Sorry it's so short (and late), but my Ivan's been really busy lately and he's be exhausted, so cut him some slack, eh? Anywho, there was more to this part, but I cut it off at the most natural end, as usual. Next chapter will be longer, promise. But enjoy this one for now!


During the night, there were a couple shifts that occurred, but they were all pretty- decent. Ivan could appreciate being partially climbed over, and it was kind of shocking how quick to cuddle this little guy was. At one point, he was half-asleep and then some nuzzling started and he really liked that. When the sun started rising, he found himself looking over the gentle features of the boy beside him and before he knew it, he was petting over cheek and he wanted to kiss again so he just rubs his face into the pillow and sighs.

There's a sound downstairs and just as he considers checking it out, Matthew kind of rolls off. Easing out, he puts the pillow in both arms as they reach for something to hold and grins as he steps out. His mother is awake, and she's in one of her good moods as she smiles up at him from the coffee machine. She's set it up wrong and he fixes it for her. Deciding he should just go ahead and make breakfast, he hopes she stays in a good mood as he mentions he had a friend over. She asks if it's the cute kid he's been tutoring from across the street and he nods. She mentions something about how his father is cute, and Ivan mentally vomits, but physically grimaces.

Checking the time, he knows the alarm should be going off in a bit and he heads back up the stairs. Slipping in, he starts to the closet for his uniform. Pausing, instead, he turns on his heel and then climbs onto the bed again.

"Hey," he begins, follows it up with a kiss on the cheek. "Hey, it's time to get up, I made breakfast-" gives a couple more, but trails them down exposed shoulder.

As Matthew drifted off, contently curled up against Ivan's chest, he smiled softly, loving being able to cuddle again. Normally, when he was in bed by himself, he would curl up on his left side and not move a muscle until he woke up, but give him something to cuddle with and he will climb all over it.

Half the time he would end up on top of Al when they woke up or draped across his chest. The little five year old didn't mind in the least, he liked cuddling just as much as Mattie did. Ivan was just as comfortable as Al and he smelled just as nice too. It was kind of a deep, warm smell that reminded him of a camping trip he'd taken with his school once. He almost got left on the trip, but it had been fun.

As he slept, nightmares tried to rear up and disturb him, but every time one got started he'd feel a gentle touch that would banish them and he smiled in thanks. Waking up half way through he night he was on top on Ivan's chest, their legs tangled together, and he just laid his head back down and went back to sleep. Another time he had his nose buried in the older boy's neck, sighing softly and trying to get in a better position so his scent would wash over him again. Finally he fell asleep and didn't wake up again.

A dip in the mattress stirred his consciousness, a kiss on the cheek had him blinking awake blearily. There were kisses again, not that he was complaining, then they were moving down to his barren shoulder. "Mgh, Ivan? Morning." He mumbled, yawning tiredly. A little smiled stretched his lips, and he looked down at the pale hair.

"Hey there." Matthew greeted the other, enjoying the kisses. "I heard breakfast?"

"Mm, yeah. I made waffles. Mom was up so I just went ahead and made them a little early." He's getting somewhat side-tracked, of course, as he breathes against the other boy's skin, lips to neck. A part of him recognizes he should chill the fuck out, but seriously, it had been a little difficult to deal with the body on top of him, thigh occasionally pressing against his groin. Or the particularly seductive way Matthew had gone about soaking him in, pulling him closer or trying to fucking crawl into his skin or-

Shouldn't be thinking about that stuff when you're trying to convince yourself to back off. Some restraint is exerted and he swings a leg over and retracts himself from the bed. He probably should have just taken care of his problem from last night before Matthew woke up. Hopefully he's not thinking about this shit all day.

"I made some extra so you can drop some off with your dad on the way to school. I'll walk you, if you'd like. As for right now, you should take a shower since you smell like- well anyway, you should take a shower." Clearing his throat, he walks into the closet and pulls out a fresh uniform- if Matthew came over more often, it might be wise to keep one of the kid's here.

"I'll uh, preoccupy myself in the mean time. There's towels and stuff in there, help yourself. Let me know if you need anything else."

Waffles. Waffles were delicious. Waffles had syrup. Syrup was often maple. His maple themed thoughts were side tracked as Ivan's breath tickled the skin of his neck, making him shiver a tiny bit. The puffs of air were pleasurable against his sensitive skin and he wondered if this would go in the direction of last night. But apparently Ivan had found his sense of self control somewhere between the bed and the kitchen, because he backed off and Matthew was able to slowly sit up.

Aw that was so thoughtful of him. "Thank you!" Matthew beamed, glad he didn't have to cook today. A quick glance at the clock told him that he would have plenty of time to take a shower and eat before heading by his house to grab his book bag and uniform and drop the food off for his dad.

He smelt? Was that what Ivan was trying to say? He lifted his arm and sniffed along his forearm before picking up his night shirt and sniffing that. He did have a peculiar smell about him, kind of salty and a bit musky. Did that come from what they did last night? It didn't smell like regular sweat.

The boy shrugged and hopped out of bed, slowly of course, and headed into the bathroom where everything had started last night. After a moment's thought he poked his head back out. "Oh, do you have maple syrup?"

As Matthew smells himself, Ivan just kind of looks away. He'd meant to say /you smell like me/, but he shut up and let it go. Eventually, if things went well, Matthew would realize there are different scents that comes with such activities, and since Ivan was foregoing a shower today, he would probably smell like sex. Nobody would know he didn't actually have intercourse, but it'd smell like it. It wouldn't ruin his reputation, rather, he'd likely be more interesting to other people for a while. His main concern, however, is that Matthew will attract other people now. After sexual experiences, sometimes people get those expressions that just ask for-

Shrugging the thought away, he's tossed his shirt off and is working on his pants when the question arrives. Blinking, he glances up to the doorway where Matthew is looking and he nods. Overly aware of his lack of clothing, he tries to keep cool and then raises a brow, continuing on with dropping his shorts- underwear left behind due to courtesy.

"Of course we do, who eats waffles or pancakes without maple syrup?" The reply had humor in it- mostly because it was such a strange thing to care about. Dipping both thumbs beneath the elastic band of his briefs, he nods back to the bathroom.

"... I'll be here to answer any questions when you get out, too."

Matthew beamed again at the answer, dipping back into the bathroom and closing the door behind him. Thankfully they had the maple syrup. It was the only kind of syrup he'd eat and his absolutely favorite kind of food, even if it technically wasn't a food. Shut up, he's Canadian.

The boy quickly shed his clothes and bandages, stifling a sound as he pulled Ivan's shirt off. He paused to sniff it, finding that it smelled differently than what was on his forearm and what he normally smelled like. It smelled nice and Matthew smiled, standing there breathing it in for a few moments. Was this what Ivan meant he smelled like? he wouldn't complain if he did. Soon he had the water running and he stepped under the hot spray with a content sigh, closing his eyes and letting it soothe the pain in his side. Yesterday before he came over to Ivan's, he had been planning to skip today, even if he had near perfect attendance otherwise. He had skipped the last time his ribs had been broken to give himself time to get used to the pain and find something better to bandage himself up with.

The hot water number his skin a little, especially around his side and when he climbed out he felt much better, his muscles more relaxed and smelling fresh and like Ivan's shampoo. The boy wrapped a fluffy towel around his tiny waist and wiped off the mirror, inspecting himself in the mirror. His cheek was still bruised and he realized that he couldn't go to school without covering it up, well he probably could, but Ivan's mother would notice it in any case and he'd had enough questions.

He scuttled to the door, steam rolling out of the crack that he opened. "Ivan." He said, looking out and not seeing the boy at first, mainly because he didn't have his glasses.

