Work Header

A Submission to Reason (And to You)

Work Text:

.prologue { the sean parker variety hour }

Eduardo's gaze is pinning him to the chair.

Mark blinks heavy-lidded and his hands lay palm flat on the table. He resists the urge to curl them into fists and tries to pay attention to what Sean is saying. Mark shifts as if he's uncomfortable and relishes the way Eduardo's eyes darken a little and he shifts in his own chair until his body is facing away from Mark. Mark growls under his breath at Eduardo's seeming nonchalance towards him and forces himself to listen - and talk - to Sean like Eduardo isn't even there.

Two of them can play this (dangerous) game.

Mark ignores Eduardo until there's a press of fingertips against his hipbone and he stutters, forgets what he's saying and swallows.

"Mark, you okay?"



The word cracks like a whip across the table and Mark stiffens. Eduardo isn't even looking over at him but Mark's mouth snaps shut obediently. There's a flush of humiliation on his face and he can feel his body pounding. He wants to shout at Eduardo. He wants to talk to Sean. He wants to push back his chair and go to Eduardo, kneel and press his face into Eduardo's leg until Eduardo threads his fingers through Mark's curls and scratches just perfect against the base of his skull. The thought is so powerful that Mark's breath stutters and he swallows again, this time past the lump in his throat. He's hard in his jeans.

"Sean," Mark says, fighting to keep his voice level. "We'll consider your offer."

Sean raises an eyebrow like this isn't what he planned on at all but Mark doesn't care about that now. He can feel the phantom ghost of Eduardo's fingertips over his body and he knows that if he plays this right, he can have Sean and he can have Eduardo and Eduardo can have him.

"We'll be in touch," Eduardo says, before Sean can react and the smile on his face is all satisfaction and Mark thinks the look in his eyes is something like a warning.

Sean inclines his head and Mark pretends that he doesn't know there's a silent conversation going on that he isn't a part of. He just nods when Sean holds out a hand but it isn't until Eduardo says, "Mark," that he shakes it.

Sean mutters something about changing the name and Mark will remember it later but Eduardo's already leaning over into his space, breath hot against the curve of his ear and Mark fists his hands against the knees of his jeans. He's so hard it's almost painful and there's a flash of heat in Eduardo's eyes as he reaches down under the table and cups Mark's cock in the middle of the fucking restaurant.

Eduardo huffs a laugh and whispers, "You did well, minha querido."

Mark closes his eyes and feels Eduardo's fingers pressing against the base of his spine.

"Vem pra mim ."

Closing his eyes tight, Mark comes.


.o1 { harvard }

Mark runs into Eduardo his second week of Harvard. Literally runs into him because Eduardo’s late for class and he comes skidding around the corner, slamming full pelt into Mark. Mark lets out an oof as the air rushes from his body and he staggers back, saved from falling by tan fingers wrapping around his wrist.

A thrill runs up his arm and Mark bites out an idiot as he pulls his hand away from the guy and shoves past him, shouldering his bag again and walking off. He forgets about the encounter but not about the pulse beating double-time beneath the skin of his wrist. It’s like an itch he can’t scratch and he cradles his wrist all through his classes, staring blankly at his computer screen and he’s so angry by the time he gets back to his dorm that he kicks his door shut and glares at his empty desk chair like it’s to blame.

He remembers wide brown eyes, a smile almost all teeth and slim fingers tight around Mark’s wrist.

He grunts and sits on the edge of his bed. He’s never reacted this way before but people usually know better than to touch him. Dustin and Chris keep their distance unless he gives them a (rare) signal otherwise but he’s used to an arm thrown over his shoulder or the way Dustin’s taken to pressing his face against Mark’s shoulder when he’s drunk. This is different. This felt different and part of Mark wants to find the stranger again even if he doesn’t know if he’ll glare the guy into submission or blurt out something stupid like touch me.

He thinks about coding but his brain is just a stutter and he needs a drink before he starts behaving even worse. When he pulls open the door, Dustin has his legs up on the couch and he’s playing something with explosions and blood and Mark rolls his eyes. “Dustin.”

Dustin pauses the game and looks at him, a grin on his face. “Mark. What’s happening?”

Mark steps into Dustin’s space and Dustin’s face shifts for a fraction of a second but he’s still grinning. Mark’s aware that he’s acting weird within the parameters that Dustin is working with but he pushes that aside in the manner of his own experiment and grabs Dustin’s hand.

“Uh, Mark, why are we holding hands?”

“Shut up,” Mark snaps and forces Dustin’s fingers around his wrist. Dustin tries to pull his hand away but Mark glares at him and Dustin shrugs good-naturedly and Mark’s glad it’s not Chris; he’s prone to asking too many questions and Mark praises whoever is listening that Dustin’s so affable and probably drunk right now.

There’s no thrill. There’s no double-beating pulse and there’s no want.

Mark growls again, this time in frustration and drops Dustin’s hand. “Um, thank you?”

“Just play your game, Dustin.” Mark grabs a beer from the mini fridge. When he turns, Dustin is already waving his controller around, one hand wrapped around his own bottle of beer. Mark stands in the middle of the room, aware that there is something wrong with him if he wants to find this guy again just for that stupid thrill that, in the grand scheme of things, means nothing but-

- he stalks his way back into his bedroom and shuts the door. It’s stupid to think that he isn’t going to be able to code tonight because he’s too wired, brain buzzing too fast over this guy and the effect he has on Mark and Mark has his free hand in his sweatpants before he’s even really thinking about what he’s doing.

It doesn’t take much to imagine it; the guy’s brown eyes sliding over Mark’s body, fingers skating over his skin and that steady buzz of want in Mark’s brain as the guy wraps around Mark, skin to skin and Mark sucks in a breath, wrist aching from the angle and from the speed and he tips his head back, imagines the brush of lips just below his ear and he grunts through his orgasm.



.o1 {eduardo}

There’s no shortage of seats when Mark enters the lecture hall for Core. He’s not even aware of what the course it, only that he has to pass it if he wants to graduate. It’s something history or philosophy based, both things for which Mark’s interest is minimal to non-existent. He drops into a seat at the back, kicking his bag under the desk and tracing patterns on the table in front of him.

He’s thinking about the coding he’s still got to do back in his room when there’s a tap on his shoulder. His mouth is open ready to berate them when his whole body stills, half a step ahead of his brain. It’s the guy from before, the one who almost toppled him over in the hallway. He’s smiling down at Mark and nudging him with him his foot. “Hi. Sorry about the other day.”

Mark blinks and tries to order his face to look away, to focus on the lecturer who doesn’t seem to have noticed what’s happening at the back, but he can’t. He’s just staring openly because people like this don’t talk to him even when they topple him over in the hallway and Mark’s mouth sets into a firm line. Chris and Dustin are quick to inform that he’s always doing things like this, making them feel stupid and small and setting them on edge. This guy doesn’t seem to care about any of that because his grin settles into a smile and he slides into the seat just behind Mark. Mark keeps his attention fixed firmly on the front of the class and doesn’t think about the flush that has to be creeping up the back of his neck. He needs his laptop. He needs to be doing something with his hands like the problem set he has due or just coding to make himself feel better and -


The guy touches his shoulder, nudging him slightly but Mark doesn’t turn around. This is stupid. “Hey. It’s Mark, right?”

Mark just raises an eyebrow. It’s a stupid question. Obviously, he knows he’s right so Mark just nods.

“Right, stupid question,” he hears from behind, just a soft mutter probably not intended to be heard but Mark’s listening for it. He tilts his head. Interesting.

Mark taps his fingers on the desk like he’s coding, inputting data and letting it form in his mind. The picture he’s building is a beautiful one and he wants to put a name to it. “You are?”

He’s not exactly quiet and he gets a glare from the lecturer but there’s a satisfied sigh from behind him. “Eduardo. Eduardo Saverin.”

A full name. Mark nods and doesn’t say anything for the rest of the lesson, even when Eduardo tries once or twice. Mark’s not so delirious with this thing that happens around Eduardo that he’s lost control of his senses altogether. He’s still Mark. The instant they can escape without being called on it, Mark’s fingers are wrapping around the strap of his bag and he looks Eduardo in the eye one more time, cataloguing his face and his body and even the way he smiles, sloppy and comfortable like he’s going to be doing it for a long time.

Mark bristles at that, stalks out of the classroom and scratches idly at his right wrist.

.o1 { bff }

Eduardo becomes a fixture in Mark’s life; a comfortable pressure just behind his left shoulder and he relaxes and codes Eduardo into the endless stream of his life. It’s an almost perfect fit. He just can’t figure out what’s missing.

.o2 { public class: best friend }

Eduardo tempts Mark away from the computer with red bull and something that smells suspiciously like real food but before he knows what he’s doing, he’s dropping down onto the couch and Eduardo’s passing him a bowl of something hot. Mark stares at it, like he’s not quite sure what to make of this. How did Eduardo even do that?

Chris and Dustin are staring at him in shock and Mark can sympathise; he’s not completely sure he knows what’s going on either. Eduardo slides down next to him and grins around a forkful of noodles. He nudges Mark with his elbow and Mark obediently eats his food. There’s nothing pressing in the code that he needs to see to immediately but it’s still galling to think that he’s so easy to ply.

“Not easy,” Eduardo says, kicking his ankle lightly. Mark just stares at him. “It’s just I know how to do it.”

Mark’s not pleased that he does know how because that gives Eduardo leave to do it again. Mark’s set in his ways, has been for years and coming to Harvard isn’t supposed to change that; he’s supposed to keep going the way he has been and Chris and Dustin are easy, they accept this as part of Mark but Eduardo clearly doesn’t and Mark’s not sure how to deal with that.

Later, Chris corners him as Eduardo’s washing the dishes. “What the hell, Mark?”

Mark just shrugs. “What?”

“Where the hell did you find Eduardo?”

Mark just glares at him. It’s not like he’s the worst roommate; it’s easy enough to change dorm rooms if you want but Chris and Dustin never have and Mark thinks they complain enough for everyone but they’re not exactly the most social of butterflies. Dustin is not so blessed with Chris’s tact and just rests his back against the couch, grinning when Eduardo comes back into the living area. “What’s your secret, Wardo? We’ve been trying to coax Mark out of his room ever since we started living together.”

Eduardo just laughs, eyes crinkling in the corners in a way that does not make Mark want to do anything at all. He swallows and ignores the way Chris is staring at him, eyebrow raised. Turning his back on all three of them, Mark disappears into his room and shuts the door. He’s sure that Eduardo will come in eventually but by then he’ll be wired in and won’t know either way.

Mark can’t wire himself in completely, though and he’s aware of every time Eduardo comes into the room, mostly to sit on Mark’s bed and watch him, face schooled so carefully that Mark can’t read him. They stare at each other through the reflection on Mark’s monitor but say nothing.

He can’t put his finger on why it feels right.


.o2 { if (eduardo == friend) {System.out.println(“I need you.”); }

Mark refuses to acknowledge it.

He knows it’s there; a nudge in the back of his mind that wakes only when Eduardo uses a particular tone. It’s intoxicating and it’s irritating and Mark doesn’t know what to do with it and so he ignores it. He does his work, he codes, he shuts himself in his room and lets Eduardo come and go. It’s only when he’s sleeping, face pressing into a pillow that smells faintly of Eduardo, that he thinks about it.

He usually has a hand around his dick when he does so.

(He refuses to say anything. He refuses so ask. He can’t know what Eduardo wants when he doesn’t even know what he wants.)


.o2 { else if (eduardo == kissing) {System.out.println(“I want you.”); }

The frat parties aren’t Mark’s favourite place and he’s sure that the majority of the student body that attends hope fervently that he doesn’t show up. When he does, it’s always with spectacular fireworks because stupidity is something Mark will never be able to tolerate. This time, there’s irritation in the form of Eduardo being ridiculous and doing something with his hips that looks like drunken swaying but is probably something else, an idiotic drunk person and a cocktail.

A scathing remark later and Eduardo has a hand on Mark’s elbow.

Mark,” Eduardo snaps, eyes wide as if he doesn’t hear Mark say things like this every day. It’s usually in the confines of their dorm room but that doesn’t matter; Eduardo knows what Mark’s like and Mark’s not going to apologise for it. That doesn’t stop his mouth clamping shut almost immediately, or something fluttery happening in Mark’s stomach when he does so; listening to Eduardo and doing what Eduardo tells him to do is starting to feel a lot like the way Mark feels when Eduardo touches him. When his fingers rest against the pulse of his wrist, when his hand is on the small of his back or when he has a possessive arm around his shoulders.

Mark doesn’t know what it means and it’s frustrating.

There’s something on Eduardo’s face akin to confusion and then it blossoms into something else. Mark stares at him, breathing hard because he’s not sure what’s happening here but then Eduardo’s hand is on Mark’s back, fingers sliding down his spine to rest at the base of it, rubbing smooth circles against the fabric of Mark’s hoodie. It’s like it’s not even there; Mark feels as if Eduardo’s fingers are against his skin and he struggles to control his breathing. Eduardo leans in close and it says something about their usual proximity that nobody is batting an eyelid, just standing there ignoring them but Mark is frozen to the spot.

