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Life is now. (and now, and now)

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Fredag, 23:56
16.12.16

 

A week ago, it'd been untied shoes skidding around a street corner, police sirens in the distance, a stopping taxi and the tear on his cheek nearly freezing before it could drop to the empty city sidewalk.

He had no fucking clue how now it was fuzzy socks on tiptoe, a boisterous cheer behind them, mistletoe overhead, a circle around his waist strong enough he couldn’t remember what it felt like to fall.

Isak didn't hear, know, care. Even was here, here, taste on his lips, arm around him warm, everything he'd ever need and how long had he been standing here staring?

Halla, there you are,” Even teased, some kind of serenade and Isak blinked twice, finally tearing his eyes away from where he'd been gazing hopelessly up at his boyfriend.

“Hm? Did I miss something?”

Well, if the laughing boys were any indication. But Even was laughing too, pressing a warm, giggly kiss to his cheek and pulling half his mouth up in a crooked smile with it.

“It's not my fault,” he insisted, shoving a half-hearted hand he didn't mean. Even caught it over his heart, fingers tangling as Isak sent him a very faux glare before turning dramatically to the boys.

“He's just that...fan-tastic of a kisser guys, dunno what to tell you.”

A brighter laugh, Even’s hand shoving him back as his cheeks lit up pink and it was Isak’s turn to go up on tiptoes again, peck one sweet smiling cheekbone to memorize the taste before it disappeared.

Jesus fuck, they were sappy.

Mahdi shook his head and Jonas ducked his, grin fading at the corners and drawing Isak's eyebrows together with it.

Now was hardly the time though, the party was nearly over and the boys still had to wrangle up Magnus from whatever he and Vilde dare do in the public hallway of an apartment building, then there was the whole fucking cleaning thing.

He'd never seen so much glitter in his life honestly.

“You boys are planning to stay and help out, right?” Isak smiled, innocent and bright-eyed as both Mahdi’s and Jonas’s faces dropped.

“Uh, man. About that…”

“He’s kidding. We’d no more ask you to stay than Vilde,” Even interjected, the arm around his waist shaking him as that infectious smile flickered his way.

“Excuse me, we? This is my house.”

“And mine!” Eskild piped up, sweeping past with a broom and a pail already in tow. “And Linn’s, and we agree that Even has just as much of a say as you, so.”

“What?!”

Isak’s mouth popped open as Jonas’s barked laugh of surprise echoed and Even’s touch disappeared to clap Eskild’s passing shoulder, smile bright as the fucking galaxies in his eyes.

“On that note, we’re heading out.” Mahdi and Jonas both offered salutes with smiles, Jonas’s tipping up just a bit more as Isak caught his gaze and held it.

“God jul, Isak.”

“I’ll see you again before Christmas,” Isak called after him and Jonas shook his head once, already backed halfway for the door.

“Still. God jul to you too, Even.”

“God jul!” Even caroled back, words nearly cut off with the kiss he planted on Isak’s cheek, one hand cupping carefully under his jaw as lips trailed up his cheekbone to ghost over his ear. “Hey you.”

“Halla,” Isak murmured in response, side of his mouth tipping up as Even’s arm snaked around his stomach, enough pressure to press his spine secure against Even’s chest as they slid in place against each other.

“Uh uh, don’t think I’m letting you get away with this again. I learned well enough the first go round, and you’re actually gonna help clean up this time. None of that false pretense of helping out just so you can try and--”

His mini lecture was cut off by the mouth on his again, two strong arms tightening around his stomach as Even squeezed him tight and kissed him deep enough to make his toes curl.

Yeah, see, the first time Even tried to kiss him he’d stayed after at a pre-drink to “help clean” and ended up spinning some story about aluminum legs to get close enough to go in for the kiss, which had been interrupted by Noora getting home but Isak hadn’t been able to clean a single goddamn thing for the rest of the night because he couldn’t stop thinking about how fucking close Even had been, how electric the look was in those eyes, how fucking fast his heart had been pounding.

No way he was gonna leave all the cleaning to Eskild and Linn again, he was already indebted to them for taking such good care of Even this week and.

And Jesus fuck, if Even kept kissing him like that he was gonna melt right to the floor.

“Mmrm,” he attempted to protest, but apparently Even took that as a moan of sorts because the next thing he knew he was being spun around, one hand on his shoulder and the other on his chest, shoving him hard into the closest wall.

He really did wanna help clean up, he swore.

In fact, he had absolutely no idea how both his hands made their way into Even’s hair, let alone how one of his legs ended up hitched over Even’s hip but fuck fuck, he couldn’t breathe, mouthing helplessly desperate at the lips that were probably leaving bruises back and he couldn’t fucking believe Even just pulled that fucking move, who did he think he was, shoving him around like this just so he could grind their hips together until the only thing Isak could see were ten thousand fucking stars--

“Holy shit?”

It was kinda a miracle Eskild’s voice registered at all, but Isak’s head snapped to the side fucking quick how much his brain wasn’t working.

Did Even stop? Of course not, now that he couldn’t ravage Isak’s mouth he was sucking and biting his way down Isak’s neck which was really also not helpful for the current situation.

“Fuck,” he managed, and the resounding gravel-filled purr Even sent into his skin wasn’t actually what he meant by that, Jesus Christ.

“Even, Even, hey--”

Vague shoving hands on shoulders and Even finally lifted his head, scanning Isak’s face before he finally caught on and followed his gaze.

“Oh.”

“Yeah, oh!” It came out a little high pitched and breathless, which only made Even’s gaze cut to his with that sharp intensity again and Isak had to physically peel Even’s hand off his hitched up knee to stand on two goddamn feet.

"Were you boys planning to help or...” Drawn out, wiggling eyebrows and all. Isak had no defense but to roll his eyes, spinning for the kitchen. Even's fingers tangled up in his, sideways and haphazard and making his heart pound.

“We’re actually gonna help, okay?” Isak shot Even a very serious glance over his shoulder and the only thing he got back was the eyebrow thing. Up down, quick but at least the little smile on his face wasn’t that mischievous.

They made it through emptying about half the beer cans before Even “accidentally” bumped Isak into the counter, making him fold from the force of it, just enough that sparks went right down to his toes and their locked gazes both shot straight to fire.

“The dishes,” Even started and yeah, no, they could clean the whole damn apartment tomorrow.

Isak shoved off the counter and had both his arms wrapped around Even’s neck less than three seconds later.

They stumbled for the nearest hard surface, which was why Isak was propped on the kitchen counter with his legs around Even’s waist when all three of their roommates walked back in.

Unfortunately, neither of them heard until Noora threw a beer can into the trash, loud clatter making them both start. Violently enough on Isak’s part he almost fell off the damn counter. Even caught his hips just in time, and there really wasn’t any choice left but to bury his face in Even’s freakishly long neck and die.

The shoulder he was hiding in lifted, a shrug that would hopefully come along with an apologetic, eloquent excuse as to why they couldn’t get a single damn thing done--

“He’s really hot,” Even told them and Isak popped up, scoffing in offense as he socked the shoulder he’d been laying on a second ago.

“Don’t blame this on me!”

“It’s your fault!” Even shot back, gaze turning back to him and Isak’s mouth was open in offense, originally, but Even was looking at him like that and now he just couldn’t close it. The sparkly fucking eyes cut down to his lips and yep, okay, what roommates?

“Um, well. Before you jump each other’s bones again, could you maybe get off the kitchen counter? We still need to clean, so.” A smile mixed in which actually wasn’t helping because if they weren’t so damn happy for him then maybe he wouldn't be making out on the kitchen counter.

“We’ll help clean, really.” Isak very seriously peeled Even’s hands off his hips, attempting to wiggle free so he could hop down. “It’s not like we can’t--”

“Oh go get a room,” Eskild flicked his wrist at them and the next thing Isak knew he wasn’t on the kitchen counter anymore, he was being carried out of the kitchen with his legs wrapped around a tapered, pretty waist.

“Oy, oy, hva faen--”

At least he had the decency to shout an I’m sorry! as loud as he could before Even kicked their bedroom door shut behind him.

Three voices lifted in a chorus right back.

“God jul!”

Wait, fuck. Not their bedroom, but his, but Even had lived here for a week now and it was both the best and worst week of his life and god, fuck, he was gonna meet Even’s parents tomorrow, he was gonna meet his boyfriend’s parents tomorrow. His roommates had sent them off to have sex because they couldn’t keep their hands off each other and all his friends talked about how they'd never seen Isak so happy and looking in the mirror he wasn't sure he had either and

The mattress collided with his spine, bouncing where he’d been tossed onto his bed and by god, was he gonna have some words with that boyfriend of his once he stopped being so fucking hot about that whole being fucking hot thing he was doing. At the expense of Isak being toted and tossed around.

Which, wow, really wasn’t so bad when Even was looking at him with gray-blue burning like that, hands wide and possessive as they popped the button on his jeans, lifting his ass all the way off the bed to slide them off inside out. They were his darkest, tightest skinny jeans, which had been actual hell to get into but by god, he’d do it every day if Even peeled them off him like this.

“Skinny jeans, are you trying to start something?” A shaking head with a smile, all affection through the heat as he pressed a kiss to an exposed piece of thigh, jeans discarded and Isak lifted an eyebrow, fingers through the swirls of gravity-defying hair.

“I have no idea what you're talking about, aren't you supposed to dress nice for parties?”

“I showed up in a hoodie, that hardly counts as nice,” Even teased, and Isak cocked his head, running a thumb over where the material met the warm skin of his neck.

“I like you in my clothes,” he replied, a little soft and a lot honest. The first time he’d come home to see Even wrapped up in his favorite gray hoodie he’d nearly burst with the tightening in his chest. It was the same half-smile crooked on his face now, curls splaying on the pillow as Even leaned up over him, that same beautiful sparkle in those eyes.

“I like wearing them.”

The kiss to follow was so achingly domestic, short and soft and sweet and everything he’d never thought he’d find, but.

Here he was.

It turned pretty quick into a smatter of kisses though, soft and quick to quickening and heart-thudding, the kind he could feel tingling their remnants in his fingertips.

Breathless, swept away, lifted on the highest cloud and tugged through the deepest ocean, that’s what this felt like. Fuck poetry, but fuck Even Bech Næsheim, okay.

“Mmm, gotta say though, as much as I like you in my clothes,” a hand shoving between layers, sliding those strong arms free as he swallowed hard, gaze locked on the expectant scalding one,

“...I really like you out of them, too.”

Y’know, considering that a week and a half ago he was blushing dumbstruck as Even called him hot in the hallway, he’d say this was one hell of a glow up.

“Is that so?” Even purred, low and dark, teeth grazing his ear as his grip tightened involuntarily in swoops of pretty hair. “Because it just so happens…”

Isak’s breathing was picking up before quick fingers made it halfway through the gray buttons down his chest.

“...I like you out of your clothes too.”

“Merry Christmas?” Isak offered and Even laughed, peppering kisses down each piece of stomach he exposed, popping open the last button to spread his shirt open wide, teeth closing around the top band of his boxers as fingers curled to tug.

The snap against his stomach echoed as Even dropped the band from his teeth, eyebrows knit in concern as he looked up, wrists locked beneath Isak’s grip. It was kinda abrupt to just catch Even’s hands like that but he’d just realized something that was. High key important enough to stop this abruptly.

They hadn’t had sex in a week.

Which usually would be fine, but the last time they’d had sex Even was in a manic episode and he’d snapped right after, then fell into this terrifying depressive episode that had been their life of up and down since Saturday.

So they couldn’t just have sex, not when he wasn’t sure about how Even was feeling, really, and if this was what he wanted or if it was just what those kinda kisses lead to. Because he would be completely, entirely fine with just making out all night and curling together to fall asleep in the heat between them.

But the longer he held Even’s hands still, lips parted as he tried to figure out how to say that, the deeper the crease grew.

“Are you sure? I don't want...I mean, do you. I don’t want you to feel like...you have to.”

A moment’s pause as Isak held his breath, listening to the thud of the heartbeat under his fingertips. Strong, steady, beautiful.

“I don't feel like I have to,” Even swore, as incredulous and open as that day so long ago in the locker room, of course I’m not sad. “I want this. I want you.”

And it was with the same sweet certainty that he closed the space between their mouths, sliding up Isak’s body, eyes closed before their lips touched, hands cupping his neck the way that had that fuckin’ fateful day.

Today’s conversation was gonna end differently, he could promise that. When their mouths broke apart he kept Even close, hands weaving in his hair, eyes locked, ten thousand times more serious than he’d been in that locker room.

“I just want you to be sure. If you're not ready, it's completely fine.”

“Not ready? I was never incapacitated, thank you very much.” His eyes crinkled when he said it, but the corners of his mouth didn't. Yeah, okay, apparently he was gonna fuck up this conversation too.

“Nei, nei, I know that. I swear. But it's been awhile, and a lot has changed, and…”

A shaky breath as he cursed internally, Even’s smile fading entirely as his gaze shifted, bubbling up with emotion as blue flickered between his eyes like Isak was holding the entire world on the tip of his tongue.

“Are you sure?” Mouth quiet and closed for a moment, all calculations and sinking bones as Even’s gaze cut away, hands burning where they were still cupping Isak’s neck. “Because. I mean, if you don't want to be together like this anymore--”

“Wo-ah. No way.” Blue cut back up to him, just the slightest bit hopeful as Isak made his craziest you’ve got to be kidding me face he had, mouth open a beat and a half too long before he finally just fucking said it.

“...I've never wanted you inside me so bad in my life.”

Even’s eyebrows shot straight up on his forehead, the slightest hint of a smile tugging a corner of his mouth, looking so goddamn kissable in that tight white tshirt. Isak, not want to have sex with Even anymore? Yeah, uh, no way in hell.

It definitely wasn’t him he was worried about here.

“But seriously, Even, I'll feel awful if I ever overstep and I just. Don't want to, I dunno, push you into something just because you feel like you have to, or even just should,” he was rambling, but he still wasn’t really great at this whole talk-to-cute-boys thing so, “I guess I’m just trying to say you know you better than anybody else and I don't want to assume the way you feel--”

“I feel like I also have never wanted to be inside you more,” Even interrupted, one eyebrow arched up high and Isak stopped talking, mouth hanging open as he looked up at the shiny bright that’d crept back into pretty eyes somewhere in the middle of his insecure rambling.

“Wow. Well.” He swallowed once, double checking Even’s expression, the light in his eyes, the curve of his mouth, which he couldn't really tear his eyes away from now. “Glad we're in agreement then.”

“Mmhm.” A slight pause centimeters before their lips touched and Isak couldn’t breathe, lungs completely wrapped up again, then Even’s mouth was crashing into his and he was long gone all over again.

Their lips broke mid-kiss, leaving him gasping for air as Even mouthed his way back down Isak’s chest, stomach, eager and sweet with Isak’s hand in his hair. “Agreement, it’s uh, oh fuck, Even, fuck, ah ah--”

Well. It turned out they were on the same terms after all.

 

~*~*~

 

Lørdag, 09:49
17.12.16

 

It was actually the...first time, he’d ever woken up with Even’s arms around him. Between drawings and breakfast and staying up all night and the past week, it just hadn’t really happened until right now.

Fuck, what a reason to live for right now, though.

Isak smiled into his pillow - the blue one, which they were apparently sharing right now, no wonder he slept so well the gray one fucking sucked - and decided he was going to lay right here, with his eyes shut, forever.

Except either Even knew him better than he thought, already, or there was some telepathic shit he hadn’t been let in on, because he only got to lay there in utter blissful peace, two arms around him, warm breath on the back of his neck, knees tucked up behind his for like three fucking minutes before puckered lips were pressing down on his shoulder.

“Good morn’,” a low rusty voice reverberated into his spine and Isak groaned, squeezing the arm under his fingers in acknowledgment and vague protest.

“Ten more minutes,” he breathed, wiggling slightly to settle in closer to Even’s chest.

“You’re gonna fall back asleep,” the echo-y voice warned and Isak at least attempted a sound to negate it, but.

The next thing he knew it was somehow 10:30 and Even was kissing the back of his neck, a lot, enough that his brainstem was sending ten thousand messages up into his dreams, pulling him back into reality wrapped in silk and sunshine.

“Mmm, welcome back,” echo-y voice teased and Isak scrunched up his nose in offense, eyelashes fluttering.

“Hva faaaen,” he complained instead, turning to peek up at the pretty face smiling over his shoulder.

“Hmm?”

“I don’t wanna wake up, I wanna lay here forever.”

“Aww.” A soft kiss to his cheekbone and Isak groaned, dropping his head back to the pillow. Why did Even have to be a morning person. It wasn’t fair.

“Fuck off. I’m not getting out of bed.”

“No? We have plans today, remember?”

“Fuck plans.” Isak rolled just enough to see Even properly, grip secure to make sure the arms around his waist weren’t planning on leaving anytime soon. “Lay here with me.”

A soft kiss to his mouth, domestic and sweet, tugging enough to make little sparks go off behind closed eyes.

“Is this how you always are in the morning?” Even whispered into his mouth and Isak leaned back a little, letting the pillow sink beneath his head. Jesus, he could lay here gazing up at those pretty eyes with these arms around him for the rest of his entire life and not want a single other thing.

If only this could be how he always was in the morning.

“What, lazy and stubborn?”

“I was going to say soft and sleepwarm, but yeah, that too.” He could feel the laugh even louder than he heard it, tumbling out of Even’s chest just as warm as everything else too.

It wasn’t like he could listen to that beautiful laugh when he was this weak and not reach up and kiss Even for it. There was only so much a man could stand

“Mmm, what were our plans again?” Blinking slow, hand carding through soft strands when it finally hit him, eyes popping open instantly. “Oh yeah, we were gonna see your parents!”

“Yes, we were. I told my mom sometime in the afternoon, since you sleep in longer than anybody else I know.”

“Hmph. Funny.” He pouted a little, and Even kissed him a little more. Unfortunately, they eventually broke apart, hands on each other’s cheeks as Isak tried to focus on anything but the overwhelming sea of emotions he was currently drowning in.

“So. We should probably go shower, then.”

“Are you sure? We don't have to.”

“Don’t have to shower? I don’t know about you, but--”

“No, don’t have to meet my parents. If you don’t want to. If you think it’s too soon, or you’re just not up to it, which is fine, I don’t want to pressure you into anything.”

“Y’know, when I started with this line of questioning last night, I got ridiculed.”

“That was different.”

“Hardly,” Isak shot back. Even made a face, to which Isak made a more dramatic one and insisted, “...the gravity of the situations are pretty similar.”

Both eyebrows shot up.

“You think so?”

“I do, and I think last night went...really well.” Rolling up on top of Even’s lap, mouth open as he ran both hands up bare collarbones to lock behind that pretty head, pressing their foreheads together as the rest of their bodies slid into place, pressure in enough places to make him suck in a shaky, telltale breath.

“Mmm, is that so?” Even murmured back, two hands sliding over slightly bruised hips to sink into the top of his ass. The sharp inhale got swallowed up into a pecking kiss, mouths locking to drag apart, again, and again and fuck.

“Y-yeah,” Isak barely managed, head rolling across Even’s to lap at his mouth from another angle, fully aware of how fired up he already was, from just this alone. “And I bet this morning will be...great too, and then this afternoon when we meet your parents I'll be like mmm...completely chill.”

“Is that a request?” Teeth painted over his jawline, grip already tightening to squeeze before the reply.

Isak just kissed that beautiful, warm mouth, but he was pretty sure it was an answer in a language Even understood.

 

 

Lørdag, 14:10
17.12.16

 

“Don’t be nervous.”

“Nervous? Me? You think I’m nervous? I’m the master of meeting parents, I’ve met so many parents that I don’t even know what the word nervous means, what in the world would I be nervous about?”

Even paused on the staircase, tugging Isak to stop from where their hands were entwined.

“That bad, huh?”

“That bad? Nei! I’m completely--”

The hands on his jaw shut him up before Even’s mouth on his did.

Their foreheads touched as their mouths slipped apart, one hand fucking up the hair he’d worked very hard on making look nice, thank you very much.

“They will love you, promise.”

Isak was quiet a moment, tripping out a little with the fact that he was one stairstep above Even and therefore taller than him, for the moment, which was really unsettling, actually.

Enough that he tugged Even up one more step, pressing up to kiss him again. Much better.

Three steps later their hands were tighter than before and Isak apparently wasn’t as completely chill as he thought he was.

“Even?”

“Yeah?” He spun around, still halfway up this goddamn staircase.

“Are you sure they don’t hate me?”

“Hate you?? How could they possibly hate you??”

He needed both of his hands to throw them up for dramatic effect, but that apparently wasn’t happening because when he tried to pull free the one tangled with Even’s, he was suddenly in a deathgrip of Not Letting Go and just ended up with one hand awkwardly in the air and their entwined ones kinda halfway there.

“I dunno, maybe the little fact that before me, you had a girlfriend for four years, who I’m sure they love, and who was entirely fucked over, by me. Not only did I take you from Sonja, I then left you in a police station by yourself, the one time when you needed me most, and basically fucked up handling anything at all until it was almost too late and--”

“Hey,” Even interrupted, and his tone was serious enough that Isak did stop, blinking wildly and trying really fucking hard not to cry because he had no idea where that just came from but by god, maybe he should’ve tried facing his guilt and talking it out before they were a fucking door away from meeting Even’s parents.

“Hey. Isak.” A crooked finger ran over his cheek and Isak wiped at them madly, just in case, although they weren’t actually wet yet, halle-fucking-lujah.

How could Even look at him like that, after everything Isak had just reminded him of, all the fucking shitty things he’d done, all the reasons why he didn’t deserve to be pranced in front of parents like he was a good thing, when he’d literally fucked up Even’s life so goddamn much--

“It was me who kissed you, remember?”

“Yeah, but--”

“I was bipolar before I met you, so that literally could not be your fault.”

“Yeah, but--”

“Sonja and I weren’t happy, Isak.”

“Yeah, but--”

“But you came for me, you’re here, with me, right now, and you make me happy. That’s all they want, is for me to be happy, and you’ve made me happier than I’ve ever been in my life. I’d like to introduce you to my parents so they get the chance to meet the man I’m crazy about, but if it’s too much, we can do this another time. Okay?”

A moment’s pause and Isak wiped a hand over his eyes, sucking in a breath as he tried not to squeeze Even’s hand so fucking hard.

“Okay.”

“...okay as in you want to do this another time?”

“Nei,” Isak shot back. “Okay as in, let’s do this. Too late to go back now, right?”

The smile he got for that could probably fuel the next three hundred nervous moments of his existence, regardless of whether Even was there or not.

The tender kiss Even pressed to his cheek could fuel another ten thousand plus that.

“Too late to go back now.”

 

The last time he’d been here with Even had been before everything, a whole other world as they walked in and kicked off their shoes. Except this time, when Even called out hello, he didn’t say nice at the silence that returned, because silence didn’t shout back.

“Halla! Even!”

Blue shot him a look, barely seconds before the owner of said voice came all but swinging around the corner.

“And this must be Isak!” A beautiful - of course, she gave birth to Even, she had to be beautiful - woman swept open her arms, all wide smiles and crinkling eyes as Isak took in the messy blonde bun atop her head, pristine apron tied over a dress his mother would probably wear to church on Sunday.

“Mom, let him take off his shoes first,” Even complained, but there was a smile on his face as he stepped forward into the spread arms, stooping down into a hug.

Isak finished wrestling a boot off, hopping awkwardly on one foot for a moment before stepping forward - also awkwardly, and waited - still awkwardly - while Even’s mom rubbed his back and pulled back to hold his chin, look his face over.

“How have you been doing?”

“Fine, Mom, I promise.” She gave him a squinting once over before she seemed satisfied enough to finally let go.

Which meant it was his turn.

Isak went for his nicest not-too-bright smile, extending a hand to shake as he opened his mouth to introduce himself,

Hi, I’m Isak Valtersen, I’m the boy who’s banging your son. Or rather, being banged by, I don’t know if it makes a difference to you--

But before he got so much as a word out - how the fuck does one introduce themselves to their boyfriend’s parents - Even's mother (why in hell hadn't he asked what she went by? What the fuck was he supposed to call her? Even’s mom? Hi, Miss Even’s mom, I’m two and a half years younger than your son and have no idea what I’m doing in life let alone what I’m supposed to be doing in this relationship??)

Even’s mom bypassed his hand entirely and went straight for a hug.

It was a little surprising, but they were better matched on height and he managed to hug her back without crushing anything, although he couldn’t really feel his ribs and Even was most definitely laughing at him under that smug little smile he was shooting Isak over his mom’s shoulder.

“Oh, um. Nice to meet you too.”

“Here, here, come in, let me get a look at you.”

“Mom,” Even was protesting but Even’s Mom was already dragging him into the kitchen, one hand between his shoulderblades and a lovely smile on her face.

“I’m Isak. Valtersen,” he said, which was probably repetitive and he was pretty sure she already knew that but he really had no idea what else to say, and maybe--

“I’m Liv. Bech Næsheim,” she replied cheekily, taking a step to the side to finally let him breathe a little. “But you can call me Liv.”

Okay, at least he knew what to call her now, but Jesus, what else was he supposed to say?

Thank god, Even chose that moment to reappear behind him, one hand settling on his lower back. Normally he’d balk, this wasn’t the comfort of a kosegruppa party or the anonymity of a hotel room, this was Even’s parents - parent - and Even was touching him but honestly he’d take awkward looks over drifting away aimlessly in this kitchen by himself.

“Would you like a cup of tea, Isak?”

“Um. Yeah, sure, thanks.” He offered another smile, looking up a little hopelessly at Even, who was shooting vague warning glances at his mother.

Who apparently wasn’t catching them, or just really didn’t mind them.

“Even, when you said he looked like an angel I thought you were exaggerating, honey.”

“Mom!”

“But you were right,” she continued, reaching up on her tiptoes to pull three mugs out of a cabinet. “What kind of tea do you like?”

“Anything’s fine.” He sounded a little dazed but Liv was sweeping off for the pantry so Isak had about three seconds to either kiss Even or tease the shit out of him for whatever that was just about.

“An angel?” Isak whispered, corner of his mouth tipping up as Even glanced over and glanced right back away, cheeks heating up.

Maybe he’d get enough time for both, Even looked absolutely adorable right now, blushing with his mouth all twisted to the side - it was the same look he’d given Isak that day on the bus, which he knew now was nervousness, what with that crush he’d had since the first day of school.

“It's the blonde curls, okay,” Even defended and Isak would let him off the hook for this eventually, considering he was actually glowing right now. Even’s mom wanted to know what Isak looked like and Even had replied that he looked like an angel.

But for now, he was gonna give him so much shit for it.

“Your hair is blonde,” Isak pointed out, reaching up to ruffle it just a little, finally making Even’s gaze cut over to him again. God, he was super fucking cute all embarrassed like this. “And your eyes are even blue. Sky blue, like the heavens--”

“Shut up,” Even said and Isak giggled, nose crinkling as Even’s little smile broadened, eyes all shiny bright again as the hand on his lower back shoved him closer, their chests colliding as Isak’s mouth tipped up, side-smile melting right into the kiss Even planted so goddamn sure on his lips.

It couldn’t’ve been that long until they pulled apart again, slow and smiling with their gazes still locked, all melty mushy and entirely Even’s fault, all of it.

Still, you’d think he had enough brain power left to remember that he was supposed to be putting on Meeting the Parents face instead of staring up dumbstruck at The Parent’s Son, but here he was.

Thank god, Liv cleared her throat, otherwise Isak probably would’ve stood there staring up at Even for the rest of time.

They both looked over in sync, like the way their goddamn hearts had to be beating right now.

Well, at least they were both blushing now. Or - fuck, apparently Even wasn’t anymore, it was just him. Okay, that was cool, fine, leave him out in the cold.

But Even’s mom had a smile on her face, that kinda was almost as sappy as theirs, so maybe it wasn’t so cold after all.

“Why don't you boys come sit down, your dad will be home soon.” She turned on a heel, headed for the dining room on her bare feet, that did not at all match the artfully disheveled updo or lovely swirling dress.

Thank god he’d worn something nice. Even had given him shit for it, but if he’d shown up in a tshirt he’d’ve felt terribly underdressed and better to look presentable when there were this many damn unknowns.

Like the little detail that apparently Even’s dad was gonna join them after all. Because that wasn’t going to be terrifying.

It was one thing to meet Even’s mom, who clearly meant a lot to him, and it was a whole other thing to be like hey, I’m screwing your son, to Even’s father.

“Well. I supposed I’ll start embracing for more surprises,” Isak offered, rolling his lips in and Even checked his shoulder, only to pull him stumbling back in with a hand on his waist. "I'm meeting your father? What am I supposed to say?”

“It’ll be fine! You’ll be totally fine. You’re fine so far, aren’t you?”

A kiss to his cheek and Isak cocked his head, starting for the dining room after Liv, before she came back out here to haul them in for taking so long again.

“I’m fine because you’re here,” he amended, allowing just one moment to reach up and peck a pretty cheek back in return.

“I’ll always be here,” Even told him and Isak smiled, tugging him one step closer to the dining room, one eyebrow cocked up with his favorite crooked smile.

“You better be. Otherwise, where am I getting my 500 a week?”

The way Even kissed him after that was definitely not appropriate for his parents’ house, but his heart was thudding anyways, what was one more reason.

 

~*~*~

 

Fredag, 20:53
30.12.16

 

It all started the weekend they were apart. Or well, it was only a Friday, but. They'd been practically living in each other's pockets for the past three weeks, so it was time they spent a night apart, make sure they both could still breathe without the other lying there beside.

Of course they spent time with other people, with school and his friends - who were actually becoming Even’s friends really quickly too - but all in all, it was still the two of them falling into bed every night. There were a few nights he spent at Even’s too. He did have bunk beds, after all.

Not like they used them, but it was the thought that counted. Isak never would’ve asked to spend the night there, but Even’s mother suggested it, after Christmas dinner because they ended up staying up so late chatting, Liv just offered for Isak to stay the night.

Even’s eyebrows had shot up and Isak had been frozen stiff for a moment, but Liv waved a hand, “he spends the night at your place all the time, no reason for you not to be able to spend the night here too,” and that had been that.

So between Christmas morning at his place with all of his crazy too-many roommates and Christmas dinner at Even’s house with his parents, then post-Christmas breakfast cooking with Even’s mom while Even slept quietly under his parents roof it was...things had just been really really good lately.

There was a little voice in his head that whispered a silent reminder, the better he let it get the worse the fall was gonna be but goddammit, when he walked into lunch to see Even and Mahdi in the middle of a heated debate about music, so heated that neither of them so much as turned to him when he sat down and Jonas just shook his head and smiled, well.

Isak was going to keep letting himself burst with happiness that Even was okay. Even was more than okay, he was working on a film project and talking to some of his old friends from Bakka and making more friends at Nissen and fit in perfectly with their family of teenage misfits living with 5 people in an apartment for 3 and well. Even was his.

Of course Isak was bursting with happiness. Even was too. Which was why, when he brought it up on the Tuesday after Christmas, the first reaction wasn’t too freak out, or even frown.

“Spend a Friday night without each other? Getting sick of me already?” Even teased, leaning over to kiss the soft spot on Isak’s neck. Isak scrunched up his nose, tucking his shoulder up higher so he couldn’t get tickled again.

“Actually I’m just interested in whether I even know how to fall asleep without you anymore,” Isak shot back and if it was supposed to be a burn, unfortunately it really didn’t come out as one.

“Aww,” Even cooed, leaning over all the way to litter kisses down the side of Isak’s face. Isak attempted to shove him off the couch and failed miserably.

Failed so badly he somehow ended up in Even’s lap, making out with him for a solid ten minutes before Noora walked in.

“Rub it in some more, guys,” she said dryly and Isak popped up, making a cross face at her as Even instantly lifted him out of his lap and set him on the couch on his own.

“Sorry,” he started and Isak shoved him hard, still glaring at Noora.

“I’m not.”

“It won’t kill us to apologize--”

“Nei, I don’t have shit to apologize for. Noora, get over yourself, or go fetch William before you drive the rest of us batshit crazy.”

“Isak!”

“What! Someone had to say it! She doesn’t get to barge in here and be all snippy when I have a goddamn right to make out with my boyfriend on the couch--”

“Baby, calm down--”

“You two are sickeningly cute,” Noora noted, taking a sip of her tea before giving them a little finger wave and floating out of the room again.

“What in the world was that about?” The look Even was giving him was that surprise twisted with affection as he was reminded yet once more, of what a bitch Isak was down to the core.

“We are sickeningly cute, and I’m not letting anyone, especially my roommates come in the way of th--”

The rest of his rant was cut off by Even’s mouth on his again, Even’s hands pressing him hard into the couch cushions.

“You,” painted on lips between chaste kisses, “are sickeningly,” that were getting a lot less chaste, “cute.”

“Don’t you know it,” Isak said, but he was pretty sure the entire thing was muffled by Even’s mouth. Which yeah, was completely fine.

Was completely fine all week, actually.

They were spending New Years Eve together, obviously, which was on a Saturday this year, so that meant the designated Day of Separation was the Friday night before.

Which basically translated to spending every minute with each other until Friday, when they’d agreed to go their separate ways for 24 hours before they turned into the most codependent couple on the entire goddamn planet.

It was gonna be a pretty simple night, Even planned a dinner with his parents and would just crash there, because Isak was having the boys over for Boys Night.

Mahdi, Magnus and Jonas all got along fantastically with Even, the five of them spent plenty of time together. But it wasn’t too often anymore that it was just Isak and his boys, which was exactly how he wanted to spend one of the last days of this fucking rollercoaster of a year.

Of course everyone was down - by 19:00 they had the apartment to themselves. Noora and Linn spent the night at Eva’s while Eskild went out with his drinking friends and wouldn’t be back until the New Years Eve party on Saturday. So that meant blasting really loud 90’s hip hop, and playing the most ridiculous drinking games they could think of until everyone got plastered enough to sing along to all the raps they didn’t know.

That was the plan anyways, a simple nice quiet night of drinking, but well.

Isak wasn’t so good at being simple or quiet anymore. He’d spent so long being boring, sitting there dead silent in a chair while everyone drank and they argued listlessly about past hookups. No, that wasn’t gonna be how they did boys night anymore.

“We’re doing what?

“Oh, like you’ve never played it? Or are you just scared you’ll freeze to death?” He shot his best bitchy smile at Magnus’s flapping-fish open mouth protests, prepared as hell with his beanie, scarf, and deck of 52.

“It is a pretty fun game, since the stakes are so high,” Jonas backed him up, hand waving in the air while Isak nodded his head, shoving a pile of chips into the middle of the table.

“Takk.”

“Have you guys played before?” Mahdi was looking nearly as skeptical as Magnus, but Isak just rolled his eyes because yes, obviously, he wasn’t gonna suggest a game he’d never played.

“There was this one fucking crazy party during first year--”

“Oh fuck, I’ve never been so hungover in my life.”

Jonas groaned and Isak grinned.

“--it was fantastic, and tonight will be fantastic too. We’re not gonna end 2016 with a night sitting around and chatting.” The obvious disgust in his voice was exaggerated to fuck, but they were used to that, only gave him a few eye rolls and disbelieving glances in return. They were slowly warming up to the idea, though.

Which was kinda ironic.

“Snow poker, though? Serr?”

“Serr!”

“You just want an excuse to see us naked,” Magnus declared and Isak paused in the middle of shuffling the deck just to give Magnus the Highest Bitch Look on the Bitch Scale.

“Nei, I want an excuse to see you freeze your ass off and whine like a baby.”

Jonas snickered, but anyone who’d played strip poker in the snow knew exactly how high those stakes got. Still, he had to throw in the bit of pompous, just in case Magnus had some delusional idea about his chances.

“If I want naked boy, all I have to do is crawl in bed with my boyfriend,” Isak pointed out, nose up and lips pursed as he lifted one eyebrow in that you-don’t-have-a-chance look that always made Magnus all flustered.

A chorus of ooyy’s went up and Isak shrugged a shoulder, dealing out a round of cards as Magnus and Mahdi finally sighed and plopped down at the table.

“Boyfriend who isn't here, which means we can gossip about him, finally.” Jonas shot him a look over the cards he was picking up, one eyebrow up like he had just about the richest dirt in the world.

“What is there possibly to gossip over?”

“Well the hickie you've been attempting to hiding under your scarf is one point.” Mahdi pointed a finger and Isak looked down, trying to see what in hell he was talking about. “You know every time you move, the scarf slides over and flashes your neck, right?”

“Well fuck.” He attempted to rearrange, maybe tighten the folds around his neck, twisting the end of one and tying it off in a little knot. “There, are your delicate sensibilities satis-fied?”

Magnus snorted at Mahdi, who rolled his eyes to the sound of Isak gloating silent and smug from his chair by the window.

Jonas shook his head at them and popped up from the table, laying his hand of cards on the table face down and giving them all a very serious point.

“I’m getting the liquor, look at my cards and die.”

“Hard liquor, snow is cold.”

“Yes, Queen Isak, I know,” Jonas called over his shoulder and Isak narrowed his eyes viciously as his best friend turned the corner into the kitchen laughing.

Magnus and Mahdi were giggling too, which was absolutely the only reason why Isak reached over and picked up Jonas’s hand of cards.

Magnus’s laugh went up two octaves and Mahdi started a low oooo that had Jonas shouting in from the kitchen, where he probably knew exactly what Isak was doing.

“You better not be!!”

“I would never!” Isak shouted back, not looking up from Jonas’s cards, scanning them intensely to make sure he had each one memorized.

He had them back on the table moments before Jonas stepped back into the living room with two bottles of whiskey and a bottle of fancy-ass kick-your-ass tequila.

Isak kept the most innocent look on his face, straightening the piles of chips in the center of the table. Jonas sat down the alcohol and tumblers first, then calmly slid his cards over to Isak and snagged Isak’s pile instead.

“Hey!” That pouty mouth interjected, looking very instantly and exaggeratedly offended. Jonas fanned them out and counted carefully as he spoke.

“If you spent all that time memorizing my cards, you know what they look like, might as well play them. Besides, odds are you were too busy messing with my hand to look at yours - oh look at that, these aren’t in order yet. Guess who was right, it’s me, I was right.”

Isak stared at Jonas with his mouth open in offense, Magnus stared with his mouth open in awe, and Mahdi burst off in a fit of giggles.

“How did you know?? How long have you two been friends again??”

“Too long,” Jonas said dryly, which is why he absolutely deserved the precious hand of cards that Isak threw right back at him.

Which may or may not have turned into an all out war of card-battling but after someone knocked over a bottle of whiskey - it had the lid still on it, thank god - it turned into a quick round of 52 card pick up then Jonas reshuffled and dealt the cards again, giving Isak the side eye the whole time.

Isak put both hands in the air and swore he wasn’t gonna cheat, but at this point all the boys knew better than to trust that.

Because as fun as snow poker was, Isak sucked. At cards in general, actually.

They didn’t have a porch to actually play outside, but there was a window right next to the table that Mahdi opened up wide, so it was cold as fuck, which was the only part they actually needed to keep the stakes high.

Strip poker was hard anyways, but when losing your clothes meant getting naked and freezing your ass off, you better hope to hell you had a good poker face.

Only problem was, Isak was a fucking shit liar.

“Jesus Isak, you’re terrible at this,” Magnus said for about the thirtieth time and Isak glared as he whipped off his last sock. Had he worn two pairs of socks in preparation? Yeah, maybe. He’d already lost his beanie, scarf, overshirt, belt, and now four socks.

On the bright side, Magnus was also a terrible liar. He’d already lost his shirts, belt, and socks to the game, and both of them were at least four fingers of whiskey in from buying back all the goddamn chips they’d lost. So yeah, they were both fucked, basically.

And then came another hand, which Isak lost, again.

“Fuck!”

“You suck,” Jonas exclaimed, loudly.

Isak scooped up the closest tumbler, sipped it as pretentiously as possible and shot them all a scandalous look over the edge of the glass, one eyebrow arched high and suggestive,

“Maybe I do.”

Everybody burst into giggles and Jonas leaned over, poking his neck on - ow - what must’ve been a dark spot, because that hurt and he made sure to pout enough and swat at Jonas’s hand so he knew it too.

At least Magnus lost the next round, a small victory in a losing war but at least Isak got to point and shout,

“Ha! You suck too!”

Magnus paused, eyes furrowing all confused under the layers of impossibly straight blonde.

“I go down on girls now, does that count?”

Someone threw a card at him and they were all giggling again, giggling like the girls in the kosegruppa squad probably did at sleepovers.

Isak highly highly doubted their sleepovers were nearly this fun. Or had someone losing their pants before midnight. But then again, they hadn’t had a night this fun in a while either.

“Okay, okay, seriously though. I like this hand, everybody focus, I’m gonna fucking win.”

“Isak, you’re not going to win, your hand is shit, it’s written all over your face.”

“You know what, Jonas? I’m just about done with your shit. Just you wait, just you--”

Well, it turned out - surprise! - Isak lost the round. Horribly. There were a lot of pointing fingers and shouting and Jonas going oh what was that? What was that you said, something about just wait, you had it this time?? I’ll tell you what you don’t have Isak, and that’s your shirt, motherfucker!

Which was true, he was now down to losing his shirt, which just. Ugh, he was cold, goddammit. Although he was drinking enough not to be freezing. He may be a bitch, but he wasn’t bitch enough to not play the game by the rules so.

“Fine. Fine, I lose my shirt, but I swear to god, you’re losing all of your chips in the next round, you just fucking watch, Jonas Noah Vasquez.” It was high-key hell to somehow wrestle himself out of the impossible article of clothing, but he finally popped his head free from white cotton and spun around to toss it victoriously. “Ha!”

The boys had all been laughing as he was wrestling with the goddamn cotton gods, but as he spun back around with the shirt thrown successfully across the room, Isak paused, half naked and full confused as one eyebrow lifted at the absolute, dead silence.

The room had gone entirely quiet in the four seconds it took for him to turn and throw his shirt, and based on everyone’s wide-eyed looks, he had completely missed something.

“What?”

All the boys exchanged slow, silent glances that were actually concerning, despite the fact that he was feeling tipsy and everything had been floating and nice like ten fucking seconds ago.

Eventually all the gazes settled on Jonas - you do it - and Jonas looked down at the table, sucking in a breath before he looked over at Isak, eye contact burning through him like he was a butterfly pinned to a wall.

“Are. Uh.” It took a few seconds for him to manage it, but Jonas finally swallowed and got his words enough together to carefully lay out the question. “Are you and Even okay?”

“Uh...yeah. Everything's great, why?” Isak gave his little signature shrug and Jonas rolled his lips in, looking back between the boys’ expectant faces and Isak’s very confused one.

“You're not just saying that? You know you can tell us anything, Isak. We’re here for you. No matter what.”

Okay, the look on Jonas’s face was starting to freak him out.

“What. What do you mean?” The half smile was more of a coping mechanism than joy, eyebrows furrowed as he tried to figure out what the weirdass silence and exchanging looks could possibly mean. Finally he narrowed his eyes playfully, head cocked as he pursed his mouth.

“If this is some ploy to dig more about my sex life--” Isak teased and Jonas stood up, pushing his chair back as he took Isak’s arm, lifted him up out of his chair too.

As soon as they turned from the table there was a muffled sound of shock behind them. He threw a look over his shoulder, which made the room spin a little because he was tipsy, and stumbling a tad, but he was too dumbfounded to do anything but be compliant, let Jonas pull him aside with a strangely gentle hand on his arm.

What the fuck, Jonas was holding onto him so fucking...lightly, like he was afraid Isak was gonna break, which he wasn’t, he was just gonna shuffle the few feet away Jonas pulled him and stand here pouty-lipped and confused.

“Man, I need you to be honest with me.” The depth of sincerity in his best friend’s eyes was highly fucking concerning, so he held the gaze and replied back with as damn deep and sincere as he could.

“Jonas. I am. I promise.”

“Isak.”

“What is everyone freaking out about?!” He didn’t mean to shout, or throw his arms up, but Jonas was kinda scaring him, which was not a fun feeling when the room was spinning a little and everything was so goddamn quiet. “Why are you all…”

He didn’t even know how to explain everything they were all doing right now, so he ended up waving an arm around to indicate the palpable worry in the air.

This.”

He looked back to his best friend with a bit of a wild look in his eye, the way he looked at Vilde when she ran up to him at his locked and bombarded him with a thousand reasons why he was hosting a party at his place, goddammit.

If only this was that simple, or if someone would so much as tell him something, he’d take Vilde’s overtalking over this silence any fucking day of the week.

“Huh??” Isak pressed, looking accusingly at Jonas, who was chewing his lip in clear debate of what to say. Well, Isak could help with that, he could just, y’know, tell the truth about whatever the fuck they’re all freaking out about.

And Even? What could this possibly have to do with Even?

“Jonas,” Isak tried again, desperate this time, probably so desperate even Magnus could see it.

Finally, fucking finally, Jonas sucked in a breath, leaning in a fraction as he dropped his voice that much lower, quieter, private and motherfucking dripping with worry.

“Have you seen your back?”

“My back?” The amount of confusion on his face, mouth popped open and face scrunched up as he looked at Jonas like he’d grown seven fucking heads.

Jonas was just looking back, steady stoic and waiting for an answer.

“What the fuck…” Isak kinda turned-ish, he couldn’t see much and angles were a bitch when you weren’t tipsy, but he could see enough of one shoulder to. “Oh.”

Jonas was still just watching him as he turned back. What was the big deal about--

“Oh. OH. Wait did you think--”

Isak froze with his mouth open and one finger in the air, head turning between the solemn boys sitting at the table and Jonas’s stoic silence and the state of the shoulder he’d seen, which.

Oh fuck. All of that concern, pulling him aside, asking if he was okay and how his relationship with Even was doing, all because of some bruises on his motherfucking shoulders, his friends all see him shirtless and the first thing they fucking think is that he’s in an abusive relationship Jesus fucking Christ--

“Jesus fucking Christ,” Isak repeated aloud, exhaling every fucking cell out of his body as it finally sunk in all the way, the looks on their fucking faces, fucking hell--

He took a second to gather himself, arm swinging out wide as he gestured a little wildly and gave them the most duh face he had.

“Most of them are hickies!”

“...what?” Magnus said quietly and Isak would laugh his ass off if they weren’t all so seriously fucking concerned.

“Oh god, what the fuck. Even has never laid a violent hand on me a day in my life, I fucking swear.”

The whole room breathed out collectively, tension visibly deflating as Jonas managed a strangled-sounding laugh of relief. Wow, he’d actually managed to scare them all pretty badly. Well they scared him too, acting all freaked out and whatnot, he’d thought something was seriously wrong.

So he had a few hickies. Or well, more than a few, and there were a couple of other sex-related bruises in there, which he really should’ve thought about before he took off his shirt, but it wasn’t like he fucking took count of the marks every morning in the mirror.

Jonas was shaking his head, trying to catch his breath with his hands on his knees and Mahdi was pouring a round of drinks, despite the fact that no one was anywhere near buying back chips.

“Are they really that bad?” He attempted to peer over his shoulder again but he really couldn’t see much as this angle.

Only tripped twice on the way to the living room mirror, neither of which ended in a faceplant, so that was a success, but the minute he got there and turned around, the last thing he was thinking about was how tipsy he was.

“Oh fuck.” His shoulders were positively mottled, littered with purple and blue, his hips were bruised, he had faded bite marks down his spine and there was that red mark from the door frame he'd hit a little too hard.

“Yeah, oh fuck,” Jonas repeated, a little high pitched still. No wonder they’d been freaked out, he’d be freaked out if he didn’t remember exactly every fucking incredible shuddering moment that lead to each and every one.

“They're all consenting, I swear,” Isak repeated, taking one more look in the mirror. They looked a lot like hickies if you asked him, he was pretty sure he wouldn’t mistake those for anything else, but. Still. “What the fuck.”

“What the fuck,” Mahdi agreed, sounding relieved as hell. Isak shook his head, a final glance to fix his hair before making his way back to the living room without tripping over any of their discarded clothes.

Well that was fucking dramatic.

“I completely forgot,” he started, which was hardly the apology they deserved but he couldn’t get another word out before Magnus’s Confusion was suddenly interrupting.

“But how do you end up with your shoulders dark purple??! Not to mention the fucking fingerprints on the back of your neck.” Magnus lifted his chin, one hand going up as he waited for an explanation.

Explanation. Right.

“Uh. Well.”

“What do you mean most of them are hickies?” Jonas asked slowly, careful not to bump Isak as he scooted past him for his chair again. Isak touched his arm briefly on his way past, a quiet thank you he knew Jonas wasn’t going to miss.

Apparently, Jonas also hadn’t missed that comment, though. Because yeah, Even’s mouth made the majority of those marks, but so had Even’s hands, and the wall, and.

God fuck. He was gonna have to explain this. They were still all looking at him in vague worry when there was literally not a single fucking thing to worry about, this was way more of a “you go man” than an “are you okay man” moment but.

Apparently they weren’t getting that, or understanding how he managed to get hickies on his shoulders, which he thought was pretty fucking obvious but. Better to rip it off like a band-aid, right. Might as well just.

“Well these,” Isak poked the ones he could reach, hoping they kinda got the extrapolation to the rest of the marks and their locations, “--are because I was on my hands and knees, and since kissing at that angle is basically impossible, Even’s mouth had to go somewhere and...yeah.”

He sucked in a breath and looked down, staring at the table just in case it was going to be kind enough to swallow him up and make his cheeks not as bright fucking red as the rest of him was apparently purple.

“Oh wow,” Mahdi said. Yep. Wow was right. Isak rolled his lips in, eyebrows going up as he tapped his fingers once on the table and pointedly did not look at anyone.

And then, of course, who opened his big mouth, but their very own overly-nosy, ridiculously outspoken Magnus Fossbakken.

“Well I guess that answers the question of who tops--”

“Shut up,” Isak said, pointing an accusing finger at him, instantaneous and vicious; tongue wetting his lips as he opened his mouth prepared to verbally kick Magnus’s ass, but it was too late.

Every single one of them burst into instantaneous laughter and yeah, it was official, he was bright fucking red and his friends were laughing their asses off, fucking cackling because they all just got it confirmed that he took cock up the ass on a regular basis.

Isak took his pointing finger back, rolling his lips in and swaying his head back and forth for a moment as he decided. Yeah, okay.

“I need to be significantly more wasted for this.”

The laughter doubled. Isak held out his hand and Mahdi passed over a bottle of whiskey, still laughing as Isak popped the top and took a swig straight out of the bottle.

“Ahh. Fuck. I can't believe I told you guys that,” Isak mourned pitifully, and Jonas was laughing so hard he had to lean against the wall, arm over his stomach.

He took another swig.

“What about the other ones? And the handprint,” Magnus pushed and Isak leaned back in his chair with a loud groan, shivering a little at how much closer to the window that put him.

“Ugg. Nei. I'm not gonna let myself get wasted enough to tell you one more single goddamn detail.”

“Well. It’s pretty visible, gotta say. All the marks are right there,” Mahdi pointed out very helpfully and Isak shot him a glare he didn’t mean, which was just returned by three expectant, amused-ass faces.

They were all looking at him like that.

Isak put his face in his hands.

And lifted it up one second later to grab another swig of whiskey. A round of giggles went round the table and Isak rolled his eyes, hard, rolling his head on a propped hand over to Jonas, his best puppy dog eyes on, the please save me look that Jonas was so great at ignoring, apparently.

No, Jonas sat there all curious and cocky, one eyebrow up as he leaned back in his chair, looked at Isak with that same confidence and security he had that day ages ago they’d been helping him figure out what to text Even instead of what kind of sex he was having with Even.

“So. It sounds like you guys get pretty kinky then,” Jonas pried and Isak would flick him off if he thought it’d do any good.

Instead he scrunched up his nose, feeling strangely exposed without a snapback or a shirt or basically anything to protect him from all his friends’ scrutiny. Although not all their observations were that keen or anything, he wasn't actually that worried.

“Not that kinky,” he squinted at the bottle, debating pouring it properly into a glass, which thank god he was not in the middle of doing when Mahdi asked his next question.

“So that's not a whip mark on your back?”

Isak’s mouth popped open, bottle clattering back to the table as his eyes bulged out of his head and he barely managed to stutter,

“Huh??? A-- a what??”

They were all laughing again as he scrambled up and stumbled his way - much quicker this time - to the mirror again, one hand on the wall as he twisted and squinted hard at his reflection. What the actual fuck could be mistaken for a whip mark--

“Oh! Fuck. The red stripe. Nei, nei, nei, I hit a doorframe. We don't use whips, Je-sus.” Isak shook his head once, making a tsk tsk sound as he sauntered his way back this time, give Magnus a very pointed look.

“...not like you and Vilde.”

“Huh!?” Magnus squawked and just like he’d hoped, all of the laughter turned on the other blonde instead of him, both Mahdi and Jonas shouting out things about dominatrix dreams while Isak slid back into his seat, waving his hand to a whip cracking sound, pulling the laughter up to bubble another round.

“Actually, how come you don't have any hickies, Magnus?” The expectant look Mahdi gave him was enough to turn Magnus into his try-hard, desperate self like the flip of a switch.

“Who said I don't??”

“We can see you! You’re literally only in boxers,” Jonas pointed out and Magnus looked down. Yeah, one more plus, at least Isak wasn’t the worst one at this game.

“Maybe they're beneath,” he argued back and Mahdi covered his mouth with a hand,

“Ooooo!”

“Nah nah, I don't believe it,” Jonas waved it off and Isak tipped his head, scanning Magnus over and debating whether or not he and Vilde had hooked up or actually had sex. He’d probably bet on just the former, actually.

“And as a matter of fact, there's one right here on my neck,” Magnus pointed out, to which all of them were squinting.

“What?”

“What?”

“Let me see.”

Isak scrambled around the table as Mahdi leaned over, both of them peering close while Jonas leaned forward in his seat, all of them scanning the spot Magnus was pointing to on his neck, which was yeah, a little discolored. Maybe.

“Huh, if you don't say. It's pretty faint,” Mahdi pointed out, inspecting a little closer and Magnus huffed, waving them both off with rolling eyes.

“Not all of us are dating a fucking vacuum cleaner.”

There were a lot of things in life dating Even had made him prepared for, but that comment was not one of them.

Isak ended up on the floor, which was probably mostly the whiskey’s fault, and the fact that his sides hurt from laughing so fucking much, but there were tears in his eyes as he rolled, both arms over his stomach, but the more he laughed the funnier it was and he couldn’t fucking stop laughing, which meant the boys couldn’t stop laughing at him, and soon all of them were tearing up from the fact that nobody could stop laughing but jesus fuck, that was the single funniest fucking thing he’d ever heard.

By the time they wound down enough that it was mostly just random painful giggles and snorting that turned into chuckling and brief scattered bouts of laughter mixed between wiping tears, Isak had stopped noticing the cold from the window and Magnus had joined him on the floor.

Jonas caught his breath first, shaking his head at them as Isak stared up at the ceiling and mouthed the words vacuum cleaner to himself for the fourth time only to burst into a round of giggles again.

“Oy, drinking game idea.” Jonas patted a hand on the table, waving at the two of them on the floor to get up, waving Mahdi to hand the unopened bottle of tequila over.

It took a few more seconds to even look at the boys without giggling, but he somehow managed to reign it back in with a few residual shaky breaths.

God. Vacuum cleaner.

“How about, everyone takes a shot for every hickie - even faded - they have. I’m sporting a few too, somewhere between vacuum cleaner and kitten licks.”

Isak ducked his head, giggling off again as Magnus rolled his eyes and Mahdi barked another laugh, laying out the first round of shot glasses for Jonas to fill.

“Wait, wait. No way, this isn’t gonna be fair at all.” Isak sat up abruptly, noting distantly that his chair was a lot further away than he remembered, but he also had a lot more hickies on him than he remembered, enough that even he knew that was a dumbass fucking idea.

“We can each take shots for a different body part number of Isak’s hickies?” Mahdi suggested, which sent everyone of into another round of snorts and huffs before Jonas waved a sloppy hand at them, trying to get everyone to cut it out before they all ended up laughing on the ground next time.

“Or how about this, Isak takes shots for all his hickies, and we take shots for all the other marks that aren't like. Officially hickies.”

Isak squinted, thinking back to what he could remember of the map Even had left on his back, shoulders, spine, but. Well, if they counted all his visible marks, at least they’d be decently wasted with him.

“Whatever,” he conceded, pushing up to plop back down in his seat beside Jonas, reaching for the first shot glass. “Fine. But I’m still not gonna let myself get wasted enough to tell you guys one. damn. thing about my sex life.”

 

Which was how twenty minutes later there were four boys howling and choking on laughter in the middle of the living room floor.

“God, it was so fucking deep I swear he bruised my diaphragm. Fuck.”

Poker game entirely forgotten, tequila and whiskey bottles empty, and Isak trying to find enough air to inhale between bursts of laughter to speak, breathless, too giggly and short to be slurred as much as it should be.

“I couldn't walk this morning, h-honestly. He had to bring me breakfast in bed.”

Jonas doubled over, again, knocking Isak’s shoulder as he rolled and Isak laughed, wide mouthed and open, hand waving up in the air to get them all to quiet for just a moment.

“Wait, wait, that’s not even the best part!”

Magnus was crying, laughing so hard he’d gone near silent and Isak could barely stop giggling enough to even tell it.

“Eskild--”

“Eksild, Eksild?” They all parroted like birds, the mispronunciation of his name they fucked up when they all were sober and there everyone went off again, round seven fucking thousand of endless giggling.

“Now, Eskild--”

“Eksild!” Jonas shouted and Isak shoved him, licking his lips and trying not to burst into more laughter again as Jonas’s curls got squished by Mahdi trying to shove him too.

“Hey. Listen to me. So Eskild saw him bring me breakfast right, and stops at our bedroom door - mind you, I’m still naked, with just a blanket over my lap and I'm like wincing as I'm sitting up--”

“Holy fuck.”

“Yeah, holy fuck, and Eskild’s just--”

“Eksild Eksild,” Magnus murmured, so Isak jammed his toes into Magnus’s ribs to hopefully get him to shut up long enough to finish his fucking story.

“And he's just standing there in the doorway and he's like,

‘You two are so sweet, it's just so precious and endearing and shit, how your boyfriend brings you breakfast in bed?’”

Isak laughed, making his voice a tad higher, flicking a wrist up at the sky for comedic effect, which worked way too damn well when it was two in the morning and they were all wasted off their asses from giggling and hard liquor.

“‘I've never seen anyone so soft and sweet!’”

“And I'm sitting there staring blankly at him because ??? Last night was fucking anything but motherfucking soft.”

This couldn’t even be considered laughing anymore, this was some awful combination between chortling and the highest pitched giggling he had no idea any of them was capable of, the ricochet of sounds making it that much funnier until they were laughing so hard it physically hurt, again.

Isak wiped a tear from his eye, shoving at the various pile of body parts close enough to bother to make sure they were listening.

“Listen, have you ever been so hard you thought you were going to actually die? Yeah try that, while being fucked within an inch of your life by your…gorgeous boyfriend who's pinning your shoulders to the bed with one hand and is bruising your hips from how high he's holding them in the other.”

“Oh my god.”

“Holy fuck.”

Magnus was like. Choking and Mahdi was tearing up with silent laughter now, and Jonas’s face was twisted up so fucking scandalized Isak was crying with tears now too.

“Oh my god?!?”

“Oh my god isn't the beginning of it, fuck.” The laughter dragged Jonas back in as Isak reached over and prodded his ribs, smiling so wide his face hurt as Magnus mumbled something about maybe taking back his comment about being able to handle watching them bang on TV after all.

“Right? It's fucking crazy.” Isak stared up at the ceiling in awe, some distant part of his mind registering that wow, this was real, he was talking about his sex life with his friends, and for some reason that made it feel about 6000 times more real. Here was Isak Valtersen, getting fucked hard enough to bruise on Thursday night then giggling about it with his friends all night Friday.

“Fuck.” Isak lifted his head just a tad, wincing and squinting to try and make the floor somewhat horizontal again. Sitting up, he was going to sit up because fuck, his stomach hurt from all of the laughing mixed with all of the alcohol and sitting up sounded like the cheat version of curling up in a ball without cutting out for the night.

“Uggh, fuck, I swear, he’s all I can ever fuckin’ think about. The room was spinning more than it is right now which is. Oy yoy, saying a lot.”

He patted out a hand for the closest solid surface, found Jonas, then Mahdi, then finally the couch, which he managed to scoot back against without any casualties except maybe kicking Magnus. Whoops.

“So that's the handprint then?” Mahdi was also sitting up against the couch, would you look at that. Great minds think alike.

Speaking of which. He’d just said something. Isak rolled in his lips, registering the words and looking down at his chest, which wasn’t nearly so marked up as his back. It was usually the opposite, but.

Right, handprint. On the back of his neck.

“Mmhm. And most of the other bruises on my shoulders. And this hip.” He flipped the band of his pants down, revealing just an inch more of the purple peeking out from the sharp bone. These pants rode low enough to see a bit of the bruising anyways. Now those, he was pretty used to, marked up hips were pretty damn frequent nowadays and Isak was definitely not fucking complaining.

He peered over at his other hip, prodding at the bone once or twice. Yeah, definitely bruised. Like usual.

“But the thumb marks on this one are probably from blowjobs.”

“Jesus fuck.”

“Yeah man, if you think getting head from a girl is fun?” Isak lifted his head, tipping it knowingly at the faces all turned up his way again. “That's nothing on somebody who knows his way around a dick ‘cause he's got one.”

“That's a really good point,” Magnus pondered all curious and confused again and Isak just nodded, heartily.

“Goddamn.” Jonas was staring up at the ceiling contemplating existence, from the look of it.

“What about giving head? Is it weird?”

Isak blinked once or twice, looking down at Jonas again. He wasn’t actually asking many of the questions tonight, but he’d asked that one and Isak furrowed his eyebrows, really thinking it over. No automatic answers for Jonas.

“Mmm. Nah, not anymore. At first it was…” Sucked in a breath over a weirded out eee sound. Universal for yeah, freaky, not good. “But like once you get over the whole not being able to breathe thing it's like...empowering?”

Isak chewed on his lip a moment, debating the word choice before he decided he like it, nodding and waving a hand in the air to emphasize.

“Ja. Empowering.”

“Huh,” Jonas said and Isak lifted a shoulder. What you didn’t know, y’know.

“Do you guys switch off giving head then?” Mahdi asked and Isak rolled his head back, couch cushions all soft, too soft, his head was heavy but not that heavy, might as well lift it back up.

“Yeah, cause like. Everyone likes getting it, and we both like giving it so.” He lifted both hands, flat palms in the sky as he weighed them back and forth like scales with a little shrug, y’know y’know.

“But you don't switch when you have sex?” That was Mahdi again, who could sometimes ask questions almost borderline Magnus nosy but somehow they didn’t feel so curious, more like he was opening doors for Isak to share which was a weird feeling but whatever, everything felt weird right now and that was a weird question, actually.

Isak paused, brushing a stray golden curl out of his eyes. His hair had to be fucked to hell if curls were in his line of sight, fuckin’ yikes.

Did they switch when they had sex? He lifted one shoulder, squinting into the distance as he thought about it. He’d actually never thought about it. Like, once.

Was that weird? He used to like. Worry, back when he wasn’t sure if he was gay, or if he’d ever be expected to have gay sex, he even kinda worried when he first got with Even, he was afraid he’d freak out or not be able to handle it or anything but like.

It just came so natural, there was something he trusted so much in Even’s core, something in the way he kissed Isak hard up against a wall that made it real damn easy to spread his legs right open--

“Woah,” Jonas interrupted and Isak froze, mouth snapping back closed. What.

“...was that out loud?”

“...yes?”

“How much of it??”

“How are we supposed to know?!” Magnus demanded and Isak put up his hands in defense, eyes widening, chill the fuck out dude.

“What I was gonna say, anyways, was that for switching, we haven’t yet. I don't know if we will? I haven't really thought about it actually, like. At all, until right now. Not since we’ve had sex anyways.”

“So you like how it is, then?” See, there was something about the way Mahdi asked questions that just came across as so much more polite than it did nosy. “Being, uh.”

“A bottom,” Magnus filled in.

Great. Great, yeah, sure, he’d figured they’d guessed as much from Even’s and his dynamic, or at least their heights or something, but. Magnus could also just blurt it out loud for God and the world to hear.

“I learned my gay sex terms,” he was defending, cause Jonas had kicked him or something. Go Jonas. “And just, so you know--”

Magnus struggled to sit up, clearly, obviously drunk. Join the club.

Did he like being a bottom. Jesus fuck, yeah.

Isak blinked patiently at him as Mr. Desperate took a very sincere moment to pause, looking Isak straight in the eyes as he deadpanned, pure as hell,

“I don't think of you as a woman at all.”

“Takk,” Isak replied, overly sincere in return, with a dramatic hand over his heart as he swayed forward a tad, pausing at the front of his balance with one hand in the air, palm graciously out towards Magnus Who Tried.

“Although I suppose that’s really too bad because. I still think of you as one.”

He barely got out the drag before he was giggling like the little bitch he was, one hand over his stomach and water in his eyes.

Mahdi and Jonas were both stuck between barking out shocked cackling laughter and pointing with their loud, kickass backup drags.

“Ahhh cold, cold, fucking vicious, cold--”

“I was already freezing man, what the fuck?” Magnus pouted, looking very pitiful there in just his boxers with the window open - they should close that window, asap - but when you had a shitty poker face, life really just took you for a ride sometimes.

Isak was laughing at the stars and the folds of the couch as he snickered his way through yet another one of his burns and by fucking god, he should write these down, he’d be fucking famous for how fucking funny he was.

“It's too bad you suck at poker and everything having to do with sex. Vegas, you, never.” The couch stopped holding him upright when he was tipped sideways, but Mahdi seemed pretty amiable to catching him before the floor did so Isak didn’t bother to stop laughing.

“You have no idea how I am in bed!” The defense was fair, but the doors it opened, he couldn’t not.

“And I'd like to keep it that way,” Isak shot back, triple burn to sink Magnus’s eyebrows back into that confused, vaguely kicked puppy look that he fucking had coming every time, which didn’t stop it from being so fucking funny every time.

“You are like. The fucking king of hickies. You have no room to speak,” he pouted and Isak rolled off of Mahdi’s thigh, landing on his stomach in front of Magnus to reach over and shove his knee, which refused to budge with all the weight Magnus had on it. Damn damn.

“What’re you talking about? Hickies are great.” Obviously, his skin was serenading to back him up and Isak rolled one more time, ending up somewhere between all three of them as he closed his eyes, squinched up his nose and sing-songed up at the ceiling in English, “Mark me up, baby.”

At least one of them thought that was funny, spiraling into laughter again, his brain was just way too distant right now to figure out who.

“Yeah, but twelve? Fucking hell, just one takes like fucking five minutes to make properly.”

Twelve, that’s right, that’s how many shots he had taken and fuck, that had been a lot hadn’t it. Apparently his rough count in his head before he agreed had been way off.

Excuse him for not remembering perfectly, he’d been a little preoccupied with the fucking sensation as Even was making them to count.

“I’m markable,” Isak parroted back, quoting what Even had told him last night and then they were all giggling. God, this was better than being high, even if his sides were aching again from how much they couldn’t fucking stop laughing. But this was so nice, laughing until he couldn't breathe and getting to talk to all his boys about sex and Even and all of the fantastic things in his life. Which was just so sad they didn’t have too.

“Hey, hey, but you know what, gay sex is great guys, honestly. If you ever get the chance, try it, you are missing out on so fucking much. I mean, do you have any fucking clue what the prostate--”

“Ahh! Stop, okay, stop there,” Mahdi interrupted and Isak’s triumphant smile deepened into dimples as Jonas knocked his shoulder, a hand shoving through his curls as he lifted them up to plop down on the nearest soft spot.

“I mean, I knew biology was your subject,” Jonas caroled, which was so nice, it was great that his friends knew him so well. If only Jonas could’ve fuckin’ let Sana know that yes, biology was his subject before it took her the entire class to figure it out but y’know what, that was fine, they were friends now and they probably wouldn’t’ve been otherwise and. Jonas was still talking, fuck.

“...didn’t know anatomy was too.”

Isak laughed, head kicking back into Jonas’s stomach as he laughed too, reverberating through Isak’s skull and down the rest of his bones. He’d ended up on his favorite soft spot, look at that. This was where he used to lay when they were younger, because he bitched about his hair being fucked up by the grass and Jonas would always sigh but volunteer as a pillow while they watched the clouds in the park or chatted on somebody’s roof or something.

Stomachs were the absolute best pillows.

Isak blinked up at the ceiling, laughter dying down enough to gasp in a breath as his leaking eyes stained little puddles on Jonas’s shirt. At least one of them was vaguely wearing clothes. Somewhat.

“Jesus fuck, I don’t think I’ve ever been this drunk in my life,” Isak confessed to the ceiling and Jonas carded a hand through his hair while Magnus poked his ankle, like that was gonna somehow measure how fucking drunk Isak was.

The answer was: fucking drunk. But there was nobody he’d rather be Fucking Drunk with, these were the only hoes he had any desire to get trashnasty with and the fact that they’d all agreed to, were all still camped out on his living room floor giggling just.

Made his chest so warm, how the fuck did he find such fucking amazing friends?

“I love you guys,” he cooed sincerely and Jonas’s hand paused in his hair, wild head of dark curls lifting up to catchy the dreamydistant look in his eyes.

“Fuck, yeah, you’ve gotta be drunk.”

Isak was back to giggling, rolling a bit, just enough that when Jonas put a hand in his hair this time it was a lot more about keeping him still than playing with his hair.

“You hate us, man.”

“No I don’t, I love you guys,” Isak insisted, looking up at the underside of Jonas’s chin before slipping free of the hand pinning him still and rolling over onto his stomach. Ear to Jonas’s sternum, hand curled up by his face as he smiled to himself, eyes slipping shut in the warmth.

“Oh Isak,” Mahdi sighed fondly and Isak shuffled, lifting his head just enough to make himself comfy again, content little smile on his face. He totally loved them, every one of them. His fucking amazing friends, he absolutely loved them.

“But not like I love Even,” Isak interrupted, fingers and shut eyes tightening with the pulse in his fucking fingertips. “Jesus fuck I am so, so in love with Even.”

It took him a second to place the shift, because he was still kinda just basking in the warmth and the glow of how much he loved the boy that marked him up enough for his friends to question it and not enough for Isak not to miss him fucking desperately.

But there was a shift, because all the latent giggling and chatter had fallen again, all of the boys kinda quiet as Isak rolled back over onto his back, right over the softest part of Jonas’s stomach as he stared at the ceiling, hands resting still and quiet over his stomach.

Maybe they were all watching him, or maybe they were all just kinda shocked with how honest and sincere Isak’s voice had been, or maybe they just didn’t see it written all over Isak’s fucking face every time Even Bech Næsheim so much as walked into the fucking room.

Where was he right now? It was too late - or early, in the morning, depending on who you were - for him to still be hanging with his parents, nobody hung with their parents at 03:30.

So he was probably sleeping, then. Hopefully tucked in warm and cozy in a bed he hadn’t slept in alone for like. A fucking month, not that Isak had any slightest regrets about that.

If anybody else his age practically lived with their significant other, he’d probably think they were crazy but it was different, with Even, they were different.

Jesus Christ, he was so fucking in love with that boy.

“I think you need some water.” Jonas’s mom voice interrupted and Isak groaned loudly, rolling back over to bury his face in a nice and cozy warm shirt.

“Leave me alone, dad. Actually, wait.” Isak lifted his head, blinking disoriented against the spinning room. Fuck that. Fuck this, too. “I wouldn’t insult you like that, fuck my dad.”

“Okay, yeah, things are getting too real. It’s time for you to go to sleep now,” Jonas told him, two hands shoving Isak gracelessly to the floor as he sat up, arms instantly flailing out for balance. “Oh fuck.”

“Mmm, yeah, it’s better down here on the floor,” Isak informed him blurrily. He would no more get up right now than he would tapdance naked out there in the cold. Unlike some people, he made a point to wear clothes when he went outside. Although huh, actually, he was gonna like. Not think about that when he was this fucked up, that probably was not the best idea.

God knows what’d he do, if someone brought that up right now. Maybe break down crying, maybe lay there numb and dead as he’d felt when Sonja had swept his feet out underneath him like that--

“Couch,” Jonas declared. A hand wiped over his cheek and Isak swatted it away pissily. Whatever made Jonas think he could put water on Isak’s face, salty water on top of it, how fucking dare-- “Magnus, Mahdi, help me get him on the couch.”

“Get yourself on the couch,” Isak mumbled, sniffling. Wow, there were suddenly a fucking lot of hands here right now. He was hands down the most drunk, but nobody was sober enough to pick each other up, either.

Bridal style, that’s the only way Even hadn’t carried him yet. Last time he’d talked about their wedding he’d been in a different universe than Isak, and it wasn’t one that was parallel at all.

