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Patrick’s stomach is cramping. Drinking water isn’t helping, and he can’t keep any food down.

Joe keeps his distance, cheerfully yelling that he doesn’t want to catch what Patrick’s got. Patrick’s on the verge of shouting back that Joe better stop tempting him, then, and put on a fucking shirt. He bites his tongue.

Joe doesn’t know. Apart from Patrick himself and the concubus who targeted him last week, nobody knows.

(“It’s, like, an inclusive term,” the concubus told Patrick before buzzing off into the night. “You’re a succubus if you target men and an incubus if you target women, but honestly the terms are kinda heteronormative and old-fashioned–”

“I really wish,” Patrick bit out, “that you cared about asking permission half as fucking much as you do about using the right terms.”

“See what I get for trying to educate someone,” the concubus said, darkly, and turned into vapor.)

So now not only is Patrick starving, he has no idea what will happen if he sates that hunger. Will he create more like him? Will he kill people?

Not to mention the tiny technicality that, oh yeah, life-force sucking fiend or not, he has yet to tempt anyone into bed with him who wasn’t after his own life-force. Which is now rapidly dwindling, because Patrick lives a charmed life.

The door opens with a slam and Pete comes bounding inside. Unlike Joe, Pete takes Patrick’s evident misery as an invitation and slides into the chair next to him. “Hey, buddy, what’s up?” He smells like grass and sunshine from being outside, and goddamnit, now is not the time for Patrick’s nascent crush to make itself known.

“Not feeling so good,” Patrick tries.

It doesn’t work. Of course it doesn’t. “I’ll make you soup!” Pete springs up from his seat. He’s so full of energy he’d give Patrick a headache even on a good day, which this isn’t. “No, don’t,” he says at Patrick’s attempts to reject that offer. “This is my mom’s recipe. Bound to make you feel better even if you’re hurling your guts every other minute.”

Patrick deflates. Who knows. Maybe the magic of mother’s love will sustain him, against all odds. It worked for Harry Potter.

~~

It does not, apparently, work for Patrick Stump.

“Dude,” Pete says, half-awed, half-disgusted. He’s also holding Patrick’s hair away from his face, which is nice of him. Patrick vows to buzz it all off as soon as he stops heaving.

Once he’s done, he sits back on the bathroom’s tile floor, gratefully accepting a bottle of water that Pete fetches for him. Even the water is starting to taste gross, now. Patrick closes his eyes and counts.

He feels the warmth of Pete’s skin next to his, hears the rustle of his clothes as he sits down close enough for their shoulders to bump. “Okay, spill,” Pete says.

Patrick mumbles, “I just did.”

“The only reason I’m not punching you for that is that you’re probably dying,” Pete informs him. “That’s the only reason for anyone not to feel better after my mom’s soup.” He does hand Patrick a stick of gum.

“Maybe it was how you made it.” Patrick feels he’s allowed a little pettiness, under the circumstances. Whatever Pete’s mom’s soup contained, he doubts the original recipe has Red Bull in it. At least the gum isn’t making him puke.

Pete apparently feels the same, because he nobly ignores Patrick’s words. “C'mon. What’s really wrong? Tell me.”

Patrick pauses, debating which would be the least awkward part to begin with. “You remember that guy I left with the other night.”

The way emotion flicks over Pete’s face is fascinating, like watching light hit a prism: first he’s surprised, then - so briefly that Patrick has to believe it’s just wishful thinking - upset, then happy, then frowning. “Did he give you STDs of death?”

“Kinda,” Patrick hedges.

Pete stands up so abruptly that he nearly knocks Patrick down. “I will avenge you!” he cries. Patrick has to grab his pant leg to keep him from running off. At that, Pete turns solicitous, dropping back and hugging Patrick hard.

It’s a really nice hug, which just makes everything worse. “I’m not actually dying,” Patrick says, although for completeness’ sake he adds, “much.”

Pete is still frowning when he backs out of the hug. “Now’s not a time for games, Stump. Do you need, like, urgent medical aid?”

God knows how long Patrick would have hemmed and hawed if Andy hadn’t come in, saying, “He needs sex. He got turned by a succubus last week.”

“Concubus,” Patrick corrects, God knows why. Then he blushes. “But yeah.”

“Great,” Andy says, making shooing motions. “Now go communicate somewhere else. Some of us need to use the bathroom.”

