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Raspberry Tarts

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"I hate him," Nasir says, stirring creamer into his coffee with enough force that Naevia has to raise an eyebrow at him before he ends up spilling coffee all over his desk. Again.

"You don't hate him," she says, turning back to her computer when he stops stirring his coffee. "You like him and that alarms you, so you're a complete and total dick to him every time he comes into the office."

Nasir glares at her, and she looks at him serenely over the colour-coordinated spreadsheet she's working on. "I am not a dick to him," he hisses, lowering his voice when Spartacus wanders by with a handful of papers and two sponsors in suits and ties.

Naevia sighs. "Nasir, the last time he smiled at you you went and shouted at the photocopier for half an hour."

"There was a paper jam!"

"That you created, by hitting the buttons too hard, because you're not man enough to handle his dimples."

Nasir scowls. "Fuck you."

Naevia just beams at him. "Come on, we're meant to be in that meeting." She grabs Nasir by the crook of his elbow, and pulls him in the direction that Spartacus had gone. Nasir follows, snagging his coffee and his laptop from his desk. "Anyway, he's the one who keeps us in coffee and pastries," Naevia says, "How can you hate the Agron-the-good-looking-coffee-and-pastry-guy?"

"Because he's too fucking tall for his own good," Nasir grumbles, and is about to go into the whole thing about how his eyes are also far too green to be natural, but Naevia elbows him in the stomach and he has to put on a bright smile for one of the two sponsors they're meeting with today.

The gist of the meeting is, there is not quite enough money to get the festival running.

There is never quite enough money.

Still, Spartacus has a golden tongue, and he spins pretty promises, and Naevia kicks Nasir under the table and rolls her eyes until he does his part by smiling at the younger sponsor (a bit pudgy, garish tie, dull eyes, and no dimples... not that he cares) from beneath his lashes, and accidentally on purpose dropping his files at the door when they're all leaving, and bending over and sticking his ass in the air like he's in a low budget porn film to retrieve them.

The sponsors' eyes are a little glazed when he stands back up, and Spartacus looks like he doesn't know whether to call Nasir out on his definitely, not at all legal tactics, or kiss him, because the guy in charge is writing a check.

Naevia is flat out smirking, and Nasir pinches her in the side. "You owe me lunch," he whispers, and she nods, pasting on a smile for the sponsors. The younger one hands Nasir his business card, which has his phone number scrawled on the back of it and which Nasir takes great pleasure in feeding it through the paper shredder as soon as they're gone.

Spartacus wanders over to them, looking like he's already lost in running the figures in his head, to see if they'll be able to squeak by this time. "We're going to have to pull a bunch of all-nighters," he tells them regretfully. "And I'm going to talk to Barca and Pietros, see if the dance company would be okay with taking a little less than their regular fee."

"Someday," Nasir tells him. "Someday can we please write a budget for an arts festival that doesn't include my having to pretend I'm a rent boy, just to get it off the ground?"

"Next year, I promise," Spartacus says, clapping Nasir on the shoulder, and he's too earnest about it for Nasir to remind him that that's what he said last year. Spartacus digs out his wallet and hands it to Naevia. "Get yourselves some lunch, on me," he says. "I'm going to go over the budget one more time."

"You want anything?" Naevia asks, gathering both Nasir and her purse. Spartacus asks for some weird vegan wrap, and Nasir makes a face, before trotting after Naevia and the pointy-toed neon pumps she favours in the summer.

Nasir loves getting lunch with Naevia. Actually, he loves spending time with Naevia, period. He gets so furious sometimes, at the whole world, and she's this wonderful, comforting beacon that he can cling to, who lets him sit next to her and chill out when he needs to, and who kicks him in the ass when he needs it. Also, she once tracked down and intimidated an ex who just wouldn't leave him alone. She's sort of like the sister he never had.

Except for when she's being a total bitch, like now, when she's got her hand planted square in the small of his back and is directing him towards the coffee shop that the guy with the dimples works at.

"You," he grits out, struggling against her surprisingly strong hold, "you are such a fucking traitor, Naevia, I swear to god."

She just pushes her fingers into his spine more tightly, and he flinches. "Crixus is teaching me jujitsu," she tells him calmly. "Stop squirming, or I will hurt you."