As Matthew returned to the bathroom, Ivan continued undressing. He wasn't too concerned about being smelly- he'd taken a shower yesterday afternoon, so this wasn't a problem in the slightest. Once changed into his uniform, he sat at his desk and proceeded to finish his homework and other such odds and ends. It hadn't taken very long, but he'd cleaned his room and re-made the bed, put away the blankets on the floor, and by the time his name was being spoken, he was sitting on his mattress reading a book.

Glancing up, he removes his reading glasses and slips from the bed.

"Yeah?" Raising a brow, he wonders what the kid could want. Oh, maybe his clothes? Turning, he picks them up off one of the chairs- being aired out- and brings them over, handing them out.

"These?"

Then after a pause, he clears his throat and shrugs.

"Hey, I know I'm not in any position to tell you what to do, but uh, do you think that it might be a bad idea to be moving around and sitting so much directly after you uh, 'got injured'? It's your life and everything, but isn't that a little much? I can go back and forge things on the attendance slip if you're worried about an absence?"

Matthew's eyes, half blind, swiveled towards the bed when Ivan spoke, not having realized he was there. He waited as he came over, not wanting the other's mother to hear him. "Um, no, not quite that, but thank you." He said, opening the door a bit more and taking his clothes.

"Do you think that you could borrow some of your mother's foundation?" The blond asked, feeling embarrassed that he had to even ask such a question. "I don't want her to see these, ya know." He gestured at his face semi-vaguely. "And I would like to stay home, but that would include staying with my father until he leaves for work later today. And trying to explain why I'm home early when he gets there this afternoon. He doesn't take kindly to skipping."

"And I don't want to skip, even if I am injured. I like what I learn at school. It's so interesting and everything's always new in my advanced classes. I can take the pain." Matthew smiled softly, darkening a little and trying to ignore how sentimental he felt towards learning.

"I don't know why you somehow think I would ever suggest you skip at your own house. The point of skipping is to do it where your parent can't see you, and I would have easily volunteered my own bedroom. I'm just expressing my concern." Ivan doesn't really mind what Matthew chooses, as long as the kid has all the available information. Smiling, he nods though and motions to the door. It's too bad Matthew has to ask such a thing in the first place, it's just as unfortunate that he has to feel bad asking for the stuff.

"But yeah, I can get you some foundation." The trek downstairs is short, and he glances to his mother who is vegetating in front of the television. Entering her room, he walks to her vanity and stares at all the different pads and bottles and brushes. What the fuck is all this shit anyway? Picking up something or other that looks like skin tone in a bottle, he notices a pad that looks like skin tone, too. Taking it and a brush and then just wandering back out, he returns to his room and clears his throat.

"I hope this stuff works, I don't know anything about make-up."

Matthew nodded, realizing he was still thinking in the mindset that he always had to go back to his house and that he couldn't go anywhere else because he had lived like that for so long. He had a question, but it could wait until Ivan got back with the foundation.

When the older boy returned with the bottle he was pleased to find that he had brought the pad along and repressed a giggle at the brush. He would only need the brush if he was using powdered foundation, but he hated that stuff. It was so annoying to put on and it brushed off so easily. "That should be lovely, thank you." He said, taking the make-up and setting it down on the counter. "Um, do you think your mother would mind me staying here for the entire day today? I mean, doesn't she look down on skipping or something of the sort?"

"Oh, and could I borrow your hairbrush?" He had a few knots in his hair from not brushing it for two days straight. Long hair could be a curse if you didn't have a hairbrush.

Matthew seemed entertained by something he'd done and that made him a little bothered. He didn't like being looked down on, and it was even worse if someone younger and shorter than him was amused by his lack of knowledge in the make-up department. There was a frown there, but he wasn't too upset. In his mind he justifies it- this isn't something men are supposed to know, so he brushes it off.

"My mom? Oh, uh- No, she wouldn't mind. She doesn't really, uh, have the capacity? She was never really the motherly type, but then, she usually gets picked up by who knows who around ten, so she wouldn't be here the whole time." Ivan wants to suggest that he could stay, too, but knows better. God, if he had Matthew alone to himself for a day, he would just-

Clearing his throat, he nods.

"Yeah, like I said- help yourself." It's amazing how Matthew feels the need to ask for every little thing. Ivan had suggested living together, had expressed his personal interest in the boy, and still, Matt is asking permission for- Oh well. It'll take time for him to get comfortable and adjust, so Ivan just reminds himself to be patient.

"If you don't want to see her I can just bring your food up?"

He didn't know why he had thought that she might, perhaps he was holding out for that last little shred of motherness that would have redeemed her. She was nice and all, to him at least, but there was nothing really good about her in his eyes.

"Well, I suppose so, I can always work on my homework while you're gone. It would be nice to just take the day off and relax." Matthew admitted, gripping his towel and gaining a thoughtful expression. Of course, to most students, relaxing didn't involve homework, but when was he ever normal?

"Would you please? That was I wouldn't have to put on any foundation, at least for a while. Are you going to eat with me, too?" The boy asked, looking hopeful. "Are you done getting ready?"

After breakfast they would have to go over to his house before Ivan left for school and stage it like he had made waffles and gone to school. they would also have to get more clothes for him for today and his book bag so he could do his homework.

"You don't have to, it was just a suggestion. No pressure." These words were spoken, but his eyes dropped down to towel and all the skin he could see and /almost/ see. Was he being teased right now? Was Matthew intentionally standing there wet and naked? Well, not naked, but pretty much. Unconsciously, he wets his lips and lets his gaze lower to take in the boy's outline- there are some curves, despite how underweight Matthew probably is. He just wants to brush a flap to the side and continue on from last night, but then he's shaking his head and clearing his throat (for the billionth time).

"I've got nothing else to do, so you go ahead and get dressed and I'll make two plates." Smiling, intentionally answering both questions in one sentence, he heads back downstairs. In the kitchen, he notices his mom is in the same spot, eyes glued to the screen. Making up both dishes, he gives her one last glance before he returns. Using the elbow to open the door, he shifts it wider with his foot and then hooks it with his toes to shut it. Setting both plates down on the table, he sets down a little carton of milk from his pocket and slips into a chair.

"I'll leave you something for lunch, though, if you're staying."

"Oh, I like the idea. I've been having a rough time lately, so I think I deserve some time off from school." Matthew said, watching Ivan get distracted. Did he do something weird? Was there a spider on his towel? What was he looki-oh he was probably being a normal teenager, seeing as the person he liked was standing in his bathroom soaking wet and holding up his towel. Well that explained that little lick he gave his lips.

He apparently came back to himself and steered his attention back to Matthew...at least his face. He excused himself to go make their plates and Matthew returned to the bathroom to finish getting dressed. The blond pulled on his boxers, making a face at them, and then his clothes from yesterday. He didn't like wearing dirty clothes, but at least he hadn't done much in them. Looking at himself in the, he frowned a little and glanced down at Ivan's shirt. It had been really comfortable and it smelled good. Maybe he'd break his dirty clothes rule later.

By the time Ivan was coming back upstairs, Matthew had the door open and was brushing his semi-dry hair with the hairbrush. He absently noticed some strands coming loose, but he had been yanking a bit hard to get the knots out. The scent of waffles drifted to the bathroom and he started drooling just a bit. Deciding he was done, he set the brush down and hurried out of the bathroom eagerly. The boy sat down across from Ivan, wondering where he had gotten the carton of milk.

"Oh." He said with a frown, glancing up at Ivan. "I don't have enough maple syrup on my waffles."

Ivan was just beginning to cut into his waffle when Matthew mentioned the non-abundance of syrup. Blinking, he looked down to his own plate. Rising, he brings his plate over and turns out his waffle-holes onto Matthew's food. Making sure there was no mess made, he snorts- seems the little guy has a sweet tooth- and then returned to his seat.