It wasn't parallel at all.

God, he'd been so scared.

“Leave me alone.” The weak protests weren’t saying much when he curled into familiar hands the second Jonas tried picking him up. There was plenty of cursing, but next thing he knew he was landing sideways on something a lot softer than the floor, elbow jabbing something that made a very uncomfortable sound when it got squished.

Isak dragged his eyes back open, blinking wide eyed at Jonas, whose face was way too close to his right now the way they’d landed on the couch.

He was a hassle drunk. Huh, who knew. Just kidding, he totally knew that. So did Jonas, actually. Jonas knew everything. Well. Actually not everything.

“Mahdi, can you get a glass of water?”

“Did you know,” Isak started slowly, narrow vision filled with just the face of his best friend, the one who’d been literally the best person in the world to come out to, which Isak never really would’ve expected considering how much it used to fucking tear him up. “...I used to have this...massive crush on you.”

Jonas lifted one eyebrow, clearly unimpressed.

“And bring duct tape, while you’re at it!” He shouted for the kitchen. Uh, rude.

“I’m serious,” Isak whined, shoving at his chest. “Jonas, you’re like super great, I was so into you.”

Another voice piped up, from the ground, which Isak’s brain took a few seconds to register as Magnus.

“Knew there had to be a reason he chose having sex with you over sex with me, it’s just the only thing that makes sense.”

There were a lot of reasons that made sense, but Isak just twitched an eye and looked back up at Jonas, who was still half pinned beneath him here on the couch. Good, Jonas was supposed to know everything, it fucking killed him that he didn’t know everything.

Literally, there was like an actual hole in him from not saying anything, although at least there wasn't a hole in his chest from an unrequited one way crush anymore. That sucked, but thank fuck it didn't suck anymore.

“Don’t worry, I’m so fucking into Even now, there’s no way I’d get in between you and Eva again.”

“Here’s the water,” Mahdi said but Jonas didn’t reach up to take it, too busy looking at Isak with a furrow between his dark, bushy eyebrows.

“Again?”

“Jonas,” Mahdi repeated, something underneath in his voice that Isak was not picking up, but apparently everybody else could hear it just fine, cause next thing he knew Jonas was holding a glass of water to his lips, switched right back into Worry Mode.

“Here, Isak, drink.”

“I thought you cut me off,” he argued light-heartedly, but he opened his mouth when the glass pressed to his lips anyways. No point being cheeky when he was that wasted and Jonas was being that nice.

Why was Jonas being so nice to him? It wasn’t like he fucking deserved it.

“Don’t be mad,” Isak tried, trying not to sound terrified, and Jonas put a hand in his hair.

“I’m not mad.”

“Promise,” he insisted, and this time when Jonas wiped a hand over his cheek, the salt water he was brushing away kind of registered in the same bubble as the foggy water haze in the bottom edge of his vision. Oh.

“Promise,” Jonas told him, shifting both of their bodies as he reached up to hand Mahdi the empty glass. When his arm came back down, it came down around Isak’s shoulders.

Ribs were also surprisingly comfy and Isak settled in, both of them sideways on the couch with Jonas’s hand in his hair, stroking over it the same way he did when Isak’s dad left his mom and Isak didn’t know how to deal with a single fucking thing.

“Are you really in love with Even?” Jonas asked him softly, private, just between the two of them. It was quiet and close and caring, more felt than heard with his eyes slipping closed against a sideways heartbeat. This was his best friend, who cared more about him than anyone else in the entire fucking world, and Isak could fucking hear it in every note of his voice.

That, he could be drunk, high, dead, he didn’t miss.

“Yeah,” Isak replied sleepily. “You like him, right?”

“Yeah, I like him.” Jonas told him. “I like you being happy more.”

Seeing Isak smile, the day he came out over kebabs? That was the most heartbreaking moment of Jonas’s entire life. His best friend, laying bare the soul he’d hid for years. To Jonas, before anyone else, watching him with the most terrified look in his eyes as he held Jonas’s gaze - this was fucking important - and said it once, ”Try.”

Try to guess. A hint. It’s not a girl.

The look on Isak’s face, as he said that, physically holding his breath to see what Jonas would respond with. To see if Jonas would be disgusted, kick him to the curb, look at him different, tell him it was wrong, he was sick, anything that could’ve possibly been running through that kid’s head at the moment.

“Hmm,” Jonas had said, looking down at his kebab as he thought it over. Isak liked somebody, that wasn’t a girl. So yeah, when he’d looked up he’d replied with a curious, honest, guess.

“Is it me?”

“Nei!” Isak had defended, so quickly, a brilliant, shaky smile on his face. “Nei, nei nei! You?!”

And it wasn’t, it wasn’t anymore, but. It had been, at one point, he had that confirmed now.

But that wasn’t why that day was the most heartwrenching memory he owned. No, it was the end of that conversation that killed him.

“Like, he has got to break up with his girlfriend,” Jonas had said and Isak had looked down, thumb rubbing over the edge of the drawing Even had given him. And then he did the simplest fucking thing.

He just smiled. Small, and shy, as he looked down at this note a boy had given him and.

It was the kind of smile he’d never seen on Isak’s mouth before. Quiet, sincere. None of the bullshit or pain or underlying something. Just. a smile. An honest, little. hopeful smile.

That, that was why.

So Jonas meant it. Meant every word of it when he ran his hand through Isak’s hair and told him yes, he liked Even, he really did, but.

“I like you being happy more.”

It was too bad Isak was already asleep against him by the time he said it, but. Passed out or not, hopefully there was some part of that stubborn head that knew it, deep down. That heard it as he drifted into sleep, and let it fill his dreams with something quiet and peaceful.

Jonas smiled to himself, resituated the pillow under his side, and let himself drift off into sleep too. Let them leave this entire fucking year behind.

Let next year be nothing but the hope there'd been in that honest little smile.

 

Chapter Text

Lørdag, 09:13
31.12.16

 

It was probably at Vilde’s request again, but Isak was hosting a New Year’s Eve party to bring in 2017 at his place, which was - of course, because it was Vilde - going to require quite a bit of the day to set up.

There was alcohol to buy, rooms to decorate, food to make. Even had promised both Vilde and Isak he’d be there early on Saturday to help, apparently having an extra set of hands and someone over 18 who could buy was pretty appreciated when it came to kosegruppa parties.

So it wasn’t like Isak wasn’t expecting him, but still, Even felt a little out of place as he bounced on his toes at Isak’s doorstep, his phone waiting quietly with an unanswered string of texts, which was fine, he wasn’t worried or anything, he was sure Isak had a great night, but he didn’t exactly wanna wake him either.

Or well, maybe he did, maybe that’s why he was here at 9 in the morning instead of the 10 he definitely could’ve shown up for, but.

Dinner with his parents had been terribly boring without Isak there to throw suggestive glances at. Not to mention falling asleep was also extremely, terribly boring because his bed wasn’t warm enough and there wasn’t a damn thing to match his breathing to.

Basically, he just missed Isak. A lot.

And Isak wasn’t responding to his texts, and none of his roommates were going to be home, so Even rapped again, knocking a little louder in case Isak was passed out deep enough not to hear the first two.

He was wearing his leather jacket today. It wasn’t supposed to snow and he wasn’t really over the way Isak looked at him in it. Hopefully Isak missed him as much as he missed Isak, because he could really go for some we’ve been apart so long sex right now. Or a we've been apart so long day in bed, just holding each other and occasionally kissing just because they could.

Something intimate. Anything intimate.

They hadn’t even texted. Like all day. The last time he’d spoken to Isak had been early Friday morning, and that’d just been a message to confirm that he was gonna be here Saturday - which he was, open the door - and a little red heart to carry him over until now.

Shouldn’t feel like it was that long, but he’d just gotten so used to being surrounded. By the apartment he basically lived at now, by Isak’s roommates and Isak’s hoodies on his bare skin and Isak’s smile as he turned the corner into their - his. Bedroom.

Which wasn’t that far away, really, he should be able to hear Even knocking.

He was just about to consider calling Eskild when finally, a lock on the other side of the door clicked, doorknob turning to swing open as Even took a step to the side, ready to rush in and sweep Isak into his arms.

Only that wasn’t Isak, that was a very groggy looking Mahdi.

“Oh. Halla,” Even greeted, nodding as Mahdi backed out of the entry way, rubbing his eyes painfully as Even shut the door behind him, kicked off his shoes. “You look…”

“Exhausted,” Mahdi answered for him, all gravel and a vague nod in his direction before he was wandering in the direction of the living room, “--and going back to sleep.”

“Alright.” Even rolled his lips in, holding back the amusement as he followed Mahdi into the living room where he sunk right back into an armchair that really wasn’t big enough to sprawl in like that.

Speaking of sprawls and not being big enough.

Isak - fuck, Isak, he’d missed him so fucking much - was passed the fuck out on the couch, slumped half on top of Jonas, who looked beyond uncomfortable squished up against the side of the armrest while Isak lay stretched out like a cat in the sun, one leg hanging off the cushions.

The only person who actually had enough room was Magnus, who was passed out on the floor, a pile of shirts under his head for a pillow.

That was another interesting little detail. Like, not one of them was wearing a full outfit of clothing.

Mahdi and Jonas were both in an undershirt and shorts, Isak wasn’t wearing anything on the top half of his body and Magnus was only in boxers.

The window was cracked open and there were empty alcohol bottles everywhere, coupled with discarded clothes and cards and shot glasses.

Even stood in the middle of the living room and highly debated blackmail photos for a solid ten seconds before deciding that it was probably too early in this friend group.

“Well. Wow, you guys had a hell of a night.”

Mahdi groaned in agreement, eyes closed from his strange position on the armchair. Right.

He had to be careful not to slip on half a deck of cards as he crossed the room, amusement growing more and more with every step.

Not as much as his affection grew though. He dropped to a squat in front of the beautiful boy, sleeping with his mouth open as he drooled on Jonas’s ribs, blonde curls fucked in a thousand directions and those tiny stress lines around his eyes that made Even’s heart skip a beat.

A moment’s hesitation - he didn’t want to wake Isak up, especially not after a night like whatever the hell last night was - but he couldn’t just. Not touch him either.

Blonde shifted through his fingertips as Even carded a hand through silky disheveled hair, pretty green eyes fluttering at his touch.

“Good morn’,” Even whispered fondly. Pouty lips parted around a half-assed grumble, eyes squeezing tighter shut as he dug his head a little harder into Jonas’s side. Even couldn’t help but light up in a smile, cupping the back of Isak’s head as he tipped forward and placed a solid kiss to the crinkled forehead.

Isak softened just a little, some of the stress lines by his eyes fading as Even smoothed aside a rumpled curl that bounced back into the wrong place the moment he slid his hand free.

He might as well get some things done while the boys slept, odds were none of them were going to wake up in the mood to clean, and he had to do something while he waited anyways.

The corners of Isak’s mouth flattened a tad as Even stood up, placing one more kiss to the top of his head before he left his sleeping boy to the sleeping Jonas’s care and turned to survey the room.

Alcohol first, glass was always the most important thing to round up.

As he stooped to pick up a rolled over shot glass, Even noted the space between this one and the next, the bottle between. It was almost like a movie, the way the mess they left behind painted a picture of the night.

Clothes under cards, so clothes came off first, which meant they were probably playing a stripping card game. The scattered chips obviously pointed to poker. The windowsill was frozen over, and none of the chairs were right up against it, so snow poker.

There were both tumblers and shot glasses, the shot glasses were empty but some of the tumblers were still full - they abandoned snow poker for a drinking game of sorts, which ended with everyone on the floor, based on the fact that that’s where all the shot glasses were.

Even dumped everything glass and washable into the sink, rinsing off his hands as he smiled to himself. Regardless of the fact that everyone probably felt fucking awful today, he was really really glad they decided to do that whole night apart thing. Clearly, Isak had needed it.

Yeah, maybe he was a little jealous he missed out on all the fun, but there were worse things to miss out on. And at least one of them needed to be sober and chipper today for the party they were hosting.

In the meantime, he’d clean and debate over what their drinking games must’ve been, wonder whether the boys brought him up, what Isak had told them. He was pretty sure his parents’ questions last night were nothing like the questions Magnus and Jonas and Mahdi asked.

Does he know what he wants to study in school? Does he have a school picked out yet?

What are his roommates like? They really don’t mind you being there all the time?

When are you bringing him over for dinner next, honey? Do you think he’d like my signature pasta dish--

Yeah, he doubted that’s what they were discussing over shots of tequila and whiskey.

He was in the middle of wiping down the table when the silence finally disappeared, replaced with a distant whiny groan.

“Babyy…”

The cloth got abandoned instantly, traded in for a hand over the draping lax one as Even dropped to a knee in front of the couch, other palm out to cup the tired, scrunched up bitter face.

“Hey you.”

“Mmrrm.” Isak pouted, pushing his lips out the way he did when they were laying in bed and he wanted to be kissed, except about a dozen times more petulant. Didn’t even have his eyes open yet and he was already grumpy and demanding.

Even stroked a thumb down his pretty cheek, just looking him over for a moment before he smiled, soft and affectionate as he leaned forward and kissed that pouty mouth as gentle as he could.

“You taste like tequila,” he informed him and Isak scrunched up his nose.

“Ughh. Don’t say that word.” One eye cracked open, side of his face squished against Jonas’s slowly expanding ribs. Even tipped his smile, running soothing fingers through curls.

“Can I get you a glass of water?”

“Mmm.” The cracked eye squeezed shut again, fairly miserably.

And he still looked miserable lying there sprawled when Even came back with a full glass.

“Think you can sit up to drink it?”

The exasperated huff Isak made was pretty cute, rubbing eyes roughly as he struggled upright to squint accusingly at the world as Even handed him the glass. He sipped slowly, looking vaguely okay past the bitchiness and dark eyes.

Isak was still squinting as he handed the empty glass back, paler than usual as Even twisted his mouth to the side and told himself he really didn’t need to watch so closely, this was hardly the first time Isak got wasted with friends.

“Do you want another?” He lifted the glass in indication and Isak squinched up his face, pinching the bridge of his nose like that could stave off the headache that was sure to come with whatever massive hangover they were all toting.

“I’ll take that as a yes.”

Hadn’t so much as turned the handle on the sink before Isak went stumbling past, hand over his mouth as he ran for the bathroom.

He almost slipped on the kitchen tile taking off to follow, landing at the bathroom door just as Isak hurled into the toilet.

Charming.

He really should have some sympathy, it was only fair, but there was something about seventeen year olds getting wasted off their asses without so much as a glass of water to counter the next day hangover that just...really didn’t have that much sympathy, it wasn’t like they didn’t know this was exactly what was gonna happen.

But at least he managed to rein in the amused smile as he dropped by Isak’s side again, brushing a hand over his forehead to pin back curls, other hand bracing against skin.

“Jeez, you guys had one hell of a night.” Even ran a palm down Isak’s spine, rubbing comfort absentmindedly, and that’s when he saw it.

“Holy shit.” Hand lifted, curls on the back of Isak’s neck brushed aside as he took in the marks across his skin, light purple and fading blue, red edges on a few. He’d known he was leaving marks yeah, but. Wow. “Your shoulders are fucked.”

Isak crossed his arms over the top of the toilet seat, spitting into the basin and groaning.

“Ja, I know,” he croaked back, pure sass beneath the doting misery.

“Does it hurt? Are you okay?”

Eyebrows knit as he leaned over, tried to catch some kind of emotion from the profile as Isak squinched up his nose again. “Why didn't you tell me?”

“The only thing that hurts is my head.” It was accompanied by another groan, forehead resting on forearms and a quiet grumble from a protesting stomach. But that wasn’t enough of an answer, as much as he loved leaving marks - and how Isak loved him leaving marks - it was nowhere near fucking worth it if they hurt. Isak couldn't just not tell him, that wasn't fair.

“Besides, you made them.”

“I didn’t know they were that bad!”

“They’re not bad. You made them.” Isak peered up at him from his post of misery and Even held the gaze, eyebrows shooting up at the sincerity in the miserable green.

“If you’re sure.”

“Mmhhm. Ughhh.” Barely a moment of a little smile before Isak was rolling his head back down, groaning miserably at his stomach, head, both, either.

Even dropped a kiss to the closest mark on the sleepwarm, marred skin before regretfully pushing up off the tile.

“I’ll go make you something for your hangover, will you be okay for a minute?”

“Nei.”

Not very convincing, but it ended up being less than a minute anyways. As much as he'd love to make something impressive and delicious, not really the morning for that. So he brought back the most old-fashioned hangover cure there was, soda pop with a fuckton of salt dumped in it.

Isak was puking again by the time Even made it back, so he grabbed the closest towel, running it under the sink to wipe off Isak’s mouth for him as he miserably lifted his head again.

“I hate everything,” he mumbled and Even patted his lips clean, being the good boyfriend for once and not commenting on how if he hadn’t decided to sell his soul to tequila last night, he might not hate everything today.

“Nasty,” Isak complained, again, as Even swiped a clean part of the wet towel over his cheeks and forehead too.

“Not like I haven't cleaned you up before,” he scoffed and Isak squeezed his eyes shut. Yeah, the light was probably killing him, but Even wasn’t gonna leave him here to throw up in the dark.

“But that's after sex, that's different.”

“It's admittedly a little more fun, yeah.” Isak made a disgruntled sound and Even set the towel back in the sink, trading it out for the hangover remedy and offering it over.

“Ewww.”

“It'll help,” he pointed out. Isak still had his bitchiest face on as he took the glass. He drank half, shoved it back petulantly, and went right back to curled over the toilet.

Even rubbed a hand over his back, careful not to press too hard on the scattered bruises.

“I'm gonna go check on the boys, okay? Try and drink as much of this as you can. It's good for you.”

He pushed to his feet, almost missing the mumbling from his disastrous mess of a boyfriend.

“What's that?” Even dropped back down close and Isak shifted, rolling his head so he could see the profile of that pretty face.

“Are you the man who's gonna tell me what's good for me or not?”

The smile Even gave him was wide enough that Isak couldn’t help but smile too, the first real one he'd seen today.

His whole chest could burst.

“Of course. It's my job. Don't you know that's why I'm doing this?”

The dimple flashed for just a moment, misery forgotten as green eyes filled with light as they simultaneously darkened, pupils dilated to fuck the way they always were when Isak looked at him, really looked at him, and Even would kiss him madly if everything didn’t smell terribly of stomach acid and tequila.

Instead he slid a hand through disheveled blonde and reached over to press a gentle kiss to the slope of a cold ear. He should go grab a hoodie, Isak had to be freezing. But he definitely should check on his friends first.

“You okay? I’ll be back.”

A simple nod and Even made himself leave, if he didn’t now he’d stay there rubbing Isak’s back all morning, while there were three more plastered boys who needed attending to.

Thankfully there was enough soda pop to make three hangover cocktail remedies, even if they were admittedly pretty nasty, the electrolyte boost was important. Mahdi was slowly sipping water at the table as Even brought them in, but happily exchanged it for the soda sat down in front of him.

“You guys had fun though, yeah?”

“It was fun,” Mahdi agreed and then came a bitter sound from the floor.

“My sides hurt from laughing,” Magnus groaned, awake and curled up with his eyes closed. “I have stitches. Or I need stitches. I don't know.”

Even laughed and carefully stepped over the pile of bare limbs, setting the next soda on the shoved aside coffee table.

“This one’s for you. And if you’re cold, I put everyone's clothes in individual piles. Easier than searching around for them.”

“You know what I wear?” A blue eye peeked open at him and Even lifted an eyebrow, running a hand not at all awkwardly through his hair. “I'm so honored.”

Okay that wasn't as vicious as he'd expected. Even shook his head and set down the last glass on the end table next to Jonas. He didn’t mean to set it down loudly, or maybe it was his shadow blocking the morning sun from the window but the second he sat it down, Jonas startled awake.

A burst of scattered, tired laughter as Jonas wildly patted the empty spot on the couch beside him, groggy as fuck and hair in ten thousand directions as he whipped his head around in confusion.

“Where's Isak, is he okay, where'd he--”

“He's puking up all of last night in the bathroom, but he'll be fine.” Even rolled his lips in to keep from laughing as Jonas relaxed back into the cushions, eyes slipping closed in relief. He scooted the glass a little closer before stepping over Magnus again and plopping down on the other end of the couch.

Jonas pried open his eyes, squinting at the bright room painfully before pinching the bridge of his nose and groaning.

“Fuck, my head.”

“Even made us hangover remedies.” Mahdi seemed quite content, drinking his without so much as a complaint about the salty bitter.

“Man after my heart,” Magnus mumbled and Even laughed, pulling a leg up to cross an ankle over his knee.

“You're a man of many talents, at least,” Jonas offered, shooting a glance at the other two, then all three were busting up laughing, mixed in with a few groans as strained muscles were woken back up.

Many talents?

“Hmm? What's that supposed to mean?” Even glanced between the different expressions, eyebrows knit and lifted in confusion.

“I, uh.” The scratchy voice behind made everyone perk up, heads turning towards where Isak was standing in the doorway, still squinting but looking considerably better as he held onto an empty glass and twisted his mouth up guiltily. “I'm pretty sure I spilled a few more things than drinks last night?”

“Oh?” Even’s eyebrows went up all the way and there were a few mutters of yeah, one way to put it, a lot of shaking heads and a hell of a lot of knowing looks.

Isak rolled his lips in, looking down at his glass as Even pushed off the couch, carefully stepping around Magnus again before sliding up to Isak’s side, wrapping an arm around his waist to press a quick kiss to his temple and tug his groggy adorable self into the kitchen.

Long limbs and bare skin all warm and beautiful, snaking around to curl in the back of his leather jacket as Even set the glass down on the counter and painted a chaste kiss to the tender, marked up neck.

“You don't mind?” Isak asked, swallowing nervously, head pulled back.

He straightened slowly, running a thumb up one of Isak’s beautiful cheekbones, studying the guarded worry in those fucking captivating eyes.

Even lifted both eyebrows, hold secure on the pretty, half-naked boy in his arms. Isak had told his friends things, details of some kind, enough to make them all blush and make jokes about his many talents. He’d pictured Isak to be pretty tight-lipped, considering he was still going through the little nuances of not being in the closet anymore, but the last thing Even cared about was the boys knowing some details of their sex life. Isak was okay with them, really okay enough that he rambled to his friends about things they did in bed, if anything he was kinda proud.

But it wasn't about him, it was about Isak and whatever guilt he was feeling. Even was happy to assuage it what he could though.

“I'm...surprised, but whatever you're comfortable sharing, I really don't mind.”

Isak’s eyes lifted to the sky for a moment, crooked smile tipping up one side of his mouth in relief. “Phew.”

He followed Isak’s gaze all the way out of sight as he tipped forward to prop his chin on Even’s collarbone. Green eyes slipped closed as Even kissed his temple again. God, it was fucking nice to have Isak right here again, skin and smile and achingly bright soul all within reach.

Even ran a hand down Isak’s bare back, smiling to himself as he reveled in the closeness. He’d never grown used to it in the three weeks they’d basically lived together, but it felt so remarkably extraordinary today. Just twenty four hours.

Isak had been kinda right, in a way. It took him an hour and a half longer than usual to fall asleep alone in his bed last night. Which wasn’t really fair, because Isak had clearly passed out, and on top of Jonas in addition to that, so his theory of testing if he could still fall asleep alone was unfairly not tested.

He didn’t mind though. Didn’t mind a single fucking thing when Isak was here with his head tipped to rest against Even’s, arms wrapped loose and comfortable around him as Even traced indented circles into his spine.

The slope of Isak’s back, just that little thing alone, somehow that was even more remarkable today. Even’s gaze cut down as his hand slid lower, the arch up from Isak’s dipped lower back, fingertips stopping at the band of his sweats to dip barely inside, drag the tease of his touch over the edge of warm skin. Isak shuddered against him. Kept tracing all the way round to a hip, stopping to rub his thumb over the light purple bruising arching out from beneath an elastic band.

“Jeez, I'd forgotten about these too. No wonder you wound up on the topic.”

He could physically feel the corners of that tired mouth tip up as Isak smiled and pressed his face into Even’s neck.

“Everything comes back to you anyways.” Lips dragging lethargic over his skin with every word.

“Aww. Aren't you sweet when you're hungover and needy.” A few peppered kisses to the golden crown as Isak fidgeted, hands grabbing up a little higher and tighter on Even’s jacket, proving his point that much further.

“Shut up.” There was no bite in it as Isak breathed warm over his skin, nuzzling up under Even’s jaw to nibble lightly at his skin, press a warm, loose kiss that had Even’s fingers threatening new bruises onto Isak’s hips again. “To be fair, I was wasted off my fucking ass.”

A distant laugh, light and high, palming Isak’s lower back to cement their bodies that much closer.

Isak inhaled shakily, one hand running up between his shoulderblades as Even pressed a kiss to Isak’s ear, cheek, before tipping up his dimpled chin, taking in the lidded eyes and parted lips - Jesus fuck - to finally press their mouths together.

Mint toothpaste was considerably better than tequila, or puke, so the moment their lips tugged apart Even was diving beneath the surface of the waves to kiss Isak again.

He could lose himself in this, honestly.

He already had once.

A tilt to pull their mouths closer, deeper, and the jaw under his hands moved like a rag doll, hanging on every inch Even tipped him.

There probably wasn’t anything better than the mornings when Isak was pliant and needy, gravitating around Even like he was the sun, kissing him with all the same heartwrenching sweet he had that morning they’d danced in here to Gabrielle.

He could probably stay here kissing Isak all day, but eventually they broke the surface into oxygen again, lips dragging apart as their smiles grew wider, foreheads touching for a moment as Even tipped his head and pressed another kiss to a dimple, making it deepen almost more than the look in those dark dark eyes.

“How was your night?” Isak managed, gaze caught between his eyes and his smile, which only made both crinkle up brighter.

“Much less eventful,” he teased, running a hand through the back of those still-fucked golden curls, cocking his head as he watched Isak watch him. “I missed you.”

How that boy managed to look more domestic than Even’s parents while simultaneously looking more starved than a seventeen year old in a locker room, Even had no fucking idea, but he could fucking bask in the way Isak was looking at him for the rest of his life.

“Well you're still spending the night tonight, right?”

“If you’ll have me.” A playful light shove and pull with the secure hold he had, hand covering the side of his neck, the soft spot beneath his ear, all the way up to the fingertips tucked in curls.

Isak swayed and squinched up his nose, rocking forward and leaning up close to put their lips just centimeters apart, parted enough to drag sparks of anticipation up from Even’s toes as he whispered tantalizingly low.

“I’ll have you upside and sideways,” Isak murmured and Even leaned back in surprise, eyebrows shooting up again.

“And who’s this? You suddenly turn into a dirty talker overnight?” He was smiling as he said it, biting his lip and ducking back in to brush his nose against Isak’s while he made a half-cross face back at him.

“Maybe there’s still tequila in my brain.”

“Well I hope it doesn’t leave, then.” Even ducked forward to close that sparking space between them, smiling into Isak’s mouth as he turned to melting putty under his touch. But there was still some fire in all the silky plush, a bite at his lips that had Even opening his mouth in surprise, then Isak was sucking his lower lip into his mouth, fingers tightening hard in the back of Even’s jacket.

The sound Isak made when Even backed him into the kitchen counter was a really fucking wonderful one, and so was the pop their mouths made as they broke apart, both gasping as he shoved two hands in Isak’s hair and held their foreheads together, eyes still closed.

“Fuck,” Even breathed, trying not to give into the tingles that kept running up and down his spine, curling his toes against the cold tile floors.

“Please,” Isak breathed back and wow, that was an even better sound, broken and achingly desperate, starved as their mouths crashed together again. That had to be new, because Even was suddenly hard as a rock, grinding his hips forward and licking the whimper right out of Isak’s begging mouth.

He gasped loud, for real, one hand clutching Even’s hair now as Even mouthed his way down Isak’s neck, hand tightening hard as he scraped his teeth over the first dark mark he came across.

“Ah, fuck.” Isak all but collapsed in his arms, knees buckling, a gorgeous moan rumbling from his wonderfully marked up throat as Even squeezed him tighter and trailed barely-brushing lips down to a bare collarbone--

Something clattered in the living room and Isak stiffened, a momentary reaction that had Even lifting his head in worry. Only by the time he straightened up Isak wasn’t frozen, he was rolling his eyes back in his head in frustration and groaning in the vague direction of where the sound had come from.

That’s right, all of the boys were still here. And could probably hear them pretty well too. Well fuck.

Even glanced over his shoulder, but the separator wall between the kitchen and living room was positioned just right that he couldn’t see anyone, which meant they couldn’t see the bitchy look on Isak’s face either.

Although when he turned back around, the petulant sigh was replaced with a single raised eyebrow, head cocked to the side and sparkle in dilated pupils.

“Bedroom?”

“Your friends are all still here!” Mouth dropped open in feigned shock, leaning back like he couldn’t believe Isak suggested it. Although really, he kinda couldn’t.

“So?” Isak shot back, shoulders lifting in an overdramatic shrug, both palms for the ceiling.

Even laughed, light and airy, somewhere on cloud nine, floating through the best version of heaven pas he shook his head fondly.

“Wow. You might actually still have tequila in your brain.” Even kissed Isak’s forehead, dead center, sincere and soft and sweet. He’d take Isak’s brain anyway he could get it.

Isak made a hmph sound, reaching up and pecking his lips but as much as he was protesting, that was sweet and domestic too.

If there was anything they were good at, it was switching from hot to soft in about 2.3 seconds. Which was a blessing and a curse, cause things went from soft to hot in the same snap of fingers. Meaning when things were hot they were really hot, and when things were soft they were really soft.

Just like him, he supposed.

“I don’t wanna wait until tonight.” The murmur spread through him like electricity, echoed by the slow hand running up his chest. His bottom lip caught between the edge of his teeth, dark eyes instantly shooting to the movement, his mouth.

“What makes you think we’re having sex tonight? You have to wait until next year.” He said it simple enough, a little axiomatic didn’t-you-know shrug at the end. Isak’s face completely dropped.

“...what?”

“Don’t you remember? You’re throwing a New Year’s Eve party tonight?” Isak rolled his eyes up to the sky before closing them entirely, giving Even a moment to smile as fond - and mischievously - as he wanted. “We can’t just bail on the biggest drinking party of the year.”

“Oy, nei, don't say that word. Agh, hva faen--”

His head tipped back all the way and blonde fell all over the place, a dozen layers of gold shifting over each other. It was mesmerizing, fingers sliding through smooth silk as his eyes softened over the sharp curl of his mouth.

“What, drinking?” He teased again, making Isak snap his head back to glare as evil as he could. Even smiled wide, tipping forward to eskimo kiss their noses together.

The groan Isak tipped up at him echoed behind them too.

Oh, right, yeah. He’d forgotten, again. That was pretty much confirmation the boys were totally listening this whole time, but well. He had a feeling they heard a lot worse last night.

Not to mention that you could literally see the marks from Even’s mouth all over Isak’s shoulders. Yeah, no way he’d lived that one down. Poor darling.

Poor all of them, if just the word drinking was causing that much commotion.

“I'm sure I can pick up some sparkling grape juice for all you kids who don't wanna drink,” he called over his shoulder, smiling at the various curse words shouted in return.

When he turned back, he didn’t even have the chance for one word, let alone another jab before Isak’s mouth was back on his. Both arms wrapping around his neck as he pushed up into him, tongue sliding right into his mouth.

Even cut off and leaned back in surprise, searching Isak’s face for a brief moment before Isak was pulling him back down again, kissing him even more urgent this time.

Fuck, yeah, they were gonna end up in the bedroom if Isak didn’t cool his jets like, right now.

Even pulled back again and Isak pushed his nose to the side with his own, kissing up his jaw to ghost a warm breath over his ear (on his fucking tiptoes).

“Fuck you,” Isak whispered and Even gripped the back of his neck, pulling away to the side so he could see that pretty, dazed face again.

“Next year,” he teased. Isak shook his head no, tongue darting out to wet his lips, voice still down in a whisper.

“Soon as the boys leave.”

“Mmm.” A thumb and finger to cup Isak’s jaw, tip his face up again so Even could kiss him properly. Tongues sliding, heart thudding, deep enough to take his breath away properly.

Twin gasps again with one of Isak’s hands shoved up in his hair, eyes closed as he panted against Even’s cheek, every word sounding positively gone.

“C’mon, you know you want to.”

“I fucking do.” Even swallowed, trying to catch his breath as he rubbed a hand back down Isak’s bare spine. God, all of this skin. As soon as the boys left. Temples tipped together, a quick kiss to the shell of his ear as his free hand found one of Isak’s, pulling it down to tangle their fingers together.

“And I will.” Four loose, sticky pecks, eyes still open as he looked down at that beautiful angel, shining more than all the fucking stars in the sky. “Happily.”

Isak reached up to kiss him hard, again. And again. And again.

Happily.

“We've gotta get you in some clothes though, like now, before I lose all my resolve.” Even’s eyes were shining and Isak was barely breathing but he somehow managed to nod in agreement.

“Here, take my jacket.”

Isak lifted an eyebrow, because leather on bare skin meant all sorts of other things besides warmth, but he let Even put it around his shoulders without the slightest protest.

Especially since it was warm and worn, tingling his skin awake as leather rubbed over fading bruises. Even zipped up the front so he wasn't walking around like a male stripper or something, but that didn't change the fact that he was in Even’s jacket, which smelled and felt a hell of a lot like Even did.

“It looks good on you.”

Isak’s gaze shot upwards, meeting the shiny blue one looking him over fondly.

“Are you sure you don't just like me in leather?” He cocked up an eyebrow suggestively and Even’s mouth popped right open.

“We can still hear you,” Magnus shouted from the living room, over a vague chorus of strangled noises.

“We know,” Isak shouted back, tipping his head at the stunned beautiful boy before him. “Well?”

“You cheeky--” Even started but he was kissing Isak again before he could get out the rest of it. Really really kissing him.

The moan Isak spilled into his mouth was admittedly a little loud, a little dirty, but the way their mouths were sliding together felt as desperate as that first night in the pool, on fire and drowning and reborn into the world with the lifting palms of Even’s hands on his jaw.

“Still here,” Magnus shouted again. Fucking bastard. Even broke away first this time, heart pounding beneath Isak’s fingertips, lips parted around rapid lungs breathing tantalizingly heavy.

Isak kissed him one more time - just one - and took his hand, wrapping Even’s arm around his waist and dragging them both for the living room.

“Yeah yeah. We're coming.”

“Actually we're not,” Even pointed out as they rounded the corner and everyone burst into a mixture of curses and groans. Isak shoved him indignantly, mouth open in offense because kissing in the kitchen was one thing but that--

“Oh no, not you too,” Jonas looked up to the sky, shaking his head in feigned horror. Hopefully.

Even’s laugh was brighter than the morning sun bursting through that window this morning (still trying to fry his coronas but at least someone had thrown the curtains closed), his hand snatching Isak’s as he shoved, tugging him stumbling right back in to place a sappy little kiss on his nose.

“We can't let this become a regular thing,” Mahdi was agreeing, all of them nodding and conspiracicizing together. “You guys are just way too…”

“Fucking adorable?” Isak filled in, wrapping Even’s arm around his upper chest as he turned to face the various faux mortified expressions.

“In love,” Magnus muttered in correction, not seeming to notice the very obvious instantaneous way Isak’s stomach dropped directly to his feet.

Even’s breathing stuttered, forgetting how to inhale for a second as the arm around Isak’s chest loosened, a step to the side as he couldn't help but check Isak’s expression, eyes flicking between the wide eyed boys on the living room furniture and Isak’s lax open mouth.

He’d forgotten entirely about that.

To be honest he wasn't sure he remembered all of last night, in fact he was pretty sure he didn't remember much of it, but with the stunned silence in the air for the second time he could remember pretty clearly the confession he'd made.

I am so so in love with--

“And on that note, this was the nastiest hangover remedy I've ever drunken.” Jonas popped up from the couch, setting his empty glass down on the table.

“It worked though,” Magnus pointed out, handing his glass to Jonas the second he came back to the couch. Jonas rolled his eyes but took it to the table for him anyways.

“It did work.” Mahdi nodded in agreement, significantly less sprawled and uncomfortable looking in the single armchair.

They were all just lounging, fully dressed again, glasses empty and phones out, taking it easy but clearly not feeling anywhere near as rough as he had this morning. Why they didn't do that hangover remedy thing every time they went out drinking, he had no idea.

“Takk, Even.”

“No problem,” Even replied, a little less strangled than the sound he'd made a second ago. Isak still wasn't looking at him though, not when his face was bright fucking red.

Yeah, they needed to turn that conversation around like. Pronto.

“Actually, one problem,” Isak overrode, the slightest glance Even’s way - his eyebrows were up and his cheeks were pink but his eyes were shining so Isak sucked in a breath and turned back to the boys with an axiomatic shrug. “I can't have sex until you all leave, so.”

Three pairs of wide blinking eyes - four if you counted Even - so Isak took a step forward, breaking Even’s hold to shoo them with his hands, since they apparently weren't getting it.

“Ut ut ut ut ut!”

Everybody was laughing again, awkward tension snapped as the boys - finally - got off the couch, shaking heads as they herded for the door.

“At least we're not searching frantically for our shoes this time,” Jonas pointed out and everybody laughed some more.

“Isak, they're your friends,” Even scolded lightly and Isak glanced over his shoulder at the knit eyebrows, nodding exaggeratedly.

“Yep. They are, which is exactly why they're leaving right now.”

“We gotcha man.” Mahdi sent a finger gun his way, shrugging into the coat he'd discarded at the door.

“This is the second time we're getting kicked out so Isak can get laid. Guys, we need to up our game,” Jonas pointed out, hopping into his shoes.

“You're the worst,” Magnus told him and Isak’s eyebrows shot straight up.

“Me? I'm the worst? Excuse me, who is it here who asks all the most awkward invasive questions--”

“You answered them!” Magnus defended, clapped on the shoulder by Mahdi as Jonas slid a beanie over his hair.

“He's got a point.”

“Oh whatever.” Isak rolled his eyes, scoffing at the extremely true statement. “Takk for a great night, I hope you all feel as much like death as I do.”

“What are you talking about?? You're about to get laid!”

Well. That was also true. One corner of his mouth tipped up as he shrugged, glancing over at Even.

He was practically glowing at Isak’s side, one hand light on his lower back, eyes all sparkly as they glanced over at him, secretive little teasing smile. You should try taking desperate to a whole new level.

Their eyes were still locked as Even lifted his voice again, fingers drawing little infuriating circles into the slope of his spine.

“You guys are all good to get home though right? We won't actually kick you out if--”

“Everyone's fine,” Jonas interrupted, shaking his head at them again.

“It was him who had to be carried,” Mahdi input and Even’s eyebrows shot up high.

“Oh? Jeez, no wonder you feel like hell.”

“You're gonna fix that,” Isak told him, jamming a finger into his chest. Even laughed brightly and caught it, fingertips dragging across his palm to open the rest of his fingers up, weave their hands together properly, long eyelashes cast over cheeks as he looked down at Isak with the whole universe in his eyes.

“I'll certainly try.”

“You two are grossly cute.”

“Is that a thing?” Magnus glanced between Mahdi and the lovesick couple, hand on the doorknob as he tipped his head knowingly. “Because if it is they totally are.”

“Okay guys, we're leaving now.” Jonas starting shuffling them forward, herding everybody and their waving goodbyes out the door.

“Even keep your phone on, I'll text you later,” he called over his shoulder, a little loud to overarch the chatter the other two had already broken into, then the door was slamming shut into utter silence behind them.

Isak’s head whipped around, gaze instantly locked back on Even’s.

“What would Jonas text you about?”

“I have no idea,” Even said. “Maybe the party? They all seem to think I'm in charge around here apparently.”

“You are not!” Isak shot back indignantly.

“Oh yeah?” It wasn't teasing, could hardly be teasing when Even’s voice dropped low, shaking into his bones as he slowly backed Isak into the closest wall.

Isak wasn’t breathing.

He swallowed tightly, mouth open and eyes searching as he tipped his head up to still keep their gazes locked from this fucking close.

Even’s hands were hard, unmoving and strong against his chest and he would be actually melting if he could fucking move.

Or think. Or breathe.

Even’s mouth was open too, staring down at him and studying every twitch intently, searching for the answers to every question he'd ever asked in Isak’s face, right now.

They were alone, finally alone, and god he'd never seen anyone so beautiful in his life.

And he was looking back at him. Like that.

In love, Magnus’s voice in his head supplied helpfully. Isak shoved it aside, shoved everything aside because none of that mattered, not right now, the only thing that mattered right now was the inches between their faces and their twin pounding hearts under begging palms on chests.

“Fuck, I missed you,” Even breathed. I shouldn't have missed you so fucking much he didn't say, but Isak heard it anyways.

He swallowed tightly, one hand sliding up to cup Even’s neck, blinking lethargically as he offered up his soul between begging parted lips.

“Then stop missing me now.”

Even pulled his face up, closing the space between their mouths into an electrifying kiss and well.

It was pretty obvious where it went from there.

 

Lørdag, 14:22
31.12.16

 

He wasn't quite sure what to expect, but he was waiting for a typing bubble to pop up not a phone call, so when his phone suddenly started vibrating in his hand he startled enough to nearly drop it.

The kitchen was far enough away Isak wouldn't be able to hear much, put Even made a point to close the bedroom door before sliding his thumb to pick up.

“Halla?”

“Hi,” Jonas greeted, and it was a good thing he'd told Isak he needed ten, because the voice on the other end of the line already sounded rushed.

“I don't mean to be all weird and clandestine and what not but uh.” A pause and Even plopped down on the edge of Isak’s bed, pointedly not commenting as Jonas cleared his throat, sounding vaguely strained. “...you're really important to Isak, and I feel like I can, I guess. I dunno, actually talk to you.”

A huff, maybe nervous or just awkward, he wasn’t sure he could tell over the phone. Or if he’d know anyways, he really didn’t know him all that well yet.

“You can,” Even assured him, heart pounding. Honestly he was a tottering on the balance between nervous and awkward too, it may just be a simple phone call, but he did not want to fuck this up.

He’d hit it off great with Mahdi and Magnus - one had a great music taste and the other had pulled him aside a few weeks ago at a party to tell him very bluntly, Just so you know, my mom’s bipolar too. Not saying that means I know anything about what you’re going through, but if you ever need somebody to talk to, I gotchu, man.

Even had blinked in surprise and clapped him on the arm, thanking him sincerely for the offer, to which Magnus had leapt forward and hugged him, so.

They got along great, and not that he didn’t get along with Jonas too, they just. Hadn’t actually talked, the two of them. Truthfully Even was a little intimidated, a little unsure because Jonas had been Isak’s best friend for years, years and years and he didn’t want to ever come in the way of that, or god forbid make Jonas hate him.

Things had been chill between them so far, but this phone call was the first time he’d talked to Jonas one and one so yeah, his heart was pounding. And that was before Jonas’s voice came over the line again.

“It's just that. Last night, after everybody was trashed, Isak said some things and...do you know about his parents?”

“I know he doesn't talk to them anymore.” Or live with them, and I know his mom’s mentally ill but I don’t know with what, and I know his dad left and I’m guessing it has something to do with his mom’s head, but beyond that?

“Kinda. I mean, he went to a concert with them in early December,” Jonas said offhandedly, distracted like that wasn’t important while Even’s eyebrows shot all the way up on his forehead.

“Wait, really? When?” How in hell had he not heard about that?

“It was uh. After...after the um. Hotel thing,” he said awkwardly, line going silent as Even’s stomach twisted. The hotel thing, okay, yeah, when he had a manic episode and nearly ruined Isak’s life, right, the hotel thing.

“...but before the kosegruppa party. It was like, a Friday or Saturday night?”

The weekend between the hotel and the kosegruppa party, they'd been together all day Saturday, all night Saturday, and all day Sunday too. The two of them had left the room a collective number of four times, to eat or pee, and the rest of the time they’d laid in Isak’s bed in silence.

Even slept a lot of it, but he was pretty sure he’d’ve noticed if Isak left for a concert, which meant it had to have been Friday night.

Friday night, which was the night Even texted Isak the 21:21 letter. The night Isak had come running for him, out of breath and vaguely dressed up, his hair nice and his nose red from the cold as he stood in front of that empty bench at the school and looked at Even like he’d never resurfaced from turquoise pool water.

He'd been with his parents???

“Mm,” was the only thing he could manage, some distant part of his brain really glad he was already sitting down.

“Well, anyways. I mean I know his mom wasn't too happy or something because he took off in the middle of it--”

God fuck, he had personally, one-handedly fucked over his boyfriend’s relationship with his estranged parents and probably destroyed any potential future Isak had with his broken mom and abandoning dad, but y’know. Little things.

“--so everything is still kinda rocky but. Last night Isak mentioned something about his dad, who he's still pretty pissed at and. I was just wondering if he mentioned anything to you about it.”

Had he mentioned anything to Even.

It took him a few moments to realize that he wasn’t breathing, that he should probably do that some time soon, no point in actually dying on top of feeling like he was dying.

“No, he hasn't,” Even finally inhaled, eyes falling shut. The darkness didn’t feel much better.

“Okay.” Jonas didn’t sound that surprised. Still worried, but not surprised that Even didn’t know anything, which okay. This wasn’t about him, this was about Isak, he had to keep this about Isak. Couldn’t breathe, but he had to keep this about Isak.

“...cause he just seemed really upset.”

“Upset how?” Even managed, quiet and a hell of a lot more calm than he felt, throat bobbing as he swallowed tight.

“Upset he started crying, upset.”

Evens just sat there silently on Isak’s bed. This was a hell of a lot to take for one phone conversation.

“Oh.”

“He calmed down after a little bit, but I've never seen him cry over his parents before like that.” Well. Him either. He’d never seen Isak cry, actually. He’d come close the first time they’d had sex, close the first day of minute for minute, close the first time they went to meet his parents. But Even had never wiped a tear off his precious cheeks.

Apparently there was a lot that Even didn’t see, didn’t know.

Jonas just kept going.

“He's always just been like. Numb, or pissed. When his dad first left his mom he didn't leave his bed for like four days, then he went off on this bender and got wasted off his ass, but he's never. Y’know. Gotten emotional like that? And I'm just worried.”

“Yeah,” he heard his voice replying, sounding a hell of a lot more stable than he felt. Keep going. Keep talking. “Yeah uh. Of course you are. He hasn't said anything to me, but I'll see if I can bring it up, maybe gage a reaction. I'll let you know anything I find out.”

“Yeah, uh, thanks man. He might open up more to you, I don't really know.”

Clearly not, Even thought to himself. Not about this.

Jonas fell quiet.

So did Even.

If Isak wasn’t opening up to either of them, that meant he wasn’t opening up to anybody.

Actually. When had Isak...ever, opened up to him. They talked about parallel universes and how he ended up living with Eskild, Linn, and Noora and they talked about his mom in the locker room and Isak had mentioned a few things in the past weeks, places he used to like to go when he was a kid, a story or two about his first year at Nissen.

Even knew his music tastes, and how his lips tasted, but he had no idea what was going on in Isak’s head to make him cry about his dad when he was wasted on tequila.

Jonas made a quiet sound on the other end of the line and Even opened his eyes, looking down at his knees, the floor between them.

“Uhm. I'll do what I can.”

“Okay, cool.”

The line fell quiet again, the kind of quiet that said he should say goodbye, one of them should, but he was reeling and he had no idea how to tell Jonas that.

If fucking only he could ask Jonas what the fuck was happening, Jonas didn’t know. Jonas also didn’t know that this was Even’s fault, that Isak had gone and tried to fix things with his parents and Even had fucked it up by having the most inconveniently timed crash of all time.

“Uh...yeah,” Jonas echoed quietly, static to mix in with all the poisonous buzzing quiet. Even just wasn’t ready to face Isak like that, how was he supposed to go walk in and kiss him when he’d ruined his life and Jonas was turning to him for help? This was his fucking fault.

“Uh-h, is there...anything I can do for him? Y’know, about his parents?” He held his breath, waiting as the line went quiet again. Even wondered distantly if Jonas could hear his heart pounding out of his chest through their phones.

“I don't think so. I think he's fine with you.”

“Okay,” Even said numbly. Him.

Right. “Yeah. And uh, Jonas?”

“Yeah?”

“Thanks for calling. It means a lot that you went out of your way to let me know.” To trust me with this, he wanted to say, but Even didn’t trust himself with this so he wasn’t gonna fucking say that out loud.

“I mean...you mean a lot to him.”

That time when the line fell quiet, Even could palpably feel the thousand and one things Jonas wasn’t saying either.

He wondered how upset Isak would be if he ruined his mattress physically melting into it.

“And the rest of us don't think you're so bad either,” Jonas crackled over the distance between their phones and Even managed to huff an excuse for a laugh.

“I'm glad.” You’d take that back if you knew, he didn’t say, swallowing and squeezing his eyes shut instead. “And sorry if we kicked you guys out in a hurry, it'd just been awhile since we'd seen each other and--”

“Hey, no worries. Seriously, we’re all completely chill.” A pause and Even ran the tips of his fingers over the top of his knee, tried to focus on the sensation instead of his heartrate. The quiet. “You guys take it easy, okay?”

“We will.”

Chill. Breathe in, chill.

“I'll see you later then.”

“Yeah. Yeah, thanks again.”

Exhale, chill.

“Uh huh, yeah. Hadet.”

“Hadet.”

His thumb touched the little red circle and the phone line cut, numbers blinking once before his phone slid brightly back to his home screen.

The room echoed quietly around him, unnaturally silent.

Even sat there on Isak’s bed and stared at the wall.

What the fuck.

How fucking much was he missing? Isak ditched his parents? Was crying over his dad on a night they were supposed to be having fun?

Did Isak not tell him because his mom was. What was the word Isak used…fucking nuts?

Fucking nuts.

Even collapsed back onto the mattress, bouncing a little, the way Isak did when Even tossed him on here. Tear out his heart and sew him a new one.

He just lay there, staring up at the blank ceiling instead of the blank wall.

 

And he was still there when Isak edged into the room, peeking around the corner.

“Hey you--”

The one-sided affectionate grin faltered, Isak freezing in place as he took in the look on Even’s face, his mattress sprawl.

“Is everything okay?”

“Hm? Um. Yeah.” Even blinked and sat up, too quick, making his head spin. Enough he tipped a little, catching himself with a hand on the mattress.

When he looked back up the concern on Isak’s face made him physically inhale, soaking the furrowed eyebrows cocked head careful words into his bones.

“I heard you talking, were you on the phone?”

“No, I've started talking to myself when you're not around,” Even attempted to joke, if he didn’t smile he might snap in half. Isaks’ eyebrow shot up, but he didn't laugh.

Fuck.

He picked at a loose string on the seam of his jeans, deflating an inch in a held back sigh. He didn’t want to lie to Isak, not after how fucking much he’d hurt him last time, but this was between him, his broken heart, and Jonas.

Him, Jonas, and the parents Isak had abandoned for him on his one shot of putting his family back together.

But he wasn’t looking at those beautiful green eyes and that made it a hell of a lot smoother to roll of his tongue.

“It was just my mom. Wishing us a happy new year, and wondering for the billionth time when we're coming over next.”

“Okay,” Isak said simply, the mattress compressing double as he plopped down next to him. “Then what made you all…”

A waving hand at the bed to encompass the staring-at-the-ceiling-in-despair he’d caught Even in.

“...when I came in?”

“Nothing just. Thinking.”

Isak was studying him, he could tell in his peripherals. Even risked a glance upwards, snagged in the snare of concern again, of Isak’s eyes on him, the side twist of his mouth. Fuck.

“Okay. Not too hard, I hope.” The way Isak said it, it was pretty clear what he was talking about.

Well. That was nice, he was going to pretend that’s not what they were talking about instead.

“Hey, just cause I'm not all science-y like you? We artist types can still be smart too, y’know,” Even leaned over with a quirked eyebrow and flirty smile, bumping their shoulders together in hopes the proximity would be enough of a distraction.

Isak’s crooked smile tipped up, fond and cute and patient and entirely void of the light it usually had. That was the smile he gave when he was worried as fuck and pretending he wasn’t.

As long as you’re smiling, and wearing clothes, then life is chill.

When he’d looked up, that day at the party, to see Isak looking at him like that, with his mouth open, studying and calculating and trying not to act like he was devastated, always one step more to catch up, always one step off balance.

“I'm serious, Even. Take as little as you need to, okay?” Isak reached across the distance between them, hand landing over the one keeping Even from falling sideways, a few fingers sliding between his, puzzle pieces. “Just. Slow it down, yeah?”

Even nodded, glancing away before glancing up at that caring face again. “Yeah, it's not--”

Isak just looked at him. He was right in a way he supposed, because Even was worrying about the future, and the past, neither of which were actually this minute, right now, so. He was breaking the rules of their game, their promise, technically.

It wasn't about that, he wasn't depressed just because he was lying here overwhelmed and near tears but still, Isak was patient and steady and here, so.

“Okay,” he said quietly. “Yeah, okay.”

The little smile on Isak’s face turned up, real and sweet and just enough brightness, matched with those patient dark eyes as he leaned forward, pressing down on Even’s hand for balance to tip and kiss him.

It was long enough to swoop his organs inside out with guilt, short enough that his heart pounded as they pulled apart, irrational terror of the infinite being numbered again.

They paused inches from each other. Isak unprying and soft, here for him as Even studied, back and forth and tried not to be devastated.

“Now, are you gonna come help me cook or what? I don't know any kind of fancy recipes that have ‘secret tablespoon of sour cream’ ingredients.” Isak made one of those precious over-exaggerated faces for the quote, full of life and personality and love and hope.

Everything in their world was hanging in the balance of unsaid tragedy and toxic guilt but when Isak lit up like that, there was nothing that could keep his heart from lifting, skin from clearing, mouth from turning up in the corners as the simplest, most sweet thing in the whole world tugged a smile out of him like the sun tugged a reflection from the moon.

A real smile, a real pounding heart as Isak’s eyes sparkled that much more and Even leaned over, pressed an overwhelmingly selfish kiss to that beautiful mouth, and damned himself to whatever grave he’d dug between them.

“Don't worry. I've got plenty.”

 

~*~*~

 

Lørdag, 22:40
31.12.16

The kosegruppa Christmas party had been warm, glowing, intimate. Just their friends, decorating ornaments and sipping wine. If that was one end of the spectrum, this was the other.

It wasn’t a full on rave like the first one they’d thrown here, more like a triple-alcohol dance party mixed with a fuck 2016 celebration. The whole apartment was lit with leftover Christmas lights and nothing else, some rooms twinkling white and others flashing rainbow, a vague haze over everything from the ambient lighting and the groups of laughing high schoolers smoking by the cracked windows.

The furniture had all been shoved against the walls in favor of a beer pong table and a surprisingly entertaining game of Bop It™ Party Mode. There was an old, cleaned out kegger piled with scraps of paper with the worst parts of 2016 that they were gonna light on fire at some point.

The entire kitchen was lined with shot glasses, a squad piling in at once to cheers to the New Year, speakers blaring as all the empty spaces were filled with strangers dancing, making out against walls.

It was going to be actual hell to clean up, but Isak wasn’t thinking about that in the least, laughing with Sana by the coat racks as they bobbed their heads to the blaring trumpets of This Girl and pointed out the absolute shitty techniques of Noora and Mahdi vs Chris and Vilde’s beer pong game.

He was groaning about Eskild’s shouted “put them in the house shape,” recommendation when a hand suddenly grabbed his, fingers entwining and arm wrapping around his elbow.

Isak glanced over and up, expecting a pretty boy with glowing eyes and a kiss, only to be looking at a blank string lights, eyes raking down to finally land on top of Eva’s head.

“Eva!” He smiled, shooting Sana an apologetic smile over his shoulder but she was already waving him off, dimples and dark-lined eyes bright.

“Come take shots with me,” she shouted up at him, looking surprisingly sober for how she usually got at these things. Hell, he was pretty sure last time he actually spent time with her at a party she’d been trying to make out with him.

“Shots? I’m hosting, I can’t get wasted.”

“Oh c’mon, loosen up! It’s the last day of 2016! This only happens once. Besides, what’s one shot?”

“One,” he conceded, smiling as she broke off into a cheer, dragging him through the crowd with her unshakable grip.

She finally let go of his hand to put a shot glass in it, clinking it high and loud with hers.

“To new beginnings!”

“New beginnings,” he echoed, sucking in a breath and throwing it back.

Oh fuck, he should’ve asked what that was first.

The taste of the tequila was bad enough, dragging back instant unpleasant memories of hurling over a toilet - this fucking morning - that Isak squinched up his face in enough disgust to let Eva fill his glass back up.

Being vaguely tipsy was better than dealing with the taste of tequila, which was how four shots later Eva tried pouring another and got most of it on his socks instead.

“Hva faen, you lightweight! Give me that bottle, no more white girl wasted for you,” Isak scolded playfully, snatching the vodka - he’d made her switch over, no tequila for him ever again, thank you - out of clingy hands as Eva threw back her head and laughed.

“I really missed you,” she confessed, giggly as she leaned her shoulder into his chest and tapped an uncoordinated hand over his heart.

He threw an arm around her shoulders, leading her away from the shot glasses and alcohol to park them both at the edge of the party again. If you thought he was a hassle drunk, you had to met Eva.

“I missed you too. So now that you’re all stumbly and nostalgic, tell me everything.”

“Everything?”

“I’ve missed a whole year, what’s your life like now? Are you and Chris officially like, together-together? What’s up with you and Vilde making out at half the parties we went to last semester?”

That was all Eva needed to shoot off at the mouth, hands waving around as she shouted up at him a lot of undecipherable things about life being too short not to make out with everyone fun, about unexpected crushes and past histories and all sorts of things that probably wouldn’t’ve been easy to follow if she was telling them in the right order, let alone with music blaring and alcohol in their systems.

Isak listened with a smile anyways, shoulder on the wall as he leaned and scanned the crowd over Eva’s shoulder and exaggerated waving gestures.

There were too many people, the lighting was shit, so odds are he wouldn’t be able to just search and find. He almost gave up, figured he’d walk around later, when the music cut for just a moment, the pause before a bass drop and that’s when he heard the laugh.

The same laugh that’d caught his attention that first day in the cafeteria, the laugh that he didn’t dare interrupt with a kiss even now, not when the sound was his fucking world. His gaze snapped instantly to the scattered partiers on the couch, rainbow reflecting off the carefully styled, gorgeously swept blonde over high cheekbones.

He was pretty sure his teasing about Even not dressing up for the last party had gone to heart, because he looked like a fucking god tonight. A real one, without the wig and beard.

Instead he was dressed in a black and white shirt with a collar, buttoned all the way up with the dark purple tie Isak had knotted himself. While Even gave him shit about not being able to tie a tie, which was fucking ridiculous, actually, because he looked incredible.

Besides, Isak was a little distracted while he was doing it, with the nickname thing (he was totally gonna call Even ‘Evi’ now, just because Even couldn’t hear for shit when he called him baby and had to make a whole affair of the thing) and the little fact that despite the high collar and buttons, the shirt was just low enough to show off a mark on his neck that was actually driving Isak crazy.

The hint of a bruise over the top of his collar that Isak really wanted to sink his teeth into, which was half the reason he wasn’t sitting in Even’s lap right now. Because he wouldn’t be able to just sit there and be chill about it, not when Even had put work into styling his hair just right, had folded his sleeves up the way the male models did for J Crew or some shit and Isak was just.

Drooling, over here, from across the room.

Even didn’t glance back his way, too busy chatting with somebody Isak didn’t recognize. Laughing again, head tipped to the side. But his eyes weren’t really shining in the multi-colored light, didn’t crinkle up the way they usually did when he laughed, smiled.

Isak frowned slightly, watching a little more intently. He was clearly holding a conversation, but barely. He seemed distracted, constantly glancing away, fingers tapping away on his knee.

Whoever he was talking to leaned forward a bit, tried to catch his attention, connect, and Even didn’t even seem to notice.

Distant. Still laughing, still smiling.

He stood up abruptly from the couch, saying something to whoever he was chatting with, then he was pushing through the crowd, attention caught by Noora, waving a hand for him to come give an opinion on a shot for their game.

Even slid over, whispered something in her ear that made her laugh then he was off again, fingers still tapping. A pause by the window, bumping Jonas’s shoulder and Jonas turned to him, gesturing with a hand. Even tipped back his head in another laugh.

Isak’s heart dropped in his chest.

It wasn’t the same as last time, but Isak still couldn’t breathe.

He didn’t take his eyes off Even, he couldn’t, touching Eva’s arm as he stepped past her, room tipping the tiniest bit.

“Sorry, I’ve gotta go.”

What he wanted more than anything in the world was to shove through the party, snake an arm around Even’s waist and drag him far far away from everyone and everything, but. He had to be sure, he couldn’t fuck everything up by being paranoid.

Isak forced himself to tear his eyes away from Even’s hollow smile, searching the crowd for another blonde instead.

He finally found Magnus at the beer pong game, cheering on Vilde and getting generally way too into it, fist pumping and shouting as much as the ones playing.

Maybe it was the expression on Isak’s face, or the way he grabbed Magnus’s arm, but whatever it was the moment Magnus registered that Isak was pulling him aside he went with, no questions asked.

The only place even vaguely quiet was the corner of the room furthest from the beer pong table, where a few couples were making out and the music was loud enough to cover his words without being too loud for Magnus to hear him.

“What’s up?” Magnus was asking and Isak was definitely not totally freaking out and kinda forgetting how to breathe.

“You plotting some epic team to cream Vilde and Chris at beer pong or…” he trailed off, the smile dropping as it suddenly sunk in that Isak’s eyes were that wide and panicked for a reason.

“Isak, what’s wrong?”

He really didn’t know how to answer that so he just sucked in a breath and blurted it out all at once.

“Does it seem like Even is having a manic episode to you?”

“What??” Pure surprise as Magnus quickly scanned the crowd, finding Even fairly quickly with the way he was standing, taking up the whole room with his laugh and restless eyes. Magnus watched silently, eyebrows knitting as he lifted his voice just enough for Isak to hear him over the bass.

“I was just talking to him earlier, what makes you think he is?”

“Or maybe just starting one, I don’t know. He’s just. He’s being distant and like, over-happy but it’s not reaching his eyes and he keeps hopping around to different places in the party and something’s wrong and I don’t know what’s happening or what I’m supposed to do--”

“Okay, first of all, breathe.” Magnus’s hand landed heaving on Isak’s shoulder and he inhaled sharply, chest filling up as he tried to calm the fuck down.

“I know everybody’s different, and every brain works differently, but I pretty highly doubt that Even’s having a manic episode right now. I think you’re freaking out, but I don’t think he is.”

Isak ran a hand over his face, sucking in a breath again and forcing himself to let it out slowly through pursed lips. “Mmhm. Okay, yeah, but--”

“Is that how he was acting last time?”

“Not exactly, but. Something’s wrong, and…”

Magnus rolled his eyes so hard Isak just stopped talking, blinking up at him dumbly.

“Every time something’s wrong doesn’t mean it has anything to do with him being bipolar, Isak.”

“I know that! No, really, I know that, but this just. This feels different, I don’t know.”

A turn back to the crowd, watching Even again for a few moments before Magnus turned and studied Isak instead.

“Just go talk to him then. Nobody knows Even better than Even does.”

She can’t feel what I feel. Or think, for that matter.

Only you can feel what you feel, Isak had told him and yes, he knew that, he did, he just. It was going to happen sometime and he felt so fucking unprepared, even if it wasn’t this time there would be a time when he’d be right, and he had no fucking clue what he was supposed to do, how he was supposed to make sure Even stayed safe, if Even would freak out if he tried to talk to him about it, if Isak would even know before it was too late--

“Isak.”

“Yeah, okay,” he finally managed, swallowing tightly. He just felt so fucking far out of his depth. Between Wikipedia and the brief conversations he’d had with Magnus about it, he really had no idea what he was doing.

Magnus was still watching him concernedly so Isak just. Sucked it up and asked.

“Can you tell when your mom is having an episode?”

The reply wasn’t instant, a pause as he carefully figured out how to respond and Isak’s skin crawled with every flickering white light biting into it.

“Yeah, but I’ve lived with her my entire life. You guys have been dating for a couple weeks, give yourself some credit.”

“It’s been a month now,” Isak corrected weakly and Magnus clapped a hand on a shoulder.

“Okay, a month. Cut yourself a break, and cut him a break too. And just talk to him. And maybe don’t freak out and accuse him of having a manic episode.”

“I can do that,” Isak said. He could. Jesus fuck, he had no fucking clue what he’d do without Magnus Fossbakken. “Magnus, thank you.”

“No problem,” he waved off but this wasn’t something you could just brush aside, he had no idea how much of an impact he had literally, one-handedly had in saving their relationship. Isak grabbed his arm, holding his gaze and dropping his voice dead serious.

“No, seriously, thank you.”

Magnus smiled, taking his arm back to shove Isak lightly in the direction of the crowd.

“Just go get your man. You not stealing all the hot chicks anymore is thank you enough.”

Hardly, but Isak shot him one more grateful look and made his way across the room anyways.

The pounding in his chest might make him combust before he made it halfway there, but somehow his legs didn’t give out and the next thing he knew he was finally wrapping an arm around a familiar tapered waist.

Even’s eyebrows went up as an arm went around Isak’s shoulders, looking down at him with all of this fond mixed in with a little surprise.

“Hey, babe. Can we talk a minute?” His heart was pounding enough Even could probably feel it through the layers between them, eyebrows knitting as the words sunk in under the music.

“Yeah, of course.”

Isak took his hand and forced himself to breathe in, out, the entire way to his bedroom. Usually there’d be people hooking up in there, it was a party after all, but he’d locked it beforehand. It was still kinda sacred territory. Just theirs, not for anybody to just crash in and have a useless drunken fling.

He had to let go of Even’s hand to fish the key out of his pocket, let them both in. Even followed him silently, didn’t say a word as Isak locked it again behind them.

Even was already sitting cross-legged in the middle of the bed when Isak turned back around, swallowing and trying not to look as nervous as he felt. He shouldn’t be nervous, this was Even, his Even, beautiful and patient as he lifted an eyebrow, looking unfairly soft despite the heart-thudding sex-god outfit.

“What’s up?”

He was acting positively perfectly normal now and Isak sank down on the mattress beside him, feeling like an idiot. But he had been acting strangely earlier, so he had a right to be worried. He did.

Isak sucked in a breath, eyes searching back and forth between the dark, waiting ones as he opened his mouth and tried not to damn them both with it.

“Are you….is something wrong?”

“Huh? With me?” That was genuine surprise, a touch of a smile as he tipped his head, reached over for Isak’s hand again. “I’m fine.”

Isak just looked at him a moment, wetting his lips as his eyes cut away again. “You’ve been acting, I dunno...off.”

Off was probably the wrong word to use.

“In what way?” Even asked him quietly and Isak shrugged a shoulder, staring down at his blue duvet instead of the icy blue eyes.

“It’s just. Like I don’t know, I feel like ever since that phone call earlier today all your smiles have been forced, and everything just feels. Fake. You’ve been hopping around the party and not really engaging with anyone and it’s just. Not like you.”

He risked a glance upwards, just in time to see the cold melt for gentle sympathy. Now he couldn’t look away, Even holding his eyes as he reached over, palm sliding into place on the side of Isak’s neck.

“Hey. Hey, I promise you. Everything’s fine.”

“Are you sure?” Search search and Even gave him a little shake, that pretty smile growing again. Fuck.

“Yes, I’m sure.”

The smile was so sincere and simple, thumb coasting fondly over the line of his jaw. This wasn’t the disconnect of the hotel room. This wasn’t the racing, the slip of fatalism, the urgency. This wasn’t Even manic, this wasn’t even the smooth unbreakable cheeriness that had lead there.

Then why the fuck did Isak still feel like shit?

“You shouldn’t worry so much,” Even told him, still gentle, patient with him as Isak’s lips parted and he tried to look a little deeper for all the ten thousand answers he wasn’t getting.

He couldn’t not worry when Even didn’t tell him shit.

“I’m dating you, of course I’m worried.” It was supposed to be a joke, to lighten everything back up but there was a flash behind Even’s eyes and Isak swallowed tightly. He wasn’t gonna take it back. He had a right to be worried.

So what if Even was rolling his eyes at him. He wasn’t gonna fucking apologize for caring.

He was gonna kiss him back though, Even’s eyeroll and fond tipped smile closing the space between them to slip their mouths together.

It was sweet, the way Even was kissing him but Isak hadn’t spent the past ten minutes going out of his mind to come in here with that beautiful boy, find out he was wrong and then be sweet.

They’d spent most of the night on opposite ends of the room and now Even was kissing him, here in his bedroom in that fucking gorgeous outfit with his fucking gorgeous hair and face and everything else and Isak was still off canter, unbalanced enough to be fucking needy as hell.

The desperation he pressed back into Even’s mouth caught him off guard, but not half as much as the leg he swung over Even’s to slide boldly into his lap.

“Well, halla,” Even broke off, eyebrows up in surprise as his gaze flickered over Isak’s expression. Isak pulled them back together, lips catching to dive back in again.

“Halla,” Isak mumbled back into his mouth, sliding two hands through the carefully coiffed hair, caring absolutely zero if he completely fucked it up.

Actually with as hot as Even looked, dragging him into disheveled oblivion sounded that much more enticing. And a hell of a lot better thing to think about than running around outside in the freezing cold with tears staining his cheeks.

Even pressed up against him, holding Isak’s waist secure with respectful hands. Fuck respectful. Isak twisted the kiss, pulling it filthy as he ground down against the building heat, fingers sinking hard into his spine.

He kissed and nipped his way across Even’s jaw as he broke off again, breathing heavy with his head tipped to the side, Isak’s spread hands skidding tracks down the silky back of the nice black and white shirt.

“You sure you wanna go down that road?” Even panted and Isak kissed his mouth one more time before he fit two hands in between them and pushed Even’s chest to shove him down hard on the mattress.

“What road?” He asked innocently, sliding his hands up to quickly undo the tie he’d struggled so damn much with earlier, pulling it free in victory so he could start unbuttoning, thumbs sliding over every bit of new, warm skin revealed.

He knew what Even was talking about, but Isak’s heart was still jumping from how helpless he’d felt earlier when he’d thought…

Now he just really needed Even close. Close as he could be.

“This one,” Even said, hands curving over Isak’s hips to sink into flesh, digging in the heels of his hands to knead his ass, one eyebrow cocked up high.

Well there went the rest of his brain functions. Isak’s mouth was open and he couldn’t really think, rolling into Even’s touch as his eyes closed, head falling to the side and spine arching into the next rough squeeze.

“We’ve only got an hour until midnight,” Even warned, reminded, voice scraping over gravel already and Isak exhaled shakily, raising an eyebrow back.

“That’s plenty of time.” He didn’t even finish speaking before he was shrugging off his opened button up, grabbing the neck of his tshirt to tug it straight off over his head, tossing it for the closest wall.

The moment his curls popped free Even sat back up, two arms around Isak’s waist, bare chests colliding then he was flipping them, sheets chilled as his fading-bruises spine hit the mattress, mouth warm as it crashed into Even’s again.

A hand on his jaw, turning his face sideways as Isak gasped, wanton and already shivering with the sloppy kisses Even was circling round the base of his neck.

“It’s been what, ten hours?” Teeth scraped over his throat and Isak threw his head back, making Even’s hand shove harder, lashes fluttering, fingers digging into muscle shifting across shoulderblades.

“...little too long to still be prepped,” Even’s lips danced over his skin, fingers catching skin as they dug in against his side, slid down his left hip, circling beneath a thigh to lift him closer. The sound Isak made was somewhere between heaven and dying, then Even’s tongue was shoving in his open mouth and that whole making sounds thing was out of the picture.

Unless you counted the strained, choking gasp as their mouths broke apart again, eyes fluttering back open to stare positively taken at the smug, lip-biting bastard hovering over him.

“Do you want my hands or my mouth?” Even’s eyebrows shot up and back down, that stupid cheeky thing that made Isak weak at the knees, heart entirely burst from his chest to pound on the tip of his tongue.

“You,” he gasped, spine arching as Even’s grip on his thigh tightened double.

He barely had the brainpower to kiss him back as Even dipped down for his mouth again. Bottom lip tugged, nipping once as Isak’s throat betrayed him in a stuttered moan. A smile pressed against his jaw, hands sliding into ruffled hair then he was disappearing down Isak’s body.

The rest of the clothes discarded, knees shoved into his chest as he keened and tossed his head, curls splayed on checkered blue as he completely fucked over his hair and Even ruined his life with his tongue.

And his fingers.

And his entire fucking body as he rocked in and out of Isak’s, foreheads pressed together tight as their hips. The rise, the hit, the fall the crash as he threw back his head and shouted Even’s name, some distant part of his brain wondering if the music was loud enough in the other room to cover the sound.