Tall, broad-shouldered and handsome is standing behind the counter in the cafe, and Nasir takes a moment to consider what Naevia might do to him, until she leans forward and whispers: "If you run away, I will hurt you, and then he'll probably feel the need to take you to the hospital, and you'll have to spend even more time with him."

Which is, okay, a good argument.

Nasir sighs hugely, and opens the door to the cafe, glaring at the guy behind the counter when he straightens up and smiles widely at both of them.

"Hey guys," he says, beaming. His accent is plummy and does things to Nasir's stomach, and Nasir hates him. "I didn't know you were planning on coming in this afternoon. You could have called, and I'd have brought some stuff up for you."

"Big meeting," Naevia says, shrugging. "Spartacus gave us a little bit of time off."

The guy smiles even wider. "Lucky me, then. What can I get you?"

He is too good-looking. It makes Nasir twitchy. He stands behind Naevia while she orders for the two of them and Spartacus, and makes small talk, and checks the guy out from behind Naevia's shoulders.

His name is Agron, apparently, which Naevia knows, because she is a traitor. And Agron is so utterly Nasir's type that it makes him irrationally furious. Because how dare one person be so good looking.

Agron is tall, with these amazing, wide shoulders, and big hands. He cuts the necks out of his t-shirts, and his skin is sort of golden, and his eyes are really green. It's not fair. Agron chats amiably with Naevia, doing his best to bring Nasir into the conversation, and then pretending like he doesn’t mind when Nasir just mumbles in response and pretends to check his phone, while he slices cheese and vegetables, tosses a salad, and swipes a few carrot sticks for himself.

He’s halfway done with their orders – Naevia’s ordered some huge, intricate salad, with everything from beets to cranberries – when Naevia’s phone goes off, and she makes a big show of excusing herself to answer it.

Nasir shuffles awkwardly at the counter, Agron’s warm smiles feeling twice as dangerous now, without Naevia to act as a human shield. Agron doesn’t try to talk with him, though, just smiles at him a little bit, and bends his head over the sandwiches he’s putting together. His hands are huge, and his fingers are sure around the handle of the knife he’s using to slice an avocado.

Nasir doesn’t swoon, but it’s a close thing.

Naevia drifts over after another minute of hushed whispering on the phone, and taps Nasir on the shoulder. “Crisis back at work,” she says. “I’ve got to head back to the office.” Nasir opens his mouth to protest, but she just presses Spartacus’ wallet into his hands, and smirks at him. “Get me a cappuccino, okay?”

She’s gone in a flash of pencil skirt and pointy heels before Nasir can say anything, and he’s stuck staring at Agron like a deer in the headlights, or something equally unattractive.

“Crisis?” Agron asks, raising an eyebrow, while he wraps a sheet of wax paper around Spartacus’ sandwich.

“It’s been a bit of a rough day,” Nasir tells him, sighing. He rubs a hand over his face, and lets his shoulders slump a little bit. “We met with sponsors earlier, and the budget’s going to be a little tight.”

Agron is looking at him with this strange, soft look on his face when Nasir looks at him again, and he shakes himself when Nasir raises his eyebrows at him. “Remind me what it is that your office does?”

“You don’t know?” Nasir asks. Agron’s in their office two or three times a week, delivering coffee, or sandwiches, and smiling and distracting Nasir from the urgent emails he tries to busy himself with.

“I know it’s something artsy,” Agron says, boxing up Naevia’s salad. “Your office looks like an art collective exploded in it.”

Nasir, against his will, laughs. “We put on an arts festival,” he says. “Music and dance, primarily, but we’ve got a couple of installations planned for the launch. My job is publicity, mainly, although there’s never enough time, or money or manpower to get all the shit done that needs to get done, so we all sort of end up doing a little bit of everything.”

“Like fetching coffee?” Agron asks, swinging a large paper bag full of lunch onto the counter.

Nasir grins. “Exactly like fetching coffee.” He collects the food, and watches Agron turn to the coffee machine. He orders a green tea for Spartacus and a latte for himself, to go with Naevia’s cappuccino, and does his best not to stare at Agron’s hands while he manipulates the coffee machine.

When he’s done, Agron puts the beverages into a container, and hands them over. He swipes Spartacus’ card, and then glances at Nasir, before bending over the shelves of pastries by the front counter. He reaches a hand in and pulls out a delicate slice of raspberry tart, slides it carefully into a bag, and hands it to Nasir.