"That good enough?" Humored, he starts cutting out sections and takes a bite. He doesn't mind going back downstairs, but if he doesn't have to there's no point in doing so. Reaching, he picks up the newspaper from this morning (his mom brought it in earlier) and slips on the reading glasses that had been set in his breast pocket. He'd picked up the habit from his father when he was younger, and now he's pretty much up to date on current events. Sometimes it's convenient to be 'in the know' on this kind of stuff.

"Hey," raising a brow, he realizes he's never really asked.

"What are your plans for after high school, anyway?"

Matthew smiled when Ivan sacrificed his syrup for him. How sweet of him. He thanked him and nodded as he sat back down, happy with the amount. The boy dug in heartily, finding his appetite returned. The waffles were delicious and his stomach rumbled hungrily as he began eating.

He glanced up to compliment Ivan on his cooking only to find him wearing glasses all of a sudden. Startled, he stopped eating, bemused by the sudden appearance of the glasses. They fit him in an oddly attractive way. The newspaper fit into the scene as well, complimenting Ivan's mature mannerisms. Matthew suddenly felt like a little kid next to a full grown man.

"Oh! Um..." He had caught him off guard. Blushing lightly, he glanced away, focusing his fuzzy vision elsewhere. His glasses were still on the nightstand. "Well...I kinda wanted to go to an art school...but I won't have the money, and my dad wants me to go into law school like him and either be a lawyer or a doctor. He doesn't like my drawings."

Ivan listens curiously. Ah, right, Matthew liked to draw, hadn't he? He'd seen an example of it just recently, too, and it had been pretty impressive. Trying to think on it, he wonders if it was a burden he could take one when Matthew graduates a year later. He's going to be heading off to medical school soon- like Matt's father had hoped for his son- which is expensive, but being waived for him due to merit. It's plausible, although not something he would bring up this early in knowing each other.

Nodding, he makes a sound in his throat of acknowledgment.

"I'm generally of the opinion that you should do what you want.
Haha, you might know that by now." What had he done? Blackmailed a kid? All other such things; accosted a boy when he was weak. Maybe he doesn't even really have to say that. He's not really someone who has any influence on Matthew's future at this point; maybe some day.

"You've still got time to make decisions." Glancing back to the paper, he makes another sound.

"Then what would you do? If you had gone to art school? You want to be a...?"

Matthew was glad that Ivan didn't share the same ideals his father did. He had been worried that he might try to push him towards the more well-paying jobs as well, but thankfully, he had encouraged him instead. He nibbled on his waffled a bit while Ivan glanced back at his paper, tilting his head at the questions.

"I've always been enamored with drawings, and comics, so I want to publish illustrated novels, like Persepolis, depicting the fight through hardships." The boy picked at his waffles a little, feeling a tiny bit wary to tell Ivan this because he thought, what if he didn't like it? He couldn't be with someone who didn't care for his dreams.

"Other than that I want to illustrate for books or maybe even go into the movie or game business and design graphics and animatics." He loved gaming, even though he barely got to play, and movies were his secret drug. Since he was a small kid he had wanted to work with books and movies and games.

Soaking in the words, he considers it all. It's not that Matthew needs his permission, but he does like the idea of approving of a potential mate's goals. Not that it mattered, really, because a profession and a dream don't change a person- and he already liked Matthew. Maybe he was just curious? Maybe he was just wondering about whether or not the kid would even tell him? It was nice to be taken seriously, Matthew hadn't really thought he was being for real until last night, and shrugged off any of his interest.

"Hm, sounds like you've got quite the plan going. Sounds like a lot of fun. Good luck." He doesn't want anything to get too heavy this soon, so he just kind of keeps it in the back of his mind and stores it away. Knowing stuff feels good- especially since, really, how many people know anything about Matthew? A voice reminds him he's being selfish and he swallows.

"At any rate-" There's a crashing sound downstairs and he blinks. Mumbling a 'hold on', he walks to his door and peeks out. Exiting, he makes it to the stairs where he sees his mother and the coffee pot broken on the ground. She cries and apologizes and she tells him she doesn't want to be alone today, that he has to stay with her. He tells her she should go to bed, and she says only if he'll stay and he just takes in a slow breath and agrees- but only if she goes back to bed. With that, he helps her with her medicine and she stumbles into her room and crawls under the sheets.

It only takes a minute or so to clean and then he's back upstairs.

"You almost done? We should get you some clothes and drop off the food?"

The fact that Ivan wasn't pushing anything made Matthew relax. He didn't seem worried about his plans and even seemed to approve of them. That thought made him very happy and he grinned at his plate.

The crash made him jump in his seat and he turned wide eyes to Ivan, having to remind himself that it wasn't his father coming up the stairs drunk. He almost stood up and called out to Ivan, restraining himself just in time. It wouldn't do to have him think he was a scared little boy who couldn't do anything on his own. His appetite vanished and he toyed with his half eaten waffles anxiously until the older returned to a sigh of relief. "What happened? What was that noise?" He asked immediately.

"Oh, well I suppose so." Hm, he said that a lot. The boy stood up and brushed off his lap primly, heading over and grabbing his glasses and sliding them onto his nose. "Do you want me to walk you to school?" Matthew asked, kinda wanting to, even if he shouldn't be walking around much with his rib. But he liked spending time with pretty much the only person who noticed him and treated him kindly. Such a turn about since last week.

"Hmm? Mom broke something on accident. It's nothing, she's just not feeling well. I don't think she took her medicine last night is all." Although he asked, he looks to the plate and frowns. Well no he's not done eating, but they'll be coming right back anyway, so Matthew still has time to keep at it. This kid has really gotta start eating, it's stressful to worry when organ failure might set in; it really happens.

"School- right. Um, no. I'm going to be home today. She's being weird and wants me to stay, but we still have to drop by your place." Ah, but now Matthew looks a little weird. Was he frightened earlier? Probably. There's a lot of psychological damage going on here, he should be a little more sensitive.

"Hey," motioning, closing the door with his butt, he holds out his arms.

"Come here for a second, okay? Just a sec, and then we'll go."

"She takes medicine? And she drinks all the time? That isn't good at all." Matthew said, shaking his head. He wondered how often his mother broke things if he was this unconcerned about it. "So you're skipping today, too? That's not good." He heard the door close and focused on Ivan, curious as to what he was doing.

The open arms surprised him and he hesitated for just a moment before striding across the room and letting Ivan envelope him in his arms. He had really been frightened when he heard the crash. His father often broke things when he was drunk or angry and the sounds had been the harbingers of pain and suffering for him. But the fright all dissipated the moment he stepped into the circle of Ivan's arms. The boy wrapped his arms around the older one's bigger waist, resting his head on his chest, feeling suddenly cuddly again. "You're such an oddball."

One day he's blackmailing him and threatening to have him expelled just so he could learn about him and the next he's comforting him as if he had never said a stoic thing to him.

His mother's medicine was not something Ivan liked to talk about. She took some sort of anti-depressant and then she disappeared for days on end. He's learned about how to deal with it and her, so he just ignores it and goes on with his life.

"Mm, sometimes I stay home, but the principle knows about my circumstance so I just have to call him and he excuses it." Smiling now that he has an armful of Matthew, he hugs and holds lightly. He doesn't want to hurt the kid, so he tries to be gentle. Snorting, he mumbles a 'no I'm not' into the boy's hair and just takes a moment to let it soak in; Ivan can be stable. As much as he knows about the medical field and the mental aspect of it, he knows that people trust doctor's because they're an authority. There's a belief that they can do no wrong, that they know what they're doing- he wonders if he can apply that to their relationship. Matthew kind of needs someone he can rely on.

A brief moment has passed, and he eases them apart.

"Let's get it over with, yeah? Sooner the better."

Matthew could understand that sort of arrangement, but what he understood better was that he got to stay with Ivan all day. Quite amazing how getting sick can change your image in the eyes of others isn't it? Before Ivan had gotten sick, Matthew had felt that he was a rather handsome but annoying guy. Now he could see the nicer, more tender side and he decided that he liked this one much better.