Then Even was kissing him, kissing and smiling until Isak was floating and didn’t think about much anything at all for as long as the world let him.

 

Honestly, they made it back to the party twelve minutes before the clock hit midnight.

Everyone was crowded round in the living room, windows open wide and television on as people danced absently, waiting for the firework show to go off.

The plan was to sneak back into the room as surreptitiously as possible, pretend they both hadn’t disappeared for an hour, but the moment they slid out of the kitchen, half the gazes in the room cut to the movement and a cheer went up, started by their piece of shit friends.

Isak gave everyone a bitchy, unimpressed look and Sana leaned over, all triumph and sass as she quite flatly informed them,

“You smell like sex.”

He rolled his eyes back in his head, easily matching the sass right back.

“You don’t smoke and yet, demand some of my drugs, you don’t sleep around and yet, you come over here and accuse me of smelling like sex, really now, Sana--”

“You do,” Noora confirmed, crossing her arms over her chest as Sana gave him a bitchy, cheeky dimpled smile.

“See? I may not do it, but I still know my shit.” She crossed her arms over her chest too, the two of them looking like some kind of movie duo, one head to toe in all black and the other in all white, perfectly matching expressions as they judged the fuck out of him in the most loving, friend way possible. “In fact, I also happen to know it’s extremely poor etiquette to leave your own party to fuck your boyfriend in some back room.”

“Oooo,” Noora put one hand up over her mouth, other in a jazz hand over the burn.

“And I didn’t even have to have sex to know that!” Sana tipped her head in her cutest murder burn stare while Noora cracked up behind her hand, falling half sideways to bump her shoulder into the triumphant Sana’s.

Poor etiquette his ass, it wasn’t like anything significant could’ve possibly happened in the forty five minutes they were gone, jesus.

“I’m not sorry,” Isak informed them, tipping his chin up. They both rolled their eyes at him, but everyone was smiling by the time Even slid back up behind him, two arms circling around his stomach and a warm kiss nuzzling into his neck.

“Speak of the devil,” Sana said and Even raised an eyebrow at her, tongue sticking in his cheek.

“You were talking about me? Sana, I’m honored.”

The eye roll he got was even more exaggerated than the one she’d given Isak. He giggled, leaning back against the shirt he’d buttoned back up himself, although he’d given up on tying that damn tie again. How was he supposed to focus now that there was a bruise on Even’s collarbone too? In fact, that was a beautiful fucking bruise, and Isak had therefore decided not to cover it up, leaving the top two buttons of Even’s shirt open, cold and stares be damned.

“Your boyfriend was talking about you, it’s not like he knows how to talk about anything else,” Noora sassed and Isak squinted at her from where he was leaning his temple on that lovely bruise.

“What do you mean I don’t know how to talk about anything else, I’m the single most interesting conversationalist living in this whole house--”

“Nice try,” Linn said dryly, passing by them conveniently at the exact right time to input over the top of Isak’s mild protests. “I talk about more subjects than you do and I sleep for 16 hours every day.”

“Huh?!”

Even was laughing behind him, rumbling chest shaking them both as Isak opened his mouth in offense and looked up over his shoulder.

“No fucking fair, you can’t agree with them, you’re dating me, you have to agree with me.”

The happy kiss Even placed on his mouth was full of laughter and sunshine and all the stuff that had singlehandedly saved the year of 2016.

“I suppose I could be convinced,” those shining eyes and pretty mouth teased, their mouths pressing together again. A hand stroked through the hair he’d tried to make look at least somewhat presentable again but let’s face it, they probably both looked disheveled and wrecked to hell.

But fuck, he could not think of a better way to bring in the New Year.

Leaning back against a beautiful boy who smiled like an angel and drew Isak into the light with his beautiful blue halo, he couldn’t help but wonder why the hell he got to be so lucky.

Standing here warm and sated as Even ran a hand through his hair, back and forth, sliding between curls, the both of them quiet. Happy.

Surrounded by friends, by people who loved them, by people who cared about the right things and didn’t give a fuck about the rest.

Jonas was here, and Mahdi and Magnus, all of them laughing and happy and chatting. The girls were all here, new friendships and old ones rekindled, Sana and Eva elbowing each other about something with Noora chatted with Vilde and Chris, Eskild and Linn listening in.

There was a text on his phone from his parents, one he’d reply to once the party was over, but for now, there wasn’t a single fucking thing missing.

A quiet kiss pressed to his cheek, then another and another, rapid little kisses and Isak smiled with his whole body, scrunching up from how much it tickled, how many tingles Even was sending down his spine.

“H-hey,” he managed, squeezing the hands resting over his stomach, looking up over his shoulder at the dozen rainbow twinkling lights, the whole sparkling universe reflecting in silver blue eyes.

They rocked as they kissed, mushy and warm from how close they’d been in each other’s embraces just minutes ago, how fucking beautiful everything was right now.

“I thought we were here to watch the fireworks go off, not you two go off on each other,” Eva shoved his shoulder, their lips breaking apart as Isak made a surprised sound, just loud enough to make half the room turn their way, a few amused laughs.

Eskild reached over and very dramatically flicked her arm.

“Let them be beautiful and gay, we’re bringing in 2017 in the best way.”

Isak rolled his eyes. Eskild shoved him too, to which Isak threw up a hand because what the fuck, could people stop shoving them, he was too cute he didn’t deserve this.

“Although not the very best, or else I'd have someone to kiss,” Eskild went on to pout, head flicking to the side all dramatic and faux upset, foot tapping followed by a heavy sigh.

“Sorry, I'm taken,” Even piped up over his shoulder, a smile for Eskild’s face and a shocked looked on Isak’s.

“Damn right you are.” Isak tipped his head up over his shoulder again, hand gripping the back of Even’s neck as he twisted up, arching a little to kiss him hard and proper.

“Oy, you're supposed to kiss when it hits midnight!” Magnus protested, throwing something that clattered uselessly to the ground at their feet. It served its purpose though, both of them turning to the couch with skeptical looks on their faces.

“He's right,” Jonas pointed out, one arm slung around the back of the couch where some girl was perched. “No kissing in the last ten minutes before midnight.”

“What?” Even’s pure shock was damn precious, the same disbelief when Isak had teased he got paid 500 kroner by his mom every week for dating him.

Jonas threw up a hand, looking not even a little bit apologetic. “It's tradition.”

“Do you follow that tradition?” He turned to ask Isak, all dramatic and cute. As much as he’d love to keep kissing Even right now, he wasn’t gonna lie.

“I mean. I used to.”

“Ughhh.” A lean backwards, eyes up at the sky as he bounced on his toes and collected himself, came back down from the high weather up there with a determined look on his face. “Okay. Not kissing you til next year.”

“Good luck with that,” Isak told him, gaze flicking down to his mouth.

“Oh yeah? You think I can't make it?” Even pressed a hand in the small of his back, dragging Isak a touch closer with a cocky little smile on his face.

“Nei,” he teased back, reaching up on his tiptoes at the same time their entire half of the room interrupted with a collective, flat,

No?”

They both broke off into a round of giggling, faces close enough he had to physically restrain himself, biting his lip as he stared skywards bursting with fond.

Even rolled his head back and to the side, making a you’re killing me face at him that Isak lifted his shoulder at.

“Seven more minutes,” Mahdi supplied. “That's not too hard, is it?”

Not too hard. Speaking of which,

If they had seven minutes they weren’t allowed to kiss, he might as well make it hell for them both, right? Isak pressed up on his tiptoes, a hand on Even’s chest as he dropped a quiet whisper centimeters from his ear,

“I bet I can make you hard without our lips ever touching.”

His bottom lip just barely brushed Even’s earlobe as he whispered touching, pulling back before it could possibly be considered a kiss.

“Fuck,” Even cursed and Isak let his mouth curve up in a one sided grin.

“See, halfway there.”

“You little--”

It was a low fucking move, below the belt in the best kinda way but if Isak was good at anything, it was being a bitch.

He put his finger on Even’s mouth, smushing his lips right down the center, the way you shut somebody up if you were in a goddamn porno or something.

“Shhh. Six more minutes,” he warned, low and dark as his eyes flashed, smudging that plush pretty mouth as the tip of his finger curled.

Even sucked it into his mouth before Isak could think to pull back, lips closing around the base, bedroom eyes locked and Isak’s mouth popped open again, pants instantly irrationally tight as his genius planned backfired so hard he was harder than he’d been climbing into Even’s lap earlier.

“Boys!”

The pillow hit Isak square on the arm, drawing his hand back fast enough Even’s lips made a popping sound. Two sets of wide eyes turned to the couch, where Linn was holding up a second pillow, fully prepared to throw it.

“Hva faen, PG, you fuckers,” she scolded, the turned down music filling in the silence from the rest of the room.

“Are they always this bad?” Christoffer asked, turning to everyone else and there went the silence as everyone instantly responded with various versions and intensities of yes, mixed in with a few I had no idea’s.

Neither did Isak, actually.

He turned promptly to Even, eyebrow up and cheeks pink.

“We have a reputation.” Two arms around his waist again and Isak let it happen, didn’t bother fighting it, it wasn’t like everyone here hadn’t seen and done worse in literally any other party of the year. At least they weren’t actually having sex tucked away in a dark like a solid quarter of the people in here had, they were just The Couple and therefore people noticed. “But I really don’t think we’re always this bad.”

“I really want to kiss you,” Even replied.

Isak raised one eyebrow. “Tradition.”

“Fuck tradition.”

“Nei, it's the New Year. The only thing you'll be fucking is--”

“ISAK.”

“Okay okay! Jeez.” He shifted, making a face and settling into Even’s side, sliding a comfortable hand in the back pocket of his pants. “Touchy touchy.”

“No, that's you two,” Chris pointed out. At least she wasn’t making eyes at him while licking a spoon anymore.

Isak lifted a shoulder. Still wasn’t sorry.

Maybe it was more than that they were The Couple, maybe it was the fact that they were so fucking cute, not just fucking. Sure, girls made out at parties and people thought it was hot, but here was the two of them, the most sought after boys in Nissen and they were kissing each other instead, and smiling while they did it.

He got it. He didn’t necessarily like it, but he got it. As hot as they both were, he’d probably want to watch them too.

He wouldn’t, because he wasn’t a dick like most of the people here, but. It wasn’t often kids their age were this dedicated and into each other, that was more of a spectacle than some couple hooking up in a corner ever could be.

“How long?” He asked Mahdi, who glanced down to check his watch.

“Three minutes.”

Isak sighed, absently running his thumb back and forth over the top of Even’s ass, tracing the seam of his pocket.

Even was watching him, quiet and unmoving, like nothing else in the world existed. Isak rolled his lips in, meeting the gaze and doing Even’s little eyebrow thing back at him.

A twitch of a smile and Even was leaning over, whispering close enough to his ear for it to be dangerous again.

“How much have you had to drink?”

Isak lifted his head, squinting an eye as he calculated backwards and tried to count.

“A bit.”

There went the eyebrows again, although they paused halfway through, just up and open as he jostled Isak a little closer to his ribs with the hand on his hip.

“You’re being pretty bold for a boy who was scared to kiss me in public,” Even teased, smiling affectionately down at him. Yeah, the alcohol might be helping that a little, but being honest, probably not that much.

Isak reached up, pulling Even down to him so he didn’t have to go up on his tiptoes again, and rubbed their noses together affectionately.

“This is hardly public. Besides, when your boyfriend is that hot…”

Foreheads pressed together, a hand up through blonde again, lips centimeters apart as Even closed his eyes, tipping forward, hovering close.

“...just can’t help it.”

“Fuck.” Even’s eyelashes fluttered, lips parting as his hand slid all the way up through Isak’s hair, gripping him tight.

“Waaiit,” Isak murmured, letting his fingers play through the short hairs sloping down to meet the smooth skin of Even’s neck.

“What time is it,” he whispered, looking straight into Isak's eyes.

“23:58,” Mahdi answered.

They were staring at each other completely breathless, fingers tightening as the tension built like early sideways glances over cardamom toast.

Isak moved his head, shifting the angle. Eyes slipping closed, tongue darting out to wet his lips, dancing fluttering eyelashes over Even’s cheekbones as light eyes swallowed up dark and couldn’t tear away from his mouth.

“This is worse than if we’d let them makeout the entire time,” somebody complained.

Isak completely disagreed.

The countdown started behind them.

“Sixty! Fifty-nine--”

Inhaling warmth, exhaling closer as their cheekbones brushed, mouths riding parallel tracks that were only sparking darker with more heat. Isak rubbed his face on the side of Even’s, both hands cupping his jaw.

Even’s fingers sunk into the crown of his head, a tight swallow Isak could feel from the proximity, how hard he was trying to get a grip.

“Fuck, Isak.”

“Welcome to the new year,” he whispered cheekily back and Even gripped the back of his neck, pulling away to let their eyes lock again. Isak’s were half lidded, staring up at him through the unblinking, toe-curling awe he’d never grow out of and the numbers were still counting.

“Thirty eight, thirty seven--”

“This is gonna be the longest thirty seconds of my life,” Even said. Isak smiled, soft and pliant, lip caught in the edge of his teeth as he ran both hands over the sides of Even’s neck.

“You two are ridiculous.”

Isak turned enough to see who said it, catching the shake of Magnus’s head from across the room, the eyerolls and fond smiles and quickly turning heads between here and there.

But between Mahdi leaning against the wall close and Jonas’s pursed mouth he couldn’t help but roll his lips in, cocking an eyebrow at his friends.

“You’re all just jealous you don’t have new years kisses.” Lifted his voice over the music to say it, and that’s when he registered that they were literally all sitting with girls.

“...as hot as mine,” he amended and Vilde’s mouth popped open, so did both of the randos.

An eee sound as he sucked in a breath between his teeth and turned back to Even.

“I fucked up.”

Even was laughing, bright and shiny and the countdown was still going.

“Eleven, ten--”

The moment it hit single digits it doubled in intensity and Isak looked back at Even, smiling and happy now, thumb running affectionately up a cheekbone.

“Eight, seven--”

Seven seconds, that’s how long he had to either pull the tension so tight one of them snapped enough to shove the other into a wall or something when it finally broke.

Or he could spend those seven seconds seeing if he could get a laugh out of Even Bech Næshiem and go into 2017 doing his favorite thing: listening to the best sound in the whole wide world.

“You make everything go up in smoke,” he started, head tipping to the side, nose crinkling affectionately.

“Five, four!”

“...there’s no one else I’d rather do this with,” Isak sang under his breath, smiling so wide he could feel it in his shoulders and toes as Even burst into the brightest laugh Isak had heard all day.

What a fucking hashtag.

“Three, two--”

He was still laughing when Isak grabbed the back of his neck and kissed him, hard.

“ONE!!” A cheer went up, fireworks exploding on the TV, outside in the streets as the room lit up in a flash of brilliant, heart-stopping color, ridden by a wave of hopeful, celebratory screams about 2017.

2017.

 

And Isak just kissed the best thing that’s happened to him all year.

Chapter Text

Søndag, 09:14
01.01.2017

 

It was Sunday morning, the first morning of the year and they could do absolutely anything in the world they wanted to, the apartment to themselves, the world at their feet.

So of course, they were laying in Isak’s bed; tangled up and doing absolutely nothing as the sunlight filtered in quietly through the curtains over the windows.

Everything was still, beautiful and peaceful. One leg tucked between Even’s, hand on his ribs and his head on the inside of Even’s shoulder, long fingers resting sprawled in his blonde curls.

They’d been awake for a little while, had kissed a few times, whispered a happy new year to each other, but other than that neither of them had spoken a word.

He could feel Even’s heartbeat underneath his fingertips, following every beat like he could engrave the pattern into his soul if he listened hard enough.

Isak flicked his gaze up to the peaceful one looking over at the windows, waiting for the blue to catch on and glance back down his way.

As soon as Even did, a little smile curled on Isak’s face, involuntary and warm as he was.

“Penny for your thoughts?”

The hand in his hair slid down the back of his head, fingers tracing a tight curl behind his ear as Even’s eyebrows lifted.

“Do you actually have a penny?”

“Nei?” Isak smiled wider, shaking his head at the look on Even’s face. “What would I need American money for?”

“I don’t know, you were the one who offered a penny! I can’t give my thoughts away for free.” He gave Isak a very skeptical look, all exaggerated and cute enough that Isak was giggling into Even’s worn tshirt.

“I can give you a crown?”

“Only if it fits my head right, and it’s got rubies in it. I can’t take any other kind of crown.”

That time the laugh was bright enough Even burst into a smile too, reaching over to place a sweet, happy kiss on Isak’s forehead.

“Did I tell you Jonas called me ‘Queen Isak’ the other day?”

“No,” a little laugh that had his eyes crinkling all shiny. “But that’s fantastic. I’m guessing you retaliated?”

“I looked at his poker hand, but then he made me take it and stole mine, so. It didn’t really work.”

“Mmm.” Even’s fingers were skirting over the back of his neck as Isak settled back in against his shoulder, smile softening as he adjusted a little closer, making Even shift to rearrange them comfortable again.

A few quiet minutes passed by, thumb tracing the outline of a curl back and forth, over and over as Isak listened into Even’s heartbeat again.

“You’re not gonna make me get up and get the crown, are you?”

“Hm? No, no. I don’t know, I wasn’t really thinking about much. Just how nice this is, y’know?”

“Doing nothing?”

“Being with you,” Even corrected quietly, eyes on the ceiling as Isak glanced up at him again. “Which is everything.”

“You’re sappy in the mornings.”

“You’re soft.”

“So’s your mouth,” he shot back, hardly a comeback but Even was smiling as Isak lifted his head, careful of their tangled legs as he scooted up to press a lax kiss to warm lips.

Hand on the back of his head, mouths overlapping and tugging apart slow to press back together again, sticky and slow.

“Mmm,” Isak’s throat rumbled without his permission, sated and wildly domestic, lips parted as he lifted his head, mouths breaking apart to peck one more time, both their eyes open and watching each other half-lidded.

The first time they’d done this had arguably been the best day of his life, but somehow this was just as nice. In just tshirts and boxers this time, the press of skin and Even’s bare biceps to lay on instead of all that soft hoodie material.

Y’know, he’d never really expected to have a thing for biceps, or other shit like that, but from the minute Even made that stupid fist pump in the pool after kissing him, Isak was a besotted man.

He fell back down happily, turning his head to press a kiss to the muscle he didn’t really notice until it was straining, holding all his weight to keep him pressed hard up against a wall, wrapped around his shoulders, trembling fingers clutching tight to keep from losing his balance as he rocked up and down--

Fuck.

He’d been chill like three goddamn seconds ago.

“Crown for your thoughts?” A warm, reverberating voice asked back and Isak wet his lips, prying his eyes back open to scan the sparkling stars looking down at him.

Well, he hadn’t made himself completely hard yet, so he could in theory lie, but.

“You,” he replied simply and Even rolled his eyes.

“Obviously.”

“Hey! You’re not all I think about.” Isak made a face up at him and Even’s eyebrows shot up, down in that stupid oh yeah face that, well, yeah, okay, maybe it was a little true, but still. Rude.

“Fine. I was thinking about your biceps, actually.”

“My...what? Really?”

“Yeah, I know, right,” he agreed, scoffing a little as his eyes cut away. That lasted about two milliseconds before Even was shoving his shoulder.

“Not that that’s a bad thing, I just didn’t think I had any. At least, not worth thinking about.”

Isak sucked in a breath, picking up his head again, fully aware how intensely Even was watching him right now. But Even hadn’t made a big deal out of it, so he wasn’t going to either.

Instead Isak prodded the arm he’d been laying on, making Even lift his forearm and make a fist to flex.

“See?”

“I mean, I guess, yeah. I don’t work out as much as I should so I never really thought about it?”

“Then how the fuck do you have arm muscles?”

“Probably because I draw upside down.”

“You...what? Huh?” He squinted down at Even’s little smile that was widening as Isak twisted up his face in disbelief.

“Yeah! Have you never drawn on a clipboard while laying on your back before? You have to hold it up in the air for like hours, it’s exhausting.”

“Then...why wouldn’t you draw on your stomach??”

“Because sometimes you’re drawing something in the sky, or above you, it’d be hell to crane your neck for that long.”

“You…”

Isak stuttered a bit, realized he didn’t have the words to describe how fucking ridiculous it sounded that his boyfriend thought he had arm muscles from fucking drawing, and promptly gave up trying.

He shook his head, lips pursing and fond as Even laughed, giggly bubbly, eyes crinkling below him.

“We should workout sometime together though, that’d be fun.”

“Mmm. So long as we don’t run,” Even told him and Isak furrowed his eyebrows high on his forehead.

“The fuck is wrong with running?”

“It’s not fun? It hurts your knees?”

“You’re running wrong, then!”

“I probably do every workout wrong. The most of the physical activity I get is biking--”

“You do bike weird,” Isak agreed absently and Even shoved his shoulder.

“What? No, I don’t. Anyways, so I bike, and I have sex with you, and that’s about it.”

Isak lifted an eyebrow.

“You’re definitely not doing that workout wrong.”

That time when Even laughed Isak did too, smiling so wide he couldn’t help it.

They were kissing again when Isak’s phone chimed. Loudly.

They both groaned, almost covering up the next chime on the other side of the bed. Even’s phone.

Isak lifted his head, eyebrows furrowed as he gaged the look on Even’s face and debated asking the question about how he felt about serendipity and coincidences and destiny and whatnot, but that was gonna be a longass conversation and they were having a nice time making out.

“The world is calling us,” Even told him and Isak glared at the world.

“Nei. It was a coincidence, we’re going to ignore that.”

Whether Even believed in signs and symbolism or not, when Isak kissed him he kissed back, which was all that mattered in this minute, right now, they could talk about more deep shit after his toes uncurled.

Their phones plinged again, in unison this time, full surround sound with only the volumes different between the two sides of the bed. Isak’s was louder, which wasn’t all that surprising.

The fact that they got another text at the exact same time was though, and the look on Even’s face as they broke apart said he thought so too.

They were still staring at each other in vague wonder when their phones went off, again, at the same time, one more loud and medium loud pling.

“The fuck?”

They both rolled for opposite sides of the bed in unison, legs taking a second to untangle then Even was scooping his phone off the floor and Isak was grabbing his from the nightstand.

He also grabbed his discarded hoodie - it was fucking cold now that he wasn’t curled up under the covers - and the closest hat, the red one, tugging it down over his curls to block the sun that was now trying to blind him from this new angle.

Okay, or maybe it was because he could feel how fucking crazy his hair was right now, which was fine when they were laying there in bed all soft and cozy but not fine when they were sitting up and checking their phones.

“It’s the boys,” Even said, sounding surprised. Isak rolled back into the middle of the bed, sitting up with the sheets in a hundred knots around their legs as Even shifted up to sit too, knees bumping.

“There’s a new group chat.” Isak thumbed down the lock screen in surprise, taking a second to let it sink in. Oh.

“Group chat?”

“Yeah. We’ve always had one, but.” He slid over on one of the messages, typing in his passcode quickly. “...this one’s new. With you.”

He glanced up from his phone to see Even staring at him, hair in gorgeous disarray and a slightly alarmed look on his face.

“What does that mean?”

He made a face as Even reached over and tweaked the brim of his hat, making him pull it down a little further. Even may look like a greek god in the morning but he did not, thank you.

What did a new group chat mean? Well.

“That you’re officially in the friend group.” Isak lifted a shoulder, watching Even’s face for a reaction. He looked surprised, but definitely not put out at all as he glanced back down at his phone, up at Isak with that little, unsure expression. You don’t think it’s awkward?

“What, there’s no hazing incident or anything?”

(My mom wants to meet you. Oh? That same pretty face, you don’t think it’s--)

“Why, you worried?” Isak shot him his eyebrow thing and turned back to his phone with a smile, thinking back to post-tequila night and the shit the boys gave them for all the times they’d been kicked out and that’s when their phones went off again.


(group chat)

He scanned through them quickly, thumbs flying before he was done reading. A month and a half ago he would’ve debated whether or not to type it, but now he didn’t think twice. Life was too short not to.


-- So now that Even’s in the group chat we get to haze him right -- Isak

Even made an undignified sound next to him as it popped up on his screen and Isak smiled, leaning over to bump their shoulders together.

“You couldn’t just be sweet like a normal boyfriend,” Even huffed and Isak popped his mouth open, swinging his head over dramatically.

“Like you would ever want a normal boyfriend.”

A quick glance to the side, eyebrows shooting up down all suggestive before looking back down at his phone. Isak made an offended sound and Even smiled, leaning over the distance between them to duck under the brim of Isak’s hat and kiss him on the mouth.

It was one of those surprisingly sensual kisses, lips sliding and catching as his free hand came up to cup the back of Even’s head. Their mouths smushed together, pulling sideways as Even nearly lost his balance in the lean.

Then he was pressing two hands on Isak’s chest, laying him back down on the closest pillow as they kissed, brim of his hat tipping up and a thousand little fireworks going off inside his chest. Even’s hands on his shoulders, crawled over to hold him unfairly still, making everything that much more fucking sensational--

The next group chat message plinged in, Even’s phone vibrating against his shoulder and knocking into his vibrating phone too.

“Ugh,” he complained as Even popped their mouths back apart, snagging his phone and falling over to bounce on the mattress beside Isak, already unlocking his screen and checking the message before Isak could breathe again.

Even made a strangled sound and Isak lifted an eyebrow, feeling vaguely squished as he lifted his head a tad, patting the side of his bed for his phone before he finally found it, lighting the screen up.


-- Why does that sound like you’re suggesting a group orgy -- Mahdi

Isak burst out in a shocked laugh, throwing his head back enough to put his hat back on the way it was supposed to sit.

Not exactly what he’d meant by hazing. He was thinking more like…


-- I was thinking more like Tequila Night 2.0 -- Jonas

See, that’s exactly what he was about to say. The laughter faded down into a simple smile, in the middle of typing a response as another sound went off, the incoming message for when the app was already open.

And there popped up a sideways photo of him smiling at his phone, clearly taken in snapchat and sent from the app since it had a caption on it, he’s elated and a text to accompany,


-- I think Isak was thinking orgy -- Even

“Hey!” Isak turned his head accusingly, shoving Even’s shoulder from his spot on the pillow beside.

Even shoved him back, not looking up, typing again and Isak turned back to his phone, typing faster and pressing send before he was tossing his phone aside and tackling Even for his.

“Hey!!”

The phones both made soft thuds as they fell a foot for the carpet, then their mouths were on each other, all the playful shoving shifted into vaguely aggressive making out.

The hat got knocked off pretty quickly, then Even was rolling them across the mattress and Isak got both legs around his waist. He let Even think he had the upperhand for a few heart-thudding kisses before he quickly engaged his thighs and flipped them again, landing on top of Even with his knees pinning bruised hips, mouths breaking apart as he sat up with a victorious grin.

“Ooh, looks like working out pays off,” Even teased, smile quirking up and a hand running up Isak’s stomach. “Why’d you put on more clothes, you knew I was gonna take them right back off.”

“I didn’t know that, and it’s fucking cold.”

Even hooked a finger in the front of the hoodie’s neck, dragging Isak down forcefully, his breath caught in his throat.

“I know some good ways to warm up, if you’re that cold.”

Isak stared down, mouth open and heart thudding as he searched Even’s face, confession hovering on the tip of his tongue. A shaky inhale, eyes locked, and his voice dropped, barely above a whisper.

“...I’m freezing.”

The phones plinged again, about five minutes later.

Neither of them picked up to check.

They were both a little busy.

 


(group chat)

 

~*~*~*~

 

Tirsdag, 15:03
03.01.17

 

Did he have homework over the break? Yes.

Was it entirely completely pointless and stupid? Yes.

Was he doing it? Surprisingly...yes.

He was laying on his stomach on the living room floor, biology textbooks stacked to one side - Sana was coming over later - and his notes from German spread out around him in a fan, laptop open to wordreference as he scribbled away at the worksheet.

It was more time consuming than impossible, which made it twice as annoying, but 2017 was a new year and he was gonna be a good student, dammit.

Was he completely focused on just this assignment and this assignment alone?

Well. No, but he could multitask. Do a few problems in German, focus focus, then scoop up his buzzing phone and text back Eva.

Their conversation was about thirty times more interesting than repeating the lesson they'd learned before break twenty thousand times, and he was still getting work done, so. Sue him.

 


(text one)


(text two)


(text three)


(text four)


(text five)

 

“Hey babe?” Isak said out loud, not looking up from his phone as he started composing the text to Jonas.

He got a distant, noncommittal sound in return. He'd thrown a few questions Even’s way in the past hour, but most of them had been rhetorical and only gotten sounds like that back.

He needed an actual answer for this one though so he finished the text, hit send, and lifted his head.

“Even.”

The table Even was drawing at was across the room, ten years away from Isak’s homework station and neither of them had budged since lunch.

Actually, the table was even more of a mess than the living room floor, crumpled up paper, pens and pencils scattered over the surface as the beautiful boy bent over it all just kept on sketching.

It was nice they could do this, chill out and get shit done in the same house as each other without being in each other’s laps about it or anything.

Still though, he had a legitimate question and Even wasn’t paying any attention to him, which was pretty regular when he was drawing, but still.

Isak waited and watched a moment longer, fond little smile crooking up the side of his mouth as he crossed his forearms and sing-songed across the space between them.

“Ev-ii.”

“Uh…” His pretty mouth pursed to the side, pen drawing out a few more rough strokes before he finally finished whatever he was working on and lifted his pen in sync with his head. There was ink smudged all over the side of his hand, his pinky basically painted black, raised eyebrows on his pretty face as he caught onto the fact that Isak had been looking at him for a little while. “Yeah?”

Isak smiled affectionately and tipped to the side, wetting his lips before he raised an eyebrow back and asked the question.

“How do you feel about cabins in the middle of nowhere?”

 

~*~*~

 

Torsdag, 11:41
05.01.16

 

“I can't believe you're planning this and it's my cabin.” Jonas reached over to snag a piece of Isak’s pizza, getting his hand swatted in retaliation.

I’m not actually doing it. You think I bitch about picking up a Christmas tree I didn’t even buy, then turn the corner and plan an entire weekend trip for two squads? Nei. This is all Even.”

“Not all--”

“Still, though!”

“Did you want to coordinate getting 10 people to a cabin two and half hours away? No? I didn’t think so. Be grateful, Thief-man.” Isak took a bite of the pizza Jonas had nearly stolen, talking muffled around it as he waved a hand. “We haven't been up there in forever! Besides, I think this counts as epic.”

“Definitely epic,” Magnus agreed, pointing a finger at Mahdi’s extra piece and raising his eyebrows.

“Yes, I’m going to eat that.”

“So if there’s three bedrooms that’s six people already, unless some people are willing to sleep triple, which some of those beds could…maybe fit.” Even had sketched the whole thing out based off Isak’s description, making him chew all proudly as Even explained the setup to the rest of the boys. “Either way, with just two to a bedroom that’s only four on the couches. Well, you probably can’t fit more than three on the couches, unless you have someone in the armchair, then look! No one’s sleeping on the floor.”

“So long as I get the southern bedroom,” Jonas said, giving Isak a very pointed look.

“What?? Nei. If you get a bedroom you sleep in pairs, and I’m sharing with Even, so.”

“I see how it is.” Jonas balled up his napkin and arched it across the table at Even, who managed to duck to the side just in time, dropping his mouth in an overexaggerated offended face as Jonas lifted his chin. “You two can sleep on the couches.”

“That's fine,” Isak agreed, pretty smile on his face as he leaned an elbow on the table and cocked his head. “So long as you're fine waltzing past the living room in the middle of the night to get water and walking in on me having sex.”

Even choked on his pizza. Mahdi nearly spit his drink out across the table and Isak’s triumphant smile threatened to break into a tongue-in-his-cheek laugh.

“I vote Isak and Even get the southern bedroom,” Magnus offered and Jonas threw up his hands in disarray. Mahdi reached over Jonas’s plate to grab the pen and write down their names on the drawing, filling in the two blank lines for southern bedroom. It was a good idea to assign sleeping locations before they arrived, so it wasn’t pure chaos once everyone piled out of the cars exhausted.

Magnus leaned over to glance at the sketch, his half-eaten pizza mouth opening up as he stuttered over a protest.

“Why can’t Vilde and I share a room??”

“Because you guys aren’t official and we’re not going to pressure her into feeling like she has to have sex with you??”

“I would never pressure her!” Magnus sputtered in retaliation, then he and Mahdi were breaking into a full on argument with interjected input from Jonas layered between.

Even caught his gaze across the table, laughter in his eyes as he tipped his head up, crooked, surprised, fond smile.

“That was bold.” Even sounded impressed and Isak lifted a shoulder, crooked smile of his own.

“It's worth it. It's a great bedroom.”

 

~*~*~

 

Fredag, 08:28
06.01.2017

 

It wasn’t like Isak had planned the trip up here to have a getaway sex vacation, honestly he hadn’t. If he wanted to he would’ve set up the trip for just the two of them instead of coordinating two cars and ten people up here.

They arrived late last night, late enough everyone crashed instantly, after stumbling around claiming spots (and entirely ignoring the helpful sleeping arrangements they’d set up) but on the bright side, he and Even still got the southern bedroom, so he didn’t actually give a fuck where anyone else slept.

Because it was just the two of them in here. And it was early enough in the morning there was no way anyone was gonna be awake, so. He hadn’t planned a getaway sex vacation but they were alone in a secluded bedroom in a cabin in the middle of nowhere, everything warm and beautiful with the early sun shining through the windows and miles of crisp, falling white sheets.

Neither of them had spoken a word yet this morning, they’d both woken from the light streaming through the windows and kissed. Now Even’s shirt was tossed aside, Isak straddling his waist as warm, sweet hands slipped up his sides to slide his clothes free too.

Material bunched over Even’s wrists as his palms skirted up Isak’s ribs, arms lifted slow over his head so the shirt could tug all the way off, blonde curls popping free as Even bit his lip, eyes on fire. Isak dropped his head to the side, gazes locked and back muscles shifting with Even’s hands running slow back down his ribs, over his waist as Isak slipped the shirt off one wrist to toss it for the closest wall--

The door slid open behind them, a sound Isak still remembered very very clearly from their last cabin trip, and the sound that followed it wasn’t all that different either.

Although Jonas squawked first, before he made the same rounded, wide-eyed exit Isak had,

“Ahh, sorry, sorry!”

Three things happened all at once, Jonas spinning out of the room with a hand up to block his vision, Isak making a scandalized sound as he dived for the covers, and his balled up shirt hitting the wall before flopping silently to the ground.

“JONAS!” He shouted in complaint after the closing door, cursing fluently under his breath as he clutched a sheet to his chest.

When he’d done the same fucking thing to Jonas and Eva, more than a year ago - Jesus fucking Christ - the moment he’d closed the door behind himself he’d started singing to ease the tension he’d clearly just caused, and not of the good kind either,

I’m so lonely, I am so lonely, I have nobooddyyy--

Eva had laughed, he’d heard that much, then he’d trailed into the kitchen and vowed to never open another door without knocking again in his life.

Jonas didn’t sing to break the tension though, he clearly wasn’t as amusing or cute as Isak was, but he was laughing his ass off in the next room.

Of course.

Even cocked an eyebrow at the laughter, turning his head on the pillow to give Isak a cute, confused little look.

Yes, he overreacted, he knew, and it wasn’t like Jonas had never fucking seen him with his shirt off, but still.

“Karma, motherfucking karma has bit me in the ass,” he groaned, letting go of the sheet to roll up and glare at the ceiling. Even laughed, reaching over to wrap a hand around his ribs again.

“Hey that's my job,” he teased and Isak groaned again, closing his eyes and cursing some more.

He had this coming. He fucking had this coming and how he hadn’t seen it, he had no fucking clue.

“He didn’t even sing,” Isak complained under his breath, sucking in a breath to sigh dramatically and open his eyes back up to Even’s still confused ones.

“Karma? And singing?”

“It's a long story,” Isak told the ceiling fan. This bedroom was so nice. Giant window over the bed, white walls, beautiful view, it was a damn shame they weren’t gonna get to use it.

“Well, tell me then, what’s karma getting you for?” The hand over his ribs prodded him once, smile in his voice as he rolled up on his side, tearing Isak’s eyes away from the ceiling and to that beautiful face. “Since we're apparently not gonna have sex.”

“Not when that can happen! We're fucking lucky we're both still in boxers.”

“You have to get out of them to get lucky,” Even corrected. “Can't you just lock the door?”

“The doors don't lock,” he sighed mournfully, pouting his lips up at Even to get a kiss.

Even obliged, soft and tender and a hell of a lot less heated than they’d been kissing a few minutes ago. God dammit.

When he pulled back a hand stroked over his cheek, looping around his ear to slip through blonde curls, eyes sparkling and fond. Too bad he couldn’t be stroking other things, if only it weren’t for that goddamn interruption--

“Then. We've got time for you to tell me that story.”

“You don't wanna know,” Isak told him, reaching up to press their lips together again. The kiss didn’t last long, followed up by a few short sticky ones that always made him shiver, which Even fucking knew, leaning back with a little shit of a smile on his face.

“Oh?”

“Yeah,” he replied, although it took him a second to figure out what the fuck they’d been talking about. Even Bitch Næshiem over here trying to get him all worked up again.

“Is it the same thing I didn't wanna know about your secret life as a master liar?” It was teasing and cute, but Isak unfortunately was still a fucking shit liar, and the look on his face gave him away in about .3 seconds.

Fucking shifty expression he couldn’t get help, jesus christ none of this was his fault.

Even still had one hand on Isak’s face as he lifted up all the way, mouth popping open and looking down at Isak all shocked and whatnot.

“Really??”

“Ugh. I was a bitch my first year.”

“I’ve seen some of those clapbacks at Magnus,” Tipped head, raise eyebrows, pretty smile. “What makes you think you've changed?”

“Hey,” he interjected, then Even was kissing him and he stopped minding pretty quickly.

Seriously though, he was nowhere near as much of a bitch now as he’d been then.

It’d been their first weekend as first years at Nissen, a few months after Jonas and Eva started officially dating. They’d been planning this sex-getaway weekend up to Jonas’s cabin when Jonas somehow convinced Eva to let him come along, third wheeling on the romantic getaway to its full capacity, including walking in on them about to have sex in this very bed.

On the bright side, Eva really hadn’t minded, and the three of them had been hella close, so in theory the cabin trip would’ve been nice if Elias hadn’t shown up and Eva hadn’t seen those texts on Jonas’s phone and they hadn’t gotten stoned off their asses and…

Well. Drama.

At least now, they were all so much more mature. Drama like that just didn’t happen anymo--

“Ha!!” Isak froze in his tracks the moment he stepped into the living room, eyebrows knitting in confusion at the instant halt in conversation and the very obvious finger pointing at him from across the room.

“Fucking karma,” Eva shouted and Isak unfroze, rolling his eyes and sweeping past the crowd as they all broke into laughter at Eva’s clapping hands and pitchy little song she was singing behind him.

“Jonas walked in on you having se-ex, Isak got a taste of his own medi-cine, haha ha suck a dick, and sucking dick--”

“Oy!” He shouted from the kitchen while the living room burst into another round of laughter.

Even’s lips were rolled in, eyes wide as Isak reached over him to grab an oven mitt, turning back round the corner to throw it promptly at Eva Mohn and her ridiculous gloating face.

When he came back into the kitchen shaking his head, living room still filled with giggles, Even was leaning against the counter next to Sana, both of them sipping tea and looking judgmentally up from their mugs at him together.

“What??”

“An oven mitt?” She said dryly and Even’s judgy demeanor cracked a little, barely restraining the laugh as he took a quick sip of his tea.

“Ow, ow, hot, hot--”

“Why thank you, I think so too,” Isak replied, wild-eyed as he snatched up the other oven mitt and aimed it at Sana.

The look she gave him threatened to melt him into the floor - honestly, worse than the one Emma gave him when she tried to kill him and fry him into the lockers which was saying a lot - and he put the oven mitt back down very carefully.

“So. Who’s making breakfast?”

“Considering you’re the one who was having sex with the doors open--”

“For the last time, we were not having sex, I was taking off my shirt.”

“--it sounds like you get to make breakfast!”

“Then the only thing anyone’s getting is scrambled eggs with toast, and there will be zero fucking complaints.” Isak shooed both of the sassy lingerers for the door, snatching his hand back as Even tried to grab it. “Uh uh, no distractions, no sir, you are going to go sit in the living room and talk to your friends and save our reputation and I am going to cook, go.”

Sana looped an arm around Even’s waist, shooting Isak a cheery smile as she turned them round the corner and Even shouted something like good luck over his shoulder.

Oh boy, he wasn’t the one who needed luck, Even was the one stuck explaining an already spreading story to the other eight giggling people who’d apparently all woken up the same time they did.

Whoops.

 

Fredag, 11:16

 

“Vilde, did you bring along an actual picnic basket?”

“I made sandwiches too! We can have a picnic on the mountains after a nice brisk hike, it’ll be so nice! Energizing and nutritious.”

Isak blinked twice and Jonas leaned over, arms crossed over his chest and voice dropped low enough to not travel.

“Are you sure you actually came up with this idea? Maybe Vilde has planted kosegruppa bugs inside your room that whisper to you at night.”

“I’ll ask Even if he’s heard anything,” Isak replied seriously, both of them still staring at the blonde as she gathered everyone up from the couches, herding people for the doors.

They leaned shoulders and judged her for a moment longer before Jonas cleared his throat and said flatly,

“So when are we ditching everyone to get high?”

 

~*~*~

 

Lørdag, 13:34
07.01.2017

 

They spent Friday playing games, eating food, drinking casually and chilling out in the cabin when it got dark - someone offered to search for board games and Noora had sat up quickly, insisting vehemently they were not allowed to play Ouija and Jonas had given her the strangest look, throwing up his hands as he told her he didn’t even own one, calm down, then Chris and Vilde were doubling over in laughter as Sana said something about a magical hijab and they all decided to play Rules instead, which got ridiculous and had them up until 2am, everyone basically passing out in piles around the room so that all the bedrooms went unoccupied, except for Sana, Mahdi, and Noora, who all woke up at 3 and took a bedroom each.

So all in all, it was midday Saturday before Jonas patted his pocket and tipped a head for the door, a signal Isak didn’t need long to interpret.

He nodded and Jonas took off to go find Magnus and Mahdi while Even walked him outside, both of them stopping on the back porch while they waited.

“I see how it is. Leave me in here to cook with the girls while you go have fun.” An affectionate hand through his hair and Isak tipped his head, shaking it sorrowfully as he lifted up a shoulder.

“I heard from the very official source of Magnus that at least one of us has to be a woman, somehow, so.”

The laugh twinkling past Even’s lips bounced off the whole canyon, the lake waters and the mountain skies, echoing around to soak in every one of his senses as he bounded forward and pressed a solid, precious kiss on Isak’s mouth, still giggling as he pulled back, foreheads together and a happy peck that had Isak’s lungs seizing in the very best way.

He’d thought he was funny before, with the faces he made and the dry sense of humor he toted around but god, he was the king of humor now that making Even laugh seemed like the only goal worth having in life.

So he pressed his fingertips to the smiling jaw, sliding soft over skin that was starting to feel like an extension of his own.

“Although I'm pretty sure the whole point of this is to not have any chicks in the mix, but.”

“But you're still leaving me in there with all of them.”

“Oh you'll be fine,” he scoffed, rolling his eyes and his head with it for dramatic effect. “They love me.”

“Exactly! And I’m your boyfriend, they're gonna eat me alive!”

Isak grinned and pressed a perky kiss to Even’s cheek. He knew first hand how those girls could get, Even was gonna have a great time.

“Besides, leaving me behind to cook, what will your friends think? Especially Magnus.” A thumb stroked over his cheekbone, gazes locked and betraying all the fond as he teased.

“Oh you don't have to worry.” Isak puckered his lips, looking down his nose at Even as they kissed again, all domestic and sweet, his absolute favorite time to make Even laugh. “...they all already know I bottom.”

“You--” Even’s whole face lit up as he tipped his head back, giggling and smiley with strong arms wrapping tight around Isak’s waist, leaning forward to nuzzle their noses together. “You've expanded your terms vocabulary, I'm impressed.”

“I can think of lots of other ways to say it,” he murmured, head cocking to one side, noses still brushing. “Constantly down to have you inside me, I'd let you bend me over every available surface--”

The door slammed open behind them, a pile of boys herding out with loud voices and clapping hands on shoulders.

“Isak, we're going! C’mon, you can hook up with Even later.”

He reached up on his tiptoes, pecking Even’s mouth once and squeezing his hand before he was letting go, sliding past with a smile and a little salute.

“See you lat-er, have fun!”

“Drittsekken!” Even called after him, making him smile as he spun on a heel and jogged to catch up with the rest of the jostling boys.

“Eee kinky,” someone accused, laughter shouting across the mountain range as they took off down the side of the house, headed god knows where, probably some clearing in the woods or some shit.

“Whatever, you're all assholes too,” Isak bantered back, throwing an arm around Mahdi’s and Jonas’s shoulders, smile wide and loud enough to hear from all the way up here and Even sighed, taking in a deep breath of cold air.

Just him and the girls. It was a good thing Even liked that boy as much as he did.

 

Lørdag, 13:42

 

“You're in my corner, right?” He found Noora first, thank god, dragged her aside before he dared stepping foot in the kitchen, where there was already a steady stream of laughter pouring out.

“Huh?” She looked at him like he was crazy and Even tipped his head to indicate the kitchen, bouncing a little nervously on his tiptoes.

“When this gets wild? Please, I make you breakfast all the time, I can't go into battle without a sidekick.”

“I am nobody's sidekick!” An offended hand whacked him solidly on the arm, making him grab the spot and wince. So far this was going great. “Besides, what makes you think this is gonna be a battle?”

“Even!” Sana’s voice shouted from the next room. “We need something for dinner, get in here!”

“See?” He threw up his hands, eyebrows up as he tried to get her to see it. “They're gonna eat me alive.”

Noora rolled her eyes, a bright smile as she crossed her arms over her chest and Eva poked her head out from around the corner.

“Aren't you coming?”

Noora planted a hand between his shoulderblades - having to reach fairly high to do it - and all but shoved him into the kitchen. It wasn’t like he was scared of them, or didn’t know how to talk to girls, but he was still nervous around The Boys if Isak wasn’t around and boys were so fucking simple, he just didn’t wanna fuck it up with the girls, not when Isak cared about them all too.

There was just a lot of people he had to impress - the only people Isak had to worry about was Even’s parents, who asked how Isak was doing almost more than they asked how he was, which was saying a fucking lot.

But Even had an entire two squads full of already tight-knit friends that he was intruding on and while yeah, he’d been added to the boys’ group chat, he hadn’t so much as passed an approval test with a single one of the girls yet.

Besides Noora, because he made kickass scrambled eggs and she appreciated the scoop of sour cream, so.

She was being merciless as hell now though, marching him into the kitchen with a triumphant smile and a cocky raised eyebrow as she hopped back up on the only spot of free counter space left. Eva was also on the counter, Vilde was propped on a bar stool, Sana was leaning against the counter by the sink and Chris was leaning against the fridge, sucking on a candy cane leftover from Christmas and giving him a really really judgy look.

Boys were easy. Girl squads though, kicked ass, and here he was standing in the middle of one, five pairs of eyes mercilessly scanning him up and down as he bounced on his toes, opening his mouth to ask how he could help, something, anything that wasn’t standing here in quiet he really could not interpret.

Chris beat him to it, demanding and flat around her candy cane.

“We need you to cook. Isak said you can and the rest of us suck, so.”

“Speak for yourself!” Noora tipped her head, light blonde hair swinging and reflecting off the bright kitchen lights. “I make great pancakes.”

“And potatoes,” Vilde pointed out. They smiled at each other all secretive and sweet and there was so much he didn't know or wasn't part of but they needed him for something so Even clapped his hands together once and offered a hopeful smile.

“Where do you want me?”

“Everywhere,” Eva said sultrily and they burst into surround-sound laughter as he rolled his lips in and headed for the nearest cabinet to figure out where shit was.

This was gonna be fun.

Although actually? It really...surprisingly was.

The girls had already made the menu they wanted based on ingredients they scrounged up, it was just a matter of making it all, which really wasn’t going to be hard.

They helped out some, watching the pots to make sure they didn’t boil over and pointing out where he could find salt, a stirring spoon.

Mostly though, they chatted and laughed and made jokes and told stories while he cooked various things and held up spoons for them to taste test.

“Oh my god, then there was the whole thing with Chris,” Noora’s eyes rolled, taking a bite of the end of a spatula and waving at the spices on the counter. “It needs more something.”

Super helpful. Even unscrewed the lid of the oregano again, glancing up as Chris set down a package of eggs on the counter and made an offended noise at hearing her name.

“Huh?”

“Not you Chris, Christoffer. Although you liked Isak too, god the spoon thing--”

“I have no idea what you’re talking about.” She popped open the container and carefully picked out three eggs. Even glanced over at the list Vilde had taped to a cabinet for him. He was pretty sure he didn’t need those eggs. “That Ouija board was right though, holy hell--”

“Chris, if you’re planning to juggle those,” Sana warned and Chris made a face at her, popping the lid back closed.

“Wait, what was the thing with Christoffer?” Vilde asked, reaching over to brush flour into a little pile on the counter.

“I’m not going to drop one again, I promise.” Chris took three steps backwards and started carefully shuffling the eggs between her hands, which was going to make it difficult to get samples to Eva, but she was the harshest critic, so that was fine.

“Remember when Jonas got his nose busted in and everyone was getting in fights? Chris, move, I can’t taste-test if you’re juggling there.”

Okay, or apparently he was still getting samples to Eva anyways.

“Yeah, and William smashed a glass bottle over the head of one of the boys from the other school?” Sana gave Noora a sassy dimpled look to which Noora kicked her feet, eyes rolling.

“No fair, all of them were involved, Isak was the one who set up that fight and no one ever gives him shit for it.”

“He got decked in the face!” Eva exclaimed, shoving Noora’s shoulder.

“So did William,” Vilde pointed out.

“Anyways, Christoffer?” Sana brought up again, looking to Eva this time for the explanation.

“--also got punched. God, he had the worst black eye. Anyway, Noora and I thought he was dating Isak, like, we were legitimately camped out in the school windows investigating them in the courtyard. There were all these clues that lead right to it--”

They all jumped a little as an egg smashed to the ground, shell pieces scattering as the insides splattered dramatically and Chris looked up with wide eyes.

“Again?” Noora tsked while Sana hid a snort behind her hand.

“I’ll clean it, I will!” Chris pouted, looking back down at the egg sadly. “I thought I’d gotten better at this.”

Even reached up over the top of the fridge, snagging a roll of paper towels and holding it out to Chris before glancing around the gossip filled kitchen with his eyebrows up.

“It sounds like you ladies have way better stories about Isak than the boys do.”

“Oh boy, we have some stories.” Eva clicked her tongue, head tipping to the side with a knowing look that could only mean trouble.

He glanced around to the other expressions, Vilde’s gaze on her clasped hands, Sana looking as tight-lipped smug as ever and Noora’s eyes wide as she rolled her lips in and looked off to the side.

“Oh?” Even picked the stirring spoon back up, a little trepidatious as he scanned between them. A lot of stories, apparently.

“Mm...yeah.” Noora popped her lipstick, hands wrapped around the edge of the counter as she tipped to the side and kicked her feet. “But you can ask Isak those any day, how often do we have you to fire questions at?”

She tipped her head all cutely as the rest of the girls murmured agreement and bright smiles.

“I mean I basically live at your apartment,” Even countered and Noora rolled her eyes.

“None of the rest of us ever see you though,” Eva pointed out, to which Sana and Noora both pinned him with serious looks.

“Fair,” he agreed, tipping his head and checking the temperature on the oven.

Vilde lifted a hand up straight for the ceiling, waiting until Even was looking over at her to solemnly lower it again, looking around at the other girls as she spoke.

“Okay, me first.” She sucked in a breath, pausing on the inhale before exhaling all at once. “Are you bisexual?”

“Vilde!”

“What? It's a valid question, he had a girlfriend and now he has a boyfriend, I think that's fair to ask! I just want to know!”

“You don't have to answer that,” Noora told him and Even shook his head with a smile.

“I don't mind,” he started, only to get interrupted by Eva, who was significantly louder than Vilde.

“I have a better question,” she announced, two hands in the air to grab everybody’s attention. Even turned all the way to face her, leaning against the stove as they all awaited the sneaky smile, cocked head, drawn out pause question,

“What's Isak like in bed?” Even barked a laugh and Eva turned her wrists, palms up as the rest of the girls made shocked sounds. “It’s a fair question! I know half the girls at Nissen have made out with him--”

“Including you,” Sana pointed out and Even laughed again, eyes crinkling as he propped against the counter, looking between Sana’s pursed lips and Eva’s open mouth.

“Barely!” She sputtered. “Really, our lips barely touched, that doesn't count.” They all gave her skeptical looks and she threw her hands up again. “That wasn't making out! I swear, I’d know, I’ve made out with a lot of people.”

“Including me,” Vilde said cheerily and Eva pointed an upside down finger.

“Including Vilde,” she agreed. “But anyways. Even. Everyone’s made out with him but no one’s actually slept with him and lived to tell the story, so. Is he as fantastic as he likes to think?”

“Oh, way better than that,” Even told them and all their mouths popped open, tongues in cheeks and shocked amusement as they all exchanged glances. Even arched an eyebrow and turned back to the stove, pouring a dash of milk into the melting chocolate and speaking right to the dark swirls. “He's the best I've ever been with.”

“Awww.”

“Oh my god,”

“Oooo--”

“And you're like so much older than us too, with all your age and experience and whatnot.” Chris shooed a hand at him as she said it, all the girls’ awes turning into giggling and snorts.

Even pursed his lips to the side. He wasn’t that much older.

“Is he really the best you've been with?” Vilde pressed, looking terribly curious from her high chair as he turned down the heat on the chocolate and lifted a shoulder.

“Yeah. I mean maybe it's just cause I'm so gone for him but. I doubt it.”

Awww.

Even smiled at the mismatched chorus, Noora’s exaggerated pouty lips, the little shove Vilde gave him with her foot, looking down at his hands and thinking distantly how well they fit with Isak’s, a perfect match just like everything else between them.

“I am pretty far gone for him, though…”

“You two are so fucking cute.” Vilde shook her head, scooting the carton of eggs out of Chris’s reaching hand. Even tipped his head from the carton to the top of the cabinets, way way out of reach, one eyebrow up.

Vilde nodded, reaching carefully over Chris as Noora called her name, grabbing the carton and handing it to Even before Chris could see, then he was going up on his tiptoes to carefully set it down on the top of the cabinet, out of reach of the juggling-insistent hands.

The moment he turned back around, smiling victoriously, not a single girl was where they’d been just a moment ago, all crowding around the stove with spoons dipping in chocolate.

“Hey!”

“Holy shit, this is delicious?” Sana threw him a shocked look, mouth closing around another spoonful.

“Yeah?” Head tipping enough to make his hair bounce, a little smile curling on his face. No point in pretending he was upset when they were all making obscene noises and dipping spoons back in for another round.

“Uh, yeah. This is remarkable, actually.”

Noora curved her spoon out of her mouth, eyebrows furrowing as she tried to place something, before she was pointing a finger at the chocolate and squinting her eyes at him.

“Is there cayenne in this?”

“Yeah. The spice brings out the chocolate flavor while cutting the cloying of the sugar.”

“Holy shit,” Eva announced. The rest of the girls made varying sounds of agreement, little circle around the pot opening up to let him back in.

“This is so not fair,” Chris made a face and dipped another spoon back in, swirling it up into a heap. “Do you always cook for Isak?”

“Hey, hey, leave some for dessert. Sana, you too. And not always, but. Most breakfasts, then we do dinner at my parents’ house once a week, I usually make that.” He was gonna start having to snatch spoons soon, they were gonna make a dent in his cooking plan. Vilde reached over for another and Even shooed her away from the stove, shooed back Noora’s sneaky grin and reaching spoon too, throwing his arms out wide and shooting faux glares.

“Wait, dinner at your parent’s house? Once a week??”

“You've introduced him to your parents??!” Eva gave him the most skeptical look in the world and the rest of the girls were fanning themselves, making kissy faces as Even’s mouth dropped open, looking around at the giggling disbelievers.

Ja! I have never seen him so nervous.”

“Aww.” Vilde hopped up on the closest counter so she could tap him with her foot as she made cooing noises.

Eva was back on a counter again too, and so was Sana, the empty chair went to Chris, which left Noora to be a bother.

“Fucking storybook fairytale or some shit,” she teased and Even nudged her with his hip, making tiny blonde bump sideways, mouth open in offense but she was getting all up in his space again to try and steal more chocolate, she could pop her bright red mouth open all she wanted, she was not going to get--

“Noora Amelie Sætre--”

“Even Bech Næsheim,” she replied sassily, leaning right over him to dip her spoon and put it dramatically in her mouth, tipping her head as she dared him to say a damn thing.

Even threw up a hand, it wasn’t like he was gonna be able to get Noora, of all people, to listen to him. If anyone complained about there not being enough dessert, he was solely going to place the blame on her though.

“Hey troublemaker, how about you help instead of stealing chocolate and shred cheese for the potatoes? Vilde, could you help too?”

“Do I get more chocolate?” She asked cutely and Even sighed up at the sky. His brilliant plans.

But the next thing he knew he was handing her a spoonful of chocolate and she was squealing in delight, throwing it in her mouth as she clapped her hands and kicked her feet back and forth.

“Is this the right cheese?”

“Yeah, and there’s a shredder in the first drawer, I think. I probably only need about half of it.”

“We gotcha,” Noora sing-songed, plopping the cheese and shredder down on the counter next to Vilde. “We’re fantastic cooking buddies, aren’t we?”

Vilde smiled and rocked sideways, one hand on the top of the shredder and the other still holding onto her spoon.

“Do they like him?” Sana asked, holding out an empty spoon for him to fill back up. At this rate, there wasn’t going to be enough chocolate after dinner for just them, let alone the boys.

“My parents?” Even pointed for the salt shaker just out of reach, glancing over at Sana as Eva handed it to him.

“Ja, your parents.”

She had that waiting, expectant look that wasn’t quite a smile but still had her dimple showing, eyebrows up at him.

Even spun the shaker once, handing it back to Eva and taking a moment to notice how utterly silent it had fallen, all of them paused to look at him while he turned the heat all the way off, hand on the stove. Even smiled quietly to himself, bending down to open up the oven.

“They love him.”

“Oh my god.”

Even’s restrained smile burst at the edges, mouth opening with, overflowing into bright eyes, uncontainable the same way he’d smiled the first time he’d met the boys and Isak had been so flustered and cute, you threw us out! they were going to a party, really. Mmhm, okay, Even didn’t know much, but he knew that wasn’t true and he knew he’d never wanted to kiss Isak more.

“I’m gonna throw up in my mouth,” Noora announced.

“Awwww, I'm so happy for you guys,” hands clapping together as Eva tipped her head and smiled all bright and fond.

“You're cuter than me and Kaspar,” Chris said sullenly.

“I can't believe somebody’s parents love him,” Sana teased and Even laughed brightly. If only she knew.

Hell, there were times it shocked him, waking up and dragging his feet into the kitchen to see Isak and his mom chatting over morning coffee (although the most surprising part of that was that Isak woke up before him, and decided to talk to his mom instead of staying in bed with Even).

Or the very memorable time they’d both gone to each other’s houses after school through a miscommunication of what the word “home” meant in a text, a thrilling saga that ended with Even walking in on Isak and his dad on the couch yelling things at a game of some sport on the television.

Isak had offered a hello right before throwing a hand up at something on the screen and he’d just walked right back out of the room to go play guitar or draw or something significantly less worldview shattering. Isak hanging out with his parents without him. Intentionally.

Yeah, if only Sana knew. Vilde nudged her for the comment, whispering something about “don’t be rude, that’s his boyfriend!”

To which Sana replied a very flat, “and my friend,” before Vilde was turning to smile sweetly at his reminiscing expression.

“If that's not the sweetest thing we've ever heard.”

“It is pretty damn cute,” Eva agreed, crooking a finger at him as he blew on the taste-testing spoon for the potatoes. Alright, apparently this spoon got to go in her mouth instead.

“My mom keeps asking when we're getting married,” he told them seriously, holding a hand under the spoon as he pulled it back out of Eva’s mouth and she nearly spit it right back out at him, one hand shooting over her mouth and the other flailing in the air.

It took a second before the silence shattered, the rest of the girls simultaneously breaking into shrieks and bright squeals.

“Ahhh!!”

Vilde was practically bouncing on the counter, clapping her hands and mouth open in high-pitched shock, Chris’s jaw was on the floor, Sana was laughing at the ceiling, Noora’s hands were over her mouth, not like that was blocking any of the sounds she was making.

“Oh you have to let us be your bridesmaids!” Vilde exclaimed, hands clasped earnestly, mouth open wide and bright.

Even was still laughing at their reactions, shoulders up and eyes crinkling as Eva hopped off the counter to throw her arms around him dramatically, nearly knocking him off balance and squeezing his ribs surprisingly tight.

Please, I would kill for my room back,” Noora groaned, hand shoving Even’s shoulder playfully and head tipping in a shining, beautiful smile.

Sun pouring through the windows, laughter echoing and eyes bright, the smell of spiced chocolate and cooking spices, sweaters pulled over hands and soft messy buns and pure, brilliant joy as they all looked between each other and carved a piece in the world for their memories.

“Oh, what color do you think we all look good in? If we’re going to have matching dresses it has to be a color that matches each of our palettes and skin tones-- Sana, what color hijabs do you have, we could start with that? I seriously doubt they want their bridesmaids in all black.”

“Vilde, I can get any color hijab I need to.”

“I don’t know if we’ll have bridesmaids…”

“So you’ve thought about it! Oh my god, you’ve totally thought about it!”

“Even Bech Næsheim, expert chef and wedding planner.”

“We actually talked about it, once, but. Kinda, not really, the circumstances were a little--” He sucked in a breath, making Eva pull back and look up at him in concern.

Noora caught on instantly. Red mouth popping open ready to intervene or divert or stomp out, whatever she had to do but Sana beat her to it, rolling her eyes and waving a hand dramatically.

“Oh so what, you guys talked about getting married.” She pinned Even with a look, dark eyes twinkling.

One corner of his mouth twitched up, sideways and not so heartbreakingly heavy.

Then a burst of sunlight by the name of Vilde was brightening the corners of the room, pure joy dragging in diversion.

“Oh my god, that wedding is gonna be the best party ever, can you imagine?” She rocked to the side, smiling wide enough it could be her wedding they were talking about instead. “Isak, getting married first, out of all of us--”

Even made a sound, open mouth at her cheery disposition and eyebrows arched high,

“Who said it was gonna be anytime soon??”

“The way you two look at each other, that’s who,” Eva answered, patting over his heart affectionately.

“Preach,” Noora lifted a hand for the sky, followed amusedly by a raise of Sana’s hand too.

Chris dropped the roll of paper towels to the floor to lift both her hands too, followed instantly by Vilde’s, which got jazz hands at the end.

The laughter bubbling up couldn’t be helped, just surrounded and doused in warmth as the girls teased him and burst into more laughter themselves. Vilde clapped a hand over her stomach as she laughed and nearly fell off the counter, making Chris dive to catch her and almost slip on the tiles, floor wet from where she’d cleaned up the broken egg and then they were all laughing harder. Eva’s hand on his shoulder as they both doubled over, tears building up in crinkling eyes, bursting smiles, Sana’s snickers behind her hand that turned into full, head-tilting-back cackling while Noora snorted she laughed so hard then they were all laughing harder.

Hand over his stomach, other to point at Noora and her pig sound. A towel wrapped up to snap at him for laughing so hard, then he threw a pinch of stray salt in her hair and she was shoving him across the kitchen, both of them sliding on the wet floors as Eva got thrown off balance and Sana lifted her feet up on the counter to avoid the stumbling mess of teenagers while shakily attempting to film a story for the kosegruppa instagram.

By the time the laughter died down into giggles, Even was slumped against the counter, Eva and Noora were both on the floor, and Vilde caught her breath enough to raise her voice, lifting up an empty glass she’d pulled from the cabinet behind.

“Alright, this calls for a toast, who’s found where they keep the wine in this place?”

 

Lørdag, 13:42

 

The hike up the mountain was significantly shorter than he remembered it, although to be fair the last time he’d done it he’d been a year younger, a lot less fit, had a lot lower stamina, and had been high off his ass, too.

“Oy, it’s over there,” he pointed off towards the clearing they’d entirely passed, hidden by a newly grown patch of bushes at the front.

“Fuck, I didn’t even see it.”

“What would you do without me?”

Jonas rolled his eyes.

Isak took the joint from him and plopped down on the same patch of dirt he had last time, only significantly colder, leaning back against the stump to inhale sharp enough to make his throat burn.

Fuck, he hadn’t gotten high in what felt like forever. Last time he was high, he was making out with Even on his bed for the first time and talking about parallel universes.

That was a long ass time ago. Time was fuckin’ weird, man. Cause like, objectively, he’d gone way longer without smoking before, but there was just so fucking much that had happened in the time between then and now that it felt years longer than it was.

Seriously, he was a different man now, taking a hit to blow smoke at the mountain sky, a whole different human being than the last time he’d sat here, soft small and harassed for being gay.

Now, he was fucking...fucking fucking the hottest guy he’d ever seen, and more than that he was utterly besotted, he was tasting Even’s lips on his between drags, eyes closed and head tipped back to let it all just wash over him.

Hell, he was a different person now than he’d been last time he’d smoked with the boys too, propped in a bathtub at Eva’s house, as fake as he could convince himself to be. Now here he was, real, in all his blazing glory.

Isak giggled at the pun, blowing a stream of smoke into the cold air as he leaned over and passed the joint to Mahdi.

“Jonas, do you remember the first time we got high, and I coughed for so fucking long we both thought I was actually dying?”

“No, I forgot that,” he replied dryly, taking the mj from Mahdi to puff out a fancy ring of smoke, dancing on the wind before dissipating in the chill.

“Ooo, so fuckin’ cool,” Isak rolled his head on the bark to raise an unimpressed eyebrow, making Jonas raise a hand to flick him off.

“I feel bad leaving Even in there while we're out here having fun.” Magnus took the offered joint and proceeded to cough up half a lung.

“He'll be fine,” Isak said, fluttering his eyes back open to wave a hand at the open air. “Besides, he shouldn't smoke, so.”

“Sucks.”

“Mm. Mhhm.”

“Isak, nei, we are not--”

“I wasn’t gonna,” he protested, putting both hands up. “Thankfully, this isn’t tequila.”

“Yeah...as much as getting Even drunk off his ass sounds fun, you two drunk and in the same room does not mean good things for the rest of us.” Mahdi tapped his arm with the side of his boot - oh, he was on top of Isak’s stump, what a good spot - while the other boys giggled.

“We wouldn’t have sex in front of you guys,” Isak argued up at the sky, eyebrows furrowed and eyes shut.

“You almost did this morning in front of Jonas,” Magnus pointed out, entirely deserving as Isak reached over to snatch the joint out of his fingers before he could take a drag, making a face at the offended sound and hitting it hard himself instead.

Hard enough he was coughing and they were all laughing. Jesus fuck, karma kept getting him, again.

“We’re not talking about that,” he informed them, turning all the way around and waving a hand to make sure they were all listening. “Like, ever again.”

“Yeah, yeah, okay, Queen Isak.”

“Aghh, you fuck.”

Jonas laughed open mouthed, raising an eyebrow at Isak as he lifted the paper to his mouth for a second hit. Fuck them, that’s what.

“Let's just listen to the trees and get high.” Jonas leaned back against his rock, waving for Isak to hand it over.

“Are you sure you're not high already?” Isak giggled then Jonas was shoving him and they were both laughing out smoke.

 

Lørdag, 16:56

 

Jonas had brought. A lot. Of weed.

To be fair, he’d told them he brought enough for all three days, and Thursday night, they just.

Happened to smoke all of it at once.

You’d think if he’d managed to jump over bushes to escape parties when he was high, he’d be able to walk down a mountain and up a hill, round the corner on a porch and go inside without any fucking problems, but here they were.

“Isak! Stop falling!”

“I’m fucking trying! Maybe if you stopped fucking bumping into me every three s--”

“Fuck!”

“If Even asks why your knees are fucked you better tell him you don’t know how to fucking walk.”

“There was a vine! It grabbed my foot! Why couldn’t we walk back on the path like normal people?? No, you wanted to talk to the trees or some shit. Besides, my knees are fucking fine, leave my boyfriend out of this.”

“Boyfriend, Jesus. I can’t believe you have a boyfriend, the rest of us can’t even hold a girlfriend.”

“Boyfriends are better,” Isak informed them solidly, letting out a relieved breath as they reached the bottom of the mountain, house in sight. Now they just had the path up to the porch and he could stop falling all over the place.

“I wonder if Even’s still in there.”

“Where in hell else would he be??” Isak squinted wildly at Magnus, whose hands went up instantly, making him almost lose his balance too. Ha.

“I dunno, but if my boyfriend left me inside with five chicks while he went off to get high, I know I wouldn’t be there when he got back.”

“First of all, Jo-nas, you would never have a boyfriend, and second of all, we have an understanding, something you don’t understand, and third of all, he’s a better person than you.”

One minute he’s being yelled at for falling and the next minute Jonas was trying to shove him off the porch and he was the one yelling, stumbling and barely catching the banister in time before it was him and a very large hill that lead down to a very large lake.

“Are you trying to kill me, see, drittsekken--”

Mahdi offered him a hand to get back on his feet as Jonas threw an arm around his shoulders then they were all barging inside, screen door banging behind them like a hurricane.

The intro could’ve been in slow motion, the four of them filing through the door and fanning out in perfect Squad(™) mode, stepping inside blazed, tough and cool with their snapbacks and dilated pupils and wow, he was high enough the proportions of the cabin looked fucking trippy.

But nowhere near as trippy as the sight they walked in on in the living room.

All four of them froze, eyebrows furrowing then mouths dropping open, Jonas’s arm still around his shoulder, his arms crossed over his chest with Mahdi and Magnus flanking them with matching positively dumbfounded expressions.

The living room wasn’t a murder scene, it was a scene out of a fucking high school chick flick.

All of the girls were sitting in a giant circle in the middle of the living room floor, spoon-filled pot of chocolate in the middle and wine glasses balanced in everyone’s hands as they leaned back in laughter, giggles floating with smiling tipping heads, Sana leaning over to bump her shoulder with Even, who was lifting his glass with Vilde to toast something Eva said.

Even wasn’t dead, it looked like Even was having the time of his life. With the girls. Completely immersed, one knee against Noora’s, Eva’s shiny silver baseball cap backwards over his gravity-defying blonde swoops.

Isak’s head retreated into his neck, face twisted in pure, utter confusion, as shook as the involuntary confused sound that escaped his mouth, a cross between a huh and a what the fuck?

The girls hadn’t noticed their epic slow-mo entrance, but they all noticed the sound, pretty heads whipping around, dark red bright red smiles and then Even’s, paint free and crinkling up honest and precious and sweet.

“Ooo, the boys are back! Isak, you are the luckiest boy alive,” Eva leaned over the circle to tell him very seriously and Isak tipped his head, eyebrows furrowed, somehow more confused.

“The luckiest, it’s completely unfair,” Noora agreed and even Sana was smiling while Chris nodded vigilantly and Vilde leaned over to plant a noisy, bright kiss on Even’s happy, smiling cheek.

“...what???”

Even laughed, bright and cute, making every single one of the girls turn to him with pretty smiles on their faces. To repeat himself. What???

“Don’t mind them. Did you boys have fun?” He asked, eyes twinkling like he knew something they didn’t, except before any of them had the chance to answer, Noora was throwing a hand on Even’s arm and swinging around in a veil of really shiny slidy hair to interrupt.

“We had more fun,” she assured them. Isak crinkled his face double, glancing over at the other boys to make sure he wasn’t the only one seeing this but no, okay, Jonas and Mahdi and Magnus looked just as confused as was.

“Didn’t we?” Noora cooed, turning back to all the other girls swarming his boyfriend.

“Oh loads,” Sana agreed.

“The most fun,” Vilde insisted, to which Even was leaning back his head and rolling his eyes fondly.

What???

“Weren’t you guys gonna cook?” Jonas asked slowly, all confused too.

“Oh we did, it’s staying warm in the oven until you boys got back,” Even smiled, handing Eva his wine glass and pushing to his feet, having to practically shake them off him.

“I really am gonna steal him,” Eva sing-songed from across the room and Isak’s jaw dropped.

What???

“Nei??” Just in case the disbelief in his face wasn’t enough Isak shrugged off Jonas’s shoulder, stepping one foot forward into the swirling living room to look at them all accusingly, sounding as extremely offended and upset as he was, down to his very core.

“Excuse me, ladies, in case you forgot?? He’s mine???”