“I didn’t order…”

“You look tired,” Agron says, staring fixedly at a spot over Nasir’s shoulder. “This was my grandmother’s recipe.”

Nasir takes the bag from him, and doesn’t sigh like a heroine in a bodice-ripper when their fingers brush. “Thanks,” he says, a little awkwardly. “I love raspberries.”

Agron looks at him then, and grins so wide it’s like the sun has dawned. Nasir clears his throat loudly, and grabs everything a bit clumsily. He’s resorting to mediocre similes in his mind, and he needs to leave immediately.

“Do you need a hand with…”

“I’m fine!” Nasir says, far too loudly in the otherwise empty café, and he waves blindly and shuffles out, blushing furiously.

Naevia is calmly checking her email when he gets back to the office, definitely not in crisis mode, and he leaves her the cappuccino and a scowl. He passes lunch out around the office, and then sits at his own desk, opening his email, and ignoring the raspberry tart on the corner of his desk.

He waits until the end of the day to eat the tart.

Spartacus is mumbling to himself over a budget spreadsheet, and Naevia is in the foyer, yelling at someone on the phone, and he shuts his laptop and fetches himself a fork from the kitchen.

The raspberry tart has gotten a little smudged since Agron gave it to him, but it smells amazing, and he takes a careful bite, letting his eyes fall closed as soon as the slightly sour raspberries hit his tongue. It’s fucking sinful, the pastry buttery and crumbling, the raspberries half sweet and half sour. He catches himself before he lets out a moan that would not be considered workplace appropriate, and opens his eyes to take another bite.

Naevia is standing right in front of him, and he jumps, clutching his heart, and then cupping a protective hand around the tart. Naevia just raises knowing eyebrows at him, and moves on to Spartacus’ office. Nasir sticks his tongue out at her, and goes back to his dessert.

He barely refrains from licking the fork when he’s done, throws it away regretfully, and goes back to the mass of emails he has to reply to to secure permits, complete artists’ contracts, and finish press releases.

Spartacus is still working when he leaves at nine, and Nasir makes him a cup of tea from the kitchen because Spartacus’ hair is starting to look a little crazy, and gets a grateful and tired smile for his efforts. He walks by the café on the way to his car, and it’s closed, but there’s a light on in the back kitchen. He pauses at the door, shakes himself, and keeps walking.

The festival is Spartacus’ dream. A celebration of art, dance, and music erupting spontaneously across the city at the beginning of June. They’ve put it on the past couple years, with grants, and favours and their own blood and sweat and tears.

Nasir is incredibly proud of it – he’s met and made friends from the work he’s done on it, and he respects Spartacus’ vision utterly – but sometime it’s really fucking frustrating. Especially when they’re a week away from the launch of the festival, running on too much coffee and too little sleep, and dealing with an average of three crises per day.

Nasir feels ragged. He’s not sure if Spartacus has slept at all over the last two days, and Crixus has resorted to picking Naevia up at the office each night, because otherwise she would never stop working.

Pietros calls at noon on Tuesday, sounding uncharacteristically frantic. Apparently, the technical engineer for the space that he and Barca have been rehearsing in has gone missing, and a couple techs began deconstructing the stage before the dancers arrived in the morning. Nasir can hear Barca in the background, shouting at someone, and he pulls an elastic off his wrist, ties his hair up, and puts Pietros on speaker, reaching blindly for his coffee as he prepares to deal with it.

Eight hours later, Nasir has missed both lunch and dinner, his hair is curling at his temples, his throat is raw because he spent an immensely satisfying hour shouting on the phone at three.

He feels like he’s been run over by a bus, and he’s so hungry he’s going a little cross-eyed, but the day is saved, the stage is being rebuilt, Barca is calm, and Pietros had fervently promised that he’d buy him a drink the next time they were able to take the time to get drunk.

Naevia had left with Crixus an hour ago, pressing a sympathetic kiss to Nasir’s cheek, and Spartacus had followed her soon after for a meeting over dinner and hopefully some sleep. The office is empty, and the silence rings a little bit, but that might be because Nasir is going delirious from lack of sleep and food. He rests his head on his desk for a few minutes and just breathes, then kicks off his shoes and lets his hair down.

He wanders into the kitchen aimlessly to check if there’s any food in the fridge. There isn’t, but someone has left a menu on the counter by the sink, and when Nasir picks it up he sees that it’s from Agron’s café.