"And yes you are." He insisted, smiling amusedly. Too bad he didn't like The Rock's TV work or else he'd start calling Ivan that. And he was his rock, he as the most stable thing he'd interacted with in the last three months, even if he wasn't all that stable himself. Then again, Ivan wouldn't be Ivan is he didn't have /some/ eccentricities. With a sigh, Matthew pulled away, not wanting to let go because he's a cuddly fucker and likes human touch. But he had to feed his father and get his homework so he can complete it before tomorrow. "Alright, let's get it over with quickly. I need fresh clothes."

Snorting a laugh through his nose, he removes himself from Matthew and sidesteps. Picking a jacket out of his closet (since man, he can not afford to get any more sick), Ivan begins slipping it on and zips the front. It's a plain white hoodie, but what matters is not how it looks, but that he's warm. Gesturing to the other jackets, he motions that 'okay' for Matthew to take something, too, if he'd like.

With that, he slips out of the room and down the stairs. Slipping some waffles onto a disposable plate with a paper towel on top (so they don't get soggy, otherwise he'd have used tupperware), he assumes Matthew's house has syrup (especially considering how much of a fiend the kid is for it). Meeting the kid back at the door, he slips his shoes on and does a second glance behind to made sure his mom is still in her room.

The walk was particularly short- they do live across the street from one another after all. At this point, though, walking up the drive-way, he makes a face when he sees the dad's car and then looks to Matthew.

"Do you want me to come in with you? Or wait out here?"

It was a bit difficult to step away from Ivan, but he allowed it reluctantly. He followed Ivan to his closet, pulling out the smallest one he could find, because he didn't like being cold. It was a dusty red pullover, and it hung off him, but he was warm and it smelled like Ivan so he could discretely bury his nose in it.

Trotting down the stairs after the older boy, he took the waffles and held them as Ivan out on his shoes. He just kinda slipped his feet into his, not particularly caring for making them comfortable right now. Outside it was windy and the crisp wind snapped against them as they walked across the street.

"Would you come with me?" He didn't want to be alone right now, not at his house. The thought that his father might walk in on him was terrifying. So he tugged the older boy behind him, opening the door and slipping into the kitchen. He left the food on the counter and instantly headed up to his room with Ivan in his wake. "Here's my room."

It was kinda the one he had kept from Ivan before.

"Yeah, of co-" But then he was being pulled to follow and he just kind of laughed and trailed along. It was kind of nice how comfortable Matthew had become with him already considering how things had been progressing lately. It was probably a blessing that he had fallen ill, because there's no way he would have done a lot of that sentimental stuff if he were in the right head space. Ivan is very much about appearances, and being seen as weak was something he dreaded. That is, until Matthew. It seems like every time he's a little more honest, the kid just eats it right up. Maybe that's how things are supposed to be?

In the bedroom, he just glances around and then looks his friend over. He's seen this place from his window many times. It's so different than it looks from his own bedroom. Walking around, he looks at photographs and of drawings on the wall and then he picks up Matthew's pillow and brings it to his face. Breathing in, he lets out a soft hum and smiles before dropping it back down.

"Okay, well- grab your backpack." Pulling open the kid's dresser, he looked for the uniform and then realized that he had no idea where it would actually be so he laughs and steps back.

"Yeah and uh, I'll let you do that." Sitting down on the boy's mattress, he folds both hands together and slips them between his knees. "And pick up an extra pair of something casual, okay? You can just leave it at my place."

Watching Ivan inspect him room was curiously relaxing. He wasn't worried that he wouldn't like it for once, not anxious that he would find something wrong with it. It felt nice to just be able to not fuss over others' judgments. The younger boy watched as the other smelled his pillow, finding the action somehow adoring.

Seeing the other searching through his dresser in search of his uniform was funny. "Do we need my uniform today?" He asked, opening his closet and pulling out one of his uniforms and laying it on the bed before going back to look through his other clothes for something casual. In the dark of the closet, he buried his nose in Ivan's jacket, breathing in his scent with a smile.

A red shirt with a white maple leaf on the front was laid on the bed next to his uniform. It was a spin on the Canadian flag and he loved it a lot, it was also very comfortable. Next he pulled out some dark washed jeans that were baggy on him and threw them on top of his shirt.

"What do you think?" He asked, tugging his book bag over to the bed. His homework got shoved in a messy way that he normally would never condone, but he was tired of being in his room and wanted to go back to Ivan's house.

"Well, you won't be wearing it to school but I thought the plan was to wear it coming home?" Waiting patiently, he bounced a little on the bed and found it lacking. It was just kind of hard. Sure, there was a little padding, but he wonders how Matthew's body feels after sleeping on this piece of shit (this somehow fuels his hatred of Matthew's father). Perhaps a massage was in order- Even as he considers it, he's getting a little excited and then he has to push it away. Maybe just a shoulder rub, since he doesn't trust himself touching anywhere else.

As the clothing was laid out beside him, he admires the uniform and denotes how he would never, ever fit into it. Then he sees the second outfit displayed and actually, it kind of really fits Matthew- this laid back but passive-aggressive pride. Smiling, he raises both eyebrows simultaneously and then drops them just as quickly.

"I think you have the time to change out of what you wore yesterday." Getting up, he walks into the closet and fingers through some other clothes, just checking out the wardrobe. It's mostly casual, t-shirts with cute cartoon designs or jeans with worn out knees. He kind of really likes them? Maybe he's fawning too much; he should really put a lid on it.

((He should XD))
Oh yeah, he still had to go back home tonight. It would be a dismal ending to his day, but it wasn't a choice. "Yeah, I guess so." He said, folding his uniform up neatly and putting it inside his back pack. "I hope you don't mind me changing in front of you, I don't have an en suit and I don't want to chance meeting my father in the hall."

Hopefully Ivan didn't mind too much, he didn't think he would, but you never know. He might not like people changing in front of him, but he was gonna do it anyway. "Oh, could you redo my bandages? I wasn't able to do them up tight enough when I got out of the shower." The boy tugged his shirt over his head and motioned to his bandaged chest.

"It gets annoying not being able to do them up tight enough by myself." Matthew explained, looking over at Ivan. "Do you have anything you want to do today? Besides my homework, of course." Though a slow day spent on the couch sounded wonderful.

In the closet, Ivan sighs- of course he has a problem with Matthew changing in front of him. The problem is called 'an erection', and he really enjoys avoiding them. He thinks he can just stay there, but then he's being asked to come help with bandages and he curses mentally.

"Yeah, sure. Sorry, if I'd remembered earlier I would have helped then." Turning, he finds his eyes drawn to milky skin and then he's taking in a quick breath and clearing his throat. Un-clipping it, he has to reach around the body a couple times to remove it and God he shouldn't have gotten this close. He can feel his skin warming at the proximity, but he swallows it down. Closing his eyes, he naturally finds himself leaning in a little closer as he adjusts the gauze, starts wrapping again. It's not like he can't control himself, or like Matthew is some Adonis or something, just that he... maybe Ivan just likes him a little more than he thought he did.

When he finishes, he steps back and fastens the cloth shut and then takes a couple more steps back. Yeah, distance might be a good thing, and they should probably get the fuck out of here before anything happens. The last thing Ivan wants to see is that asshole's shit-eating-grin. It would turn his stomach.

"Hurry up, alright?" Looking away. "We should jet soon."

Matthew held up his arms a bit as Ivan re-wrapped his bandages, wincing just a little at the added pressure to his side. But he knew that it would benefit him in the end. With the other so close it was difficult to focus on the wrapping, instead he watched the play of muscles along Ivan's hands. He liked his hands, they were strong and nimble and nothing like his own.