“That wasn’t nice,” Eduardo breathes into Mark’s ear but Mark turns to face him.

“They say stupid things,” Mark says in return. “I’m not going to apologise.”

“No,” Eduardo agrees affably. “I don’t suppose you will.”

There’s something in the tone that sends a shiver running through Mark’s body and he tries to pull away from Eduardo but it’s like his body is gravitating towards Eduardo and Mark wants it, he wants it because Eduardo is intoxicating but it doesn’t make sense to behave like this when he has a perfectly good brain in his head and he can think for himself.

He shouldn’t want to – to listen to Eduardo or to go where Eduardo calls.

“Don’t fight it,” Eduardo whispers, like he has any idea what he’s doing to Mark and Mark turns away from him because he’s not going to be humiliated here.

“Mark,” Eduardo calls after him, taking quick strides to fall into step with him. “I’m sorry, I don’t know what-“

Mark lets him keep talking but it’s the proximity thing again and he reaches out, fisting Eduardo’s shirt in his fingers. Eduardo’s looking apologetic and sad and bemused and Mark doesn’t know what’s going on or where they’re going to go and he hates not knowing the most but he can’t stop himself. He’s waiting and Eduardo gets it because he curls a hand into the hairs at the nape of Mark’s neck, pushes gently against his head until Mark obediently presses his lips to Eduardo’s. Eduardo sets the pace; licking gently at Mark’s mouth until he opens it and Eduardo’s tongue is in his mouth.

Mark pulls away, pressing his hands to Eduardo’s chest and pulling lightly. He shakes his head and doesn’t bother saying anything else, just walks away and leaves Eduardo standing there.


.o2 { else {System.out.println(“Please.”) }

Mark arrives back home the next afternoon to find Eduardo sitting outside the dorm room, bag on the table beside him and eyes dark with something that Mark can’t name. He knows one or both of them needs to apologise but neither of them does. Mark moves to stand between Eduardo’s legs, key to the dorm room in his hand but he can’t stop looking into Eduardo’s eyes, his hand twisting into Eduardo’s shirt of its own free will.

Wardo,” he says, not aware that he’s shortened Eduardo’s name until Eduardo smiles and leans forward. Mark can close the distance between them and he wants to, he really does but it’s awkward and some of the things Eduardo wants to do are humiliating for Mark but he knows that if he keeps trying to fight this, he’s going to end up hurting Eduardo like last night and he doesn’t want to do that again.

Eduardo touches Mark’s bottom lip with his thumb and nods once, closing the distance between them and kissing him. When they pull apart, Eduardo’s thumb is still resting against the curve of Mark’s jaw and he strokes gently. “I want to fuck you.”

Mark feels the words go straight to his dick. It’s the first time either of them has even addressed this thing; it feels too fast because they’ve gone from accidental bumping in the corridor to friends to this - whatever this is. Still, he imagines Eduardo pressing him into the mattress, hands tight around Mark’s wrists so that he can’t move, can’t get off, can’t do anything and he pushes forward, kisses Eduardo again until Eduardo manhandles him towards the dorm door and steals the key from Mark’s hand.

“You want that, querido?”

Wardo,” Mark says. He likes the way Eduardo sounds when he speaks in Portuguese and he can’t stop touching, kissing and nuzzling against Eduardo’s jaw. “Wardo.”

“Okay, Mark. Okay.”

The door opens and Mark and Eduardo tumble inside. Eduardo’s fingers move to Mark’s hips, pushing him against the wall so that he can keep Mark within reach and still kick the door shut. Mark can feel his body reacting; every nerve ending on fire as Eduardo strokes his arms and shoves his hoodie and t-shirt up a little, exposing skin and brushing it over and over. Mark’s trembling and he refuses to acknowledge what this means; it’s just proximity to Eduardo; everything is about proximity to Eduardo.

“Mark, querido, come on.”

Mark can’t move. He grips Eduardo’s shoulders, pushing up and thrusting his hips against Eduardo’s leg for friction. Eduardo’s eyes look back, dark and blown and it feels too easy; like he’s riding the edge of orgasm too quickly for this to be real but there’s something about Eduardo’s touch, about the way he speaks and manoeuvres Mark and tells him where to go with body and voice. Mark can’t breathe because Eduardo’s saying, “Vem pra mim, Mark,” and Mark knows it means that he can come and can’t believe that he actually is, messy and disgusting in his sweatpants.


.o3 { erica }

Erica Albright is a bitch.

Mark stares at the blinking cursor and doesn’t know how else to continue. He thinks she’s less of a bitch than him because he started this but she didn’t have to let it continue, especially if what she says she knew about him and Eduardo is true.

Erica was the first girl to smile at him, to talk to him like a person instead of a computer and she seemed more amused by his general demeanour then hurt by it and Mark remembers Eduardo being like that. Maybe that was the attraction, maybe he just likes people who like him for him even if he doesn’t do anything to actively attract their attention. It’s okay, he doesn’t care but he doesn’t quite know why he stands out against the general population for them. Still, Erica is nice and she cares and she’s not Eduardo. It’s nice not to have any expectation or to have someone telling him what to do even if it’s just through coaxing and care and smiles. She doesn’t expect anything from Mark and Mark likes that. What he doesn’t like is the quiet acquiescence Eduardo gives him, the soft smile and the knowing look in his eyes when he doesn’t know anything. Mark wants to smack him in the face with this; tell him that Erica is nothing like Eduardo and he’s spending his time with her. He doesn’t know why he lies.

Lying to Eduardo is easier than looking him in the eye and telling him that he’s with Erica.

Eduardo finds out anyway. Mark wants to blame the drunken night that he spent with Chris and Dustin but he knows better than to think he’d spill so many secrets drunk, especially when he never has before. Eduardo just knows and Mark’s aware that he’s known that all along. Eduardo’s waiting when he gets back to the dorm, sprawled out on the couch and doing something on his phone. Mark dumps his bag and ignores the look Eduardo gives him despite wanting to walk right back and pick it up. He hovers in the doorway to his room because he can’t turn his back on Eduardo, not completely.

“I know about Erica.”

Mark just nods because he’s expected this to happen.

“Do what you have to, Mark,” Eduardo says and suddenly he’s right behind Mark’s shoulder and Mark tenses. Eduardo’s hand is on the small of his back and he needs to move away because Mark can’t think about this, not with Eduardo’s breath hot in his ear. “Nobody is going to want you like I want you.”

In a perfect world, Eduardo is never this confident, he strives for Mark’s attention and wants Mark. In a perfect world, Mark can go about his business without wanting all the time and being the one to call the shots. But this is what Mark has and he nods tightly because he doesn’t know how to say fuck you and mean it.

Eduardo backs off and Mark disappears into his room.


.o3 { sex = (eduardo-erica) }

The night Erica wants to have sex, Mark freezes. He’s not a virgin, not really, because he’s been with Eduardo even if it was just Mark coming over Eduardo’s hand. He hovers over her but everything about it feels wrong; she’s looking at him expectantly and he knows he should be moving but he can’t because he’s waiting. He’s waiting for the fingers on his wrist and the steady pressure of Eduardo’s body against his and the whispered, come for me, Mark. He can’t do this, not with Erica, and it’s beyond frustrating because he wants to, he doesn’t want Eduardo to be it but there’s a voice in the back of his head that’s been there for a long time and it’s calling him liar.

“I think,” Erica says, pushing him gently away, “that we shouldn’t do this anymore, Mark.”

Mark just stares at her.

She’s not looking at him but she’s tugging the duvet up enough to cover her chest. There isn’t anything Mark can say that would make sense and so he says nothing. The silence is enough to get her to turn around. “I wondered.”


“You and Eduardo,” she says. “I wondered about it.”

“There’s nothing to wonder about,” Mark says, shifting on the bed and tugging his shorts back on. He doesn’t want to hear about Eduardo now.

“Oh come on, Mark. Even you can’t be that blind!”

“You don’t know anything about Eduardo.”

“No, but I know about you. The way you look at him sometimes.”

Mark turns his back on her and grabs his bag. Erica’s words ring in his ears all the way back to Kirkland and the instant he’s sitting back at his desk, he’s writing about her.

or because all B.U. girls are bitches

He doesn’t even finish typing the sentence before Eduardo’s walking in the door like Mark’s a siren that he can hear wherever he is. Mark ignores him and turns back to his laptop. He doesn’t want to deal with Eduardo right now but the instant Eduardo comes into the doorway, Mark’s body lights up and he feels betrayed by it.

“I need you,” Mark says, and Eduardo immediately sits on the edge of the desk.

“I’m here for you.”

“No, I need the algorithm that you use to rank chess players,” Mark says to the desk.

“We’re ranking girls,” Dustin says, helpfully. Mark’s eye narrow but he doesn’t say anything.

“You mean other students,” Eduardo says. Mark nods. “Do you think this is such a good idea?”

“I need the algorithm.”


Disapproval runs through every word. Mark is torn between bristling with indignation and rushing to mollify Eduardo. The second one is distasteful to him but it’s the one that wins out and he clutches at the edge of the desk, gritting his teeth. He doesn’t want to do this in front of Dustin but he doesn’t have a choice, not if he wants to do this.

“You were right about Erica.”

Eduardo nods, the tightness easing off of his face. Mark is appealing to the part of Eduardo that appreciates when Mark learns and does something right and it’s working. Maybe Eduardo’s as weak to Mark as Mark is to Eduardo because he pauses and then grabs a marker off of Mark’s desk, writing the algorithm on the window. Mark recruits Chris and Dustin into helping him write the code but it’s Eduardo’s gaze that he always feels on the back of his neck and his body reacts the same way it always does.

When Mark says, “It’s done,” out loud and Eduardo’s hand comes to rest on the back of his chair, he’s hard and wants to beg Eduardo to touch him. Instead, he clicks through pages of girls, listening to Chris and Dustin rating them and feeling Eduardo’s chest brush his elbow every time. Eduardo knows what he’s doing; when Mark risks a glance towards him, he’s smiling but there’s something dark in his eyes when he leans forward deliberately.

It’s not until the network crashes that Dustin and Chris disappear and Eduardo leans in close;

“Don’t fight it.”

This time Mark doesn’t.


.o3 { pressure }

Mark’s sprawled out on his bed, fingers hooked around the quilt.

Eduardo’s already worked three fingers into him and his other hand is on Mark’s dick but he’s barely touching it, just a steady pressure that‘s threatening to break Mark into a million pieces. He imagines what that would be like for a moment, breaking apart under Eduardo’s hands and he’s so turned on by the image that he’s blind with it. He tips his head back, hips thrusting against Eduardo’s hand and it doesn’t matter how many times Eduardo strokes him, how many fingers he has knuckle deep in Mark’s ass because Mark can’t come, not until Eduardo says he can and it’s never been like this, never been so maddeningly brilliant to orgasm and another frustrated sound breaks past his lips. Eduardo strokes his face and presses a finger into the corner of Mark’s mouth. Mark doesn’t know what he wants; he’s writhing on the bed, hips stuttering so fast that it feels like they’re motionless. His fingers are locked around the quilt and he’s mouthing something over and over but he can’t make his brain connect and figure out what it is or if there’s even sound.

He doesn’t know what he looks like but Eduardo’s saying something in Mark’s ear and Mark tries to concentrate because he wants to come but Eduardo’s talking about how hot Mark is, begging and wanton and desperate and Mark can’t disagree because he can feel his orgasm coming, waiting. He can see the curve of his dick in Eduardo’s hand, red and hard and painful. Eduardo’s mouthing the base of it, tongue rough and amazing against Mark’s balls and Mark doesn’t know how he can keep doing this. He wants to come more than he’s ever wanted to do anything and Eduardo’s coming up again, hands shifting deeper into Mark’s ass and Mark can feel the steady pressure against his prostrate, brushing over and over and Eduardo says, “You’re mine.”

Mark’s not property and he’s not a thing to claim but he knows that Eduardo doesn’t mean it like that and there’s a flutter in Mark’s chest to hear him say it. He knows that he can orgasm if he agrees and maybe this is what he needs, what Eduardo needs. Eduardo’s fisting his own cock, rubbing it against the skin of Mark’s thigh and he’s sucking at the skin of Mark’s jaw. There’s something in this thing with him that Mark just wants and he manages to get out, “Yours, Wardo. Yours.”

Something relaxes in his chest when Eduardo leans in close to his ear and says, “Vem pra mim, Mark,” and Mark knows that it means he can come. It’s a rush so fast and powerful that he feels it build just under his skin and there’s blinding white behind his closed eyelids and then nothing.


When Mark comes to, he’s enfolded in Eduardo’s arms. He’s wearing clean shorts and he’s curled tight against Eduardo’s side, cheek pressed to his shoulder. Eduardo’s watching him with a look that Mark can’t decipher. “Hey.”