He laughs a little bit, because it’s late, and he’s too tired to be ridiculous about Agron right now. Also, the place is right next door so he’ll get the food in under a minute, and if he sounds pathetic enough over the phone, Agron might even give him more free raspberry tarts.

He dials before he’s done thinking about it, and Agron picks up on the second ring.

“Hullo?”

“Hey, are you still delivering?”

“… Nasir?”

“Mmm.”

“Are you okay? You sound a little funny?”

“I’ve been on the phone for eight hours, diffusing a crisis. I haven’t eaten anything since breakfast, and I haven’t slept more than four hours a night for a couple weeks. Do you have any more of those raspberry tarts?”

“Since breakfast?”

“Yeah, working for a non-profit arts organizations sucks sometimes.” Nasir lets his head thunk against one of their kitchen cabinets. “Also, there’s a million fucking press envelopes that need to be labeled and stuffed by tomorrow morning, so it looks like I’m going to have to pull another all-nighter. Seriously, though, raspberry tarts? Do you have any?”

“Yeah,” Agron sounds hesitant. “You should probably eat something too.” Nasir hums noncommittally, and keeps his eyes closed. “And do you want me to bring you some coffee?”

“Yes. Please, yes, oh my god.”

Agron laughs a little at the urgency in Nasir’s voice. “I’ll be there in ten minutes, okay?”

“Thank you,” Nasir manages, and slides his phone back into his pocket.

Agron walks into the office ten minutes later on the dot, but Nasir doesn’t see him.

He’s sprawled across the couch in the middle of their office, an arm thrown over his eyes, and he jumps and nearly kicks Agron in the face when he bends down and shakes his ankle gently.

Nasir takes his arm off his eyes, and smiles brightly up at Agron, who stares at him like he’s gone crazy. Agron’s eyes are full of boxes wrapped in aluminum foil, and he’s got a cardboard cup of coffee in one hand.

Nasir pushes himself up and makes grabby hands for the coffee, raking a hand through his tangled hair. He takes a deep sip of the latte: highly caffeinated and made with a splash of vanilla, just the way he likes it. He hums happily, and when he looks up from the coffee, Agron is staring at him like he’s going to disappear. Feeling suddenly self-conscious, Nasir touches his hair, and Agron’s eyes go to it immediately, his tongue wetting his lips, and Nasir shivers a little bit.

“Sorry,” he apologizes nonsensically, wrapping his fingers around his coffee. “I’m a little bit of a mess today.” He is – his trousers are rumpled, his shirt is untucked, and the knuckles of his right hand are stained with ink from where his pen exploded halfway through the day.

“No,” Agron says quickly. “No, you look… good. I mean, you always look good, but you look… I mean, your hair… is…” Nasir looks at him, and Agron looks incredibly awkward for a second and then thrusts the boxes of food at him. Nasir fumbles with them. “I like…” Agron starts, and Nasir freezes, whipping around to look at him. “I like your hair. Like that.” Agron says, and then wraps a hand around the back of his neck. “Okay. So I’ll just…go.”

Nasir, is oddly charmed.

“Do you want to stay?” He asks, before he’s thought through what he’s going to say. “It would be nice to have some company.”

Agron looks like Nasir has offered him something far more amazing than his frazzled company in an empty office. “Yeah,” he says. “I… okay.”

Nasir sits cross-legged on the couch, scooting backwards until there’s enough room for Agron as well, and opens the boxes of food. “Holy shit,” he says, grinning. “I haven’t had a home-cooked meal in weeks.” He looks up at Agron, who looks incredibly pleased with himself. “I was expecting a sandwich, this is amazing.”

Agron shrugs, and Nasir goes for forks from the kitchen and offers one to Agron before diving into the food. There’s pasta salad and cut veggies with hummus, bread that tastes like it’s been freshly baked, an enormous salad with fresh greens, and feta cheese and slices of sweet, sweet pear. Nasir eats steadily, and drinks his coffee, and Agron picks through the food, digging out slices of pear from the salad, and dipping carrots in the tub of hummus.

They eat quietly, but it’s a comfortable silence, and when Nasir finishes eating he leans tiredly against the back of the couch. Agron looks at him softly, and stands to gather the containers together. Nasir watches him move through the quiet office, broad-shouldered and so damn tall, and he’s a little bit in love with him.