He was warmer than usual and it was strange to him. A book had told him that the body temperature rises in response to adrenaline, and adrenaline was released when people were sexually excited. Was he that now? His stomach felt tight, but it didn't quite feel the same as last night. Finally his bandages were done and the older student stepped away. Matthew felt a little calmer and pulled his fresh shirt over his head, followed by Ivan's pullover. The smell that was attached to it made him smile as it surrounded him. He made sure Ivan was turned and hurried to his dresser before stripping his pants and boxers and pulling on a clean pair. His pants soon followed and he turned back around.

"Alright, let me put these away and we can go." Matthew said, taking his dirty clothes over to the hamper and tossing them in. "Will you grab my back pack?"

While Matthew adjusted himself and changed out of this and into that, Ivan kept his back turned, looking at things on top of the boy's dresser. There were some little figures, a photo or two, but aside from that it seemed like the kid was under appreciated. Ivan purposefully left his room scarce, he didn't want anyone to be able to gain any insight on who he was just by being in his room. Matthew's room screamed neglect, and that was upsetting. It made Ivan want to spoil him. In his mind, he thinks 'when we have a place together, he can decorate it however he wants'- but then, he's getting way ahead of himself.

"Hmm? Oh, sure." Retrieving the bag, he slips it over one shoulder and nods towards the door. The longer they were here, the higher the risk of seeing Matt's dad, and at this point he's not sure he could resist punching the fucker straight in his jaw. There was a possessive need to protect rising inside of him, and he'd noticed it from the moment the kid's parent had been introduced. He'd literally thought about how good it would feel to knock him down a couple notches, but it wasn't his place (neither was blackmailing Matthew, but Ivan wouldn't be the one left behind to pick up the pieces).

"After you."

Matthew smiled and headed out the door, flicking the lights off after him. He took the lead, quietly walking down the steps and peeking into the kitchen. The waffles were untouched on the counter and he gave a mental sigh of relief before continuing on to the living room. This room was clear too. It appeared his father was still asleep or still getting ready. Which worked perfectly for him.

"Alright, let's go-"

"Matthew!" His father called from upstairs, the heavy thud of his shoes heading down the stairs Matthew's heart leapt into his throat and he tugged Ivan out the door and shut it behind him as quietly as he could before taking off at speed for the other side of the street and Ivan's porch. He hadn't thought his father would come down /then/. That had been horrifying.

He had thought he was going to free up and that they would get caught. But they made it to Ivan's porch without incident and he collapsed on the porch step gasping and holding his side, thankful that his father hadn't heard them and come outside.

"S-sorry..." The boy murmured breathless to Ivan.

Ivan was walking at a quiet, although casual, pace as he continued down the steps. Of course, as soon as they heard the words, he was being fucking jerked. Thank God he was on the last step or he would have made a bunch of noise jumping the last couple. Nearly flung out the exit, he's trying not to stumble or anything, and then the door is shut soundlessly and he's again being pulled across the street. Once at his door, he allows Matthew time to catch his breath, but opens the door also, to ease him inside.

"Haha, it's fine- It's better that we didn't see him at all." Once he had the boy in the house, he shuts and locks them in before nodding up the stairs. Glancing to the living room, he denotes that it's quiet and that she appears to still be asleep. Removing his shoes, he finds humor in how easily Matthew got winded, but that was also kind of adorable? They're almost exact opposites, and yet he just thinks it's so freaking cute. Maybe it's just because of the rib.

Once up the steps, he finds relief when they're able to relax in his room again. As quickly as he can, he closes his curtains. There's no way he's gonna let them get in trouble now if the father sees them on accident.

"Anyway, I think I might take a nap- if you want to work on your homework or something, help yourself. When you're hungry just let me know, alright?"

Matthew smiled thankfully at Ivan as he opened the door for him and let him in. As the other boy locked the door, he took his shoes off, his chest still expanding rapidly from the run. He had never really been athletic and his father had never allowed him to join any track teams or such and aside from that dismal hockey tryout, he'd never had any other interest in sports. Ivan didn't seem phase by the run, but he never did seem fazed by much.

Ivan's mother didn't seem to be up, which made Matthew happy. They wouldn't have to worry as much about her overhearing them. They headed up to the room, Ivan closing the curtains as soon as they got up there. Somehow it made the room feel less sterile and it made the little blond smile. "Aw, you're going to take a nap? But we just got up? Though, I guess I kinda did keep you up last night...Sorry."

He felt a little bad for having made Ivan miss his sleep, it was important that he got enough and he was impeding that. "And I probably won't be hungry for a while." That was for certain, that half stack of waffles had filled him up thoroughly, and he wasn't used to having so much food in his stomach.

As he unzipped the hoodie, Ivan raised a brow. It's funny how Matthew considers accosting him for intimacy as 'keeping him up'. Snorting, he shakes his head and proceeds to remove his uniform top. If he's not going to school, he doesn't need it on. There's a white tank top beneath it, but he likes to be comfortable at home so he grabs some clothes to change into.

"Hey, don't. I was more than happy to stay up with you for whatever reason. I'm just a little tired, and since I'm going to be here might as well rest, right?" Stepping into the bathroom, he exchanges his school outfit for an 'at home' outfit. It consists of a black t-shirt and jeans. His socks are white- Ivan does not have a 'fashion sense' and he dresses very plain when he doesn't have to be presentable to anybody. Slumping onto the bed, he rolls onto his back and flips a forearm over his eyes and exhales. This was pleasant.

"Are you cold?" Rolling his head to the side, a grin slips over his features. "Do you need to keep that on?"

Well, his logic did make sense, but Matthew just felt like he wanted to spend time with the other today. But he didn't want to bug him, so he would let him sleep while he did his homework. He waited while the other got dressed, sitting down at his table and pulling out his homework.

He laughed softly when Ivan flopped onto the bed, amused by the drama of the action. "Wear what? Oh, this?" Matthew asked, picking at the big red pullover he was still wearing. "Well, no, I'm not cold, but..." He blushed a little, wondering if the other would find it odd. "Well, it kinda smells good." That was totally embarrassing to admit, but he managed it.

Would Ivan find it weird? It smelled like his shirt, which he guessed smelled like Ivan. And that made him want to keep both garments. "Oh! You never called the school to tell them you weren't coming in."

Watching Matthew's expression contort, and then his cheeks heat, Ivan realized at that exact moment that his feelings were reciprocated. As much as he had assumed they were unrequited, he was beginning to understand that, actually, yeah, Matthew probably did like him but just had no idea what he was doing. Fuck that was reassuring. The following confession had his eyes widening- did he really just admit that?

"You... Can wear my clothes whenever you want." It took a moment to recognize how strange that offer probably seemed, but he just felt like this was absolutely the ideal thing to say right now. Of course, Ivan feels he has to follow it up with something else-

"Or you could just smell me." Shrugging, he takes the reminder and rolls onto his stomach. Reaching for the phone, he starts dialing in a number. It rings a couple times and then there's a male voice on the other end.

"Hey, yeah, it's Ivan- Hmm? Yes, I'm alright. My mother- Yes. I won't be able to attend today." There's a pause and he makes some hums of agreement and then finishes the call with 'thank you for understanding, have a good day'. Dropping the phone, he slouches against the bed.

"You also- don't have to do your homework. Just sayin'.

He could wear his clothes? That was sweet, Ivan was being so kind to him. Though he might just take him up on that offer, his shirt was damn comfortable. The boy colored darkly, shocked by his second offer. "S-smell you?!" He hissed, face red. What a thing to say!

Though...Ivan did smell really good...Matthew blushed darkly, fidgeting in his seat the entire phone call. "W-what do you mean? I don't have to do my homework? Of course I do." That was just silly, he had to bring his grades up, and just the thought of not completing his homework made him balk. Up until now, his schoolwork had been everything to him, it was the only thing that he had under his control. And he actually enjoyed it, which made it that much better, even though it was sometimes difficult.