They all burst into bright, loud, kinda disorienting laughter, but even more disorienting Even had made it across the room to him by now, stepping right into his space, no hesitations and jesus fuck, he was tall, did Isak remember him being that tall?

Then there was an arm wrapping around his waist, tugging him stumbling a few inches feet miles forward, finger under his chin to tip his head up and kiss him solidly on the mouth.

The laughter behind them settled into oo’s and aa’s, something about Sana looking for that new hijab? And Isak was more fucking confused than he’d been in like. Ever, that he could remember, actually.

When Even pulled back, Isak took a moment and a half too long to flutter his eyes back open, kind of physically swooning, swaying on his feet as he blinked up dazed at Even.

Even took one look at the expression on Isak’s face and snorted, looking up at Jonas and Mahdi, who were both looking wide eyed between the girls and them. Magnus was just blinking wide eyed at the girls.

“How much did you guys smoke, jeez.”

Because Isak was. High as fuck.

Like, way higher than they’d ever gotten, times about thirty.

It wasn’t a legitimate question, no one had fallen off the mountain into the lake and that was better than he’d been expecting.

The only answer he got was in Isak’s mouth trying to land on his again, hand latching tight on the back of Even’s neck, swaying again as he pressed up on his tiptoes and tried to reach Even’s mouth.

“Hey, baby,” he cooed, puckering his lips all cute so Even had to kiss him, which he did.

Except the second their lips pressed together Isak’s mouth was opening, tongue slipping right between Even’s lips to pry him open and swallow him whole. Woah, fuck, having a boner in front of all of his newfound friends was super not his idea of fun.

He had to twist their mouths to break free, Isak was holding him so fucking tight. Except twisting their mouths like that sent an unforgiving wave of sparks down his sternum to tug low in his stomach.

It also sent a low, starving moan tumbling right out of Isak’s mouth, his hand sliding fast up into Even’s hair before he could pull away far enough.

Foreheads pressed together, hearts pounding, pliant wet lips swollen as they tried lapping at his mouth again, making Even’s grip tighten on Isak’s jaw, fingers digging in enough to bruise.

“Jesus fucking Christ you’re hot,” Isak breathed, eyelids fluttering and lips parted over his, voice gone enough to be barely above a whisper, scraping through gravel. “...take me to bed.”

Noora Eva and Chris all burst into laughter behind them as Even groaned and stared up at the ceiling, which apparently was a queue for Isak to start sucking on his neck.

“Woah-oh--”

Jonas threw up his hands and backpedaled out of the room, bumping into at least four things on his way out. Sana was rolling her eyes, Mahdi had a scandalized hand over his mouth, most of the girls just laughed more. With the exception of Vilde, who tucked a strand of long blonde behind her ear, smiling shyly at Magnus, who nearly tripped over his feet when he saw the look she’d painted on.

Baby.”

Even got a hand on Isak’s jaw, pulling him up and free of his skin, holding him still in front of him so he could look directly in those glazed eyes and maybe get him to listen that way. Except that having a thumb and fingers indenting Isak’s cheeks like this apparently reminded him of all sorts of other things, green holding his gaze for about two seconds before he was hollowing out his cheeks and tried to suck Even’s thumb into his mouth.

Even cursed and quickly hopped his hand down to Isak’s chest, keeping him bodily an inch or two away, a heart pounding under his palm as he did everything he fucking could not to laugh at the betrayed look on Isak’s pretty face.

“We just made dinner! It's delicious.”

“So am I,” Isak said indignantly.

Sana cackled as she passed them and Even finally broke, shaking his head to a bubbling giggle while Isak’s pretty face only pouted more. Pouted so much that Even had to, both hands cupping his face as he reached over for a quick peck, as fucking quick as he could make it before Isak dragged him down to the floor right here and now.

There was a sated, content expression on that pouty face as he pulled back, rubbing his thumbs over Isak’s cheeks and watching him blink slowly, lick his lips. Yes, as much as he’d like to be licking Isak’s lips too, they really had made food, which he was 100% sure Isak was going to love. Especially right now.

“After, babe,” he promised, taking him by the hand and leading him off-balance for the dining room.

“Babe,” Isak mocked, following behind as he floated. “Ba-by--”

He erupted into giggles, remembering the slip on New Years, mumbling to himself something about baby and Evi, a lot of it mixed in with too much nonsense to understand before he finally raised his voice, calling after Even like he wasn’t literally a foot in front of him.

“How come you don't have a nickname for me? Huh? Evi?”

 

On the bright side, all the boys loved the dinner even more than he’d figured they would. (He didn’t have to figure with the girls, they’d tried all of it every step of the way.)

On the brighter side, Isak fell out of his chair from giggling so hard at some joke Eva made. They were all laughing so much that at least half the food went cold, Isak physically could not stop giggling then the rest of the boys couldn’t stop giggling either, escalating until Isak fell out of his chair, and if that was the climax, no one could come back down from it and they were all laughing so much every single person got stomach cramps, three forks went flying, two water glasses were tipped over, and Sana spit basically all of hers at half the table in a shocked-spray laugh, soaking Magnus, Vilde, Noora, and Chris.

Everyone ate until they couldn’t eat anymore, then the plan was to go pass out in the living room to a movie and wake back up when it got really dark to do something fun, but there was still the matter of the table and cleaning and everything.

Isak and Jonas stood up at the same time, looking at each other and about to dart for the living room to avoid cleanup duty when two small hands landed on their shoulders and sat them right back down.

“No, we cooked,”

“Hey, I cooked,” Even said and Noora waved a hand over his face for him to shush.

“--we cooked, so you boys get to clean. Make sure it’s spotless.” She pointed a very serious finger at them before hooking her arm through Eva’s and Chris’s, dragging them up from the table and headed off in the direction of the living room.

“Okay? Okay, we can do that. We can do that, right guys?” Magnus said and Jonas snickered.

“Yeah, yeah. How hard can it be?”

The girls disappeared, and Isak made it as far as helping to clear two dishes off the table before he disappeared too, but the rest of the boys were too busy trying to find out how to wash a dish without spraying water everywhere to care.

They were still just high enough to think it was hilarious without being so high they were making more of a mess than cleaning. Jonas and Even got into a light conversation about filming, after Mahdi mentioned something about Jonas adding the cabin trip to his project, which was when the Queen decided to grace them with his presence again.

“Even,” Isak sing-songed from the doorway, twice as far gone as the rest of them were, he could hear it without lifting his head from the plate he was rinsing.

“Isak,” he replied, turning the water to the other side of the sink with his wrist so Magnus could get started on the next one.

“Even,” Isak whined again, sliding up behind him to slip two hands down his back pockets.

“Evi, baby, c’mon. C’mon, now, I want you now.”

Even caught the towel Jonas tossed his way and turned around, throwing Isak off balance with the motion. He kept drying the plate with both hands, catching Isak’s stumble with a lifted knee against his hip, landing him back on solid ground with both eyebrows up, mouth pursed to hide the smile.

“Ev--” Isak started again but Even didn’t let him get out that much before he was interrupting, steady and serious, eyes locked on Isak’s with every word.

“Go wait for me in the bedroom.”

One moment’s pause to inhale and Isak fucking took off, nearly slipping on kitchen tile before he went skidding around the corner.

Even finished drying the plate, taking his time before he turned back around and held it out to Mahdi, who was putting all the dishes away.

The boys were all staring at him with their mouths open.

“...what?”

“Nothing,” they all retorted instantly, turning back to their individual tasks with their eyes wide.

“--anyways, so that’s why I’ve been looking into film, but I really would love to see the video you made Jonas, Isak told me it’s great.”

“It is,” Mahdi agreed, “It’s deep.”

“Speaking of which.” Magnus waved a hand around, proceeding to spray soap bubbles on both Jonas and the counter. “You really don’t have to clean too.”

“Are you sure?”

“Dude, you cooked.”

“Well yeah, but I don’t mind.”

“Even, we got this, you go...deal with Isak.”

He gave them all a cocky smile, tossing the towel back down and starting for the hall, throwing a look over his shoulder since he knew they’d all be watching anyways. “Oh, don't worry, I will.”

“Ha! How he landed somebody like that, I have no fucking clue,” Magnus was saying, already turning to the other boys as he disappeared around the corner.

“Somebody go warn the rest of the house, we don’t want anyone else just walking in there--”

 

If it were any other occasion, he’d knock first - unlike some people. But Isak had been pretty damn eager to get him in here, so Even simply slid open the door, stepping inside quickly and sliding it right back shut behind him.

He’d really had no idea what would be awaiting him, and if Isak was bare naked on the bed like he was guessing, he wasn’t too keen on revealing that to all ten people in this cabin.

The moment the door closed behind him - no lock, seriously? - Even was turning for the bed, mouth open to say something dark and low, only.

Isak wasn’t stripped naked, wasn’t wearing any less than the last time he’d seen him. In fact, Isak looked. Exactly the same, with the exception that he was now laying in the direct center of the bed, smushed, staring at the ceiling, surrounded by pillows with absolutely none of them under his head.

“...halla?”

“Halla what's your opinion on destiny fate signs and serendipity?” He said it so fast it was all one word, connected and echoing, blinking over a few more inhales before he rolled his head to look over at Even crossing the room.

Isak lifted his eyebrows and Even smiled easy, lighting up maybe a little too much for what the occasion called for but Isak was here, and being fucking precious, and Even couldn’t be fucking happier than getting to crawl into a little pillow fort next to him.

“Why're you asking?”

“I dunno, I feel like us being together shouldn't belong to some higher power, but I don't know how it's possible everything lined up perfectly for us to land here either, y’know?”

Even reached over to stroke a soft, pretty cheek, watching Isak watch him, gears turning behind those still smoked out pupils.

“You're deep when you're high.”

“Shut up,” he complained, turning away and squinching up his face in offence, shaking it a little. “Nobody's deep on these sheets.”

“Ooo, and poetic too.”

“I was talking about sex,” he whined, complainy and high pitched disbelief and Even laughed, flopping down off his shoulder to wrap an arm around Isak’s and bundle him in close to his chest.

“How about I just hold you and we talk about destiny instead?”

“That sounds nice,” Isak mumbled, pressing a loose kiss to the closest piece of Even to his mouth.

“It will be,” Even replied. It always was with them, a hand stroking through the soft blonde hair, ducking to press a closed-eyes, lingering kiss to the top of Isak’s pretty head.

“So you do believe in signs then?”

Even looked up at the tiny painting on the wall, sketching the angle of the long shadows from the setting sun outside their window into his memory.

“Yeah, I mean. That’s what 21:21 was.”

Isak's breathing stopped in his chest, making Even glance down at him in worry.

“Holy fuck, I forgot about that.”

“Hmm? Yeah, the first time I kissed you I'd been thinking about it all night, just waiting for some kind of sign. Then I asked you what time it was and it was 21:21. I dunno, it just felt like a sign.”

“You know how my birthday is the 21st?” Isak asked him and Even hummed a confirmation. “Did you know I was born at 21:21 too?”

Even pulled back to stare down openly at the wide eyes blinking up at him all youthful and sweet.

No. No, you couldn’t’ve been.”

“Yeah, I totally was! Isn't that. Trippy as fuck? Fuck,” he giggled, rolling a little bit in Even’s arms as he snickered to himself, lip catching between his teeth, heartbeat rapid under Even’s fingertips and wrists as he watched Isak laugh and tried to cognize how many fucking things had lined up.

“Destiny,” he declared, still giggling, before he was jabbing a finger into Even’s chest, looking at him very seriously under those long batting eyelashes. “Or maybe parallel universes, we don’t know.”

“Maybe both,” Even offered and Isak curled into his chest again, fist tucked up under his cheek and making him look that much more like an angel, taken straight from the gospel books to burst from holy water with their lips locked and 21:21 tying their hearts together with red string.

If there was such thing as awe, pure wondrous awe, this was it.

“Then there's my mom, you think that's a coincidence?” Isak mumbled into his hoodie, words taking a second and a half to register before it hit him what he’d just said.

Even leaned back sharply, looking down at the wide staring green eyes and wishing for the first time today they weren’t glazed over, so he could actually fucking read them.

“What do you mean?”

Isak just blinked up at him.

A phone went off on the nightstand, chiming loudly with a staccato vibration. That wasn’t a text tone Even recognized. Actually, he didn’t think Isak had personalized text tones, he had to have changed it recently.

“Speak of the devil,” Isak drawled, tongue slipping out to wet his lips, looking up at Even instead of over at the phone.

“Do you think that was a coincidence? That she texts me when I'm talking about her?”

It was so lackadaisical, blinking slowly like this wasn’t his mom they were talking about, someone who Isak ‘hadn’t talked to since he moved out,’ then went to a concert with and ditched, who was apparently pissed at him, wouldn’t that hold a little higher of a priority than whether or not it was a coincidence that she texted?

Even reached over Isak to grab the phone off the side table, pointedly not looking at the screen and flipping it around for Isak to take. Isak blinked at it once and dragged his gaze lethargically back up to Even’s instead.

“Don't you wanna answer?” Even pressed, waving the phone closer.

“I shouldn't when I'm high.” Isak pouted his lips, rolling his head boredly to knock his temple against Even’s chest, eyes slipping closed. “You answer.”

“You want me to look at a text your mom sent?”

“I don't give a fuck,” Isak announced loudly, eyes still closed and talking about a lot more than Even reading a text.

It wasn’t technically consenting permission to open a private message, especially when he was high, but if he really didn’t want Even to open it he’d tell him, and instead Isak cared so little he was just lying there. Even didn't have the willpower not to turn the phone over.

He couldn't see anything but a preview of the text, which didn't make a single word of sense the first time he scanned it. Then he read it again, having to light the screen back up as it disappeared.

It didn’t sound like regular language, but it was still weirdly familiar, maybe a quote of some kind…?

Then he placed it. It was a quote alright.

That was a quote from the Bible.

What...in hell...did that mean.

“I think it's something from the Bible,” Even said slowly, scanning for a response of some kind. Isak didn't open his eyes. Doesn't so much as twitch. “Do you want me to open it up and reply or something?”

“I never do,” Isak told him simply, shifting to lay more comfortably on Even’s arm. Even just stared down at him. He wasn’t surprised, and he never replied. That mean this wasn't the first time he'd been sent something from the Bible.

Okay, what the actual fuck was going on with Isak’s parents?

“Stop thinking.”

He’d been staring at the text again trying to place the passage when Isak interrupted, rolling to tilt his head up and wait patiently, eyes still closed in his spot of peaceful floating reservé.

“Come down here and kiss me.”

Clearly, they weren’t going to talk about it. And he wasn’t going to pry, especially not today, so Even just sucked in a breath and leaned over Isak to place the phone on the side table again.

The curve of Isak’s jaw slipped into his palm, belonging and warm as much as the phone had felt foreign and cold.

Then their mouths were slipping together, lips interlocked and tugging, dramatic and beautiful as the setting sun casting shadows over Isak’s pretty face.

The last bit of draining light, dark curving over that precious cupid’s bow as they inhaled apart, pulling back enough to see the smile deepen on one side, dimples carving into precious skin.

A moment just to look before Isak wet his lips, mouth falling open to whisper sweetly between them,

“What about how well our lips fit, do you think that's a coincidence too?”

 

Lørdag, 21:32

 

The movie ended, the sun went down, and everyone got over their food comas enough to be craving dessert.

“We didn’t make dessert, sorry,” Noora shrugged at the boys, mouth pursed to hide the smile as the rest of the girls giggled behind their hands.

“It’s too bad we don’t have chocolate or something,” Eva sighed and Mahdi snapped upright, waving a idea hand in the air.

“S’mores, that’s what we should do.”

A cheer went up, half the group popping up to count, realizing the two they were missing, then the cheers turned into a heated debate over who had to go get Isak and Even.

“You walked in on them once already, Jonas, you do it.”

“They weren’t actually having sex yet, just stripping each other!”

“Oh, I thought he'd been trying to save his ass.”

“No, there was no ass.”

“Still, you’re his best friend!”

“Exactly why it shouldn’t be me!”

Magnus nodded, lifting a hand from around Vilde’s shoulder to point in agreement.

“That’s a fair point, especially considering--”

“Hey,” Jonas interrupted, pinning him with a look. Magnus threw his hands up.

“I wasn’t gonna say it.”

“Say what?” Eva propped a hand on her hip and all their heads whipped over to her.

“Eva, you do it.”

“Me?? Why???”

“You’re like. His chick best friend.”

“Besides, it’s your chance to get him back for the last cabin trip.”

She tipped her head, mouth pursing as she thought it over.

“Yeah, okay. But just because the rest of you are scared to.”

“We’re not scared!” They shouted after her, making her stick her tongue out before heading round the corner to knock on the door.

“Isak? Even?”

There was no response from inside, and she couldn’t hear anything drastic happening so.

Eva cracked open the door, peeking inside. They were on the bed alright, tangled up in white sheets, pressed together, limbs woven, and her heart skipped a fucking beat in her chest.

Isak was passed the fuck out on Even’s arm, blonde hair fucking everywhere and Even was just laying there looking at him, peaceful quiet smile on his face, blinking slow, a gentle hand over Isak’s collarbone as he watched him sleep, all soft and overwhelmingly in love.

Even lifted his head as she took a single step inside, closing the door quietly behind her because the rest of them definitely shouldn’t see this. Hell, she shouldn’t be seeing this right now. She kept her voice as quiet as she could so she didn’t pop the bubble of beautiful she’d stumbled in on.

“We’re going outside for a campfire on the rock, to roast marshmellows. Isak used to love it, I think it’s worth waking him up for.”

“Okay,” Even said quietly, giving her a grateful smile before gazing back down at the pretty sleeping face. “Thanks, we’ll be out in five.”

“We’ll wait,” she smiled back, then she was slipping out of the room again, sliding the door carefully and pausing with a shoulder still inside, clearing her throat so Even glanced back up.

“We all look good in lilac or gold, if your mom wants to shop for bridesmaid dresses early.”

Even laughed, low warm and fond. She closed the door behind her with a smile.

 

When they came out of the room five minutes later, Isak was wrapped up in a scarf and beanie, looking warm and soft and sated, but awake. Even was glowing, brighter than the full moon outside as he herded everyone off the couches and for the door.

 

The rock they made a fire pit on last time was fucking giant, but with ten people they had to stick pretty close not to land in the lake. Which was Isak’s excuse for sitting nestled between Even’s legs, holding golden brown marshmallows up over his shoulder for lips to wrap around, cheekbones flickering with smiles in the firelight.

It was bitter fucking cold out here, but they were all bundled up and close enough to the fire that no one was freezing, leaning against each other and laughing as someone started up a marshmallow war.

Magnus was the first one to say it, leaning behind Vilde to whisper,

“You think the scarf is to hide a dozen hickies again?”

“Probably,” Mahdi speculated, glancing between the smile on Even’s face as he kissed Isak’s cheek and Isak’s instant whining about sticky marshmallow on his skin.

Jonas leaned down from his perch on the rock behind them, glancing to make sure Eva or Sana weren’t listening.

“I dunno. Probably not as many as 12.”

“Fair. At least some though.”

“Yeah, definitely.”

Noora clapped her hands together, looking around the fire at everyone and holding up a bottle of champagne.

“Alright, what are we singing?”

“Singing?”

“Campfire songs! Let’s go!”

“Nei, Isak’s not allowed to sing,” Eva teased, reaching out to shove Even, making them both tip.

“Huh?? Me? Not allowed to sing?? I’m the best fucking singer, I could sing circles around every single one of you--”

The indignant ranting got drowned out by the laughter, red and gold reflecting over the skyline of trees in the distance, brilliant smiles of the youth reflected in the lake below.

It tapered into giggles as Jonas waves his arms at all of them, leaning his shoulder against Eva’s to lift his voice and make her sing with him,

“Hey-ey, hey-ey-eyyy. Hey-ey-ey-eyy...your lipstick stains, on the front lobe of my left side brains--”

“I knew I wouldn’t forget ya,” Noora, Chris, and Magnus joined in, all smiles and tipping heads. “--and so I went and let you blow my mind.”

Jonas broke into a laughing smile, pointing a triumphant finger,

“Hell yeah!”

“Your sweet moonbeam, the smell of you in every single dream I dream.” Vilde and Sana joined in, leaning towards each other with bright laughs puffing in the cold.

“I knew when we collided, you're the one I have decided, who's one of my kiiiind.” Even and Mahdi lifted their voices too, Even’s arms around Isak’s stomach, knees on either side of his ribs making him rock side to side with him.

Vilde was snapping along while Magnus played drums on his knee and Chris broke the end off her marshmallow roasting stick to drum on the rocks, fire burning bright.

“Hey soul sister, ain't that Mr. Mister on the rad-i-o, ster-e-o,”

“The way you move ain't fair you know,” Isak sang, looking up over his shoulder accusingly and Even laughed, the sound of it fitting in just as beautiful as the music floating over the water prettier than summer fog.

“Hey soul sister, I don't wanna miss a single thiiiiing you doo-oo, tonight.”

“Hee-ey heeeey heeeey!”

“A single thing you do-oo, hey-ey-ey,”

“Heeey heeeeey heeeey!”

“...to-night.”

 

 

 

Søndag, 08:57
08.01.2017

 

“Where in hell are all the eggs? There was an entire other carton of them yesterday morning.”

A moments silence as Even sat up, everyone's eyes wide, then he was shouting into the kitchen before the girls’ laughter got too loud to hear over.

“They're on top of the cabinets!”

“...what??”

Yeah, there wasn't much chance of explaining that one.

Chapter Text

 

Mandag, 08:55
09.01.17

 

School used to open to him making out with some girl - last year who was it, Sara? - right in the front of the classroom, just going at it in a wildly loud extremely false brag of his heterosexuality.

Today, first day of winter semester, he was once again right in the front of the classroom, propped on the edge of a desk instead of standing in front of the window because this time he wasn't bragging, this time it was nowhere fucking near false. This time he was making out with his boyfriend before class because he wanted to kiss him more than everything in the world and goddamn, what a glow up.

Most of the people walking in the room kinda freaked out, stared, awwed or just went dead silent but Isak didn't notice, didn't care.

Until Eva and Noora walked in. Then he noticed.

“Awww! Eva, quick, get a picture!”

Isak lifted them both the middle finger and didn't stop kissing Even for one single second.

“Y’know, last year we were complaining about how we didn't think Sara was his type.”

“I think Even’s his type,” Noora smiled and Even lifted his hand to weave his fingers between Isak’s that were still flipping them off, rearranging them so their thumbs were sticking up instead.

Both of the girls laughed and the giddy boys’ lips broke apart for Isak to glare up at Even, mouth open and offended.

“Hey!”

“What? I think the girls are sweet,” Even said and Noora blew him a kiss while Eva flipped her hair over her shoulder.

“We think you're sweet too, Evi.”

“What’d you just call him?” Isak looked over at them accusingly, one possessive hand on Even’s hip. “They took my nickname!”

“I thought you didn't like it?”

“It's still mine!? And since when are you guys on a nickname basis??”

“Since when we love him.”

“Agh?!”

“Shouldn’t you be getting to class though, Even?” They gave him pretty smiles and Isak made a face at them before tipping his up to Even’s again

“Why did you have to charm everyone?” Isak asked him, melodramatic and pouting.

Even laughed, the sound of the gods, and cupped Isak’s face to kiss him again.

“I should be getting to class, babe.”

“I know I know. Enjoy your day.” They kissed one more time, domestic and sweet then Even was stepping out from between Isak’s knees, their hands trailing to fingertips before dropping as Eva made a pouty face at Noora who aww’d.

Even shot his eyebrows up at them, smiling with a little wave as he spun out of the classroom, nearly running into their teacher at the door.

The teacher looked very confused as to why a tall beautiful third year was rushing out of his classrooms with a deep blush on his cheeks and glitter in his eyes, but that was nothing compared to the confusion of 98% of the classroom staring back.

The only person who wasn't confused anymore? Isak, sitting down with a sideways smile deep enough to have one triumphant, cocky simple as Eva and Noora made kissy faces at him from the next table over.

The seat next to him was empty for the three seconds it took Vilde to run into the classroom, offering a dozen apologies before she slid into the empty chair next to Isak and gave him a bright smile that this semester? He easily returned.

 

 

Mandag, 12:15
09.01.17

 

So it all started the weekend they were apart, aka tequila weekend. Keyword started.

It was the first lunch of the new semester and the boys were at their regular table, arguing about something that’d happened at the cabin he hadn’t been privy to so Isak just plopped down, snagging his sandwich and taking a bite, looking around at the staring faces as he realized they’d all gone dead silent as he sat down.

Isak paused, half chewed piece of bread in his mouth as he stopped and looked at them.

“What?”

“Four,” Jonas said and Magnus sucked in a breath between his teeth.

“I dunno. I’m thinking two.”

“Nah, man, I’m goin’ with Jonas on this one,” Mahdi nodded solemnly, looking Isak over. “Four.”

“Four what?” Isak mumbled, swallowing the chunk of sandwich and unscrewing the lid on his water. Magnus waved a hand at him, finishing chewing to lift his voice and say brightly,

“Hickies.”

Isak spit out his drink over everyone.

When Even walked up they were all still laughing and wiping themselves down with napkins.

“Completely worth it,” Jonas was saying. “It’s four isn’t it?”

“Four?” Even asked, sitting down with his eyebrows knit and Isak lifted his head from a hand to tell him flatly,

“Don’t ask.”

“It is!” Jonas crowed and Isak glared heartily at him. Mouth open as he threw back his head and everyone burst into laughter again.

“Ah hah hah ha--”

 

 

~*~*~

 

Tirsdag, 02:12
10.01.17

 

There were two things that registered when he blinked drearily awake.

1) he was strangely really cold, 2) what the fuck.

Isak rolled over, careful with his limbs so as to not wake up...a non-existent body, apparently.

He blinked three times at the empty blue pillow before it registered that Even wasn’t there. However, his jacket was still hanging on the edge of his bookshelf, so clearly he hadn’t left. That and the bedroom door was cracked just enough to see a glowing dim light from the kitchen.

At least he knew why he was cold, but still, what the fuck.

He stumbled out of bed and ghost-walked down the hallway, squinting at the bright of a laptop screen at the kitchen table before voicing the second, but now primary of his conclusions.

“What the fuck are you doing? It’s two in the morning.”

Even leaned to the side to glance at him as he wrapped two arms around his neck, bending over to do it, then there was a soft kiss on his cheek and life was a little better. Not that it explained why Even was out here instead of in bed with him.

“Just working on getting together some pieces of my project.”

“Now?” Isak lifted up to put a hand on Even’s forehead, dramatically check his temperature. He was a little warm, but Isak was a lot cold, so odds are it was more body heat than fever. Didn’t mean he was gonna whine any less.

“Come back to bed. You need sleep to function in school. Sleep deprivation is a very serious thing, I would know.”

“So is this project,” Even countered, ignoring the hand on his forehead and still typing away, so Isak sighed and dropped his hands to Even’s shoulders instead. “I have to have a portfolio made in a couple months. This is my last semester, I need to be ready.”

“You will be.” Isak squinted at the back of Even’s head, because how this constituted for improving readiness, he had no idea. “...what, are you applying to BI or something? C’mon. Come back to bed with me.”

He got a little whiny but it was late goddammit, and he was still cold.

“I'll be back in in five, I've just gotta wrap this up.” Even finally looked over at him, head tipping up and hair broken into a few untamed curls at the front, the kind he got when he wore Isak’s hoodies and laid down on his bed just enough for the usually slick swirls to curl in pretty, gravity-defying waves above his shiny eyes.

“I'll be waiting,” he retorted, narrowing his eyes just in case Even didn’t get how serious he was despite being in pajamas and only vaguely on this planet. “Five, cause I can't be sleep deprived too.”

Even nodded, turning back to his screen and whatever the hell he was doing that warranted sessions at two in the morning. Isak rubbed a hand over his shoulder and drifted back to bed before his feet froze off on the tile.

Slipping back under the sheets was the most wonderful, warm thing he’d done in any of his memories ever, probably.

He grabbed his phone from the bedside table so he didn't fall asleep before Even came back in. Isak wasn’t kidding, five minutes. Even could fuck with a lot of things but their sleep was not one of them.

He snapchatted Eva, squinting into the flash and looking vaguely disoriented, sliding the screen over to the time filter, glaring 02:16, and typing a quick caption.

when your man keeps you up for the not fun reasons

He sent it and thumbed through Instagram until the door creaked back open.

Even crawled in next to him and it'd been seven minutes but Isak kissed him anyways, pulling the sheets up over them both and curling around Even’s spine.

 

 

Tirsdag, 08:12
10.01.17

 

When he woke up in the morning he had a snapchat from Eva, looking hella bomb in her makeup and smiling all bright over the caption.

when you don't let no man keep you up at night and get fantastic beauty sleep

He sent her back a snapchat of him and Even brushing their teeth, eyebrows raised in his direction as Isak looked at the mirror and made a face around his toothbrush. There was a hickie visible above the collar of his tshirt and it was simply captioned,

knulle det

Even spit in the sink, washing out his toothbrush as he shook his head. Isak glanced up from captioning the photo, making sure to save it before he did.

“What? We're cute.”

Even shot him an amused glance in the mirror. “I know we're cute.”

“Good,” Isak said around the toothpaste in his mouth, pressing send and locking his phone.

He tossed it on the counter and Even straightened up, turning round to kiss him on the mouth, minty foam be damned.

“Ew, who are you--”

“Ew? Ew? You've kissed me with cum in your mouth and you're eww-ing toothpaste??”

Isak leaned around his cocky ass to spit in the sink, glaring upwards with narrowed eyes that were more teasing than anything.

A solid hand ran up his hip where he was bent over, sliding over his waist, ribs, shirt bunching up as Even dipped to press a fond kiss to his spine.

Isak finished washing out his mouth and toothbrush, patting both dry with the towel to spin back around, eyebrow up at the audacity of his goddamn precious domestic boyfriend. Even’s hands moved with his body in a sliding circle around his waist that wasn’t making him dizzy at all.

“Much better,” he whispered then Even was kissing him, for real, backing him into the counter and scooping him up on top of it, Isak’s back banging against the mirrored cabinet when there was suddenly a rapid knock on the door.

“You two aren't the only ones who have to brush their teeth in the mornings!” Noora yelled through the wood and they broke apart to look at each other, half caught out and half amused and all Isak could think about was how if she knocked so promptly at them kissing, she probably heard Even’s comment a moment ago.

God fucking dammit.

“Don't forget your phone,” Even reminded him as Isak hopped off the counter with another peck to those pretty lips and a very aggrieved sigh.

A hand on the doorknob when Isak turned around and realized it.

“Fuck!”

“What?” Even spun back around, suddenly and instantly concerned. Isak looked up at him, eyes wide and curse on his tongue.

“There was water on the counter.”

It didn’t matter how much he glared, Even’s bursting laugh was louder. He was still laughing as he opened the door and apologized breathlessly to Noora.

Still laughing, all the way down the hallway to go get his backpack from Isak's room.

Giggling and bumping his shoulder on the bus ride to school, so much so Isak rolled his eyes and pretended to mind.

He didn’t mind.

 

 

Tirsdag, 09:04
10.01.17

 

All day yesterday teachers had been going over the curriculum for the new semester, so it wasn’t until today they got assigned their new lab partners. Or, well, students assigned themselves new lab partners.

Last semester he’d had at least four offers before he even sat down, one of the few perks of being the new kid.

But a lot had changed since last semester and he didn’t really know what to expect from Nissen - there were whispers of rumors, about what happened at Bakka but Even had no idea if that would change things.

If Isak would change things.

So he maybe showed up to class a few minutes late, ready to sit in the last available desk, not worry about the whole picking process, but it turned out that’s what...everyone did.

Because literally no one was sitting yet and the teacher wasn’t even here, fantastic.

Even sighed, hoisting his backpack higher on his shoulder and headed straight for the back of the classroom. He had no fucking problem with popularity, people liked him, he wasn’t blind enough to think he was unattractive, but secondary school was fucking fickle and honestly, he was pretty ready to be done with it anyways.

Apparently though, Hartvig Nissen could be surprising. Because the minute he sat down three people started making their way over, his eyebrows shooting up at the advances.

Then all heads were turning as another latecomer opened up the door, sauntering in with gum in his mouth and a cocky look on his face. He looked fairly familiar, but Even couldn’t quite place him. Maybe from the Christmas party?

Oh, and he was heading this way.

Even leaned back in his chair, watching as all the other students who’d been heading towards the back of the room suddenly halted, retreating as Mr. Big Shot apparently canceled out all of the competition.

Interesting.

The guy landed in front of his desk, tongue sticking in his cheek to mirror Even’s carefully unimpressed, expectant face.

“You’re Isak’s boyfriend, right?”

“Ja,” Even lifted his eyebrows, the entire class holding their breath behind the boy. The vibe was super fucking weird, he had no idea whether to anticipate punches thrown or the guy throwing his books down on the table next to Even’s.

He didn’t do either. He shifted his backpack strap and stuck out a hand instead.

“Chris.”

“Schistad?” Even sat up, reaching over the table to take his hand, shake it once.

“Ja. You’ve heard of me then?” A blooming smile, something almost sneaky in it, a flash that made you wonder what he knew that you didn’t. “That makes two of us.”

Even nodded, taking his hand back. Chris Schistad. The one the girls had thought was secretly dating Isak last year, that he was pretty sure might actually be dating Eva right now.

It was a small world. Props to Isak though, the kid was pretty hot.

Chris bounced on his toes once, angling his head for the empty seat next to Even. He waved a hand, watching the rest of the room slowly unfreeze and go back to assigning seats as Chris slid into the chair next to him, backpack dropping loud and dramatic as he slid a binder onto the table, popping his gum loudly.

Even smiled to himself. This was gonna be one hell of a semester.

“You don’t happen to know anything about Genetics, do you?”

“Oh hell no.”

“Great. Me neither.”

 

 

~*~*~

 

 

Onsdag, 12:17
11.01.17

 

The second Isak sat down in his chair at lunch, the boys were opening their mouths.

“Two,” Jonas said and Isak groaned, tipping his head back in misery.

“Oh god, not this again.”

“I’m going three this time,” Magnus said, sounding very sure of himself. Mahdi debated a moment before lifting a shoulder.

“I’m still with Jonas.”

Isak rolled his eyes dramatically to pin them with a very done, very overdramatically unimpressed look.

“Well? Who’s right?” Magnus pressed, all of them eyebrows up and faces eager. He had the most ridiculous friends on the planet.

“I didn’t count,” Isak informed them haughtily and Jonas scoffed, eyes rolling right back at him.

“Bullshit.”

“Really! I didn’t. The only reason I knew last time was because I had to make sure my scarf covered!” He finally opened up his lunch bag, unwrapping a toastie and pursing his lips at the packaging. “...these are lower.”

“Hm.” Jonas sounded unconvinced, eyes narrowed in amused suspicion when he glanced back up. “Go check then.”

“I am-- excuse me?” Isak threw down his sandwich, sitting up in his chair, Fully Prepared to Take Jonas On (™) as his voice dropped ten times incredulous. “You want me to go strip in front of a school mirror and see how many hickies I have??”

“Watch out, here comes Even,” Mahdi warned. Isak glared at them all, slumping back in his chair before his boyfriend caught the fighting stance mode.

“You guys suck,” he told them sincerely.

 

Still, an hour later, he was leaning over to Jonas in Math, waiting for him to lean back, attention caught as he dropped his voice, one eyebrow up.

“It was three.”

“Don’t tell Magnus,” Jonas replied, genuine little smile on his face as he straightened up, elbowing Isak once for good measure.

Isak rolled his eyes, keeping his mouth shut in clear indication of what he thought of their little game.

But he was smiling to himself when Jonas next glanced over and Jonas smiled too, letting them both float in the niceness for a few minutes.

Before he leaned over and scribbled Even <3 Isak on Isak’s math homework and Isak was trying to whack him with a binder while he laughed and their math teacher threatened to separate them for the thirtieth time this year.

 

 

~*~*~

 

Torsdag, 21:12
12.01.17

 

They were chilling in his room, working on homework when Even suddenly sat up, carefully swirled hair bouncing as he looked over at Isak, who was sitting with one eyebrow raised on his bed.

“What time is it?”

He checked the corner of his computer, glancing back over at Even.

“21:12.”

“C’mon.” Notebook shoved aside and Even pushed to his feet, already started for the door.

“Where are we going?” Isak called after him and Even paused at the door, shooting him an axiomatic look over his shoulder, eyebrows up.

“Does it matter?”

Cocky, beautiful, and damn intriguing. Fuck him. Of course it didn’t matter.

Isak closed his laptop and slid off the edge of his bed to grab a hoodie.

Even was putting on winter clothes at the door by the time he reached it, skeptical but grabbing his overcoat and boots, watching Even get into his with an odd look on his face.

“What? We’ve been working for the past three hours, we deserve a break.”

“Three hours?” Isak scoffed, shoving a foot ungracefully into a boot and wiggling until it fit into place. “Where’s your stamina?”

Even glanced up from tying a boot - overachiever - and gave him the suggestive version of the eyebrows, up down and a quick burst of a smile he couldn’t fight. Isak huffed a laugh and zipped his coat closed.

“It’s cold, y’know.”

“Life’s too short to be worried about the cold.”

Isak tipped his head in vague agreement. Life was too short, yeah. Fine. Might as well just drop everything and go, why not? That bomb could always take them tomorrow.

The hallway was dark but they both knew it well enough by now, Isak following behind Even down the stairs and out into the street.

“Bikes?” He asked, jogging a step or two to catch up to Even’s side once they hit the sidewalk.

“Hand,” Even replied, holding his out, palm up, fingers spread and waiting. They weren’t hand holders, they’d probably only held hands like...once, and it’d been when they’d been making love and Isak had cried, so.

Actually, he was pretty sure he’d never actually held Even’s hand in public. Like. Ever, but here he was, standing in the middle of the sidewalk, offering his hand, waiting for Isak to make a move.

Isak took it.

Even lifted their entwined fingers, looking at them for a moment, then he was putting both their hands in his pocket.

Isak giggled, blush radiating up through his cheeks as Even’s eyebrows shot up, mouth open as he looked over all innocent.

“What?”

Isak just shook his head, squeezing his fingers a little and Even’s eyes crinkled up, curling into a smile as they started walking, hands entwined.

The chills that went down his spine had nothing to do with the cold. And it wasn’t as chilly as he'd thought it'd be, certainly not cold enough to have hands stuffed in pockets, but.

It was kinda nice. To just, let Even take the reins and say let’s go again. The last time Isak had dropped everything and followed blindly had been before things got Complicated. Also before things got Real, so. He wouldn’t trade that for what they had now, but the little twist of unexpected was giving him the same butterflies it had from the Before.

Hopefully with a little better outcomes now. But he wasn't gonna worry about that. Wasn't gonna worry about anything, cause this minute right now? Was really fucking nice.

“Do you think it’s been nine minutes since we’ve left your room?”

“I dunno, probably?”

A tug on their hands and Isak skidded to a stop, looking around in confusion and knit eyebrows, then Even was pulling him under the nearest streetlight and kissing him solid, sure, blissful on the lips.

He didn’t protest at all after that.

Even was holding his hand and the street was lit up bright until they were walking uphill and the buildings began to fade into individual houses, the kinds that were on the coast. The Fjord was only a fifteen minute walk from Nissen, although his apartment was far enough from Nissen there was no way they were walking all the way to the Fjord in this weather.

Didn’t mean the view Even found was any less breathtaking.

They ended up at the top of one of Oslo’s city outlooks, a blank stretch of hill that overlooked the lights of the city. There was a hill like this on the other side of the city with a bench at the end, where guys infamously took girls on dates, trying to show they were deep to get deep.

There wasn’t a bench on this hill, but Isak had been to both now, and he had to say, the view from this one was better.

Just the right angle to see glittering water in the distance, the bay that bled out into the North Sea miles and miles in the distance. Far away glittering dots of the museums on the coast, the tourist spots that never turned out their lights. Residentials stuck in the side of hills, surrounded by trees and lit up like a blanket of stars stretched out under feet instead of overhead.

And here they were, close enough to reach out and touch the city’s chilled glow, far enough away to fade it something beautiful, glittering out of a dream, some other piece of the world that couldn’t possibly be the one they knew by day.

The lights were blinking in the distance and it was cold but Isak embraced it, sitting down cross-legged on the freezing dirt, far enough from the edge of the outlook his heart wasn’t pounding danger, close enough to see everything.

Not like he was looking. It was fucking beautiful. Breathtaking.

But Even was standing, perfectly still, three steps closer to the edge as he looked out over the city, wind ruffling the front of his hair peeking from beneath his hood.

He was watching the city and Isak was watching him and feeling like the biggest cliché in the world but he didn’t care.

Gold and glitter you could capture in a photograph. The glow off Even’s cheekbones, the shadowed indentation of his cheeks, the wind blowing every loose piece of his clothing like nature herself was doing everything she could to drag him into her clutches, only for his bones to stand tall, immovable here at Isak’s side.

Yeah, he could watch the city another time.

“Crown?”

“Hmm?” Even hadn’t budged, hands in his pockets, heels to his boots ground into the earth enough to disrupt the soil around his weight.

“For your thoughts.”

“You really just wanna know what’s going on inside my head, don’t you.” Even threw a look over his shoulder, daring smile and shiny, bright eyes - the kind of shine from a month ago, in Isak’s room after their promise minute for minute, accusing him of being a bad liar and smiling like all the stars in the universe or any parallel one couldn’t dream of comparing.

Isak was here, soul stretched out underneath one of the most star-ridden skies in the world, over a golden star-ridden blanket of a stunning city skyline, and that was nothing on the stars in the eyes of that boy.

“I do,” Isak told him, mouth tipping up in one corner, honest and sideways as he wet his lips and looked up at the glowing blues, deeper darker purer than the pitch night surrounding them. He could probably sit here forever, feet planted and knees up for the sky, leaning back with forearms propped, wrists crossed, just gazing up at Even.

Wondering what he was seeing to make him keep his eyes on Isak for so long when the city was there behind them. It wasn't like he shone. He was wearing a damn snapback for godssakes, his ears were fucking freezing and he should have grabbed a beanie but he wasn’t paying enough attention when they left and it’d gotten colder fast.

It was his own fault though, he could pull up his hood if he wanted, but he didn’t want his peripherals blocked when Even was that goddamn beautiful and far away.

Whatever he was seeing, it was enough to keep his eyes on Isak’s as his voice lifted.

“Oslo. Do you think you’ll stay?”

It wasn’t the question he was expecting. His eyebrows furrowed a moment as he thought it over, looking around the silhouette of Even’s shoulders to the city below. Oslo.

“I’ve never thought about it.”

“You’ve never thought about where you’re gonna be in five years?” It was all incredulous, and that definitely wasn’t what he meant either. Isak scrunched up his face, shifting a little and glancing back up at Even’s waiting expression.

“Well, like. I mean, I guess I’ve wondered and considered a couple different jobs, what I might want life to be like. But I don’t know, I don’t really have a reason to leave. It’s not like I’ve got some burning desire to be somewhere else.”

Soft, impossible lips rolled in as Even looked out over the city again. It wasn’t judgemental, not at all. Just thinking. Again. Like always.

“What about you?”

It apparently wasn’t the question Even had been expecting either, because that time when he turned around he turned around all the way.

“Stay in Oslo?”

Isak nodded and Even inhaled all that cold air, flooding his lungs with the chill of the earliest days of a new year. Then he was closing the feet between them, turning back to the skyline as he sat down next to Isak, cross-legged, hands wrapped around his ankles as he leaned forward a tad, tried to see the whole rest of the glittering lights that crept all the way up to the drop below them.

“I don’t know. I haven’t decided.”

As much as Isak’s heart was pounding, he was ignoring it. They were talking about life, this didn’t have to be about him. He wasn’t gonna be selfish enough to make this about him.

He forced himself to exhale, not realizing he’d been holding his breath waiting for an answer. For just a moment in time, he could be purely honest, completely chill. Let Even be the same.

So when he cast a glance to the side, curious and light, the question came out that way too.

“Where do you think you’d go? Denmark?”

“Denmark? No.” Even huffed a laugh, glancing over at him with a smile before he was looking out at the lights again, radiating gold and heat from the six inches of space in between their knees. “I don’t know. I guess...London, or something.”

“Noora’s been to London,” Isak offered and Even lifted an eyebrow, chest expanding as the sharp gaze cut down to the dirt, finger tracing over the ground like there was something there just as wonderful as the view.

“It doesn’t have to be London, I just feel like. There’s so many places that are so big, that have so much history and life and stories, that just. Somebody’s gotta stop and make them, y’know?” Head turned to meet Isak’s waiting gaze, holding it for a moment before he abandoned his drawing in the dirt, mouth twisting to the side, eyes to the vast shimmering water in the distance. “The people who are already there aren’t gonna do it.”

Isak looked out over the city. He didn’t really understand a lot of the way Even’s mind worked, how he thought and looked at things that way, but he was trying.

“Well, then...wouldn’t a person in London think the same about Oslo?”

That time when he glanced back over, it was Even who was already studying him. Isak raised an eyebrow, wondering distantly if he’d always been this expressive with his face or if Even brought that out in him moreso.

Then Even was looking out over the skyline again, Braque’s Houses of L’Estaque and Kinkade’s most famous parisian street wound into one. It might not be London, but this was Oslo. And up here, it was a hell of a lot easier to see that than in between the walls of Hartvig Nissen.

“I don’t know. I guess I never thought about that,” Even said quietly.

Isak lifted a shoulder.

“Maybe there’s still a story for you here, that you haven’t gotten the chance to see yet.”

The turn to each other was in sync that time, clicking like lightning buzzing out a half dozen lights below. The depth in Even’s gaze was kinda astounding, enough it was taking Isak’s breath away. There was something important, Even was looking for, right here, right now, and Isak had no idea what kind of answer he was giving, but whatever it was, he could promise it was honest.

Lips rolled in, popped back out with a quiet sound and there was something else now, in the way Even was turning back to the gold of the city.

“Yeah. Maybe.”

The wind was playing with their hair, battering curls against his ear, carrying the whisps of memories on its breath as Isak closed his eyes and let his face tip up, something warm and young blossoming slow tendrils in his chest.

It’d been windy like this, the first night they’d kissed. Well the night itself hadn’t been, but it'd been nothing but rushing oxygen riding on the back of Even’s bike, gold city lights flickering in the distance. A pure, beautiful black night sky that was theirs to own, theirs to ride and sing and feel alive.

From his heart to his fingertips.

The first cold touch to his cheek made him blink open in surprise more than alarm, misplacing the snowflake for a teardrop until open wide were looking up at the sky and he nearly got snow in his eyes.

Of fucking course it decided to start snowing right now, of all times.

What was that last deep conversation they’d had, about serendipity, signs?

Isak ducked his head to avoid blinding himself with ice crystals and reached up to swing his snapback around. The flat bill would keep out a surprising amount of blinding white, he would know.

Then he was lifting his gaze to the horizon, watching for a moment as white drifted sporadically in front of the distant gold, closing them off in another bubble, separate from the city, separate from the world or anything past the quiet, large-flaked snow tumbling down from clouds too high and dark to see.

He risked a glance in Even’s direction, expecting to see him with palms to the sky, eyelashes fluttering over the white pearls clinging to long black strokes, but.

Even wasn’t watching the snow, Even was watching him.

One of these days he was going to catch Even looking at him like that and go with the flow, let it be all chill and connecting and beautiful. Today wasn’t that day, and to say he startled was an understatement.

Full-blown, what the hell instant confusion, the same furrowed-eyebrow look he gave Even the first time he kissed him in public, in the fucking school hallway, you’re so fucking hot, Isak, and then just. Swept up the stairs like James Dean while Isak was left there half gaping half confused and a lot of. Like. Shook.

Even was looking at him like...he didn’t even know how to describe that actually, but Even was looking at him like that and Isak nearly fell over.

Like, he wished he were kidding, the shock was so instant he retreated instantly, leaning back and looking at Even with wild eyes and the what the hell half-smiling, mostly confused and somehow also glowing ??

Yeah. All in all, he handled that super the opposite of graceful and the moment shattered near instantly, because Even was now laughing his ass off at the look on Isak’s face and Isak was rolling his eyes, a lot, it wasn’t his fault, he wasn’t used to being looked at like he held the universe in his palms, fucking hell.

“You’re--” He couldn’t even get it out he was laughing so much, one hand over his stomach as he almost fell over in the dirt too. Well, dirt and snow now, it was falling slow but what was falling was definitely starting to stick.

Stick and pile and stick.

Isak rolled his eyes some more, mouth open with an exasperated huff because this wasn’t his fucking fault, dammit, he’d been unprepared.

“You’re...the most precious person I know,” Even finally managed, still laughing as he rocked like a bottle pin, almost falling on one side only to lean into Isak on the other, swinging pendulum to slide an electrifyingly cold hand through his hair, the first they’d touched since their hands dropped at arrival.

Isak’s sharp inhale was mostly snow but he somehow didn’t choke on it, cold tingling down his throat as Even’s wide, happy mouth puckered against his cheek, holding warm and sweet on his skin while Isak’s rolling eyes turned into shy, downcast ones, crooked smile tipping up again as the kiss bloomed through him, radiating through his teeth, his skull, down his vertebrae into his ribs sternum arms fingertips.

God fucking dammit.

From heart to fingertips.

Even’s nose was ice against his skin, exhale painting him foggy as a glass window in this cold. The hand in his hair slid down to his jaw, tugging tipping Isak to turn to him, face lifted and lips parted, eyelids heavy and blinking slow. Noses brushing back and forth, light as the winter snow that was starting to gather on hoodies and bare hands.

He was floating too much to realize they were kissing until their lips pulled apart. Second nature, a waterfall, rushing heavy and deafeningly numb, smooth enough to slide him under so he didn’t realize he was giving into the familiar warmth of 360 degree submersion until they were breaking the surface to gasp chilled oxygen into drowning lungs.

The hand he clutched for Even’s neck was desperate, but he let it be filled by tangling fingers to weave, life and heartbeat strumming so vibrantly as it slid out of reach, pushing to his feet.

“Coming?”

Come outside.

He fluttered opened his eyes, positively soaked in gold and white over the deep black of the night and the light of Even’s smile above him, offering a hand.

A promise, or maybe nothing, but he was offering.

Isak took it.

 

 

~*~*~

 

 

Fredag, 12:16
13.01.17

 

He used to plop down at their lunch table bored and complaining, but now he'd started sitting trepidatiously, bracing himself for--

“Two,” Magnus instantly blurted out and Isak blinked up - give me strength - to the sky.

Jonas scoffed, arms crossed over his chest as he gave Magnus a judgy look.

“Man, do you have eyes? See how nice his hair is? There’s no way he had time for that and time for sex this morning. I’m going none.”

“Fuck you,” Isak said, lifting the bread off his sandwich and throwing it at Jonas’s stupid smug face.

An offended sound and Jonas narrowly avoided getting smacked, batting it aside so it slid across the table into Mahdi’s lap.

“Hey!” Mahdi looked up at him accusingly, like that was his fault instead of Jonas’s somehow.

“Fuck you too,” Isak told him and Jonas leaned back in his chair nodding all triumphantly.

“See? I told you. No sex this morning, that’s why he’s so crabby. He’s become dependent on it.”

Jonas was gloating and Isak was glaring him down viciously. He wasn't gonna confirm it. But he wasn't gonna sit there and let Jonas have the last word like that either. Fuck.

“Why are we friends,” he finally complained, taking a miserable sip of his drink as the boys bubbled up in more laughter.

 

 

Fredag, 13:59
13.01.17

 

His last class had just gotten out, and it was the first school Friday of the year, it had to count.

If now was all they had, he had a list of things he wanted to do and there was no goddamn time like the present.

This time around he didn't stand in nervous debating silence. There was nothing to debate. Isak got out of class, went into the courtyard, spotted a familiar beanie at the place Jonas always chained up his bike, and started walking.

“Halla,” he greeted and Jonas looked up, a little surprised.

“Hi.”

Isak shoved his hands in his pockets, tugging a bit on the hood over his beanie. “Are you doing anything?”

“Not right now. Why, are you offering kebabs?”

Isak quirked a smile, shifting his weight head tipping as he thought it over. “I don't think I have anything that drastic to tell you.”

“It wasn't that drastic,” Jonas argued lightly.

“It was drastic,” Isak corrected and Jonas closed his mouth because, well. For them, yeah it kinda was. Way too much leading up to it over the past few years and everything had changed after it so. Drastic.

Thankfully, he didn't have anything that earth shattering on his mind.

“But actually, uh. I was just gonna head back to my place. If you wanted to come hang out for a bit. Listen to music, play FIFA, I dunno.” He shrugged, offering a hopeful little smile.

“Really?” Jonas squinted at the horizon, giving him the side eye. “You want to hang out with me?”

“Shut up.” Isak reached over to shove his shoulder and Jonas broke into a smile, looking down as he rocked with the shove.

“Ja. Of course.” Another calculating look, dark eyebrows furrowing. “You didn't bring your bike today, did you?”

“Nei, too cold. I can ride on the back of yours?”

“Nah, I'll leave it.” He clipped the lock back around his back tire, tipping his head for the street. “We can take the bus.”

“Okay, cool.”

Isak used to swing between the seats and he didn't anymore, but Jonas didn't really think about that. No point in reminiscing over times that long past, at least not little details like that, right?

He plopped down by the window and Isak plopped down next to him.

They used to sit with their shoulders plastered together, for no reason at all. Jonas never really noticed it, Isak was always just within elbowing reach, where he was supposed to be.

Except they didn't sit quite that close anymore, and he noticed that now.

Time.

“How long's it been since we hopped on the bus back to yours?” Jonas glanced away from the window to catch the eyebrows going up on Isak’s face.

“Awhile, jeez.” He was looking at his phone, thumbs pulled out of his mittens to type, a swooshing sound as a text came into the chat he had open.

“Actually, hey, I just texted the house and I'm pretty sure both Even and Eskild are home.” Isak glanced up at him and Jonas wondered distantly when the transition happened between his parents house to that apartment being home, when Even became part of that equation. “Do you wanna head back to yours instead?”

“Yeah, sure.”

“Cool.” Isak went back to typing and Jonas turned back to the window. A maze of city buildings and wide streets, the familiar ones they used to run as kids.

“Hey y’know what I've been thinking about?”

“Hmm?” He glanced over, watching as the few blonde curls beneath the rim of a dark beanie smushed back against the seat, rolling to have their eyes meet for a moment, then out the window over Jonas’s shoulder.

“I feel like you know a lot about like, my life and everything right now. Especially after that tequila night.”

“Tequila night,” Jonas laughed and Isak smiled but it didn't last long, eyebrows furrowing as he got lost in thought again.

“But I dunno, I feel like I don't know half as much about what's going on with you, y’know? Like yeah, I hear you guys talk about what happens at parties sometimes and stuff but like.” Pretty green eyes flicked to him, serious and bright, full of all the life Jonas had once mistaken for innocence and childhood. “How are you?”

Jonas studied the boy beside him for a moment, trying to cognize this sharp-angled, serious face with the hollow look he'd grown used to since last year, and the soft bright of the younger version he used to know.

Isak Valtersen.

Jonas shook his head, a distracted smile and little scoff.

“Jeez. You really have changed.”

“Not that much,” Isak cantered and Jonas laughed once, looking back out the window, their city.

“Yeah, that much. But like. I dunno. It's not new change, if that makes sense? I guess.” He glanced back over and Isak was furrowing his eyebrows, looking considerably confused. Apparently not that much sense.

“What do you mean?”

“Like. That question for example.” Jonas waved a hand to indicate - he'd need charts and graphs to really explain the changes, but vague hand gestures would have to do. “In primary, or hell, even at the beginning of Nissen it's totally something you would say. Did say. But like. It just hasn't really been you for a little while, y’know?”

“Yeah,” Isak said, kinda drawn. Jonas studied the look on his face a little longer, watching him watch the streets outside before he decided there wasn't anything in Isak’s expression he hadn't been expecting.

They both sat in silence for a bit and watched Oslo pass outside the window.

“Serr, though,” Isak cleared his throat, waiting a moment for the bus to announce its next stop. “I meant it. How are you?”

“I'm good, I guess.”

“Yeah?”

“Yeah. I mean some stuff is changing, and there's some adjusting to get used to but.” He shrugged, feeling the weight of Isak’s eyes on him in his peripherals.

“Like what?” He asked. Jonas huffed, glazing over the passerbys and the red lights to the stop signs, the bruises Isak was sporting for a week after trying to climb one when they were younger.

“Like, y’know. You and Even.”

“Me and Even?” The confused surprise was concentrated enough that Jonas looked over at Isak’s expression, mouth open a little and eyebrows all the way up. Dramatic hoe.

Jonas rolled his eyes.

“Yeah. Not like it's bad, I couldn't be gladder that you're happy, but it's just. Different, I guess.”

“How so?” Isak asked and the automated bus voice announced their stop next. Jonas grabbed the bar, ready to pull himself up and catching a glimpse of Isak’s visible emotions again.

Twisted up a little, looking at him funny and Jonas ran back over his words, Isak’s, mentally smacking himself and quickly correcting in case he'd been misunderstood.

“Not because he's a boy.”

“I didn't think it was,” Isak said, although there was a touch of relief behind his eyes so that wasn't entirely true. Still scared, beneath all of that and Jonas had to turn back away before he spiraled into the hellish blame circle for why Isak threw himself so zestfully and painfully into the closet between their first and second year.

“What, then?” He pressed, still confused and overly cautious but there was...a lot about that he didn't wanna talk about. At least not today, when they hadn't hung out, just the two of them for no reason at all, in longer than Jonas could actually remember.

“Just different.” The bus rolled to a stop and Jonas stood, swinging for the door first.

“Okay,” Isak said, then he was following Jonas down the steps.

 

The speakers in Jonas’s room were significantly better than Isak’s laptop. Although Eskild did have that nice ass sound system in the living room for parties, the surround sound speakers under Jonas’s bed and propped on his dresser were ideal to chill to.

They were listening to nineties hip-hop, rapping along and bobbing their heads, leaning back on Jonas’s pillows, shoes hats scarves and coats dropped to the floor, socks crossed at the ankles as he flipped through an old journal of song lyrics and Isak drummed on the bedsheets.

“Do you ever play guitar anymore?”

Jonas rolled his head on his pillow, both their curls smushed as Isak’s tongue darted out to wet his lips, expression all open and youthful.

“Play? I don’t even know if I know where my guitar is.”

Isak huffed, scooping up the journal the moment he discarded it, sliding off the bed as Isak started flipping through pages. Guitar...if had to be somewhere in here, it wasn’t like he just lost a giant black case with an expensive instrument inside it.

Well, wasn’t under his bed. Closet then, maybe.

“Hey, how do you feel about Eva?”

“Eva?” He slid open a closet door, arm up to catch things in case everything from the top shelves came tumbling down. Victory, didn’t today. “Isn't she dating Chris or something?”

“That doesn't answer my question,” Isak said and Jonas looked over his shoulder to catch the little shit of a sassy expression on that face. And roll his eyes. Isak was laying on his stomach now, stretched out across the bed with his feet kicked up, Sass Mode doubled with the super extra pose.

But curiosity mode must've been doubled too because Isak made an impatient sound, well??, the way he did when Jonas was taking too long to answer.

Jonas furrowed his eyebrows at him and turned back to rifle through his closet.

“I don't know. I haven't thought about Eva in a while. At least, not since you last brought her up.”

“Huh? Me?”

“Yeah, tequila night?”

Another glance over, Isak squinting at him, kicking feet paused midair.

“I don't remember that.”

“I do,” Jonas muttered under his breath, turning back to the disorganized pile. Not that he had any idea what it meant.

Well, he had an idea. Actually, more like a few that he really wasn't sure about and honestly? He'd rather that.

If Isak did something worth freaking out and apologizing over as intensely as he had that night, Jonas wasn't sure he wanted to know what it was.

“Ah hah, found it.” A couple of sweaters shoved aside and he managed to grab a black leather handle, tugging out the guitar case.

Propped open on the floor, grabbing the instrument by its neck and lifting it free, stumbling a bit. It was way lighter than he remembered.

“Jeez, I think I've forgotten how to play.” Jonas plopped back down on the bed, making Isak scoot over so there was room for the guitar too.

“Ah, it can't be that hard,” Isak scoffed, making Jonas’s jaw drop in offense.

“You never tried!”

“I tried, I just sucked.”

“True. Hey, there’s a pick taped to the inside cover of that journal, can you grab it?” Isak flipped a few pages, peeling back the corner to hand him the barely familiar piece of plastic. This was gonna be a disaster. Jonas sucked in a breath, got situated, and poked Isak’s rib with his toe. “Okay song request, go.”

“Hmm.” Isak rolled over onto his back, looking up at the ceiling, mouth pursing as he thought it over.

Jeez, he’d forgotten how long the kid had gotten, all lanky limbs and strangely tall. Facial structure exaggerated with an actual jawline. It was crazy how much had changed in just the year and a half since Jonas’d last played for him.

Not counting just the inside, he was so much older on the outside, laying here on Jonas’s bed acting like the boy who giggled next to him on the bus and looking like the boy he paused worried at his locked for.

Did he time his locker visits to match Isak’s?

He had for years.

That was how they’d met when they were kids. Alphabetically, Vasquez and Valtersen. End of the alphabet, two restless curly-haired kids who rocked their feet at their desks and got in way too much trouble together from the first day a teacher had sat them next to each other.

“I can't remember a single one,” Isak confessed and Jonas tipped his head, fiddling the strings back into tune as he ran over some of the old classics he used to play.

“What about that song I tried writing in middle school? Do you remember that?”

And Isak was suddenly beaming, rolling his head on the bedspread to turn all that brightness in his direction.

“The one about that river?”

“Ja, ja.”

“Of course I remember that!” Isak was smiling back up at the ceiling, hair folding over itself in shifting golden pieces as he elbowed Jonas’s knee. “Question is, do your fingers?”

“Let's see.” Might as well just go for it. Jonas started picking at a few strings, shifting chords and readjusting to see his hands better. It’d been a hell of a long time, but he used to play this all the time and it was starting to come back pretty quick.

He never wrote the words, it was just some nice chords and a melody shoved together but Isak used to sing along sometimes, or hum, rapping on the occasions he wanted Jonas to laugh.

He was a way better singer than Isak, but Jonas had never written a lyric in his life. That whole journal was Isak’s - or songs they worked on together, chords sketched out in margins over sloppy teenage boy handwriting.

The river song wasn't actually about a river, but they'd been lying out in the sun beside one when he'd made it up. So Isak called it the river song. It was easier than calling it the Isak and Jonas song.

His fingertips remembered it alright, and if the little blissful smile on Isak’s face was any indication, a soft heart did too. The green eyes were closed, elbows spread on the comfort and hands clasped over his chest, just listening. Remembering, probably.

Jonas kept playing, looking at the guitar instead of Isak, wondering what memory he had pulled up right now to be smiling like that.

For a year of faked smiles and cutting eyes, it still kinda struck him, every time Isak smiled now.

A lot of things kinda struck him now, about Isak but maybe it was just because they’d both turned a blind eye for so long it’d left him blinking harshly into all the light shining down on them now.

The best thing about this song was that it repeated perfectly, flowed right back into itself so he could play it for hours at a time, if his fingers didn’t try to kill him first. The record on this song was something like forty-six minutes straight, his hands had gone entirely numb and Isak was laughing so hard through most of the second half of it he wasn’t sure if he was actually playing anymore, but.

It’d been awhile. He made it about six minutes before his fingers were starting to ache without the calluses he’d let fade. It had a clean spot to cut off the ending too, which was nice, but he didn’t take the cutting dramatic strokes he usually did because for all he could tell, Isak had fallen asleep right there on his bedspread.

Or maybe that was just peace, peace deep enough to take him into one of those parallel universes he thought were so fascinating.

Jonas trailed off, picking quieter and quieter until the notes were ringing empty and quiet into his bedroom.

Isak didn’t budge and Jonas carefully sat the guitar to the side, engaging his abs to lift up over his best friend’s peaceful face, debating whether or not he was actually asleep.

He was gonna go with no.

Jonas jabbed his finger into the soft spot on Isak’s side, the one that always made him jump three feet in the air. A fuckton had changed over the past year, but thank god. That was not one of them.

One moment he was lying there all quiet and the next he was shrieking, jumping up and backwards, freaking the fuck out enough to fall right off the edge of his bed, arms flailing before he hit the floor with a thud.

Jonas laughed hard enough he almost fell off his bed too.

 

 

 

Fredag, 19:30
13.01.17

 

When he got home, Eskild and Linn were sitting at the kitchen table with Even, the three of them engaged in light conversation over a delicious-smelling dinner. They usually ate on the couches, or took food to their rooms, so Isak had an eyebrow up at the formality as he came around the corner, backpack slung over one shoulder.

“Hi, everyone.” He got various mumbled greetings back and dipped to peck Even’s lips before glancing around the mess of the kitchen. “How come you're only a chef when I'm not here, huh?”

“There's leftovers, we saved you some.”

“Oh, it's okay, I ate at Jonas’s.” Isak rubbed a hand over Even’s collarbone and gave everyone a quick smile, tip of his head. “I'm gonna go put my stuff down and make a homework plan. Enjoy.”

A quick kiss to Even’s cheek and he was off in a swirl of smiles and pretty blonde curls. Eskild raised an eyebrow at the look on Even’s face and Even threw a piece of broccoli at him.

 

By the time Isak made it back from his room, the kitchen was cleaned and his roommates were nowhere to be seen. Well, no one besides Even anyways, who was stretched out on the couch, holding his tablet in the sky, arm muscles all engaged and straining. Would you look at that, he hadn’t been wrong about the drawing upside down thing. And what a way to workout.

He could think of better ones though.

Isak swung a leg over Even’s hips, sliding into place and instantly straddling the beautiful boy beneath him. The tablet dropped to the side pretty quickly.

“Woah-oh--”

“Hey you,” he greeted, swooping down to kiss him on the mouth. Even put a hand in Isak's hair and sat up, circling them both ‘round to put his feet on the ground and his hands on Isak's ass. The kiss opened a little deeper, two hands on Even’s jaw and lips interlocked, grip tightening and rolling him forward a tad, enough to make him break off in a gasp.

Even’s mouth was on his again, hands sliding up his spine, kiss softening as quickly as it’d heated, soothing right back down into gentle, domestic ease, a quiet sound as they finally tugged apart slow enough to burn his gut.

Isak blinked slow, settling back into the dangerous warmth of belonging here in Even’s lap, strong arms around him and that deep, intense gaze locked on his.

Fuck. He was so, so. so far gone.

Even’s hair was a fucking masterpiece today, swirled up all fancy instead of just brushed back, that beautiful way he’d been wearing it the first day they’d ran into each other on the bus and gone back to his house.

So of course, Isak put his hands in it, running fingers through the swooping blonde and making Even roll his eyes.

“Did you have a good time with Eskild and Linn?” He asked conversationally, mostly focused on the way silk slid through his hands.

“Mmhm. How was your afternoon with Jonas?”

“He made fun of me for not being able to play guitar.”

“You don't?”

“You do?”

“You've seen my room,” Even reminded him and Isak squinted, thinking back.

“Oh yeah! There's like...three fucking guitars in there.”

That got him a little huff and Isak shrugged a shoulder, offering an unapologetic smile.

“I was a little distracted by some other beautiful things in that room.” Even’s eyebrows went up with the corners of his mouth and Isak kissed his temple. “I’d love to hear you play, though.”

“I'll play for you next weekend, yeah? My mom wanted you to come over for dinner on Saturday.”

“Tomorrow-Saturday?”

“Didn't you have a thing with the boys tomorrow?”

“Ja.”

“And I’m helping out my parents this weekend. So next Saturday, then.”

“Okay. Yeah, we can do that.”

Another smiling peck to his mouth and Isak tipped his head pressing closer, deeper. Except as soon as he was Even was pulling back again, making him suck in an exasperated breath, rolling his head to pin him with a very clear look that said really?

“Yes, really. I have something I wanted to talk to you about.” He said it all haughtily, shifting a bit so his hands were on Isak’s waist, head tipped back against the couch to put some space between them, see clearly.

“So, I've been thinking,” he started slowly and Isak put an eyebrow up.

“Oh?”

“Ugh,” was all he got in return for his sassy little comment, and another eyeroll. This one was fond though, all smiling and whatnot so Isak straightened up a bit, a hand on Even’s chest, tipping his head to the side.

“Seriously though, I was thinking--”

“You never cease to impress,” Isak teased all cute and Even cursed under his breath, pressing up to kiss him again. That’s right, that’s what he thought.

They kissed for a bit, getting into it this time, tongue sweeping into his open mouth and before long he was grinding down on Even’s lap, heat beneath him and tight-gripped fingers leaving bruises on his hips. Fuck fuck fuck, they were wearing way too many clothes, why weren’t they in significantly fewer clothes?

And of course, it was just as he started trying to wrestle Even’s shirt off him that the fucker decided to break off the kiss, breathlessly pull them back out of it with two hands on either side of Isak’s neck, head ducked as he tried to breathe.

Isak threw his head back and groaned at the ceiling. Why.

When he leveled a heated gaze back down on Even’s he was smiling over an open-mouthed huff, all those stars in his eyes again while Isak pouted.

“Jesus Christ, you're distracting.” A thumb stroked his bottom lip fondly and Isak rolled his eyes. The point wasn’t to be distracting, it was to Have This Conversation Later so they could do way better things right now.

He leaned forward, skirting two hands up Even’s chest to press another kiss to his lips, following pecks up the sharp angle of his cheekbone before he got forcibly removed again. Even laughed, high-pitched and sweet, bubbling as he slid a hand over Isak’s shoulders and tried to turn his head to see him.

“I really did have something I wanted to chat with you about.”

“I'm listening,” Isak told him, sitting up and circling his hips down slow against Even’s definitely still interested state. Even’s eyebrows went up, gaze flicking between his eyes and mouth before he was cupping Isak’s cheek and pressing a kiss to the underside of his jaw. Isak let his eyes flutter closed, waiting for the kisses to work their way down his neck, only.

It was speaking again instead.

“I uh. I think I'm gonna live at my parent’s house for a bit.”

“Hmm?” He drew back, opening his eyes up again as he ran the words over in his head, then he was suddenly frozen on Even’s lap as it sunk in. “Oh.”

Even still had a hand on his cheek, studying his face as Isak sucked in a breath and looked down.

“Okay…”

Even’s head dipped, trying to catch his gaze again. Isak wet his lips and glanced up before looking away again. Shit. It had to be written all over his fucking face.

“Is there. Uh. Like do you just want to, or…”

“I think it's probably for the best,” Even told him simply and the hand around Isak’s heart squeezed enough to make it kinda hard to breathe. “I mean. I know they miss me and we're probably a little young to be living together.”

There was a lightness in Even’s voice, a tease in how young they were, maybe a jab at how much younger Isak was from that, but it wasn’t making him feel much better.

He rolled his lips in, looking up from under his lashes as he tried to gage the weight in those worried, waiting blues, kicking himself a dozen times over for not handling this the way he should be, but he just. Didn’t understand. His parents missed him and they were too young?

“So it's...a society thing then?”

“Nei. Nei, not at all. I don’t care what people think.” Earnest, sincere, the way he’d been when he’d dropped that first heart-stopping question, what would your parents say if I was your boyfriend?

“I'm not any less keen on you.” He was searching Isak’s face just as much, physically shaking the sincerity into his skin from the grip he had on his jaw. “Honestly, Isak. I could spend every morning for the rest of my life waking up next to you.”

Well fuck, that was a thing to say.

Every morning for the rest of Even’s life waking up next to him.

To say he was shook was an understatement this time, lips parted around a shaky inhale, eyes cast down, hand tightening its grip in Even’s hair.

“Then…” Isak swallowed, risking a quick glance upwards, as nervous as he’d been that day, what would they think of me as he asked a question that sounded a hell of a lot more like an offer. “...why don't you?”

Both of those eyebrows went up as Even looked him over, letting the words drift between them, the irrationally small space between them in the intimacy of embrace that’d become the new default setting for comfort.

Physically he could stay like this forever, but Even still hadn’t answered his question so mentally his brain was running in circles, freaking the fuck out as Isak searched diamond-cut blue eyes, completely on edge while he waited for that mouth to tip back open.

“...you need your sleep.”

It was smacking a balloon with a brick, instant deflation and an exhale shaped in a smile, so relieved he could hug Even right now and not let go for the next three years.

He wasn't trying to leave because of something Isak did wrong.

“Ah-hah, this is about the other night,” he declared, rolling his eyes at the guilty look of confirmation. Here he was terrified out of his goddamn mind and Even was just being overly worried about nothing at all.

“School’s started back up again. You need sleep,” he repeated and Isak scoffed, making Even pin him with a serious look. “We both do, we’re still in secondary school and it just. How much less sleep are you getting now that I basically live here?”

