Disclaimer: As always I own nothing but the original characters and the situations all characters end up in. Everything else belongs to someone else and that's the way of it.

Thanks for reading until the end! For those who are disappointed…well most programs designed to help someone deal with their unresolved personal issues come in twelve steps lol.

Happy Valentine's Day!

Exercise Completed

Despite having won the game for his team Alexei was not in a terribly good mood after the game due to the fact that he'd missed the best part of it, which was the fact that Albus Potter had apparently laid one on Scorpius Malfoy in front of a huge crowd and gotten away with it. He'd have paid serious money to have seen it, and the fact that he'd actually been on the premises when it happened was salt in the wound. Hugo's offer to supply the memories so that he could see it in a Pensieve was of some consolation, but he'd have preferred to see it for himself.

"So he actually thinks Malfoy will let him keep all his limbs?" Thinking about Potters being maimed helped with the annoyance as they sat side by side on Hugo's sofa, having just returned to the Gryffindor's place after eating out to celebrate his victory.

"Actually, I think his logic was sound when I brought up that very point when he rejoined us."

"Which was?"

"That when he finds out what James is now going to have to do for the rest of his life, Malfoy will be so amused and pleased at the idea of James suffering that way that he'll give Albus a pass on the maiming. After all, Albus can't make James say that he's better than him if he's in the hospital or dead."

Opening and then closing his mouth Alexei had to silently admit that that was a little genius on the younger Potter's part. Malfoy and Albus Potter weren't on buddy terms, but they could get along if they wanted to. When it came to the oldest Potter boy it was a whole different story. Those two disliked each other as much as their fathers had disliked each other, and anything that caused James Potter long term problems had Malfoy's seal of approval.

Acknowledging aloud that that was a valid point Alexei shifted the conversation so that he wouldn't have to say anything nice about Albus. "I'm surprised Malfoy didn't try to curse Potter out of the sky. Too many witnesses, I guess." Which was for the best in terms of James Potter suffering, so he wasn't sorry Malfoy hadn't taken a shot at the younger Potter.

"Well that and Albus's Animagi form is a peregrine falcon." Hugo reasoned. "They're known as the fastest bird in the world. Shooting one out of the sky, especially when it's in evasive action, would take a lot of skill."

"I could do it."

"Yes, but you have a lot of skill. You're a lot like a falcon." Small, beautiful, and equipped with razor sharp talons, Hugo thought with the hint of a grin.

Luckily for them both Alexei didn't consider the small build of a falcon, taking Hugo's words as compliments that earned the Gryffindor a long, deep kiss of approval for Hugo's realizing that he really was that badarse and fast in the sky.

More snogging and knowing, roving hands followed, Alexei giving serious thought to pushing Hugo down onto the couch and starting their post game celebratory sex on it. But ever since Hugo had explained that good boyfriend rules dictated that he get sex for winning his match he'd been planning out exactly what he wanted as his prize. It was why they were at Hugo's place and not his own.

That being the case the Slytherin forced himself to raise his head and keep his hands to himself while he stated that they were going to the bedroom now.

As he was fairly sure his legs wouldn't hold him, Hugo let himself tip back to sprawl on the couch, stretching out his body as he held up his arms in a silent plea for Alexei to climb on top of him instead. The Slytherin's hands had already removed his shirt and opened up his trousers anyway, and he had no problems reminding the man of that fact.

Reflexively licking his lips, he did love seeing his Gryffindor looking well on his way to being debauched, Alexei had to sternly remind himself of his plans. "Bed, now."

Hugo's lips pouted a little as he asked why.

"Because this couch doesn't have a headboard I can tie you to."

"Oh. Okay then."

Moving with unusual speed for him Hugo was off the couch and headed for the bedroom before he'd finished saying 'then'.

Amused and enjoying the view of his lover's very pretty arse as well, Alexei removed his jumper as he followed, tossing it on top of the overnight bag he'd stashed in the bedroom earlier. When he turned back to glance in the direction of the bed the Slytherin couldn't help but smile over the fact that Hugo was already on it and wiggling like an eager, over stimulated puppy.

Walking over to kneel on the side of the bed Alexei slowly removed his belt and then ordered Hugo to put his hands up, Hugo immediately doing so. "Such a good little Gryffindor you are."

Very pleased Alexei thought so, Hugo watched the belt be woven through the headboard and then around his wrists. Testing out the give as soon as Alexei was done Hugo smiled and informed him that he wouldn't be going anywhere.

"You seem very happy about that."

"Where else would I rather be?"

Rolling his eyes for form Alexei pulled the thin, long sleeved shirt he'd been wearing under his jumper over his head and then started folding it very precisely, the Slytherin seeing the thrill and knowledge in his lover's eyes even before he moved in to use the shirt as a blindfold.

