7 Months Later - All's Well That Ends Well
Lukas rolled over, draping his free arm around Mathias's waist. It was good to be alone. He glanced up at the sleeping man besides him, eyes traveling from the relaxed arch of his brows to the faint shadows smoky eyelashes cast on his cheeks to the minute twitch of his nostrils as he breathed in.
No camera would ever be able to catch this side of Mathias. It was for Lukas's eyes only.
The movement woke Mathias up. He smiled sleepily at the man beside him and yawned, "Good morning."
"Morning," Lukas murmured back. His hold on Mathias's waist tightened, pulling himself closer to the man in bed next to him. Mathias simply smiled and reached up to curl his fingers through Lukas's tangled hair, gently tugging out tangles. It had been a good seven months since their tirade at Playgay. Admittedly, Mathias probably should have given more thought to their sudden retirement, or stopped Lukas from going ballistic. Thankfully, the only consequences their actions had was a series of angry messages from Kiku and apologetic messages from Yong Soo and Elizaveta, and an extra-thin issue of Playgay gracing newsstands that month. To Lukas's slight delight, once the internet had caught wind of their tirade, his and Mathias's popularity had skyrocketed.
Mathias liked the attention, but there were other things he liked better. He placed a kiss upon Lukas's forehead and moved to get out of bed. "How about I make you some coffee?"
"Be quick," Lukas said, pulling the covers around his chin again. "We have work today."
Mathias left Lukas to doze a little bit more and went to the kitchen to prepare coffee as he did on most days. While it brewed, he went into the pantry and brought out a couple sweet rolls he had bought the day before, and began to set the table.
Indulging Lukas's whims wasn't as bad as it sounded. It had its rewards. He leaned against the kitchen counter, watching the coffee trickle into the glass pot, two mugs waiting at its side. All in all, life was good.
Cream, one spoon of sugar, he muttered. After so many times repeating the morning ritual of making the two of them coffee, he had Lukas's favorites etched into his mind. By the time Lukas dragged himself into the kitchen, Mathias was already sitting at the table, picking at his roll. "Eat up," he said with a smile. Silently, Lukas returned it and sat down.
That got him thinking. Ages ago, he would have done anything, no matter how stupid, to get a smile out of the dour man who he called "coworker." And when that dour man called him stupid or told him to shut up, he almost wanted to give up. He still had no clue whether it was his natural stubbornness or his burning desire to know how Lukas ticked which got him to return his love, so he asked:
"Luke, why do you love me?"
Lukas nearly spit out his coffee. "Is that really a question to ask this early in the morning?"
Mathias shrugged. "Just asking. So, why?"
Lukas sank his teeth into his sweet roll harshly, as if he wished he were biting a certain Dane in front of him. "Do I really need a reason? I love you."
"For loving someone as stupid as me? Yep." Mathias grinned.
Eyes cast upward as if lost in thought, Lukas chewed silently. "I don't know," he finally said, "Maybe it was that night you stayed with me after I fainted, or maybe it was that night I came to you to..."
Lukas wrinkled his nose. "That was not my proudest moment."
Mathias reached across the table and wedged his hand underneath Lukas's. It was an unspoken plea for an answer.
"I love you because you're an annoying dickwad who doesn't know the meaning of personal space," Lukas finally said, "and that saved me." He squeezed Mathias's hand.
"Change that to 'former annoying dickwad,'" Mathias chuckled. "You changed me," he admitted, "I think I'm actually less of an annoying dickwad. I hope."
Lukas took another sip of coffee, looked at Mathias, and smiled. "You are," he said.
Autumn had settled over Berlin, bringing with it crisp air interlaced with the smell of fallen leaves. Tino and Lukas sat on the low wall outside the Image building, slowly sipping coffee out of a tumbler Lukas brought and talking quietly to pass time between shoots. There was a certain ennui in the air, wafting around them like the odor of the hot coffee they drank.
Tino sighed, lowering his cup from his lips. "Now that Emil is in college, what are you going to do?"
Lukas smirked. "It's not like he's going far away. He's staying in Berlin, actually. I think he's going to the college you went to."
Tino smiled back. "It's a good college, you should be proud of him."
"It'd make me prouder if he would actually move out of the house," Lukas retorted with a small laugh. Tino gently punched him in the shoulder, chuckling as well.
"How about you?" asked the smaller man, wiping coffee from his lips with the back of his hand. "You haven't mentioned the whole 'international model' thing for a couple months now. What's up with that?"
Lukas shrugged. "Eh... I decided that it wasn't really my thing."
"Are you going to stay here?" asked Tino.
Lukas laughed and threw an arm over Tino's shoulders. "Of course, I can't just up and leave Image. But ever since Mathias and I quit Playgay, we've had all this time on our hands, so I'm thinking of becoming a school guidance counselor, too."
"Sounds really good," Tino replied. He smiled again, looking down at his coffee cup. "I'm proud of you, Luke."
"I know. I'm proud of me, too."
They sat like that, the words hanging over them like the steam from their empty cups as Lukas put his tumbler away when suddenly Mathias came up from behind them, clapping his hand on Lukas's and Tino's shoulders and placing a kiss upon Lukas's cheek. "Come on back in, guys. Lunch break's almost over and Ludwig's gonna be looking for ya," he said.
Lukas and Tino nodded and followed Mathias back into the building. With a quick goodbye, Tino scampered off to find Berwald, leaving Mathias and Lukas standing in the hallway.
"So, lover," teased Mathias, "what have you got in store for today?"
Lukas ignored the jibe and answered, "Photoshoot, then classes. I'll be home in time for dinner, though."
"I'll have it prepared," replied the taller blonde. Lukas laced their fingers with a small smile, leaning up to leave a light kiss on Mathias's lips. "You've got a lot on your plate for tonight. You sure you've got this?" Mathias asked, squeezing Lukas's hand in concern.
Lukas simply smirked in reply.
"Of course I am. I'm a top model, after all."
AN: I just can't... Ohmygoodness... asdfsdfklkjjkdl... It's over, I really can't believe it.
Everybody, thank you for your continued support! I really love this story and this AU and I love Denmark and Norway and DenNor and all you amazing people who can make me utter inhuman noises and flail in my chair.
You are awesome. Everything is awesome. I feel awesome.
Thank you very much for reading!