Mark looks at him for a long time and there’s something soothing about the way Eduardo’s threading his fingers through Mark’s hair and Mark’s not into cuddling but this isn’t like that; it’s the same fit that he felt before, liking coding something into completion. There’s something about this that he doesn’t want to fight and doesn’t think he can, not anymore. Mark thinks back to when he first met Eduardo and curls his fingers around Eduardo’s hip bone. When Eduardo says Vem pra mim, Mark doesn’t know what it means but he can come from it alone and it’s the perfect fit; the code works and the tag is closed and everything is right.

(To submit is to make Eduardo pleased; is to make Mark feel right.)

Instead of answering Eduardo, he closes his eyes and relaxes into the embrace.


.interlude {reflection}

Mark looks at himself in the mirror and there’s a hickey stark and obvious against the pale skin of his jaw. He touches it and can see Eduardo’s eyes darken through his reflection. He blinks, catches Eduardo’s gaze and holds it. Yours, Eduardo. Yours. If Eduardo were to touch him now, Mark knows that he would get hard almost instantly. Instead, Eduardo says, “Come on, dinner’s ready.”

Before Mark’s even thought about what he’s doing, he’s following Eduardo from the bathroom.


.o3 { care in the feeding of }

Mark stares at the plate of food on Eduardo’s lap and wonders where his is. Chris and Dustin are already eating, arguing over what they’re going to watch. It’s only when he turns back that he sees the piece of sandwich Eduardo is holding out to him. When he tries to take it, there’s something in Eduardo’s eyes that brings him up short. Mark looks at Chris and Dustin again but they’re not looking, preoccupied with the TV. Mark is not going to eat from Eduardo’s hand; he’s stubborn enough to not eat at all. When his stomach rumbles, betraying him, Eduardo uses his free hand to cup the back of Mark’s head and guide him down. He presses until Mark relaxes against Eduardo’s side and this time when the sandwich comes, Mark eats it from Eduardo’s hand. It’s not as humiliating like this, pressed against Eduardo’s body and Mark suspects that Eduardo did it that way on purpose. He’s trying to make this as easily as possible and Mark’s torn between thinking good because it’s not like he can make his brain want this, and leaning up to kiss Eduardo’s jaw. He doesn’t know which one he wants more and so he eats his sandwich.

Chris is looking at them with a question in his eyes but Mark just accepts the next piece of sandwich and ignores him, chewing as Eduardo takes his own slice. It’s comfortable and easy and the humiliation dies out with the rest of the sandwich. By the time the plate is clean, both Chris and Dustin are staring at them but Mark’s distracted by Eduardo kissing him, one hand still threaded tightly in Mark’s hair.

“You can go code. Just take the plate out first,” Eduardo says. “Grab me a beer on your way back.”

Mark bristles at the obvious order but he gets up anyway, depositing the plate in the kitchen and getting Eduardo a beer. As he leans down to hand it to him, Eduardo puts a hand on Mark’s ass and tugs him down. They’re kissing again and Mark’s embarrassed because he wants this, he does, but Chris and Dustin are still staring and there’s only so much-

-oh. Eduardo bites at Mark’s bottom lip and Mark’s hips jerk against Eduardo’s knee but then Eduardo’s pushing him away with a smile, turning him gently in the direction of his room. “Four hours, Mark.”

Mark just goes.


.interlude { chris }

“Are you okay?”

Mark ignores the question but Chris sits on the edge of his bed and he’s not going to leave until Mark answers him. Chris is more stubborn than Mark when he wants to be and Mark stops coding, swivels in his seat and nods.

“It’s just, this thing with Eduardo. There’s nothing you want to tell me?”

“We’re okay. We’re… us.” Mark says. He still doesn’t quite know what they are. “And he’s your friend.”

“He doesn’t try and force feed me sandwiches.”

Now that Mark knows what this is about, he can answer properly. Sometimes he doesn’t quite know what to do when Chris and Dustin act out on his behalf but this is Wardo and for as confused as this whole thing is, it’s not because of Eduardo. “It wasn’t force feeding.”

“You didn’t like it.” Chris makes his serious face, the one that tells Mark he’s going to get all uptight and act like he’s giving a PSA to a room full of important people. “If Eduardo’s making you-“

“It’s not like that.” Mark says it automatically because it’s not. He can’t explain it to himself but he doesn’t want to have to talk about that with Chris and so he turns back to his laptop. He can feel Chris staring at the back of his head for a long time before he leaves. Satisfied that Chris isn’t going to bring this up again, Mark returns to coding.


.o4 { punishment }

Mark sits through the ad hearing with a disconnection he can’t explain. He knows Eduardo is waiting for him outside and maybe that’s it; it’s like an itch he can’t scratch or something buzzing just in the corner of his mind and he forces himself to focus. They try and tell him they were clever and found him in four hours and he just stares. “That would be impressive except if you had known what you were looking for, you’d have found it written on my dorm room window.”

He feels a flush of pride at both himself and Wardo but he forces the smile to stay down and just wait. He’ll get his punishment soon enough.

When he stalks out of the building ten minutes later, Eduardo is crouching by the pillar and Mark walks straight to him. “Six months academic probation.”

“They needed to make an example out of you.” Eduardo’s reply is diplomatic and Mark just shrugs. It doesn’t matter. He got what he wanted out of Facemash and it’s only going to continue. “You do this thing, all the time, where you manage to get all the girls to hate us.”

Mark wants to say that Eduardo doesn’t really care about that because he has Mark but he realises he doesn’t actually know what Eduardo gets out of this. How much does he like that Mark’s more than a little under his control? That makes something tight settle in Mark’s stomach and he mistakes it for anger. Nodding tightly, he leads the way back to Kirkland, unable to make the thought go away.


.interlude { winklevii }

u dick

The note won’t go away no matter how many times Mark looks at it and he’s still not quite sure how he feels. After leaving the class, Mark folds the note up and stuffs it back in his pocket and runs into Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss.


Their idea is sound but as soon as he leaves the Porcellian, Mark has another idea festering in the back of his head and it’s not built off of the Winklevoss twins, not really, and it’s already twisting into something new and wonderful in his brain and he thinks, Wardo.


.o4 { final club }

It’s jealousy.

Mark will figure that out later but right now, he doesn’t know what it is. It’s just a burning in the pit of his stomach and his hands clench into fists. He doesn’t know what to say because a Final Club is something important and Mark just wants but Eduardo’s searching his face and then he must find what he’s looking for because he frowns. Sometimes Mark hates that he’s an open book to Eduardo when to most people he’s so difficult to figure out. (He knows what they say even if Eduardo, Chris and Dustin try to shield him from it.) He just shrugs and says something about it being a diversity thing but Eduardo’s ignoring him and comes back up the steps. “Mark?”

They stare at each other; a stand-off Mark can win because he’s used to closing himself down and off but he forgets sometimes that this is Wardo and as soon as Eduardo touches the inside of his wrist, Mark melts against him. Anyone could come by and see them and Mark tries to step away but his body doesn’t listen. He stands, hands by his sides and his face pressed into Eduardo’s neck. His breath starts to even out and Eduardo speaks.

“The website is a good idea, Mark. I’d rather be in your Final Club.”

Mark doesn’t believe him because who wouldn’t want to be in a Final Club?

“Me,” Eduardo assures him and Mark startles, unaware that he said that aloud. He wonders what else he’s been saying when pressed up against Eduardo like this.

“Your father will be pissed.”

Eduardo lets out a breath and Mark can feel him swallow. “Probably. This website – it’s going to be good, right?”

Mark shrugs because he can’t know, not yet. He wants to say yes; it can’t not be with Mark’s brain and Eduardo’s money and Eduardo’s guidance. He presses a hand flat against Eduardo’s chest and pushes himself away because he doesn’t know how to say that. He stands back, putting his hands in his hoodie pockets, nodding at the door. “The party.”

Eduardo stares at him for a moment before picking up his beer and walking back down the steps. “See you later?”

Mark shrugs, already running code and specs and designs through his head. Of course, it will have to be blue because Mark doesn’t want a website he can’t enjoy the full colour spectrum of and the design is already building itself in his head and he needs to get hold of Chris and Dustin right away because


Mark immediately looks up at Eduardo. At his look, the code and designs and questions all fold in on themselves, sinking into a corner of Mark’s brain and his attention is solely on Eduardo and he waits.


“Yes, yes. Later.”

Eduardo disappears back into the party and Mark stares at the door.

What the hell just happened?


.o4 { final club {class:void} }

“I made the second cut,” Eduardo says, sitting down on the edge of the bed. Mark just nods because he doesn’t want to think about Eduardo getting into the Phoenix when he could be with Mark, really with Mark on this and the jealousy is tight and ugly in his chest. “Mark.”

“I heard you,” Mark says without inflection.

“If you don’t want me to do it, just tell me.”

Mark’s fingers pause over the keyboard and he drops his head forward. He knows that Eduardo would do it too because they are – whatever they are and despite Mark’s thoughts earlier, he wonders if Eduardo would want to tell the world that he was with Mark or unavailable or if he would want to do it through thefacebook and he-

He frowns, stares at the website and almost instantly starts to code. Imagine:

A site where you can tell people if you’re available or not and who you’re interested in. People can look; they’d know just with a glance and it’s an amazing progression in the site because Mark can see where this has the potential to go and he thinks about Eduardo’s page blazoned with IN A RELATIONSHIP and his heart stutters and he says, “Wardo.”

Eduardo leans over his shoulder, staring at the site. “Shit, Mark. This is good. This is really, really good.”

Mark nods because he knows. “This is the masthead.”

And this is all for Eduardo; CFO: Eduardo Saverin and he knows the instant Eduardo reads it because he has a hand on the back of Mark’s neck and it squeezes and Mark closes his eyes. It’s so fucking perfect

It goes live and all Mark can think is: we did this, Wardo. Because they did.


.o4 { public class: public }

The presentation is packed and Mark is annoyed. He knows it’s Bill Gates and he actually wants to be here to listen for once because with thefacebook growing every day, he wants to know what it can be like, how much he wants to progress and he wants to listen but there are no free seats and it’s completely irritating.


Mark turns and spots Eduardo waving at him from a couple of rows back. He nods and threads his way through the bodies. “Wardo.”

“Sit, Mark,” Eduardo says with a smile, waving at himself.

Mark raises an eyebrow, waiting for Eduardo to stand but he doesn’t and it’s not a huge leap to what Eduardo is trying to make him do. “I’m not sitting on your lap, Wardo.”

Eduardo makes a face and then the look in his eyes that Mark is starting to become familiar with comes back and he grips Mark’s right hip tightly. “Sit, Mark.”

“I’m not a dog,” Mark snaps, gripping tighter to the strap of his bag because he wants nothing more than to slide onto Eduardo’s lap but he’s not fucking stupid and he’s not going to embarrass himself in front of the entire student body.

“And I’m not going to ask again.”

The room is starting to fill even more and people are crowding in and Mark really doesn’t want to be standing when they start jostling each other but it’s a fight over the humiliation he will undoubtedly feel over having to sit on Eduardo’s lap.


Mark’s legs start moving before he tells them to and he drops his bag into the floor by Eduardo’s chair, sliding into the gap between Eduardo’s legs and the chair in front. As soon as he sits on the edge of Eduardo’s knees he can hear the whispers. He wants to rise but almost like he can tell what Mark’s thinking, Eduardo’s arm slides around his stomach and pulls him in tighter until Mark sinks back, ass flush with Eduardo’s groin and Mark closes his eyes.


“I want to listen,” he bites out because he doesn’t know where this is going to go.

“Then listen,” Eduardo says.

Bill fucking Gates is coming out onto the stage but Mark can’t see straight because Eduardo’s hand is sliding down the front of his shorts and cupping him through the material. Mark takes in a shaky breath because he can hear the whispers and he can see the person next to Eduardo deliberately not looking at them but it’s still happening and Mark’s trying to listen because Eduardo told him to but he’s also having to focus on the fact that he is going to come in his pants before this talk is over.

Eduardo’s hand stills and Mark swallows, concentrates again on the presentation. Just as he’s nodding along, interested in the avenues Bill took to get where he is, he feels Eduardo’s hand pressing palm-flat against his dick. Mark’s breath stutters but Eduardo leans in close to his ear.

“Keep still.”

Mark clenches his hands into fists against his knees and tries to ignore the way Eduardo’s hand keeps palming him, rubbing up and down in a rhythm known only to Eduardo. Mark realises he’s almost panting and clenches his jaw shut tight, eyes narrowing as he concentrates on Bill Gates. He’s waiting for Eduardo to say the words because he’s hard and aching and he can feel the wet patch under Eduardo’s hand. Fuck you, he thinks because this is not what he planned but he can’t stop, Eduardo’s hard against his ass and Mark thinks about Eduardo fucking him, right here and now and he stifles a groan which would be too loud in the almost silent room.

Vem pra mim.” Eduardo whispers and Mark’s hips stutter against his hand as he comes and he swallows down the groan, his whole body spasming on Eduardo’s legs.