“Surprisingly, probably more? Now that I'm not up until 1 in the morning going through existential crises and googling The Gay Test.” He mouthed off the end as overdramatic as he could be, tilting his head back and forth with it, chest expanding to breathe again as the world shifted back on its axis.

“You what?” Even laughed, crinkling up and disbelievingly fond, to which Isak lifted a shoulder and clicked his tongue accusingly.

“You were really hot and I was overwhelmed, okay, google always has some kind of answer.”

The hands on his hips slid around his back again as Even tipped forward and kissed him, the smiling sweet kind of kiss that had them breaking apart to rub their noses together lightly.

Bursting for two, smiles and silence as they paused, noses tipped together, breathing each other in for a moment.

Isak slid his hand to the back of Even’s neck, heartbeat beneath his fingertips as he calculated, carefully considering the word choice, the sincerity in Even’s voice, the nervousness before he said it. The worry.

Even wanted to move back to his parents’ place, or he at least thought it was the right thing to do, and Isak wouldn’t be a good boyfriend if he made him feel like they couldn’t at the very least have an honest conversation about it.

“You’re not just worried about the sleep, are you?”

“It’s a big part of it.” Which meant it wasn’t all of it, but Even didn’t owe him that either.

Fuck. Even really wanted this, he could feel it. Fuck.

“Are you sure? That this is you, and not some other voice that doesn’t...doesn’t understand us?”

“I’m sure,” Even told him quietly and Isak sucked in a breath. To reitterate, fuck. That was not what he was hoping to hear.

But it wasn’t like he lived on some fantasy island, he got it. It was kinda surprising they’d made it through completely fine for as long as they had. Okay, maybe that wasn’t that surprising, they just fit really well together, but. That meant they could fit together apart too.

Isak tipped his head again, slow, weaving eskimo kisses again, downcast gaze catching the soft inhale to follow.

“If this is what you want, then yeah. Of course you should move back into your parents’, I’d never want to keep you from that.”

Foreheads pressed together, an awed hand sliding over his cheek as Even’s eyes crinkled up over a smile, unbelievably fond, grateful.

Isak wasn't grateful, but at least he hadn't been enough of a dick to stand in the way of Even being happy.

They could get through anything. Just watch.

“How about we have really fantastic sex before I go?” Even leaned back to tip his head suggestively with the offer and Isak’s eyebrows shot up as the implication set in.

“You're leaving tonight?”

“It's gotta be sometime.” The worry was starting to creep back in and Isak cursed in his head. There were times to be an overdramatic hoe and this was not one of them.

“Yeah, uh. Yeah. Of course.” He leaned in to press a reassuring kiss with it. No really sure which of them he was trying to reassure.

He didn't mean to slip so deep into it, shifting reassurance all drawn out to slide slowly apart full of unmaskable longing.

Isak inhaled shakily and Even held him tight, heartbeats pounding.

The moment he got his lungs back under control Isak slid a hand in the still - somehow - masterfully sculpted hair, holding the intensity of that gaze until he was sure Even’s attention thoughts world weren't focused anywhere but him.

This was gonna suck, but. Even wasn't any less keen on him and he wasn't any less keen on Even either.

Then Isak let the smile curl, one side of his mouth tipping up high and real enough to deepen a dimple with it, the kind of triumphant smile that used to fall through the moment the boys closed the bathroom door behind them.

No falling this time. Not that kind, anyways.

Just the wow, and I thought I was in love with you beforehand kind. Gold and night and lights.

“I vote a wholehearted yes on the really fantastic sex though.”

Apparently that was queue to scoop him up and carry him bouncing and complaining all the way to his room.

***

Yeah, the complaining didn't last much longer than that.

It was really fantastic sex actually. New and familiar all at once, the jaw-dropping sensation of Even moving inside him heightened a dozen times over by the bursting fit of laughter they'd broken into in the middle of it.

Isak had two arms wrapped around Even’s neck, knees planted on the bed as bruising hands lifted his hips and pulled him down again, steady slow friction deep enough inside him he was too busy trying to breathe through the waves of never ending sparks to be anywhere near coordinated in the unbroken string of open mouthed kisses, another shiver going down his spine as Even’s tongue slid over his.

The hands on his hips pulled them flush again, grip skirting open palmed down his ass to squeeze and roll Isak’s body forward, making him break off in a low moan, eyelashes fluttering from how deep the new angle was pressing. Forehead falling to Even’s as hooded eyes flickered down their joined bodies, the mess of slick trapped between their abs, friction sliding over how fucking hard he was too.

The hands on his ass ground in at the heels, shoving him back only to roll his hips hard and close again, another quiet sound escaping his open mouth as Isak lifted his gaze, eyes locking on Even’s, blue near swallowed up with dilated, flashing dark.

Their mouths slipped together again and Isak smiled into the fond kiss, stuffed with bliss and warmth, comfortable and close with his arms around Even’s neck like this, trapped in at the shoulders while their bodies moved together in mind-numbing sensation that tasted as sweet as the lips tugging kisses over the curl of his mouth.

Sharp teeth nipped his bottom lip as they tugged apart, then Even was nuzzling their noses together with another rock forward and Isak’s curled smile burst wider.

It was the same way he couldn't stop smiling as he kissed the beautiful boy dancing around the kitchen singing to Gabrielle, only now instead of a yearning, chasing mouth he was torn between gasps that curled into smiles at the end, little moans that Even was kissing out of his mouth quick enough to make him dance their lips back together for more.

His eyes were closed again, temple tipped against Even’s as the rolling hips shifted back to lifting with it, only a few inches but enough to make him jolt into that next level of oxygen getting caught in his throat, fingernails digging into Even’s shoulders.

Dragging lips skirted the shell of his ear, teeth scraping to catch sensitive skin, sending a wild burst of sparks to make his limbs tremble, temple pressed harder as a whine escaped his throat. Jesus fucking Christ.

And Even just kept rocking into him slow, easy like Isak wasn’t over here about to pound out of his own chest. Fuck. A heavy hand lifted to push his head further to the side, hardly a fucking warning before nibbling teeth were suddenly biting down on the soft spot beneath his ear, hard.

Desperation sparked down his spine and okay, yep, that was enough of that. Thigh muscles engaged tight to slide him down hard, lifting faster to shove together again, mouth dropping open at the friction as he forced the pace faster since apparently Even wasn't gonna do it.

He could feel the smile against his skin, mouth tipping to ghost warm air over his ear again, voice scraping instead of teeth this time, teasing and low.

“A fucking gay test, really? Tell me you got a 100.”

Okay, Even could call him a desperate hoe all he wanted, it wasn't him being all hot and refusing to take it further, all teasingly slow and whatnot.

But news for Even, that test had been nowhere fucking near a perfect score.

Isak leaned back, bottom lip caught between his teeth as he tried to contain the laugh, looking between pretty blues all shiny bright. Fuck, the bastard looked cocky right now, calling him out on how needy he was while he was still fucking up inside him slow.

Fuck. Alright. Isak had to take a moment to gather himself enough to speak with Even still rocking inside him, okay, fuck. Perfect score, god, clearly, google wasn't right about everything.

“Well?” Even breathed, one eyebrow cocking and Isak couldn't contain it anymore.

He burst into giggles, head tipping back and rolling before he finally managed to look Even in the eyes and suck in a shaky breath, exhaling all at once.

“Twenty percent.”

Even’s eyebrows shot up as his mouth dropped open, rhythm faltering like a skipped heartbeat then Isak was laughing so hard he couldn't stay upright any longer, stomach muscles seizing as he collapsed forward against Even’s chest.

“...what???”

And he ended up having a laughing fit in Even’s arms, giggling into his neck as Even shook his head and lifted Isak up and down over his cock until he couldn't breathe, then Even was wrapping arms around him tight and flipping them, Isak’s head tipping back as he gasped and huffed into another round of giggling.

Even was pressing a thousand kisses over his laughing face while pressing a thousand jolts into his sternum from the crash of their bodies together and--

“20% my ass,” Even scoffed, a few of the rapid kisses landing on his lips, teeth mouth as Isak shook his head, laughing harder and trying desperately to breathe.

“Act-cha--” Isak gasped, breathless and trembling, another huffing laugh as he looked up at his beautiful, disheveled boyfriend escaped strands of perfect hair dangling over his forehead, bright sparkling eyes and barely managed to say it.

“--actually, mine.”

He was laughing again before the words were barely out of his mouth then Even lost it too, bursting into the kind of laughter that had his entire face crinkling up, mouth wide, stars in his eyes. Rhythm entirely fucked as his arms gave out and they crashed together, giggling and rolling to the side, trying to kiss through the all the laughter, Isak’s thighs hitched up high over Even’s hips, toes curled and curls smushed as he giggled against the tongue in his mouth and wrapped his arms tighter around the shaking ribs.

It was a little jarring, considering Even was still inside him, bodies entwined and trembling with laughter, a whole other kind of vibration as Even’s laughter funneled into heated, fond kisses, biting along Isak’s jaw as he giggled, all warm and beautiful and squirmy in his arms.

And Even was entranced, perspective shifting quiet before Isak’s could, everything bubbling up beneath the surface instead of out loud. Lighting up his fingertips and the intensity of his gaze as he held that beautiful boy close and watched, open mouthed and breathless at all the visible joy lighting up the room like sunshine.

Isak was still laughing, the kind of surprised, stunning kind that had lit up those green eyes the first day sitting in Even’s windowsill, mixed in with the drifting giggles the day they’d made out upside down on his bed, breathing smoke against each other’s skin.

Clutching each other tight, happy and safe enough to lose himself like this in Even’s arms, laughter breaking, “ahaha ha--ah ah, hahah--” as Even slid out and into his body again, a dazzling, laughing smile up at him as Isak kissed his mouth and locked his ankles behind Even’s waist, still shaking with laughter and dizzyingly bright.

Even could do nothing but watch him, lips parted as he danced their bodies together again, an urgency in every push that hadn’t been there before. Isak’s flushed, damp chest heaved, high-pitched breathy laughter in his gasps, head tipping back and mesmerizingly beautiful.

He brought them all the way to the edge that way, a hand on Isak’s cock and the other wrapped behind his shoulder, probably leaving fingerprint marks on the top of his collarbone. Squeezing him dizzyingly tight when they were both already at the edge. Of combustion from laughter, or friction, pressure, heat, something, giggles in every faster, brighter gasp.

When Isak came, he could hear the smile in his shout.

 

He was still dazed out, trying to reign in from panting to heavy breathing to maybe chilling the fuck out, but honestly he was right on the edge of breaking into exhausted giggles again as Even shot a raised eyebrow his way and rolled over with the bedside cloth they rotated out in hand.

“Jesus fuck,” Isak told him and Even snorted, pressing a kiss to the Isak’s chest as he wiped him clean. Isak put a hand in his hair as he moved down, smiling to himself as he shook his head up at the ceiling.

“Don’t start giggling on me again, you’re not gonna be able to stop,” Even teased, dropping a kiss to the inside of his knee and Isak snickered, lifting his head to see the pretty smile on that face.

“I know.”

Or maybe the aftershocks were still just kicking his ass, but either way he somehow managed not to break into laughter again before Even was tossing the cloth aside and trading it out for pressing soft warm kisses over his face, pulling the sheets up automatically and his breathing right back down with it.

Isak slid a hand over Even’s bare shoulder and turned to kiss him properly on the mouth, melting into it enough that when they pulled apart he was breathless again, a different kind of breathless that had his lips parted and eyes blinking slow, gravity pulling his mouth for Even’s one more time.

When they finally pulled away again they rolled in tandem, catching their breath as they lay on their backs and smiled up at ceiling and kinda just basked in the laughter and pounding heartbeats still echoing in the empty spaces of their room.

Even rolled his head over first, folding his lips in and popping them back out with a quiet sound. Isak turned his head too, taking a moment to just look at that lit up face, reveling in how flushed and goddamn beautiful Even Bech Næsheim was.

And how flushed and beautiful he felt too, laying here beside him in bed.

At least his beautiful sculpted hair was finally completely fucked over. Still looked like a fucking masterpiece though. Asshole.

“I really like you,” Isak told him and Even huffed, a treacherous giggle at the end as he looked away and looked back, the way he always did when he laughed like that, glittering and precious.

“I hope so. We are dating.”

“Aren't I lucky,” he murmured, rolling over to flop an arm over Even’s damp chest, kissing him sticky and warm and fond.

Even ran a hand over the top of his head down to the back of his neck, just looking at him as their lips rolled apart, a sudden silence in the gaze that sent reality sinking back in.

Even was supposed to leave.

He’d completely forgotten.

That was okay. He was gonna be okay, it wasn’t like there wasn’t enough of an ache in his stomach muscles to forget what he felt like. It wasn’t like he wouldn’t see him again, they literally were dating, they had an excuse to see each other any time they wanted to.

Then why the fuck was his heart pounding in all the wrong ways?

He didn't want Even to feel like he couldn't leave, although he was also. Fairly sure it was gonna rip a hole in him if he did but.

This was what Even wanted. It wasn’t crazy, it was probably one of the most mature choices they'd made yet. Isak could support him through this. He could.

So he pressed one more soft kiss to that pretty, lax mouth and flipped back onto his spine, staring up at the ceiling and trying to breathe again.

They lay there for a moment that felt like three milliseconds and three years before the silence broke again, Even’s voice way too real and familiar.

“This sucks.”

“It's smart though,” Isak told the ceiling. “Probably the right thing to do. Just. Like a band-aid, right?”

“Right,” Even said, sucking in a breath and then he was sitting up and throwing back the covers.

For some reason Isak really just. Couldn't stand the thought of watching Even slowly put his clothes back on to leave him so he closed his eyes and tried to exhale steadily through circle lips.

It wasn’t a big deal it wasn’t a big deal, it wasn’t like he didn’t know this was coming, he just had to keep a lid on it--

His controlled breathing was cut off by Even’s mouth covering his, all pressure and new angles from where he was stooping over the bed from the other side of the mattress and Isak didn't think, couldn't think,

He got a hand in the back of Even’s hair and desperation pressing their lips roughly, mouths slipping apart to crash together harder as his grip tightened, heart on the tip of his tongue as he slid it into Even’s mouth.

His emotions were written all over every touch but he didn’t know how to not, he didn’t know how to shove it all behind some filter when he’d burned those up in flames.

Even popped free, staring down at him in the same questioning wonder from the first night he showed up here and dropped to his knees to worship Isak like a fucking god.

The renewed fervor he'd kissed him with that day, the sudden purpose he had backing Isak into a wall would end them both tonight, if Even kissed him like that Isak was literally never going to let him leave this bed. Maybe ever.

In the brief moment Even pulled back to search his eyes, he must've read that.

Because when he pressed their mouths back together it wasn’t the rushed, heart pounding purpose of that night, it was the soft comfort of their kisses at the Christmas party, everything good and warm as their lips tugged apart in little motions like waves, promises and soft and precious, pecking loose and warm little sweet domestic ones that were holding Isak so fucking close to the edge he could feel the fall moments before he broke.

Even was kissing him like he was the most precious thing he’d ever held between his palms and Isak broke entirely, tear slipping out of one eye as a heartbroken whine escaped his throat.

Okay well. There went domestic goodbye kisses out the window. Enter Emotions(™) instead and Isak really hadn’t been trying to land them here, but.

He couldn’t take it.

The teardrop fell on Even’s hand, the same time the sound registered.

Even cursed and tore off the covers so fast Isak didn't have time to register the cold before Even’s body was on top of his again and he was wrapping two arms around his neck, knees skirting Even’s hips and dropping open.

“Fucking hell,” Even kissed him hard, panting and looking dizzy as he rolled his forehead against Isak's and slid a trembling hand down his chest.

“I can't do it,” he whispered and Isak sucked in a breath, blinking back the rest of his tears gathered on lashes, because of course, how could he ask Even to stay like that?

“Ja, I--” He went to close his knees and Even’s hand caught one, popping them right back open and sending a dozen sparks up his tailbone into his spine.

“I can't leave you,” he said and Isak inhaled shakily, eyes closing. Oh.

At least he wasn’t the only one suffering here, he’d feel like an idiot if he was laying here crying and Even was just chipper walking right out the door.

But no, there was nothing chipper about the way Even swooped down to kiss him. He tasted as desperate on Isak's tongue as Isak's aching chest felt.

Mouths broken over gasps, hearts pounding wild again, foreheads pressed together and eyes squeezed shut, stuck in stalemate with neither of them having any clue how Even was supposed to leave and at least one and a half of them searching for a way to keep the promise for him to.

“Just fuck me hard enough I pass out,” he suggested and Even snorted, kissing him again like he was ridiculous but he was already snagging another condom from the bedside table, throwing it on and lining up as Isak threw his head back. Fuck.

“Then what, how am I supposed to walk out when you're laying there all. Fucking gorgeous and ahh-ah...ruined by me?”

Isak was trying to gulp in air, breath stuttering as Even slid back inside him, hand catching the inside of his thigh and slipping from having slicked up again despite the fact that lube was still fucking everywhere.

Jesus fuck, they’d never done anything like this before, sliding back together from the desperation of not being able to be apart literally, like. Minutes after they’d just had sex.

His hips tilted up of their own accord, stomach muscles clenching, mouth dropping open as Even sank all the way inside him, smooth as the waterfall kisses that just. Fit together.

It was fucking ridiculous, fucking dangerous how incredible it felt, filling up the place he'd carved in Isak's chest the moment he'd slipped out. To have Even sliding back inside him like this was the one place they both belonged eternally.

In infinite time.

“I'm always ruined by you,” Isak confessed and Even rocked into him hard enough to make him gasp over a little yelp.

And that was the pace he set, thrusting into Isak hard enough to spill a dozen little sounds between his gasps and Even couldn't get enough of it, couldn't get enough of him, biting his collarbone and neck and jaw, swallowing up the shocked little sounds with a completely gone, uncoordinated tongue over sloppy kisses.

He couldn't really breathe if his mouth wasn't covered by Even’s right now, but his chest was gonna explode, bursting at the seams like the rest of him as Even kissed him rough into the pillow, hard as the hips rocking together but it was just too much, he was just too much.

Isak ripped his head to the side, broken gasps dropping to broken moans as Even tipped his hips higher, shoved in faster.

“Ah-- ah- ah ah ah--” Fingernails clawing Even’s shoulders enough to leave red marks, scrambling to keep hold over the light sheen of sweat he already had going into this.

The hands on his body were burning fire into his skin, pulses between every one of the strong, pressing fingertips. Even had a hand cupping his face, fingers and thumb digging into his cheeks, slipping over his mouth and jaw, holding it to the side roughly as he split Isak's body in half and whole world into a lot more pieces than that.

“AhhHh Even, E-Even,” he begged, as helpless as he was wanton and Even grabbed a handful of his hair, pressing desperate little kisses all over his cheek as he rocked them higher deeper faster.

“God, Isak,” Even breathed, mouth racing down the side of his neck now, lips losing pressure as their moving bodies picked up harder.

Every jolt was penetrating holes inside him Isak wasn’t sure he was ever gonna be able to fill again.

Even was breathing heavy in his ear and Isak was trembling all over, scrambling to latch onto the sound of oxygen spilling over his skin, Even’s heartbeat, something, anything to hold onto--

And suddenly the slamming pace doubled, Isak’s spine arching a foot off the bed.

There was absolutely nothing to hold onto, he couldn’t make sound, he couldn't even breathe, head thrown back and eyes shut, whole body torn between curling up like his cramping toes, skirting knees, or just. Shattering.

“Yours,” Even gasped in his ear and Isak was in another sphere of existence, he was in that parallel universe where they were together forever, since the beginning of time until long past the end of it and Even was here with him, bruising a permanent hand over his heart.

A thousand miles from everything but he could still hear what Even was breathing into his skin as he fucked him hard and fast enough he can't tell where anything on the planet began or ended,

“Yours, yours, yours--”

Isak would love to say something beautiful back like in infinite time but it wasn’t physically possible, the only thing he could do was try to inhale, a single word ripping past his lips as he fucking disappeared.

“Even--”

There was a hand on his lower spine to catch him as his body threw him into the fucking abyss, everything going white so hard so fast he couldn't register his name tumbling out of Even’s mouth as the universe snatched him up too.

 

The rest came in flashes.

The lips pressed damp and slow to his face - forehead, cheek, mouth.

The sound of running water.

Warm and wet sliding over his stomach, chest, down between his legs, lips on his knee, hip, heart. That stirred something inside his brain but it wasn’t enough to get him to open his eyes.

The slide of blankets being tucked around his shoulders.

Hoodie material brushing his chin, his favorite gray hoodie that he'd been wearing earlier, as an unsteady hand stroked his cheek.

Isak didn't have any bones left in his body but somehow he slid a hand out of the covers, flopping it up to grab Even’s, fingers weaving together in tight surprise as Isak settled in a little deeper to his pillow.

The blue one. So Even’s pillow.

A little involuntary smile curled, under closed eyes, fluttering lashes as warm air ghosted over the side of his face, but he was nowhere near the brain attached to it.

“Elsker deg,” the oxygen breathed into his skin, then Even’s mouth was pressing to his temple.

Fingers slipping free at the extended point of his arm, weightless limb falling back for the sheets. Cold.

 

The flashes didn't come anymore after that.

Just the dark.

Chapter Text


text

 

 

Lørdag, 11:38
14.01.17

 

The only reason he left his room was to pee, but unfortunately he had to pass the kitchen and Noora and Eskild both saw him on his way back.

“Hey, Isak!”

He paused in the hallway, looking down at his feet and sighing to himself before he turned around, looking groggily at his roommates with an expression on his face that hopefully said without him having to how much he was not interested in chatting.

“Woah, are you okay?”

“Fine,” he replied dryly, inching a bit down the hallway towards his room.

“Were you guys planning on doing breakfast?” Noora asked, leaning on the wall and glancing around him into the hallway. “Where’s Even?”

At least she didn’t call him by that nickname again. Still. In case he’d, for some reason, forgotten how much he was aching, what a great reminder.

“He went home,” Isak said and it was sullen enough for Eskild and Noora to shoot each other concerned looks.

Which was the perfect window for him to give wide eyes to the floor as he turned and drift back to his room, closing the door solidly shut behind him.

“As in his parents’ house?” Eskild sounded just as surprised as she did, mouth open in offense as he threw a hand over his chest. “I thought home was here now.”

Noora rolled her lips in, looking down the empty hallway, the silence echoing back.

“So did I.”

Eskild huffed, turning back into the kitchen and throwing up his hands.

“Now, what, am I supposed to make breakfast?”

 

 

Lørdag, 23:47
14.01.17

 

She was legitimately concerned for Isak. Like, enough that she made him a mug of tea and brought it into his room sometime around noon. He was on his computer when she came in, looked up, saw the tea, and told her he wasn’t sick, thank you, and turned right back to his laptop.

So she brought the tea to Linn instead, who barely lifted her head up from her pillow but at least seemed more grateful than Isak.

Still, she was more worried (and curious) than pissed, so that’s why she pulled aside Eva at the welcome back to school party Vilde had convinced them all to go too. And by pulling aside Eva also happened to pull aside Sana and Vilde too.

Chris was making out with Kaspar, so be it.

“...and I’m just worried, because it looks like Even moved out for real.”

“But I thought they were gonna get married!” Vilde sounded more devastated than Isak had looked this morning and Noora carefully removed her wine glass from her hand.

“Is Isak home?” Eva asked, tipping forward just a little bit, a hand still tangled in Christoffer’s - he was looking boredly over the rest of the party and waiting for Eva to return to make out with him - lifting the other to gesture dramatically and announce. “I should go...talk to him.”

“I’m pretty sure he’s--”

The door burst open, a gust of snow making a few girls near the door scream dramatically and most of the party turn their heads in drunken annoyance, gazes lingering for a moment on the squad pushing inside, fanned out epic triangle style, hats backwards and jacket collars popped, gazes tipsy-bright and one bored-looking Isak squinting into the party lights like they personally offended him.

“Actually, I think he’s here,” Noora trailed, but all the rest of them clearly had already noticed.

“C’mon,” Vilde declared, grabbing Eva’s free hand and tugging her for the door. “We’re gonna go dance with that boy.”

“He’s gay though?” Eva pointed out and Vilde rolled her eyes.

“I’m not a lesbian and I love dancing with girls! Just watch.” Then she was pushing through the crowd, making Eva stretch a moment before dropping Chris’s hand and following.

Sana lifted her voice, reaching for a trailing hand, “Vilde, don’t you think that--”

But they were already out of earshot and reach so Sana sighed, giving Noora a why is it always me look before shoving through the crowd to start after them.

Noora pursed her lips, hair swinging as she looked back over to Chris Schistad, who was looking at her with a very clear expression of what the fuck.

“I’m not making out with you,” she told him sassily and he rolled his eyes, shoving through the party to join the ambush too.

 

It was forty-five minutes later when Sana finally found Isak, sitting on the back stairs by himself with a bottle of something with the label ripped off, hoodie pulled up and staring down at the sticky floor between his shoes.

He didn’t look up until she was sitting down next to him, blinking dully at her a few times before the recognition hit and he straightened with a groan, holding out the bottle of alcohol in offering.

She gave him a look and he looked back at her, squinting - what - before it hit him, again, remembering she didn’t drink and lifting a shoulder before taking a swig himself instead.

“Bad night?”

“Even moved out,” he muttered and Sana tipped her head.

“Why?”

“To be responsible,” Isak pouted and she snorted, getting a cross look that made her put a hand over her mouth. She’d assumed it’d been something bad, goodness.

“Don’t laugh at me!”

“I’m not laughing, it’s sweet.” He made another cross face at her and she sighed, rolling her eyes at the melancholy, nudging his knee with her arm. “Isak, you’ll be completely fine. If he’s trying to be responsible, it means he cares about your relationship.”

“I know that,” he waved drunkenly, alcohol sloshing out of the bottle and nearly landing on her shoe. She carefully scooted one inch further away. Isak didn’t notice, he was too busy pouting. “But if he really cared, he’d sleep with me! Not sexually, well that too, is it possible to die from how bad you want someone insid--”

“Okay there, friend, I think you’ve had enough.” She held out a hand and he surrendered the bottle easily, tipping his head against the wall in misery.

“C’mon, you’re at a party, you’re supposed to be having fun!”

“I tried. I was chilling with the boys, I even tried dancing with Eva and Vilde and then I ended up pissing off Vilde, so.”

“How did you piss off Vilde?”

“I may have pointed out that there wasn’t any point in us dancing when I didn’t like girls and she didn’t like boys and she got...upset.”

“Hm,” Sana said, head tipping as she silently connected more dots. Isak just kept rambling, talking with his hands and all that woe is me drama.

“So now life sucks, more than it already did, and Jonas found some girl to hook up with, which shouldn’t still suck but ??”

He threw up both hands, knocking his head against the wall and closing his eyes.

So he missed Sana’s eyebrows shooting for her forehead. Oh. Well, that explained a lot, actually. Probably not something Isak wanted her to know, though.

“You should maybe stop talking before you dig more graves,” she suggested and he cracked an eye open, groaning at the dim-ass hallway and rubbing a hand over his face.

“That’s...probably a really good idea.”

The poor boy looked miserable. Sana sighed again, nudging his side and offering as nice as she knew how,

“Do you want me to walk you home?”

Isak put his head in his hands, groaning again. Sana carefully sat the alcohol down on the stairs, close enough to the wall it wouldn’t be trampled. It was times like this she was really damn glad she didn’t drink.

The quiet stretched for a few moments, long enough for her to figure out Isak didn't wanna answer, which meant he wanted to answer yes but didn't want to trample on her night too.

He was surprisingly sweet sometimes for the reputation he carried.

So she nudged him, enough to throw him off balance a little. Isak rocked, looking queasy as she insisted again.

“Really. It'd be no problem. It's not like I'm planning on hooking up with anyone. I'd be more than happy to walk you home.”

An aggrieved sigh and Isak finally deflated, sinking a bit.

“...yeah okay. We have to go find Jonas first though, he’ll flip the fuck out if I just take off.”

“I’ll go find him, you wait here.” She patted his knee consolingly and he just dropped his head further down, fingers weaving behind his hood.

He hadn’t moved by the time she got back, wasted and wasting away like the damn drama queen he was.

But at least he wasn’t too heavy or drunk not to be able to stumble upright as she got an arm under one of his and bodily lifted him up.

“Alright, loverboy, let’s go get you home.”

She linked their arms and his balance was totally off but he managed to handle himself fine enough to walk all the way out of the party and down two streets before he keeled over to hurl in the grass.

Sana put a hand on his back and looked up to the sky. Those who gave shelter and support, right? This at least had to count for support.

When he finally straightened back up enough to walk, wiping the back of his hand over his mouth and making her squinch up her nose in disgust, he at least didn’t look like he wanted to die anymore. Puking could do wonders for a person.

“Deg bra?”

“Ugh,” he replied and she smiled brightly, clapping him on the shoulder and linking their arms again. Good enough.

They talked about science, of all things, on the rest of the walk back to his place. She’d been lightly scolding him on drinking water, since alcohol dehydrated cells then they got into an argument about cell elasticity that lead to a really interesting conversation on the technology of the diffusion system in humans and affecting neurologic voltage charges in the central nervous system.

Isak had some weird ass ideas about possible technological discoveries and what they could do to effect inhibitory neurons, but it was a pretty impressive conversation for someone who was drunk off their ass and spent most of biology trying to get her from a 4 to a 5 as opposed to learning anything himself.

Thankfully, he didn’t live on the other side of Oslo and they managed the walk in less than fifteen, although the stairs at the end got a little iffy with balance and Isak nearly sent them both tumbling to their deaths, but alas they finally arrived at his apartment door, knocking loudly as he searched his pockets for a key he probably wasn’t gonna find and God Knows Sana wasn’t gonna look for it for him.

Just as Sana was about to bang loudly on the door again - she was not going to leave him out here on the stoop, not as ghostly pale as that kid was - it finally swung open, a fairly peeved looking ginger glaring at them something deadly.

“Hi Linn! I brought Isak home,” she started, attempting a smile as Isak groaned, leaning against her arm. Linn didn’t say a word, opening the door wider to let them inside.

Sana walked Isak all the way to his bed, took absolute satisfaction in letting him drop dramatically and whiny to the comforter, then Linn was helping her pull off his boots and coat while he groaned and told them he was fine.

He wasn’t fine, but on the bright side he was also asleep within thirty seconds of them taking off his shoes, laying on his stomach with his nose half smushed by a blue pillow.

“Alright. That’s one friend checked off the list.” Sana brushed off her hands and Linn gave her a tired look.

“Did you want tea or something?”

“Actually...takk, I could go for a cup.”

“I have to stay up to make sure he doesn’t vomit over everything anyway, so.” Linn lead her into the kitchen and Sana opened up the cabinet where they kept the tea. Except now it was plates.

“Even moved everything, then Noora moved everything, then he moved it back and. I just open all the cabinets now, you’ll find it eventually.”

Sana got to opening cabinets, finding the lined up boxes - by brand instead of alphabetical now - and shaking her head as she pulled out the rooibos.

“But Even moved out, right? So in theory the kitchen doesn’t move again?”

“I just assumed it was him,” Linn replied, pressing a button on the electric kettle. “For all I know Noora just rearranges things post-London.”

“Post-London?”

“Yeah, Post-London Noora. It’s a sadder Noora, but much more realistic in her life expectations and prospects.” Linn plopped down at the table and Sana grabbed two mugs, sitting down across from her.

“Is there a post-something for everyone?”

“Eskild’s still in his Pre for life discovery. Isak is Post-Closet, Even is somewhere between Pre and Post and I’m Post-Existence.”

“Existence?” Sana lifted her eyebrows and Linn sighed.

“Yeah.”

“Alright.” She tapped her fingers on the table a few times. And she thought things were wild at her house. “But you’re glad Even is moved out then?”

“No,” Linn replied dully and the electric kettle beeped.

“Oh?” Sana got up with their mugs to grab them tea, setting Linn’s in front of her before sliding back into her seat again.

“Why not? I would think you’d like the extra room.”

Linn sighed, stirring her tea bag around and looking at the mug dejectedly.

“He made us food.”

“Ah.”

“Yeah.”

 

~*~*~

 

Søndag, 14:18
15.01.17

 

“Brown rice or spinach? I know your mom likes the spinach noodles better, but the brown rice ones taste more like traditional noodles. Which do you think Isak would prefer?”

“I don’t think he cares, Dad,” Even offered distractedly, digging in his pocket to pull out the phone that just went off.

Damn. It wasn’t from Isak, it was from Eskild.

He slid open the text, trailing behind the cart as they moved further down the aisle to examine sauce types next.


-- are you and Isak okay??

Yeah there went his stomach straight for his feet.

He thought they were.

He thought they were okay, he thought everything was fine, was Isak having second thoughts, was he upset with Even, were they not okay--

“Hey, kiddo,” a voice interrupted and Even’s head snapped up, just in time to narrowly avoid plowing into the stopped cart. Well, he still bumped into it, but he at least stopped the momentum.

“Everything alright?”

Wow. Okay, freak out time, maybe he should fucking chill. Even glanced down at his phone, back up at his dad.

“Yeah, sorry, wasn't paying attention.”

Even furrowed his eyebrows, mentally kicking himself for whatever the fuck that was before typing out a quick reply.


text

 

“Hey Ev, what about Verde salsa?”

“I’m sure it’s fine,” he replied, not looking up from his phone.

“You know, it’s really nice that you’re back home, shopping with us and things.”

“Mmhm.”

“And Isak’s still coming over for dinner next Saturday, right?”

Hearing the name out loud struck a little chord in his chest and Even inhaled, curling and uncurling the fingers of one of his hands. Here.

“Yes, Dad, he is.”

“Good.”


text

 

~*~*~

 

 

Mandag, 07:29
16.01.17

 

He was out way too fucking early but he’d been up since four, he might as well make himself fucking cereal now that it was bright enough to actually see the damn kitchen.

Besides, it was way more socially acceptable to make yourself cereal at 7 than it was at 4, so. Here he was pouring some shitty off-brand oat thing into a bowl of milk, and then nearly spilling it fucking everywhere when a loud knock on the door suddenly sounded behind him.

The fuck.

He sat down the cereal box, picked up his bowl and spoon, and took a bite on his way to the door, swinging it open kinda pissily.

And of course.

It was Even.

“Hi?” When Isak looked like shit and only slept from two-thirty to four, that’s when he showed up.

“Hi.” Looking gorgeous, leaning against the wall with sculpted hair and bedroom eyes, hands in his pockets and a James Dean smile on his face. “I came to walk you to school.”

Isak glanced behind him at the clock on the wall, in case he’d entirely fucked up. No, it was still 7:30.

“School doesn't start for another....hour and a half.”

He looked back at the boy in the hallway and Even shot his eyebrows up, lips rolling in to pop out quietly.

“Exactly.”

Still didn’t catch the memo until Even was stepping across the threshold and kissing him, two hands on his jaw, clutching tight, spinning whirlwinds with his tongue. Then there was Isak, who was gonna spill his fucking cereal on the rug.

“Wait, wait, hold on,” he managed to mumble against Even’s mouth, lips breaking free as he stumbled backwards a step or two.

Even pulled back, etched in deep concern for the four and a half seconds it took Isak to put his bowl on the counter then he was launching right back into kissing Even, who gathered him up instantly and then they were bumping into the walls of the hallway all the way to his room.

The moment the door slammed shut, a dull thud against it, Noora peeked her head out of Linn’s room and Eskild peeked his head out of his own, a thumbs up shot down the hallway before they were closing their doors again.

 

Mandag, 08:26
16.01.17

 

“And you’re sure it wasn’t the sex?”

“Jesus, ja! I’m sure! That wasn’t even the most intense we’ve had, Even.”

“But all weekend.”

“I went out Saturday night, and I had homework. And yeah, I was a little mopey, but my boyfriend just moved out, sue me. I like having you around.”

“I like being around, but this is--”

“I know, I know, the right thing to do.”

“...you’re sure you’re okay?”

“Yes! I’m extremely sure! What the fuck? Are you forgetting the time I cried?”

“Nei, I did not forget the time you cried when we had sex.”

“Did I cry on Fredag?”

“...no. I mean, before--”

“Jesus fuck. I was emotional and couldn’t handle you leaving. Then I found out you couldn’t either so everything is fine. Ja, it was intense, but it was real, okay, so like. Chill out about it, yeah?”

“...if you’re sure.”

“Even, I’m going to kiss you, so you stop talking about this.”

“We have to leave in thirteen minutes--”

“Then start kissing me now, ja?”

 

 

Mandag, 12:20
16.01.17

 

“Oh fuck. I don’t even know how to guess today.”

“Seven? Magnus asked and Isak smirked, leaning back in his chair, tilting his head back to take a cocky sip of his waterbottle.

“Ooo. Or maybe eight,” Mahdi suggested. “I can already see two from here.”

When he tipped back down to the table, mouth popping off the water bottle dramatically, Jonas was just studying him, mouth pursed.

Isak lifted an eyebrow. “Well, great Jo-nas, is your crystal ball broken?”

“Six,” he declared, completely sure of himself and Isak stuck his tongue in his cheek, single eyebrow arching higher.

“Nine,” he replied.

They were all still hollering when Even showed up, sitting down in the empty chair already confused.

“I feel like I always miss everything.”

Isak leaned over and kissed him, a thumb rubbing over his cheek fondly when he finally pulled back.

“I missed you, baby.”

“Fuckin’ nine,” Jonas said and Isak smiled triumphantly down at the table.

 

 

~*~*~

 

 

Tirsdag, 15:32
17.01.17

 

He was propped against his pillows and Eskild was laying on his side across the bottom of his bed, head propped in his hand while he listen to Isak complain. And returning advice only if Isak rolled his eyes and called him guru when he asked.

“Seriously, though, like. I get why that’s normally the right thing to do, but. Like, our situation is different, y’know?”

“Howso? Every couple thinks their relationship is different.”

“Well yeah, but like.” Isak threw a hand in the air, twisting his mouth to the side as Eskild gave him a judgy look. “I mean, I’m already moved out of my parents’, and I’m younger! Not like I think he should--”

“Or clearly, you do.”

“No, but he’s nineteen, technically he...shouldn’t even be in secondary anymore anyways, so why not just--”

“Yeah, actually, why is that?”

“He had to repeat his second year, it’s complicated.”

“Mmm. Mmkay.”

“It’s the year he got diagnosed.”

“Ooohh. Okay, so an actual reason then.”

“Yeah, but anyways. I mean, he’s gonna be twenty in less than a month, and things were great when he lived here, there’s no reason why--”

That time Eskild didn’t cut him off, his phone suddenly vibrating loudly on his side table did. Isak leaned over, squished against the pillows as he reached, fingers stretching and barely skirting the edge. A frustrated sound and he dove to the side, catching the phone and nearly face-planting with the corner of his table, stopping himself just in time as he put it to his ear.

“Halla?”

“Hey, babe.”

“It’s Even,” Isak put his hand over the speaker to mouth at Eskild. Eskild raised an eyebrow, so?

Isak widened his eyes, tipping his head for the door.

“You’re gonna have phone sex?? Now???” A completely shocked face, Eskild’s hand clapping dramatically over his heart.

Isak rolled his eyes and waved a hand, lifting the phone back up.

“Hey babe, what’s up?”

“You don't want me to leave, do you?” Eskild sat up, waving a hand for the door and Isak tipped the phone away from his mouth, making a face.

“No it's fine, I'm kidding.” Eskild went to get up and Isak dove back across the bed, grabbing his wrist and dragging him back down.

“Are you doing anything right now?” Even was asking and Isak glanced up at Eskild, one eyebrow up.

“Uh. Yeah, I'm talking to my guru.”

“Your what?”

“Nothing. What were you thinking?”

“It's snowing, do you wanna go sledding?”

“Sledding?” He asked, eyebrows knitting as they shot up and Eskild made an ooo face.

“That’s a gay sex term even I don’t know,” he offered and Isak shoved him, mouthing shut up as seriously as he could while Eskild made a dozen or so exaggerated suggestive faces.

“Yeah! Why not?” Even sounded way too enthusiastic and Isak sucked in a breath, debating the cold versus his warm bed and getting to complain to Eskild, but. Well. It was sledding, and it was Even, so.

“Okay, yeah. I'll put on some warm clothes and come meet you--”

“I'm at your door.”

“Oh. Okay yeah I'll come get you first.”

“You can send your guru while you get dressed?” Even suggested into the phone and Isak sat up, peering suspiciously at the door before looking back at Eskild, who was waiting to make more suggestive comments.

“What made you think it was Eskild?” Isak asked suspiciously and Even’s voice came back over the line all innocent and cute.

“I didn't, you just told me.”

“Oh fuck you,” Isak shot into the receiver, pressing the end call button and tossing the phone on his bed as he rolled to the edge to grab the closest warm article of clothing.

“Ah! Rude,” Eskild accused and Isak rolled his eyes, throwing a hoodie over his head and forgetting he was wearing a snapback and therefore getting himself stuck, tugging them both off before he drowned in cotton.

“He's at the door, would you go let him in?”

“Mmm. Mhm. So much for living separately, right?” Eskild gave him a little shit of a smile, rolling off the bed to pop to his feet. Isak paused in the wrestling match with his hoodie, looking up incredulously at the knowing look on Eskild’s face.

“What do you mean? I slept here alone last night.”

“You mean you didn't sleep,” he pointed out, spinning on a dramatic heel to stalk for the door. “I heard you tossing and turning in here all night long.”

Isak rolled his eyes again, finally getting the hoodie on and tossing his snapback aside in search of a beanie when he froze, head snapping over to the exiting Eskild.

“Wait. If you can hear me tossing and turning… what else can you hear?”

Eskild paused in the doorway, giving him a bright little smile before swinging into the hallway and sauntering off.

“Eskild!?!!”

 

~*~*~

 

 

Onsdag, 12:23
18.01.17

 

On Wednesday, Isak and Even showed up to lunch at the same time, shoulders bumping and Even’s hands gesturing as he spoke, something Isak was nodding along to vaguely as his eyes danced around the room, hands shoved in his pockets.

It was strange, the tether between them that was palpable, despite the fact that their fingers weren't entwined, arms weren't around shoulders.

He had no idea what it meant, if it was intentional or not, if everyone else in the room could feel how fucking badly Isak was dying to reach over and take Even’s hand in his, if anyone else was wondering why in hell he wasn’t.

By the time Jonas tore his eyes away the boys were all exchanging looks, debating the new variable of having them both here at once. Isak was almost always here first.

“Do we still guess, or…?” Magnus looked to him but Jonas was busy studying Isak, the way he moved, the way his scarf was folded. The smile tipped up on one side of his mouth, crooked to match shiny bright eyes.

“Five?” Jonas asked as Isak for sat down beside him, backpack dropping for the crook of his elbow then the floor.

Then Isak was looking over at him, squinting just a little, dimple still burrowed in one cheek.

“It’s not directly correlated to my happiness,” he defended and Jonas rolled his eyes.

“Yeah, right, okay.”

“Seriously!”

“Four,” Magnus declared and Even propped his pretty head in his hands, mouth pursed, eyebrows up, looking around as he studied their faces and tried to figure it out.

“Six?” Mahdi tried.

“Zero,” Isak corrected, one eyebrow up as he shook his head at them. “New, anyways. I’m just having a good day.”

“Yeah, okay.” It sounded just as skeptical as he was.

“Really,” Isak insisted. “Hate to break your streak now, but the facts are the facts.”

 

The facts were the facts and the fact was?

Isak hadn't slept more than two hours in the past four days.

He had a gray hoodie pulled over his head, so in theory the teacher was less likely to notice when he went from paying attention to passed out.

Only problem was, while it kinda worked for teachers, it did shit for saving him from Jonas.

One moment he was struggling to keep his eyes open, just focus on the swimming numbers, blink then focus only he never opened his eyes up from blinking and next thing he knew there was something hard jabbing his side.

“Ow, hva faen--”

He squinted over at bushy dark curls bushy dark eyebrows, trying to focus while Jonas hissed something at him that definitely wasn't about numbers.

“The fuck is up with you, man? Late night without hickies to show for it, who are you?”

“Hmm?” Isak wet his lips, face squished propped on his hand, elbow on the table, staring at Jonas’s expectant face a moment before the words finally registered and he squinched up his face crossly. “Shut up.”

“Seriously, man. You've been tired like. All week.” Jonas waved a hand around and Isak made a noncommittal sound, picking up his fallen pencil and making a face at the symbols he must've drawn. Were those numbers? Writing while dozing that was a new one.

“Do I need to talk to Even?”

“Hmm?” Isak asked again, setting the pencil back down and rubbing a hand over his face. Did Jonas need to talk to--

“What!!? Nei. Nei, do not tell Even you think I've been tired.” The sudden urgency made Jonas look really alarmed and Isak feel really awake in a strange parallel sort of floating woah spiny sort of way.

“Dude. What the hell,” Jonas was saying, putting his pencil down and entirely destroying the front that they were talking about notes. That front was supposed to be up, right? Although he probably shouldn't’ve freaked out about Even like that because Jonas looked hella concerned now.

“What's going on?”

“He...aghh.” Isak sighed, propping his chin back in his hand, mumbling out the rest of it to the heads of the kids in front of them. “He moved out.”

“...what??” How had he not fucking noticed? Yeah, Isak had been pissy last weekend, but there was never anything pointing to a fight or a fall out or anything else like it. “What happened??”

“Nothing happened! It was a mature mutual decision we made because. We've been living together for like...a month, and it's been every single day and night with him, y’know? And we're still young, so.”

Isak sighed again, notes shuffling as his sleeping arm flopped back down to the table.

“--so he decided to move back in with his parents. And I just…”

Jonas was just looking at him. Waiting. Isak glanced over, sucking in a breath to stare down at his notebook and mumble out the rest with a flush in his cheeks.

“Apparently I'm not very good at sleeping without him now.”

Isak didn't look up, rolling his pencil back and forth between pinched fingers. Jonas blinked at him a few times.

“Well fuck.”

“Ja,” Isak agreed, tugging on his hood to pull it further over waves of blonde, like the deeper in his hoodie he got the faster this would go away. “But you can't mention anything, cause if you do he's gonna freak out and blame himself or some shit and. I've just gotta get used to it. I'm sure it'll be fine in like. A week.”

He sounded absolutely unconvinced and therefore really unconvincing, shooting Jonas a side eye to calculate without giving too much away but this was him. He gave everything away.

“Okay, man. If you're sure.” Jonas shook his head once, glancing at the clock and closing up his binder. “But lemme know if you want me to mention something. I can make it sound like it's not coming from you.”

He was doing everything physically possible to show he was on Isak’s side, which he was, but. He was also worried as fuck.

“Jaaa, takk. I'll let you know if it gets that bad.” Isak offered a strained smile, gaze cutting away too quickly but before Jonas could call him on it the class got released, book bags and paper shuffling as the room burst into conversation and the atmosphere shift took them with it.

Isak blinked a few times before he realized everyone was leaving and started slowly packing up his stuff. Jonas waited, watching the weighed down limbs with furrowed eyebrows.

He didn't believe a word Isak said. Not about letting him know, anyways. Yeah, he’d learned in the year and a half of Isak acting weird before finally coming out to realize that maybe, he shouldn’t just listen when his best friend said he was okay.

And like yeah, this wasn’t as big of a deal as that, but still. It wasn’t nothing either.

He'd been kidding, the other day when he'd joked about Isak being dependent on sex. But like. Dependent on sleep? That was a hell of a lot worse.

How they'd gotten this far, he had no idea. How he was standing here, watching Isak go through fucking...withdrawal, exhaustion spiked and absolutely drained, because he'd grown so used to sharing a bed every night with a guy who was two and a half years older than them…yeah, the path from A to B wasn’t really clear on that one.

Jonas was gonna keep a fucking eye on those problematic pretty blonde curls and the hands that apparently weren’t running through them at night anymore.

He followed Isak into the hallway and decided officially, if this didn't improve by Friday, he was saying something.

“Serr, stop worrying.” A shoulder bumped his and Jonas nearly stumbled a step, rolling his eyes at Isak, who was now studying him right back.

“You are. I can see it.”

“You can't see shit,” he countered, bumping Isak's towering shoulder back and he didn't stumble near as much as he used to, all long limbs and wide smiles as they fell into step beside each other again.

Jonas couldn't keep the smile as long as Isak could.

Not when his best friend was rambling off something with covered yawns in between and Jonas felt terribly, strangely distant despite the fact that they were closer than they'd been in a while.

Why in fuck had they gotten so distant in the first place? It was Isak’s doing, he’d always known that, used to chalk it up to the fights with Yakuza second semester, maybe he was a lot more touchy about having his honor defended than Jonas expected. Now, he could kinda guess it had something to do with Isak trying to closet himself or something but.

Things were weird. Still. He couldn’t place what it was, but whatever it was, he wasn’t gonna let Isak eat himself up for the next year again. No, this time, he was gonna spare Isak all that pain, and he was gonna fucking find out on his own if he had to.

 

 

~*~*~

 

 

Torsdag, 09:28
19.01.17

 

“That plant is definitely not purple.”

“What do you mean it’s not purple? That’s as purple as purple gets.”

“Nei, that’s like. Dusty brown, maybe, I’d bet near anything if you wash it off it’ll be green underneath.”

“What are we betting?” Even raised an eyebrow and Chris smiled, open mouthed and surprised.

“You’re actually down to bet something, E.Bech?”

“Bring it, Christo.”

“Whoever loses, next lab report, entirely on their own.”

“Done.”

Chris hopped out of his chair, grabbing the petri dish and headed straight for the sink. This was totally going to disrupt the plant culture but there was like forty five petri dishes, and it was one of the thirty plants inside just this dish, so. A little water wouldn’t hurt.

“No fucking way!” Chris was still bent over the sink so Even slid out of his chair to go join him, peering over his shoulder at the petri dish.

“Hold on, light.” They both turned around, squinting up at the dish as Chris held it up against the way too bright xenon ceiling light.

“That plant is completely purple,” Chris trailed, pure awe as he looked up at the dish, all that cocky wiped off his face like this petri dish was the most important thing he’d seen in years. Even clicked his tongue and tipped his head in a sigh curled up at the corners.

“I fucking told you.”

“Oh whatever, it was luck, that’s a totally different color than it was before.”

“It’s still purple though.”

Chris rolled his eyes and Even elbowed his side, both of them breaking into smiles, then Chris was elbowing him back and Even’s eyebrows shot up, mouth popping open as pressed five fingers to a black hoodie, shoving him a step backwards before Chris was suddenly holding up an urgent hand,

“Wait, one second, the plants.” He set the petri dish down carefully on the counter, then he was spinning to level on Even, wicked smile as he shoved for his shoulder, just managed to serve out of the way of a light punch aimed for his arm, hand smacking Even’s wrist aside--

“Christoffer! Even!” They both froze, hands in exaggerated karate poses as they glanced over shoulders at the poor teacher standing on the other side of the room and looking fairly upset. “This is not gym class! Both of you, write out your lab assignments separately for the next report, if you goof off as a team, you can turn in your work individually.”

Even barely managed to reign in the snort, lips rolling in as Chris rolled his head dramatically to groan under his breath at the teacher.

“Back to your station! Both of you!”

They both straightened up, Chris’s eyes rolling some more as Even stuck his tongue in his cheek, reaching over to turn off the sink that was still running.

“Looks like you’ll be writing two reports, Christoffer. Have fun with that.” Even clapped him on the shoulder and Chris hip checked him as he snagged their petri dish samples back from the counter.

 

 

Torsdag, 15:41
19.01.17

 

The worst part was that he was could not. Stop. Thinking about it.

Every class, every day, didn’t matter what he was doing, the minute the silence hit the first thing that popped in his head was the next time he was gonna get to run his fingers through blonde curls, look into beautiful green eyes and watch them swallow up dark, cupid’s bow lips parted, tipping up for his like he was starved--

Isak found his way into every one of Even’s thoughts, somehow, and he spent most of the school day anxiously bouncing his knee, worrying his bottom lip between his teeth, waiting until the next time he got to light up from the pure fucking gold in a blooming, shy smile.

The worst part though, was when Even shot him a text inviting him back to his place for homework after school, he really hadn’t been thinking about homework. At all.

However, apparently, Isak had been.

The clatter of Isak’s backpack in the front doorway, the surprised little sound he made as Even backed him into the door, two hands on his face and heart pounding in his stomach, Even could really really fucking get used to those sounds, would really like to see what other sounds he could make that pretty mouth pour for him.

“Mmm--” A hand on his chest, shoving him back an inch, enough that their lips broke off, eyes locked as Even breathed Isak in and decided he never needed oxygen again. “We are doing homework, right?”

Okay, he was down for Isak to make any sound but those.

“Did you want to?” He asked, trying to be as neutral as possible as he forcibly closed his mouth, searching the green while Isak sucked in a breath and made a little grimace up at him.

“...I kinda need to, yeah.”

“Ughokay. Okay, ja, yep, sounds good. Homework.” Even forced himself to take a step backwards, kinda dying without the contact and quickly reaching for Isak’s arm, fingers sliding down his wrist to wrap around his pinky, drag him stumbling forward with one eyebrow up and a smile on his face as he pressed their mouths together again.

Isak kissed him happily, backing him into the closest wall as he kicked his shoes off, wrapped an arm around Even’s waist.

“You’re really hot, you know that?” Isak pulled back to offer another quick peck, making Even groan as he reached over for his backpack instead of the button on his jeans. “But unfortunately, you’re dating someone who cares about their grades, so.”

“I really like that about you,” Even told him sincerely, following behind Isak as he turned the corner from the front hallway. “I just really like other things about you even more.”

Isak laughed, bright and cute, shooting him a sly look over his shoulder. Jesus fuck, Even was a goner. He groaned at the ceiling again and Isak giggled, but he was still walking, so.

Even was also gone enough to agree to doing homework if that’s what Isak wanted. School should come first. He had a hell of a relationship with school, a lot of love and a lot of hate but. He respected the hell out of Isak’s dedication and as much as he wanted to, he wasn’t gonna get in the way of that.

So that’s how an hour later, they were...still doing homework.

Isak was laying on his side on the couch in Even’s room, doing his biology on Even’s tablet while Even leaned his back against the couch and worked on his film project on his laptop.

The problem with this damn project was that it kept changing on him, without his permission, because next thing he knew he’d be cutting the audio from one clip then he’d cut the audio from the next ten because he liked the silence but then there was so much missing in the coloring, only he’d very specifically chosen this coloring last week but it just wasn’t right and it was fucking frustrating, he wanted to get this done. Like, asap, because the longer he spent making it the last time he’d have refining it before he applied to uni only now he wasn’t so sure he even wanted to be filming on this topic anymore and--

Okay. Yeah. He needed a break. Before he deleted everything in a fit of artistic rage and started from scratch. He hadn’t let this stupid thing defeat him over the past seven months, it wasn’t gonna fucking win now. Break time. After he typed up the description for the next part.

“Hey babe,” he said, not looking up as he tapped away. “Are you hungry yet? We've got the kitchen to ourselves, my parents won't be back til…”

Even glanced over his shoulder, expecting to see green eyes on him, or at least the back of his tablet, but actually. Both were closed.

And Isak was passed the fuck out on his couch.

Even’s eyebrows shot up, spinning around to peer from a different angle, look to see if they were actually closed. Yep.

Oh. Well. He wasn’t gonna wake him. Even looked Isak over a moment longer before pushing off the ground, carefully slipping the tablet out from under Isak's hand to make sure he didn't ruin anything he was in the middle of submitting. Notes were open but the problems he'd finished were autosave and when Even scrolled to the top for a due date, it was sometime next week. Alright then.

He locked the tablet and set it on his desk, taking another glance over at Isak. He was still entirely dead to the world, curls falling over his forehead and lips parted, all of the worry lines gone from his pretty face.

If Even had clay instead of a camera, Isak was muse enough to sculpt something more striking than Michelangelo’s David.

Besides, it’d have way more passion, detail. He was pretty damn sure Michelangelo wasn’t sleeping with David.

Even pursed his lips and spun on a heel, closing his bay-style bedroom doors all but an inch behind him.

Destination, kitchen, he’d go round something up for dinner. Isak wasn't really the type for naps but knowing him, he'd probably hungry after taking them.

His dad had studied abroad in Italy, and ended up living there for like ten years before he met Even’s mom, so he had this deep, intense respect for food and cooking that Even had grown up with, and transferred over to him since it was basically the only thing they had in common enough to go out of their way and spend time with each other for.

Because Even really really did like cooking. Complete control in the kitchen. Everything turned out exactly how he wanted it, everything was exactly where it was supposed to be, and working with his hands like this, the rest of the world kinda just went quiet.

Except today, apparently. The whole time he was cooking there was a piece of him in the other room, a hesitation as he sliced perfectly even circles, waiting for Isak's arms to wrap around his waist.

Enter stage left: sleepy warm confused boyfriend. And Isak missed his que. Again.

Every time he turned to get something from the fridge he was glancing down the hallway, waiting for the door to open up, Isak to stumble out, rubbing his eyes and calling for Even.

The only thing he heard was silence and Even sighed, going up on his tiptoes to rifle through the top of their spices cabinet, wondering if post-nap Isak was the type to be groggy or take-on-the-world refreshed. The only time he'd ever seen Isak nap was when he was high, but he was pretty sure that wasn't a nap and was more of I'm Out For The Night until Even woke him up for marshmallows.

Dinner was done before six, and Isak still hadn’t made it out here yet, so Even bought some time setting the table all cute, sprig of rosemary on the edge of their plates, centerpiece from the mantel brought in for the table.

Alright. It was time to go check on the recipient.

Even didn’t knock, just in case, slowly opening up one of the bay doors the rest of the way as he peeked inside, expecting Isak to be sitting up and finishing his homework or maybe chilling in his windowsill flipping through his sketchpad the way Even caught him once a few weeks ago.

Only he didn’t get to chase Isak around for his sketchpad again, scooping him up and tossing him on the couch to kiss him as he laughed and tried to hold it out of reach.

Cause Isak was still conked out asleep on said couch.

Even paused in the doorway, worry furrowing his eyebrows. If he fell asleep shortly after the last time they spoke, it’d been over two hours now.

Maybe he was way paranoid or crazy or something but he had to check. Even crossed the room, dropping to a crouch and putting a hand under Isak’s nose, checking for breathing. The hoodie he was wrapped in wasn’t showing his shoulders lift and Even’s heart was pounding in his throat. Then a soft exhale painted over his skin and he breathed out with it, pushing back to his feet. Okay.

He'd go make dessert too.

Even was almost done, pulling a tray out of the oven when finally, there was a door opening, footsteps he felt like he’d been waiting on for the past three years.

A cheer under his breath and Even straightened up, spinning on a heel, tray in hand as he announced,

“Hey babe, made you-- you are not Isak.”

“I'm not,” his mother confirmed, looking exceedingly amused, setting her purse down on the counter as Even blinked at her over the top of his tray. “But this looks nice. Is he coming over for dinner? I thought that was Saturday. You boys usually eat earlier, don’t you?”

“Yeah...no he's not coming over for dinner, he's actually. Sleeping in my room. Or he was last I checked.”

“Oh.” His mom made a face at the hallway and Even set down the tray on top of the oven, taking off the mitts as he spoke.

“Ja, we were just doing homework than the next thing I know I turn around and he's passed out on my couch.”

“Is he feeling okay?”

“I mean. I thought so, he didn't mention anything.”

“Huh,” she said, hand on her hip, contemplative look on her face as he glanced back over. “It's a little early to be asleep, especially for a seventeen year old.”

“That’s what I was thinking.”

She turned around, bare heel squeaking as she started down the hallway to his room, Even in tow. She peeked around the corner, pushing the door open a little more from the crack he’d left it.

“Hmm.”

Isak was still sleeping, looking fucking precious, but not moving a muscle, making a single sound.

“It doesn't look like he's waking up anytime soon.”

“No, I guess not.” Even studied him a little longer, debating grabbing a blanket or something, but. It was still like, the middle of the fucking day.

His mom made another non-committal sound before she turned back around, headed for the kitchen before he could catch up.

“Well you did make that nice dinner, what do you say we eat?”

 

They chatted lightly while they ate, about school, his mom’s work. She had a few questions about how he’d been doing lately, if he still had his appointment with the psychotherapist, yes, he was fine, he’d be there next week, he wasn’t gonna miss, Mom, not that so much was riding on him being okay now.

For the most part though, it was a nice dinner, and his mom made enough comments about how delicious dessert was that he didn’t really mind that Isak hadn’t gotten to try it. There’d be other times.

Because Isak was still. Sleeping by the time Even started cleaning up the kitchen, clearing the table first so his mom could spread out her work on top.

By the time everything was finished, the sun had longsince gone down and Isak had been asleep for more than six hours. Even hung up the kitchen towel, turning on the light in the dining room for his mom before turning off the one in the kitchen.

“I'll go wake Isak,” he told her, starting for the hallway when her voice lifted behind him.

“Wait, Even.”

He paused at the end of the hallway, turning around with his eyebrows up.

“You shouldn't wake him up, sweetheart. If he's sleeping, it's because he needs it.”

“But it's getting late and we've both got school tomorrow.”

“Let him spend the night here,” she suggested, adjusting the reading glasses on her nose and looking back down at her paperwork.

Let him spend the night here. Even scoffed, leaning against the wall, arms crossing over his chest as he pinned her with a serious look she wasn’t lifting her head to see.

“Mom, I'm trying to be the responsible one here. I thought you'd approve of me making the mature decision, moving back in.”

“And I do, sweetheart. It was the right thing to do.” She flipped a paper over, scanning the back of it, not so much as glancing up. “And so is letting Isak spend the night.”

“One night turns into two, turns into three…” Even sang down at his socks, knowing exactly where his mom was going with this. It’s just one school night, what would that--

“Honey.”

She had that tone in her voice and Even looked up, surprised to see she’d sat down her papers, arms folded over them to give him a stern look over the top of her reading glasses.

“I know you care about him, that you're trying to do everything you can to keep this relationship. And I'm glad you're mature enough to try to take the right steps to. But if you're ever making Isak go home tired and late, or if you're coming back from his place exhausted in the early hours of the morning, that's less mature than just staying there. Riding your bike back when it's dark and you're not at your most attentive is dangerous, and I won't let you do that to either of you. No matter how much you think you need to sleep apart.”

Even just looked at her for a moment, chewing it over in his head and deciding she was...definitely right. The fact that he’d gotten so caught up in doing everything he could to keep them, together, that he hadn’t stopped to look at the individual impact was kinda scary, now that he thought about it.

“Why do you always have such good advice,” he complained, kicking his foot out to lean against the wall harder and pout.

“Because I'm a mother, Ev,” she replied dryly.

“That doesn't mean you always have good advice, some mothers are shit.”

“Mmm.” She turned back to her papers, spreading them back out again. “Lucky for you, not this one.”

He still just kinda looked at her. He was used to getting knowledge dropped on him like that, but with this, it was a little surprising. It wasn’t like Sonja literally ever spent the night here. That was a different though, they’d started dating so young they had all kinds of rules they were both just used to. Wasn't like when they turned nineteen he was gonna ask his parents if she could sleep over.

So he’d figured his mom would be really on board with him living here again, and not having Isak spend the night.

The whole reason they’d been fine with it in the first place was because it was tied to a depressive episode and he hadn’t given them a lot of choice on it. He wanted to stay at Isak’s and he didn't want much when he was depressed, so they didn't counter.

His mom was still kinda shocking sometimes though. Chewing him out for trying to send his boyfriend home, that was. Definitely a new one.

She hadn’t looked up, but apparently she could feel his eyes on her, narrowed as he tried to figure out what the hell this was all about when she scratched something down on a page and interrupted his thoughts in the most Mom Voice she had.

“If it's that I'm encouraging you to sleep over with your boyfriend, don't worry honey, your father and I have known you've been having sex with him since before you introduced us.”

Even sputtered and she waved a hand impatiently at him.

“Now go let Isak sleep somewhere more comfortable than a tiny couch. And use protection, just because neither of you can get pregnant…” she glanced up over her glasses to give him a stern look.

“We do,” he replied, kinda dazed. She gave him a smile and looked back down at her work.

Even pushed off the wall and tread down the hall, shaking his head to himself at how fucking weird that conversation had been. Parents, Jesus.

And then he found himself wondering for the six hundredth fucking time what Isak’s were like, what they’d really think of him. What was wrong with Isak’s mom. Why they were fine with him not fucking living with them since he was god knows how young. Noora had been in London since last year, when Isak was sixteen, which was way too young to live on your own, or in a flatshare or whatever.

The door got to close all the way behind him this time, mouth twisting to the side as he rounded the corner of his bed, looking down at the sleeping beauty and wondering how in hell he was gonna carry Isak into his bunk bed.

No one could ever accuse him of not caring, at least.

(Isak ended up waking groggily when Even lifted him and climbed up the ladder himself to pass right back out in his arms the minute Even climbed up into bed with him.)

 

 

~*~*~

 

 

Fredag, 10:01
20.01.17

 

“But it's such a good idea! It would make so. much. money.”

“If you could find a way to actually make it, Mags.”

“It can’t be that hard.”

“When have you ever made anything that complicated, let alone…” Jonas trailed off, furrowing as he recognized the jackets headed their direction in the hall.

That was Even, who was walking with...Christoffer Schistad? And they were...laughing.

“Hey,” Chris interrupted whatever Even was talking about to lift his head, signature smile as he nodded at Jonas, making Even glance over too, suddenly lighting up as he recognized who they were about to pass.

“Hey! Jonas, Magnus.” Even all but skidded to a stop and Chris lifted an eyebrow, circling round to stand next to him as Magnus reached out and clapped their hands together, that weird bro thing people did that didn’t make any sense but everyone did anyways.

“Since when are you two friends?” Magnus waved a hand between them, which was a good question, but Jonas had a way better one, for Chris specifically.

“Since when do you go to Hartvig Nissen?”

“We're lab partners,” Chris replied, smiling growing wide as he tipped sideways and shot an eyebrow up at Even, waiting for his nodding agreement and glance back, just as bright.

A heavy hand clapped down on Even’s shoulder then Chris was tipping his head for the hallway, taking a few steps backwards, eyes still on them.

“Gotta get to work, see you around, E.Bech.”

“Don't have too much fun, Chris,” Even called after him and Chris spun around, just so he could sing-song dramatically over his shoulder,

“Oh you know me!” The saunter and drama was instant flashback material, memories of awkwaaard resurfacing and making Jonas narrow his eyes a little. Yeah, he definitely got along with Chris now, especially after they’d all ganged up against Yakuza, but. Still. Weird.

How did Even know Chris again? They were lab partners? How in hell did that make sense?

Jonas had his eyebrows up as Even shook his head and turned to them, hands in his pockets, bright smile one his face, bouncing on his toes. All energy under layers of red and gray, the same colors Isak was wearing today, actually.

They lived apart and still vibrated on the same wavelength, apparently.

“Hey, what's up?” Even looked brightly between them, falling into step beside Jonas as they started down the hallway again. Jesus fuck, he always forgot how tall Even was until he was standing right next to him.

“We're making plans for the weekend,” Magnus was saying and Jonas straightened his beanie, shoving aside all the overthinking to focus back on his friends. Friends, who he should maybe stop analyzing so much. “You in?”

“Isak and I were gonna have dinner with my parents tomorrow night.” Even made an apologetic face and Jonas shook his head while Magnus scoffed, eyes rolling dramatically.

“You guys are so boring.”

“I know, jeez, look at us, all happy and in a relationship and perfectly boring,” the teasing was given entirely away by the ridiculous smile he couldn’t wipe off his face, the kind that could light up whole universes. Isak wasn’t even here, they were just talking about him.

At least Isak had chosen somebody that was genuinely fucking gone for him. Jonas could give him that.

“It’s appalling, frankly,” Magnus informed him and Even’s laughter echoed in the usually dull hallways, making a few heads turn, most of them turning away with smiles they weren’t wearing before.

Yeah, Isak picked somebody special, that was for sure.

 

 

Fredag, 22:01
20.01.17

 

They’d actually attempted at that dual workout together after school, although it was mostly Isak adjusting Even’s ridiculous form, Even giggling, and Isak yelling at him to Focus, dammit, then Even laughing a lot more and reaching to kiss him over the barbells Isak had brought into the living room. To get ridiculed for owning, of course, but you didn’t get abs like his and not. work out.

The only actually successful part of the workout was when he convinced Even to run around the block with him, in the cold, which obviously turned into a race that ended in them pounding up the stairs, bursting into the apartment, first one undressed and in the shower was the winner.

They were both really out of breath, and Even was surprisingly fast for someone who complained so much about running, so they ended up kind of stumbling into the shower at the same time, and yeah, technically, Even was on two feet with the water on .3 seconds before he was, fist pumping into the air with that victorious I won, to which Isak dropped to his knees and really quickly changed that cheering into gasping.

What was that? Was Even saying something about how he won, funny, the only thing Isak could hear were totally gone gasps of his name, garbled between broken, moaning pleas. Hm, no victorious cheering here.

Although yeah, there were maybe a few breathy complaints on his end about how Even totally cheated, in the rare slippery occasion his mouth was unoccupied enough to speak, but with Even’s hand gripping his hair that tight Isak was pretty sure they got swallowed up anyways.

But the good news was that after they finally got out of the shower, clean from sweat and all other sorts of fun things, Even agreed to work out with him again some time, which was code for Isak now got to drag Even to all his workouts, and then hopefully blow him afterwards.

It sounded like a hell of a fantastic arrangement to him.

Between then and now, Even had entirely fucked over Isak’s head by attempting to towel-dry him like a dog, which was not a cute experience when your hair wanted to curl all over the fucking place. Isak had gotten him back by throwing his clothes into the hallway so he couldn’t get dressed, to which he only put on Isak’s clothes in retaliation. Then Isak was pushing him down on his bed and making out with his cocky teasing mouth until they were both warm and snuggled close together, shower-fresh and still coming down from the workout high, the invigorated shower-sex high, the school week forgotten quietly to the past as the weekend settled in high and they didn’t have a single fucking worry in the world.

With the exception of Eskild yelling at the clothes in the hallway when he got home at 21:30.

“Really?? Could you not wait the three feet to your fucking room??”

Isak had cursed and popped out of bed, opening the door with a sea of apologies but Eskild just flicked a hand at him, rolling his eyes and saying it was fine, shooting a happy little smile and a bright wave over his shoulder at Even, who was propped up in his bed, ruffled and soft as he smiled and waved back.

Then Isak was closing the door with his foot, shouting a goodbye as he dropped the bundle of Even’s clothes on the floor and slipped back under his comforter and into the comfort of Even’s waiting open arms.

That’s where they were now, making out slow and easy, warmth bubbling his chest and Even pounding real and precious and whole under his fingertips.

Their lips slid apart on a soft smile, nothing else to exist outside the frame between his blue checkered comforter and those blue eyes, lit up by moonlight filtering through the blinds, the crack of gold underneath his bedroom door.

Isak tipped his head back up for more, always more, the moments between were beautiful and wonderful but god, he wanted to kiss Even, he wanted to drown in the flood of soul freeing shit that their dancing mouths pumped into his veins.

Even was still just looking at him, kinda dreamily and Isak tipped up a little further, chasing that beautiful mouth as it curled up in a little smile, turning just out of reach. Isak made a disgruntled sound, pushing up against Even’s chest to chase him down, teasing was cute and all but their proximity was making his toes curl and his skin tingle, he needed Even’s mouth on his, right now.

A hand stroking his cheek, turning back to meet his gaze and Isak finally caught him, head tilting as their noses brushed, mouths slipping back together. Fitting in place, lips sliding, closing around each other to drag back slow and sweet, tugging his heart with it.

The heat flowing through his veins settled back into warmth, crackling fireplace bliss as Isak inhaled against Even’s mouth. Smile curling with the sweetness in sparkling blues, locked happily on his as Even weaved their noses in an eskimo kiss.

Isak snaked an arm around Even’s waist and pressed one more quiet kiss to his mouth before he was laying back down, hair probably floofing in Even’s way but maybe he shouldn’t’ve fluffed it all over the place when it was still wet.

It couldn’t’ve been that bad though, because Even’s fingers were running through it fondly, stroking all this softness into his soul that could send him right to sleep if he kept it up long enough.

But the chance for sleep slipped quietly out the window as the silence broke, the sound of their echoing kisses quieting as Even’s voice took their place.

“Have you heard of the word lachesism?”

Isak squinted at the writing on Even’s hoodie, tracing an S in Nissen with his finger.

“What language is it?”

“I don't know. Maybe English? It's one of those weird words that got made up by some academic and no one really uses.”

“Then nei, I haven't.”

“Wow, look at you.” Even stroked a callused hand down his face and Isak blinked up softly at him. “Admitting when you don’t know something, you’ve come so far.”

“Shut up,” Isak shoved him, bouncing off a solid few inches with the force of it. Even’s arm quickly caught him, cushioning his spine as he laughed and pulled Isak back in, teasing him right through it.

