They shared a lot of things in common. For one, they both understood coding. But really, what was most important was that they had both never done this before. And maybe they both had someone else they wanted but couldn’t be sure of. It would be too risky. This makes sense.
Dustin is a little buzzed and Mark is mellow on a Friday night or maybe it’s early on a Saturday when Dustin leans in. Mark’s lips are colder than he expects and he tastes like beer.
Dustin doesn’t remember much after that. Mark never brings it up either.
The days after Eduardo leaves are strained. The silences and the drug usage feel less recreational and more escapist. The parties are obnoxious and Dustin wants it to stop. Why are they partying when everything feels like it’s going to fall apart? Dustin cannot help but see Sean and resent him. He thinks something is going to go wrong. He just knows it.
“Hey,” Chris says, a playful smile on his lips.
And just like that Dustin will shut off the world around them. Coding is nothing compared to Chris. He will let Chris inside him and he will never forget this moment. The world is in his arms and nothing else matters.
Mark comes to Chris one rainy day. He’s drenched and he looks miserable. He also smells like a bar.
“Mark, you’re going to catch your death,” Chris admonishes, ushering Mark inside. He has an urge to tell Mark to stay on the tiles like a puppy.
Mark starts taking his clothes off and Chris doesn’t stop him because his clothes are wet and they lived together and he’s probably had a glimpse here and there. Except when Mark has his hands hooked in his waistband and he bends over like he’s going to take his boxers off, Chris is like, “Whoa, Mark, um, let me get you a towel.”
Chris has always understood what he wants to say. Even if he can’t say it. Chris makes his intentions sound beautiful. Chris has always been there. Mark grabs at him like a lifeline and says, “Please. I need- You always-”
Chris doesn’t think he’s the one Mark needs but he can give him what he wants. I need you always. It’s probably not what he meant to say but he knows what Mark means.
They’re the ones left behind, still studying. It’s pointless now really. It’s a piece of paper. They could be doing something in the real world. Isn’t that what people get degrees for? To get a job, to make something of themselves? They’ve done everything backward. Eduardo feels like he was born backward. The people he should love, he hates, and the people he hates, he loves.
It will start (again) like this: Chris bumps into him at a party and he’ll will say hi like he’s meeting Eduardo for the first time. And Eduardo will say hi back because it’s time to move forward.
“I, uh, I had a thing for Mark,” Eduardo says like it’s supposed to be a huge confession. Dustin supposes it is, to Eduardo.
Eduardo’s eyes widen and he looks like a deer.
“It’s okay,” Dustin says, because it is. “Mark is Mark. We were all probably a little in love with him. In your case, replace that with ‘a lot’. Honestly, if we didn’t, we would have never made Facebook.” He yanks Eduardo closer. “Now can you stop talking about Mark and fuck me senseless please?”
Eduardo chuckles at the face Dustin makes and obliges him.
No matter what he does, everything comes back to him. One day, he will stop everything and he will realize that he’s let the greatest thing in his life slip away. Mark was right, he was but he will apologize anyway because he knows he could have done it better. He could have found a way around it. He didn’t have to do it that way.
He will say all of this but really what he wants to say is I miss you, I love you and I know you love me, please give me another chance. He will lay himself bare like he has never before.
Eduardo will smile and he’ll say, you’ve kept me waiting for a long time, Mark.
Eduardo will strip Mark with gentle hands and Mark will be under him words spilling from him like strings of code, Wardo, please, I need you and Eduardo will take care of him just like he always has.
OT4 - Chris/Dustin/Eduardo/Mark
“Dustin, stop it,” Mark says irritably.
Dustin giggles and wiggles his ass against him.
Chris reaches over Mark to smack Dustin and the youngest programmer howls. Dustin pouts.
Mark thanks Chris and Chris merely smirks.
Eduardo is kissing Dustin on the forehead. “Be good, okay?”
They aren’t perfect. Mark’s feet are always dirty and he likes to code in bed. Chris takes ages in the bathroom every morning and he’s a major wardrobe-space thief. Dustin really likes fart jokes and is the reason why they sleep in a bed with dinosaur sheets. Eduardo gets upset when the house is a mess and he makes them all watch Asian TV dramas. They’re not even in college anymore and Facebook is a multibillion dollar company now. They can’t say exactly how it works but it does. The story of the founding of Facebook will be made out to be a modern legend about friendship and magical connections. But between them, they know it’s really is just the four of them filled with the unshakeable faith in knowing that they can do anything because they will always have each other to lean on.