“Fuck you,” he snaps, quiet but Eduardo just laughs, kisses the back of his neck and tells him to concentrate.

interlude. { break: jealousy }

When it’s over, Mark disappears to the bathroom. He’s not going to walk around all night with dry come in his boxers and he curses Eduardo all the while.

He leaves the bathroom to find Eduardo talking with two girls that Mark doesn’t recognise but he assumes they were in the presentation. When Mark moves to stand with them, Eduardo slides an arm around his shoulders and pulls him tight. Mark feels a flush on his face and the girls are giving him a look that he should probably understand but doesn’t. He’s hot with Eduardo’s proximity and he twists his fingers together where they connect in the pocket of his hoodie.

It’s obvious to anyone who’s looking that Eduardo is feeling possessive of Mark and it’s uncomfortable enough that when Eduardo says, “Excuse us, ladies,” Mark is only too happy to let him steer them away from the hall.


.o5 { intellectual property: self }

They get back to the dorm and Mark’s stomach feels tight, like this is all too good to last for long because he’s fucking awesome right now and he can see something in Eduardo’s eyes that means maybe Mark’s going to get laid tonight and he grins his way to the mini fridge, pulling out a beer for him and Eduardo. He tosses it too far left and Eduardo catches it with the edge of his fingers, his eyes landing on the letter on the mantle.

“What’s this?”

Mark shrugs because shit. “What?”

“This.” Eduardo waves the letter and Mark just stares.

“It’s called a cease and desist letter.”

“When did you get this?”

“About ten days after we launched the site.”

“Jesus Christ. They’re saying the Winklevoss twins are saying you stole their idea.”

“I find that a little more than mildly annoying.”

“They find that to be intellectual property theft,” Eduardo snaps, hot on the heels of Mark’s statement. “Why didn’t you show this to me?”

Mark shakes his head a little and slouches back on the couch. “It was addressed to me.”

“They’re saying we stole thefacebook from Div-”

“I know what it says.” Mark doesn’t understand why Eduardo’s making a big deal out of this. The letter is from in-house counsel and not a notable firm of repute. It’s just their way of trying to get him back for Harvard Connection and it’s not like they have the right grounds to sue him on; thefacebook is Mark’s and nobody else’s.

“Did we?!” Eduardo’s eyes are wide and round and Mark doesn’t want to look in them. He stares at the edge of the table instead.

“Did we what?” He’s being petulant and he knows he’s going to pay for it. Eduardo moves closer and Mark can see his shoe out of the corner of his eye. There’s an alarm ringing in the back of his mind but he ignores it because he can’t stop his mouth.

“Don’t screw around with me, now.” It’s a tone Mark recognises and he fights to keep looking down. “Look at me.”

Mark swallows down his anger but makes sure there’s a sign of it on his face when he looks up. Eduardo’s staring at him, lines on his face that weren’t there before and Mark’s angry but Eduardo’s angrier and he doesn’t know why.

“The letter says we could face legal action.”

“No,” Mark says, because Wardo wants to make this all about them and it isn’t. “It says I could face legal action.”

Eduardo sits on the edge of the table, setting his beer down next to him. He takes a deep breath and then reaches for Mark, grabbing his wrists in his hands. Mark stills and can’t tear his eyes away from Eduardo’s face. His heart is pounding and he can hear a roaring in his ears that has nothing to do with his anger. “Listen to me, Mark, because I’m not going to say this again. We are in this together. Do you understand me?”

Mark wants to snap no but he can’t make his mouth work.

Yours, Wardo. Yours, you said.”

“If I’d known-” Mark starts but he can’t finish because he doesn’t know what he was going to say. He trails off and turns his face away but almost immediately Eduardo releases one of his wrists and grips his chin, turning his face back.

“Mark. We are in this together.”

There’s a pause where nothing happens and then Eduardo sighs, letting go of Mark completely. Mark feels oddly incomplete and he falls back on the couch, trying to find his balance again.

“It’s time to monetize the site.”

The words chill Mark to the bone because no. “No.”

“Mark,” Eduardo says, reaching for Mark.

Mark gets up of the couch, retreating. “No. Don’t touch me. I need you not to change my mind.”

Eduardo freezes. “Is that what you think I do?”

“When you touch me, I tell you things and do things that I wouldn’t ever do.”

Snorting, Eduardo gives him an incredulous look. “I can’t make you do anything you don’t subconsciously want to do, Mark. I can’t believe you think that I would.”

“I get hard,” Mark bites out, feeling himself redden in the face and he has to push to get the words out. “Every time I think you want – that I do something you want.”

Eduardo just stands there and that makes Mark even angrier.

“I sublimate myself to you,” Mark snaps, distaste dripping over the word. “I do what – this is mine, Wardo.”

Mark can see Eduardo physically stopping himself from saying ours but Mark wants him to, wants him to say it so that he can get angrier and tell him exactly what he thinks of all this, of making Mark do things he hasn’t ever wanted to do before and just stop. Eduardo just clenches his fists.

“I don’t know what the site can be yet, but I know that it is cool and I want it to stay that way.”

He’s not going to say please. He’s not going to ask. Eduardo picks at the label on his bottle of beer and nods. “Okay Mark.”

Mark’s nodding because finally and he opens his mouth to say something else about where they can go now, and what this is going to be but Eduardo is grabbing his jacket off of the back of the chair and walking to the door. Mark’s heart speeds up and he sticks his hands in his pocket. “Wardo?”

Sublimate?” Eduardo says, eyes dark with something that is not the lust Mark is used to. “If you think that’s what I’m trying to do, Mark, then you don’t have a fucking clue about anything, do you? This was never about giving you someone better to focus your sexual fucking attention on. This was about more than that."

With one last look, Eduardo shakes his head and slams the door when he leaves. He leaves and Mark doesn’t know what the feeling in his chest is but nothing he does after will take it away.


.interlude { dustin }

“Stephanie said she saw you and Eduardo in the presentation.”

Mark closes the door to his bedroom and ignores the way Dustin rolls onto his back, staring at him upside down. Turning on his laptop and throwing his bag in the corner, Mark sits at the desk and stares impassively at the screen when Dustin makes a noise behind him.

Sitting on Wardo’s lap.

Mark closes his eyes.


When Mark doesn’t reply, Dustin repeats himself again and again until Mark turns sharply on the chair, glare in place. “What?”

“Chris is worried about you,” Dustin says with a shrug. He means that both he and Chris are worried about Mark but Mark doesn’t call him on it. Dustin’s tossing a bottle cap from hand to hand but he wiggles his eyebrow suggestively. “I know you and Wardo are doing the dirty.”

“Go away, Dustin.”

“But,” Dustin says, drawing the word out. “Eduardo seems to think he’s your boss, not your S.O.”

“I don’t know what an S.O is, Dustin, and I don’t care,” Mark lies. “There’s nothing going on that I don’t want.”

If there’s even anything going on at all, anymore.

“Really?” Dustin’s eyes widen and he bats his eyelashes ridiculously. “Because, you know, I wouldn’t want someone feeding me sandwiches and making me sit on their lap.”

“Maybe some of us do,” Mark snaps before he can think about what he’s saying. Dustin stares at him for a long time and Mark has to turn back to his laptop before he says something else he doesn’t want to. With his hands paused on the keys of his computer, he waits impatiently for Dustin to stand.

“Okay, Mark.” Mark doesn’t have a clue what Dustin is thinking but he’s gone and Mark breathes a sigh of relief. It still doesn’t make the ache in Mark’s chest go away or stop him from thinking that maybe there’s nothing to be frightened of anymore because Eduardo’s gone. Maybe he doesn’t even want Mark anymore and Mark’s okay with that.

He is.


.o6 { friends }

Chris is waiting up for him when he gets back to the dorm and Mark’s jaw tightens but he says nothing. He knows that the quicker he lets Chris get this off of his chest the better.

“Wardo hasn’t been around in a while.”

“We had a difference of opinion.”

Chris snorts. “That usually means you did something Mark-ish that Eduardo took the wrong way. What happened, Mark?”

Mark just shrugs. He doesn’t want to talk about it. He doesn’t know how to make it right or if he even wants to. Sublimate he’d said. It was the wrong fucking word but it’s so – Mark’s tired of using humiliating all the time and it’s not like he’s really all that embarrassed by it – not when it’s in their dorm and Eduardo pulls him close, lets Mark sink his face into his shoulder and just exist for a while. Mark likes coding; he likes the escape it offers and Wardo’s like that. An escape. Code.

“I’m fine,” Mark lies.

Chris’s face softens and Mark wants to tell him to fuck off. There’s a hand on his shoulder and Mark realises he’s shaking under it. Fuck. He turns his face away and takes a pull of his beer. He doesn’t need Chris’s pity but it’s – it’s okay to take whatever Chris is offering.


.o6 { expanding }

“We’re expanding.” Chris and Dustin stare at him like he’s nuts but he just shrugs. “Yale. Columbia. They all need to see this.”

Chris raises an eyebrow. “Are you sure? Don’t you want to talk-“

“Wardo would approve,” Mark says, ploughing on because he doesn’t want to think about what Eduardo does and doesn’t approve of. “The site is ready for expansion and it just – I need you to get the story out there, Chris. The B.U. student newspaper or something.”

“They won’t do stories about Harvard.”

“Make them, even if you have to bribe them with me doing coding work or something,” Mark says, and immediately turns to Dustin. “The shares will be split between us all. Chris, your share will be worked out later. Dustin, you will get 5% of the company from my end and you’ll be Vice President, Wardo will get 30% and be CFO, and I’ll get –“

“Mark.” Chris talks over him, leaning forward on his knees. “Mark. You need to talk to Wardo.”

Mark opens his mouth but Dustin’s already shaking his head. “Chris is right. I’m not coding until you talk to Wardo.”

Mark just stares at them but when it’s obvious they’re not going to budge, he stalks into his room and slams the door.


.o6 { reconnection }

Mark-Mark! Get your ass back to dorm. Someone’s waiting =D=D

Dustin’s fucking smilies. Mark grabs his bag on the way out of the class but he’s in no hurry to make it back to Kirkland. He’s not entirely sure he wants the fight with Wardo that’s coming and there’s also a little voice in the back of his head that’s telling him Chris and Dustin planned this. Be grateful, Wardo would say, with that stupid smile and Mark grunts as he takes the stairs two at a time. He pauses at the door but he doesn’t think dragging this out is going to be better than just facing Wardo like a fucking man. He kicks open the door and dumps his bag by the table before looking up.

Eduardo is sitting on the couch nursing a beer and watching the TV. His face is closed off and impassive when he looks up at Mark. Mark crosses the room slowly, trying to formulate an appropriate response to the situation as he does so. Thankfully, Eduardo starts talking before he’s even made it to the couch.

“We won’t monetize the site yet,” Eduardo says, the instant Mark sits down. “And I agree with the expansion.”

Mark nods. He’s still not sure what to say. He’s stiff and uncomfortable because he hates thinking he might have to apologise and he doesn’t want to do that. Doesn’t even know how. When Eduardo places a hand on the back of Mark’s neck, Mark refuses to allow his body to relax even when every muscle is screaming out to do so. He lets out a soft grunt and tries to focus on the TV; anything so that he doesn’t have to give in to the way Eduardo has of coaxing his body into doing things. “I don’t know how to be what you want me to be. You keep – you keep interrupting my focus.”

He’s frustrated because he knows he’s right and so does Eduardo. When he looks over, Eduardo is smiling, a soft twitch of his lips and Mark doesn’t understand why. He runs the sentence back in his head and can’t come up with anything that’s remotely funny.

“That single minded focus would also push you to ignore me if I let it,” Eduardo says, his fingers resting at the nape of Mark’s neck. Mark doubts that; with this power Eduardo has over him, he doesn’t think that’s possible. Eduardo’s fingers stroke the top of Mark’s spine, starting from the base of his skull to just down between his shoulder blades and the soothing motions tempt Mark to close his eyes. He melts into the cushions, relaxing until he feels completely boneless, pressing his face into the curve of Eduardo’s neck. Eduardo lets out a sound of approval and Mark’s breath hitches. “Expand to Stanford.”

Mark just stares at the side of Eduardo’s face.

“It’s time for them to see this in California.”

Mark nods slowly. It’s like he’s moving through mud. He hates what this is doing to him but he loves it too; it’s such a contradiction that he wants to analyse it but he can’t when Eduardo’s hand is shoving the neck of his hoodie aside so that he can slide his fingers in between the material and against Mark’s skin. He returns to the rhythmic stroking, dragging his nails lightly along with each stroke. Mark turns his body into Eduardo’s side, one hand sliding down to Eduardo’s leg, clutching at the material of his pants and bunching it in his fist. Eduardo turns his face and brushes his lips against the top of Mark’s head and Mark loses himself in the feel of Eduardo lips and hand. His dick fills, hard and obvious in his sweatpants.

“Mark,” Eduardo breathes and Mark’s hips stutter, small jerks against Eduardo’s leg (blessed, blessed friction).

