Slash warning. I do not own Harry Potter and the characters of the series used here; Bloomsbury Books, JK Rowling, and Warner Brothers own that.

Just the Way

Rabastan has never had any friends. He's not certain what he'd do with them if he had them. It's just the way he is.

He reminds Rodolphus of an ascetic – he takes pleasure in nothing except pain, if you can call what he experiences pleasure. He devotes his body, soul, and life to the Cause, mainly because he hasn't any other use for it, and he can't find a better one. It's just the way he is.

He pointedly avoids what he likes to call "the licentious sins of the flesh." (He uses too many words – it's another reason people despise him. Formality, pretension; people think him a snob.) He has never been kissed and never plans to be, as women are a necessary evil and men are not to be considered in such a way.

He squirms at physical contact, as though his sense of touch is magnified and a mere hand on the shoulder sends waves of shock and revulsion through his body. It's just the way he is.

Evan Rosier likes to see Rabastan squirm. He hates the bastard – he has money, he's intelligent, and won't shut up about his superiority. And the wall Rabastan has up is impenetrable. Evan doesn't like walls. It's just the way he is.

It starts one day, when Evan's had enough and shoves Rabastan, who looks astonished and smooths his robes. Then Evan presses him to the wall and hurriedly presses his lips to Rabastan's.

Rabastan's eyes are still open, in shock – he pushes at Evan in vain, as Evan seems to be prepared for such retaliation – Evan presses him to the wall – he moves against Evan in hopes that it'll push him away.

Evan does not recoil. In fact, he enjoys it. He breaks away from the fierce kiss, if you could call it that, and takes a ragged breath. "Like that?"

"No," Rabastan says honestly, quickly, not caring about facades so long as Evan is right there, so close, and his personal space is like the atmosphere after lightning, charged and tense and waiting for an explosion that will never come.

But Evan's found something he likes, and it's hard to dissuade Evan from something he likes. Rabastan, the ascetic, suffers it, but never responds to it. It happens over, and over, and over.

It's just the way they are.