Disclaimer: As always I own nothing but the original characters and the plot. Thanks for reading.
The Perfect Solution
Heading out of the Medical Wing Alexei was pissed and primed for a fight. He was definitely capable of killing the Gryffindor in the mood he was in and for the moment he couldn't think of a single reason why he shouldn't strangle the other man to death with his bare hands. The damn letter had just been icing on the cake really, the thing that had tipped the scales and made him realize that the only way he was going to be able to retain his sanity and keep his head from exploding was to insure that Hugo Weasley ceased to exist in his world.
Ninety four. He'd gotten a friggin ninety four. And the bastard hadn't even had the decency to write it all out for him so that he'd know how he'd gotten that score in the first place. Not that he cared of course, he could care less what the man thought of his kissing his ability. He'd decided that long ago and he was a Slytherin who stuck by his decisions.
So he didn't care…he was just curious.
Especially since he'd deserved a perfect score, Alexei thought as he ignored the wary looks he was getting from the classmates he was passing. There was just no way that the snogging they'd done in the classroom could be surpassed so simple, elementary logic dictated that-WHAT THE HELL WAS HE THINKING?
Making a sound of horrified frustration the Slytherin looked around for something to throw or damage only to find that his fellow students had mysteriously seemed to have disappeared completely from his vicinity, which was just a pity.
Reining in his anger Alexei forced himself to keep moving, his destination the school's library. It was the one place in the castle besides the Gryffindor tower that he knew he stood a chance of finding the man. And since he couldn't go to the tower he'd go to the library, scope it out, and if the Weasley spawn wasn't there he'd just have to ambush the man after supper somehow. It wouldn't be easy since the man's cousins would probably be guarding him, but he had no problem taking them out.
Lily Potter might be a female in body, but she wasn't a girl when it came to brass and fighting skills. He was allowed to injure her slightly. And if his grandmothers got upset over the news that he'd harmed a girl he'd just tell them she was Potter and he'd be off the hook in a snap.
Cheered up by the thought Alexei's mood brightened enough that he didn't send any more of his peers fleeing from his sight, the Slytherin arriving at the library without an aura that didn't boldly advertise the fact that he was in a homicidal mood.
Moving in and out of the stacks with predator grace Alexei finally spotted the Gryffindor, a pleased gleam coming into his eyes even though he was a little disappointed that the man wasn't alone. But the boy sitting at the table beside his headache causer didn't look to be much older than eleven or twelve, getting rid of him wouldn't be much of a problem.
Obviously sensing him Alexei watched as the other man looked up and over at him, meeting his gaze briefly before turning his head to say something to the boy beside him who nodded in response.
And then the Gryffindor was rising out of his chair and walking around the table towards him, his usually expressive face completely shut down so that not a hint of emotion showed.
Coming to a stop in front of him the other man got straight to the point. "There are too many people around. Give me twenty minutes to finish up here and then I'll meet you wherever you choose."
That being just fine with him Alexei named the place and then left without a backward glance.
Watching the Gryffindor approach with a great deal more care than he would have ordinarily Alexei studied both the man and their surroundings cautiously, wanting to make sure that Hugo hadn't brought any surprises with him. But no, it appeared that they were alone and the prat wasn't even holding his wand at the ready. He was rather insulted by that fact and would have told the other man so were it not for the fact that he didn't want to tip the Gryffindor off right away that he was going to be needing it shortly.
Hugo watched him just as closely as he kept up his leisurely pace, making no sign that he was remotely aware of the danger he was in.
"I'm prepared to take my punishment."
Not quite sure how to take the Gryffindor's quiet, firm statement, Alexei went still. "What do you mean?"
"I mean that I'm prepared to accept whatever punishment you deem fit without any attempt to protect myself or stop you. What I did was unforgiveable and I deserve to be punishment for it."
Okay…what the hell was going on here? What was the idiot talking about? Not that he disagreed with the fact that the man deserved to get the crap kicked out of him, because he did, but what did Weasley think he deserved to be punished for? Had the man done something else to him and he hadn't realized it because he'd been unconscious or had yet to be informed about it?
"What did you do? Molest me after your idiot cousin knocked me out with the fucking door?"
Insult crossed Hugo's face for a brief moment before it settled back into contrite lines. "Of course not. I'd never do that. Tempting though it would have been had I not been concerned about your physical wellbeing." He added ruefully.
"Then what precisely do you think you deserve to be punished for, just so we're clear."
Hugo blinked in surprise, giving Alexei a look that said he thought the answer should be obvious. "For sexually assaulting you of course."