Mark’s eyes open, half-lidded and he wants to grip Eduardo’s clothes and slide against the curve of Eduardo’s leg until he comes. He starts to move but Eduardo’s hand stills on his neck, nails digging into the soft skin. Mark groans but stills his whole body. Eduardo picks up the remote and mutes the television so that Mark’s noises become obvious in the stark silence of the room; he’s groaning, breathing harshly against Eduardo’s collarbone and he needs more friction but Eduardo’s stroking his neck again and saying, “No, Mark.”

Mark listens. He just jerks his hips, using what little friction Eduardo is allowing him to try and get off.

“That’s it, querido,” Eduardo mutters, tipping his head back against the couch as if he’s bored. Mark knows better but it still makes something clench in his chest; he knows that Eduardo’s attention is solely on him because he knows Eduardo, but just the thought of registering barely on Eduardo’s attention scale is intoxicating. Like Mark’s just something that happens. Mark lets out a noise that he doesn’t want to acknowledge is a whine and pushes himself up and over Eduardo’s right leg until he’s straddling it, face pressing firmly into Eduardo’s neck and hands sliding against the fabric of Eduardo’s shirt.

Eduardo still looks disinterested but there’s a twitch as he pulls his hand out from Mark’s hoodie and rests it on the back of his head. He threads his fingers through Mark’s hair and presses and it’s the acknowledgment Mark needs to get off and his hips stutter, awkward jerks against Eduardo’s leg and thigh as he seeks enough friction to come. Eduardo’s lips press against any part of Mark they can; his face, his hair, his neck and even his collarbone. Mark’s fingers are tight in Eduardo’s shirt and he’s sure Eduardo must feel him panting into his neck but Mark can’t help himself.

“I need-,” Mark says, hating that he even has to ask but he’s not sure what he’s asking for, only knows that if Eduardo just touches him, just does something, then he can come and he can relax and Eduardo can watch TV again and maybe things will go back to how they were but-

“Mark,” Eduardo says and his voice is careful but Mark can hear the edge underneath; it’s the tone that Mark’s body responds to easily and without resistance. Mark tries to will his hips under control but he’s desperate, riding the edge of orgasm and he turns his face until he can mutter Eduardo’s name into his ear over and over. “You want to come?”

It’s a stupid, stupid question but Mark finds himself nodding, giving in to the way Eduardo grips his body, pulling and pushing until Mark’s firmly in his lap, hands trapped between their bodies and Eduardo has one of his own in Mark’s sweatpants.

“What if I kept you like this all day?”

Mark whines, high and loud. Eduardo’s hand is stroking him gently, the pace maddeningly slow but he can’t get his voice to do anything but mutter Eduardo’s name. He knows that Eduardo would never deny him an orgasm that long but imagining the whole day in bed, Eduardo bringing him to the edge of orgasm only to stop, let Mark come down and repeat the whole process again is enough to get Mark thrusting again. It’s like everything comes down to the palm of Eduardo’s hand, the friction from their bodies, his arm tugging tighter around Eduardo’s neck.



Mark stills a little but Eduardo’s hand doesn’t. It’s hard to think beyond the need to come but Eduardo wants him to ask and Mark doesn’t know if he can. That requires letting go, it requires him saying please and Mark doesn’t want to make that move. It means this thing will solidify into whatever it’s been trying to become and he’s not sure he wants to be this to Eduardo forever. It’s intoxicating and he’s desperate for it but he doesn’t know what the feeling running underneath his need and want has been all this time.

Eduardo turns his face, lips brushing the shell of Mark’s ear. “I want you.”

Betraying his mind, Mark’s hips stutter and he arcs his back, noises that he will deny later filtering between them.


It’s like before; the white behind his eyes and the static in his brain is increasing and he doesn’t even know what he’s going to be asking for but he says, “Please,” and feels something in chest just let go.

Vem pra mim.”

When Mark comes this time, he wants to black out. He wants to roll off of Eduardo and pretend that he’s not just given in. He doesn’t. He’s conscious but not completely aware when Eduardo cradles the back of his head and moves them both until Mark is lying against the couch. He’s conscious when Eduardo kisses his temple, disappears into the bathroom and comes back with a wash cloth. Mark blinks lazily as Eduardo cleans him off, keeping one hand pressed to Mark’s cheek to help ground him.

He’s drifting in a haze of nothing and it’s comforting to have Eduardo take care of him without humiliation colouring his actions. He doesn’t have to think, he doesn’t have to filter what he says and he doesn’t have to pretend that he doesn’t want it. Out of character, his mind screams but it’s not. Mark is still Mark. Here, private, where it’s just him and Eduardo, he can give to Eduardo and know that Eduardo will always be there.

“Come on, Mark,” Eduardo says, shifting him on the couch until Eduardo can sit back down between Mark and edge of the couch. As soon as he’s down, Mark melts back into his side, lazy and sated and perfect.

Everything is perfect.


.o7 { submission }

It works like that for a couple of weeks.

thefacebook continues to flourish and so does this thing between Mark and Eduardo. They start to get more comfortable around the dorm and eventually Chris and Dustin stop staring at them with wide, open eyes. Chris corners Mark and asks if he’s sure and Mark doesn’t bother to answer because it’s a stupid question. Chris grins like that’s what he expected and Mark shakes his head and turns back to coding. He has no idea why Chris and Dustin have to be so weird about it; Mark wouldn’t be with Eduardo if he wasn’t sure it was what he wanted. Even when he was at his most uncomfortable, he never really wanted to not be with Eduardo.

When they’re not at AEPi parties where Eduardo makes a show of possessing Mark, they’re in the comfort of the dorm where it’s not so weird for Mark to spend the evening coding, back pressed against Eduardo’s side and Eduardo’s arm wrapped around his chest. It’s as if wherever they are, Eduardo wants to tell the world that Mark is his and only his –even if there’s nobody else around to see it. Mark would be worried that it’s connected to thefacebook and his notoriety but it’s Wardo. He came before thefacebook and he would always come before thefacebook.

The first time Eduardo takes Mark to his knees, Chris and Dustin are out at an AEPi party that hadn’t interested Mark in the slightest. Managing to convince Eduardo to stay in with him, they’re on the couch like they usually are and Eduardo’s fisting the front of Mark’s hoodie in his fingers; Mark’s hair brushing his left ear. Mark’s been coding near on thirty six hours and nothing Eduardo’s managed so far has talked him down and he’s on edge; ready to snap if he’s interrupted one more time.

The door opens and Dustin and Chris tumble in, arguing good-naturedly about something but Mark interrupts with something nasty and scathing because he’s tired and it's been nice with Wardo; just the two of them. Whatever he says has both Chris and Dustin freezing in shock and Eduardo’s body tenses along Mark’s back. He pauses and rethinks; his mind is fuzzy from lines of code, PhP and Java and he doesn’t know what was so bad or why the silence in the room is almost deafening.

“Up,” Eduardo says and Mark’s on his feet, laptop clenched protectively in his hands. Eduardo stares at him until he puts it on the table and at Eduardo’s nod, Chris and Dustin disappear into Dustin’s room. There’s another silence and Mark tries to figure out where Eduardo’s going with this; usually he just leaves and Mark codes himself into sleep, waking with a heavy feeling in his stomach and the keys of the laptop pressed into his face.

Instead, Eduardo reaches out and puts a hand on Mark’s ass, bunching the material of his jeans and says, “Down.”

Mark frowns. “Wardo, what-?”

He knows what Eduardo wants but he’s not going to give in. Eduardo holds his gaze and Mark knows from experience that the more he fights the worse it is in the end. Still, he’s not going to make this easy. He’s tired and he just wants Wardo, not the Chris and Dustin variety hour because it pisses him off when he’s in the zone and he can feel Eduardo’s breath on the back of his neck, fingers stroking his chest gently.

“I won’t,” Mark says, keeping his voice even.

Eduardo startles him when he starts to stroke Mark’s thigh. Just two fingers running up and down the back of his leg in slow, steady strokes and Mark doesn’t think about it, just sinks to his knees by Eduardo’s legs. The contradiction between order and coaxing is too much to choose between. He just lets go because his body knows what to do even if Mark’s displeasure and pride keep him from reacting straight away. When Eduardo’s hand threads into his hair and presses his head down, Mark rests his forehead on Eduardo’s knee.

“It’s okay, querido.”

Mark just breathes careful and slow and even. Eduardo strokes his head, scratching just at the base of Mark’s skull and he closes his eyes. He feels the tension and irritation bleed out of him until he turns his face, cheek resting against Eduardo’s thigh. Eduardo smiles down at him.


Mark nods lazily and lifts a hand to rest it by his chin. What do you get from this he wants to ask but he doesn’t know how to make his mouth work. He feels sated even when they haven’t done anything and he’s unresisting as Eduardo guides him back up, pushing him down onto the couch and positioning him so that his head is resting in Eduardo’s lap. “Sleep.”

Mark doesn’t think he can because there’s too much to do. The site is in early stages, the code needs to be checked and he’s always thinking of new things to do, new things to add but his eyes are slipping closed and he can feel the brush of a kiss against his temple.

“Sleep, querido. Dustin’s checking the code. I’m here.”

Mark swallows and nudges his face against Eduardo’s stomach. Eduardo’s hand strokes his hair and the whisper of I love you follows Mark into sleep.


.o7 { reluctance }

meet me after class =)

Mark shuts his phone and tries to ignore the pleasant spread of whatever in his chest. He’s still clutching his phone when he gets outside and he keeps his head down along the corridor. He only stops when he becomes aware of two obstacles in his path and looks up to find Divya Narendra and one the Winklevii standing in his way. Mark tips his head back a little and stares at them. He’s not going to back down first because he doesn’t even know what they want. He’s been expecting to hear from them because he’s done a good job of ignoring them for weeks and now that thefacebook is live, of course they’re going to get in touch with him.

“Nice job with thefacebook,” Divya says, his eyes alight with something Mark can’t name. Probably anger.

Mark shrugs.

“You stole our website,” Divya explodes a second later and Mark rocks back on his heels, face impassive.

“Really? Do you see any of your code in thefacebook?”

“You stole our whole goddamn idea.” It’s Tyler this time and Mark knows it’s Tyler because Cameron is the calmer one; Tyler is angry around the edges; an open bold tag; dark and vivid with anger.

Mark just ignores them because thefacebook is his and all his. The idea is a mutated version of what they wanted to create but Mark made it better, awesome and new and special and they can’t take it away from him just because they planted a seed that Mark has nurtured on his own.

“You know what, Mark?” Divya’s tone is almost conversation but Mark knows better. He’s used to seeing the edges of people and not caring. “When you wrote your name all over that website, which was so classy I almost couldn’t stand it, I thought: I want to hire the Sopranos to beat the shit out of this guy.”

“That’s not what I thought. I’m going to beat the shit out of him myself,” Tyler snaps. “There’s two of me.”

“One of whom isn’t here right now,” Eduardo interrupts smoothly, stepping in just in front of Mark and squaring up to Tyler. Chris and Dustin are with him and they’re just as angry; the looks on their faces Mark hasn’t ever seen before but he’s bristling with his own anger that he holds onto, fingers digging into it so that he can draw on it later. “If you lay a hand on Mark, I’ll kick your ass.”

Tyler looks like he wants to laugh but Mark has to admit that Eduardo’s formidable in his anger. It’s turning him on and would continue to do so if he didn’t pull at the anger and let it coat his actions. Fucking Wardo He didn’t need help.

Chris nods. “It’s not going to look good for you. Sure you’re big and you row crew but there’s three of us and Divya’s not going to be much of an asset.”

Divya gets angrier at the words but Tyler lays a hand on his arm and looks Eduardo in the eye. He seems to be taking measure of the situation and Mark just shakes his head, turning away from all of them. This is a stupid waste of his time and if they want to start brawling in the halls that’s their business but he has a website to tend to and he-

“Stay where you are.”

Mark freezes but not because it’s Tyler speaking to him; it’s Eduardo and his tone is solid and firm and Mark listens.

Tyler’s eyebrows shoot up and Divya says, “What the hell.”

Mark refuses to colour with embarrassment and stands there, awkward and annoyed and angry when Tyler just nods at Eduardo like he’s come to some sort of conclusion. Mark doesn’t know what it is but he’s shaking his head. “This isn’t over.”

“Then sue him,” Eduardo snaps, his tone bored and angry at the same time. “Just don’t think about laying a hand on him.”

Eduardo turns then, hands on Mark’s shoulders and pushing him away. Chris and Dustin follow and it’s not until they’re safely out of earshot that Mark stops, bunches his fists and snaps back.

“Fuck you, Eduardo. I could have handled that. I’m not a damsel.”

“No,” and it’s Chris that’s speaking. “But you are an ungrateful dick.”

Dustin’s grinning behind him but it’s a grin tinged with anger and not a little excitement. The weirdest things get to Dustin but he nods along with Chris’s words. “Friends don’t let other friends get their faces kicked in, Mark. He would have. Have you seen the size of his fists? They’re like boats themselves.”

Chris rolls his eyes. “That’s not helping, Dustin, contrary to what advice your brain is giving your mouth. Keep moving.”