Nasir closes his eyes, because it’s too close to the festival launch, and there is so much shit to do, and he doesn’t have time to fall in love with a green-eyed idiot, who brings him dinner without question, and bakes the most wonderful raspberry tarts Nasir has ever eaten.

The couch dips when Agron returns, and when Nasir opens his eyes, Agron is pulling two slices of raspberry tart out of another bag and smiling at him. Nasir’s heart thumps so hard in his chest he thinks Agron might be able to hear it. He sits up and takes a steadying breath, accepting the fork and dessert that Agron is holding out for him.

He savours the bite he takes, sighing happily, and bumping his shoulder against Agron’s. “These are the best raspberry tarts I’ve ever had.”

“Good.”

When the tarts are gone, Nasir is full and happy, and sadly eyeing the stack of letters and envelopes on the table by his desk.

“Are you going to get any sleep tonight?” Agron asks, and Nasir shakes his head.

“Probably not.” He points at the stacks. “Fucking press releases. I was supposed to do them earlier, but then… crisis.”

“I had no idea running a festival could be so hazardous to your health,” Agron says, smirking.

Nasir snorts, and shakes his head. “You have no idea. Spartacus nearly electrocuted himself yesterday, because he was trying to make tea and charge his phone at the same time. And I’m slightly worried that our sponsors are going to actually try and molest me one year.”

Agron looks alarmed, and Nasir shrugs. “We’ve realized that if I wear tighter jeans to our budget meetings, they give us more money.” Somehow, that doesn’t seem like it appeases Agron at all. Instead he looks a little bit furious, and a strange thought falls into Nasir’s head. Agron’s not… jealous, is he? The thought makes his heart flutter a little, and he squashes it, standing up and stretching until his back cracks.

“I should really start those. We need them by tomorrow morning.”

“I could stay, if you want.” Agron says. “It’s just stuffing envelopes, right? It’ll go faster if we do it assembly line style.”

“I can’t ask you to stay,” Nasir hedges. “It’s going to take hours.”

Agron shrugs. “I don’t mind. I’m pretty used to late nights, anyway.”

Nasir quickly quashes the thought of what Agron might be doing on those late nights, and grins. “That would be awesome, then.”

They get set up like an assembly line: Agron labels the envelopes and Nasir stuffs them. He brings his laptop over and turns on some music, and they talk and laugh, and take breaks every hour or so to lie around on the floor of the office and watch stupid youtube videos. Nasir makes fun of Agron for being a metalhead, and Agron pulls his hair, gently, and Nasir does not throw him on the couch and ravish him, because he is an adult human being with something resembling self-control.

They finish at four in the morning: Nasir has five paper cuts on his fingers, and they have two boxes full of envelopes ready to be mailed. Agron is slumped on the ground, leaning against the couch, and Nasir reaches out to shake his shoulder.

“Thanks so much for staying,” he says. “Can I give you a ride home, or something?”

Agron rolls his shoulders a little bit, and it’s nearly fucking dawn, so Nasir lets himself get distracted by the way the fabric of his shirt clings to his shoulders. “Actually, I’ve got to get back down to the café. If I don’t start baking, I won’t have anything done for today.”

Nasir swears, quietly. “I didn’t mean to keep you so late. Are you going to have any time to rest?”

Agron shrugs. “I can close a little early. And it was no problem, really. I haven’t pulled an all-nighter in years.”

Nasir smiles at him, and stands. “The least I can do is help you out. I don’t really know how to bake, but I can stir or clean, or whatever you need.”

Agron grins at him, wide and loose. “I’ll make us some more coffee.”

Nasir locks the office, and they walk down to the café, where Agron makes them both huge cups of coffee, and pulls a frying pan out of nowhere and scrambles some eggs. They sit in the front of the café, and eat their eggs, watching the sun rise. It’s calm, and Nasir knows he should be exhausted, but his body is on some sort of Agron-induced adrenaline rushed, and he just feels good. Peaceful, and right, and not at all like he hasn’t slept in twenty-four hours.

When they’re done with breakfast, Agron takes Nasir into the back kitchen, which is surprisingly clean. There are huge bags of flour and other baking supplies, and Agron whips up dough, and then sets Nasir to the task of putting it on baking sheets, and sliding the sheets into the oven. They bake chocolate chip cookies, and fluffy scones with apricots and cranberries in them. Agron heats up a vat of oil, and shows Nasir how to drop dough into it to make doughnuts.