"Such a thing to say." Matthew murmured quietly, playing with his fingers in his lap. Not doing his homework, really?

"It's not that strange to offer. You're smelling me right now. I just meant to cut out the middle man." Eyes closed, cheek resting against bedding, he snuggled in to fall asleep. It wasn't that hard, surprisingly, because he'd spent so long just watching Matthew when he should have been resting. Of course, he doesn't regret it. If he could do it again, he'd probably do it exactly the same- but maybe with some more touches mixed in there. And maybe he'd be a little reckless when Matthew was crawling over him and-

"I didn't mean you don't have to do your homework. I just meant that you don't have to do it now. There's eight hours left, you can't blame a guy for trying to get you in bed with him." As he finished the sentence, he realized how it sounded and his cheek heated. Sitting up on an elbow, defensive, he cleared his throat.

"I mean- you know, to lie there, not to like- but if you wanted to then- not that we have to, I'm not even-" Flustered, he just blurts a 'never mind' and then groans maneuvers until he's under the covers. Why was he so stupid just then? Is this what liking people does? It kind of... really blows.

Oh, he hadn't mean to put him off his homework, just to post pone it. That made him relax considerably. He wasn't about to mess up when he was trying so hard to get his grades back up. Matthew slid his books away with a little smile, deciding that relaxing would be best for him right now. he was still injured after all.

He caught the tail end of what Ivan said and turned a deep red. That just sounded so wrong. So why was his heart pumping faster? That was quite the invitation. Though the way Ivan was blushing and becoming so flustered was quite the sight to see. It was rather amusing and oddly adorable for the bigger boy to be stammering like that.

Matthew giggled softly and got up, walking over to the bed and gently tugging the covers from over Ivan's face. "Hey, there's nothing wrong with trying to get a guy in bed with you." He chuckled, eye twinkling at him. "And I would be happy to get in bed with you." Oh what he must be thinking at that~ It was fun to do things like this, especially if Ivan keep reacting like that. The boy scooted Ivan over and slipped into bed beside him, curling up instantly and resting his head on his chest.

Ivan is busy berating himself when the blankets are shifted, and he blinks, shocked. Matthew should be over at the table, like, doing his homework or something which did not include surprising Ivan. The boy starts climbing in, plus those comments, and then he's loaded up with mixed signals. He has no clue what just went down, but he might be being mocked or- or flirted with. Ivan is struggling with these thoughts and then Matthew is cuddling up close and he can feel the kid's breath through his shirt.

"Hey, be careful-" Worrying about the ribs, he makes a sound in his throat and then just surveys the situation. Okay, well, it's comfortable and harmless, so this isn't too bad. Relaxing back against the pillow, he easily sifts fingers into golden strands and strokes through them. The second hand trails up and down the other teen's arm, and he smiles, cozying up.

"Mm, I could get used to this." Eyes closed, he appreciates their little moment together. "We should do it more often."

The look on Ivan's face was comical, but Matthew prided himself in not laughing in his face. That would make him feel bad, he was only aiming for mildly shocked and confused. He closed his eyes as Ivan stroked through his hair, a little startled at the touch, but quickly getting used to it. It was soothing and relaxing and he almost forgot his glasses. The blond took them off quickly and set them on the side table before returning to the cuddle, tossing his arm over Ivan's chest and smiling when he ran his hand over it.

He wondered if Ivan found him too feminine. He was tiny and slight, with barely any muscle and wore make-up. He also had delicate and small hands and feet and long eye lashes. Another thing he was sorely lacking in was body hair. Maybe it was the blond color, or maybe he was part hairless Chihuahua, but he only had a fine covering of pale hair on his arms and legs, and virtually no trail down his navel either.

"We should. I like it." Matthew murmured, enjoying the petting. "Hey Ivan...what does this make us?" He asked softly.

Ivan is thinking about the future in his head, considering where things would go from here, what they'd do tomorrow, what his plans were after graduation. It never occurred to him that they wouldn't be together, in whatever way they were together now. He didn't need anything definite, he just needed Matthew- apparently. Just last week he was planning on how to get the kid into his clutches, and now he's re-organizing his life to suit their needs.

"Oh." It's not like Ivan hadn't made his intentions clear, so really, their status was resting on Matthew. Want to be friends? Okay. Boyfriends? Sure. Lovers? Alright. Nothing? Unacceptable. Perhaps this was a negative way of thinking, but he had developed these feelings and they were so difficult to manage, so he made do with what he has.

More importantly, this left open the fact that Matthew might be hoping for a claim on him, and fuck, that was pretty okay, too.

"Do... you /want/ to be something?"

Matthew opened his eyes as he contemplated the possibilities. There were so many terms for what they had, any one of them could be right. "I'm not entirely sure. But I want us to be something. I've read that it's important to be able to describe your relationship." He said softly. "There was a study on teenage relationships that asked whether or not they had a description of their relationship and of those that didn't, they were more likely to have fights and be hesitant to each other."

He read lots of things. Of course he did. Don't question it.

"From what I read, it's not quite right to call us lovers. That's usually reserved for people who have had sex or do sexual things on a regular basis. I think boyfriends might be closer to us right now. But then again relationships cam have more than one description." Matthew furrowed his brows in thought, looking at the wall. "I think that one might be the best one for right now. We can add or take away more later, if need be."

Ivan wasn't sure how he felt about labeling their relationship, because they didn't really need one right now, did they? Matthew's inexperience leads him to academic fact and probably a bunch of surveys and statistics, but Ivan isn't entirely positive that that's the best way to go. However, if it'll make the little guy feel better, then alright. They just recently realized they had something, and neither of them really asked each other out, but if that's what Matthew wanted, he would absolutely settle for 'boyfriend'. It was kind of a pretty big deal?

"I suppose now is the right time to ask whether or not you want it to be made public. Labels only matter for other people. I know what you mean to me and you know your feelings- titles are for the people who don't know what we are to each other." Although he was hesitant, he wasn't completely opposed to the idea. The only thing was that Ivan would definitely be hit harder with it; two boys dating was kind of frowned upon these days (and in the past too, so really, 'every day').

"I don't know how many people pay attention to your availability, but I have a bunch of people focusing on mine, and I guess what I want to know is what you want me to tell them?"

Go public? That was something Matthew had never thought of. He'd supposed they were going to stay together, meeting up at Ivan's house and going to do whatever couples did. It never occurred to him to tell people at school.

"Um." Matthew was at a loss for words for a moment. He gnawed on his lip lightly as he thought. "I-I'm not really comfortable with anyone at school, mainly because I don't get noticed, but I don't suppose it will be much of a problem if you tell anyone. It would definitely tell people that you're taken."

"I-I just don't want to be around when you tell them." Matthew shrank against Ivan's chest, a bit of fright in his eyes. "I'm terrible with crowds, especially if they're all looking at me and I have to speak."

His stage fright, rather unwarranted, had gotten his scores deducted on presentations, even if no one but the teacher noticed he was there. "Maybe you could tell the kids in your classes? They'll definitely spread it around school."

The physical reaction taking place in Matthew's actions were more than enough to know that the kid probably wasn't as okay with it as he made it seem. What he's come to learn in his short amount of time with the boy is that he's too nice for his own good, and his inexperience leads him to certain answers. Ivan knows that if he tells people, regardless of how invisible Matthew is, people will start to notice; they'll be looking. They'll want to know what kind of person Matthew is, and when they see it's a small /male/ there will be hell and he's not sure he wants to leave someone he cares about in that kind of environment for a year after he graduates.