He pushes Dustin down the corridor, leaving Mark and Eduardo alone and Eduardo’s just looking at Mark. “That wasn’t about making you look bad, Mark.”

Mark’s anger is seeping away because fuck, he knows. He knows it was about Eduardo having to protect Mark because he thinks it’s his right with this – this thing they have and Mark knows that but he needs Eduardo to know that he’s not a complete pushover, either. “I need you to- I’m not a damsel.”

“I know,” Eduardo says, stepping into Mark’s space and wrapping his arms around him. “You have to let me do that.”

Mark closes his eyes and just stands there. “Yeah.”

He’s not quite sure what he’s agreeing to and he doesn’t think Eduardo does either.


.o7 { subconscious submission }


The next time Mark goes to his knees, he knows immediately what he’s done wrong.

Chris and Dustin are in the room and this time Eduardo isn’t going to make them leave because Mark’s the one moving. He thinks this is it because it’s time Chris and Dustin stopped shying away from it and saw what Mark and Eduardo have. Mark wants them to see because he wants someone else to know that he gives in like this, that he’s not all about taking advantage of Eduardo’s money and his life and he just wants to be able to do this without fear of humiliation and pride.

He traces the knee of Wardo’s pants with his fingers and then sinks to his knees, almost immediately pressing his forehead to Eduardo’s leg. He hears Eduardo’s sharp intake of breath because Mark’s never done this of his own volition and they both know the significance of this. Mark gave in once already with his acquiescence in sex but this is different; this is a release of a different kind and it’s a lot like coming home.

He stays kneeling as Eduardo’s hand comes to his head and holds him there. He stays kneeling as Chris asks, “Is this what you both want?” He stays kneeling as Eduardo says yes and tells Mark to answer Chris. Mark does; affirmative and sure but he doesn’t move from position by Eduardo’s knee until Eduardo tells him he can. Even then, he grabs his laptop from his room, climbs back onto the couch and presses against Eduardo’s side. He waits with baited breath for the arm around his chest and when it comes he relaxes completely, face turning towards the back of the couch and it’s not until he hears them bickering that he remembers Chris and Dustin are still in the room; and that they don’t care.


.o8 { connections }

Christy Lee is a friend of Erica’s.

Mark remembers meeting her once and he recognises her both from AEPi parties and as one of the girls talking to Eduardo outside of the presentation. When she sits next to him in his OS class he doesn’t bother to acknowledge her; he’s deep in code and is only aware of her on the periphery anyway. Just as he’s hitting his stride, she reaches over and turns the screen off. He slips off his headphones and glares at her.

“Mark, right?”

Mark just keeps glaring. If she’s stupid enough to need affirmation of her guess then he’s not going to waste time talking to her. Turning his screen back on, he’s about to put the headphones back on his head when she lays a hand on his keyboard.

“I have a proposition for you.”

“Not interested,” Mark says, knowing that it’s going to involve thefacebook and he really doesn’t need any more groupies. (It was awesome finding out he had them; not so awesome finding out how ridiculously relentless they were.)

“Hear me out,” Christy says. “How would you like a meeting with Sean Parker?”

Mark’s not stupid. He knows the name and he knows the relevance and he pauses. “I suppose you know him?”

He means to scoff, to make her fight for this but it doesn’t come out quite right because Sean Parker. Christy grins and she has perfect teeth and a perfect face and he thinks he might possibly be interested if he ever thought of anyone who wasn’t Brazilian, intelligent and had the ability to make Mark come on command. He swallows because thinking about Eduardo is never a good idea and he blinks when Christy takes it to mean he’s swallowing because of her and preens a little under the attention.

“Yes, actually. I can get you a meeting with him.”

Mark blinks slowly. “I’m assuming you have terms?”

Christy smiles again and nods. “I can get you Sean Parker if you get me a date with Eduardo.”

Mark’s fingers freeze over the keyboard and he feels an invisible hand squeeze his heart. He wants to tell her to fuck off because this is Eduardo and nobody gets Eduardo except Mark but Mark doesn’t actually know what Eduardo wants from this. Sure, he makes out like Mark is everything when they’re together but Mark knows he’s not the best person to get along with and Eduardo’s had next to nothing out of this except a rough rubbing off against Mark’s thigh. He shrugs. “I’ll talk to him.”

“Great. Facebook me,” Christy says, leaning over to kiss his cheek. “We’ll grab a drink and discuss the Sean thing.”

When she leaves, Mark turns back to his set but he’s distracted for the rest of the day.


.o8 { misdirection }

“You did what?”

Mark’s working on thefacebook, headphones around his neck and he can see Eduardo stretched out on the bed through the monitor. Up until a few seconds ago, Eduardo was relaxed and smiling. Now his body is tense and the look he’s giving Mark isn’t a happy one. “I told her I would ask you.”

Eduardo swings his legs around until they rest on the floor and before Mark can react, he’s turning Mark’s chair around until they’re facing each other. “Why would you think I’d be interested?”

Mark stares at the floor and shrugs. “It makes sense for you to want to date an Asian girl. She’s smart, I hope, and she seemed to really like you.”

“Mark,” Eduardo says, slowly. He puts a hand on Mark’s chin and raises his head. “Do you want me to go on this date?”

“I-” Mark doesn’t know what to say. Is this a trick question? Sometimes Eduardo likes to take the long way around in asking something, maybe trying to trap Mark into an answer and usually Mark is good at figuring it out but he doesn’t know what to think this time. “You don’t owe me anything.”

“Mark,” Eduardo repeats. He leans forward until he’s hovering over Mark, so close that Mark can smell his cologne and if he pushes forward just so their lips would be touching. He forces himself to hold still. “Do you want me to date her?”

“No,” Mark says, unhappily. He doesn’t know what he wants but he knows that just thinking about Christy touching Eduardo makes his heart heavy. Eduardo’s still touching his chin and he slides it around Mark’s jaw, thumb resting against the base of his ear and fingers curling around his neck. Eduardo nudges closer, pressing his lips to Mark’s and drawing him into a kiss. Mark can’t help but press back, fingers reaching for Eduardo’s shirt. Eduardo keeps kissing, breaking for air and capturing Mark’s lips over and over until he finally pulls away and Mark finds himself chasing Eduardo’s mouth.

“Easy,” Eduardo says, nuzzling Mark’s cheek. “You’re all I want, okay?”

Mark just stares at the line of Eduardo’s face, fingers tight in Eduardo’s shirt. He could pretend it doesn’t matter, that declaration. He could pretend that it’s a lie and Eduardo is just telling him what he wants to hear but it does matter, it does. “Wardo.”

They part enough for Mark to stand from his chair, pressing Eduardo down onto the bed and positioning them both so that he’s straddling Eduardo’s hips. Mark’s hands hesitate on Eduardo’s zipper because he doesn’t know if this is allowed, if Eduardo wants him like he wants Eduardo. Underneath his lashes, Eduardo’s eyes are dark and round and huge and he tugs Mark down for a kiss. It’s hot and sloppy and wet and Mark slips a little, grinding their hips together. He groans into the kiss, hips jerking wildly against Eduardo’s pelvis.

“Slow down.”

Mark forces his hips to stop moving and he swallows, mouthing the side of Eduardo’s neck. He manages to get a hand between their bodies and he cups Eduardo through his pants. It’s fucking great. Eduardo is growing hard under his touch, small pants and gasps in Mark’s ear as he rubs smooth patterns against the fabric.

Eduardo tips his head back against the pillows and guides Mark down, one hand in his hair and the other on his face. “Please, Mark.”

It’s pleading as much as an ask and Mark’s only too glad to slide down the bed, feeling the pads of Eduardo’s fingers against his scalp. He unzips Eduardo’s pants and pushes them down. It’s rushed and haphazard but Mark’s pulling Eduardo’s dick free from his boxers and staring at the way it curves towards Eduardo’s stomach, thick and full and inches from his face.

When Mark looks up, Eduardo’s just staring down at him. “Mark.”

“Yeah,” Mark breathes and noses his way down. The smell is a combination of things that Mark catalogues away for later. He noses at the soft hair at the base of Eduardo’s cock and licks the vein running down the underside. Eduardo shivers, fingers flexing against Mark’s curls. Mark screws his face up in concentration and feels the tug. He doesn’t need the words to get the message; move.

Mark leans up on his elbows and swallows Eduardo as far as he can. He’s not experienced enough to deep throat but he makes a mental note to practice because the noises Eduardo’s making are intoxicating; gasps, pants and whines that descend into gibberish (English and Portuguese). Mark uses his tongue, teeth and throat in ways he didn’t think it was possible to use. Eduardo’s fingers push and pull like he can’t decide if the pressure is perfect or too much and Mark hums, feeling the vibrations run along his tongue, pressed up against the base of Eduardo’s cock.

Eduardo lets out a strangled gasp and chants Mark’s name, stroking his temple and hair and he’s shaking all over. Mark did that. Mark made him lose it like that and he’s so hard he can’t even see and he wants, he wants, he just wants Eduardo to stay this way always; wanton and desperate and tugging on Mark because he wants to come. Mark pulls back, stares at Eduardo’s face. When he sucks this time, he presses his thumb just behind Eduardo’s balls, sliding it back towards his ass and Eduardo shouts his name, and Mark pulls away because he can’t fucking swallow. Streaks of come hit his cheek and neck and he thinks it’s gross but there’s not much he can do about it because he’s rubbing himself off against the edge of the bed, fingers fisting into the comforter either side of Eduardo’s hips and he’s saying Eduardo’s name; Eduardo who’s still coming down from his orgasm.

“Wardo, Wardo please,” Mark says, clawing desperately at the bed.

Eduardo shifts on the bed, pulling his legs underneath his body until he’s kneeling in front of Mark on all fours, face inches from his. “You look so hot, Mark. My come on your face.”

Mark lets out a noise as Eduardo drags his thumb through his own come and touches Mark’s bottom lip. Mark can taste it, bitter as he swipes a tongue over his lip and against the pad of Eduardo’s thumb. His hips are jerking against the bed and he just wants to come. Eduardo leans closer, rests his cheek against Mark’s and whispers, “Come, Mark,” into his ear.

Feeling the tremors wrack his body, Mark reaches up a hand, clings to Eduardo and the bed and shakes his way through his orgasm, the corners of his vision blacking out as Eduardo hauls him up, presses Mark’s face to his neck. Mark breathes against the tan skin, hands resting on Eduardo’s thighs. He knows he must be disgusting; come drying on his face and in his pants but Eduardo’s just breathing in his ear and he can feel the pulse steady underneath his cheek and it lulls him into a space he’s starting to occupy more freely and it speaks Eduardo’s name.


.interlude { it's who you know }

Eduardo has his hand around Mark’s neck when they meet up with Christy.

She takes one look at the possessive way Eduardo turns Mark’s body to his and sets her mouth into a thin line. Mark would feel sorry for her but he thinks of the way she was so sure Eduardo would want her and the way he looks at Mark, all soft eyes and mouth. Mark thinks he’s mine and feels his heart pound in his chest. He’s got his hands in his hoodie pockets because he doesn’t know what to do with them; they itch to touch Eduardo and he can’t do that, not here in public.

“We still want a meeting with Sean Parker,” Eduardo is saying. “I’m sorry Christy, but I can’t date you.”

“Why didn’t you just tell me?” Christy asks.

Mark shrugs because he doesn’t want tot talk to her. He thinks meeting Sean is going to be awesome and great for the company but he doesn’t want to talk about his and Eduardo’s thing with Christy. She doesn’t deserve to know.

Eduardo’s fingers brush against the hair just behind his ear and Mark shifts on his feet, curling his body against Eduardo’s and he thinks of thefacebook; of all the code that needs doing and the improvements that could be done and the world narrows to this:

thefacebook and Eduardo.

Maybe that’s all Mark needs. It’s not until Eduardo nudges his ear that Mark tunes back into the conversation. Christy is nodding, smiling. “Sure. I’ll give Sean a call.”

Mark blinks, wondering what he missed but then he doesn’t care because Christy is walking away and Eduardo’s smiling down at him. “Come on, Mark. Let’s go find Chris and Dustin.”


.o9 { prologue: the sean parker variety hour }

Mark knows Eduardo hates this dinner already. He can feel him tense and angry next to him but Mark doesn’t care. Sean’s enthusiasm is intoxicating. There’s a break where Sean asks for drinks and Mark thinks that if someone else were here, Eduardo’s dislike of Sean wouldn’t be so obvious. He thinks maybe someone would be able to deflect the juxtaposition of feelings on this side of the table. He doesn’t want to chase Sean off before he gets to find out just what Sean has to offer.

When Sean’s distracted, Eduardo leans over and says, “Don’t get caught up, Mark. I don’t trust him.”

Those four words reverberate in Mark’s skull for the rest of the dinner and he wants to snap at Wardo but they drill in, colouring everything Sean says from that moment on. Eduardo doesn’t trust him but Mark trusts Eduardo and he trusts Eduardo’s judgement but Sean feels right.

Eduardo's gaze is pinning him to the chair.