They make the raspberry tarts last, and Nasir stands back and lets Agron make them, holding whatever Agron hands him, and stealing the occasional fresh raspberry, licking his fingers until he catches Agron staring at him while he does it.

Agron’s big hands are surprisingly sure and gentle with the pastry, and he boils the raspberries and adds sugar and other secret ingredients before spooning them over the pastry, and laying neat strips of it over that in a delicate interlace.

“It looks beautiful,” Nasir says, after Agron slides the last tray into the ovens. He checks his watch, and Agron dusts his hands off, and taps him on the shoulder with his fist.

“More coffee?”

“Please.”

Nasir walks back up to the office with a box of scones for Spartacus and Naevia, and is calling a courier to come pick up the letters he and Agron labeled the night before when Naevia arrives.

She casts a suspicious eye over his rumpled clothing, and tangled hair. “You look like a mess.”

“Had to pull an all-nighter to get all this shit done,” Nasir tells her when he hangs up, and holds up a hand to stop the instant guilty expression on her face. “And don’t feel bad about it, okay? Agron helped.”

Naevia’s eyebrows climb so high they nearly disappear into her hairline, and Nasir sighs, and drags his chair over to his desk to confess.

“I was exhausted, and you guys were gone, so I called and asked if he’d deliver dinner. And he brought me a whole, fucking home-cooked meal, Nae. It was gorgeous. And then he stayed and ate with me, and offered to help with the letters. So we did that all night and then I offered to help with the baking for the café, because I felt bad for keeping him up all night.” He shrugs, and Naevia eyes him critically over the lip of her coffee cup.

“So, did you fuck him?” She asks, finally, and Nasir chokes on air.

“No! What? No! Jesus…”

“But you want to.”

“… yeah?” Nasir sighs. “I don’t know. I can’t tell if he even likes me.”

Naevia smacks him on the shoulder. “Are you kidding me, Nasir? Get out of my face, I have enough bullshit to deal with today without having to listen to yours.”

Nasir stares at her, but she just picks up her phone, and squares her shoulders the way she does when she’s about to unleash hell on some peon, and he scurries away so he’s not caught in the crossfire.

The remaining few days until the festival are… manic. Nasir sleeps in the office twice, once on the couch, once on the floor of Spartacus’ office, because they drew straws but he cheated because Spartacus looked like he might fall apart if he didn’t get at least a moderately comfortable nights’ sleep. (In the morning, he and Naevia draped a blanket over Spartacus’ head so he thought it was still night time, took care of his email, answered his phone, and didn’t wake him up until noon.)

Nasir sees Agron through the window of the café, and he waves, but never has time to go in. The night before the launch, however, they’re all hunched over a computer, making sure the seating charts are right, and Nasir is half-listening, and half-on the phone with the venue the launch – a somewhat swanky dinner, with a dance floor, an open bar, and an opportunity to get donations from everyone invited – when Agron walks in.

Nasir freezes mid-sentence, because Agron has flour on his shirt, and is carrying a container with coffee cups, and a small bag that he has come to recognize usually carries raspberry tarts.

He moves towards Agron without thinking about it, makes placating noises when the person on the phone shouts in his ear, and stops when he’s toe to toe with Agron.

“I was just leaving,” Agron says, quietly, “and saw that the light was still on, and I thought you guys might need some refreshments.”

“Is that…?” Nasir asks, looking at the bag, and Agron grins.

“Raspberry tart.”

The man on the phone with him is saying something that is possibly very important, about catering for the launch, but Nasir takes the phone away from his ear, wraps his arms around Agron’s neck, and kisses him.

Agron’s hands, full of coffee and desserts, bump awkwardly against his back, but he kisses Nasir eagerly. He tastes like pastry and raspberries, and Nasir sucks on his tongue until Agron gasps, and there is a tinny shouting coming from the other end of the phone. Nasir pulls back, a bit wide-eyed, and stares at Agron, who stares back.

There is a tug at his hand, and he looks over at Naevia, who is shaking her head at both of them, and taking the phone from his hand to placate the caterer. Hands free, Nasir smoothes his palms down Agron’s chest, and looks up at him.

“The festival launches tomorrow,” he says, plucking the bag with the tarts from Agron’s slack hands. “Come with me?”