And rather than complain Hugo hummed in approval, stating that the blindfold smelled like him.

"What am I going to do with you?"

"Lots of really good, sexy stuff?" Was Hugo's hopeful response.

Chuckling, he couldn't help it, Alexei stated that he'd be right back and then got off the bed, heading over to the bag and opening it up to retrieve the two pieces of his Quidditch uniform he'd brought back with him instead of leaving them in his locker.

Sliding the training gloves into place, only the tops of his fingers uncovered, Alexei scissored his fingers together to get them perfect and then got back on the bed, straddling Hugo this time as he slid both hands up the Gryffindor's chest to let the other man know exactly what was in store for him.

A decidedly more sexual purr of approval greeted the action, Hugo arching up into the hands to prolong the contact, Alexei's name quickly following with an underlying plea for more.

Leaning forward Alexei brushed their lips together, whispering a promise that there was much more to come.

)

He had to brace a hand against the walls of his hallway a few times, but Hugo eventually got to the kitchen that morning with the intent to actually try and make a decent breakfast and then serve it to Alexei in bed as a thanks for the night before. Because boy had his Slytherin bad boy earned breakfast in bed, Hugo thought as he grinned the whole time he was getting out the eggs and cheese he hoped to make into omelets. He usually wasn't too bad with those.

Rooting around under the sink for the frying pan, he didn't use it often, Hugo had just wrapped his hands around the handle when he heard the doorbell go off. It seemed he had a visitor.

His dad, perhaps? Or his mum come to complain about the mental damage he and Albus had somewhat accidentally inflicted on his dad the day before? Or maybe it was Albus, needing a safe place to hide from Malfoy; that could be it. Scorpius Malfoy was a tough wizard, true, but the Slytherin generally avoided him like the plague for fear of his so called 'cuteness' powers. In terms of family protection he would be the best bet after Rosie and Sev. Alexei's cousin was in hyper protective mode because of Rosie's pregnancy and would probably kill Malfoy on sight if he dared trespass on his property.

Looking down at himself Hugo reasserted the fact that he was wearing pajama bottoms and a T-shirt, which he'd only thrown them on because cooking was always more dangerous without clothes on. And since he was dressed and was already being terribly rude by stalling, Hugo set aside the frying pan and headed for the door to find out who was on the other side of it.

Opening it up upon arrival Hugo was surprised enough that it took him a moment to process, though Alexei had said there was a chance she'd be paying him a visit in the near future. Still…this could get awkward very quickly.

"Hello, Mrs. Dolohov."

"Mr. Weasley. May I come in?"

"Yes, of course. Pardon me. Just woke up." Stepping off to the side Hugo motioned her into his front hallway, mentally cursing the fact that his curls were currently a mess and his clothes not exactly appropriate for formal company. He'd never seen Alexei's mother look anything less than perfect, just one of the many reasons why she'd intimidated the hell out of him in the past.

His offer to take her coat was declined, her statement that she wouldn't be staying long not exactly boding well for him. Wishing for his wand, just in case, Hugo instead kept his hands out of his pockets in case he needed them as they stood there in the getting smaller by the minute space.

"I would imagine my son informed you that I might be stopping by?"

"Yes, Ma'am. He did mention that possibility."

"Then I shall be blunt and to the point, as I do have better things to do today. My son is using you, Mr. Weasley. He has absolutely no interest in you aside from using you to sully our family name and cause said family distress and social humiliation with his relationship with you. He made that clear to us before he embroiled you in this scheme of his and it's time this scandal came to an end. Whatever he's told you, it was a lie. He doesn't care for you, much less love you, and you are only fooling yourself if you believe my son capable of caring for anyone but himself. He isn't."

Drawing himself up to his full height, which meant he towered over her since Alexei got his height deficiency from her, Hugo's eyes were decidedly cool and devoid of their usual twinkle as he responded in carefully phrased sentences. "It would be unwise of you, Mrs. Dolohov, to malign Alexei in my presence. As someone who cares a great deal about him I won't stand by and allow anyone, especially his own mother, to enter my home and speak of him thus."

Her eyes narrowing, Alexei's mother sounded a great deal like her son when she stated that she was surprised that someone of Hugo's so called brilliance could be so oblivious to Alexei's perchance for manipulating people.

"Actually, that's more your nephew Sev's thing." Hugo countered, staring her down. "Alexei is not a people person by any stretch of the word, and he does like to get his way, but he doesn't hide his overall distain for the majority of sentient beings. And for your information I know perfectly well where I stand with Alexei and I'm stick with him. So if the reason for your visit is solely to convince me to break things up with your son then I'm sorry, you've wasted your time. I have no intention of giving him up. Ever."

"You're your father's son if you think Alexei will bring you anything but grief and humiliation."

