips. "Evening,"

"Evening," Draco answers in the same, polite tone, and steps back, elegantly holding his arm out, sweeping it towards his rather large room, "come in."

Blaise nods at Draco and steps through the threshold of the door, and Draco can't help but feel his blood rise in anticipation of the mere idea that Blaise is in his private room. After a moments pause to take in Blaise's scent, Draco swiftly closes the door, and locks it with a silent spell.

"…So… you told me you wanted to review our Potions assignment…" Blaise starts, looking slowly around the room, his eyes catching on various pictures, or badges, before he turns and faces Draco, "but I don't see any homework or books on Potions currently out," After fully taking in his surroundings and looking into Draco's eyes, Blaise raises one eyebrow in question, smile now firmly planted on his lips.

"Well that's because I haven't yet had the time to go through my book bag and fetch the work, Zabini. Didn't your mother teach you patience?" With a steady, and practiced smile, Draco's eyes follow Blaise as he walks past him and to his desk. He then leans over the back of the wooden chair, and begins to go through his bag.

"My mother hasn't taught me anything other than how to mix a proper drink, and serve appetizers at a party." Blaise grins at Draco before he walks forwards and stops just to the side of Draco.

Blaise is close enough that he can now see the individual eyelashes surrounding Draco's eyes, and certainly close enough that he can see how Draco's Adam's Apple bobs up and down when he swallows. Which he does. Twice.

Draco gathers what little fragments of his composure that he's lost, and rewards Blaise with a measured laugh, and nods, "Well one must always be aware of how to serve guests… speaking of which - help yourself to a drink, if you'd like." Draco finally pulls his books out of his bag, and motions towards to the side, in the general direction of four glasses in front of a bottle that contains a warm-coloured amber liquid.

"Mmm, no thank-you. I'd much rather devote all of my attention to the subject at hand," Blaise remarks, eyes not leaving Draco's face.

Draco's breath catches slightly before he nods once. "Of course." With that, he sends Blaise a tight smile, and turns to go sit down on the large, overstuffed footstool just to the side of the fire - his usual place to work on homework.

As Draco lifts his legs and crosses them. As he carefully fans his books out in front of himself, Draco begins to wonder if the tables haven't turned - and it's Blaise doing the seducing. So, clearing his throat, Draco looks up from his books and towards Blaise - a new air of confidence about him, as he's not about to allow his plans to be fiddled with, "Are you going to join me, or are you simply going to stand there?"

Having the grace to blush from embarrassment at realizing he was doing just that - Blaise does so, then sets a course towards the couch, taking a seat on the side closest to Draco. The two sit in silence for a moment, as Blaise takes his books out of his bag and Draco sits unmoving, watching him intently and grinning a one thousand watt smile in his mind as he notices the blush on Blaise's cheeks rise.

So apparently, Mr 'I was just being rather suave not a moment ago' Zabini, doesn't quite live up to his nickname. This information of course does more than please Draco. Because it means that he is now back in control… just where he wants to be.

"Having problems, Zabini?" Draco inquires, tilting his head ever so slightly as he delivers Blaise a mocking smile.

Blaise looks up just as his text slides from his lap and crashes to the floor, pages bending in ways they shouldn't as the force of gravity that pulled it to the ground slowly settles. Laughing, Draco reaches down and gathers the escaped text, and holds it just shy of Blaise's reach.

Blaise rolls his eyes and his cheeks turn a fiery red as he reaches over to grab the text from Draco, only to have Draco pull it back a fraction of an inch out of his reach, "Can I have my book back?"

"Can you have your book back… what?" Draco teases as he smiles, watching the colour in Blaise's cheeks deepen. Accompanying this, Draco suddenly finds that a horrible urge is rising in his chest. An urge to kiss Blaise's cheeks.

"…Can I have my book back now?" Blaise answers without missing a beat, smiling at Draco, his smile threatening to turn into a grin.

Rolling his eyes, Draco sighs dramatically, and hands the book back, "I suppose that'll do."

"Of course it will. As I'm not about to say please."

"Oh but you just did," Draco grins, completely forgetting about his Potions work.

Blaise nods and begins to fix the bent pages of his text, "Perhaps I did, yes, but not in the context that you wished me to."

"What would it take to get you to say it in the context I apparently want you to?" Draco inquires, leaning closer, his head tilted in interest.

Blaise looks up from his text, eyebrow raised. A mischievous look starts swirling in his eyes, "Why, for you to say it in return, of course."

"Malfoy's never say please." Draco answers in an indignant tone, lifting his nose into the air.

"Then you will never hear me say it in the context that you wish me to, will you? It's as simple as that." With a grin, Blaise looks back down to his books, and begins to skim over the words, wanting nothing more than to simply talk to Draco instead of read through this boring homework.

"Oh is it now? Obviously you've never been around a Malfoy long enough to learn that we always get what we want, in one way or another."