Jaw dropping Alexei couldn't have said how long he stood there gaping at the Gryffindor before he found his voice. "For what? You said you didn't touch me when I was unconscious!"
"And I didn't. But you indicated earlier that my snogging and touching were unwanted and against your will…which means I forced you which means I'm a horrible person who deserves to be punished. I was raised to understand that no means no and because I didn't give you the opportunity to say no I apparently completely misjudged your enjoyment of what we did and therefore unknowingly forced my attention on you. I've always believed that people who use their superior strength and abilities to force their wills onto others deserve to be held accountable for their actions and I am prepared to receive mine without complaint."
"You assehole! Don't make me sound like some weak, pathetic little victim!" Cheeks flushed with fury Alexei marched over and got as in Hugo's face as their different heights would allow without him getting on tip toes. "I am ten times-twenty times the badass that you are and if I'd wanted you to stop I could have had you off me in a second. How dare you suggest that you're superior to me in any way! I could do whatever the hell I wanted to you and YOU'D be the one forced to take it, UNDERSTAND! You'd be MY bitch, not the other way around, GOT IT?"
"Since you're yelling very loudly I would have to be deaf not to."
And then it slowly dawned on the Slytherin what he'd just said.
Watching the other man launch into a tirade of creative cursing Hugo wisely kept his mouth shut, linking his fingers behind his back as he rocked ever so slightly back and forth on his heels. He'd wait for Alexei to finish before he said anything.
It gave him time to anticipate the Slytherin's next reactions and prepare responses for those reactions so that he wouldn't be caught off guard, Hugo thought ruefully to himself. Bad things would happen otherwise.
"YOU!" Having regained enough control to see things a little clearer Alexei poked an accusing finger into Hugo's chest. "You did that on purpose, didn't you? You're always manipulating me into saying and doing things I shouldn't!"
"Are you saying I'm too smart for you to follow and anticipate?"
"NO!" Wait a second… "You're doing it again! You're distracting me with inflammatory statements so that I have so many things to be pissed off about that I never get the chance to properly curse you for them all."
How had he not realized this before?
Oh well, it had been nice while it lasted, Hugo mused philosophically, waiting for the man's next verbal attack.
Drawing his wand Alexei aimed it at the man's chest, as always annoyed when the threat of bodily harm didn't seem to faze the stupid Gryffindor in the least. It was obvious that the man had no intention of stopping him, counting on the fact that he thought he wouldn't be cursed because so many people were dumb enough to find him too adorable and harmless to harm. Well he wasn't weak like them, he was more than capable of teaching the man what happened to people who messed with his head. Oh yeah, he was more then up to it.
"You're really just going to stand there?"
"I said I was prepared to accept my punishment without complaint."
"I already told you that you aren't guilty of sexual assault, you thickheaded numbskull!"
"True." Hugo acknowledged with a nod. "But that doesn't mean that I don't feel guilty about it so I'm prepared to be punished for something else in place of the actual misdeed I committed."
Dammit, how was he supposed to curse the Gryffindor now? If he did it would be like he was admitting that Hugo's way of looking at their earlier…incident together was the correct way. But if he didn't curse the man it would look like he couldn't do it and he had his pride as a Slytherin and as a man. He'd already looked like a fool in front of the irritating Weasley too many times, he had to stop the trend before it became a habit.
Blinking in surprise Alexei stared at the vial being held out towards him, thinking it looked oddly familiar. "What, is it poison to put me out of my misery? Because if it is I'm going to make you drink it and enjoy the irony to my dying day."
"No, sorry, it's not poison that you can use against me." The Gryffindor continued to hold the vial out to him as he explained. "You keep saying that I give you constant headaches so I thought that I should probably start carrying one of these around at all times for you to take. It should get rid of the headache you're starting to give yourself again. Oh, and I'm willing to drink half of it just to prove to you that it's not poison, in case you're worried about that. I know you tend to be overly suspicious where I'm concerned."
Alexei stared blankly at the offering, trying to wrap his mind around this latest turn of events. It was just too much, he realized, this latest incident the final straw. Ever since that cursed night when they'd struck their deal he'd been approaching this moment, and now that it had arrived he just wasn't up to dealing with it.
Not even really thinking about what he was doing Alexei moved away and rather shakily made his way over to the thankfully close by bench, dropping down on it with a thud. That completed the Slytherin leaned forward and buried his face in his hands as he tried to sort out the wreck that had become his life thanks to Hugo Weasley.
Vaguely aware of the fact that he'd been followed Alexei didn't look up when he sensed Hugo crouching down in front of him, the man's voice soft with concern as he asked if the headache was really that bad and did he want him to get someone?