“Naa-s? Nah-s?” Even mimicked and Isak rolled his eyes, a lot, which kinda lost its effect when he leaned into the hand stroking over his cheek, propped on their sides now, temples on the blue pillow as Even cupped his jaw and kissed him, sincere.

Isak kissed back, the curve of Even’s lips caving under the pressure of his. This was the fucking air he breathed, parting enough to fit a plush bottom lip between his own, tugging to slip back together again, lashes fluttering as Even’s touch slid under his ear, over sensitive skin and up into curls, mouths breaking apart to breathe against each other for a precious moment.

He draped an arm around cushioned ribs, the other fitting between the sheets and Even’s side to loop around his back, keep them latched together with no chance of falling apart.

The sound of Even’s breathing echoed in his bones and Isak settled in against him, their bodies pressed together, blinking at the bright eyes across from him on the pillow. Conquerors and Christmas trees.

“Tell me about lachesism.”

Even tipped up an eyebrow, a little smile on his face as he rubbed absently in the space between Isak’s shoulderblades, everything intimate and close in the dark like this. So intimate and close it didn’t matter that they were both stacked in layers of warm clothes, everything smelt like each other and the world was pure quiet, just here for them and the drifting peace of snowfall outside the window.

“When I was a kid...I'd look back at history, and see all these amazing movements. Things happening...monumental events that people got to be part of. And I was always so jealous, that I lived in such a boring time, y’know?”

“Mm. Kinda. I mean, I don't think we live in a boring time.” Isak ran a thumb over Even’s collarbone, glancing up to catch the open-mouthed smile.

“Uh no, not anymore. But when we were younger it felt like it. Like I was always waiting, or something. That either none of that was real or none of this was, because life was nothing like the drama in the history books.”

Isak nodded, eyebrows furrowed as he watched Even speak. He was following, kind of, but the light behind those blues said this was important, so he wet his lips and listened harder.

“So when history started happening, like Breivik...the ice melting so plagues and bombs from World War Two were unfreezing, or big monumental changes like the black and white war in the US, gay marriage being passed in America and Ireland and all these other countries, then of course Brexit, and Putin. Your uncle.”

Even tacked on the last one with a cocked-head smile and Isak giggled, giving Even as stern of a look as he could manage when everything was this soft.

“You better not say that anywhere besides right here, I will disown myself.”

Even laughed, bright and lighter than air, eyes crinkling up as he twinkled all fond at the melting softness on Isak’s face.

“Anyways, so. History starts happening, and everything's changing. I mean, 2016 felt like a year in a dystopian novel or something. The “leading up to” section of a Wikipedia page on World War Three.”

“Yeah, I get what you mean.”

“And like. The worst part was, when the drama of a half dozen elections was going down, and Brexit and all these other things that are changing the world and just...fucking monumental? When they were happening, I don't know, there was a part of me that was--” Even looked off into the distance and licked his lips, popping them back out with a little sound, taking a moment before he came back in, a notch quieter.

“I don’t know, excited, I guess, to be able to witness history like that. That everything in my lifetime suddenly counted, was part of this bigger, meaningful picture.”

“Hmm.”

“That's what lachesism is. Kinda. The technical definition is longing for the clarity of disaster.”

“The clarity of disaster,” Isak repeated, and Even must’ve heard the confusion because he nodded, gazes snapping together again.

“Yeah, to have a yearning for some kind of disaster to uproot everything. Give you perspective. Turn a smooth lifetime into one that's sharp, that counts, because something dramatic and terrible threatened it.”

“Jesus,” Isak exhaled, the space between them feeling weirdly far. “What a word.”

“Ja. It's also used for people who have a fascination with like, natural disasters, hurricanes and tornados and things that can just...ruin everything, and make you appreciate life again.”

“Wow.”

“Mhmm. And I mean, it's not like I want the world to go to war because I fucking don't, but the fact that if I were in America right now, I'd’ve gotten to vote in one of the most pivotal elections in history? I don't know there's something...awe inspiring about that. Knowing we're alive to witness history and disaster like this. When it counts.”

Even fell quiet, blinking slow as he looked at Isak across the pillow space between them. Isak was quiet, thinking about disaster.

“Yeah? No?” The slight touch of insecurity he got sometimes and Isak furrowed his eyebrows a little, mouth open as he debated.

“...I don't know. I've never thought about it. I always liked storms though.”

Even smiled, scooting the few inches closer to kiss Isak’s forehead, trickling warmth down behind his eyes.

Clarity.

“Especially when they cancel school,” Isak murmured and Even laughed, bright, the next kiss to his cheek, then his lips and Isak smiled against his mouth.

He could kiss that smile forever. Who needed disaster when he had something this beautiful under his fingertips, who needed storms when he had the bursting daylight that was Isak Valtersen.

Even slid his tongue over Isak’s curled lip, soaking in the unsteady inhale, mouth pressing against his harder, arms tightening around his spine.

His boy shivered against him as Even raked a hand down his shoulders, wrapping around to a tapered waist, over the bone of his hip. A little gasp against his mouth with splayed fingers down soft cotton, skirting the curve of Isak’s ass down to his thigh, muscles shifting under layers.

That was all the warning he gave before he was hitching one of Isak’s legs up over his hip and Isak broke off in a moan, lashes fluttering as his head tipped back into the pillow. Even pressed closer, grinding his thigh against the bulge in Isak’s sweatpants, watching him lose it a little, hands gripping the back of his head tight to reel himself back in, bite and beg at Even’s mouth.

Jesus, it never stopped surprising him, how eager and starved Isak was.

Hand sliding back up the stretch of a warm thigh to curve along the lines of that beautiful form until his fingertips settled on the small of Isak’s lower back, beneath all the layers to rest on heated skin. Their lips caught in a litany of sticky, quick kisses that were making Isak grind forward against him, mouth falling open with the sensation.

“I...ahh. I get the clarity of storms but fuck,” A breathy little sound, one hand clutching Even’s shoulder tight as the other slid through his hair, tingling mumble against his lips. “Fuck, I like the clarity of this a lot better.”

Even pulled back, eyebrows lifting to fall slowly, watching as Isak tightened his grip, pupils wildly dilated, chest expanding visibly with each breath.

“Am I...clarifying?” He shook his head a little, eyebrows knit high on his forehead. Surprised at the word choice.

“You always have been,” Isak scoffed, axiomatic written all over his face. “You kissed me once and I spilled my soul to you, did you forget that?”

“Are parallel universes your soul?” Even teased, tipping forward to kiss him again and Isak melted into it, arching against him, strong body rolling down his, softened by the layers between their chests.

Their mouths lapping together again a moment, eyes closed as they breathed each other in, spinning kinda dizzy with the proximity, pure emotions strung together between their bodies like this.

It was almost too much sometimes, how fucking immersed he could get. So far out of his head and so deep into this, into the pale blue sea they slipped into together, breaking surface only when one of them forgot how to breathe.

“Is lachesism yours?” Barely above a whisper and Even had to take a moment, slowly tracing back through the conversation to figure out what in hell Isak was talking about. His soul.

“No,” Even said simply. “I just think it’s interesting.”

“What if I told you it freaks me out,” Isak asked, mouth open, eyes on Even’s lips, grip tight and betraying the underlying teasing, so long as you’re smiling, and wear clothes--

“I’d tell you, give it three weeks and you’ll be whispering about it in bed.”

Isak’s smile tipped up sideways, fond and precious, lifting his chin just enough to barely barely brush puckered lips together before he was falling back to the pillow, other side of his mouth curling up to turn cocky sweet into fond sweet.

Even stroked a thumb over his cheekbone, sweeping back underneath it, the beautiful shadows he could still feel in the darkness.

“Does it really freak you out?”

“Nei. I just wanted to see what you were gonna say. I wasn’t disappointed.”

“Hmm. I can think of some other ways to not disappoint…”

The kiss started with his eyebrows up, hand sliding into blonde curls, then Isak was inhaling, exhaling and nuzzling their noses together. The smile he couldn’t help turned into a deeper twist of their mouths as he kissed Isak again and again, watching them tumble right back down into hearts pounding in fingertips, parted lips hungry and chasing until their tongues slipped together.

A turned on little hum against his mouth and Isak gripped the back of his neck tight, branding stripes into his skin as he kissed Even back desperate and begging like he was on his knees instead.

Fuck. Even reached up, touch sliding over Isak’s grip, weaving their fingers together as he took the hand off his neck, lifting their hands in the air to drag his fingertips around Isak’s wrist and entwine them properly, fingers locking into place together.

Isak stopped breathing, lips parted and unmoving against his, fingers curling around Even’s hand slow, awed, and alright, that was enough of that, Even fucking meant it.

He rolled up and over that blinking, overwhelmed body, slamming their entwined hands down on the bed, pressing into Isak’s hand and lifting up to search the emotion swimming in those dark, swallowed up eyes.

Isak was staring up at him wide-eyed, heart pounding, mouth open, soul strung along a line as he held onto Even’s hand tight enough to give away how terrified he was to let go.

Even ducked back down, slow, dipping them into a gentle kiss. Isak was shivering, trembling underneath him from how bad he wanted. His fingers squeezed tight, dark hoodie hiding how fast his chest was expanding, breathing heavy, surrounded and feeling every inch of the pressure.

A moment longer to study everything flickering over that expressive, precious face and Even curled his fingers, squeezing back.

The little emotional sound that escaped Isak’s throat tightened something in his chest, making it kinda hard to breathe as he lowered again, watching Isak every inch closer until their lips were touching. Looking at him slip into the kiss, really looking at him. Until Isak’s lips were tugging for more and Even let himself fall under too, embracing the dark as he dragged them both deeper, kisses stringing together with no room to breathe.

Isak just inhaled against his mouth, stealing his oxygen with his heart, leaving them both to pound in their entwined hands as he reached up, kissing harder. He could feel it, in every pressing gasp, Isak was living for these kisses, he was holding tight to Even’s hand and living and breathing to kiss him.

He had to pull back, breaking off for oxygen, for the surface, lifting up enough Isak couldn’t drag him right back under. They were both gasping and Even waited, waited until he got his breathing under control enough for the room to stop spinning. He shifted his weight, readjusting their bodies together. Isak’s breath caught in his throat but he didn’t tear his eyes away, watching Even, waiting, thumb rubbing up and down their entwined hands.

Comfort.

Sparks.

Funny, how he could be submerged underwater and see the sky brighter than he’d ever seen it on dry land.

“You clarify me too,” he whispered and Isak tipped his head, a moment of reality sinking in with it.

Even could place the trajectory, the second it sunk in all the way. Isak’s expression shifting through surprise, worry, awe, neutrality. He was thinking about it the way Even meant, in the deepest sense, the one that hadn’t been brought up in a while.

But the look on his face wasn’t bad. Even was pretty sure, anyways. His heart was pounding ten beats too fast, gaze flicking back and forth between green eyes, searching, waiting. An inhale for his existence to ride on, an exhale to sentence his grave.

“I hope I always can,” Isak whispered back.

Even kissed him before he choked up instead. The hand in his wiggled free, both palms coming up to circle around the back of his head, hold him close and honest and raw.

A lifeline, spilling from his throat through their lips, down an arched spine to tie in knots against ribs, tied to bones the way his soul was tied to this breath, Isak’s touch sliding through his hair.

Hazy, clouded over with the storm and the lust lingering under the surface of their skin, breathed into each other’s lips, too busy being his to do anything about the space left between them.

They were both here, in this moment, right now, and that meant something. That meant everything.

And the way Isak kissed him? Said he thought so too.

The shift was smooth as everything else, unspoken urgency rattling in every touch now, kisses to lead somewhere, palms sliding with purpose, bodies moving together as they both decided yes, now.

Even was sliding his hands up the bare skin of Isak’s back, underneath all those layers he was really ready to peel off, when the next gasp was covered by a loud chime. Followed by a soft buzz on the bedside table.

Fuck that. Isak slid his hands over Even’s waist, shoving up his clothes, and their phones went off again.

Loudly.

The kiss broke as Isak plopped back down to the pillow, looking annoyedly in the direction of the sound.

“Really?”

Another chime went off.

“Apparently,” Even pursed his lips and Isak rubbed a thumb over his hip, the strip of bare skin revealed when he was lifted like this, loose material sliding off skin.

Another chime.

“Just silence them,” Isak suggested and Even sucked in a breath, calling on all his willpower to climb off the beautiful boy beneath him, reaching for the phones stacked on the bedside table.

“It’s the group chat.”

“I figured.”

“Definitely not important.” Even flipped Isak’s phone to vibrate before sliding up the bottom of the screen, turning on do not disturb too, for good measure. Then his was next, group chat notifications stacked on the screen, over the top of a text from his mom.

His mom. Fuck.

Even’s eyes flicked up before he could think not to, four numbers burning bright white over his lock screen.

“Fuck.”

“What?” Isak rolled his head on the pillow, looking over in concern.

“The time…” Even trailed, and he could physically feel the warmth in the room freeze. If he stayed, had sex with Isak the way they both wanted, he’d be crawling out of here past midnight, exhausted to the bone. Which he’d promised his mom he wouldn’t.

Isak was studying him, all caution wrapped up in a plea he was trying to keep off his face but Even could feel it anyways, locking his phone, eyes anywhere but Isak as he looked down, shoved it in his hoodie pocket. “I've gotta go.”

“Now?”

“Yeah.”

He risked a glance over. Isak was pouting.

Even sighed, sliding back down the bed to prop on his side next to his upset, beautiful boyfriend, stroking a thumb over his pouty mouth, keeping his words soft as he could.

“Codependency isn't healthy. It's better this way, for both of us.” He dipped forward, kissing the pushed out lips, hand cupping the line of Isak’s jaw. Taking a moment to just feel the press of their lips together before he pulled back.

Isak was still pouting.

Even sighed and rolled over onto his back to look up at the ceiling. He wasn't sure how Isak didn't get it. Didn't feel it. The tide of danger beneath every one of their pressing kisses begging so damn deep.

“I have to go.” Lips rolled in, popped back out as he studied the blank white. “Otherwise one of us will end up drowning.”

“Don't say stuff like that,” Isak whispered, hushed and hurt.

Even glanced over, studying the knit between Isak’s eyebrows, the heartbreak so fucking clear on his face. He wasn’t trying to break Isak’s heart, god that was the last fucking thing he wanted.

Rolled over on his side, facing the fragile devastation mixed into the broken confusion.

“It's just a metaphor,” Even told him and Isak was still looking at him like that.

Even kissed him. The knit between his eyes didn’t go away, he wasn't content with the cover, not the way he usually pretended.

Alright, subject change time.

“Dinner at my parents’ house tomorrow, right?”

“Do I plan for dessert?” Isak asked, the next question so flat it wasn’t a question at all. “How late can I stay until you kick me out.”

“That's not fair.” Even searched the green, wondering when in hell Isak had gone from being okay with this to kicking his feet this viciously. “I didn't kick you out yesterday.”

Isak sighed, deflating from the pissiness as he rolled over onto his back, leaving Even to study his profile instead. “I know, I just...”

“What?”

“This sucks.” Flat and resigned and Even really wanted to take his hand again.

“It's not that bad,” he argued back lightly and Isak scoffed.

“Maybe for you.”

“Has it...has it actually been bad for you?”

Isak didn't get the chance to answer, not like he was going to, before Even’s phone was vibrating in his pocket. Not the text vibration either, that was a call.

He fished the phone out of his pocket, glancing at the caller ID on the screen.

It was Jonas.

Fuck.

“I have to take this,” Even apologized, sliding the green button before Isak could glance over and see the name.

He was already rolling off the bed as he lifted the phone to his ear, speaking quickly before Jonas could, just in case Isak could recognize his best friend’s voice from three feet away through the distant non-speaker grating of someone else's telephone call.

“Just one second.”

Even pushed to his feet and padded for the door, closing it all but an inch behind him, crack left so Isak didn’t get pissy about getting shut out or some overdramatic shit. Then Even was starting down the hallway, double checking to make sure the line was still connected before he spoke again.

“Sorry, I was with Isak.”

“Ja, um. That's actually who I'm calling about.” The last time he’d spoken to Jonas on the phone, he’d been concerned as hell, and his voice was absolutely no different this time. Awesome.

“Is something wrong?”

“Look, I told myself if things looked better by Friday, I wouldn't say anything. And everything did look better today, but Isak also knows me well enough to know I probably had a plan if things didn't, so I'm guessing he was faking it to make sure I didn't and so I decided to call anyways.”

Even blinked, trying to cognize that. So a...double blinded double bluff. Like the hand of cards, the poker game Isak had told him about - where Jonas had teased Queen Isak, taken Isak’s hand when he got back because he knew Isak would’ve taken his.

Called because he told himself he would if things weren’t okay, only Isak would’ve known he’d’ve done that and faked being okay so he wouldn’t so Jonas called anyways.

Fuck, this was a whole other level of childhood best friend.

“You moved out, right?” Jonas was speaking again and Even shook his head once, shoving that all aside to focus back on whatever it was he was calling about in the first place.

“Uh...yeah. I was just about to go home right now, actually.”

“Listen, man, I totally respect you for that, but it's not going well at all for him.”

Even sucked in a breath. He was starting to get that.

“Eskild told me it was kinda a rough start, but all change is--”

“No, listen. Even, he hasn't slept more than two hours any day this week.”

That time he didn’t inhale, he didn’t breathe at all. Even went dead silent.

The silence echoed until his throat finally started working again, one word, low and scratched.

“What?”

“Yeah, he's always had trouble sleeping, or at least since his parents fell out. But not like this. I don't want you to feel like it's your fault, you were only trying to do the right thing, but. Isak made it pretty clear not to tell you how bad off he was and I'm just not gonna get on board with that no communication shit. You need to know.”

Yeah, he could definitely agree with that being something he needed to know. Only two hours? What the fuck?

“What am I supposed to do?”

“I have no clue,” Jonas told him and Even looked up at the sky. Fuck. If Jonas didn’t know, how in hell was he supposed to? “I think moving out was the right thing to do, but you've gotta do something about the fact that Isak is drifting off in half his classes, because I can only elbow him back awake in one of them.”

“Yeah...okay.” Even swallowed and Jonas sucked in a breath on the other line.

“I don't wanna come across as harsh, or to make you think I'm blaming you--”

“No, no it's totally fine. You're worried about him, I get it.”

“Still. It's not your fault he sucks at sleeping, but if you can do something to help, I'd be a hell of a lot less worried.”

“I'll do what I can,” Even offered, feeling hollow.

“Takk...he just. Needs his sleep, y’know?”

“I do know.” Tongue in his cheek, head shaking once, phone pressed hard to his ear. “That's why I moved out.”

Jonas barked a laugh, sounding as unamused as Even was. “Fuck irony, man.”

“Tell me about it.”

“Well uh. Thanks for letting me just bombard you with that.”

“Anytime.” Even kicked his heel against the ground, watching the sock slide. “Really.”

“And I wish you luck. Both of you.”

“Thanks, Jonas.”

“Yeah, you too, Even.”

The phone clicked into silence and Even pulled it away from his ear, checking the screen to make sure the call ended before he locked it again, shoving it in his hoodie pocket as he spun back around.

Isak was leaning one shoulder on the wall, arms crossed over his chest.

“Jonas?”

Fuck.

“Isak--” he started and Isak turned back around, pushing off the wall and stalking right back for his room. Even cursed the skies and made a face at the ceiling, wishing for a moment his boyfriend weren't a fucking drama queen before he started down the hallway after him.

And got to Isak's door just in time to see his jacket thrown out of it and the door slammed behind.

Okay, actual fucking drama queen, apparently.

“Isak!” Even called, one hand on the closed fucking door, waiting for it to open back up.

“Go home, Even,” Isak shouted back. He tried the handle. The door was locked.

“Really?” The exasperation shown through but he didn’t care, making an annoyed noise as he scooped his jacket off the ground. This was a lot less cute than when Isak threw his clothes out here earlier.

“Or go to Jonas’s and conspire with him there, that's fine too.” His voice was muffled through the door, but Even certainly heard that anyways.

“He called me!” He banged on the door, groaning at how fucking ridiculous Isak was being right now. “C’mon, don't be like this.”

“Like what? You want to go home, go home.”

He didn't sound that pissed, more done, exhausted than angry. Not like that was any better. Even rolled his forehead on the door and fought off another groan, sucking in a steadying breath instead.

“Isak. Baby.”

“Don't ba-by me, I'm pissed at you.”

“I can see that,” Even said dryly, trying the handle again for good measure. What the fuck.

He was still pretty sure Isak wasn’t angry though, he was saying that because he didn’t wanna say hurt, but Even knew him a little better than that by now. It was fucking obvious, in every word as he called back through the door between them.

“It's getting late, seriously, you should go if you're going to.”

“I have to,” he said desperately and he could just picture the disappointed nod, the look on Isak's face on the other side of the door.

Resigned, upset. He just prayed there weren’t watery tears with it.

“Then go.”

“Can I make you breakfast?” Even asked, temple pressed against the wood as he held his breath.

It was a long shot, but Isak was upset about him leaving, about him ‘conspiring’ with Jonas. He’d clearly caught enough of the conversation to figure out it was about this, and yeah, he had a right to be pissed, but Even was just trying to the right thing. For them.

For Isak.

His eyes were squeezed tight, murmuring please please please to himself as he waited, praying that Isak would just say yes, let Even come back tomorrow morning, try to fix this. Find a way to make this work for both of them, because clearly, his original plan wasn’t.

Please, please, Isak, c’mon--

And finally, a quiet voice came through.

“Whatever.” A pause and Even was still holding his breath, five fingertips pressed to the door like that could let him somehow get through it. “...I won't be up until 10.”

“I'll be over at 9:30,” he promised, exhaling in a rush of relief. Isak still sounded vaguely grumpy on the other side of the door, something shuffling as he huffed.

“Make somebody else let you in then.”

“I will.”

Steady, sure. He meant it. He would, he’d text the flat tonight, see who would be awake. Come in here in the early hours and make Isak breakfast so it’d be ready when he woke, and they could have a nice quiet morning together and talk about everything to do to fix this.

Another moment of silence ticked by and he could picture Isak leaning on the other side of the door, listening to see if he was gone.

Even smiled to himself, drumming his fingers over the wood, quiet and padded and he could hear the little intake of breath on the other side. Isak was listening for him.

Quiet, sincere, barely louder than the drumming fingers.

“I'm sorry, Isak.”

He nearly fell inside as the door opened, moment of soft sweet crashed stumbling over his own feet with all his weight leaning on wood that was now swinging open.

Even managed to catch himself on the door frame. Isak was looking at him, curls wild, door half open, just enough he couldn’t see anything past Isak’s bundled up shoulders, the impossible to read look on his face as Even held his breath.

Then the hand on the doorknob dropped, and Isak was looking down guiltily.

“I'm sorry too, storming in here like that, I just.” He sucked in a breath, swaying a little and Even’s heart melted.

“It's okay. It's okay.” Two steps forward and he got a finger under Isak’s chin, tipping his head back up, their eyes locking. Swimming over with emotion, but not tears. The relief slipped the smallest smile onto Even’s face, sincere as he could be as he held that beautiful face, those hurting eyes and promised. “We're gonna get through this, okay?”

“Okay,” he whispered back, green searching a moment, then Even was tipping his head a little higher and kissing him one more time.

Isak felt fucking fragile in his touch, leaning up into the kiss kinda hopeless, in both the terms of surrender and afraid to ask for more.

It was physically painful to pull away from that, foreheads pressing together instead. Even sucked in a breath. Fuck, they had to find a way to get better at this. It should not be this fucking painful to leave.

“I'll be here in the morning when you wake up,” Even whispered, the bit of comfort he could offer until they both learned how to say goodbye without ripping themselves apart.

“In the kitchen,” Isak scoffed, but there was a small smile on his face and the world was slipping back onto its axis again.

“Just like the first time,” Even reminded him, a touch of hopeful as he softly knocked their noses together and Isak melted a little at the corners.

“So long as you make those eggs again.”

“Only if you dance to Gabrielle with me.”

“Not a chance,” Isak told him and Even huffed a smile, wide and honest, tugging Isak’s mouth up at the corners too then he was leaning in to press a kiss to the lifted cupid’s bow.

Mouths crushing together as Isak popped up on his tiptoes, a heavy hand clutching his collarbone to keep his balance, keep him from falling while they kissed. Even wanted more than anything to wrap arms around him, to hold him tight and press a thousand kisses into his skin until he forgot how to ever kiss that desperate again.

Fuck, why was this so fucking difficult?

Lips tugged slow apart to dive together again, heartbeats pounding. Even fucking wishing he wasn't the older one here, so he didn't have to be the one to make the hard decision and pull back.

But he was so he did and Isak let him, falling back down off his tiptoes with a solid exhale and a trying, weak smile.

“Goodnight,” Even said and Isak inhaled, taking his hand back, taking one step backwards. Taking Even’s heart with him.

“Good night,” Isak whispered, then he was closing his door and trying to breathe while Even watched the door close and lost his oxygen entirely.

Two hours.

He’d gone out of his way to make sure Even wouldn’t find out.

If he honestly thought it’d be better for them, for Isak, he’d burst open that door right now, kiss him to sleep on those pillows, but.

It wasn’t. They couldn’t live like this. It wasn’t fair. Reality meant they couldn’t live together, depend on each other the way they did, and if they didn’t end it on their terms it was gonna be ripped from their hands and if they thought this sucked?

Yeah. This was better, it was. He’d keep telling himself that no matter how many times he had to until it sunk in and he actually found a way to believe it.

 

Even was drifting through the silent, dead kitchen en route for the door to leave, when a flash of white by the window caught his eye.

A pad of paper.

It took a little while to find a pen, then eventually tape.

The shadows from the moonlit window made the ink look so much darker on the paper than it should, just blank void he was scratching into pure white. A hole in the wall as he pinned it there, a piece of tape to hold the dark shape of a thundercloud, lightning storm, swirling tornado arching down the side of the paper.

His roommates would see it first but he didn’t care, better left here on the kitchen wall than not left at all. Just in case anything happened. Or Isak came in for water when he couldn't sleep.

For a moment, he’d considered quoting Nas’s Patience, but it was maybe a little much. He went for another one, sloped words dancing under the cloud like rain.

The clarity of disaster.

Hope you make it through the storm
You know what though, I love the rain, man
Take it slow.

Take it slow. One minute, at a time.

Chapter Text

 

Lørdag, 15:53
21.01.2016

 

“Are you sure that’s how it goes?”

“Yes, I’m sure.”

“Don’t sound so damn smug, I’m not as experienced as you, goddamn.”

“Mmm. Mhm. There, like that. Now just, press.”

“Ow!”

“Oh my god, Isak.”

“Cut me some slack, this isn’t easy.”

“It’s a fucking guitar string, it’s not going to cut open your finger.” Pure fond exasperation and Isak threw up his free hand, glancing over his shoulder. Eyebrow tipping up as he took note of the bandana he’d forgotten Even was wearing. Bright blue like his eyes, wrapped around his forehead the way he’d worn the neon one all those weeks ago at that party.

Even gave him a look, what, head shaking a little before Isak made an innocent face and turned back to the guitar, trying to curl his fingers a little more, press down all the strings Even was telling him too.

“Does that look right?”

“...sure. Now just strum, once, down--”

The sound was somewhere between a screech and a dull thud from the strings he really wasn’t trying to muffle and fuck, this was so much harder than it looked.

“Why do I suck?”

“Because it’s fun? Because you really like to have my co--”

Hey. I am trying to learn an instrument here, no dirty talking. Especially not when we’re sitting like this, it’s hard enough to concentrate as it is.” Isak licked his lips, bending back over the guitar to see if he could fix his finger placement.

“Do you want me to move?” Even asked, sounding extremely insincere and dubious, like he already knew exactly what Isak was gonna say.

“Don’t you dare,” he shot back, holding his breath as he strummed again. Okay, that sounded significantly less awful. The hand on his waist squeezed, a surprised sound from behind him.

Isak leaned to the side, trying not to bump his backwards snapback off his head as he looked up at Even over his shoulder, eyebrows raised and a smile on his face.

“I told you, if you just press down a little harder.”

“Yeah, yeah, you say a lot of shit, how am I sup-posed to know what’s good and what’s--”

Even kissed him, cutting off the words and Isak tipped his head, pressing into it, shivering as the hand on his waist lifted to stroke down his neck instead.

Fuck, it was fucking dizzying to kiss Even when he was behind him like this.

They were sitting on the floor in Even’s bedroom, one of Even’s ninety hats tugged on backwards over his curls. Isak’s legs folded criss-cross and Even’s looped under his, knees plastered together and their ankles crossed. Guitar across Isak’s lap and Isak basically in Even’s lap, one arm on his waist and the other holding the neck of the guitar, just below his.

Even was trying to teach him how to play, and apparently it was a lot easier if they were both on the same side of the guitar, that way he could move Isak’s fingers and hands for him, but it was also hella distracting sitting all pressed together and close like this, every breath expanding Even’s chest against his spine.

But he really was trying to learn, and he was doing...okay? Apparently he wasn’t pressing hard enough, although he didn’t have much trouble switching between the chords or remembering which was where. Strumming was also ridiculously easy after Even had showed him how with their fingers entwined.

Even didn’t play with guitar picks, he said they were restricting or some shit, so it was kinda new to attempt this with bare fingers. But the few times Jonas had attempted to teach him they’d been sitting next to each other instead of stacked like this and it’d been really fucking hard.

Besides, it was surprisingly motivating to learn while nestled in Even’s lap. Since he was catching literally every movement Isak made and Isak really didn’t wanna suck.

Not at guitar, anyways. Even was a different story.

By the time their mouths broke apart, smiling softly at each other before turning back to the guitar, Isak had completely forgotten the position for the C chord. Damn.

“What’s the fingering for C again?”

“The what?” Even asked, leaning his chin on Isak’s shoulder.

“The fingering.”

“The what?”

“The fi-- oh fuck you.”

Even giggled and Isak rolled his eyes, trying to line his hands up again on his own.

“That’s not--”

Isak strummed out of spite and the screech was terrible. They both cringed and Even made an eee sound, hand wrapping over his to position it correctly again. Well, he’d been close.

And Even’s fingers were pressing over his, making his cheeks heat up in a blush, which was frankly ridiculous, he’d had that boy inside him more times than he could count but Even held his hand and Isak was a stuttering mess.

It wasn’t technically holding hands, it--

Even’s right hand slid between the fingers of his, positioning to strum and okay, yeah, that was probably technically holding hands, and Isak was having a really hard time focusing, biting his lip as he repeated the mantra in his head, chill out chill out, it’s just Even chill out.

Dry lips pressed to his neck and Isak’s head tipped to the side, grip tightening on Even’s. Which also meant his fingers sinking into the strings, which ow ow--

Before he could pull his fingers off, their entwined hands were strumming down, up down and Isak’s fluttering eyes popped right back open.

That sounded really good.

“Hva…”

“Told you,” Even murmured against his skin, keeping up the strumming, moving Isak with him. Kissing up to his ear, breath warm as he nosed aside the snapback to whisper against Isak’s curls,

“Move to G on three, ready? One, two--”

Their hands adjusted together, strum pattern not breaking and it was beautiful, nearly seamless, chords pouring out of the guitar as Isak’s mouth dropped open, looking down in surprise.

“Now D, okay?”

“My favorite,” Isak muttered and Even snorted, shaking his head, leaning over Isak’s shoulder so he could watch.

“Ready? And...go.”

Their hands curled into the D position, careful strumming on Even’s part to give them time to get there, barely a drop in the music before the next chord was humming.

“Wow.”

“Mhhm. What did I tell you?”

“Well you didn’t tell me my fingers would hurt this much,” Isak complained, for the sake of complaining, glancing up over his shoulder to meet the pretty blue eyes sparkling under the pretty blue bandana, catching all the sunlight slowly lowering in the corners of the room.

He couldn’t keep up the haughtiness for long, not when Even was looking at him like that. Isak looked away, dipping his head to reign in the smile only he couldn’t, not when Even’s hand was still wrapped in his, slowly falling away from the strings.

The strings were still echoing quietly and Isak glanced back up under his lashes, lungs freezing as he caught the intensity in that gaze.

Fuck, he was forgetting how to breathe again.

“Scale of one to ten,” Even asked and Isak furrowed his eyebrows.

“Hmm?”

“Your fingers. How much do they hurt?”

“Oh. Um. I guess...like a four.”

“Baby,” Even muttered, making Isak’s mouth drop open in protest.

Before he could squander up some indignant defense, Even was tipping him in the other direction, lifting their entwined left hands for his mouth, holding Isak’s eyes as he slowly, carefully pressed a kiss to the end of each one of his fingers.

He looked so much younger like this, and somehow really intimidatingly cooler, little escaped blonde strands curling over the top of his bandana and making Isak’s spine tingle as much as it had been before that first almost kiss.

The intensity in Even’s eyes was the same, locked on his as he finally reached his pinky, pressing a solid kiss to the tip, where the guitar strings were leaving not-that-painful red lines. Which definitely didn’t hurt now that he had so fucking much else to focus on.

“And now?”

“...six.”

Even burst into a laugh, throwing his head back and crinkling up all precious.

“What? They do.”

Isak glared. Even laughed more.

“You’re so cute,” he finally managed, still breathless as Isak rolled his eyes.

“Cute, cute. Cute my ass, I’m not cute, thankyouverymuch, cu-te, who do you think you are.”

Even was just looking at him, smiled tucked away in the corners of his mouth.

“What?” Isak demanded, making the pretty head shake, legs shifting to rock them to the side.

“Can I play something for you?”

“Only if you teach me how to play it after.”

“Mmkay. I don’t know if you’ll like it though, maybe you should decide after you hear it.”

“It’s you,” Isak scoffed, reaching up to press a quick kiss to Even’s mouth. “I’ll like it.”

“Whatever you say, dear,” Even sing-songed, wiggling a bit as he put his hands back on the guitar. “You’ve gotta move, though.”

“Oh, we’re getting serious now, gotta play it all on your own.”

“Or maybe I just know you’re gonna sabotage me in the middle of it.”

“And why would I do that??”

“Because you can’t stand to not kiss me,” Even replied, tipping his head all cutely. Isak was in the middle of climbing out of his lap, one leg swung over Even’s so he could tumble out to the side, but then the fucker said that, and well.

Isak couldn’t like. Not kiss him after that.

They kissed for a little while, but this position was hardly the best so eventually their mouths had to break off, making Isak sigh before they’d even split apart.

“See?” Even teased and Isak struggled a bit, trying to get back upright so he could push off over Even’s leg and tumble to the ground, hat falling right off his head.

“No idea what you’re--talking about,” he managed, nearly impaling himself on the end of the guitar, but finally landing on his ass, free of the leg tangle and surprisingly large wooden instrument.

“You know I could’ve just set the guitar aside and let you out--”

“I know, I know,” Isak waved a hand, snagging the snapback and sliding it back on, scooting backwards to sit up straight, feeling strangely cold and small as he wrapped his hands around his ankles and cocked his head. “Well?”

Even stuck his tongue in his cheek, resituating to slide the guitar into place, playing down the strings once and adjusting one of the little silver knobby things. He looked like a real guitarist, all suavé and cool with his fancy hair and his tight black tshirt and Isak swallowed, trying not to look like a thirsty hoe before Even so much as hit a note.

“I don’t usually play acoustic, I like electric a lot better,” he forewarned, glancing up, knee bouncing.

“Mhmm.”

“All of my favorite bands sound better on electric. I can set up the amp if you want, play something I know bette--”

“Acoustic is fine.”

“And I haven’t actually played in like, a while, I’m still kinda rusty--”

“You’re stalling.”

“--so just don’t get your hopes up or anything--”

“Even.”

He finally paused the nervous rambling, looking up at Isak. Isak shook his head at him once, eyebrows up.

“It’s just me. Chill out.”

“Just you,” Even huffed, but there was a hint of a smile in his voice, fingers sliding into place on the guitar, eyes flickering back down.

Isak bounced his knee, rolling his lips in as he tried to be patient, but Even was taking forever--

“You ready?”

“Ja.”

“Okay, here goes.”

The song started out quietly, fingerpicking through a few chords before the pattern kicked in, quiet and beautiful as it folded over itself. Fuck, Even was good.

It made sense, with three guitars in his room, but still, it was one thing for him to show Isak a few chords and it was another thing to watch him string out a beautiful melody with just his fingers, filling up the room.

The way Jonas played, he made songs, bright chords to sing around a fire. When Jonas played you wanted to sing along. That was nothing like this. If Jonas on guitar was the favorite fountain kids played in, Even was a trickling rock waterfall you watched from afar but didn’t dare touch.

Isak knew the song but couldn’t quite place it, lyrics floating just out of reach, on the tip of his tongue.

And on Even’s, apparently, because that’s when he started singing, surreal, echoey, like he was painting instead.

“Well you only need the light when it's burning low, only miss the sun when it starts to snow. You only know you love her when you let her go.” The guitar was singing along with him, a radio song turned serenade. “You only know you've been high when you're feeling low. Only hate the road when you're missing home, only know you love her when you let her go...and you let her go-o-o.”

The fingerpicking shifted to add solid strokes, chords echoing as his hand thudded a beat against the strings, guitar and drums all at once, a beautiful backtrack with individual notes floating between, dancing over the strings and Isak just stared.

“Staring at the bottom of your glass, hoping one day you'll make a dream last. But dreams come slow and they go-o so fast.” An echo of high pitches, the ones you tuned with, this whole array of sounds Isak didn’t even know a guitar could make. Bass beat, go. “You see her when you close your eyes, maybe one day you'll understand why-y...everything you touch surely di-i-ies.”

Even wasn’t looking at him, down at his hands as played, voice nearly swallowed up by bursting chords as he drifted over the notes. Isak couldn’t feel his heartbeat inside his chest.

“But you only need the light when it's burning lo-ow, only miss the sun when it starts to snow. You only know you love her when you let her go.” A deep breath, and Isak’s gaze flicked up to Even’s face just in time to watch his eyes slip shut.

“...only know you've been high when you're feeling low.” Fingers dancing from memory over the strings like they belonged to his heart instead. “Only hate the road when you're missing home, only know you love her when you let her go.”

This wasn’t guitar, couldn’t possibly be the guitar he grew up giggling to, this was some other instrument, some parallel universe where everything was an art museum and this exhibit was his to watch.

“Staring at the ceiling in the dark, same old emp-ty...feeling in your heart, cause love comes slow and it go-es so...fast.” It almost slipped into a whisper, notes cutting high again.

“Well you see her when you fa-a-all asleep, but never to touch, and never to keep...”

That time he barely made it through the line, lips rolling in and eyes slipped closed. It took him a second to find the right notes again, playing them a few times before he lifted his voice, rasping,

“Cause you loved her too much and you dived...too deep.”

Isak couldn’t really place whether the ache in his chest was due to an organ physically breaking or the fact that he hadn’t been able to breathe for the past thirty seconds.

“Well you only need the light, when it’s burning low, you only miss the sun,”

When it started to snow. Lights, gold.

Even was singing the chorus again and Isak couldn’t move, he was ice and Even was falling drifts of white, dangerously beautiful, deceptively peaceful, pure, breathtaking, life-shattering.

“--only know you've been high when you're feeling low.” The words had no trouble sailing over the melody now, coiffed head tipping to the side, the English lyrics shaping over to sound more like him, vowels long, “...only hate the road when you're missing home. Only know you love her when you let her go.”

A little trill, his lips rolling in, head swaying with the music like it was coming from his chest instead of his hands.

The only way to have something forever is by losing it.

Don’t say that.

“And you let her go, ohh-ohh.”

The first time he’d seen Even sing, it’d just been mouthing along to the words of 5 Fine Frøkner, kissing him through half of them. Now it was another world, another boy, another level of understanding as Even sang to the guitar and let the music carry all the emotions he didn’t want to show.

They were shining through anyways.

“...and you let her go...will you let her go-o-o…”

This was what it meant to be lost in music, thumb thudding out a rhythm steadier than his heartbeat.

Isak’s fingers might be actually glued to his ankles, absolutely breathless as he held perfectly still and watched Even sway, watched another layer peel back something beautiful and heartbreaking.

“Well you only need the light when it's burning low, only miss the sun when it starts to snow. You only know you love her when you let her go-o.”

The only way. To have something forever.

Was by losing it.

“You only know you've been high when you're feel-ing low. Only hate the road when you're missing home, only know you love her when you let her go-o…”

The song dropped down an octave, the words caught in his throat as his hands took over again, just guitar dancing and singing, the last chorus.

His hands stopped thudding the drum part, beats dropping out to the quiet simplicity of a final swooping melody, soaring with the slowing dance of long fingers.

Fading out to echo around the bedroom, voice lifted quiet and raspy for the very final line.

“...and you let her go-o-o.”

The final string popped high, striking a thousand silent chords with it, all the way down Isak’s spine.

Even’s hands didn’t leave the strings. Tongue in his cheek, eyes downcast, off to the side.

A thousand feet between them.

Isak had never really liked that song. He’d never really got it until now. So you don’t miss the water until it’s gone, sure, whatever, but watching...watching Even sing it like that?

Who needed oxygen, he didn’t need to breathe, the only thing he needed to do was move. He managed to swing his legs around, shifting the spinning room to land at Even’s feet.

Even wasn’t looking at him, lips parted around the same sullen quiet of the first time he’d cornered Isak in the kitchen, the last time he’d had swoops of curled strands broken free to curve over the top of a headband, only a hell of a lot less showing on the pretty face beneath it.

Avoiding eye contact for all the opposite reasons Isak had that day. If you see him, you’re gone.

If he sees you, he’s gone.

Isak lifted the guitar from his hands. Even surrendered it easily, eyes slipping shut, jaw clicking as mouth opened, some explanation on the tip of his tongue, but it never fell. Whatever excuse, dismissal, barrage of words he had to offer just faded, gone.

That was fine, Isak had plenty. But he had more important things to say first.

He sat the guitar aside and climbed right back into Even’s lap, facing him this time, ankles crossing behind Even’s spine as he wrapped himself around pounding ribs, head on a sloping shoulder and eyes closed as he squeezed as tight as he could.

Even lifted a hand to his spine, hesitant at first, then Isak was rocking them and Even held him back.

He really shouldn’t say it, but he didn’t anyways.

“Don’t. Don't let me go,” Isak whispered, heart pounding against Even’s chest. Face squished against his shoulder, nose folded to the side but he didn’t care, Even was here, they were together, they were together right now, and that was all that counted.

That beautiful, long limbed, multifaceted gem of a precious human being was here, holding onto him, and that was so much more than enough.

He could feel the ripple as his words sunk in, fingers tightening against his spine, reviving inhale pushing against his chest.

Then Even’s head was lifting, pulling away to look at Isak smashed here on his shoulder. Only he was facing the other way and had to flop over, blinking up at Even from a weird-ass angle, comically close.

He couldn’t help the twitch of a little smile, then one of the hands from his shoulder was gone, lifting his cheek instead. Pulling Isak up to him, steady grip holding his chin to look into his eyes, dead serious.

“I won’t,” he swore and Isak glanced between blue eyes, the sharp set of his mouth, back up.

He meant it.

The hand holding his chin slipped up the line of his jaw, bumping his hat again to sink into his curls, rubbing over the back of his neck as Even shook him a little, holding him tight and close in how fucking much he meant it.

Good.

Sitting in his lap like this he was a little taller than Even so Isak took the initiative, swooping down, head tilting to press a solid, long overdue kiss to those sullen lips.

The moment their lips slid together, apart, Even was drawing in a shaky breath. His world hanging in the balance of whether they would kiss again and Isak pressed closer, mouthing at the worried mouth until it was never ever worried again.

What was that Even had said last night, about someone drowning?

By the time they pulled apart they were both breathing again, deep and real, hands on each other’s skin and foreheads pressed together.

Fuck.

For some reason, he really hadn’t anticipated Even playing guitar for him to go that way. He’d been picturing something a lot more movie-typical serenading, but he’d never trade that for this in a million years, a hundred universes.

Heart to fingertips.

“You know, when you put aside the fact that you were trying to make me cry, you’re really good,” Isak whispered and Even huffed, a touch of a smile.

“Now you’re gonna teach it to me, right?”

“That one?”

“Mhmm.”

“...yeah, I mean if that’s what you want.”

“You’re what I want,” Isak admitted quietly and Even kissed him.

And kissed him.

Finally tugged apart with a little pop, a curl of a smile on Isak’s face as he dipped in for one more peck, two. Okay, more like four, but.

“Except maybe teach it to me without the fancy fingering part,” Isak said, leaning back and lifting an eyebrow.

Even smiled at him, bright. Real.

“The what part?”

“Oh fuck you.” Isak rolled his eyes and then he was spinning around in Even’s lap again, two strong arms around his waist again.

He glanced over, leaning to reach for the guitar when the arms around his waist tightened, tugging him back upright with a vague sound of protest before Even’s mouth was landing on his again, kissing him deep from behind.

Jesus fuck. Isak’s fingers curled around Even’s wrist, tipping up against him with soft lips, toes curling in his socks as Even kissed him hard, sensual and open, as electric as the way his mouth had been moving when their eyes locked across a blacklight dancefloor so many fucking weeks ago.

Were emotional earthquakes a thing? Because Isak was still recovering from one and it wasn’t fucking fair for Even to be kissing him like that, goddammit, now he really wanted to be in Even’s lap for a whole slew of other reasons. Doing other things.

Guitar. He was going to attempt to learn this fucking instrument, at least enough so that he wasn’t completely incompetent. He could control his fucking libido enough to sit this close without jumping Even’s bones, fucking hell.

Their mouths slipped apart on a little gasp and it took everything in him not to tip his head back against Even’s shoulder, mouth along his jaw, arch his spine and breathe for Even to take him, like this, let him ride backwards in his lap with one hand on his throat and the other sliding down his chest to--

Okay, yeah, he needed to maybe chill right now.

Isak fluttered his eyes back open, lips still parted, Even’s fingers running over the arch of his neck, looking over his shoulder at him as he blinked back into reality.

“Halla,” Even murmured and Isak closed his eyes for a moment, tongue darting out to wet his lips. Fuck. Okay, pry back open, so much bright pretty blue, he knew Even’s eyes were blue but goddamn, they were literally as bright as the cloth wrapped around his forehead.

Focus, Valtersen. Focus.

“Halla,” he managed back, tipping up for one more kiss that had Even smiling before their lips touched.

That time when they broke apart, Isak instantly reached over for the guitar before he could get stopped again, scooping it up and pointedly not thinking about how tight Even’s arms were around his waist as he lifted it back into his lap.

Right. Music, they were doing that, instead of each other. They were at his parents’ house, and his parents were home, clearly there was no point in getting worked up regardless. It wasn’t like he was gonna ride Even on his bedroom floor when Adults were a door away, no thank you.

“You finally ready?”

“Me? Me, finally ready? I’m sorry, who was it that decided to kiss me like that in his fucking parents’ house, whatever the fuck that was supposed to be, am I ready, did you really have the audacity to--”

“Alright, hands.” Even’s arms unwrapped from his waist, palms up on either side of him as Isak’s rant cut short, mouth open a moment longer as he debated.

Even pressed a little kiss to the soft spot under his ear and Isak got his hands in Even’s so fast they smacked together with a clapping sound.

A bright laugh and he was wrapping their intertwined fingers back around the strings, warm air ghosting the side of his neck. The greatest thing about sitting like this was that Even couldn’t see the stupid, helpless smile on his face as they curled back together, comfortable and warm and close, all his focus on the guitar and the smile over his shoulder.

What a place to belong.

“Okay, so it starts out in F, which you don’t know yet but there’s a cheat fingering that’s pretty close to C…”

 

Lørdag, 17:29
21.01.2016

 

They were giggling over Isak’s continuously failed attempts to remember the goddamn order of these chords - “wait, are you sure it’s E minor?” “Isak, I’m the one who’s played guitar for years, yes, I’m sure it’s E minor.” - when a knock suddenly sounded at the door, to the beat of una copita de Ojén.

“Come in!” Even shouted, lifting a hand to fix another one of his fingers. Again.

“Is everyone decent?” Liv shouted from outside and they both rolled their eyes at her as she cracked open the door to peek around the corner.

“Hardly, he’s terrible,” Even announced and Isak’s jaw dropped open, looking offended over his shoulder at that teasing little smile.

“Hey! You’re the one teaching me.”

Even’s eyebrows shot up, amused and fond. Isak’s gaze dropped to the curl of his mouth, inhaling slowly before he realized, yeah, they had visitors, right, time to spin back around to face Liv, who was still standing in the doorway with a little smile on her face.

“I just came to tell you--”

“Oh, stay for a bit, will you?” Even asked, shooting him a sideways glance before looking back at his mom. “Isak has something to show you.”

“I...what?? I’m no good, honestly,” he said and Liv shook her head, waving a hand like he was being ridiculous. He was not being ridiculous. “But, I mean, sure, we might as well.”

Liv snagged a chair from under Even’s desk, sitting cross-legged in it and propping her chin in a hand, waiting. And surprisingly intimidating for a 167cm yoga instructor.

Okay, well. Now or never, right.

Isak sucked in a breath and got his hands in the right positions - okay, apparently the almost right positions, Even knocked his pinky out of place before he strummed a single note. He shot a little glare over his shoulder and Even put his hands up, like he was somehow innocent in this process.

They’d gone over enough chords today that Isak could kinda-ish play a few songs, but the only one that was decent enough to actually play for someone was probably the lamest guitar song on the planet, but it was easy, so here he was playing Wonderwall for Even’s mom.

The strumming pattern made it sound a lot fancier than it was, but Isak wasn’t sucking too bad. Well, some of the chords weren’t quite as clean as they should’ve been, and he skipped one entirely, making him curse under his breath and Even snicker quietly behind him.

Fuck him. His heart was pounding out of his chest with nerves and he was pretty sure Even could feel it, with their bodies still nested and pressed together tight.

Isak was way too busy trying not to fuck up to look up and see the glance Even shot his mom over his shoulder, the raised eyebrows Liv shot back, a crooked finger over her mouth to hide the amused smile.

It was decent, maybe, until he hit the bridge and then the chords went out the window. Isak cursed under his breath again and Even made an amused sound, finally just wrapping his hands over Isak’s and finishing the last few chorus with him.

And eventually, he got to the final strum, overexaggerated with a relieved loud exhale, making both Even and his mom laugh brightly.

Isak shook his head and rolled his lips in around the laughter bubbling up in his chest too, there was just so much sunshine in this room, he couldn’t not.

“That was beautiful,” Liv told them and Isak flipped the guitar down to take a dramatic bow, almost tumbling out of Even’s lap with it. A strong arm quickly wrapped around his stomach, catching him and pulling him back upright.

Isak shot a vague squint over his shoulder and Even made a what face that broke into a smile Isak had to try really fucking hard not to kiss.

Liv. She’d come in here to ask them something, focus. He turned back around, pulling the guitar back upright as he looked up at Even’s mom.

“Now, sorry, what was it you came in to ask us?”

“Just to say that dinner’s almost ready.” She hopped out of the chair, sliding it back under Even’s desk, turning back to them with her head cocking for the door. “Can you come help set the table in ten?”

“Yeah of course,” Isak told her and Even tapped the fingertips on his left hand, teasing him for being a suckup but hey, having Even’s parents like him was not a bad thing, thank you very much.

Liv paused at the door, a hand on the wood as she looked at them both and smiled softly.

“That really was lovely. I hope you stick with it.”

Isak and Even looked at each other and looked at her and everyone in the room was pretty sure she wasn’t talking about the guitar.

He couldn’t really contain the smile, and he was pretty sure Even couldn’t either, if the arm tightening around his stomach was any indication.

Then Liv was blowing them both kisses, closing the door behind her as Even tipped Isak to the side and planted a deep kiss on him for real.

 

Eight minutes later Even was putting his guitar back on its stand while Isak leaned a shoulder against the bedpost and fished his phone out of his pocket.

There was a text from Eskild and one from Eva. Thumb across the screen, unlocking quickly and tapping open the messages app, not opening either text and instead scrolling down to Jonas’s name.

They hadn’t texted since Thursday morning, apparently. Isak pulled up the keyboard and started typing.

Hey, you wouldn’t guess what I learned today

Thumb hovering over the little blue send arrow.

He hadn’t texted Jonas for no reason in a really long time.

Besides, they were just about to go to dinner, he wouldn’t be able to reply for at least a few hours.

Isak hesitated a moment longer and put his thumb on the backspace, watching the text slowly erase.

“Alright, you ready?” Even drifted a hand down his spine as he walked past and Isak straightened up, locking his phone screen with one hand, sliding his snapback off with the other.

“Yeah,” he said, pocketing the phone, tossing Even’s hat for the couch, and running fingers through his curls with a smile.

 

 

They made it about twenty minutes into dinner before the questions started, despite Even’s consistent attempts to derail his parent’s interrogations that somehow, always found a way to come up with more questions, despite the fact that they’d all had dinner together like five times now.

“Do you have any siblings, Isak?”

“We used to have a dog named Lea? But besides Jonas, no.”

Even tipped his head in agreement and Isak turned to his parents, offering a quick explanation.

“We’ve been best friends since grade school, we’re not actually related. So no, it’s just me.”

A vague chorus of nods, the table falling quiet for a moment as Even’s dad lifted his glass, angling another question his way before taking a sip.

“Did Even tell you about his sister?”

Isak nearly choked on his pasta. Even put his fork down, tongue in his cheek as he leveled a look on his father and Isak looked wide-eyed between them both.

“What???”

“Dad,” Even complained and Bjørn threw up a hand.

“What, how was I supposed to know you didn’t tell him?”

“She’s six years older than me,” Even turned to tell him and Isak shook his head a little, trying to cognize.

What?”

“Her name’s Lisbeth, she’s getting a law degree in America, at Stanford.”

“...how did I not know?”

“I don’t know! It never came up in conversation.”

“Even, she’s your sister, what do you mean it never came up in conversation, that’s something you tell people?? Especially people that you’re dating???”

“Jeez,” Even looked down at his plate, eyes wide like Isak was somehow overreacting here.

“Wha-- jeez? That’s all you have to say for yourself? I’m missing an entire family member and all you have to say is jeez??”

“I haven’t seen her in like, three years, plane tickets are expensive, and so is her college tuition. She’s trying to save money for her two year old, anyways, so we do what we can to send her whatever extra cash we have. And I usually take two jobs in the summers, in case she needs the support.”

Isak shook his head again, mouth still open in shock as he turned his disbelief away from Even, looking at his parents with can you believe this kid written all over his face.

Only.

Even’s parents weren’t the same level of shocked disbelief he was. Like, at all.

Liv was covering her mouth with a hand, eyes sparkling as she tried not to laugh.

Bjørn was very pointedly not looking up from his plate as he slowly cut smaller and smaller pieces.

“...are you.” Isak looked between them all, Even’s downcast eyes, Liv’s barely contained smile, Bjørn’s uncharacteristic silence.

“You’re joking?”

Liv snorted, other hand clapping over her mouth too and Isak’s mouth dropped open.

“Oh my god, you--”

They all burst into laughter, Even’s the brightest, and Isak was pretty sure his mouth couldn’t open wider. Pure, unbelievable offense, making the laughs break louder.

He just got pranked by the entire Bech Næsheim family.

“I cannot believe this family,” Isak told them, standing up and sliding back his chair, ready to make as dramatic of an exit as he had to.

Only before he could Even was grabbing his hand, popping up too, tugging him back to the table to press a laughing kiss to his cheek.

“Really? A sister? Who are you people?”

“I really do have a sister,” Even giggled and Isak tipped his head back, staring up at the ceiling before shooting a look at Even’s parents, who were both nodding their laughing confirmation.

“I’m not falling for this again.”

“No, really, I do. Her name is Lisbeth, but she lives in Køben with her boyfriend. She doesn’t have a kid, she’s doing some doctors without borders thing, so that’s why I haven’t seen her in a while.”

“I’m not going to believe any of you, like ever again,” Isak informed them all, very seriously.

“I can show you family photos,” Liv offered and Isak furrowed his eyebrows at her.

“Wait...what? Really?”

Bjørn got out of his chair, disappearing for a moment and returning with a picture frame holding a photograph of Even, his parents, and a pretty smiling girl who looked like a younger, blonde version of Liv.

And that’s how Isak found out about Even’s sister.

 

Dinner managed to conclude without any more life-altering revelations of unknown family members or anything of the sorts, although he did find out that Even used to play piano and sing in his church choir, and that Liv and Bjørn met when they were 19, and that all of them used to put on family band performances at Christmas parties when the kids were younger.

Kids being plural. Everytime someone brought up Lisbeth Isak shot a glare at Even and Even threw up his hands, mouthing he was sorry for the hundredth time. He’d forgotten. Apparently.

They all helped clean up the kitchen, well all except for Bjørn, who was busy making dessert to follow. It wouldn’t be ready for a few hours, which he told Isak was on purpose, they needed time to digest dinner before embarking on a dessert as fantastic as this one.

Even usually helped his dad cook, both dinner and dessert, but Bjørn insisted tonight was all his treat, for both of them.

So in the meantime, Liv plopped a deck of cards loudly on the cleared table and Isak raised an eyebrow at Even.

“We used to do a lot of card games,” he explained under his breath, hand on Isak’s lower back. Isak glanced up at him, trying not to let the proximity’s effect sparkle all over his face. “You don’t mind, do you?”

“Nei.”

“I did warn you.” Even pressed a quick kiss to his temple, sliding past him into the dining room.

“Hardly,” Isak called after him, following a step and a half behind. “There were a few things you could’ve mentioned, like maybe, I dunno, your sister.”

Even rolled his eyes, pulling out Isak’s chair.

“Hey, mine.”

“I’m pulling it out for you, calm down.”

“You...calm down,” he shot back lamely, narrowing his eyes suspiciously as Even slid the chair under him.

“Listen, I’m not gonna make you fall on your ass, I think your teasing quota has probably been reached today.”

“I completely agree,” Isak huffed and Liv shot Even a mischievous look as she sat down across from them. Great.

“I hate to break it to you Isak, but there is no quota in this house. Okay, is everyone down for Egyptian Ratscrew?”

“Hva fa-- uh.” He just barely managed to swallow the curse, making Even snort next to him. Funny, how any time he was with Even and his parents at the same time that sinking feeling that Even was definitely not on his side just kept growing. “What’s Egyptian Ratscrew?”

“It’s kinda like slapjack, but on steroids, and way better.”

“We have to wait for dessert to be finished anyways, honey, you might as well play.”

“...okay. How do you play?”

They talked over each other, trying to explain when you were supposed to slap and put down certain cards, some weird number pattern with the face cards and Isak watched the whole thing with an eyebrow up and a very confused look on his face.

Even’s dad finally came back in, sitting down and catching the look on his face and shushing both Even and Liv, taking the deck of cards and just showing Isak how it went, simply. Thank god.

“Okay, and if two people slap at once?”

“Odds are four people will slap at once, and then the winner is whoever’s on bottom,” Liv piped up and Isak’s eyebrow shot up again, entirely unintentionally that time.

Even took one look at his face and started laughing.

Isak elbowed him, making a wide-eyed c’mon face then everyone else was laughing too and Isak put his head in his hands.

 

The game itself was no less ridiculous, if there was one thing the Bech Næsheims had in common, it was their brutal sense of humor and a wild competitive streak.

There were at least twenty very distracting fist pumps from Even as he won, about thirty five times Isak groaned, dragging his hand back from the pile he failed to slap in time only to blush as Even’s hand on top of his didn’t let go.

One particularly aggressive round had Liv nearly cutting open his hand with her wedding ring, scratching skin not deep enough to draw blood but enough for him to draw back his hand with a little shout.

“Ah!”

“Oh, I’m so sorry, sweetheart.” She reached over the table to pat his hand comfortingly and Isak shook his head, insisting he was fine.

Then she was scooping up the cards in the middle, putting them back into her stack as she glanced up and offered lightly,

“Don’t worry, you’ll get me back one day.”

“Mom,” Even said, a little desperately as he shot her a not now look and flipped a card loudly into the center. Isak flipped one of his in too, taking a second to catch on to what they were talking about.

Oh.

His eyes went wide then Even was laying down another three on top of the one Liv had just put down and everyone was smacking the table again, bursting into a loud argument over who was closest to the card, palms all pressed to the table and hand tangled up as the moment slipped away.

Isak actually ended up being declared the winner of that pile, too, although he still lost.

Miserably.

Even gave him a kiss on the cheek and he ended up smiling through the rest of the game anyways.

 

Dessert was delicious, something that gods would eat on Mount Olympus or some shit, and Isak spent most of eating it wondering where in hell this family had come from and what deep dark secret skeleton had to be hiding in the closets around here to balance out all this weird, functional, happy good times.

His family was fucking nothing this. Never had been and never would be.

It was a good thing he was planning on introducing Even to his parents Never, because there was nothing they could possibly do to compare.

“Hey sweetheart,” Liv called from the kitchen and both Isak and Even spun around, going hmm? at the same time.

“Hey,” Even accused and Isak threw up his hands. “They already like you too much, don’t encourage them.”

“She calls me that too, it’s not my fault!”

Bjørn walked past the table chuckling to himself and Isak crossed his arms over his chest.

“Boys! Bring the rest of the dishes in here, would you?”

“Maybe she was talking to both of us,” Isak offered and Even rolled his eyes, popping out of his chair and grabbing all of the closest plates, including the ones in front of Isak.

“Hey!”

“Get your own,” Even suggested, shooting a raised-eyebrow look over his shoulder. Isak paused a moment, circling around the other side of the table to grab the rest of the dishes. Yeah, when it came to parents, he was really gonna pass on that one. Not that he was looking for any.

Eskild and Noora were better parents than he’d ever had, and he liked Even’s family because they were part of Even’s life. And they liked him. And his mom made jokes about them getting married. And his dad made really good food.

He was pretty sure Even was just talking about the plates though.

By the time he made it into the kitchen, he’d stalled enough that Even was in the middle of a hushed, rather intense looking conversation with his mom and Isak froze in the doorway.

“I have the rest of the, uh…”

“Oh, just set them in the sink, thank you.”

“Yeah, um.” Isak sat the dishes down, taking a step backwards and glancing for the clock on the wall, over at Even. Even was propped on the little table in the corner, phone lighting up the angles of his face, the turndown of his mouth.

Liv gave him a smile and Isak took another step backwards, glancing for the hall.

“I really wanna thank you Liv, dinner was amazing, and so was dessert, and I had a really good time playing cards so. Thanks for having me.”

“Of course, Isak. Anytime, we love having you here.” She turned on the kitchen sink and Isak just barely caught the glance Even shot her. Serious, all sorts of layers beneath it and Isak swallowed, starting to really notice how late it was.

“I, um. I should probably be heading home soon, it’s getting to get kinda--”

“Spend the night here, honey,” Liv interrupted.

Even froze in the corner of the room.

“I really should be going--”

“What for?” Even’s dad swept into the room behind him, setting down his wineglass next to the sink and leaning back against the counter while Isak shuffled his feet awkwardly. “It's late, dark, and cold. Besides, I was going to make my famous eggs for breakfast, you can't miss them.”

Yeah, as great as that sounded, he was pretty sure Even was not okay with that.

He wet his lips, shooting a glance at Even for some kind of read but he was entirely neutral, not a single line on his face, looking down at his phone as he typed away. If he wanted Isak to leave, he should maybe help out in the battle against his parents?

“Believe me, it's worth it for the eggs,” Bjørn promised and Isak twitched an eye, not entirely convinced. Even wasn’t saying anything, and in theory he would, if he wanted Isak to go home, right? “...they've got a secret ingredient that makes them just.”

He made that sound Italians made in movies, fingers pinching together in the air with a twinkle in his eye.

That time when Isak looked over, Even’s head was up and his eyes were wide, back and forth between his dad and Isak.

Isak squinted knowingly, tipping his head at Even as he guessed.

“The secret ingredient doesn't happen to be--”

“Shh!” Even suddenly interrupted from the corner, rather urgently. Isak raised his eyebrows at him before spinning on a heel, turning back to his dad.

“To be a tablespoon of--”

A hand clamped over his mouth out of nowhere and Isak made a very offended loud muffled sound against Even’s fingers.

“We're going to my room now,” Even informed them, and if Isak thought he sounded urgent before, “Thank you so much for dinner and cards and dessert, feel free to wake us up if you need help with breakfast Dad, really looking forward to it.”

It was way too chipper, all rushed together and overeager as Even backed them out of the room with a little smile and his hand still. over. Isak’s. mouth.

The moment they got to the hallway Even was corralling him into his room, practically shoving him inside and closing the door behind them with an exaggerated exhale.

Isak’s mouth was finally free, so he took the chance to pop it open, throwing a hand up as Even turned back around.

“What in hell was that??”

“That is a secret recipe!!” Even hissed, shaking his head at Isak like he was the ridiculous one. “My dad refuses to tell anyone. Like, over his dying grave.”

“Then how in hell do you know about it?”

“I took inventory of everything in the fridge the night before he made it and then directly afterwards and saw the tablespoon of sour cream missing.”

“...are you kidding?”

“Nei! This has been a point of contention in my childhood, thank you very much.” Even crossed his arms over his chest, holding his ground with all 190+ centimeters, looking absolutely dead serious.

Isak couldn’t help it, he just started laughing. Even scoffed, offended as the arms uncrossed, mouth pursed to the side to keep himself from smiling.

Isak started laughing harder. Fucking. Secret egg recipes.

“He has no idea I know,” Even defended, crossing the space between them while Isak giggled, shoulders shaking, hand over his stomach giggled. A fond hand caught his jaw, tipping his head with it while Isak tapered off, huffing smile now as Even shook his head and looked down at him, thumb rubbing into his skin.

“I can't believe you almost just outed me.”

“What are you talking about outing you, you put a hand over my mouth and dragged me to your bedroom!” The wild eyes, disbelieving sound he gave just made Even push his lips out, shoulder lifting, whatever. Not whatever, Isak shoved a light hand on his chest, no wonder she wants to meet me, “--what on earth must your parents be thinking??”

“I highly doubt they think we're gonna try to have sex in the two feet of space between my bunk bed and the ceiling,” Even responded dryly, and Isak lifted an eyebrow.

“Is that a challenge?”

“Only you would take that as a challenge.” More exasperated fond, then Even was scooping down and pressing a firm kiss to his mouth.

Okay, Isak had not been dying to kiss Even for the past five hours for them to finally land behind closed doors and get kissed like that.

He dropped open his mouth, arm lifting to wrap around Even’s neck, hand shoving up through his hair, inhaling a wave of warmth down his spine as he pressed up, lips tugging and drawn.

Even kissed him back and Isak’s grip tightened, scraping his teeth over Even’s bottom lip before sucking it into his mouth a little desperate, in case he hadn’t gotten the message from Isak pressing up on his toes like this.

Oh he got the message alright, foreheads tipping together as he pulled off in a gasp, bottom lip tugging an extra beat.

“I wasn’t kidding,” Isak whispered against his mouth, sliding their noses together before tilting to the other side, pressing another heated kiss up against Even’s parted mouth.

That time when Even pulled away he had a hand shoved in Isak’s curls, a quiet groan as he cocked his head, looking down with fire behind his eyes, regret on his mouth as he bit his lip and cursed under his breath.

“My parents,” Even started and Isak shook his head once, reaching up to overlap their mouths again, falling back flat-footed with a tingling pop.

“Your doors lock, remember?” He ran his free hand up Even’s chest, feeling that beautiful heart pound beneath his palm. “I can be quiet.”

Of all things for him to pull back all the way for, that was the last thing Isak expected. Eyebrows all the way up, furrowed high in pure disbelief.

“Uh, no you can't,” Even told him, head shaking in a duh, no expression that Isak had every right to shove him for.

And did. Hard. Even stumbled a step and Isak caught his hand before he could land too far away, dragging him back in, chests colliding as he tipped his head all the way up, stars in his eyes as he dropped his voice and offered a single suggestion.

“Get me something to bite onto, then.”

 

***

 

Turned out biting down on Even’s leather belt was not as fantastic of a solution as it sounded. First of all, having Even’s belt between his teeth while Even was sliding into his ass made him dizzy as hell. The kind of dizzy he hadn’t decided yet whether or not was a good thing. It was...a lot.

Second of all, and much higher on the priority list, biting down didn't really work when his gut reaction to cock slamming inside him was to drop open his mouth.

Aka the belt kept trying to slip out from between his teeth and Even spent a solid five minutes shoving it back in his mouth before he gave up, tossed it aside, and covered Isak’s mouth with his hand as he thrust into him hard.

Isak's eyes rolled back in his head and he nearly came on the spot, arching up against Even as the hand clapped over his mouth tightened and the entire spectrum of his vision lit up with sparks, some distant part of his brain registering the quiet string of curses raining down on him more heated than summer rain.

“Fuck, baby, you gotta calm down,” Even whispered, rolling his hips tighter to try and compensate for the angle rocking back against him.

“Mmm,” Isak moaned back desperately, head whipping to the side and making Even nearly lose his balance trying to keep his mouth covered.

Fucking Christ.

Now, it had to be now, when there was a legitimate risk of getting caught that they found out Isak had a thing for Even’s hands over his mouth.

So much for taking it slow and easy.

Isak was moaning again, eyes rolling back in his head as Even kept sliding their bodies together, trying to keep his breathing as quiet as possible, the movement as still as possible. If he kept it deep and slow enough the mattress didn’t shift, although that wouldn’t matter if Isak couldn’t keep the strangled sounds under control.

“Shh shhh. Isak, shhh.”

He couldn’t help the whimper, not when Even was looking down at him like that, rocking inside him like that, fast deep punches to the gut, barely drawing out at all before he was shoving back inside. Keeping Isak pinned to the pillow with the hand over his mouth that might legitimately be leaving fingerprint marks on his cheeks, jaw.

His hands were slipping on the plank of Even’s bunk bed he was trying to hold onto in an effort not to slide up the mattress but that was really really hard when Even was fucking him into starry oblivion.

“That's good, that's good, stay quiet for me--”

The hushed murmur painted over his skin and Isak shuddered, shaking Even’s hand with it, his knees sliding up Even’s sides, curling desperately.

It was too fucking much, looking up at Even and his disheveled hair dangling in strands that swung every time he shoved deeper, plush mouth tipped open and deadly blue locked on his.

That boy, that beautiful boy, holding Isak like this, fucking Isak like this, hands locked to the bed mouth locked shut by Even’s hand, trying to breathe through his nose from how hard he was being pressed into the mattress, how hard Even was pressing into him.

Jesus fucking fuck. Swallowing him up in all the sensation pummeling into his everything, stomach swooping, fingertips tingling, friction sliding so deep and sure, all the little sounds knocked from his throat into Even’s skin, doing fucking everything he could to keep Isak quiet while he wound him up so tight he could shatter any fucking second.

The next muffled sound spilling past clamped over lips said as much, a broken string of desperation on his frozen tongue that Even knew well enough now to catch the meaning.

“C’mon baby, fuck, hold on a little longer.”

Isak was shaking his head, no, he couldn’t, blonde curls going everywhere, looking wide-eyed up at him. Entirely glazed over, barely any green visible above the hand Even had clapped over his mouth, digging into his cheeks.

“You can do it, you're being so good,” he breathed, sliding dizzyingly in, heat, and out, friction, in, Isak’s quiet moans vibrating his palm.

Dark lashes fluttered and Isak’s head tipped backwards, spine arching in drawn out slow motion, like every inch was rippling shivers up his spine so intense he was moving underwater. Chest lifting, abs sliding up against Even’s stomach, slamming back down to the mattress with his hips tipped to sink Even deeper inside him.

“Fuck,” he cursed, speeding up the tempo of their colliding hips. Isak was trembling like a leaf, couldn't stop moving against his body back down, down, down, this painfully dragging urgency like Even had already taken him over the edge twice.

Even could barely keep his head enough to stay quiet too, let alone maintain a steady rhythm.

He couldn't fucking think, not when Isak’s body was taking Even inside him like a fucking dream, letting him shove in and in and in as he just rocked up against him and took it, begging for more.

“Jesus, Isak.” Even rolled their bodies together and Isak was wanton, every ounce of his wrecked movements taut and wound up, writhing beneath him like he couldn't take it, already plateaued past the point of too much.

“You okay?” He checked in, out of breath and barely able to fucking speak. Isak nodded weakly, tears sticking to fluttering lashes, fingers scrambling against the wood of his bed as he threw his head back again, curls flopping over the sheets, pulsing like a heartbeat.

“Baby, you’re so fucking beautiful, so good for me,” Even breathed against the taut throat, pressing a loose kiss to vulnerable skin as he tipped his hips back and shoved in deep.

Isak choked on a bright cut-off sound, tossing his head to the side, curls splaying wildly, spine arching as his heels slipped on the sheets, trying to find purchase with his legs spread that wide.

“Fuck fuck fuck, don't scream, okay, baby, don't--”

Isak's eyes rolled back in his head as his body curled in on itself, stomach muscles contracting, sensation overflowing then Isak was making a strained, muffled sound under Even’s palm and coming all over his stomach.