Sean mutters something about changing the name and Mark will remember it later but Eduardo's already leaning over into his space, breath hot against the curve of his ear and Mark fists his hands against the knees of his jeans. He's so hard it's almost painful and there's a flash of heat in Eduardo's eyes as he reaches down under the table and cups Mark's cock in the middle of the fucking restaurant.

Eduardo huffs a laugh and whispers, "You did well, minha querido."

Mark closes his eyes and feels Eduardo's fingers pressing against the base of his spine.

"Vem pra mim."

Closing his eyes tight, Mark comes.


.interlude { perfect }

“He said we should just call it ‘Facebook’.” Mark’s tight against Eduardo in the cab and he’s staring out of the window, one hand fisted in Eduardo’s pants. He can’t see Eduardo’s face but he can feel Eduardo’s leg and he’s relaxed; happy and pleased with the outcome. Like Mark.

Mark thinks We’re finally going somewhere.

1o. {relocation}

“993! We are so close,” Dustin says, grinning over the top of his laptop.

Chris looks up from his book and even Eduardo looks interested from his position on the end of the couch. Mark is coding, back to the couch and laptop resting on his knees. He shrugs and keeps coding; he’s implementing some new changes to the site and it’s starting to look awesome. “Sure.”

Dustin rolls his eyes but keeps looking at the data anyway. Mark knows he’ll tell him when they finally reach a hundred thousand members.

“We’re going to need more money, Wardo.”

Eduardo nods, one hand on Mark’s shoulder, thumb stroking the top of his spine. “Sure. More servers and what not, right?”

Mark manages not to wince but he nods again, fingers pausing on the keys. “I’m interviewing two interns to come to Palo Alto for the summer and we’re going to need to pay them with something.”

Chris reacts almost instantly to his words, wincing and starting to stand. He tugs on Dustin’s shoulder but Eduardo’s already talking. “Sorry, what?”

Mark stares at his computer screen, trying not to focus on the fact that Eduardo’s hand stills and tightens on his shoulder. He slides his fingers over the keys, trying to see the flaw in his coding. Something has to be wrong because he has that stupid feeling in his stomach and he shrugs it off, almost dislodging Eduardo’s hand but it only serves to make it tighten even more. “I already found a house to rent close to the Stanford campus. It’s perfect and it has a pool.”

Dustin seems to know what’s coming, even if Mark doesn’t, because he starts to follow Chris out of the living area but Mark stops him.

“What’s the count, Dustin?”

Dustin opens his mouth to answer but Eduardo cuts across him. “Could you guys excuse us a moment?”

Chris and Dustin are only too happy to leave the room and Mark hasn't even opened his mouth to stop them before they're gone. Eduardo tugs on Mark until he turns and looks Eduardo in the eye. He tilts his chin defiantly and narrows his eyes when his instincts scream at him to apologise. Fuck that. He’s not wrong.

“Since when did you decide to go to California for the summer?” Without asking me, Mark hears and tries not to focus on it. “Was it during the Sean Parker variety hour?”

Reminded of that night, Mark feels a shudder run through his body at the memory. He swallows when Eduardo leans forward, nose inches from Mark’s and his fingers tight on his jaw and cheek. Mark blinks slowly and tries to shake off the submissive feeling. The last thing he wants right now is to submit to Eduardo. “He was right. California is where we have to be, Wardo.”

“Were you going to ask me?”

There’s something in his tone that makes Mark pause. “I assumed you would come out anyway.”

“Drop everything to be with you?” Eduardo asks, but he’s not biting or angry. He’s contemplative and Mark frowns.

“I thought you were in on this. I need you to be, Wardo. You gave up the Phoenix and I thought-"

Eduardo presses closer, quieting Mark with his lips. “You have to ask, Mark. You can’t just assume I’m going to do something just because you belong to me.”

“I don’t,” Mark snaps instantly, reaching up with his hands, fisting them in Eduardo’s sleeves. “I don’t.”

Eduardo smirks, nosing his way along Mark’s jaw and licking at the corner of his mouth. “That’s not what your body says – what your mind says when you care to listen to it.”

You don’t know, Mark tries to say but Eduardo does know because how could he not? Mark closes his eyes as Eduardo kisses him again. They stay that way for a moment and Mark fights the urge to apologise. He presses a hand to Eduardo’s chest anyway, kissing him. “I’m interviewing them in the CS lab tomorrow night. Be there?”

He can feel the answering smile against his mouth. “Sure.”


.interlude { interlude }

Eduardo comes to the interviews the next night and Mark explains the process. Ignoring Eduardo’s glib retort, Mark stands next to him, watching the guys fight for their place in Facebook. He feels every inch of heat where their bodies press together and eventually Eduardo places a hand on the small of Mark’s back, grinning. Later, he’s going to surprise Mark with the money but for now it’s enough that he’s even here.

It doesn’t take long for Mark to pick his interns or for Eduardo to grin in return, both of them in full accord with what’s going to happen with their company. They already have one hundred and fifty thousand plus members and Mark’s sure that Eduardo will follow him out to Palo Alto. Then he’ll have everything and it will be perfect.


.1o { left behind }

Eduardo kisses his temple and presses his nose to Mark’s cheek. “I can’t.”

Mark stiffens under his hands. “What?”

“I have an internship over the summer. My father-“

Mark tries to pull away from Eduardo and manages to step away, standing in the middle of the room with his hands in the pockets of his hoodie. “You said, Wardo, you said you’d be there.”

“Mark, I know. But I have to do this. I’ve defied him so much already.”

“So do it again.”

“I can’t,” Eduardo snaps. “For fucks sake, Mark. Do you think it’s easy telling him to practically go and fuck himself every time he calls? I’ve spent half of my life trying to live up to his expectations and since meeting you, I’ve never wanted to defy him more but I can’t do it anymore. Do you understand?”

“No,” Mark says, chin tilting. He can’t help his defensive posture because he’s given so much. “Don’t you want this?”

“Mark,” Eduardo says, stepping into Mark’s space and Mark can’t move away, feels frozen on the spot. “I want nothing more than to be with you. I love you, you dick. But I have to do this. Even if it doesn’t work out.”

Mark just nods.

Eduardo sighs. “You could just stay.”

“No,” Mark says and it goes against everything ingrained in him up to this point not to drop to his knees next to Wardo, to let Eduardo kiss the top of his head – he’s fighting against instincts it’s taken over a year and half to build and it’s this that makes Eduardo really listen – Mark never says no (not since that first time). “Wardo, no.”


“Please,” Mark bites out and it’s galling to have to ask for this but Eduardo’s never been vindictive in his use of Mark’s submission to him before. “I give myself to you, Wardo, but I want you to listen. It’s the right time. I need to do this.”

Eduardo looks at him. Really looks and sighs, drawing Mark close to him and Mark goes without effort. “Don’t disappear.”

He touches Mark’s face and Mark can’t promise that he won’t because it’s California and Eduardo won’t be there and Mark takes a deep breath, forcing himself not to shake as he kisses the side of Eduardo’s face. “I’ll be fine.”


.11 { california }

“Eduardo didn’t come out?” Sean asks.

Mark’s eye twitches but the rest of his face remains impassive. He wants to ask why that’s important, why it should matter when he knows Eduardo has his internship and he’d be here if he could. Instead, he just stays silent and shrugs in the way he does; the way he knows makes people frustrated, nervous and angry.

Sean just shrugs in return, a smile on his face that Mark probably wouldn’t be wary of if he wasn’t so attuned to everything Eduardo had warned him about. Sean’s enthusiasm and knowledge is too alluring to ignore but still, there’s a voice in the back of Mark’s head telling him to be careful and it sounds a lot like Eduardo. Not wanting to ignore even an imaginary voice of Eduardo’s, Mark remains alert to Sean all through their trip to the nightclub. Alarm bells continue to ring and Mark knows that Sean is trying to manipulate him – even if he doesn’t know that’s what he’s doing. Every time he mentions Eduardo, Mark’s hackles rise and he wants to smirk, tell Sean that anything he wants to do, he has to go through Eduardo and the words come out of his mouth but Sean talks over him, eager and excited and Mark gets swept up in the moment; he finds himself nodding anyway because Sean’s ideas for the site are awesome and it could grow to be so much more with him on board.

All the way back to the house, Mark’s wrist itches.


.11 { i want you }

Mark can’t come.

He keeps stroking, gasps leaving his mouth in a rush and he fumbles for his phone with his free hand. It’s easy enough to speed dial one and hold the phone to his ear, one finger and thumb stroking once, twice, three times up the shaft of his dick. Eduardo picks up on the second ring.

“Mark?” Mark can only imagine the noises he must be making so it’s no surprise when Eduardo says, “Are you jerking off?”

Mark lets out a choked off moan and keep stroking. It’s almost painful because he’s been ready to orgasm for ten minutes and he can’t. “I can’t come.”

Eduardo lets out a hitched breath and Mark can hear him moving around on the bed, rustling and small noises. “Okay, Mark. Okay. Tell me.”

Mark doesn’t want to; he just wants to come but he gets the words out anyway. “I was thinking about you. I had to – to touch myself. I can’t come.”

Eduardo’s breathing is heavier and Mark wonders if that means he’s jerking off too and that thought just makes him hotter. His dick is so hard it’s painful, his balls are aching and he’s not even sure he can continue to hold onto the phone but he pants, groans and says, “Wardo.”

“Mark, Vem pra mim," Eduardo breathes out, his own voice low and gravelly as Mark comes, Eduardo’s name on his lips and streaks of come coating his fingers, stomach and chest. His body feels sated and calm as he spreads his fingers against his hip. “Did you come?”

It’s Eduardo’s turn to whine and his breaths are the same short, harsh pants that Mark remembers hearing before and he blinks lazily. “Come on, Wardo. You can come too.”

It feels weird to be saying it to Eduardo but Eduardo’s coming – Mark recognises the sound. “Mark, Mark.”

“Yeah,” Mark says because he’s not sure what to do. He wants to whisper I miss you because it feels like he should but he’s still not quite sure how to do it and mean it and he wants to mean it. He just closes his eyes. “Wardo.”

“I miss you too, Mark.” Eduardo’s breathing is still harsh and slow but his tone is kind and fond and Mark feels a pang at not being with Eduardo and not being able to see him say it with mouth and eyes – but if they were together it wouldn’t matter and Mark just sighs. “I love you.”

Mark stares at the ceiling and feels his fingers tighten on the phone. “I-“

“It’s okay,” Eduardo says and Mark knows that it is but he still wants to say it. “I’ll see you soon, Mark.”

Mark makes an assenting noise and Eduardo hangs up. Mark knows that he should get up and clean off but he’s too sated and tired and he falls asleep with his hand still curled around the phone.


.11 { obstacle }

Mark’s always been aware that Chris and Dustin accept and are pretty happy with the arrangement that Mark and Eduardo have; the fact that their relationship is progressing even though there are miles between them but he’s never been more aware of that fact than now.

Sean’s been drunk since the early afternoon but it’s not until they’re sitting on the couch, watching shit on TV that Sean tries to make a move on Mark. Dustin’s coding at the desk in the corner and Chris is leaning in the doorway, on the phone about something.

“This whole thing is so awesome,” Sean slurs, putting his arm around Mark’s shoulders. Mark stiffens at the contact because nobody touches him like this, nobody except Eduardo. “We’re going to be so fucking successful.”

Mark bristles at the we like the fact that Sean got them an angel investment means that he’s allowed to becomes a major part of this team. He can see Dustin pause in the coding and even Chris is looking at Sean, eagle-eyed and angry. Mark just nods.

Sean leans in closer and Mark stares hard at the TV. He tries to convince himself that this is fine, that Sean’s just drunk but he stiffens further when Sean grins. “You know, we make a great team.”

Dustin shifts round in his chair. “You do?”

Looking at him around Mark’s shoulder, Sean raises an eyebrow. “Shouldn’t you be coding?”

“No,” Dustin snaps. “Just like you shouldn’t be touching Mark like that.”

Sean snorts. “I’m sure Mark could tell me himself if he didn’t want this.”

“He doesn’t,” Chris steps in, hanging up on whoever he’d been talking to. “Do you, Mark?”

Mark stares at him. He doesn’t think he does but Wardo’s not here, even if his whole body is repulsed by a touch that isn’t Eduardo.

“I don’t think you realise what you’re doing, Sean,” Chris says at last, when it’s apparent Mark doesn’t know how to answer.

“Don’t tell me what I do and don’t know that I’m doing,” Sean says and even Mark doesn’t make sense of that. He shrugs Sean’s arm off but Sean doesn’t budge.

“Wardo wouldn’t like it,” Mark says eventually. “I think you should just watch TV, Sean.”

“You sure?” Sean says, pressing closer like Mark doesn’t know he wants it until he’s getting it.

“I’m sure.” Mark pulls away completely and stands, tugging on his t-shirt. “I’m going to go to bed. I think you should get sober or sleep it off.”

He leaves the room but hears Chris laying into Sean once he’s gone. Even Dustin pipes up with a, “If we called Wardo, he would smack you into next week,” and Mark closes his eyes, imagining Wardo in the house and he curses, slams the door to his room and thinks, fuck you, Wardo.