"That so?" Blaise looks up from his text, curling his hand over the spine of the book to keep it from falling again, "Well then you're going to have to convince me to want to stay around in order see that statement to truth."

"That's easy enough," Draco smiles, lifting his eyebrows in a modest way, "why wouldn't you want to be around someone as gorgeous as me? It's a wonder you're here now, Zabini. You should count yourself as lucky."

"I do, but not in the way you think." Blaise answers slyly, admiring the way Draco's eyes light up when he smiles.

"No?"

"No." Blaise shakes his head.

"Tell me why."

"Say please," Blaise outright grins at Draco, and watches as his face morphs from interest to disgust in three point four milliseconds.

"Malfoy's don't say please, or do I have to tell you another six times before it's finally sunk into that thick head of yours?"

Making a noise between a groan and a 'tsk', Blaise feigns a pout, "Now Draco, that's no way to treat your guests, is it? To insult them right to their face? Did your mother not teach you any manners?"

Lifting his nose into the air, Draco levels Blaise with a slight glare - eyebrow raised - and discovers that perhaps, despite his attempts to look snobbish, he doesn't think it exactly comes off as such because the sound of Blaise's voice has relaxed him completely, "Only if my guests deserve to be insulted."

"And I do?"

"Of course you do. You haven't proven otherwise."

"I wasn't aware I was to prove anything to you,"

"Maybe not… but it should have been a given." Draco answers, letting his head drift back down to a normal level, "Everyone in this House realizes that they must prove they're worthy to be in my direct attention."

"And apparently I am, considering I'm sitting in your private room, on your private couch in front of your private fire."

"Stop saying private!"

"Does it bother you?"

"No. I just want you to stop saying it!"

"My wish is your command." Blaise grins, keeping his eyes locked with Draco's.

At this moment in time with the delivery of Blaise's grin and words, Draco feels his heart stop, his hands suddenly break out into a cold sweat, and his stomach drop to somewhere near the centre of the earth before snapping back up again to his throat, and back down to it's normal resting place.

Little does he know… the exact same sensation hits Blaise, at the exact same time.

With his grin slowly fading, Blaise looks away from Draco's eyes, and towards his text, dutifully reading the words without even taking any of it in. Currently, his mind is occupied with the way the apples of Draco's cheeks have tinted a light pink, and the way Draco's eyes seemed to show a rush of about a million emotions all at once. Some discovered, and some yet to be found.

Clearing his throat after a long, uncomfortable silence, Draco takes a breath and gestures to Blaise's text, "Take out your assignment and we'll get to work on it, then."

Blaise nods, not trusting his voice, and slips the folded parchment out of his bag and looks over at Draco, "Um… do you want to come sit over here? It'd probably be easier to look over the work if we have it side by side, don't you think?"

Draco stares at Blaise in slight horror, "On the couch?"

Blaise nods, "Beside me."

"We're to look over the assignment?"

"That way the assignments will be side by side,"

"Making it easier to compare and help the other…"

"Exactly." Blaise smiles at Draco, a slow, almost shy smile.

"…Right." Draco swallows thickly and watches Blaise for a moment longer, before grabbing his assignment, getting up and walking towards the couch.

On his journey to the couch - Draco is amazed that he didn't trip on the folded fabric of the rug under his feet, possibly stub his toe on the coffee table, or end up falling into the fire by a complete freak accident. He congratulates himself quietly, as he sits down beside Blaise.

Blaise smiles reassuringly at him - almost as if he knows that inside Draco's heart is pounding furiously within his chest. This smile, this simple gesture of a smile - is all it takes to put Draco at complete ease.

"So…" Draco wonders aloud, shifting slightly closer before reaching over and taking Blaise's essay out of his hands. "What've you got so far?"

"Well why don't you read through? It'll save the time of me telling you, won't it?"

"It'd be easier if you told me,"

"But I'd rather you read it…"

Draco looks over at Blaise and raises his eyebrow, "Why?"

"Because I don't like reading my work aloud. I feel like a fool when I do."

"Is it horrible, then?"

Blaise laughs then, and shakes his head, "I doubt it."

Draco levels Blaise with an amused smile and gaze, before turning and reading Blaise's assignment.

The only sound in the room for the next long while, is the crackling of the fire. It's not uncomfortable between the two of them as it was before - thank goodness. Draco actually finds it rather relaxing to be sitting on a couch with Blaise beside him as he reads. He's completely immersed in the words that Blaise has written down on the parchment - words that are far more graceful and eloquent than Draco would have ever expected from Blaise… when something happens that completely disrupts and ruins Draco's concentration for the rest of the night.