Rapid in out as Isak shook and shook and caught a hell of a lot more than a drop of water in his throat as it stretched, head tipping back.

Even sunk his teeth into smooth, flushed skin, biting down as Isak jolted and shuddered again, all the muscles of that beautiful body squeezing tight around him. Even sucked on his neck, hard, tasting the shivers on his tongue, the heartbeat pummeling them both. Isak kept making pitiful little sounds against his palm as Even dragged out his orgasm, wringing Isak's body until he was squirming so much under Even’s mouth he was fucking back against the pace.

“Fuck, Isak ahahh--” Even inhaled sharp, the sound cut off in his throat as his grip tightened, hips stuttering, downright dizzy as he gasped, slamming their bodies together. Isak was shivering, straining up tight all over and collapsing back to the mattress as he rode out the aftershocks and moaned into Even’s hand.

Heels digging into his lower spine, dragging Even further, deeper inside him which wasn't really possible but the motion was enough to make Even drop his head to Isak's chest, free hand gripping his shoulder so tight he'd bruise the bone if that were fucking possible.

“Fuck, fuck--”

The peak took him out for a few seconds, because by the time he stopped shuddering enough to gasp inhales, Isak wasn’t making anymore sounds, chest raising and dropping heavy beneath him.

It took Even a dazed second before he lifted his head and realized that he still had a hand clapped over Isak's mouth, his beautiful flushed boy breathing quick through his nose as his eyes watered.

“Sorry, sorry,” Even managed as he pulled it free and Isak was gasping, drawing oxygen into his mouth like he'd never tasted air before. His palm was damp, sweat and spit and heated air. He wiped it on the sheets beside Isak's head, gaze flickering all over his face.

He was still holding onto the wooden plank of the bunk bed and Even reached up, prying off his fingers and bringing them down to kiss lightly, fold over Isak's chest, a hand curled over them, chin propped on top.

“You were so good for me,” Even whispered, awed as he ran fingers through rucked blonde curls. Isak swallowed another gulp of air, eyes falling shut at the praise. Fuck.

“Wow, that was--”

“Yeah,” Isak breathed, eyes still closed. Even inhaled a little unsteadily and glanced back down their bodies, still locked together.

Then he was looking up Isak, lifting up as he slid back down, slowly pulling out.

“Ah--ahh--” Isak’s mouth stuttered and Even’s gaze snapped up, eyes wide.

“Shh!!”

“Don't pull out,” Isak shot back strenuously, lashes fanning open as he swallowed, exhaling sharp and open mouthed as Even slipped the rest of the way out, catching Isak’s knee and careful not to hit his head on the ceiling as he leaned over the side of his bed and aimed the condom for the trashcan. And missed. Damn.

“We can't stay plastered together forever.”

“Why not?” Isak breathed, peering down at him. Even shook his head and straightened out each of Isak’s legs, giving him room to slide off and land on his side next to him, scooting up so they were face to face.

Isak rolled his head drearily on the pillow, looking over at Even with his mouth closed and the rumbling ashes of desire still burning like coals in the dark swallowed up of those eyes.

Even searched back, taking in the slight bruising on Isak’s jawline, where the heel of his hand had been pressing. Other than that Isak looked pretty damn content.

“Halla,” he murmured, pretty and sweet. Even broke into a smile, hand cupping that beautiful face and pressing their lips together once, sticky and pulling apart.

“Halla.”

Isak smiled softly at him, sated and precious. Even stroked a hand down the side of his face and one of Isak’s lifted off his chest, patting uncoordinatedly until it landed on Even’s wrist, slid up to tangle in his fingers and pull their hands down, entwining properly and landing on the sheets between them.

“How are you?” Even asked and Isak twitched up an eyebrow.

“You don't do that whole pillowtalk thing, do you?”

“Hm?”

“What do you think of this weather,” Isak mocked, lacking its usual fiery charge, exhausted smile burning heat instead of tease.

“What? I'm not making smalltalk, drittsekk. It's a legitimate question,” Even defended. “We've never done anything like that before, I wanna make sure you're okay.”

“Am I okay? Even, I don't think I've ever been so turned on in my whole life.”

“Shh shh.” He held a finger over Isak’s lips, voice dropping hushed. “You still have to be quiet, just cause I'm not inside you anymore--”

“Don't say shit like that,” Isak whispered back. “Do you want me to bang my head on this ceiling trying to straddle you?”

Even broke into giggles and Isak's face betrayed him in a smile.

“I was right though,” Even pointed out, bright-eyed and fond. “You suck at being quiet.”

Pretty green eyes rolled, lips popping out dramatically to tip his head and complain in English,

“Whatever.”

“Whatever? You nearly came from me telling you to shut the fuck up.”

They both started giggling before Isak was waving a hand in the air,

“Shh, shh,” dropping into a whisper again. “Who's being loud now? Besides, if I remember correctly, that was definitely not how you worded it.”

“I can shoot for shut the fuck up next time,” Even offered.

“I'll just end up laughing if you do.”

“And probably getting stuck in a laughing fit, knowing you, so.”

“Which is significantly louder than the usual sounds I make,” Isak pointed out and Even made a face, one side of his mouth tugging down.

“I dunno…”

“Shut the fuck up,” Isak told him and then they were both laughing again, hushed and happy, curling to face each other and giggling in the haze between them.

Even only made it so long before he was dragging Isak in, the laughter cut off in the shape of their mouths pressing earnestly together, kissing sweet and dotingly soft.

His lashes were drooping by the time they finally inhaled slow, nearly dragged into the dark from the gentle skid of Isak's lips over his.

“Fuck, that was exhausting.”

Isak nodded, licking his lips, mouth making a hard sound as it opened again.

“Whose stupid idea was it to have sex on a bunk bed in your parents’ house?” Isak asked and Even shoved him, making him rock with a little giggle that tipped his chin down, curling in all cute.

They both very well knew whose idea it was.

“I have a couch you know, in this room, three feet away from us.”

They paused, looking slowly back to each other, silence holding for a moment until they both burst into laughter again.

Fuck, Isak was enchanting. Laying there naked and beautiful, laughing brighter than the stars, seeping with life and joy and everything good in this fucking world.

Even tapered off, looking at the shiny smile on the giggling boy next to him and almost whispered it into the space between them.

It kinda took everything he had not to, laying here beside Isak in his bed, watching him giggle, bare, exhausted, shoulders covered in freckles and hips faintly bruised, as they always seemed to be nowadays.

His lips parted around the three words, hovering over his tongue then Even leaned into Isak's space instead, latching on and kissing him before he dare shock that laughter right off his beautiful face, this beautiful moment.

But it was alright, because he said it all in the way he kissed Isak anyways.

Isak matched him stroke for stroke.

And they kissed softly all the way to sleep.

 

***

 

~*~*~

 

Søndag, 08:34
22.01.17

 

Sunlight pouring through Even’s open window, painting shadows across his skin, reflecting off the walls.

Even was already awake, and half-dressed, in boxers and sweats as he held his sketchpad up against the ceiling and drew something, in pencil, which Isak couldn’t say he’d seen him do before.

Isak was pretending not to be awake yet, which he was fairly sure was working. And he was zero percent dressed, sheets tugged up half-heartedly over his ass as he lay on his stomach, face mostly tucked against one of Even’s pillows, eye barely peeked open to watch the boy beside him.

His fingers were gold, tip of his pencil flashing as it moved over pages angled the wrong way for him to peek. He didn't mind, not when he got to look at the masterpiece that was the artist.

Illuminated, the swoops of blonde streaking through his hair like bits of summer, bare chest glowing enough Isak would swear he could see straight to the bone, watching the heart between his slow-expanding lungs pound, glittering as golden as the rest of him.

The light is no mystery, the mystery is that there is something to keep the light from passing through.

“Good morning,” Isak whispered. Even sketched another line, shading something with the side of his pencil.

“Don’t move.”

“Hmm?”

“Not yet,” Even said and Isak obliged. It wasn’t like he wanted to fucking move anyways.

“...are you drawing me?”

“Nei.”

“Liar.”

“At least I’m not as bad as you,” Even shot back, lip catching between his teeth as he tipped his head, another few sweeping strokes over the paper.

Isak watched his expressions shift a moment longer before he glanced back down the rest of him, all the way down to the bare feet he had crossed at the ankles, surprisingly unmoving. Even was always kicking his foot, bouncing his knee, something, but not right now.

He lifted his gaze back up to Even’s face, blinking twice as he realized Even was already looking at him, sketchbook closed and resting on his chest, pencil weaved in the spiral.

“You can move now,” he whispered and Isak lifted his head, squinting moodily against the sunlight before he was pressing a soft kiss to Even’s mouth.

A hand came up to catch the back of his head and Isak twisted their mouths, snaking an arm over Even’s chest and sliding through the sheets to wrap a bare leg up over him too.

There was a little smile on Even’s face as he pulled back, blinking slow and still kinda groggy.

“Can I see it?”

“The drawing?”

“Mmhm.”

“Nei.”

“Ughhh,” Isak complained and Even lifted up to kiss him again. Okay, fine. Isak was easy, the drawing was forgiven.

 

Thankfully, by the time a knock on the door announced breakfast, Isak had just hopped into a pair of Even’s sweats and thrown on a tshirt, both which were just a tiny bit too big for him, enough so that the material bunched around his ankles a little, brushing the floor but not enough that he was gonna trip on it.

Even kissed him and tried to smooth down the disheveled curls and told him he liked Isak in his clothes and funny, Isak liked wearing them.

Then came breakfast with the parents, and it was the same eggs he had for breakfast yesterday but Isak made sure to praise them with a twinkle in his eye regardless.

They were cleaning up dishes again when Even’s mom swept back into the room, more dressed up than she usually was, which was saying a lot.

Isak looked up from handing over a plate, eyebrows going up.

“You look lovely, Liv,” he said and Bjørn shot him a look.

Even rolled his eyes and snatched the towel from his dad.

“He's not hitting on your wife, Dad, he's gay.”

“There's no way I could know that! You do you, but he could be anything from pan to ace--”

“Look at his neck honey, he's not ace,” Liv pointed out and Isak squeaked, covering his neck with a hand. Fuck. Hickies. He forgot.

Bjørn snorted and Even was staring up at the ceiling either cursing them all or waiting for a lightning strike to finish him off, it was kinda a toss up. Liv just smiled brightly again.

“Anyways. On that note, thank you honey, for saying I look nice. Bjørn, the boys can finish if you'd like to freshen up before we go.”

“Where are you headed?” Isak asked, mostly so they could stop talking about the fact that he’d been sporting bruises through breakfast and no one - aka Even - had thought to point it out until now.

“Sunday service,” she replied, scooping up the little stack of dry plates to go up on her toes and set them back in the cabinet.

“Church?” Isak asked and Liv suddenly dropped to her heels, turning to him with her hands clasped.

“Oh, would you like to come with us?”

“Uh.” He looked over at Even, addressing the question to him. “Do you usually go?”

“Sometimes.” A shoulder lifted, nonchalant and great, that was super helpful. “We can if you want.”

“We'd love for you to,” Liv said, looking terribly eager and Isak lifted a shoulder, debating a moment before deciding fuck it.

“Um…sure. Yeah, okay.”

Liv gave them both smiles, turning to sweep back out of the room, calling over her shoulder as she did.

“Just put on something with a little higher collar, dear.”

Yeah, Isak was bright fucking red.

 

“This is your fault,” he informed Even, shrugging into the sleeves of the dark gray crisp button-up he’d found in his closet.

“You mean that I gave you that? I'm fully aware.” Even was somehow already dressed, looking at him slyly in the mirror as he slicked his hair back on the sides, twisting a fancy curl in vaulted swoops. “I remember the look on your face when I did.”

“Shut up,” Isak told him. “Nei, I meant it's your fault you didn't tell me you could see a dark purple mark over the collar of this shirt, I dunno, literally anytime before we saw your parents this morning?”

“You weren't wearing clothes for most the time before we saw my parents this morning,” Even pointed out, spinning on a heel to stride across the space between them while Isak groaned.

“You know what I mean.”

“Do I?” Even said, a dancing finger sliding down his chest before he started to button up Isak's shirt for him. Isak narrowed his eyes suspiciously, sliding a hand up Even’s arm.

“Unless it was on purpose. I know you like showing off your handiwork--”

“You like it too.”

“--but your parents!!”

“Chill out, it wasn't intentional.” He'd reached the higher buttons now, glancing between his fingers and Isak's skeptical face. “Honestly, I think I'm just so used to seeing you marked up I forgot it wasn't...socially acceptable.”

Even lifted one eyebrow in annoyance, struggling a little with the last button. Isak lifted a hand to help and got swatted away.

“I would argue with you, but…” he trailed and Even slipped the button through, mouthing finally before glancing up to Isak’s face.

“But you saw a mirror this morning in the bathroom and didn't think about it either.”

“Ja.” Isak confessed and Even smiled knowingly, dipping down to pull his mouth into a kiss.

“...all covered up now, though.”

“Shame,” Isak murmured and Even kissed him open-mouthed, chests pumping as he backed Isak for the closest wall.

A tongue slid into his mouth, sending a shiver down his spine that was totally not ideal for the situation right now. Isak put a hand over Even’s heart, dragging his lips free in a little gasp that had Even dipping back instantly for more.

He just barely dodged, head turning to land the warm mouth on his jaw instead.

“Hey, hey, we're leaving for church in ten minutes, maybe cool your jets for one goddamn morning?”

Even popped right back upright, jaw dropping in offense, eyes flashing as he leaned a step backwards, pointing a finger at his own buttoned up chest.

“Excuse me?? You started it!”

“Yeah and you're the one so damn eager to finish--”

“Boys!” A voice called from the hallway, both their heads snapping for the door. “Are you almost ready?”

“Ye-ah!” Even called back, stepping close again to slip his hand in place against Isak’s neck, pinky finger skirting under the collar. Isak lifted an eyebrow, knocking his head back against the wall.

“Told you. And I've still gotta do my hair.”

“Oh? What was that?” Even’s eyebrows shot up, head dipping down and Isak scoffed at the expression, arm around Even’s waist so he could spin them and start for the mirror.

“Does it look like I care about my hair?” Even mocked behind him and Isak threw up a finger over his shoulder.

“Fuck you, we're not starting this right now, where is your gravity defying hair gel?”

“Gravity defying?”

“Yeah, have you seen your hair? And you thought I paid attention to mine?”

 

It was snowing outside, not hard enough to make the drive over difficult, but enough that their coats were dusted with it by the time they climbed up the fanning staircase to heavy wooden doors.

The moment they stepped inside they were greeted by a half dozen voices, cheery hellos and sincere inquiries. Isak tried not to look too wide eyed, following Even to go hang up their coats.

It was apparent in minutes, everyone here knew everyone else, extremely well, and Isak took off his scarf and wondered silently if the word outsider was written across his back.

“We usually sit pretty close to the front,” Even told him congenially, carefully pulling his hoodie off, hair still somehow perfect as he finished hanging up the rest of his clothes. Isak hadn't even risked wearing a beanie, he'd take dusted with snow if it kept his curls this nice and sculpted.

He'd only seen Even properly dressed up a few times now and it kinda made his mouth dry, to follow behind the nice dress shirt, both of them buttoned up all fancy. Even wasn't the type to really like stiff clothes, but Isak didn't mind thankfully. Hell, he'd intentionally dressed up just like this for his own Christmas party.

They turned the corner into the cathedral and all the wandering thoughts about clothes or curls or parties went out the stained glass window.

This place was massive. Beautiful vaulted ceilings, walls lined with stained glass masterpieces, giant columns with decorative sculptures beside rows of dark pews all the way down to the altar.

Set back in its own giant dome, three arched, 9m stained glass windows circled around the raised pulpit, everything lit up by long, sparkling chandeliers at every column.

Isak nearly missed a step, catching himself right before he tumbled into Even. Fuck, this place.

The aisle was wide enough for him to catch up, carefully weaving around a group of chatting older folks to line his shoulder up with Even’s, glance over at him and whisper over the echoing wood floors.

“Are you Protestant?”

“Me?” He glanced back, eyebrows up before he looked back at the church, like he was seeing the ostentatiousness for the first time or something. “I dunno. I don't think I like. Prescribe to any of them, I think all faith is important and religions are fascinating. So I try to keep myself informed on as many as possible, y’know?”

Even paused, like five pews back from the altar, tipping his head for Isak to step in first. A glance over his shoulder and Even waved him on all the way to the end. At least he got to sit on the outside.

Last time he'd sat in a church pew, he'd been on the outside. And he'd ran out of the church right in the middle of a performance as the worst fear he'd ever known gripped his heart.

Isak sucked in a shaky breath and Even leaned over, touch of a smile on his face.

“Did you know I have the Quran memorized in Arabic?”

“I did, actually.” Isak wet his lips, glancing over his shoulder and spotting Liv and Bjørn, headed their way.

“Really? I don't remember when I told you.”

“You didn't. Sonja did.”

Even’s parents slid into the pew next to them, offering bright smiles as Even’s brow crinkled.

“Why would Sonja--” Isak glanced back at him just in time to catch the shift over his face. “Oh.”

“Yeah,” Isak said and Even was looking away, swallowing tightly. Something in his chest broke a little and Isak lifted a hand, lungs all tied up as he reached over to grab Even’s--

Then a booming voice echoed from the altar and Isak snatched his hand back, looking up wide eyed at the speaker up front as his fingers curled.

Fuck.

Heart pounding in his ears loud enough he couldn't really register the greeting, but it must've had something amusing thrown in because Even smiled beside him, all attentive and beautiful. The pained buried.

Moment shoved aside, in the shiny blue eyes, at least.

Manic episodes and ex girlfriends and Hell. Church glances and Bible quotes and all the things he used to sit in these pews and wonder, struck with terror. Waiting for someone to shine a spotlight on his spot, be it God or whoever, point him out in condemnation, among us today sits a sinner--

But Isak couldn't stop thinking about the copper he tasted in his mouth the moment he stopped himself from reaching for Even’s hand.

“--the truth found in every page of the Bible,” the preacher was saying and Isak really should be used to this, his mom had him sit through church service every Sunday between ages five and fifteen, but apparently all the hours in the pew couldn't keep his skin from prickling.

Like being under this roof wasn’t a lie in itself. Like he could sit here and listen to a sermon when he hadn't known how to worship anything but the soft heart of the beautiful boy beside him--

It was fine. He was fine.

We were born sick, you heard them say it.

Sana’s words echoed in the back of his head, hate doesn't come from religion it comes from fear. Doesn't come from religion doesn't--

“--here to profess your sins unto the Lord--”

Mamma I know the Bible says it's a sin, but you don't have to be afraid--

This was a surprisingly non-traditional service for the architecture of the building. Isak studied the scenes in the stained glass, putting colors and shapes together before he let himself recognize the taste of the disgust in the back of his throat.

Why had he stopped himself from taking Even’s hand?

It took a few moments to realize that everyone was standing before he popped up, making Even shoot him a funny look as the music started up.

Isak just looked down and tried not to make it really obvious he didn't remember the words to probably any of these songs.

I'll worship like a dog at the shrine of your lies, I'll tell you my sins and you can sharpen your knife--

They were singing about my worth and my unworthiness, and Isak had caught onto the melody enough to at least kind of mumble the chorus,

“--but He takes me into His arms, takes my unworthy soul and breathes His life into my heart worthy for Him--”

Even looked at Isak out of the corner of his eye, mouth tipped open to sing and Isak froze, lips parted around some word he didn't know.

Even was not angling this at him right now.

Jesus Christ.

Oh holy night, the stars are brightly--

The church he got baptized in.

It's almost 21:21.

It is the night of our dear savior's birth

What happens when I've saved you?

I'll save you right back.

Fall to your knees.

Isak couldn't manage another word through the rest of the song. He floated back down to the pew when they were called to sit, staring up at the stained glass scenes of the Bible verses his mom still texted him at least twice a week.

There is no sweeter innocence than our gentle sins.

Something bumped his leg and Isak looked down, blinking at the sermon notebook Even had slid his way.

Eyebrows knitting for the moment it took him to pick it up, flip open the cover. Blank pages with verses across the top to take notes on whatever part of the two thousand year old holy book they were dissecting today, only there weren't religious discoveries written inside this one.

Just Even’s sloping handwritting, in pencil, second time he'd seen him with a pencil today, the first he'd been laying beside him naked in bed for.

Hey are you okay?

Isak looked at the handwritten question and sucked in a breath. He debated what to say for a moment but Even was watching him debate, which negated the whole point.

Clearly, if he was okay, he'd be able to just write that down.

Isak just closed the book and slid it back to him on the pew, staring straight ahead at the preacher as Even picked it back up and started writing again.

Then he was standing, scooting past Isak and leaving the book there in his lap as he passed, walking quietly for the back of the church. Isak glanced over his shoulder at Even’s retreating back, looked back down at the book in his lap.

He opened it trepidatiously, wondering if the people behind them could see them passing notes, if Even’s parents cared that Even had just gotten up and taken off.

Meet me in the bathroom in five.

Isak scanned the words for some clue to what the fuck was happening, figured out absolutely nothing, and carefully tore the serrated page out of the notebook, folding it up to shove in his pocket.

The fuck was Even thinking? Sneaking out in the middle of a sermon?

His parents didn't seem all that concerned, giving him a little smile as he excused himself for the restroom a few minutes later, slipping out the edge of the pew to walk down the length of the church, between the giant columns and the stained glass windows with his head down so he couldn't see the look on every person’s face he passed.

Good god, let me give you my life.

The bathroom was down a little hallway past the coat room and his heart was practically jumping in his throat by the time he pushed open the door.

He'd barely made it across the threshold before Even had an arm around his waist, snaking comfortable and close, like he was dressed up for that Christmas party instead, expecting to swoop down and press a soft kiss to his mouth as he greeted a warm Halla.

Isak slipped out of Even’s arms so fast he almost spun right into a wall, stumbling a step backwards as his heart pounded pounded pounded.

Even opened his mouth to protest, ask what was wrong, eyebrows up in surprise. And then he caught the look on Isak’s face and froze in his tracks.

Here they were fire and gasoline ice and snow and Isak knew he was overreacting but he couldn't shake the feeling, the feeling of sitting beside the paradigm of his sins in this house of God when he'd been crushed terrified by that gaze for fucking years.

“Why didn't you tell me you weren't comfortable coming?” Even asked him quietly, steady.

“It’s not--” Isak’s hands would be ringing if he could move, if he wasn't the frozen one now, wetting his lips and looking down, to the side, anywhere that might give him the words to say it.

It was stupid he was being fucking stupid.

There was a cross on the wall between the bathroom mirrors and Isak eventually just blurted it out.

“You don't feel like a...an imposter?”

“Imposter? Why? What do you mean?”

“How are you just okay with this??” Isak was kinda freaking out, yeah, but Even was so fucking fine and okay and he didn't get it. The frozen statue broke enough to swing out an arm, spill the axiomatic over the tiles. “This is a church, and we're gay.”

“Yeah,” Even said quietly. “So?”

“So??” What the fuck, so? “Churches used to kill gay people, in the name of God, or did you miss that part of queer history??”

A retreating moment, space between them widening even more. Even looked taken aback.

“Isak, has-- did you--”

Blue eyes just studied him a moment. Trying to understand, but Isak didn't get how he didn't get it.

“Has someone...did your church kick you out?”

“My church doesn't know,” he fired back. “I don't want to hear whatever sob story I'd get if they did. I don't fucking need their acceptance, I don't need anybody's acceptance, not my fucking pastor or my fucking youth group or my fucking parents and I thought I was over this, fuck.”

Isak put his head in his hands and tried to breathe.

He'd texted his mom, fucking terrified she'd disown him (which was funny because that's exactly what he'd done to her and dad) and she'd texted back that she loved him no matter what, wasn't that.

Wasn't that supposed to be enough, why did the wooden cross on the wall strike fucking fear into his heart, he wasn't even that religious it was just his parents, just his mom and his childhood and his wandering thoughts when it was way too late to be awake and he couldn't sleep and wondered distantly whether his priest would've ever lifted his head up from the water of that baptism if he'd known what Isak would become afterwards.

“Is this about your mom?” Even asked him. It was kinda surprising he hadn't reached for Isak yet, hadn't closed the space to run a comforting hand down his spine. He couldn't decide if the careful distance Even was keeping between them made him grateful or was fucking killing him.

trying to keep faith as I picture his face staring up at me

Was this about his mom. He'd forgotten, Even had seen one of those Bible texts. If only he fucking knew.

Isak wiped over his face, making sure there weren't any tears staining his skin.

Was this about his fucking mom.

“How many people in this building think I should burn?” Isak asked the floor tiles, glancing up to the alarm knitting all those pretty features, the swallow catching in his bruised throat. “Think we should burn?”

“I don't think any of them,” Even replied slowly, holding his gaze like Isak was the thinnest piece of shatterable glass he'd ever seen. “It's 2017, Isak. Gay marriage has been legal in Norway since you were...five.”

A step forward and Isak somehow didn't flinch, trying to just breathe as Even stepped closer, softened. Sincere.

Hands carefully taking his, fingers wrapping chilled and rough and smooth and real, around his, urgent and sure as the whisper.

“You don't have to be afraid.”

And Isak was instantly struggling away, fighting Even’s grip that slipped to his wrists.

“I'm not afraid I'm not--”

He sucked in a sharp breath, weak protest slipping as Even held tight to the bones of his wrists and looked him straight in the eye.

Steady. So fucking steady and Isak didn't get it, he was nothing but unsteady, nothing but pouring cracks between brightly colored broken pieces of painted glass.

“In our lifetimes, just years ago or hell, maybe even now, someone could walk into this bathroom, see this scene, and we could be beaten within an inch of our lives in the back parking lot.” He tried not to break, chest expanding too quick as the image of those blue eyes bruised, a cut across that shining smile flashed--

“Isak. It's fine if religion scares you, really, we can leave--”

“It's not that, it's not the fucking faith, Jesus, it's the people, it's that they use words like this and temples like to act like what we have is wrong, like we're not just as holy as they are--”

His fists were curled and there was water in the corners of his vision and he couldn't really breathe but he kept going anyways.

“--like we haven't saved each other and turned something hopeless into something beautiful and real and full of light and life.”

Even simply watched him as he shook his head, inhaled again, staying so close, solemn.

Listening and holding him anchored as the cross on the wall burned and Isak slowly fell apart.

“I can't just sit there listening to someone preach from a book that said people like us should be stoned to death, I can't just keep my mouth shut and say everything is fine now when a couple countries away you can still be killed for being what we are, when the vice president of the free world wants to bring back conversion therapy. I'm sick of people pretending everything is fine when it's not, when there's kids committing suicide and clubs getting shot up and a whole fucking world that's so scared they'd rather watch us die than be who we are??”

Some part of his brain registered the tears, bubbling in his throat, painting his words and sticking to his eyelashes as he shook his head again, again, every word escalating escalating escalating--

“It's not fucking fair, my soul doesn't need to be saved. This is not a sin, we are not a sin, I don't give a fucking fuck what some thous-and year old book says, I am not. sick, and I am never going to apologize for loving you.”

The tear slipped down his cheek with the sharp gasp, raised words echoing around the empty room, bouncing back to hit him in the chest as his eyes slipped closed, shout strangling his tongue trying to just breathe. Breathe.

His wasn't the only sharp inhale as he threw his confession at the walls but he couldn't think about that, couldn't think about anything except that he had to keep breathing in and out before his body gave up on him too.

the truth runs wild like a tear down a cheek

The circles around his wrists were loose enough to slip his hands free, rubbing over his eyes and finally blinking watery back open.

Even was just looking at him, looking at everything inside him and Isak inhaled shakily, intake level way too high, wiping both hands over his face.

The movement was too quick to be anywhere near able to protest as Even caught his hands again before he could lower them, squeezing his palms sideways and hard enough that his fingers splayed.

The grip was tight, nowhere fucking near gentle. Really really tight.

“I'm never going to apologize for loving you, either.”

Even held his gaze and Isak huffed shakily, either a broken laugh or a sound that he was about to fall apart, even he wasn’t sure.

A moment to just look in Isak’s eyes, make sure he heard him, understood how fucking much he meant it. Isak was gonna cry again, this was fine, everything was completely fine.

Even dropped his hands, palm pressing into the back of his shoulder as he pulled Isak into a rough hug, chests colliding, arms wrapping instantly, fingers digging into nice shirts. To be six foot tall and be able to fall into someone begging for comfort, to be held as the world shook on his shoulders.

The first time he admitted aloud that he loved Even - like he didn't already know - and they were in the fucking boys bathroom.

And that was. The same place they'd first met. Spoke. The first words there the first words to break them here.

Isak collapsed and buried his face and held tight to Even and did not cry. He held as still as he could, two wrapped statues under a holy roof that could maybe be built to shelter them too and Isak didn't cry.

 

The worst part? Of everything and everyone in his life, of all the people who could destroy him disown him deface him for who he was, there was only ever one person who ever truly hated him for it.

And that was himself.

 

 

 

Søndag, 14:54
22.01.17

 

Even’s knee pressed to his for the rest of the sermon. They'd missed most of it, but in theory Isak had washed his face enough not to have his eyes red and puffy anymore, so let Even’s parents think what they may, Isak really didn't care.

They didn't seem to mind though, chatting lightly about the discussion at the altar on their way out for lunch afterwards.

On the way to the church Isak and Even had sat on opposite sides of the car, glancing across the distance at each other between watching the city outside their windows.

Now, Isak sat in the middle seat, leaning on Even’s shoulder, a hand wrapped securely around his waist.

That was fucking draining, but there was a thumb rubbing over his ribs and he was gonna be alright.

Lunch was nice, conversation shifted to food tastes and preferences, Bjørn was picky as hell and Liv would eat anything under the sun.

Isak told Even’s parents the story of those first cheese sandwiches Even had ever made them and Even covered his face with his hands while his dad made a lot of horrified noises.

“It was absolutely terrible,” Isak informed them, nudging the groaning boy beside him with a beaming smile, trickling laugh. “And somehow I ended up falling for him anyways.”

Liv made an awww sound and Even lifted his head from his hands, lips parted as he looked over at Isak, the same lit up surprise from the day Isak ran a thumb over Even’s lip and told him, I like hearing you laugh.

Isak just smiled down at his plate and scooped up another bite.

By the time lunch was over it was late afternoon, and Isak had been with the Bech Næsheims since noon yesterday, so when the parents offered to drive him back to his place on their way home, he couldn't tell them no.

He sure as hell didn't wanna go home, not like this, to wave goodbye from the curb and walk up back to his apartment alone.

Didn't have much of a choice, wasn't like he could ask Even’s parents to wait for an hour while he took their son upstairs to fall into his arms one more time, make everything stop feeling so fucking fragile.

The dread already had ahold of his stomach as they turned onto his street, car sliding up to stop right in front of his door.

Isak managed a quick barrage of thank you’s and goodbye’s, all shot back with of course thank you come over again soons. Then he was opening the car door to step out onto the sidewalk outside his apartment, Even climbing out after him.

To kiss him goodbye on his doorstep. It should be romantic but he wasn’t going to see Even until school tomorrow, a long sleepless night ahead of him and Isak sighed, trudging to a stop on the doormat outside and swiveling a little on his feet, swaying back and forth, how much he didn't wanna fucking do this.

“Thanks for having me over, I had a nice time,” Isak said, looking at the mat, up at his boyfriend. It wasn't like he was sending him off to war, he'd literally see him tomorrow but it just sucked, being alone right now sounded awful.

He had no fucking problems saying goodbye when class started, when morning came and Even had to rush off somewhere, when he left from a homework session after school.

But when they'd just slept together, or broken down in the boys bathroom crying, having Even disappear after that sucked. Fucking sucked.

Isak was an emotional hoe and he needed the support, goddammit, especially when it was dark out, which it would be soon.

Whatever. He had to get over it eventually, might as well look forward to the sleepless night he fucking knew he was gonna get.

Isak wet his lips, glancing up again and doing a double take, head retreating back as Even was suddenly pulling his hoodie off over his head.

Why the fuck was Even stripping in the middle of the street, it was fucking cold and his parents were waiting at the sidewalk and they did not have a good track record with public nudity.

“What--”

Even’s head popped free from the hoodie, back in his fancy church clothes here in the middle of the sidewalk, buttoned up and beautiful and bouncing on his toes, nervous.

Then he was holding the hoodie out to Isak. Isak took it slowly, still really fuckin’ confused.

“I don’t know. I thought maybe it might help you sleep.”

Isak’s eyebrows shot up and he looked down at the black fabric, fist tightening in the material as he brought it a little closer to his body. Might help him sleep.

“Jonas?” he asked, looking up. That’s what he’d figured that phone call had been about.

“Yeah,” Even replied, hands shoved in his pockets, shoulders up against the cold.

Isak nodded and looked back down at the hoodie. Apparently today was Isak gets to be emotional as hell day because here he was holding Even’s hoodie in the middle of the sidewalk and getting all choked up.

“Takk,” he said quietly, lifting his head as Even stepped forward into his space. Nose and cheeks already light pink from the cold.

“Of course,” he whispered back. They both stood quiet for a moment. Isak swayed and Even bounced on his toes.

“Isak...I know we didn't get the chance to actually. Talk about it, and I know I didn't see how bad it was for you at first. I mean, I guess I didn't think to connect the drowsiness and you passing out during homework on Thursday and everything to, uh, me moving out? I'm. I'm really sorry, I get now that this isn't easy for you, but I wanna help. I'm not expecting a hoodie to just fix everything and I know it's not enough, but...we’ll figure it out, okay? Just. Gimme some time.”

There was a plea in his voice, under the light light sun catching eyes. He hadn't been sure, entirely, why it mattered so much that they didn't live together, but.

There was something underneath, Even was trying to work through something and the longer Isak looked at the apologetic expression on that beautiful face the more sure he was that this was about a hell of a lot more than their ages or school or sleep.

There was a reason. A real reason, that Even was scared to tell him, but he moved out for that. Whatever it was. Whatever it was, Isak was here for him. That's what they did, they supported each other, and whatever Even needed to work through right now, he could wrap himself up in a warm worn hoodie and get over himself enough to let them take this chill.

Just. Gimme some time.

“Ja. Ja, of course,” Isak whispered back, blinking up at him, then Even got a hand on his cheek and he sucked in a breath, exhaling and feeling like himself again.

He tipped his head up, eyes already closed and Even kissed him, sincere and soft and grateful and perfectly still.

Their lips didn’t move together the way they usually did, no tugging and overlapping, just press and hold, solid and sure. Then Even was pulling back, fingertips skirting down his arm, exhaling smoke over the space between them.

“I’ll see you tomorrow, okay?”

“Yeah,” Isak replied. “I’ll see you tomorrow.”

Even let go of his hand and Isak looked down at his cold palm, hadn’t realized Even had been holding it.

Then he was taking two steps backwards, spinning for the car and offering a little wave.

“Have a good night!”

“You too,” Isak called back and Even blew him a kiss, cheeky little smile with it as he opened up the door and swung back into his parent’s car.

Liv was waving at him from the passenger window and Isak waved back, then he was stepping inside and clutching the hoodie tight to his chest.

He might actually have a decent night after all.

Chapter Text

Mandag, 07:35
23.01.17

 

The kitchen was dark, so in theory, it was fucking empty.

Eskild was innocently opening up every fucking cabinet looking for some goddamn fucking tea since apparently nothing was ever where he wanted it anymore, and that’s when he heard the quiet crunch behind him and nearly jumped through the actual ceiling.

He shrieked, he did not scream, he shrieked.

“Eskild, it’s just me--”

“Isak Valtersen! Why the fuck--” He reached for the closest light, slamming it on and making them both wince at how bright it was. “Why the fuck are you eating cereal in the dark??”

“I didn’t feel like blinding myself?” Isak had a hand up over the light, squinting under all the disheveled deceptive little angel curls.

“Other people live here, Isak.”

“I know that, Eskild, jeez.” He rolled his eyes, turning back to his cereal. Eskild huffed at him and starting opening more cabinets. “It’s the cabinet above the stove.”

“...the tea?”

“Yes, the tea.”

Eskild gave him a suspicious look over his face and Isak threw up a hand, mouth full of cereal as he spoke around it all muffled and annoyingly boyish.

“I’ve lived here how long? I know you what you drink in the morning, Jesus.”

“I think you’re stalking me,” Eskild informed him and Isak rolled his eyes again, drama queen turning right back to his cereal.

Eskild turned back to the cabinets, slowly closing them and reaching up on his tiptoes to get the ones over the stove. Would you look at that, there was all of his tea.

“Actually, speaking of which…” He dropped back flat-footed, spinning around slowly, lips tucked in as he looked over at Isak and Isak raised a suspicious eyebrow. “...did you text me this morning? At like. Two?”

“Um...ja.”

“Ja, sorry, I was sleeping...what did you need?”

“Nothing,” he replied, all scrunched up like Eskild was asking the weirdest questions on the planet.

Well ex-fucking-cuse him, he wasn’t the one who texted his flatmate at two in the morning the very ominous are you awake.

But if he wanted to be all clandestine and shit, whatever, Eskild was going to make himself some goddamn tea now.

He’d barely turned back to the cabinets before the chair behind him was screeching and he glanced over his shoulder, checking to see if Isak had changed his clandestine mind, but no he was just. Putting his bowl in the sink. And...getting down his tea for him, how sweet.

Eskild gave him a bit of a suspicious glance as he held out the box of his favorite.

Isak shook the box a little and he reached out, snagging a packet and watching even more suspiciously as he put it back in the cabinet.

“What, you’re short, I’m helping,” Isak defended and Eskild shoved his punk-ass shoulder.

“First of all, Is-ak, I am an inch taller than you, second of all, it is not my fault you have freakishly long arms, I can get my damn tea myself, thank you very much.”

“You’re not an inch taller than me!”

“I am too! At least. I’m being generous.”

“Whatever.” Isak rolled his eyes for the third dramatic time this morning, shaking his head back and forth with it and taking a dramatic step around Eskild’s shoulders in the direction of the hallway. “Enjoy your tea, you’re welcome.”

“Enjoy the rest of your mystery morning Mr. Clandestine can’t tell anybody what’s happening with me ever.”

He could feel the fourth eyeroll on his way out of the kitchen.

What he did not anticipate though, was the slow backpedaling that suddenly had Isak leaning against the wall by the fridge, mouth open as Eskild turned around from the kettle and raised an eyebrow at him.

“Eskil, actually...uh.”

“So he speaks, then?” Eskild made a sassy face and pretended not to melt at the precious little rounded, tongue-paused way Isak said his name anytime he wanted to talk about anything important.

“I can just go,” Isak offered, throwing a thumb over his shoulder, already pushing off the wall to make the dramatic point.

“Okay, okay, what was it you texted me about at 2 in the morning, I’ll stop being...y’know. Annoying.”

“Wow, would you look at that, you do own a mirror.”

“You’re pushing your luck,” Eskild warned him with a wagging finger point and Isak burst into a little smile, looking down at his feet before he crossed his arms over his chest and leaned against the wall again.

“Did you see the new Troye video?”

“...Troye Sivan? The gay singer Troye Sivan?”

“Jaa…”

“You listen to Troye Sivan??”

“Oh shut up,” Isak squinched up his nose, all offended and whatnot but what, that was surprising. “He’s a gay artist, there’s not a lot of those.”

“Actually, there’s a whole sphere of gay hiphop.”

“...really??”

“Yeah, there is, you should check it out. Definitely more your speed than Troye.”

“I like Troye,” Isak defended and Eskild made the loudest shock sound he could muster without waking the girls.

“So he not only admits to listening to, but liking Troye Sivan--”

“You’re impossible to talk to.”

“--okay, okay, I’ll stop. What was it you said, a new video or something?”

“Yeah, it came out last Thursday. I didn’t see it ‘til last night, have you?”

“I haven’t. Is it worth watching?”

Isak lifted a shoulder. “I think so.”

“I mean if it’s worth texting your flatmate to see if they’re up at two in the morning, I suppose I might maybe check it out.”

“I can’t wait until we don’t live together anymore,” Isak told him, pushing off the wall and Eskild blew him a thousand kisses from the kitchen.

Isak rolled his eyes. But stopped in the hallway to blow him back one. Eskild snatched it out of the air before he could take it back.

Fucking sweet little angel of a kid, that one.

 

 

Mandag, 10:05
23.01.17


text

 

 

Mandag, 14:42
23.01.17

 

Apparently today was the day of wild texts.

It had been over a year since the last time he got the text inviting him for afternoon coffee.

Jeez, they were both in such different places now. That was all he could think about as he squeezed past the cramped tables, headed for the one they used to sit at, in the back. And there she was, just like last time, only this time sans that worried, fretting frown.

“Halla,” Isak greeted, pulling out the chair across from Eva’s bright smile, brightening even more as he sat down.

“Hi! I got you a coffee, again.”

“Takk,” he smiled back, wrapping his hand around the glass as Eva slid it his way. “Not so sad this time?”

“Oh no, not at all.” Eva leaned her elbows on the table, tipping her head as she took a sip of her own. “A lot has changed since then, y’know?”

“A lot,” Isak agreed, lifting his straw to his lips. It was a way sugary latte, his favorite kind. She remembered, after all this time.

“Especially after puberty hit you like a truck,” she pointed out and Isak scoffed, pulling his beanie down further over his ears. “You used to be so soft.”

“Who said I’m not now??”

“You have a jawline,” she pointed out and Isak rolled his eyes, firing right back.

“You cut off all your hair. The long is better, you look like a mom now.”

“Mmm, there’s the bitch I know,” Eva smiled, clinking their glasses in the center of the table. Isak lifted a shoulder, whatever, and she smiled a little wider, all cozy and young in her white knit sweater. “How about you? Are you sad?”

“Not sad,” he corrected. “Confused, probably.”

“About Even?”

“Nei, things are good with him. Really good, I’ve reached hoodie-stealing status.” He cocked an eyebrow over his coffee and Eva laughed, leaning over the table to tug on the material at his wrist.

“Is this his?”

“Nei, it’s at home.”

“What’s the point in stealing it if you don’t wear it?” She gave him a sassy face and Isak furrowed, making a duh face right back at her.

“So I can sleep in it, and it still smells like him.”

“Fair point. Jeez, you’re totally gone, aren’t you?”

“I am,” Isak sighed and she took a long sip of her latte, nodding softly to herself.

“But then what are you confused about?”

“Jonas, funny enough,” Isak said and Eva’s mouth popped open, a moment of silenced shock before she managed, high and incredulous.

“You don’t--”

“Nei, I don’t,” he quickly corrected, to which she breathed out an exaggerated phew. Yeah, same.

“Then what’s up?”

“It’s that...I know you and I are fixing things, and I’m really glad about that, cause I really did miss you--”

“Aww,” Eva interrupted and Isak sighed.

“--not that much.”

“Hey!”

“Okay, that much. Anyways, we’re fixing things, moving past all the terrible shit I did first year, but. I haven’t gotten the chance to do that with Jonas, y’know?” He swirled his straw around in his latte, watching the foam part slowly.

“But he never found out,” Eva said, confused and Isak lifted his eyes, glancing up at her before swallowing and looking back down.

“Exactly.”

“...oh. So it’s a guilt thing, then?”

“Ja,” he murmured, pausing the stirring to lift the glass to his mouth, drink it from the side the way he used to. Back when he thought sucking things out of a straw would be too gay. What the actual fuck, at himself. “It’s a guilt thing.”

“Isak,” Eva said quietly and it’d been a long time, but he still knew exactly what that tone of voice meant.

“Look, I know you said to get over it, because you are, but I can’t.”

Isak paused, the last moment before he admitted it out loud and he had to face it. The confession he’d been dying to tell someone, anyone for fucking months and months and months finally tumbled off his tongue and the reality of the words spilled out with it.

“...I feel like I’m lying to Jonas everytime I open my mouth.”

He inhaled sharp, letting it sink in. There had been a lot of things bothering him over the past year, but nothing like that one. Jonas was his best friend, he couldn’t lose him, so he didn’t tell him. Period.

And he thought, hoped, that eventually, he’d be fine, it wouldn’t matter anymore. That time would fix everything, but he wasn’t fucking over it. He was lying actively to his best friend every fucking day, had been for over 365 of them now, and he wasn’t sure how much longer he could.

It was easier when he was doped up on boredom and weed, but life was different now, life counted, and he couldn’t keep living this one lying to Jonas.

Isak finally lifted his head again. Eva was just looking at him, full of the sorrow he could read so easily in her eyes. That she could read in his.

They used to be fucking close for a reason. They saw each other, and that hadn’t changed.

“Listen, Isak…” She had her sweater wrapped over her hands, cupped around the coffee glass like it was tea instead. He already knew what she was gonna say, but he kept his mouth shut because he probably needed to fucking hear it out loud.

“You told me yourself. Jonas can’t know. I don’t if he still has feelings for me, but if he does? I don’t know if he’d forgive you.”

She was right.

Actually, Jonas could despise Eva’s guts and still not forgive Isak for that. Because yeah, this was about him and Eva, but it was also about So Much More Than That.

Jonas couldn’t know. Isak had made that much clear, at that Christmas party first year. Jonas could never know.

But hadn’t she told him that same thing, at the skatepark, when she’d confessed to cheating on Jonas with Chris? That Jonas couldn’t find out?

Isak had told Jonas himself. Then on that bench, at the end of the year, Eva had asked him why. And he’d told her the truth: because Jonas would’ve forgiven her if she’d said it herself. If he found out from her instead of someone else.

So wouldn’t that work now? If he told Jonas himself, wasn’t there some shot at forgiveness?

“Eva--”

“Isak, I know what you’re thinking. But this is different, you didn’t fuck up a relationship because of some stupid mistake. It was...intentional.”

The hesitance before the word, as honest as it could be because. Fuck. She was still right.

“And besides, I was at the risk of him finding out from other people. Jonas still doesn’t know, a year later, so clearly he won’t find out unless you’re the one who tells him. The only people who know are in this room right now, and that can’t change.”

Isak wet his lips, looking down forlorn at his coffee. That was not what he was hoping she’d say. Yeah, she was right, but everything still felt like a fucking lie and he couldn’t...he wasn’t sure how much longer he could keep it up, no matter what Eva said.

“Why can’t you just be as bad as me,” Isak complained, lifting his glass and shooting her a look over the top of it. “Here you are over here trying to do the right thing when I fucked up your life.”

“I fucked up my life, remember? And you fucked up yours, I’m just trying to be the good friend and not let you fuck it up again.”

“It’s kinda annoying, how nice you are,” Isak told her and Eva rolled her eyes.

“You adore me. I don’t know what you’d do without me.”

“Get in a lot of fights and land a boyfriend, apparently.”

She laughed, bright and weightless again. Straw to her lips and Isak mirrored, both of them smiling at each other across a table he’d once ruined everything over.

“So. How are things really with that boy of yours?”

Isak sighed. Of course she wasn’t taking the hoodie diversion.

“Up and down. He moved out, which sucks, but the sex is great.”

Eva snorted into her drink. “Sounds like boys.”

“Ja,” he agreed. “Oh, which reminds me. Did you hear that apparently our boyfriends are friends?”

“Really?”

“Mmhm. Lab partners or something. Did Chris mention anything?”

“Nei, actually.”

“Ja, neither did Even.” He shrugged, thinking back to the temporary reactivation of the cathooker groupchat last Friday. “The boys saw them hanging out and were surprised.”

“Definitely an unlikely friendship,” Eva agreed, making a sound as she tipped her head, looking down at her half gone latte. “Although Chris is not exactly my boyfriend.”

“What are you then?” Isak squinted, head turning to look at her suspiciously.

Eva shrugged, taking another sip. “Hell if I know. Y’know, boys.”

“To boys,” Isak lifted his glass and Eva laughed brightly, raising hers in return.

“To better friendships.”

“Ooh, way better.”

“Ja, definitely.” They clinked their drinks and both took sips. Isak opened his mouth to ask her how everything else was, the girls, her mom, something, but Eva beat him to it, setting her glass back down and pinning him with an inescapable gaze.

“I can’t believe the last time we were here you told me to ask Ingrid.

Isak sucked in a hiss through his teeth.

“Yikes.”

“You’re a fucking snake,” she told him and he rolled his eyes back dramatically in his head.

She whacked his hand over the table and he made an offended sound, darting it out of reach. Eva’s eyebrows were up, head shaking, c’mon, you know it’s true and Isak leaned back in his chair, sighing.

“Ja, ja.”

“You are!”

“Maybe,” he conceded. “But I’m not anymore.”

“Mhmm,” Eva said, sounding really convinced. Isak lifted his shoulders, mouth opening. What more could she want from him.

“Really!”

“So what all happened with Even’s ex-girlfriend Sonja?”

“Oh fuck you,” Isak told her and Eva laughed, tipping sideways as she did, a real, full-blown Eva Kviig Mohn laugh that you couldn’t listen to and not smile.

It even had a snort thrown in, crooked fingers covering her mouth a moment as Isak shook his head, then she was moving the hand aside to raise her chin and tell him cheekily,

“We’ve got more in common than you thought.”

Isak raised an unimpressed eyebrow.

“Team Jonas,” she teased, throwing in the little salute.

Isak threw his straw at her.

Unfortunately, damn, it happened to still be covered in frothy sugar latte, and now so was Eva.

The napkins that came with the coffee weren’t gonna cut it, so Isak could only protest mildly as Eva dragged him to the girls’ single-stall bathroom and made him help her clean it out of her hair.

Isak bitched the entire time and neither of them stopped smiling.

Or shoving each other.

To good friendships.

 

 

 

Mandag, 18:34
23.01.17

 

“Hey, we’re working out together again soon, right?”

“What are you talking about, we have sex all the time.” Even peered down at the blonde boy on his chest, the little huff at his comment.

Isak pulled out his sassiest voice, tracing a finger down Even’s chest. “Not what I meant.”

“There isn’t a better work out,” he insisted, running an affectionate hand through blonde curls. “Why lift weights when I can lift your scrawny ass instead?”

“I’m not scrawny!!”

Isak's mouth popped open, a moment of shocked indignation - does it look like I care about my hair? - before he was grabbing Even’s shoulder, using the leg already hitched up over Even to roll them twice, hand shoving shoulders and landing on top of him properly, pinning him hard to the bed with a hand on his chest and the other on his throat.

Even caught his breath, a bubbling laugh as he knocked Isak’s hand aside and wrapped an arm around his waist.

“Hahaha, jeez. No kidding.”

He was still being squinted at suspiciously and Even shot his eyebrows up, running a hand up Isak’s hip, amused and fond while Isak faux glared harder at him.

“Scrawny, scrawny, who do you think I am?? I shoved you in that pool, I'll shove you again. Just cause I let you have your way with me doesn't mean I can't still kick your ass.”

His nose crinkled up he was so indignant and it was taking a lot not to just full-on laugh at the offense.

“Mmm, debatable. It’s still me doing the lifting.” Even skirted his hand up Isak’s chest, back down to rest with curled fingers tucked just inside the waistband of his sweats as he scoffed, dramatic jaw dropped.

“What are you talking about, lifting? You only carry me places, you've never actually held me up against a wall.”

Even’s eyebrows shot up again, head dipping down as he caught Isak’s gest. “To fuck you?”

Pouty mouth glued shut, cheeks dusted pink, eyebrows up like he wasn’t that interested but oh boy, Even could feel his racing heart from here. And that was before he made the little confirmation noise.

“Mhmm.”

“Isak, you're a built, 6ft tall male who towers over most of the world population.”

“And you're taller,” Isak pointed out, running a hand up Even’s arm, sweeping back down, a touch of boldness mixed in with the teasing dare. “Think you can't do it?”

He could do anything. This was Isak, the literal personification of the sun.

All Even wanted to do was pull that beautiful boy down, right here and now, kiss him and murmur against his lips how fucking much he loved him, but.

Isak’s confession in the church, that wasn’t fair, he wasn’t gonna assume they just got to say that now. Isak hadn’t mentioned the text he sent an abbreviated version in, so he wasn’t gonna turn that breakdown into a moment to advance their relationship or something.

Not like they needed to say I love you to advance their relationship. Just that the number of times he found it hovering on his lips was increasing drastically all the damn time and he just. Was having a harder and harder time keeping his mouth shut. Maybe he just...shouldn’t.

“Ooo, he thinks he can’t--” Isak cocked up an eyebrow and Even blinked out of the fond daze, shaking his head once as he looped back into the conversation.

“Of course I can. I might have to actually start working out first, though.”

“What, drawing doesn't count?” Isak asked innocently.

Even shoved his shoulder. “Very funny.”

“You trying to start somethin’?”

“Who, me?” Even teased and Isak shot up a cocky eyebrow.

Apparently the cocky eyebrow was the last straw, cause the next thing Isak knew he was being dragged down to the mattress and Even was strong, but he was mostly limbs and smiles and crinkled eyes and floofy hair, Isak had washboard abs and experience, thank you very much.

It didn't take much to flip them again, spinning with it this time, getting one knee in Even’s lower back and his arm crooked up behind him.

“Ow ow,” Even tapped out and Isak rolled off, collapsing next to him with told you so written all over his pretty face.

“Stronger than most the population too.”

“Fuck, apparently,” Even groaned, rolling onto his side, grabbing Isak’s waist and dragging him bodily closer. Pressing a possessive kiss to his cheek and curling them back together, a hand in his curls again.

Isak slid a fond thumb over Even’s mouth, up his cheek, down his jaw. A crinkling smile at him and Isak cocked his head on the bedspread, gaze twinkling, lips pursed and waiting.

Even huffed and pressed a soft kiss to his mouth. When he pulled back Isak tightened a hand on the back of his neck, keeping him close to kiss again.

And again, and again, broad hands on his spine Isak kept chasing that pretty mouth down until they were both smiling soft and wrapped up in each other, sweet rapid little kisses that made Isak melt to putty in Even’s arms.

A hand cupping his jaw, locked gazes and quiet inhales, near cross-eyed from how close they were entwined. The silence was warm when it finally broke, lingering question two inches from his mouth.

“Have you ever been in an actual fight?”

It was a fair question, especially considering the lock he'd just gotten Even in.

Isak wet his lips, popping his lips out as he decided how to answer.

“Uh...yeah. Not like. Wrestling though, fist fights.”

“Really? So much I don't know about you,” Even teased and Isak scoffed, brushing the comment aside.

“There was a string of them last year. It started with Jonas and got. Way worse from there.”

Even’s eyebrows shot up.

“Jonas doesn’t strike me as the type to start rivalries between schools.”

“You’ve heard about it, then.”

Isak’s gaze flickered between shining blue, wondering how much exactly Even had heard.

“The girls mentioned something,” he admitted.

Oh, so he knew the rumors, then. That was fucking nothing.

“Yeah…” Isak trailed off, looking down. It was a hell of a lot more complicated than any of the girls knew.

“...the first punch was thrown by Jonas. Some guy said something and. Well. The whole thing ended up getting pinned on William, because the guy Jonas punched told his friends and they thought it’d been William who’d caused the trouble, then all of William’s friends got beaten up since he wasn’t there and it was. Fuck, it was a mess. I legit thought Jonas broke his nose.”

“Why was he throwing punches in the first place?”

“We were at a party, and. There were these guys, who decided to say some-- Anyways. It was dumb stuff, and I wasn’t gonna do anything about it because I was pretending I didn’t care, but then. Shit got out of hand and Jonas ended up coming to my rescue, I guess.”

“He punched somebody and started a literal war defending you from some guys?” The incredulous note was impossible to miss and Isak huffed, head tipping back and forth. When you put it that way.

“They were pretty rude guys, but. Basically, yeah.”

“Wow.”

“Yeah. It wasn’t us that took it so far into left field though. I mean, one of the fights William cracked a bottle over this guy’s head. That fight got fucking...wild. But like. I dunno, we’re both kinda past fighting. We made a pact never to get in fights without each other, and then we kinda swore off fights all together, so.”

“Good.” Even smiled, featherlight touch running down his cheekbone. “...cause I like your nose the way it is.”

They eskimo-kissed, noses rubbing as Isak broke into a smile too, tipping up to peck that pretty mouth one more time.

“Soo,” Even trailed, mouth pursing to the side all cute as Isak’s eyebrows shot up.

“...how about that workout?”

He didn't mean lifting weights. Just Isak’s hips, which was perfectly fine with him.

 

 

~*~*~

 

Tirsdag, 09:05
24.01.17

 

“Mr. Schistad!”

In case the opening door wasn’t loud enough to disrupt the class, the teacher’s sudden spin and shout certainly was.

“You may not simply saunter in class five minutes late! In case you’ve forgotten, you’ve already failed this class once, and I would highly recommend you show up on time for it.”

“It’s my only class,” Chris defended, throwing up a hand as he rounded the corner, shaking his head and muttering loud enough for all of them to hear. “Cut me some slack, jeez.”

The teacher waved him off, going back to writing on the board as Chris dropped his backpack loudly to the ground next to their lab table and plopped down with a pissy, heavy sigh.

Even glanced over, waiting a moment for the teacher to start talking again before he asking.

“This is your only class?”

“Yeah. I’m from ‘97,” Chris sighed, flopping his notebook and folder down dramatically before he draped a forearm over the table and turned to Even, chewing the inside of his cheek. “Most people know that, why did you think everyone went dead quiet when I walked in?”

“Huh.” Even just thought it was because he was hot and popular. That’s why people went silent when he went places. “And you failed Genetics Laboratory?”

“Ja, ‘cause it’s the only class that’s entirely attendance, you can’t do the homework online or learn the lectures off youtube cause you have to grow your own fly culture or some shit, and they wouldn’t let me test out of it, so here I am.” A dramatic hand thrown up and Chris shook his head, flipping open his notebook. “I miss a lot of school for just one semester and I’ve gotta come back to secondary for an hour and a half every day.”

“Sucks,” Even offered and Chris jumped his eyebrows, tongue in his cheek as he reached back down in his backpack for a pen. Even slid him over his extra one, clicking the end once so Chris looked up and saw it. “On the bright side, at least you didn’t fail a whole year.”

“Psh, yeah, at least that.” He scoffed, scooping up Even’s pen and dating the top of his paper, huffing to himself before he glanced up, all amused. “I don’t know anybody who…”

Chris trailed off, registering the look on Even’s face and clicking his tongue in surprise.

“Really? Are you from ‘97 too?”

“February 12, 1997,” Even confirmed, shrugging casually. “Had to repeat my second year.”

Well that was the first time anyone had been happy to hear that. Chris’s mouth morphed all the way up into his predatory wolf smile. “Maybe that’s why we get along so well.”

“Or maybe it’s because we both choose the back of the class.”

“Which is probably because we both think secondary is stupid,” Chris pointed out and Even tipped his head in concession. Yeah, that.

“Hey, speaking of which, did you need help on those lab reports? It wasn’t really fair the way I won--”

Chris opened up his folder and slid a finished lab report over to him, typed. Then he was pulling out one of his own, handwritten, their names across the top.

“I heard she gives brownie points for typing it, you’re welcome.”

Even rolled his lips in, running his tongue over them before popping out with a quiet sound. Sometimes people could be fucking surprising.

“You know, for a loser who had to repeat school, you’re pretty cool, Christoffer.”

Lifted eyebrows and a smile shot over. Chris stuck his tongue in his cheek, eyes comically wide as he nodded.

“I know. That’s the whole problem.”

They both snorted, glancing up just in time to see the teacher turn and dropping their faces right back down to serious.

Apparently this was not the class to goof off in.

“If only I was also good at genetics,” Chris muttered under his breath, pulling his notebook back out and shooting Even a look. “Fuck Mendel.”

“Eh. He's not my type.”

Chris snorted and Even glanced over, raising an eyebrow at the look on Chris’s face.

“You've got a type? I thought you dated both.”

“I still have standards,” Even said indignantly, shaking his head down at the hereditary charts they were supposed to be filling out. “--and weird old guy obsessed with pea plants doesn’t make the cut.”

Chris laughed, bursting and surprised, getting a glare from the teacher and instantly attempting to reign it back in, then he was leaning over into Even’s space, voice dropped an octave so it didn’t carry.

“What do you mean? Have you ever tried growing a pea plant? Maybe it's. Sensual or some shit.”

“You know what Chris,” Even said, picking up his pen to start writing down the contents of the board, easy sass shining through every word. “...you try it. Let me know.”

Chris shook his head, smiling to himself, then he was bending over his notebook to start writing too.

 

 

 

Tirsdag, 12:19
24.01.17

 

On Tuesday, Even got to the lunch table first. He booked it the fuck out of his classroom, didn’t so much as stop at his locker, taking all his stuff with him so he could get to the boys before Isak could.

They were still doing that stupid number thing every day, and it was fucking like. Three weeks into school and Even still hadn’t figured out what the fuck it was and it was driving him crazy.

He showed up right after Jonas, so by the time Isak walked into sight, sauntered over and sat down he was ready, watching all of their faces intently as Isak gave him a funny look and each of the boys threw out a number.

“One,” Mahdi said.

“Two, again.” That was Magnus, who never won. Even had thought it’d been grades at first, one through six like the grading scale at school, but the other day nine had been the right answer, so. Wasn’t grades.

“Four,” Jonas declared and Isak clicked his tongue and pointed over at Jonas.

“Agh, every time,” Mahdi leaned back in his chair in frustration and Magnus cursed fluently under his breath. Jonas cackled. Even was really fucking confused.

“Are you asking Even ahead of time?” Magnus demanded and Jonas’s eyebrows shot up, mouth dropping open.

Wait, ask him?? What??

“What!?” Jonas was saying too, more shocked than Even was. “Never. I’m just that good.”

He leaned back all smug and cocky and Isak rolled his eyes, taking a sip of water and generally not at all bothered. Four? Four fucking what?

“Ask me what?” Even pressed, looking around the table for some sort of clue. “How do I still have no idea what’s going on?”

“Don’t worry about it.” That was easy for Isak to say, he knew what was happening. The cupid’s bow pursed, head cocking at the look on his face. “Really. It’s just a stupid game they play.”

“That I win,” Jonas pointed out. “Every time.”

“Not every,” Isak squinted.

“Hey! You said you weren’t gonna mention that.”

“I didn’t say anything,” Isak defended, giggly and precious. Even reached over the distance between them and hooked a finger under his chin to press a solid kiss to his cheek.

Isak caught his hand and turned, looking him in the eyes, all soft and sweet with his curls trapped beneath a gray snapback.

The look on both of their faces was so wrapped up all the boys looked away as they both leaned in to kiss for real.

“I’m surprised it’s just four,” Jonas remarked under his breath, eyes down on the napkin he was folding into a floppy bird.

“Just four??” Magnus sputtered. “Do you have any idea how much time and effort it takes for one?”

“Yes,” Isak resurfaced to reply and Mahdi was laughing, reaching over to give him a high five. Isak squeezed Even’s hand as he leaned over to clap their palms together, pulling himself back to center gravity, where Even was waiting.

He was watching the subtle flickers across Isak’s face, trying to figure it out from him now since he was reading nothing off the boys.

It had something to do with making things, and with them.

Isak was smiling wide and dimpled and closed mouth like he could barely contain it when he turned back to him.

“What is it,” Even murmured, bright-eyed and curious as he leaned in to kiss Isak again. Isak kissed him back, again and again between these brilliant bursts of smiles.

“You,” he replied and it was so sappy and cliché the whole table all groaned.

Isak flipped them off with one hand as the other cupped the back of Even’s head to kiss him again.

 

 

~*~*~

 

 

Onsdag, 13:42
25.01.17

 

Isak hadn't fallen asleep in class all week. They were only three days in, and yeah sometimes he looked hella bored, or maybe blinked a little long, but he wasn't drifting off entirely. Which was better than last week.

Still, Jonas had a right to check in.

“So.” He copied down the formula on the board, Isak's eyes on him before he glanced over, offered as casually as possible. “Have you adjusted to the whole sleeping on your own thing yet?”

There was a strange fleeting look on Isak’s face, a flash of something he didn't recognize before the Queen let out a dramatic sigh, lifting a shoulder.

“I mean. It's better than last week. I've started working out before bed, getting myself like. Super exhausted and that helps sometimes. Tried the oatmeal tryptophan thing. Or I'll leave my phone playing music or something. I dunno, I figured if I find enough solutions…”

“Then at least one might work when you can't sleep,” Jonas filled in and Isak nodded, lips pushed out in a mini pout.

“But things are improving a little, so.”

“If they don't…”

“I know, I know.” Isak rolled his eyes and Jonas nudged his elbow. He meant it, dammit. “Ja, Great Jonas, I'll come to you in my hour of need.”

“You better,” he threatened and Isak glanced over, one eyebrow lifting unimpressed.

“Who else you think I'm gonna talk to? Vilde?”

“Hey, you never know. I'm sure you two have plenty in common.”

“Oh we do,” Isak muttered under his breath and Jonas knit his eyebrows. A glance up and the look sculpted away, a sideways smile shot his way. “Why, you worried I'm trading out all my brunettes for blondes?”

“It doesn't matter how many blondes you gather up in your gang,” Jonas informed him, picking his pencil back up as the teacher shot a look their way. “I've got better hair than all of them.”

Isak snorted and Jonas shook his head a little, curls bouncing. The snort turned into a little laugh then he was burying his face in his elbow before he burst up in the middle of class.

Jonas smiled down at his math notes and saved every muffled giggling sound away for a rainy day.

 

 

 

Onsdag, 15:25
25.01.17

***

They both finished their homework in less than an hour. It probably helped that they hadn't kissed since they'd met up in the schoolyard to catch the bus back to Isak’s place.

Every time Even glanced over at him Isak didn't look up from his books, snapping a finger and pointing and refusing to return the gaze as he told him,

“Focus.”

Even laughed cutely the first time he did it but Isak raised his eyebrows and didn't look over, so he actually did go back to focusing.

About nine of those later, when he pointed and told Even to stop getting distracted, focus dammit, Even closed his laptop and propped his cheek in his hand.

“I just finished, I don't have anything to focus on but you.”

“Fuck.” Isak scrolled down the page. “I still have seven problems left.”

“I won't bother you,” Even insisted. “I'll stay right here.”

Yeah, that was easy for Even to say, and he did stay right there, but how was Isak supposed to focus when Even was openly watching him, content to lay on his stomach on Isak’s floor next to his bed and just. Look at him.

Isak had never been more conscious of his facial expressions while reading in his life. He could feel every time Even’s mouth quirked up in a little smile only he didn't know what his face was doing and goddammit, no one was snapping at him to focus.

Fuck.

It took him a grand total of five minutes longer than it should've to finish those seven problems, then he was pressing submit and closing his laptop triumphantly.

“Finishe--”

He didn't get the chance to finish the word before Even was scooping his laptop off his lap, setting it on the bedside table and crawling over Isak to kiss his mouth hard enough he knocked his head on the wall he'd just been propped up against.

“Mm!”

“Unnskyld,” Even murmured into his mouth, not sounding very sorry at all as he wrapped his arms around Isak’s ribs and pulled them tumbling in the other direction, plopping down on the mattress and bouncing with the force.

Isak huffed and got a hand in Even’s hair, a leg around his waist, heel digging into the top of his ass.

They rolled until Isak was on his back, head a few inches from falling off the side of his mattress they were currently upside down on but he didn't fucking mind. Not when Even was kissing him into the bedspread, pinning him hard with two hands on his chest, fingers wrapped around his pecs and thumbs skidding over nipples hardening through his tshirt, his body memorized perfectly apparently.

It was both a little infuriating and a lot hot that Even could press every bruise or soft spot through his clothes now. If he paid literally half this attention to memorizing his schoolwork, he'd be acing every one of his classes.

And Isak broke off, head rolling to the side and hand cupping Even’s jaw, thumb sliding over his lips to tell him that.

“Just half. Sixes, all the way around.”

Even laughed, high and bright, dipping down to nuzzle their noses together as Isak smiled and smiled and smiled.

“You're so much more beautiful than anything else I've learned,” Even told him, foreheads pressed together, all honest sincerity.

Wow, would you look at him, apparently Isak was a fucking sucker for sweet talk like that because the next thing he knew he was surging up against Even’s body and kissing him so desperately they got their clothes off, door shut, and Even’s slicked up fingers inside him in less time than it took him to finish the last problem of his homework.

He tossed his head aside on a whimper and Even pressed a soothing kiss to the inside of his knee, twisting his hand to slide his fingers in deeper.

“Ahh-ah, baby,” Isak murmured and Even smiled, kissing his knee again as he crooked his fingers and offered a cheeky,

“Yes?”

“Fuck,” Isak’s gasp responded and Even laughed brightly, fingers still sliding in and out as he leaned up over Isak’s body to kiss him on the mouth, sweet and short enough to make Isak groan as he pulled away.

“Oh hush, don't worry, we’ll get there soon enough.”

“How soon is. Mm, soon enough, cause I'm pretty sure I can take anoth--fuck!”

“Jesus, you're tight.” Even twisted the three fingers inside him now, other hand holding the inside of his thigh to keep his legs spread wide. “Didn't we literally have sex less than twenty hours ago?”

“I'm young,” Isak managed, grabbing the pillow above his head so he had something to hold onto, looking down his body at his smug ass boyfriend and shuddering. “Fuck. Cell plasticity a-and. Muscle elasticity, the myosin levels are still h-high enough to. To. Fucking hell, Even--”

Fisting the material tight as his spine arched, hips rolling down against Even’s hands and feeling wildly, kinda wonderfully exposed here in daylight with his legs spread for Even on his bed.

“It's kinda sexy, the smart talk,” Even told him and Isak gasped, toes curling and stars shooting up his spine as Even rubbed his thumb against his perenium.

“Suh-sucks for you, that's. Ahh. That's all I got, can't think, sah-ah. sorry, faen faen faen--”

Even was laughing at him and Isak wet his lips, one fist tightening in the pillow the other prying free to flick Even off, middle finger sticking up was easier than trying to curse him out when at least half the sounds were gonna be please, more.

“Is that a request?” Even teetered, sliding his free hand down the inside of Isak’s thigh, fingers skirting up the side of his strained erection.

“Yes, it's a fucking request!” Isak sputtered back, as indignant as he'd been in the pool, uh, that's cheating, you think there are rules here, ja??? you can't just kiss me underwater and expect me not to catch a lot more than a drop of water in my throat?!?

Even laughed at him again, pressing smiling giggles into his mouth as his hands drew out, painting a stripe of lube up the inside of Isak’s thigh and making him groan.

“Why are you like this,” he complained, giving Even a very very serious look, pure sass returned as he lifted his eyebrows, smile crinkling up his eyes.

“You adore me,” he declared, snagging a condom from the box on the shelf, ripping open the package with his teeth as Isak rolled his eyes.

“Yeah, maybe, but that doesn't mean you don't drive me...wild.”

“Good,” Even told him, tossing the wrapper aside and rolling the condom on, patting around the bed for wherever in hell the lube had disappeared to.

“You're a mess,” Isak pointed out, right as Even finally found the damn lube. “I'll just lay here and wait until you get your life together enough to--”

Two fingers pressed over his entrance, just barely dipping inside as his other hand slicked up the condom, glancing over at Isak casually as he choked and scrambled for something to hold onto again.

“What was that? Sorry, weren't you just mouthing off or something? I could've sworn I heard something.”

“Aaughhh,” Isak managed back and Even climbed back over him, hand cupping his jaw as he pressed a fond kiss to his mouth.

“You ready, sweetheart?”

“Mmm.”

Their mouths overlapped again, one hand squeezing his thigh as the other slid through his curls, burning a tingling wave of sparks between the two.

“Ahh, Even,” he breathed, tipping up for another kiss, another heart pounding slide of their mouths together, apart. Lips tugging, beautiful swoops still sculpted perfectly as Even broke free to look down at him, lips parted and huffing in an awed smile.

Fuck, a boy that fucking pretty was looking at him like that, Isak was way too fucking weak for this shit.

There were a thousand waves crashing inside his chest, a hundred things making his muscles tremble, but the only thing washing over his head was the warmth of their bare bodies, of Even’s sweet smile, pretty cocked head and bubbling happiness through all of the comfortable, safe, belonging heat.

Was he ready.

“Take me,” Isak whispered.

Even kissed him into the pillow, sank inside his body, and obliged.

 

***

 

Isak was exhausted enough afterwards to be completely content to go to sleep, for the night, fuck the fact that is was like. Four in the afternoon, whatever.

But Even kept kissing him, slow and sticky and warm, fingers stroking through his curls, mouths sliding together again. And as much as he wanted to sleep, he wanted to kiss Even more.

They'd kissed through the whole thing, there wasn't a thrust inside that didn't have the sides of their noses pressed together, or Even’s mouth overlapping with his open one. With the exception of the thumb Even slipped between his lips while he kissed his way down Isak's jaw and sucked a dark purple mark just below his jawline.

And over his stretched throat. And another on his collarbone.

