It's likely you will prove
that these things they come in two's.
Like it was once.
And maybe, you will bruise
It couldn't really be worse. They stand on either side of the elevator, Eduardo with his hands in his pants pockets and Mark with his hands shoved into his hoodie. There must be a thousand places to stay in New York city but it kind of feels like some kind of cosmic fucking joke that they've ended up in the same elevator at the same time and the thing is stuck. It's been stuck for ten minutes. Neither of them have said a word.
If Mark believed in God, which he doesn't, he'd start to feel like he was being punished for something. Which he doesn't deserve.
Or maybe he does. Because he remembers saying that he needed Eduardo with him, once.
That must have been him.
But he doesn't apologise and he doesn't explain. He hasn't done anything wrong. All he did was exhibit brilliance in a vaccuum. People are just jealous that they didn't think of it first. Facebook among the most used website on the planet and he could buy and sell the Phoenix a thousand times and it makes everyone sick. That's all.
There's an alarm ringing somewhere, both above and below them. He's never been fond of tight spaces.
He looks up and Eduardo's just looking at him, his head tilted slightly to one side. It makes him look bird-like. All Mark can think, in that moment, is that Eduardo was always kinder than he knew how to be. All he can think is that Erica Albright called him an asshole. And then he acted like an asshole.
So maybe she was right.
“Look,” he says finally.
“I'm looking,” says Eduardo. And he is. His eyes are dark and level.
“I was just. I mean. It's been a long time. And. I should.”
He's fucking this up. If only it was as easy to fix mistakes in real life as it is in code, just a case of looking through the lines, being thorough, being methodical. He doesn't know how much thorough and methodical would help him here. He remembers standing too close in a hallway in California. He remembers how tired Eduardo looked; he remembers not caring, at the time. He was too excited. Everything was going so well.
“Don't tell me you're finally going to say that you're sorry,” says Eduardo, his accent thick, for a moment. And it occurs to Mark, just as the elevator struggles back into life that, after all of the court-cases, all of the years of deleted emails, the aborted phone-calls...it occurs to him that, yes.
Yes, he actually was.
They end up crowded into the corner of a hotel room; they ignore the bed altogether. Somewhere, Mark knows, there's a record of the last time he had sex. He noted it in a margin. He can't remember. The press of Eduardo's body is intensely and completely distracting. Eduardo takes hold of Mark's face with both hands and pulls him into a kiss. Mark is forcibly reminded of that night in the club, listening to Eduardo get head in the stall beside him, listening to the way his breathing changed and, later, guiltily imagining what it would have felt like to have Eduardo come in his mouth instead.
Eduardo changes the angle of the kiss. Mark's mouth is otherwise occupied.
He fumbles with Eduardo's belt. Eduardo already has Mark's jeans undone, one hand pushed inside Mark's underwear, fingers curled around Mark's dick and it's amazing how easy he makes it all look. There have been times in Mark's life when he felt at ease and in control, but it was always sitting at a computer and it was never, ever in a situation like this.
Eduardo makes all of this look simple.
Mark can't help but wonder what happened before?
Firmly, Eduardo takes hold of Mark's wrist, pressing his hand, palm down, against the front of his pants. Eduardo's dick is hard through the fabric of his suit pants and Mark finds himself groaning at just the feel of it in the palm of his hand. He has no idea what he's doing here but, sometimes, it feels like the last few years have all been lived on luck and chance and a modicum of skill and what happened was that he got lucky and Eduardo, who worked harder, fell by the way. Because he was a genius and so was Eduardo, but some genius finds easier application that others.
Eduardo shifts his hips. Mark loses his train of thought.
The only sound in the hotel room are the ones that they make; their hurried breaths, the scratch of fabric on fabric, the shift of change in Eduardo's pocket as he rocks his hips and presses into Mark's fingers. His grip on Mark's dick is loose but somehow entirely perfect and Mark finds instinct taking over, finds desire, and he wonders if, maybe, this is what it feels like to row crew – to find your rhythm and to keep it, no matter what?
“I loved you, you bastard,” mumbles Eduardo before he leans in, crushing their mouths together again, and Mark has never been so wounded by the past tense before and he's never deserved it so much. He shifts his hand, rubbing his thumb against the shape of Eduardo's hard-on through his pants. In the moment, there is nothing but touching or being touched. Facebook might be down to some other guy entirely.
Eduardo comes quicker than Mark does, with a gasp and a sucking bite of Mark's bottom lip and then he's sinking down onto his knees, bending his head, his mouth sliding down over the first few inches of Mark's dick, his fingers still curled and Mark has never imagined what it would feel like to come in Eduardo's mouth and this is exactly what it must feel like.
For a moment, he is boneless and stupid.
It doesn't last.
He comes back to himself too quickly and then he's leaning there against a hotel room wall with his jeans open and his dick still wet from Eduardo's mouth. Eduardo stands up, straightening his pants and rebuttoning his jacket. He has a slight smile on his face. He swipes at his bottom lip with his thumb.
“So say it,” he says and what Mark knows is that Eduardo ate that fucking chicken and laughed about it the next day and that, somewhere along the way, he made 250 million friends but lost the one that mattered.
“I'm sorry, Eduardo,” he says.
“Yeah,” says Eduardo, nodding. “So am I.”
The moment hangs between them like something that could, at any moment, break.
Mark forgets whose hotel room they're in in the first place.