"And you're a Grade A bitch who's never deserved to have someone as wonderful as Alexei as a son."

The knife edge cheekbones she'd given her son flushed with color, Mrs. Dolohov pointed a threatening finger in Hugo's direction. "I will not tolerate being spoken to that way by a Weasley. Especially one who's too dim to realize that Alexei is not now nor will he ever be worth risking my wrath over."

"And I'll use the foulest language to be found in the over two hundred dialects I speak if you don't leave now and never darken my door again!"

The resulting death glare contest was fairly even, which surprised Mrs. Dolohov quite a bit, but both were too pragmatic to keep it up for long and so Hugo broke eye contact and walked over to his front door, opening it and then motioning for her to exit it with a look that suggested he would forcefully help her out if she didn't proceed out the door post haste.

Thankfully she was eager to leave and did so without a word of goodbye or a glance behind her.

Slamming the door a little harder than was necessary Hugo stood glaring at the closed door for several moments, unable to stop himself from stomping his foot as he loudly declared that he could not stand that abominable woman!

)

Standing with his shoulder propped up against a wall, Alexei listened to Hugo's fairly impressive tirade with rapt attention. As his understanding of languages was more than a little inferior to his lover's he didn't catch or understand seventy percent of the names or insults Hugo was levying against his mother, but he had played Quidditch with players from all over the world which meant that he could get the gist of the rest. Doubly impressive when you factored in the fact that it was rare for the Gryffindor to raise his voice, much less curse. The fact that he'd been saving up was very apparent now.

He knew too the moment Hugo realized he wasn't alone, the Gryffindor whirling around to face him with a face that had gone as red as the average Weasley's hair.

"Don't let me stop you. You were saying?"

"Uhm…."

"How many languages do you speak, anyway?"

Rubbing the back of his neck Hugo mumbled a little as he explained that he never knew how to answer that properly because so many languages were broken down into dialects native to certain regions of any given country. Plus he spoke and read a number of dead languages, many that only a handful of people in the world still knew and others might not count those.

"Ah."

The silence was very loud, Hugo squirming over it while Alexei just watched him with a thoughtful expression until Hugo finally blurted out a request to know just how mad Alexei was at him for what he'd said.

"Are you referring to your statement that you're never giving me up, or the verbal abuse you just heaped on my mother's head?"

"Bloody hell…I'd hoped you hadn't heard that part."

Smirking, Alexei's voice was tinged with amusement. "No doubt. And actually, for once, I'm more annoyed with myself than you."

"Yourself? Why?"

"I didn't last even a month. That seriously perturbs me." Scowling over it Alexei heaved a sigh, mentally acknowledging that life truly wasn't fair and that he might as well suck up the situation he found himself in because there wasn't anything he could do about it. The experiment was over, the conclusion undeniable.

He couldn't deny it anymore, the conversation he'd just overhead sealing the deal.

"Alexei...what are you talking about?"

"Do you remember when I told you my plan to trouble my family through my relationship with you was multi-leveled?" Hugo nodded. "The first part of my plan was actually killing two birds with one stone, so to speak. I'd already decided, before that particular family argument, that the next time they annoyed me I'd start dating you as both a punishment for them and a…test for myself."

Cocking his head in curiosity Hugo asked what he meant by test.

"I should have been happy before we started seeing each other but I wasn't." Was Alexei's blunt response, forcing himself to eat the crow. "Something was missing and I couldn't figure out what that something was. Then a couple months ago I got the idea of what that something could be. Or to be more specific…who that somebody was."

"What…what happened two months ago?"

"I dropped by Sev's place to pick up a book. Both he and your cursed sister were out of the city for the week, so I didn't expect anyone to be home but you were. You were passed out on a couch looking like death warmed over, and I actually checked your pulse to make sure you were alive. Anyway…I got my book and was going to leave…but I ended up sitting on the floor beside you for reasons I couldn't begin to phantom and I watched you sleep. For over an hour."

Throat working hard Hugo was obviously choosing his words carefully. "You-you do like me better when I'm quiet."

"You drive me up the wall, but I smile around you. I don't like the idea of anyone else being with you and-I don't feel like something's missing when I'm with you. So…you've dug your own grave now. I'm not letting you go and that's that."

Eyes wide it was obvious that he'd stunned the Gryffindor speechless, especially when it took Hugo a couple minutes to find his voice again.

"You…you aren't just saying that to screw with your relatives, are you?"

"No. That's a side benefit." Moving closer Alexei met Hugo's gaze squarely. "I'm not immune to your evil cuteness powers after all, it seems. No one can not …love you for long. It's impossible."

As Alexei watched Hugo's face lit up with so much joy, the power of it enough that Alexei didn't even mind that he had to get up on tip toes to snog the hell out of his man.

He didn't need to ask if he was loved in return after all…he already knew.

The End