Blaise has shifted, and his thigh is now pressing his against Draco's. Draco stops reading immediately and stares at the parchment in front of him; his mind bursting into one hundred and one reasons and questions as to why Blaise's leg is touching his, he can't seem to make himself forget about the way Blaise's muscles are moving against hiss leg as Blaise searches through his bag for a quill. Draco can't seem to force his mind to override the idea that Blaise is touching him… that Blaise's hip is now snug against his own, and that the feather Blaise has just taken out of his bag has just brushed past his jaw.

"…Sorry,"

Draco nods stiffly, and desperately tries to disregard the harsh shiver that immediately rushes though his body at the contact of the soft feather against his skin.

After a long pause and several deep breaths, Draco stares at the word 'the' on the parchment, and utters in a slightly stronger voice than he thought currently possible, "Blaise?"

"Hmm…?"

Draco's eyes have now skipped down to the word 'level', and he forces himself to take another deep breath before passing out from lack of oxygen, "Why don't you kiss people?"

Blaise falls silent, and he immediately stops moving. After a short pause, he speaks in a quite voice, "Come again?"

Draco gathers up all his nerve, all his confidence, and all his current muddled up, running all over the place feelings, and looks over at Blaise, "Why don't you kiss people?" He repeats, as his heart pounds harshly in his ears.

"I do kiss people."

"Not on the lips."

"Not on the lips, no."

"Why?"

Blaise locks eyes with Draco, and takes a slow breath, "…Because…"

"Yes?" Draco interrupts, his eyebrows raising slightly.

"If you keep interrupting me, then I won't tell you," Blaise smiles suddenly, with all the happiness, confidence, and nerve that he can muster.

"I'm not going to say please, if that's what You're after." Draco says, narrowing his eyes slightly.

"No, no…" Blaise shakes his head and takes a deep breath, letting out with a short hum as he looks away, "I don't kiss lips because I haven't found someone who's lips I want to feel on my own."

"You mean someone you love, right?" Draco says skeptically - sarcastically, fully intending to make a fool of Blaise now that he knows the reason.

"No. Someone who's worthy."

"Worthy of a kiss?" Draco raises his eyebrow, starting to become rather unimpressed. After all this time, after all this watching, and wondering - the answer was so simple. So unbelievably simple that Draco should have figured it out for himself.

"A kiss is a powerful thing," Blaise mutters, unconsciously rubbing his lips together.

Draco sits back and stills, not expecting the answer he has received, "…How so?"

Blaise looks over at Draco, and blinks slowly, leaning forwards as he speaks in a low voice, "A kiss can make your heart race, a kiss can make you feel more alive than you've ever felt in your life… a kiss can make you fall in love."

Draco scoffs, "Love? I doubt a kiss has the power to do that."

"You don't think so?"

Draco lifts his nose and sneers slightly, shaking his head, "I don't think so."

"That's a pity."

"A pity? How is it a pity, Zabini?" Draco spits out at him, moving away from Blaise quicker than one would pull their hand away from a flame, and stands up.

Blaise simply takes a breath and looks up at Draco, "Because this entire evening, I couldn't stop myself from thinking about kissing you. From wondering what it would be like to feel your lips on mine, to love you, to have you love me in return." Standing up himself, Blaise steps closer to Draco, reaching out and grabbing his arm as Draco steps away from him, eyes wide, "It's a pity because you don't believe in love."

"I never said that." Draco immediately answers in a quiet voice, shaking his head slightly.

Blaise smiles then - of all things, before lifting his hand, and brushing the back of his fingers against Draco's cheek, "No… perhaps not."

For a moment in time, everything stands still. The fire stops crackling, Draco stops breathing, his heart stops beating, and he watches in slow motion as Blaise leans forwards. Then, all at once, life rushes back to him and he takes a sharp breath, just as Blaise's lips press to his own.

Draco's eyes slide closed at once, and he presses his lips back against Blaise's. He feels his heart pounding behind his eyelashes, and his skin tingling… he wants to scream, he wants to cry, he wants to dance and shout and sing. But he can't, because if he did, the kiss would end. And Draco never wants it to end. He never wants to stop kissing Blaise because it's the most perfect, and wonderful, and amazing feeling that Draco has ever known.

Their lips break apart with a barely perceptible sound, and it takes a long moment before Draco opens his eyes. When his eyes finally focus on Blaise, he finds that Blaise is looking at him like he's the only person in the entire world that matters.

Draco bites his lip, and nods once, whispering: "You're right. A kiss is a powerful thing."

With that, Draco lifts his hand and curls it around Blaise's jaw and neck, pulling him down for another kiss as his other arm wraps around Blaise's shoulders.

Sometimes, Draco finds… that the things that you want most in the world aren't material, they aren't shiny, they aren't new - they're something that you've had all along, and just failed to realize that it was yours from the very beginning.

- - - - - - - - - - - -

MMmm. I am a whore for fluff. -snuggles fluff- I love it. Did you? YOU KNOW WHAT! YOU SHOULD TELL ME BY COMMENTING! hooorahhhh:D