“Yeah,” Agron says quickly. “Yeah, of course. What time?”

“Seven.”

“Seven, okay. I…” Agron trails off, staring at how Nasir is biting off a corner of a piece of raspberry tart and licking his lips. “Seven. Yeah. I’ll, um.”

“It’s a little fancy,” Nasir tells him. “Do you have a suit?”

Agron nods wordlessly, and Nasir takes another bite of tart, smiling happily at the taste. “Okay, then. I’ve got to be there to help set up, but I’ll text you the address, okay?”

Agron nods, and then ducks down to steal another kiss. Which deepens, until Naevia claps her hands loudly, right next to them, and they both jump apart.

“If you two are done being idiots,” she says, loudly, “We need Nasir to help us look at these seating arrangements.”

Agron nods, and waves a little. He hands over the coffee, and Nasir stares shamelessly at his ass as he goes.

Naevia pats him on the shoulder. “I bet he fucks like a god,” she says, and Spartacus flinches so hard he nearly spills his coffee all over the keyboard.

“There are some things I cannot unhear!” He says, loudly, and Naevia just laughs.

The night of the launch Nasir brings his fancy clothes to the venue itself, so he can run around like an idiot in jeans and a t-shirt making sure everything is perfect before getting fancy. He and Spartacus change in the bathroom together, and he knots Spartacus’ tie for him, because the fool can never get it right. He brushes his hair, carefully, and puts some gel in it to keep it in place, before tying it up. The last thing is his waistcoat, made of a slightly stiff, grey material that he buttons over his ribcage, and smoothes down.

He rubs nervously at the bags under his eyes while Spartacus combs his own hair, until Spartacus sighs, and knocks his hands away. He straightens Nasir’s collar, and looks him in the eyes. “I’d fuck you,” he says, and then, over Nasir’s laughter, “stop worrying. You look good.”

Nasir looks in the mirror, and nods at his reflection. He does look good.

Agron looks better.

Although judging by the shocked look on his face when he catches a glimpse of Nasir through the crowd, Nasir is guessing he likes what he sees as well.

Agron’s combed his hair, and has on a white shirt, and a suit jacket, but no tie. He looks a little uncomfortable in the suit, but it looks damn good on him, and Nasir, sleep-deprived, ecstatic, and already a little tipsy on free champagne falls right into his arms. Agron catches him, because of course he does, and he smells like the pastries in the café. Nasir has put on cologne, and Agron nudges his nose into Nasir’s neck, sniffing and kissing the sensitive skin there. Nasir goes a little weak in the knees, but he blames it on the champagne.

There are a handful of people he has to greet, and he drags Agron with him while he makes the rounds, before finding Naevia, who takes one look at him, and rolls her eyes.

“Get out of here,” she says. “Spartacus and I can handle it.”

He kisses her on the cheek, and drags Agron from the venue, past the overcrowded dance floor, and the table full of promotional flyers that he had stocked earlier, out into the night. It might be the light, but when he stops in front of his car, and looks up at Agron, Agron has stars in his eyes.

“Right,” Nasir says, when Agron’s hands come up to cup his hips and draw him up into a kiss. “Right. I need you to take me home and fuck me, please.”

Agron gives him a shit-eating grin, and nips at his neck. Nasir moans, and kicks Agron in the foot. “Home,” he demands. “Now.”

They go to Nasir’s place, even though he’s slightly worried that his bed might be dusty, due to all the time he’s spent sleeping at the office lately. Agron just kisses him when he voices his concerns, though, and crowds him into the wall on their way to the bedroom. Agron is huge, a full head taller than Nasir, but Nasir is quick, and strong, and when they make it to the bed he shoves Agron down and straddles his waist.

The look on Agron’s face is something he never wants to forget. Part lust, and part awe: his eyes huge and green, and his lips wet and shining. Nasir kisses him hard, and lets Agron roll them over and pull at his clothes.

Naevia is right: Agron does fuck like a god.

And in the morning, when Nasir has to get to work, to make sure that the festival runs smoothly, Agron wakes up with him, sucks him off in the shower, and then makes breakfast while he gets dressed. They eat together and then Nasir drives Agron to the café.

He comes back around midday to buy coffee for the whole office, and kisses Agron greedily over the counter, marking his territory. Agron grins at him for it, and rewards him with a sweet bite of raspberry tart, placed gently in the center of his tongue.