They go, although Pete yells, “Can’t you just mark your territory like a normal werewolf?” after him.

When they get back to their dorm room, Pete says, “On the plus side, this has a simple solution.”

“What?” Patrick says, wary of what’s going to come next.

“We have sex,” Pete says, easily, like it’s not even a point of conflict.

“Pete! We can’t just–” Patrick mimes tearing at his hair. “I could kill you! Or, or turn you into something like me.”

Pete turns and gives him a soulful look. “If only you could,” he says with an exaggerated sigh.

Patrick feels justified in hitting him, since Pete isn’t the one literally starving.

“Seriously though,” Pete continues, undeterred. “We won’t do the whole do. We’ll just, like, make out some, enough to give you kick-start. Then we can talk about teaching you enough game to hunt for game.”

Patrick has to take a short pause to reflect on the awfulness of that pun, and by extension, his life. He should probably reject Pete. Do the noble thing.

But Pete’s right there, warm brown eyes looking at him, so alive that Patrick can’t stand it. He takes Pete’s hands in his face.

It must be the, the concubus magic, that makes Pete shudder and his eyes close, his lips parting. Patrick always had trouble with Pete’s mouth and now it’s so close, so inviting. Pete’s strong, effortless energy running through him like electrical currents, like fire, and Patrick wants.

With a touch of lips, Patrick takes.

Pete melts against him. Patrick can feel their heartbeats synchronizing, slowing. Pete’s hard on is digging into his thigh. Unthinking, Patrick grabs it, giving it a little squeeze.

Then Pete shudders, and Patrick feels a burst of wet heat through the fabric of Pete’s pants. For a moment it’s glorious , Patrick is full of warm satisfaction that’s half like having a good meal and half Holy shit I made someone come.

And then Pete collapses.

Patrick stares. “Shit,” he whispers, hands clenching into fists. “Shit, shit, shit.” The good feeling of earlier is still there, like a mockery. Patrick’s full because Pete is empty.

This isn’t just fatigue. Or, hell, at this point, Patrick would’ve been okay with Pete rising up as a succubus. But there’s a sinking wooden certainty in Patrick’s mind that Pete won’t be rising up at all.

He falls into a crouch, blinking rapidly at a world gone blurry. His eyes are burning, he’s choking, and it takes him a moment to realize it’s partially because of the smoke.

Beneath him, Pete’s body is crackling. Patrick leaps back just before it goes up in flame.

The fire dies out a few minutes later, and in its midst Pete is naked, and more importantly, breathing.

Patrick manages a weak, “What the hell.”

Pete opens one eye. “If I say that I told you there’s nothing to worry about, would you hit me?”

Patrick would, only he’s shaking too hard to land a punch. “What the hell,” he says, again, and because he’s an idiot he kisses Pete again.

Pete kisses him back, enthusiastic and alive, blood running hot under his skin. He lets go a few minutes later, and there’s still so much life in him that Patrick doesn’t even know what he’ll do with him.

“I don’t know,” Pete says with a crooked smile. “I think you got the general idea.”

That brings Patrick back to his senses, and he moves away. “We can’t,” he says, miserable.

Pete waves him off. “Oh, c'mon, I was due for a molt anyway. I should’ve probably warned you, but seriously, it’s nothing.” He presses close to Patrick, the beat of his heart like a promise, a guarantee. “I have as much as you need.” He moves back just enough to take Patrick’s hand and lay it on his chest. “I know I crash and burn sometimes, but I always get up again, and,” the corners of his mouth rise, “I go down in flames.”

Patrick gently bangs his head against Pete’s shoulder. “Oh my God,” he says, helplessly giggling. “What happened to you teaching me game?”

“Hey, fuck you,” Pete says, but it’s amicable. “I fucking died for you, that should mean something.”

“It was just temporary death, I don’t know if that counts.” Patrick feels lightheaded, the words slipping out unintended. “I mean, I’m okay with it if you are?”

Pete bites him. Not hard, just closing his teeth over the meat of Patrick’s shoulder and tensing. “If it wasn’t enough of a clue for you that I came in my pants the second you touched me? Yeah, asshole, I’m okay with being your boyfriend.”

“I don’t know,” Patrick says through the giant grin breaking out on his face. “I didn’t say anything about boyfriends. Maybe more like food supply?”

At this point, Pete would probably have punched him if it weren’t for Joe, who comes running in and sprays them both liberally with a fire extinguisher.