"Mm, the better question would be- do you mind if I don't tell them? I'm a private man, I don't like my business 'spread'. If you wanted them to know, specifically, then I'd do that, but otherwise I'll just express my unavailability." Shifting, because comforting Matthew in this position was hard, he rolls the teen (and himself) somewhat so that Matt is on his back. Ivan has Matthew's head in the crook of his elbow and he's propped up somewhat, leaning partway over the younger blond with one hand stroking over cheek. He's feeling affectionate (which is not something he knew he felt- kind of new), and it reflects in his features although he's not smiling.

"You don't have to be so afraid of things. Not when you're with me, at least." His eyes settle on the bruise, and he grazes the pads of his fingers over it, then trails them down until they've reached shoulder. From here, he gently grips muscle and proceeds to massage. Ivan doesn't mind learning, and he doesn't mind being the only one who can make the tension disappear. He'll earn it.

"I'll read your mind, and I'll do what makes you comfortable. Deal?"

Whatever Ivan wanted to do was okay with him. He didn't care if he told the kids at school, even if he didn't like the thought of suddenly being the center of attention. Which he would, regardless of how Ivan phrased it to the student body. He was an anomaly, invisible, but to be noticed by one of the smartest and most popular boys at school would surely bring attention to himself.

And he was horrible in front of people he didn't know, especially if he was expected to speak. The only thought he had was pleasing Ivan, so the ultimate choice was up to him, though it was incredibly nice that he was putting Matthew before himself.

Matthew tilted his head in thought as Ivan offered to keep him to himself. It would probably be the most beneficial action for both of them, to just keep their relationship a secret. And he liked the thought of no one else knowing that Ivan was his. The boy looked surprised when he was rolled over, blinking up at the older student. His head was cradled in the bend of Ivan's elbow, which tilted his face more towards the other's. The hand on his cheek was strangely relaxing and he felt the tension start to drain out of him as his cheek was stroked. He liked this side of Ivan, this caring, tender side.

There was a bit of pain as Ivan gently touched his bruised cheek, but the words were more than enough to make it alright. The trail his fingers used reminded Matthew of the path his lips had taken before when they had woken him up and oooh that felt wonderful. The boy quickly relaxed under the other's fingers, not used to having a massage.

"Alright." He agreed with a lazy smile, eyes half-lidded and pleasantly hazy. He could live with that. Especially if he kept getting massages. Massages were niiiice.

Relieved when Matthew didn't brush him off, Ivan smiled and leaned forward. Resting with his face buried in the kid's neck was comfortable, and he could appreciate that he was being smothered in his boyfriend's smell. Ivan had no way of expecting this, of predicting that his weird motivations might turn into a relationship. The last thing he thought would happen included Matthew's hands in his hair while bucking into mouth. No, actually, he never thought someone might actually like him for who he was, and not for who he seemed to be.

As if on cue, he feels skin against his lips and is overly sensitive to it. His breath is huffing against the same flesh and he opens his mouth, lightly nipping the readily available expanse. Too bad that behind his impartial exterior, he was still a hormonal teenager with his mind in the gutter. The gentle bites continue up to jaw line where he nuzzles their cheeks together. He should really stop. Obviously, yes. Plausible? No.

"Mm, if you keep staying over I might have to stock up on maple syrup." Snorting, he backs up slightly and brushes their noses together- it's all he can do to not jump Matthew right now; discipline is something Ivan has firmly implanted in himself, he's confident.

"You didn't mind my pajamas?"

Matthew smiled placidly as Ivan nuzzled into his neck, giggling softly at the breath on his skin. Who would have thought that they would have gotten together after all they've been through? Ivan was one manipulative bastard, that was for sure. But at least he was more comfortable around someone now.

Oh, he loved those little kisses and nips Ivan seemed to always want to give him. It made his head kinda fuzzy while his body seem razor sharp at the same time. He rubbed back against Ivan as he nuzzled their cheeks together. It was sweet and tender and Matthew couldn't get enough of it. He really had been deprived of human kindness for too long.

The boy let out a soft laugh, thoroughly entertained by the words. "I think you'd ought to stock up anyways. It's a very delicious treat. And yes. I will eat it all." He giggled again when Ivan gave him an eskimo kiss. Something he'd read about in a book had made them seem very interesting, and they certainly were. "Why would I mind your pajamas? They're fine to me. Or are you talking about the ones I wore to bed last night?"

Ivan is mostly curious about things because he wants to begin charting acceptable and non-approved of behavior. If Matthew doesn't mind wearing his clothing, then there's no issue with him staying the night 'randomly', because he has something for the boy to wear. If he has a preference, he'll have to go find something in Matthew's size and- Hmm, maybe he should just do that anyway. Seeing that exposed shoulder all night hadn't really helped calm him down in the slightest.

Tracing a finger down from jaw line to chest, Ivan proceeds to outline the design there. It might be something worth avoiding in the future- lying so close and with a lot of time to waste- because he's noticing how problematic it is. Ivan is tentative with everything because honestly, he has no clue how much the ribs have impacted Matthew, nor where they affect. Raising an eyebrow, he smooths a palm along the non-injured side, and begins remembering how small Matthew is. When the kid was in large, baggy clothing, it was easy to forget that he was so thin, but now that his clothes are slightly larger than his form, he can easily make out the form beneath. He could probably see rib cage against the skin if he bothered to look (he kind of doesn't want to see).

"I'm just gonna-" Resting his forehead against Matthew's shoulder, he closes his eyes. The hand at the teen's side tucks beneath the body to rest flat against shoulder blade, "-lay like this for a while."

Ivan recognizes his need for proximity and takes full advantage of Matthew's kind nature. If he could fall asleep with his arms around his now-boyfriend, he would be all means trap him here for that duration.

Matthew was glad that Ivan wanted to learn when to stop with him. It was a relief to know that he wouldn't try to force him into anything if he wasn't ready for it. It made this whole relationship thing much easier to head in to. Maybe his first boyfriend would be good for him, especially if Ivan kept putting him before himself, that was a nice change of pace.

"I liked wearing your shirt, it was really comfortable and I liked that it smelled like you." He managed to say it with a fairly pale face, something he hoped he would be able to control eventually. "But I could do without the pants, they were really big." They'd slid around a lot when he was sleeping last night, which was annoying. But it was nice of his new boyfriend, he really liked that word, to put him up while he was in need.

The boy watched Ivan's hand as it made its way over his body, carefully avoiding his injured side and tenderly caressing the rest of the available space. It felt nice, relaxing and soothing, but he couldn't help but wonder if Ivan liked his body. He knew he was too skinny and rather frail and delicate due to his condition, but he tried to eat as much as he could while he was able to. The thought that maybe the older boy wouldn't like him because he was too skinny scared him, even as his fingers made him feel relaxed.

He tilted his head so that it rested against Ivan's as he nuzzled into his shoulder, shifting a little to allow his hand under his body. Was he going to go to sleep like that? It didn't seem very comfortable, but it was to him. Though, he needed to get this out before the Russian fell asleep. "Ivan...do you think I'm too skinny?" He asked, a bit fearfully, gnawing his lip lightly as he waited for the other's answer.

Listening to the commentary, he smiled and offered up some breathy laughs. He tried to imagine Matthew in them again, and was glad they were drawstring, but there was still a lot of excess fabric. Ivan had been a thin, gangly kid once. He hadn't grown into his body yet, and he was tall and weird looking, but once his father left and his mother was unstable, he'd joined the track team in middle school and took action. Now, he looks thick, but it's all muscle.

The question puts him off guard and he winces. Of course Matthew is worried about that, and of course he wants reassurance. Ivan isn't the type to lie, and the last thing he wants to do is say something just to make Matthew feel better. He wants to give Matthew reprieve, thinks maybe he should just answer with his face buried, but how can the kid know he's being real when he can't see the expression.

Taking in a slow breath, he leans back again, but the distance between them is much smaller now due to Ivan's embrace. Nodding, he agrees.