Shaking his head the Slytherin said nothing, ridiculously grateful when the other man fell silent, simply remaining where he was as he patiently waited for some clue as to what was going on.
He'd doomed himself with that first kiss, he realized it now. If only he hadn't needed those ten galleons, if only he hadn't wanted to win so badly that he'd been willing to make a deal with the devil at that point. His pride had been his downfall again and again, dooming him to fall that much deeper into the trap Hugo had dug for him. He was in over his head and he didn't even know which way was up or down anymore. Everything was so cloudy and unclear.
Forcing himself to lift his head Alexei stared into the eyes that watched him so closely, concern radiating from their soft brown depths.
"What am I going to do with you, seriously."
Blinking once Hugo's response was very matter of fact. "I don't think you'd like any of my suggestions so I would imagine it would be best if you came up with the answer to that on your own."
"That could end very badly for you."
When the silence that descended became too uncomfortable, Alexei unable to move backwards or forwards as he continued to struggle with his chaotic, confused mind, Hugo felt compelled to offer one of his suggestions in the hopes that the Slytherin would get angry and therefore would free himself, if only temporarily, from the turmoil he seemed to be experiencing.
"Might I suggest that from now on, every time I start to irritate you with something I've said or done, you just snog me? Not only will you be physically blocking my mouth so that I can't say anything more, but when you do that it quite thoroughly affects my ability to hold thoughts so in all likelihood I'll forget all about what I was doing in the first place. Oh, and as an added bonus snogging me is not something you can get detention, be suspended, or get expelled for which wouldn't be the case when it comes to previous suggestions of how you'd like to shut me up permanently."
The Slytherin stared, dumbfounded. "That's your suggestion? If we went with that plan I'd spend every waking moment in your presence snogging you!"
Hugo couldn't help but grin at the mental images that produced. "I know."
Alexei tried, he really did, but he couldn't help it, he had to laugh.
Simply enjoying the sound Hugo waited until the Slytherin's features were finished rearranging themselves into the man's usual, serious face, before he leaned forward and ever so gently placed his lips on the corner of the harsh but soft mouth in front of him in the briefest of butterfly kisses.
"Think about it."
And on that note the Gryffindor got to his feet, thinking to leave the other man to his thoughts now without his presence there to cloud them.
Hand lashing out Alexei's fingers had wrapped around Hugo's wrist before the Gryffindor even saw it coming.
"I will…think about it."
He kept his hold long enough to make sure the other man understood and then he let go, watching Hugo walk away until he was out of sight.
And started to deal with the fact that he hadn't really wanted the man to leave in the first place.
Seven years later
"And so, after many months of fighting and making up, we decided that that really was the best way to handle things and that's why I kiss your Uncle Alexei so much." Hugo explained to his rapt audience, who were hanging on his every word while they finished up their ice cream cones. "Of course I'd kiss him lots and lots regardless, but I also have to do it because if I didn't your uncle would probably murder me in my bed someday and that would be really bad. Does that answer your question?"
"Uh huh." Lisabeth agreed with a nod of her head, her brother doing the same in tandem. "Uncle Hugo, would Uncle Alexei like you even more if me and Seth gave him extra kisses too? We'd be real sad if you died and would cry lots and lots."
Hugo grinned at the twins, reaching out to ruffle their hair. "No, you leave the kissing to me. He prefers it when I do it."
"Do I even want to know what you're talking about?" Domi asked as she appeared beside them, giving her cousin a questioning look. When he just grinned she rolled her eyes, deciding she probably didn't want to know. "Well anyway, thanks for watching them while I popped into that shop, Huey. Knowing them they would have gotten ice cream everywhere but in their mouths."
"No problem, time passed surprisingly quickly."
Giving each of his cousin's children a hug and ice cream flavored kiss Hugo wave them all off and then continued on his way, the smile on his face growing that much bigger ten minutes later when he arrived at his destination.
"Sorry. I would have been early but I got sidetracked by Domi. She spotted me walking by and corralled me into watching the twins for a few minutes. I started telling them a story and had no idea how much time had passed until I was on my way again."
"So I was kept waiting because even after all these years you STILL don't know how to say no to any member of your family. Figures."
Knowing what kind of sorry the other man preferred Hugo moved in to fit his lips against his lover's, wrapping his arms around the Slytherin's waist as he molded their bodies together.
And reacting as he always did Alexei kissed the Gryffindor back and accepted, for the zillionth time, the man's apology for being so damn annoying and troublesome.
It worked for them.
Note: I'm hoping to write more for these guys soon, but to tide you over these warring boys are the secondary couple in 'His Firecracker' and in recent chapters of 'Wearing His Ring'. Any story ideas for them is appreciated.