.interlude { i want you (please don't tell him i said that) }

The next morning, he finds Chris and Dustin in the living room. Sean is nowhere to be found but Mark sits at the table, tucking into a pack of red vines and he stares at the table. "Um, I think-"

“It’s fine,” Chris says, patting Mark on the shoulder.

Mark wonders why people don’t ever let him finish sentences.

“Yeah, “Dustin agrees. “If you thanked us, we might think the world was ending.”

Mark snorts. “Did you call Wardo?”

Dustin stared at him for a moment. “Did you want us to?”

Mark shrugs. He’s not sure.


.12 { eduardo }

Mark doesn’t hear the door when it goes.

He does shift in the bed, coming awake at the sound of Sean arguing with Dustin and someone else and Mark’s whole body goes alert when he realises it’s Eduardo. He’s out of bed before he’s even thought about it and he tugs on a t-shirt as he steps out into the hall.

He can hear Sean saying something.

“I don’t like you,” Eduardo snaps.

“You don’t have to.” That’s Sean. “You didn’t come out, Eduardo and I did. I was here for Mark and you weren’t.”

“You don’t know anything,” Eduardo snaps.

“Sean,” Chris steps in. “I think you should let this go.”

“No. I think it’s for Mark to decide what he wants.”

Eduardo snorts and that’s when Mark steps into the room. The instant he sees Eduardo, he doesn’t fight the response to go to his side. As soon as he’s in Eduardo’s space, Eduardo has an arm around his shoulders and Mark presses right along his side, kissing his neck.

“Wardo, you came.”

He ignores the look on Sean’s face but Eduardo’s nodding, eyes angry. Mark doesn’t know what he’s done wrong.

“Chris called me.”

Mark looks at Chris but Chris isn’t apologetic, just that same defiance he’s had on his face since the whole business with Sean. “Right.”

“He told me some things. About you and Sean.”

Sean grins and Mark wants to tell him that Eduardo isn’t going to tolerate him touching Mark now that he’s here but he doesn’t think he’ll understand until he sees it for himself. Mark notices that Eduardo is wet and he stares at the door. “Is it raining?”

Eduardo huffs a laugh in his ear but it’s not happy. He tugs on Mark. “You want to talk to me alone for a minute?”

Sean looks like he might protest but Mark nods because yeah, he does.


.12 { eduardoxmark }

The instant the door closes between them and the rest of the house, Eduardo is on him. He pins Mark against the wall and presses a knee between Mark’s legs. Mark is hard almost instantly, Eduardo’s mouth hot against his ear. “You wanna know why I’m here?”

“Chris called you,” Mark gets out but he’s having trouble making his mouth work. His body is coming alive under Eduardo’s hands and he wants to give in, to drop to his knees, to do whatever Eduardo asks of him.

“I told my father to shove his internship,” Eduardo says into the shell of Mark’s ear. “I told him I had someone more important to go to.”

Mark groans, grinding down onto Eduardo’s knee. “Wardo.”

“I came for you, Mark. When Chris told me about Sean – you’re mine, do you understand?”

Mark nods but Eduardo grips his chin in his hand. “Mark?”

“I’m yours,” Mark bites out, resisting the urge to pull out of Eduardo’s grip. “Please, Wardo.”

Eduardo grins, manhandling Mark away from the wall and he doesn’t have the chance to miss the contact because Eduardo’s pushing him into the nearest bed and kicking the door shut behind him. Mark’s already tugging off his t-shirt as they move towards the bed, Mark doesn’t even know who it belongs to and he knows the door isn’t locked. Eduardo does too and he noses along Mark’s neck. “Imagine someone coming in; seeing me take you here on the bed.”

Mark groans, hips stuttering against Eduardo’s leg and he reaches up, tangling his fingers in Eduardo’s hair. He starts humping Eduardo’s leg like a fucking dog but he needs, wants, has to get off now that Eduardo’s here and can touch him.

“Wardo,” Mark says, feeling Eduardo’s hand slide down his hips, pushing his sweatpants off and just staring at his naked body. He wants to squirm but he’s long since stopped being embarrassed about what Eduardo sees. Eduardo pushes him back onto the bed, shedding his own clothes as Mark spreads out, staring unabashedly back. Eduardo’s so fucking gorgeous and Mark thinks, not for the first time, what he’s getting from Mark. He turns his face away but Eduardo’s on him instantly, gripping his chin.

“You’re so fucking hot.” Eduardo kisses his mouth drawing it out until he’s pressing his tongue to Mark’s and they’re making out like it’s the first time, like he’ll never get enough of tasting the inside of Mark’s mouth. “I always want you. When you’re in class, when we’re out. Now. I want you.”

Mark shudders and nods.

“I missed you,” Eduardo whispers, ducking down Mark's body to lick at the inside of Mark’s thigh. He trembles all over, fisting his hands in the sheets and staring at the ceiling. “I’m going to make you scream for me, Mark. I’m going to make sure everyone hears you.”

Mark closes his eyes, moaning and he can feel his dick harden at the words; the thought of everyone knowing that Eduardo is fucking him, claiming him in the same house as them is too much and he manages to get out, “Wardo, please.”

Eduardo grins, touches Mark’s dick and Mark almost comes from that alone. He’s been hard since the hallway and it’s never taken much to come when Eduardo’s actually touching him. He can feel the orgasm building and he’s so grateful for release, for Eduardo to be touching him and he throws back his head, ready to come when Eduardo presses a kiss to his hipbone and says, “Don’t come.”

Mark shouts out in frustration and he’s still drifting in a haze of almost orgasm. He can hear Eduardo doing something, uncapping something but his orgasm is receding and he lets out another sound that could be a sob but isn’t because Mark just wants to fucking come. “Fuck you, Wardo.”

“Mark,” Eduardo chastises, curling his fingers back around Mark’s dick. “Is that any way to speak to the guy who’s getting you off?”

“You’re not,” Mark bites out. “You won’t let me come.”

It’s a whine and they both know it is. Eduardo smirks, fisting Mark’s cock and there’s something wet and cold on his hand as he slides a finger along the crease of Mark’s ass, sliding into him carefully and Mark hates the slow speed, just wants it fast. He grunts, shivering and sliding down the sheets, thrusting against the lone finger. He wants more, he wants everything. “Wardo, Wardo.”

The name becomes a litany of moans and Eduardo acquiesces, sliding in a second finger, then a third. Mark swallows, feeling full and tight and thrusting his hips onto Eduardo’s hand. He just wants to get off; he wants to feel Eduardo in him, on him, everywhere. He wants to just – he wants Eduardo.

“You ready for me?” Eduardo asks, pulling his fingers out and Mark whimpers, lifting his hips into Eduardo’s hand. “Easy, Mark. Easy.”

Wardo,” Mark snaps. He scrambles for purchase on Eduardo’s hips and tries to drag him forward. Eduardo chuckles and Mark sees the condom already on. He thinks he’s going to pass out from want but then Eduardo’s pressing forward, inch by painful fucking inch and it’s the best thing he’s ever felt in his life. It’s better than making Facebook, better than kneeling by Eduardo’s knee and feeling the curl of fingers in his hair.

“You’re mine,” Eduardo growls out. “Mark.”

Mark feels boneless, face pressed into the pillow and his whole body arching under Eduardo’s hands. He’s so frustrated and angry and he just wants to come. His whole body is tingling with orgasm and he promises that he’ll never look at anyone again, he wants Wardo, he just wants Wardo and he hasn’t touched himself since he phoned Wardo and he just wants and Eduardo says, “Mark.”

Mark swallows again, trying to rub himself off against the bed sheets.

“Easy,” Eduardo says and starts to move. Finally, finally, he starts to fuck Mark into the mattress, hands tight on Mark’s hips. They shift up the bed with every thrust and Mark grunts with the feeling, dick so hard he thinks it might fall off if he doesn’t get to come soon. “Can you come without me telling you too? I think you should try.”

Mark can’t because they both know he can’t and he wants to yell at Eduardo to fucking hurry up because he can’t stand not being able to come anymore when Eduardo reaches around his body and pumps his dick once, twice and leans down on the next thrust.

“Come for me, Mark.”

Mark throws back his head, fingers flexing in the sheets and he yells out Eduardo’s name, shaking his way through his orgasm.


.interlude { just us }

Afterwards, Eduardo pulls Mark to him, both of them sweaty and sticky but Mark doesn’t care. He relaxes under the stroking against his temple and closes his eyes, face pressed into Eduardo’s shoulder. “You came out.”

“Yeah,” Eduardo says, turning his face into Mark’s hair and closing his own eyes. “I’m here.”

“Good.” Mark falls asleep between one breath and the next – the easiest he’s slept in weeks.


.12 { confession }

“I wanted to tell you once,” Mark says, quietly. Eduardo and Sean both turn to face him with identical expressions of incredulity. Mark bristles and tilts his chin. “Sean. I tried to tell you once. It’s not my fault you didn’t listen. Everything had to go through Eduardo, I said. Did you think I was just talking out of my ass? About Facebook?”

“This isn’t about Facebook,” Sean protests, even over Eduardo’s look of triumph and lust. If he doesn’t cut it out, Mark’s going to get hard in the fucking kitchen.

“No,” Mark agrees, shrugging. He sticks his hands in his hoodie pockets just for something to do and he tilts his head, eyes darting from Eduardo’s mouth to Sean’s face. “This is about me. Again, everything has to go through Eduardo.”

Sean looks between them like he can’t quite figure it out. Mark thinks that between the dinner where Eduardo was all but commanding Mark to fuck him at the table and the noises they were making last night, Sean would have connected the dots. Watching him make the connection now is making something thrum in Mark’s chest and he finds himself just staring openly at Eduardo, eyes blinking slow and careful. Eduardo’s holding his gaze and nodding. Crossing the kitchen, Mark slots easily along Eduardo’s side and Eduardo’s hand comes up into Mark’s hair, stroking the perfectyeswardo spot at the base of his skull and Mark goes boneless.

He wonders what Sean sees; what everyone sees when he does this.

His thoughts empty and it’s blessed relief. He hears Sean and Eduardo talking once more but blots them out. His hands slide out of his hoodie pockets and he curls one around the ass of Eduardo’s pants and the other under his shirt, palm flat against his stomach and just breathes.


.12 { final submission }

That night, Mark’s lying on the couch, head in Eduardo’s lap. The house is quiet for once; everyone out or in their rooms, coding or doing stupid shit. Mark’s grateful for just this; his laptop flashing up Facebook updates, Eduardo’s hand carding through his hair and the sound of silence in the room. He blinks up at Eduardo’s face and nudges him with a hand. “Are you staying?”

Eduardo raises an eyebrow but smiles, rubbing a thumb over Mark’s eyebrow. “If you want me to.”

“I wanted you to come out before.”

“I know,” Eduardo says, quietly. “I’m sorry I didn’t.”

Mark says nothing, just rubs a finger over Eduardo’s hip. “I- Wardo, I wanted to tell you that I –“

“You don’t have to say it.”

Eduardo always says that and it frustrates Mark because he knows it shouldn’t be this hard to say it if you mean it. “Wardo-“

Eduardo leans down and brushes a kiss just below Mark’s eye. “Do you think I need to hear you say it? You tell me in other ways, Mark.”

“How?” Mark asks, knowing he’s being petulant but not caring. “When I submit to you?”

Eduardo snorts. “No. In the way you want me to come out to California. When you stood up to Sean. When you listen to me. When you show me time and time again that you choose me over Facebook. Mark, just, believe me okay? Like you choose me, I always choose you, okay?”

Mark nods, nudging the back of his head against Eduardo’s hand and Eduardo continues stroking his fingers through Mark’s hair. “I do, you know.”

“What?” Eduardo asks.

“Like it when I – when I submit to you.”

“Yeah,” Eduardo smiles, leaning down for another kiss. “I never questioned that - any of it."

They settle back into the quiet but Mark can’t help but ask, “Are you happy?”

Eduardo shifts him until he’s sitting up, head cradled on Eduardo’s shoulder and his body relaxed and pliant in Eduardo’s hands, straddling his legs. “With you? Always.”

In the end, Mark figures, that’s all that matters.


.final { and even then the submission is to reason (and to you) }

(Except this does really;

Vem pra mim, and Mark comes, even if he’s sitting at his CEO, bitch desk and Eduardo’s sitting on the corner, grinning at him. Even if he’s in a shareholders meeting and he’s trying to focus and Mark comes while everyone is going over monetary updates. Even if they’re at a benefit function and Mark’s coming in his pants, Eduardo’s fingers possessive on his hip and laughing at a joke one of the investors is making. Even if they’re at home, Mark spread out and wanton on their bed and Eduardo nosing along Mark’s inner thigh and Mark comes with a shout, with Wardo’s name on his lips, with a tight feeling in his chest and he thinks, I love you.

And it’s so fucking perfect; Mark and Wardo made this like they made Facebook and it’s so fucking perfect. )

.the end