"Yes, I think you're too skinny." Matthew is underfed, and mistreated, neglected, and underloved, but he's also asking the wrong questions. His brows knit, and he shakes his head a little.

"I'm assuming that what you really want to know is whether or not I'm attracted to you." His job was to be psychic, and he's trying his best. "If that's what you're searching for then- Well, I was in the bathroom last night because I was thinking about you and that body of yours. I just don't think your weight has anything to do with what I want to do with you. I'd be happy if you gained weight because you'd be healthier, but thin or not, it doesn't stop the impact you have on me."

When Ivan pulled away, Matthew worried for a moment that maybe he had said the wrong thing and had upset the other. His face fell a little when Ivan agreed that he was too skinny, but he didn't know why he felt so depressed, he'd already known that he was.

Though he did like what he said about him, that he was attracted to him. His face grew darker when Ivan mentioned the night before. "T-that's a bit of information." He murmured, shifting slightly. Though he couldn't say that he didn't like it. It made him feel rather warm in his chest at the thought that he had driven Ivan into the bathroom just by being there.

"So, you like me and are attracted to me, but you want me to get bigger for my health?" Just so he got it straight. He didn't want to get anything screwed up. "Alright, so how do I do that?" Dieting wasn't his thing, but he wanted to get more healthy, if only for Ivan.

"I mean, I know I need to eat more, but should I eat more sugary things or more meat or what?" He was starting to ramble again, but that's alright, he does that stuff sometimes.

Ivan blinks and then shakes his head. As someone studying to eventually become a doctor, one of the many aspects included in health is nutrition. Matthew really knows how to make him worry sometimes, and more than that, doesn't know the right way to consume for health. Wetting his lips, he tries to consider how to say this correctly without sounding condescending in some way.

"Sugar is a simple carbohydrate, and they help you gain fat. Meat is a protein, and when coupled with exercise will help build muscle. You just don't eat enough, is all. You skip meals- To get to an 'average' size, I think you would just need to eat three meals a day. Don't change anything, just actually eat something. You're mal-nourished. You might also consider vitamins, but I'm not your doctor or anything."

Curious about the kid's body, now, and knowing he wasn't paying too much attention to everything when it was exposed, he unhooks himself. Firmly, he squeezes bicep, forearm, and rubs the pads of three fingers against chest, belly, and then down to outer thigh, gradually inside. Fat content in very low, but what appears to be there is meat, and that's good. Even fat would do, actually, because Matthew's body would have something to eat when he starved himself.

"When you're this thin and don't eat, your body searches for food- if it needs to, it'll break down organs that you need to function."

Matthew nodded his understanding as Ivan explained what he needed, making mental notes. He didn't think that he could eat three meals right now, but he could always nibble a little. It wouldn't be good to force himself to eat though.

"I'll try to eat more." Matthew promised, watching Ivan inspect his body thoroughly. It was oddly sterile, but at the same time personal. He handled his limbs gently, not pressing too hard or lingering around his crotch. It kind of relaxed him, though he kept careful watch of the other's movements.

His body eating itself sounded terrifying. He didn't want that to happen, as much as he wasn't able to eat much, he didn't want to waste away. The boy frowned lightly, looking up at Ivan. "But I never have an appetite..." He murmured, averting his eyes a bit. "What should I do then?" It wouldn't be right to subject Ivan to a boyfriend who didn't take care of himself, he would constantly be worried about him and even if it was very sweet and nice he didn't want him to always be afraid for him.

"I did eat a lot this morning though." He offered, as if he were a child telling a parent something that they should be proud about. Even if half of his waffles wasn't very much to others it was a lot to him, though a waste of maple.

His attention returns to Matthew's face and he smiles softly, apologizing under his breath for the tangent he'd gone on. It was important to him to view the boy as his significant other, and less as a patient who needs help. Although he has knowledge of the subject, he feels it would be awkward to put a clinical distance between them. If he did so, what else would Matthew fear he was analyzing?

"Hey, don't worry about it. You don't have to do things different right away. That's unrealistic. Just gradual- and if you're not hungry, just have a couple apple slices to keep your body going. They're mostly water but have carbohydrates in them for energy." Sifting the once-roaming hand into blonde hair, he strokes through golden strands and smiles. This was pleasant- he's been thinking that a lot recently- and he wonders if he'll be lucky enough for it to keep being like this.

"Don't get me wrong- I'm attracted to your body, but it's not why I like you. I like who you are, too, the more I get to see it. Shouldn't I be the one worried? You pretty much hated me until yesterday, it was a really sudden change." Chuckling, he settles with his back to the bed and closes his eyes.

"You're too scared of how I'm thinking about you, but you don't realize that I'm just a boy who's worrying about how you're thinking of me, too."

"But I do worry about it." Matthew said softly, unable to resist smiling as Ivan sank his fingers into his hair, stroking the soft locks gently. He never had his hair played with, and he loved it. And he did like apples...with maple syrup on them of course. Ah, there was the million dollar question.

"Well." Matthew began slowly, wanting to phrase this right. He didn't want Ivan to misinterpret his feelings for him. "You noticed me. You started out as a douche, forgive my language, but you turned out really caring and concerned. That's more than anyone's been for him in a long time. No one cares if I miss school or if I don't eat. They don't see me and don't remember I'm there. But you noticed me of your own accord and stood up against my father on my side. That's more than even I'm willing to do."

The boy shook his head, smiling faintly. "I feel like I have a lot more to live up to than you do. Look at you, you're handsome, popular, smart, caring. And even if you're slightly diabolical, you're still a genuinely good person. But when someone looks at me all they see is a skinny, invisible kid who can't stand up for himself. Hell, I can't even stop people from sitting on me at lunch."

"Then eat your favorite food just for the sake of caloric intake. Besides, once we get you out of that house, this trouble you're facing will practically disappear. It's not uncommon for someone to starve for the sake of calming anxiety. The problem is not your lack of eating, so much as your influx of anxiety." Realizing that he sounds like a textbook, he shrugs it away with a 'sorry' and a laugh. He really enjoys this stuff, he's always had an interest in helping people (even if he is kind of a malicious fuck, too).

"I wasn't asking why." Eyes opening, he rolls his head to the side to look the boy over.

"Honestly, I don't really care why you like me, so long as you do. I'm kind of fucked up, and if I could think of any way to make you look at me or like me more, I would take complete advantage of it." Shifting back onto one elbow, looking down at his new partner, he brushes his knuckles over cheek, then turns it and presses palm against it. More than having a like for Matthew, he has a possessive need to care for him as well.

"You don't have to be someone else, Matthew. If you want to change and 'improve', then by all means, that's up to you, but I like you just the way you are. I'll like you when you're healthier, and when you're less afraid, and I'll like you when you're throwing up because you tried to eat and your stomach disagreed. It's not going to change, and my 'type' will revolve around who you are at the time."

Tilting Matthew's chin to the side without bruise, he presses a kiss there.

Influx of anxiety? That sounded about right. He was constantly stressed at his house and around his father and it only increased after a fight. So it made sense that his body would try to ease his anxiety by not eating. But a favorite food? He supposed maple syrup didn't count as a food, so he wasn't sure what else he liked, he cooked a slim menu at his house because his father wouldn't let him experiment. "I'm not sure I know what my favorite food is..."

It wasn't like the school cafeteria, though better than his old public school by a long shot, was the best in the world, and most of it tasted like cardboard. Which, admittedly, was better than it tasting like sawdust. So he couldn't exactly say what his favorite food was. He'd never really gotten the opportunity to figure it out.

"I felt like explaining." Matthew smiled thinly, glad that Ivan didn't expect something complex of him. It was best to keep their relationship simple while it was starting out, or so he read. These little gestures of Ivan's, constantly touching him and stroking his skin, they were all so incredible, they made him feel welcomed and accepted and he never wanted him to stop touching him.


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