Isak gasped and moaned enough at that one Even rolled his head back up, popping his thumb out to soothe the sounds with more soft kisses, heated kisses, breathing into each other's mouths as they rocked and rocked until the white capped waves took them under.

And now, twenty minutes after, they were all cleaned up and sated and vaguely clothed, a pair of sweats for them both with nothing on underneath, which Isak had raised an eyebrow at, cause that meant they were going at it again before Even left.

Which was a lot of the reason why Isak finally decided it was worth not passing out asleep now. That and Even kept kissing him, so.

“Hey you,” Even murmured against his mouth and Isak pulled back, looking up with a dazed smile as Even’s fingers wrapped in a curl.

“Hmm?”

“Can I beat you at FIFA?”

“Right now?”

“Mmhm.”

Isak squinted at him.

“First of all, you're not gonna win. Second of all, not really keen on sitting on my ass for the next hour and a half.”

“You can lay on your stomach,” Even offered and Isak pursed his mouth, thinking it over.

“Mm, yeah. Okay. But only to prove you're not gonna beat me.”

Even won the first round.

Isak rolled over on his back and bitched up at the ceiling as Even laughed and teetered to the side and nearly fell off the bed.

Then Isak was the one laughing, the bursting loud surprised kind, arm over his stomach head hanging backwards off the end of his mattress.

Even crawled over between Isak and the TV, upside down as Isak giggled, then Even was pressing a kiss to his mouth, upside down too.

Isak kissed and kissed and kissed him until he got light-headed enough to not be able to tell where his mouth was, let alone Even’s then he was complaining against plush lips, muddled and whiny.

Even popped free and furrowed his eyebrows down at Isak as he hung there, eyes closed and still bitching because it was only gonna be worse once he lifted his head, then Even finally caught on and carefully lifted his head for him, making Isak groan from how dizzy he was.

Rolled back onto his stomach and Even pressed a dozen apology kisses down his spine until Isak’s head stopped pounding, then quite a bit past that cause he was kneading Isak’s shoulders now and he wasn't gonna give that up for anything, no thank you.

Even eventually caught on, because it was Even, hands pausing their massage down his bare spine.

“You're not dizzy anymore, are you?”

“Hm? Don't know what you're talking about.”

“You conniving--”

“Hey,” Isak interrupted. “Rude. But I am ready to beat you at FIFA again.”

“What are you talking about?? You lost the first time!”

“Is that what happened? Sorry, kissing you until I got dizzy most have damaged my memory. Cause I remember winning.”

“You little--”

Even’s fingers found their way to his sides and Isak rolled over as quick as he could, already laughing and squirming as Even tickled him.

“Stop, stop--”

And, unsurprisingly. Even won the next round of FIFA too.

 

 

 

Onsdag, 23:37
25.01.17

 

Even had left an hour and a half ago, kissing Isak goodbye at the door and whispering for him to have a beautiful night.

Isak stared up in the dark at the blank ceiling and wondered what part of this counted for beautiful.

He just didn't get it.

Here he was, happily sore and unhappily alone, clutching tight to Even’s hoodie instead of him.

Ev threw it on every time he came over so the smell of it wasn't fading, it was still soft and warm and smelled like Even but it was Not Even.

So here was Isak feeling like Not Isak.

Wishing he understood why the fuck they had to live apart. Was it some kind of commitment thing? He was pretty damn sure Even didn't have any problems with commitment.

At first he'd thought it was pressure from his parents. But after how Liv and Bjørn acted last weekend? It seemed like the opposite, they both pushed hard for him to spend the night. It was Even who kicked his feet.

This was Even, not them.

Counting to fifteen, counting to fifteen.

Then there was the chance that Even really had left so Isak could get more sleep. This whole thing had been set off by Isak waking up confused and walking in on him working on schoolwork at fucking two in the morning like a weirdo. So it could be about sleep.

But if it was about sleep, after Jonas had called and confessed that Isak Wasn't Getting Any, Even should've moved right back in.

But he didn't. He said they'd work through it. Figure something out. Just give him time.

So clearly, it didn't have a. Fucking thing to do with sleep.

Then what in hell was it?

1 2 3 all the way to 15

He didn’t have sheep, so he kept counting to fifteen and wondering when in hell he was gonna get to Even.

1 2 3 to 15.

In case he didn't have enough trouble falling asleep at night. Now he got to lay awake and wonder all the distant far off reasons why.

 

 

~*~*~

 

Torsdag, 09:29
26.01.17

 

He really was trying to be a better student. To not make off-handed jokes under his breath about F2 populations and heterozygous genes but there was too many open doors, he couldn’t help it.

And unfortunately, he wasn’t the one paying for it, because he wasn’t the one snorting into laughter every five minutes.

“Mr. Schistad. I would recommend closing your mouth and paying attention. You don’t have to be disrespectful, just because you’re older than everyone here--”

“I’m also nineteen,” Even interrupted, raising his hand with it in case the teacher and the entire class hadn’t stopped and looked at him. They had, but dramatic effect. A lot of dramatic effect as he lowered it again, eyebrows shooting up instead.

“...and I'm doing great in this class. If you check your grade book, I'm pretty sure Mr. Schistad is too.”

Even stared down the teacher, fucking daring them to say one more thing to Chris, who actually was doing really well in this class, especially considering he didn’t understand shit about genetics and was struggling through trying to figure it out on his own with a teacher who had a predisposition against him.

One of those asshole teachers who fussed but never had anything to back it up, didn’t fucking care anyways, and Even had heard that sexist-ass comment he made on the first day of school, he had zero fucking mercy for that teacher.

Apparently the look on his face said as much, because the man just sighed and turned back around to keep writing on the board.

Even deflated a little, leaning back in his chair and kicking a leg out. Goddamn, fucking teachers who treated people like shit, it was 2017, how had all those assholes not been weeded out of the system yet.

The weight of all eyes on him dissipated into only one pair, beside him, completely unmoving.

Even glanced over and Chris was just looking over at him. Confused, almost. Even got it.

He didn’t get stood up for like that. Probably never had. Just a pretty boy with an attitude, never got to be anything more, right?

Even shot him a triumphant little grin and Chris kinda nodded at him, looking back down at his punnet squares and smiling to himself.

The teacher went on to drone on and Even finished the last of his sketch, drawing one more little leaf before he slid the piece of paper Chris’s way.

It was a half-sheet explanation of how to do the Mendelian trihybrids using fractions instead of punnett squares, something he’d learned at Bakka but they apparently didn’t teach here. Or at least this asshole of a teacher didn’t want to share it with them, so fuck him, Even was gonna help out a friend, and draw up the math of how to do those shit of a problems.

With a drawing at the bottom of the note, a little plant with an arrow pointing to a leaf, labeled purple. And a speech bubble as it waved, saying “I promise this way is easier!”

Chris smiled. So did Even.

 

 

Torsdag, 10:56
26.01.17

 


group chat 1


group chat 2


group chat 3


group chat 4


group chat 5

 

 

Torsdag, 15:49
26.01.17

 

“Where in hell are we?”

“You’ve never been back here?” Jonas asked, throwing a glance over his shoulder at Magnus.

“Nei?”

“Neither have I,” Mahdi pointed out and Isak repositioned the bag on his shoulder, nearly bumping Jonas with it from how close they were walking on the path.

“We used to come back here all the time when we were kids.”

Magnus made an ohhing sound behind them and Isak glanced up from his shoes, checking the sky. Sun was gonna be headed down soon. Perfect timing, they were almost at the end of the woods.

“Is that a road up there?”

“Ja.”

“How did you guys find out about this?”

“...no idea. Jonas?”

“Hell if I know. We just always knew, I think.”

Isak pursed his lips and nodded, head rocking back and forth as he thought about it. They did just always know.

They hit the edge of the trees, up a steep little hill to take them out of the ditch, then they were on the pale, empty road on the edge of that eerily quiet neighborhood. Houses run-down, all of them low to the ground, lined up in rows, white or gray or disappearing beige.

And on the corner, just a little ways down, tucked in a V between the intersecting vacant roads, that abandoned one-pump gas station, single-story one-room shell of what used to be a convenience store, with the giant empty parking lot behind.

“The hell is this place?”

“No idea.” Isak hopped up on the pavement, nearly slipping back down as the edge crumbled, catching Jonas’s hand in time. Jonas hauled him up and the four of them started down the remnants of faded white lines.

“You guys came here for years and you don’t know where we are?”

“The middle of nowhere?” Mahdi offered, glancing behind them. “Is this like a ghost town or something?”

“Seriously, is this a town at all?”

“I know how to get to a bus from here, which is all that counts, now do you have anymore stupid questions?”

The sky was fading, blue trading gold at the edges as the sun sank for the treeline. There was never anybody else out here, with the exception of a few people riding their bikes by, one memorable occasion of a yard party thrown by one of the houses at the edge of the neighborhood that Isak and Jonas had propped on the bench at the gas station to watch.

“How long has it been since you guys came out here?”

“Magnus, what did I just--”

“It’s not a stupid question,” Jonas interrupted and Isak closed his mouth. He supposed it wasn’t. Jonas glanced over at him, the kind of look that peeled back layers of Isak’s skin to look inside. “How long has it been?”

“I don’t know. Not since the summer before Nissen.”

“Oh, I thought you meant you guys came here when you were like, 12 or something.”

“We did,” Jonas told them, taking the bag from Isak’s outstretched hand. “And when we were fifteen, and when we were ten.”

They’d reached the edge of the gas station’s lot, their bench still waiting quietly, facing the road. Jonas was closer, plopping the bag down on it and kept walking, round the corner of the old store to check the back parking lot.

There was graffiti on the side of the building that hadn’t been here before, a few scattered alcohol bottles around the trash can, skid marks littering the back lot from all sorts of different wheels.

“Wow, this place is a dump.”

“Isn’t it?” Isak tapped one of the empty beer bottles with his toe, knocking it over and watching it roll. “I had my first beer here, actually.”

“Really?”

“Yeah, I was like. Thirteen, fourteen or some shit. We got it from...whose parents was it again?”

“Some kid in school,” Jonas filled in, coming back round from his once over. “Looks like we’ve got the place to ourselves.”

“Who else would be here?” Mahdi lifted his eyebrows, looking at them wildly and Isak snorted, pulling open the drawstring bag.

“There was a badger, once,” Jonas leaned against the wall, shooting an eyebrow up at Isak.

“Ugh,” Isak replied, shifting through the travel bag to find where in hell Jonas put the weed.

“You should’ve heard Isak’s scream.”

“Whatever. You were the one that jumped up on top of the bench and tried to throw your shoe at it.”

“At least I wasn’t screaming.”

“You weren’t the one who ran into it!”

“Okay, anyways, are we gonna smoke or not?” Mahdi interrupted and Isak finally pulled the weed out of the bag, holding it up triumphantly and spinning round to face the rest of the boys, declaring a pact into the slowly chilling air.

“No more stories. We’re here for new memories, not old ones.”

“Mm, another power of now speech--”

“Nei, shut up, and live a little, yeah?”

They all ended up sitting on the concrete, underneath the overhang where the singular pump was sitting in shelled pieces, their backs against the peeling wall. Shoulders all but brushing and legs in various arrangements of propped up or down or folded or crossed in front of them.

Jonas handed Isak the joint, puffing out rings against the quiet, the world spinning to a halt around them.

Isak put it to his lips, inhaling and thinking about the phone call, a week ago. Jonas agreeing not to say a word, then calling his boyfriend to tell him all those things Isak had said in confidentiality.

He exhaled, pushing the smoke upwards, watching it drift for the gray overhang ceiling as he held out the weed for Mahdi to take.

It wasn’t like he was going to say anything. Not about the phone call, anyways.

The thing is that Jonas is your boyfriend, so you have to tell him everything. Jonas tells me everything. So I’ll know anyways.

It’s true.

He was trying to fix drama, not cause it. Besides, he got it. He absolutely would’ve called too, if it were Jonas and a girl.

Hell, he’d probably call if it were any of the boys.

“Isak,” Mahdi interrupted the silence, handing him back the joint as Isak crooked up one eyebrow. “Go dance on one of the poles. Live a little.”

He nudged Isak’s shoulder and Isak squinted, twisting up his face as he followed the gesture to the ten cm thick columns holding up the far end of the gas station overhang.

“What?” A quick inhale, puffing out smoke as he gave Mahdi a wild look. “I can't dance regularly, let alone on a pole.”

“That's not something they teach you at Gay 101?” Magnus asked and Jonas face-palmed beside him.

“They don't teach shit in gay 101.” Isak tipped his head back against the wall, passing to Jonas as he blew another stream of smoke at the sky, one leg stretched out, other knee up. “I had to learn everything I knew from Google. But I mean. Mags, I'm sure that's where you got your sex ed too.”

“Huh? Is that supposed to be a burn? Where else do you learn?”

“Experience,” Mahdi replied.

Magnus made a face, leaning off the wall to look at all of them. “But don't know you wanna know ahead of time?”

“Dude you didn't even know you're supposed to go down on girls,” Jonas said flatly.

“Oo, called out.”

“You hooked up with a cat,” he continued, waving the burning joint around to emphasize the point. The rest of them snorted as Magnus fell back against the wall, making a face as he took the pass his way.

“She had a cat tongue, Jesus.”

“Mhmm.”

Magnus blew smoke over the distant sunset, foggy white swirling away on a gust of wind. The sky had dropped from blue to purple with golden white streaks for clouds, rays of the sun barely tucked behind the edge of the trees.

“So what are you gonna do about Vilde?”

Jonas rolled his head against the wall and Isak propped a forearm on the top of his knee, looking over at Magnus too.

“I think I'm just gonna. Go for it, y’know, like Even said.” Jonas made a noncommittal sound and Magnus lifted a shoulder. “I mean, it worked for him.”

“It did,” Isak agreed, gaze flicking back out to the sunset.

“You sure you wanna be in a relationship though, man?” Mahdi leaned over, skeptical and practical, Isak glanced his way, keeping his face neutral. He wasn't gonna stand up for the idea of relationships in general or anything just cause he was in one. Magnus and Vilde were nothing like him and Even.

“It can end up changing a lot more than you think,” Jonas followed up, dead serious.

Isak shot him a look the light eyes refused to return.

Whatever the fuck that was about.

“Isak, what do you think?”

Fuck. Magnus always ended up turning the question to him somehow - do you go down on chicks, Isak? Do you think she's hot, Isak? Do you think I should enter a potentially precarious relationship where one of us has a lot more going on than the other realizes? Huh, Isak?

He held his hand out for the joint, damn whoever had it last, next hit was for him, thank you.

“Y’know, Mags. It's whatever your gut says.”

“But are you glad? You're in a relationship?”

Jesus fuck.

Isak inhaled the burn down his throat, exhaling in a stream a hell of a lot more steady than his heart rate.

“Ja. Most of the time it's fucking incredible.”

“And the rest of the time?” Mahdi pressed, quiet.

Isak shook his head once, drawing his other knee up and knocking his head back against the wall.

“It's intense, I guess. When it's good it's so good that when it goes bad it just--” one hand curling into a fist, vision fogged over with smoke, “...crushes your heart til you can't breathe.”

Magnus made an alarmed sound, the other boys dead quiet.

He let the smoke simmer a moment or two more before he took another hit, glancing around at the faces and finally cracking.

The bubbling foggy laughter had them turning from concerned to confused and Isak tipped forward, smoke tumbling from his mouth and nose.

“I'm kidding guys, jeez.”

“Phew,” Magnus breathed and Mahdi whacked his leg. Jonas was quiet.

“Nah, it's just super time-consuming man. If you think you can handle commitment that takes up half your day and night and doubles how much you text, you'll be fine.”

Isak reached over Jonas’s knit eyebrows to hand Magnus the joint back.

“I say go for it. Whatever. Life's too short.”

“Gotta live a little,” Mahdi parroted and Isak pinned him with a hell yes it is don't you know it look. He said it all the time yeah, but he meant it, dammit.

“Thanks, man.”

The wall chipped off another peel of paint as he leaned back against it, offering back the obligatory no problem.

The rest of them settled into smoky silence again, colors of the sky shifting a little more, a streak of pink behind vibrant purple gold.

A bottle by the far trash can jingled, rolling lopsided over the concrete with a gust of wind. Piece of stranded paper jumping to dance across the parking lot, all that marked up open space to finally land and flutter up against the leg of a bench.

“This would be a cool place to skate.” Mahdi glanced over at them, back out at the empty parking lot.

Isak followed his gaze, watching the ghost of a tiny blonde kid trying to balance on a board while the one with the dark curls laughed, holding onto his ribs so he didn’t fall off.

Distant laughter echoing and he turned back to the road, watching the skyline, the boys in his peripherals.

Jonas lifted an eyebrow.

“You skate?”

Mahdi glanced over, pushing off the wall a bit to see Jonas properly.

“Ja? Of course.”

Jonas wrapped his mouth around the tip of the joint, inhaling long enough it had to burn. “Are you any good?”

“Ja, I think so. Are you?”

“Ja, actually,” Isak answered for him, in tandem with the same tone and words as Jonas beside him.

They looked at each other, Isak’s eye twitching before he turned, looking back at Mahdi as Jonas leaned forward, around his shoulder as he said it the same time Isak did.

“--really good.”

Then they looked at each other again, squinting under bushy eyebrows or cocked ones, studying each other while the two boys on the outside of the line made o o o noises.

“Why are you like this,” Isak accused and Jonas’s mouth dropped open, a curl of smoke and eyebrows knitting as he got all offended.

“Me? You’re the one who said what I was gonna say.”

“What do you mean? I was the one answering.”

“He addressed the question to me!”

“And how would you know if you’re any good or not?”

“I don’t have to watch myself to know I’m good, Is--”

Magnus spun away from the wall, speaking over them with an arm waving so everyone’s heads turned.

“Mahdi we should start collecting some sort of money jar every time they say shit in sync or guess each other's movements before they happen or other creepy shit like that they do all. the. time.”

“I'd be broke,” Mahdi said.

“Nei, not us pay, them pay, like a swear jar.” Magnus gave his proudest I’ve thought of the greatest invention yet smile and Jonas lifted the joint back to his mouth, glaring a little with it.

“I'm not paying shit.” He blew out smoke, puffing it in Magnus’s general direction, making him lean to the side and wave a hand so it didn’t burn his eyes. “Just cause I know Isak better than the back of my hand--”

“Shut up,” Isak said. “But yeah, it's not our fault we're telepathically linked or some shit.”

Jonas rolled his lips in, smoke exhaling from his nose on a little snort as he looked over at Isak, who was trying to contain a laugh.

It’d gone dead silent, quiet enough to hear the burning wires of the streetlights down by the neighborhood.

“Wait, are you guys really?” Magnus asked, completely serious.

“Holy fuck.” Mahdi’s eyebrows were practically on his hairline, looking between each of their faces, all disbelief. “Like. Some sort of weird twin connection thing? Is that possible?”

“Dude like.” Magnus’s turn, glancing between the two of them as they looked at each other, girlsquad Chris in the hallway with a spoon, eyes wide, barely barely under wraps. “Can you guys read each other's minds and like feel each other's pain across distance--”

They lost it at the same time, Jonas bubbling over with snorting laughter while Isak nearly folded in half, laughing through a

“What the fuuuckkk---”

“Oh fuck you guys,” Magnus told them, giving a very unimpressed look and Jonas’s shoulder knocked into his, tipping them both sideways an inch.

“A telepathic link? Really?” Isak bit back, throwing a hand up in case Magnus didn’t see how ridiculous that was.

“Listen man. It's believable,” Mahdi defended.

Jonas huffed, grinding his shoe into the dusty concrete.

“I just happen to be the expert on all things Jonas,” Isak announced, leaning back against the wall, hand out to take the joint.

“And Isak tells me everything, so.” Jonas lifted a shoulder, unapologetic shrug as he pinned his eyes on Isak. “Right?”

Their fingers brushed as Jonas handed over the weed and Isak looked away. “Right.”

“May have a ton’a things going for him, but Isak's one hell of a terrible liar,” Jonas told their friends, cocky confidence ringing through. “So I always end up finding out anyways.”

Isak’s eyes were on the pavement, on the scuff of his shoes, but he could feel the gaze on him in his peripherals.

The way Jonas was looking at him. It meant something.

Isak kicked his heel against the ground, lifting his head as he held out the joint in front of him for anyone to take, burning green nearly going out dead.

“Let's do hoodlum shit. Who's got the spray paint?”

The paint was still in the bag, turned out. There were four cans of it, one for each of them. They’d never smoked weed here, never tagged here before either. The first time they went tagging was this most recent summer, and they’d almost gotten caught, so they hadn’t attempted it since.

But in a place like this, a little paint was only gonna add to the appeal.

The sun had sunk low enough now there wasn’t anymore pure gold in the sky, only purple above them and brilliant, glowing pink at the skyline. A string of clouds above the horizon, stretched out and a little puffy, lavender gray against the fushia that faded near orange at the edges closest to the disappeared sun.

Jonas painted fuck capitalism up the side of the wall, finishing quickly and shaking his can as he debated where to draw out an overdramatic, purple broken heart and watched the rest of the boys.

Mahdi was scrawling his name on the ground by the bench. Magnus was painting a giant orange dick over the parking lot, one of the balls wildly lopsided. Enough so that when Isak looked up from his tag he ended up bursting out in sudden laughter, instinctively squeezing and splurting spray paint on his shoe.

The string of curses was as colorful as his shoe was now, lime green and still wet enough to splash up the side of his pants as he stomped his foot, like that would fucking get it off.

Isak cursed some more, hopping on one foot around the parking lot, nearly falling over trying to kick his damn shoe off. Jonas caught him just in time, one bony shoulder ramming into his side and nearly tumbling them both over with how damn heavy he was.

“Fuck, fuck,” Isak was saying and the boys were laughing, Jonas propping Isak back upright as he finally managed to kick off his shoe, green paint flying with it.

Why kicking it off was a priority, Jonas couldn’t tell you, but the next thing he knew Magnus was snatching it up by the laces, arm hauled all the way around, tossing it for the low roof of the abandoned little store.

“Fuck youuuu,” Isak whined, hopping over to the wall and nearly tripping on his dropped can of spray paint, sending it skidding in a long line of dripping green dots.

Jonas covered his stomach with an arm as he laughed, bent over and Mahdi had to set his can down before he accidentally painted everything he owned blue, from how hard the laughter took him too.

Isak got one socked foot on the bench, slipping at first then he climbed up for the roof, all long-limbed and strong. Snapback falling for the ground, arm muscles dragging him over the edge. Jonas offered to boost him but Isak could do it on his own, now.

Shoe retrieved, ass propped on the edge of the roof to kick his mismatched feet over the wall, sitting ten feet high he spread out his long long arms and hollered at the sky.

Jonas watched from down here, scooped up fallen hat in hand, glued to the concrete with his head tipped up to the boy on the roof, the pink clouds reflecting all over his golden curls, fading sunset painting him beautiful, young. Pastel.

The boy on top of the building, a laugh track of friends behind them, under Isak’s holy sock and unpainted shoe, green-streaked one dangling like a trophy, hooked by its laces around a raised nail, slowly splattering the peeling faded white wall green as it rocked in the wind and left more traces of color against gray.

“Get wrecked,” Isak shouted, leaning back and hollering up at the sky again as Magnus threw an empty beer can at him and missed, wide happy mouth breaking into cackles.

White shirt under a jean jacket, golden fringing halo around his loose curls, pink and purple soft light over the smooth skin, defined cheekbones, bright eyes, cupid’s bow mouth, laughing like the stars of the childhood that’d slipped from them so long ago.

Pastel. That fight had been in pastel, the fight Jonas had shouldered Isak behind him, yelling and accusing and trying to set the record straight, it was one of those assholes who’d called Isak that, it was one of them who’d gotten the rest of them in this tangled mess.

The infamous fight, that’d almost landed them all in prison.

The sky had been pink then too, Jonas could remember the way the sunset painted Isak’s unbroken skin, in the last few moments that it still had been.

Taking Isak home to his mom after that fight had to be one of the worst of Jonas’s memories.

“Jonas jumped in front of me, throwing his hands up and being all defensive and shit like I couldn’t defend myself, so I tried shoving past him and. We both ended up getting hit, but it wasn’t our fault, he was just trying to protect--”

Isak had spent the night at Jonas’s house that night.

His mom hadn’t taken very well to them showing up at her house with bloody noses and swollen eyes and split lips. She also really hadn’t appreciated the slip of the curse word in Isak’s rushed explanation, because she raised her son better than that.

And apparently it was Jonas’s fault, for getting him into the fighting scene in the first place, which had then turned into Jonas cursing out Marianne Valtersen the entire bloody bus ride to his parents’.

That was one of the last times he saw her, actually.

Isak wasn’t the only one who lost a set of parents last year.

The Yakuza fight.

Jonas had been yelling under that pink sky, throwing accusing fingers at the fucker who’d called Isak that, fucker number 2 beside him who’d followed up the nasty slur with a hard, intentional, fucking vicious shove.

At that party a couple months before, the two of them ganging up then push, Isak stumbling drunk and nearly falling off the second story banister. Caught the rail barely in time and Jonas’s entire existence flashed before his eyes in the one heart-stopping moment he almost watched his best friend fall. Then his fist was colliding with someone’s face, at that blasted party where Jonas had thrown the first punch of the school war.

That pastel day though, William drew first blood, shattering a bottle over the head of one of the Yakuza guys and that’s when it erupted, the shoving and the shouting and the tumbling to the ground, fists slamming cheekbones and grabbing jackets.

Jonas soccer-mommed the fuck out of Isak the second one of those bastards took a step their way, both arms spreading wide as he shouted, backing Isak behind him.

Isak, the fucker, slipped underneath an arm, reeling back to throw a punch that got fucking batted aside, the resulting shove from the crowd sending him tumbling backwards into Jonas, the first time he’d nearly knocked Jonas over with his weight.

Uncoordinated weight, height, entirely new, growth spurt putting him off balance and unsure of himself, not strong enough to fill out his form yet.

Isak, an inch taller than him. That’s when it started.

Realistically, in theory, something so simple as their fucking heights shouldn’t’ve mattered. But that’s when everything changed.

That's when it all went to shit.

Isak passed him. Grew taller and taller and then it wasn't. Them anymore, not really.

They walked beside each other in the hallway and Jonas’s skin crawled, betrayed, his best friend moved onto some sphere without him, a step behind his shoulder instead of in front.

Whole fucking dynamic changed.

Their entire lives, Jonas had been the bigger one. Isak was the little brother, the best friend he protected and dragged places and taught things to.

Isak was always the one he threw under his arm to ruffle blonde curls if they weren't tucked under a beanie.

Or on one memorable occasion, threw Isak over his shoulder while he kicked and hollered and Jonas carried his drunk ass home, including sneaking up the picnic table and chair he’d sat outside Isak’s window for the purpose of climbing up there. Isak’s bedroom was on the second story, at the back of his house, but there was an outcropping from the living room that had a roof on it, just outside his window. They used to sit out there when they were younger, until they got in trouble with Isak’s dad and waited to sit out there until they were older.

Isak moved out before they ever could.

Now they were older and Isak was shouting at the sky up on top of the abandoned gas station they used to play around in when they were kids making up stories and singing at the quiet vacant roads.

Now they were older and Jonas and Eva split up. Older and Isak’s parents split up, older still their lips both split over a semester of endless fights. Shit just kept splitting deeper.

Jonas didn't want him to move out of his parents’ house. He wanted what was best for Isak, he did but. Living in an apartment with some guy he'd met in a bar, where Noora used to live? It just wasn't Isak. A lot of things weren't.

Isak cut off all his curls for reasons only he and Jonas knew, and Jonas side-shaved his to match, so Isak didn’t have to do it alone.

That was the whole point. So Isak didn’t have to do it alone.

But now they were older and Isak was taller, Isak passed him and kept on running.

Looking back on it, Jonas wasn't sure he could place when Isak went from begging him to sing Jason Mraz and cheering excitedly when he did -- of course he fucking did, did you see the kid’s reaction?

-- to throwing himself so far in the closet he was making out with girls every weekend and didn't smile for anything that wasn't a bitter comeback.

 

Somehow, though.

Through all that, through hell and loss and pain and fights and broken cheekbones broken heart and growing older--

Isak was back. His Isak, the one he grew up with.

Isak was here, smiling and soft, little blonde halo of curls he was letting be long and pretty again. Wearing smiles and scarves and singing on top of rooftops under beautiful pink skies, feet dangling as he shouted down at Jonas,

catch me.

 

Isak was back, inside that tall lanky body, filled out face, deeper voice.

And Jonas wasn't the one who found him.

He didn't dislike Even, he really didn't. But Even had what he didn't.

He had Isak.

 

 

~*~*~

 

Fredag, 12:25
27.01.17

 

The next lunch they all had together was Friday, arguably the best day, because they were starting to serve waffles in the cantina on a regular basis now.

The three of them were debating over whether waffles were better with maple syrup or cheese and jam when Isak walked around the corner, all of them looking up and pausing mid-sentence/mid-chew.

It was instantly, clearly obvious that something was very different today, enough so that it wasn’t just Jonas who noticed. Hell, the lady making waffles in the cantina probably noticed.

Isak pulled out his chair, sitting down very carefully, lips rolled in on a smile that he was doing a shit job of containing.

They were all looking at him with wide eyes, trying to figure it out as Isak stayed quiet, still, and just looked back.

“What’s the catch?” Jonas finally asked. It was a significant catch. “Jeez.”

“We’re definitely missing something,” Magnus declared and Jonas looked Isak over, narrowing his eyes as he studied him.

Isak was looking down at his sandwich, scarf bundled high, sleeves pulled over his hands, rolling his lips in over a smile and that’s when it hit him.

Jonas let out a low whistle and Isak looked up,

“You beat twelve, didn’t you? Holy fuck! What are you at, fourteen? Fifteen? Jesus.”

“Hah!” Magnus shot, bright and loud and shocked.

Mahdi was shaking his head, clicking his tongue at them.

“What the fuck. Unbelievable. Fifteen?”

“Um. No,” Isak replied slowly, and Jonas’s eyebrows creeped up on his forehead.

“No? Then what is it? What’s the catch?”

“Uh…”

He sat back in his chair and winced slightly, the smile on his face twitching up that much more as he opened his mouth, pausing a moment, before rushing it out all at once.

“Even found out.”

“Found out…”

“About the number thing,” Isak clarified.

Jonas’s mouth popped open, the same shocked noise he made when Even showed up at Isak’s apartment months ago and everyone else’s eyes went fucking huge.

“No way,” Magnus teetered, leaning forward over the table. “How many did he fucking give you?”

“A lot,” Isak replied, smile breaking into a little laugh and Jonas smacked the table with his palm, shaking his head over huffing surprise while the rest of the boys cackles.

“Holy shit! Holy shit, what’s the number? You have to give us the number.”

“Mm…” A moment of debate and Isak tipped his head, corner of his mouth tugging to the side, his yikes face before it broke into another smile and fessed it up. “Twenty-one.”

“Oh my GOD--”

“Above my waist, and 21 below,” Isak finished and the squeak Magnus made was unreal.

“FORTY TWO??”

This time it was Even who was laughing as he turned the corner, practically sauntering the whole way to their table. Which was still bursting in laughter and shocked, uncomprehending sounds.

Everyone was gaping through the disbelief as he sat down all smug like the cat who got the canary, smile brilliant and eyes sparkling. All gaping except Isak, who bit his lip and lifted a single shoulder, sparkling right back.

Even reached over and pecked him on the cheek.

“Forty-two,” he guessed all sugary, nosing against Isak’s curls and they all burst into another round of cracking up while Isak turned and kissed Even on the mouth.

“How’d you know,” he murmured under the waves of laughter and Even crinkled up in a smile, thumb stroking Isak’s cheek fondly.

“How the actual ??” Jonas finally managed, shaking his head at Isak as he turned his way, shoulders shaking with the laughter, just as shocked as the rest of them.

“I missed my first class,” Isak deadpanned and if they hadn’t been loud before.

At least half the people at the table were tearing up from laughing so hard. Even included.

The entire cafeteria was shooting them dirty looks but literally not one of them noticed, all trying to breathe and gasp enough to try and wrap their heads around it.

“How is that possible?” Magnus finally managed, wiping away a tear, “Like does your body have enough room?”

“Well there’s 9 down my spine, 7 on my neck, like 3 on both hips, a whole line on the inside of my thighs--”

“Ah, ah, okay okay--”

They were all waving their hands no and laughing and Isak tipped his head back, laughing up at the ceiling, the whole world bright and twinkling around them although fuck, his stomach was gonna cramp.

 

Hickies. Like he said. It all started that goddamn weekend they decided to spend apart. One innocent game of snow poker turned into an Event that snowballed into this wild game and well, here they were.

Looking at Even as he laughed, all happy and included and precious, Isak couldn’t help but squeeze his hand. A game with one hell of an ending.

Seriously though, he was gonna be sore for like. Days.

But it was completely worth it.

Even reached over the table and kissed him one more time through the laughter, their friends all gasping and giggling around them.

Isak may not get the turn on from his friends Magnus thought he did, but they sure escalated things between him and Even to get turned on sometimes, and for that, he supposed keeping them at least...a little informed on his sex life, well. It couldn't hurt.

 

 

 

Fredag, 15:30
27.01.17

 


text

 

 

Fredag, 21:54
27.01.17

 

To be fair, they texted the groupchat first.

It wasn’t their fault neither Isak or Even replied, both of them had phones, and the rest of them had already been drinking for half an hour. Besides, he’d brought up the idea in math, so in theory, Isak shouldn’t’ve been that surprised when the three of them showed up at his door with alcohol and a lot of loud knocking.

It’d been empty with the three of them, they all fucking missed Isak, he was coming out with them, goddammit.

Even opened the door, looking more than a little rumpled, hair askew, a single pair of Isak’s gray sweats thrown on, wearing nothing else but two dark bruises, on his neck and low on his hip, low enough it was peeking out of the waistband of those sweats.

“Uh...hi,” he’d managed, stepping to the side just in time as Magnus and Mahdi shoved past him, six packs in tow.

“Where’s Isak?” Magnus was asking, kicking off his shoes at the door before bounding inside, plopping the drinks down on the kitchen table.

“Uhm. Babe?” Even lifted his voice, shouting over his shoulder in the direction of Isak’s bedroom. “We’ve got company, get on clothes!”

“Nice,” Mahdi commented, putting his feet up on the chair next to him as he tipped a beer in Even’s direction, toasting him.

Even lifted a bare shoulder, unapologetic and a little cocky, which was kinda fair, at least two of them were getting some on the regular. They should be happy for their friends. Shouldn’t they.

Jonas stuck his tongue in his cheek and finally started taking off his shoes.

Isak finally stumbled in three minutes later, looking a little ruffled, but at least fully clothed, backwards snapback and all. And wow, yeah, there were the seven hickies in an arch around his neck, he hadn’t been kidding about that. Dark bruises patterned clear enough to see exactly how the mouth that made them mapped out over his skin, all artfully swooping and designed and shit.

“What…”

“We told you, we’re going out tonight, so get in here and drink before tonight becomes tomorrow.”

Isak furrowed his eyebrows, looking between Even and the rest of them.

“...I was busy???”

“You can be busy later,” Magnus insisted. “You guys can bang each other all night any night, how often do we get to go to parties and be young?”

“...at least twice a week?” Isak sassed, still looking incredulous and Jonas rolled his eyes at him.

“C’mon, join us. Both of you.”

“I dunno,” Even started and Mahdi scoffed.

“Dude, it’s not like you don’t go to parties, are you too cool to go to parties with us?”

“Nei, not at all, I just don’t want--”

“Look, Even,” Jonas interrupted and everyone shut up, all heads swiveling straight to him. Actually, thinking back on it, this might’ve been the first time Jonas directly addressed Even like that in front of the entire group. What a weird fucking thought.

He shook it off, ignoring the way Isak was looking at him, and pinned Isak’s pretty boyfriend with a serious look.

“You stole Isak away all of last weekend, we’re all going out tonight, you’re joining us, and you guys can do whatever after that. Ja?”

“Ja,” Even replied kinda weakly. “I’ll go put on clothes.”

Jonas tipped his head and took a swig of the closest beer. Fucking hell.

Even pressed a soft, lingering kiss to Isak’s cheek on his way past and Isak tipped sideways with it, one side of his mouth tugging up sideways too, eyes cutting down with a little blush.

There wasn’t a mirror in Isak’s room, so he wasn’t sure if he’d somehow overlooked the fact that a grand total of eleven of his forty-fucking-two hickies were visible - three over collarbones and one on the top of his spine flashing with the tug of his shirt when he moved.

Or if Isak just didn’t care. ‘Cause if Jonas was marked up like that, he’d be blushing a hell of a lot deeper red.

They needed to be significantly more wasted, asap.

“Alright kid, get over here,” Jonas waved a hand and Isak finally dragged over a chair, plopping down with a sigh he couldn’t keep the smile out of. Yeah, that’s what he thought. The kid may be head over fucking heels in love, but he still needed a chance to go out, act like a seventeen year old. Live a little.

And of course, as Jonas could’ve fucking told you, the walk to the party Isak was the fucking loudest one of all of them, bumping shoulders with literally everyone and giggling to the high heavens as Jonas spun around in a circle, arms out to keep his balance.

“Jesus, Isak, can’t you walk straight for three fucking minutes?”

“Me? Straight??” Isak put an indignant hand on his chest, looking at Mahdi like he’d grown three heads. The rest of them bust up loud enough the party had to hear them coming, bass beat be damned.

They’d barely stepped inside before someone recognized Even, some third year shouting and sticking out a hand for Even to clap, their shoulders bumping, hands patting in that weird handshake hug thing Jonas had never understood, but hey, at least Even was easy to spot in a crowd, Jesus Fuck he was tall.

And already smiling wide, both he and Isak were, enough that Jonas bumped Mahdi, leaning over to gloat.

“I told you it’d be a good idea.”

“You were right, my man, you were right. Or...maybe spoken too soon, looks like Queen Isabelle is having his first drama moment of the night.”

Jonas snorted, turning to look over at his best friend, who was currently waving a dramatic arm around, head shaking.

“What do couples even do at parties? Are we gonna...what, dirty dance? Or make out up against a fucking wall?”

He was fussing, as always, but Even just shot up his eyebrows, a hand on Isak’s lower back, music too loud to hear but he spoke clear enough Jonas could read the suggestive comment anyways.

“I’m down.”

Isak rolled his eyes and Mahdi’s arm looped through his for a moment, dragging Magnus along already and plowing them all for Isak and Even, who spun around with matching expressions.

“Hey man,” Mahdi shouted over the music, tipping his head from where Magnus had just come from. “There are some third years dealing the purple stuff in the bathroom.”

Isak’s eyebrow shot for his hairline. “Hm??”

Jonas unlooped his arm from Mahdi’s to clock Isak’s shoulder, making him rock with the movement, voice lifted over the wild bass.

“C’mon man, it’ll be fun.”

“But what about Even? He can’t smoke.”

“I’ll be fine.” Even leaned down, head dipped as he spoke into their little circle of shouting, shrugging with it. “I’ll go round up the girls and dance with them.”

“Nei! I’m not letting them woo over you all night. Again.” Isak made a cross face and wrapped both his arms around Even’s bicep, clinging to him in a vaguely intoxicated pout.

Even laughed, prying Isak’s fingers from his skin.

“Seriously. I’ll be fine. Go spend some time with the boys. Just don’t do anything...too stupid.”

“It’s purple weed, I’ll be fine,” Isak assured him and the boys broke into a cheer at the yes. Only to settle right back down with the finger Isak was waving in the air.

“But--” the finger landed in the middle of Even’s chest, tapping him hard. “--only if we get to dance first.”

“I thought you didn’t know what we were supposed to do at parties,” Even teased and the finger on his chest switched out for the middle one, sticking it up at him and keeping it there as he turned to the rest of them, ignoring Even’s laughter and hand unwrapping the crude gesture to entwine theirs instead.

“Give us one dance, guys.”

“It’s chill,” Mahdi waved them on. “We’ll go drink some booze and wait.”

Isak clicked his tongue and shouted over the music,

“You guys are the best!”

as Even was pulling him into collide against his chest, already dragging him out for the dancefloor.

The Waiting Squad ended up on the wall on the farside of the dancefloor, leaning against it and passing back and forth the bottle Jonas had brought along for this very reason.

Well, he hadn’t anticipated they’d be laying wait for Isak to dance with his boyfriend while they were drinking it, but. Life.

For some reason, he’d pictured come dance with me to be some kind of dirty dance grinding thing, Isak leaning back to grip Even’s hair and kiss him over his shoulder while their hips swayed.

And yeah, it started out that way, but by the time Jonas got the bottle passed back to him, they were already facing each other again, Isak’s arms wrapped around Even’s neck, smiling soft - so fucking soft - their noses nuzzling in happy, bright eskimo kisses as they danced.

Even’s hands were on his waist, the way you held a girl when you meant it, swaying Isak with him, back and forth as they kissed. The way their bodies moved together betrayed how many times they had. How familiar the rhythm of their own skin, pounding hearts.

How many times they had.

It was worse, the affectionate sweetness dancing between them, the lovesick eyes trained only on each other. He’d take watching them grind and bruise and make out dirty with each other over...that. A thousand times over. Watching them look at each other like that.

Had Isak ever...

...ever looked at him like that?

Had he somehow missed Isak looking at him like that?

He honestly couldn’t imagine it, couldn’t imagine glancing over and not seeing, if this is what had been there. Because Isak was sick with it, positively wasted on Even, noses rubbing together and his fingers curled around the back of Even’s neck, the hands on his waist lifting up enough to flash another splattering of bruises over the back of his hip, lower spine, arching down under the waistband of his jeans.

Even’s hands to follow, touch sliding over the pattern as Isak tipped his head and laughed, shining fucking bright and beautiful. That pattern had to be memorized cause Even’s eyes weren’t leaving Isak’s, couldn’t tear away, like the stars looking at twinkling fairy lights and seeing only more stars in return.

They tipped back to each other’s mouths like gravity, kissing as Even gathered him close and Isak only pressed closer, kissing and smiling and giggling through more kisses and.

Magnus leaned against him, shoulder knocking into his and slamming reality back into his chest, making Jonas blink and look down, over, away, something.

“Goddamn. They are perfect for each other,” he shouted and Jonas wished the music had been a little bit louder.

“Yeah,” he replied. “Sure.”

The lights were flashing blue and red and green and the bass should’ve been deafening enough that he couldn’t think, let alone sink, but here he was. Standing across the room, hand frozen around a glass bottle he was drinking for all the wrong reasons, because that’s what people did, that’s what he’d always done.

And his best friend was happy without him.

It was stupid. He was stupid. He’d been so stupid.

How was it that he never saw, until it was too late.

There was his world, the one he’d let slip away long before he laid down beside someone else. Those weren’t the curls he got to stroke anymore. That wasn’t the face that lit up when he walked into the room.

It wasn’t for that beautiful boy that he got to get in fights, hit and get hit so hard his nose bled rivers, enough for Isak to freak out, one hand on the back of his neck and the other holding tissue under his nose, yelling and yelling with that damning mouth.

How could you, how dare you, if you fucking bleed out and die I’m gonna haunt your fucking ghost--

“That’s not how it works,” Jonas had said woozily and Isak would’ve clocked him upside the head if he wasn’t already hurt. This dizzy, and he could still read perfectly the look on Isak’s face.

“I’m not sorry,” Jonas had told him and Isak had teared up.

“You fucking better be.”

“I’m not,” he’d repeated, high on adrenaline and pain and the way Isak was looking at him, disbelief and awe and worry and gratitude and bitchiness and so much fucking care. Love. That he’d never fucking seen until now, when Isak was looking at someone else that way.

He hadn’t been sorry, would never fucking apologize for starting that Yakuza war. Nobody got to call his best friend things like that. It didn’t matter that at the time Jonas had no idea Isak would eventually happily, proudly suck cock, the guy that shoved him and accused him of that at a party got his face smashed in by Jonas, that’s how the world worked.

Used to work, anyways.

Jonas was damn sorry now. Sorry he’d never done more. Sorry he’d never fucking stopped, thought about it. Sorry the day Isak held their foreheads together, noses bloody, tear slipped down his face, that Jonas hadn’t wiped it away for him.

Hadn’t held him back. Not that way.

Sorry he’d done all of that and never realized, that maybe, him too.

Cause it was Isak. His Isak. Who was entire goddamn world, didn't that mean something? Did that mean anything?

A beautiful laugh across the room, blonde curls tipping back, happy and pure, then he was going up on his tiptoes and kissing Even again, tight strong foreign arms wrapping around the spine that used to rest against his--

Heads on each other’s shoulders, curls smushed together, looking up at the sky.

Jonas looked away.

Not his Isak anymore.

Chapter Text

 

Mandag, 12:36
30.01.17

 

Somehow, he wasn't the first to notice. In all fairness he was having a heated debate with Jonas about whether Geometry or Algebra was shittier, it didn’t cross his mind to count heads around the table.

But that’s why they had Magnus, so Isak could be in the middle of explaining how angles and shapes had application in society that x equations never would when he suddenly leaned over the table and interrupted.

“How come Even isn’t here?”

“Hm?” Isak glanced up, looking over at the chair next to him. Oh.

“Yeah, where is the Big Man?”

“Please do not fucking call him that.” He leveled Jonas with a look, getting an innocent, eyebrows-up face back.

“Serr, though, he’s always here by now.” Mahdi looked concerned.

Everyone looked concerned, the fuck.

“Maybe he’s talking to a teacher or something.” Isak lifted a shoulder and three heads turned.

“You don’t know??”

“We don’t keep tabs on each other, goddamn.” He gave them a weird look and threw down his sandwich, leaning back in his chair as he fished in his pocket for his phone. He meant it, they really didn’t.

But it wasn’t like Even to not show up, so he could have a moment of being a concerned boyfriend.


Alt bra? ❤️

He’d barely pressed send before the little texting-back dots popped up.

“…bubbles,” he offered under his breath. The rest of them sat waiting, watching for the reply. Which was taking forever, was he writing a novel, goddamn.


My english teacher let us out early, but I ran into a friend in the hallway. How come you never told me there’s video proof of you rapping?

Isak’s eyes went wide.

“What is it?”

“Is something wrong?”

Eva.

He didn’t have time to glance up and see the concern before his phone was ringing out the number he’d punched in.

She was already laughing when she picked up.

Isak didn’t bother with formalities, cutting straight to the part where he chewed her the fuck out.

“You hijack my boyfriend, first--”

The lunchtable erupted into a chorus of principal’s office oooo’s, a couple drama-drama’s thrown in and Isak ignored them, sputtering indignant incredulous.

“--and then you show him that??”

“We were just going through my instagram!” Eva defended innocently but he could hear Even’s laughter on the other end of the line. Isak was well fucking aware of how many baby photos she had of him on her damn Instagram.

“Where are you, right now, I’m gonna come kick both of your asses.”

The oo’s around the table tapered off, trading looks of vague concern. Eva did not sound concerned, that was pure bubbly smug.

“You’re so cuuute, I had to show him your precious soft baby face.”

“He was so fucking cute,” he could hear Even agree in the background and Isak scowled.

I still am, and I can hear you, you fuck.”

He finally glanced up, doing a double take as he realized they were all staring, shocked concerned, Magnus’s mouth open, Jonas’s eyebrows knitted, the works.

Oh. Isak put his hand over the receiver as double laughter echoed in his ear.

“Eva is showing Even videos of me rapping from her instagram.”

The whole table deflated and Jonas snorted, eyebrows shooting up.

“Ja? God, I’ve got so many better videos than that--”

“Who was that?” Even’s voice cascaded over the line, deep words rumbling close to his ear and lowkey sending shivers down Isak’s spine. “Was that Jonas? He’s got videos too?”

He was supposed to have avoided the whole embarrassing baby photos thing with his parents out of the equation but apparently not.

“You didn’t hear that,” Isak told them, then he was very quickly and very decisively hanging up. And shooting Eva an endearing pissy text.


You hoe you are unbelievable

:*:*

 

 

Mandag, 16:31
30.01.17

 

Isak was chilling on the counter at Even’s house when the phone call came. Even was making them food while Isak leaned back against the cabinets and made comments at his shitty ideas and technique - Even was a really good cook, despite that fucking terrible first meal, but Isak was just as good of a roaster, so.

He’d tossed his phone on the counter in between them because it was playing shitty pop music on Spotify, which was probably the only reason they both turned to it when it vibrated.

The music cut and his phone jumped a centimeter, buzzing sporadically as twin eyebrows furrowed.

If his reflexes had been that much faster, he could’ve grabbed it before Even saw the name on the screen. But they weren’t, and he didn’t, so Even did see the name, and froze in the middle of stirring their homemade sauce.

Pappa.

Fuck. He reached over and scooped the phone up, because he wasn’t gonna leave it there on the counter to ring out. Although.

He really didn’t wanna answer it either.

Isak stared at the phone in his hand and highly considered not taking it, highly considered letting it go to voicemail, but. Well, he.

He sucked in a breath and hovered over the green circle, okay just press-- and the call suddenly cut.

Fuck. Missed it.

Stared one second too long and it went to voicemail. Fucking story of his life.

Isak blinked a few times, the lock screen of his phone, the little notification, Missed Call, Pappa.

Whatever.

He tossed the phone back onto the counter, the music starting back up on its own, accompanied by the quiet sound of Even stirring again.

Isak glanced up but Even wasn’t looking his way, intent on the sauce like it was going to boil over any minute. It wasn’t going to, and it wasn’t like it’d been hard to make, just pasta sauce mixed with peanut, sriracha, and lime, so it wouldn’t even matter if it burned, but.

They hadn’t talked about Isak’s parents. For a reason.

It was just a phone call, he wasn’t gonna worry about it, wasn’t gonna think about it at all--

His phone plinged, the signature sound for you’ve got a voicemail.

Fuck. Okay.

Even looked over as he hopped off the counter, face carefully neutral while he watched Isak pick the phone back up, unlock it, and take three steps in the opposite direction.

“I’ll be right back.”

Even didn’t reply and Isak turned on a heel, rolling his lips in as he made his way down the hallway, turned the corner automatically into Even’s room and closed the door behind him.

He could do this. It was just a voicemail, right? So maybe he hadn’t talked with his parents since both of the we don’t understand hurt messages they’d sent him post-concert. That escalated into nasty hurt messages and accusations and shit to be topped off with more fucking Bible verses from his mom and guilt trips from them both but.

All he had to do was listen.

Isak leaned back against the closest wall, fixing his backwards snapback as it bumped. All he had to do was press play and not freak out, that couldn’t be that hard.

Fucking hell. Why was this so fucking hard?

Maybe because the last time he’d talked to his dad on the phone he’d thrown himself under the bus and the burn in his throat, he could still feel that.

“How nice, that you’ve got a boyfriend.”

“Yeah, it was…” Tires screeching, slam to ground and crushed, as the words fell out of his own damn mouth. “...it was just a joke.”

“Oh.”

A joke.

He’d felt love for the first time in his life and it was just a joke Dad, no big deal, don’t worry about it, he would never date a boy, let alone fall so fucking in love with one he could feel it from his heart to his fingertips, encompassing his soul and changing his entire fucking life with it.

“Yeah. Okay.”

The voice over the line had gone on, talked about how he was excited to see Isak, and his mom, and. And Isak couldn’t think, couldn’t hear. He’d just thrown himself back in the closet and his chest was compressed so fucking tight he couldn’t breathe.

It probably only lasted about fifteen seconds, fifteen seconds slammed back behind locked doors while he wailed on the inside and stood frozen on the out, before he’d finally jumped again, heart pounding in his chest, everything riding on that moment.

“Pappa?”

“Yeah?”

“It wasn’t a joke.” It’d ripped something open inside him, everything raw and terrible as the phone echoed silently and Isak managed the bottom dip of the rollercoaster to take his stomach with it. “It’s just over.”

“Okay.”

“So...yeah.”

Silence.

Isak trying to inhale and realizing he didn’t have lungs. Out of the closet and into the hellfire, yeah he dated a boy but it was. over.

Over.

His dad’s voice over the line again.

“But, is that. Was that...are you upset about that? Or is it--”

“Nei,” Isak had replied, eyelashes fluttering and cold tears splattering onto his cheeks with it.

But is that. What? Good?

Was that...what you wanted?

Are you upset?

Or is it-- hurting?

No, no, ja, so fucking badly I don’t know what the fuck to do--

“It’s okay,” he’d said, instead of my heart is broken and it feels like the world is ending.

It’s just over. Him and Even had been over and Isak had fucking cried on the phone with his dad, hung up as fast as he could and cut it all off, tried to end the emotions with the red button, slipping back numb gasping, surprised at himself, at the emotions flooding because here he was crying over a boy, his entire being shattered into pieces and.

Fuck! Wow.

Not sure why that memory decided to resurface right now, what a great thing to be thinking about before he listened to this voicemail from his dad. It was cool. Everything was super cool, life was great, he was fine, fuck his fucking parents, he was gonna listen to this voicemail and then delete and Move The Fuck On With His Life.

Okay, time to rip it off like a band-aid and go.

Isak sucked in an unsteady breath and pressed the voicemail notification, phone lifted to his ear, eyes falling closed as that familiar damn voice came over the line.

“Hey, Isak. Hey...this is your Dad, I was just calling to see if maybe we could chat sometime soon. If you want it to be over the phone, that’s fine, I just. Your mom and I are both wondering how you’re doing, and we’re sorry if what we said after the concert seemed harsh.”

Isak took the phone away from his ear for a second, sucking in a breath, tightening his fingers around it before he threw it across the room. Harsh. Yeah, cool. Harsh.

Just gonna keep on listening.

“...think we both still just don’t understand. I want...I want to be there for you, Isak, we both do. If you have time on your schedule, we’d love to see you this week. Maybe we could meet up for lunch on a weekend? Just give one of us a call. Or shoot a text, whatever’s easier. Uhm...I hope you have a good day, son. And I hope to talk to you soon. Okay...we both love you. Bye.”

He was supposed to have glowed up from this.

His explanation text to his parents had been simple. Got an urgent message from a friend, it was important, he had to go. But they didn’t get it, they didn’t understand what could be more important than a Christmas Concert Family Reunion.

They went so far as to ask Jonas’s parents if Jonas was fine, to which Jonas’s parents had replied that he’d had a movie night at their house with absolutely no drama and conveniently, all of Isak’s friends present.

So his parents not only checked up on his story, which was fucking infuriating - we just care, we were trying to make sure he was alright, he could hear them arguing it now. Like they fucking knew enough about his life to know Jonas was still his best friend?

Although, well, arguably, that was never gonna change. But it could’ve, and the nerve had made his reply a little snappy, to which they’d exploded with how he was the one who was ditching them when they were trying to make an effort and rebuild this family and he was just being a rebellious teenager who couldn’t be mature enough to tell the truth about why he left.

Was it about this boy, was he doing drugs, his nefarious life choices must be -- wait for it. Confusing him.

Isak just.

Didn’t reply to those messages. They literally didn’t know a single fucking thing about his life, or how fucking immature he was or wasn’t.

Hell, they probably wouldn’t recognize him now, if they saw how fucking different he was, how much he’d grown and become without them.

Funny, for as much as he was supposed to feel older, more mature now, listening to that voicemail, his Dad groveling like that again, it just.

Fuck, it just wasn’t fair.

Because even if he did want to meet them for lunch - which he didn’t - how the fuck was he supposed to sit there and look his dad in the face when he’d left Isak’s mom for her mental illness, something Isak had never come close to understanding the first thing about until now.

But now, he understood a hell of a lot more than when his dad left the first - and second - times and by god, if he’d been pissed then?

It wasn’t like he didn’t miss them. They were his parents, he missed them, he missed his dad’s singing and his mom’s constant questions about Jonas and consistent refusal to let him cut his pretty curls.

In a perfect world, he could’ve started dating this beautiful boy and brought him home, had Even just as nervous as he was at first, introduced him to his mom and dad, blushing while they told lame stories about him and asked Even all about his films while Even held his hand under the table and smiled and charmed his parents the way he charmed every other person he met, so much so Isak’s mom pulled him aside with tears in her eyes over how fucking happy she was for them, his dad clapping Even on the shoulder and asking when he was coming by next, it'd be great to have another artsy type around the house.

And Even would smile, crinkles around his eyes as he shook their hands and Isak walked him out onto the front porch, blushing like hell and figuring his parents were probably watching from the kitchen window but going up on his tiptoes to press a kiss to Even’s mouth anyways.

The sudden sniffle caught him off guard, wrist rubbing over his eyes automatically and coming up damp as he knocked his head back against the wall, opening watering eyes up to the ceiling.

Fuck.

He was never gonna get to have that.

He was never gonna get to be that.

Instead he got to keep hiding shit, packing his parents away behind a straining wall before they burst into his life and ruined the one thing he couldn't fucking lose.

I’d forgotten it's not possible to lose anyone, we’re all--

His mom and dad would ruin his relationship with Even, it was that simple. It didn't matter whether or not he wanted to fix things with them, in fixing that he'd ruin every other good thing in his life right now.

It just wasn't fucking fair.

Here he was, right back to square one, leaning broken against a wall in some back room, eyes closed painfully as he tried to gather the courage to go back out and face a world through another motherfucking filter.

It could be worse.

It could be half a year ago, hiding out in a bathroom at a trashy party having turned down a blowjob from a girl he knew couldn’t turn him on no matter what he fucking tried.

Veins pounding from the smoke in his lungs, the spin in his head, everything numbed to the lowest setting and still, he was thrashing on the inside, high off his ass and so low he could break down crying in a party bathroom.

Pretending to be anything but what he was.

Hating himself that much--

That one came with an inhale, sharp and fast and shaking right into his core.

God. He wasn’t gonna go back to that. It’s just a joke. He was never gonna let himself hurt so much again.

He could still feel the remnants of who that person was, shoving himself so far down he didn't know how to breathe or look in the mirror or let his heart pound and

Isak pushed off the wall, momentum making the room spin, heavy hand throwing open the door with two palms wiping over his eyes.

He was all but running down the hall, round the corner into the kitchen, tile slick enough he slid in his socks, skidding to a stop at the edge of the counter, breathing a little heavy, eyes maybe still red.

Even looked up from the counter.

He wasn’t alone.

The spoon clattered as it dropped and Isak didn't notice, didn't register anything, not even Even’s voice as it floated,

“Hey, are you okay, Isak, what’s--”

Somehow his socks caught enough traction to run across the space between them, world echoing distant until he was crashing into Even’s chest, nearly sending them both toppling off balance with the force of it.

It took a second and a half after he was squeezing Even’s ribs for it to kick in, then two strong arms were wrapping tight around his shoulders, hands branding stars into his skin through all the layers between them.

“Isak,” Even breathed and he squeezed a little tighter, shifting to bury his face in that smooth long neck. “What’s wrong? What happened?”

“I really needed to hold you,” he mumbled into chilled skin, except it probably didn't sound anything like that as muffled as his face had to be.

So it was only fair that when a worried hand slid back to cup his jaw, enough pressure to lift his head up Isak let him, sucking in a shaky gasp of air and trying to compose himself as Even searched his expression brimming over with worry.

“What happened, baby? Are your parents okay?”

“Yeah, yeah, nothing like that.” Isak shook his head, looking down and sucking in a breath. Fuck.

He wasn’t hiding from himself, he was fucking done being afraid. “It wasn't a joke.” His fucking parents weren’t gonna take Even away from him, he’d gotten him back, “it's just over,” he was here, real, his heartbeat underneath Isak’s hands, his hands cupping Isak’s face.

Everyone knew now who counted and loved him anyways, and even if they didn’t? He did. He did.

And he had Even to show for it. Fuck his parents.

“I just. Fuck, I hate this,” he said weakly, wiping a hand over his face just in case. Fucking hell.

“What, baby, what happened?”

“Just...them. I.” A shaky inhale, steady exhale. “I don’t want you to worry about it, I don’t need them, not when--”

Isak’s gaze flicked back up, looking steady at the worried blues searching his.

“Not when I have you.”

He had no idea what to do about his parents, he was so barely out of the closet he could still smell the lingering moth balls on his clothes but he was real, living, he was himself, and he was so. Insanely fucking happy he'd met Even Bech Næshiem.

(You saved me, he didn't say. He'd been so. so alone. Dark and terrified, locked by himself behind doors that wouldn't open, spine distorted under the weight of expectations and fear and he was never gonna live like that again, was never gonna be scared again, because of this boy).

“I have you,” he repeated again, kind of an awed whisper this time. It sunk in, Even slowly realizing that no, Isak wasn’t gonna talk about his parents. The parents didn’t fucking matter, maybe that would take longer to sink in, but hopefully it would eventually.

So Even didn’t ask again, he just pulled Isak into his chest, arms wrapping comfortingly around him. They rocked back and forth and Isak hung on and promised himself, everything was going to be completely fine.

Fuck his parents. Fuck his dad for leaving his mom because she wasn’t okay.

What the fuck. He was never gonna stoop so low. Just fucking watch him.

When they pulled away Isak kissed Even’s cheek, lingering a moment. Then he was leaning back against the counter, Even’s hand possessive and unmoving around his waist as Isak pulled his phone back out and sent a single text.


Tell mamma happy birthday for me.

 

 

~*~*~

 

 

Tirsdag, 13:14
31.01.17

 

The windows overlooking the courtyard at the back staircase landing had just wide enough windowsills to prop on, which was apparently squad tradition for both the girls and the boys. Not at once though, somehow things always wound up being one or the other.

Even was propped against the cold glass because he didn't have class til 13:30, and neither did Mahdi. So they were chilling in the window overlooking the courtyard, listening to music and debating artists.

They were listing off names to each other when Mahdi held out his hand, indicating Even’s phone.

“Let me look through your library, I'll see what you've got.”

Even handed it over and Mahdi scrolled through artist names, making approving sounds. And a few disapproving ones, but at least he didn't have any Gabrielle on there.

“Not too bad, not too bad.” Mahdi pressed the lock button on the phone, about to hand it back over when it lit up again, numbers and lock screen flashing.

“Holy fuck.”

“Hm?”

Mahdi pulled the phone back, pressing the button again so the lock screen showed back up.

“This picture is fucking cute.”

Screen flipped around and Even leaned closer.

“Oh! Thanks. Yeah, I kinda like it.” Even smiled to himself, taking the phone back in hand and lighting it up again.

His lock screen was a photo of him and Isak, laying on the carpet in the living room and laughing, looking up at the camera. It was a hella cute photo. He was glad Mahdi thought so too.

“Okay, what about Hooligan Chase?”

Even glanced back up, pursing his lips as he thought over the name.

“Don’t know him.”

“Really? Okay man, you gotta listen.”

 

 

~*~*~

 

 

Onsdag, 13:51
01.02.17

 

Even used to love school. When he was younger, he was That Kid who looked forward to exams, who looked forward to learning, every minute of it.

His teachers all used to adore him. His studies all used to adore him and them back.

Then there was the first project he couldn't complete, didn't turn in, the week of exams he missed because he couldn't bring himself to leave bed.

It only went downhill from there. He wanted to love school, he wanted to enjoy every minute of class but there was always that nagging voice in his head, every time a deadline was assigned.

Hope you get that one in on time, before you lose it. Before you snap and miss school for another two weeks. Hell, why not miss half a damn semester, like your second year. Second year second time around.

First time around was even worse.

The more he cared about school the more his grades dropping ripped him up. The more he cared about every assignment he missed the worse he fucking felt and he couldn't take it anymore, it was killing him, so he stopped caring.

It was either stop caring about school or stress himself out literally every. Fucking day of the week, so.

He did everything he could not to care. To doodle in class when his mind was wandering. Better doodle than focus too hard, better fiddle than focus on Other Things.

So here he was in class missing Isak, sketching out the sparkling shape of his eyes, wishing he had all the greens and golds to shade in the vibrancy of color.

This whole notebook was filled in the margins, sometimes little hearts or lovesick doodles. Detailed, shaded hands entwined.

The mesmerizing curve of that puckered cupid’s bow, on days he couldn't stop thinking about kissing him.

A golden, shimmery ringlet, the tight curls behind his ears, at the nape of his neck.

The pattern of the freckles on his shoulders, pencil barely touching the paper, drawing soft as his fingertips traced.

Even was pretty sure Isak thought he only drew cartoons, which was fine, that's what he liked to draw the most. But sometimes he craved the realism, beautiful shaded masterpieces that could probably get him into art school if he tried.

Would hopefully get him into art school.

Of all his drawings though, his favorite right now was probably the one he made of Isak a few weekends ago. Sunday morning, gold across his skin as he slept and Even used the ceiling as an easel to capture his goddamn glowing beautiful, bruises and all.

And he was pretty sure he did. Capture it.

Even smiled to himself, sketching another line, fingers tight around his pencil, itching for the next moment they got to wrap between Isak’s again.

 

 

 

Onsdag, 19:24
01.02.17

 

They were stretched out making out on the couch in Isak’s living room and Even was warm all over, kissing that pretty mouth, one hand in the blonde curls of the beautiful boy lying propped on his chest.

It was so nice and domestic, to lay here with nothing to do but kiss and drink each other in, not a single fucking care in the world. He could do this for the rest of his entire goddamn life.

The thought suddenly crossed his mind and Even pulled back, their lips tugging and popping apart damp.

He leaned back, corners of his smile tipping up as Isak chased after his mouth, eyelids hooded in that drunk look he got, positively wasted on these kisses.

Fuck, it was kinda impossible not to lean in for another kiss when Isak looked that intoxicated off him, a quick press together of their mouths before he pulled back again, running a hand back and forth over the warm skin of Isak’s neck. There were so many things they could say without words now.

Isak hummed contentedly and closed his eyes, forcibly closing his mouth too, one more quick peck before he laid back down on Even’s chest, snuggling in with an ear pressed over his heart.

A little mmm sound to the tracing fingertips over Isak’s shoulderblade, distant and comfortable as they settled into sweet quiet. His heart was pounding a little fast, probably fast enough Isak could tell the difference, so. He might as well just say it.

“...do you remember, when we went on that date to the hill that overlooks Oslo’s nightscape?”

Isak lifted his head, dazed blinking away for knit eyebrows and dark green eyes squinting at him. “That wasn’t a date.”

“What do you mean? I held your hand and we kissed under a streetlight, that was totally a date.”

“Uh...nei? If you want to take me on a date you take me on a damn date, Even Bech Næsheim.”

“Yes sir,” he laughed and Isak flopped back down to his chest with another content sound, curls going everywhere. Even stroked them aside, sliding silk back and forth between his fingers.

“So do you remember our...not-date then?”

“Ja.” Isak tapped an absent finger over his sternum, tipping his head up to look at Even all soft and cozy. “It started snowing and I was wearing a snapback, my ears got cold.”

That was. Well, that was true, although not what he’d say was the most remarkable part of the night. Isak remembered the weirdest fucking details.

“Yeah...” Even looked down his chest, a dozen shades of blonde over dark beneath his fingertips. “And you mentioned how you’d thought about what you wanted from life five years from now.”

“Mmm.”

“...what do you want?” He held his breath, expanding chest that was slowly making Isak rise and fall stilling them both. Isak lifted his head, shifting a little to prop his chin on the hands folded over Even’s chest, cocking to the side as he lifted an eyebrow.

“I dunno, it's kinda lame.”

“Everything about you is kinda lame,” Even teased, touch brushing through curls in a quick circle from temple to neck. “I'm used to it.”

Isak rolled his eyes, lashes fluttering. Even tipped his head forward and Isak pushed off his chest an inch, dragging himself forward to slip their mouths together again.

Dancing fingers, tugging little curls around the slope of his ear, base of his neck. The kiss twisted as Isak tipped his head, popping off with a little smile.

One more loose peck because they were both too weak to not to.

“Really though.” Even lifted his eyebrows and Isak slid down to settle back in against his chest, glancing up to show he was listening. “Do you wanna still be living the apartment life, party hopping?”

“Well in five years I'll still be 22, so.”

“Ten years then.”

“Ten years?” Isak pursed his mouth, shifting a little, legs weaving between his to tangle a little more. “Nei...I think I'd like a house.”

It wasn’t that surprising, most people did, but still, Even’s heart was pounding inside his chest again. He managed to keep it on the downlow, at least what he could with Isak’s head resting on him, listening.

“What kind of house?”

A little sound as his mouth popped open, debating it for a moment before he answered.

“One that's close enough to town you could ride a bike for groceries. But not too far from school either.”

“So you want kids then?”

“Hmm? What? Ugh. Hell if I know. I'm seventeen, the only time I think about children are when I'm being lectured on safe sex and not getting girls pregnant.”

“Mm. Least you don't have to worry about that anymore.” Even shook his shoulder and Isak rocked with it, tipping his head up to smile, dimples carving into his cheeks.

“One of the lov-ely perks of being gay.”

They had come so fucking far since when they’d first met. He might not’ve been there for much of Isak being closeted, but he was there to watch him bloom right out of it, and what a fucking beautiful thing to watch.

He smiled fondly and crooked a finger at the pretty boy on his chest. Isak crawled up again, nosing in close for Even to kiss him, quiet, all closed-eye focus, thumb rubbing back and forth over the edge of his jaw.

Their mouths danced around each other a moment longer, lips brushing and breaking off as Isak rubbed their noses together, making Even’s smile burst into a little laugh.

Isak’s elbow dug into his collarbone as he ran a rough hand through Even’s hair. Still a little dazed, tipsy gaze locking with his, mouth falling back open. Flickering between his eyes and mouth and the gravity was too much, both of them tipped forward to press their mouths together again.

Trading heat and damp between open shiny lips, closing together with a tug before they parted with an inhale, heads tipping and mouths interlocked as they closed together again, pulling apart slow slow slow.

Their foreheads pressed together, close and quiet and Even really wasn’t expecting for Isak to follow-up, let alone with a question like that when they were pressed together intimate like this.

“Do you want kids?” Isak asked him quietly.

Even paused, eyes flicking up from little part beneath the Cupid's bow to study the waiting hooded green. He asked it so fucking simply. If only he could give a simple answer to any question like that.

“It depends,” he replied slowly, not sure how to go about this honestly without dampening the dreaming moment.

“On what?” Isak furrowed a little, pulling back an inch to look at him confused. Even returned the gaze steadily, quiet. On a lot.

“The kind of relationship I'm in.” One eyebrow twitched up a bit and Even cut down, looking away as the rest of it slid quietly between them. “How stable my life is.”

Isak tipped his head, not seeming very surprised as he deliberated.

“Mmm. That's fair.”

How he was so fucking chill about shit like this, he had no idea. Even wasn’t sure he’d ever get used to it.

He shrugged a heavy shoulder, rocking Isak on his chest with it. The elbow digging into his collarbone finally slid off and Even could physically see the gears turning under golden curls.

“But if everything was good, would you want kids then?”

Isak’s head propped on his hands on his chest again, looking up comfortably at him, so fucking young and simple. If everything was good. Whatever parallel universe that was.

Even pursed his mouth, tipping his head back against the couch cushions to look up at the ceiling.

“I think so.”

“Hm.” Isak’s head tipped to the side, cocking cutely in his peripherals. “...and a house?”

“Yeah, definitely a house,” he told the ceiling wistfully.

“With a swimming pool,” Isak declared.

Even’s eyebrows shot up as he glanced back down.

“A swimming pool?”

“Ja, of course.” Isak scoffed, already smiling through it and ruining the teasing effect, taking Even’s heart right with him. Leaning in close, tantalizing hover over parted lips, barely more than a whisper over the centimeters between them. “...in case I ever feel like swimming.”

And they were kissing again. It sounded like Isak was writing Even into his future plans and Even’s heart was gonna actually pound out of his chest now, loud and fast enough it had to be reverberating through Isak’s sternum, their pressed bodies.

They weren’t supposed to do this. They agreed not to talk about the future. Or, well. They agreed not to worry about the future, so. Technically.

Still, fuck. His tummy was swooping and Isak was kissing him like they were honeymooning in a lofty, white-curtain whisping hotel room in Paris with a terrace and all Even wanted was to be kissing this same mouth on a couch of their own ten years from now but he couldn’t let himself think about that, it wasn’t fair to his own hopes and it was definitely not fucking fair to Isak so.

He made himself pull away and it was not the fun kind, eyes slipping closed as he inhaled and tried to land his feet back in reality.

Only the moment his eyes opened up again there was Isak, tipsy and soft and close, little breaths puffing over his wet lips. They breathed apart and Even soaked him in, helplessly inhaling the way Isak was looking at him and tucking it away to treasure for-fucking-ever.

Can’t I just...stay in here with you forever? Can I?

You can.

Jesus, he was so beautiful. Dazed and happy and kissing Even like that was all he ever wanted to do. He knew, Isak knew everything and he was still kissing Even like that.

In case I ever feel like swimming. Fuck.

Well.

Fuck it.

“I have to be the one to teach the kids to swim though.” Even lifted his eyebrows, pinning Isak with a very serious look. “--since someone can’t.”

“Huh?!” All incredulous and offended and precious, lashes fluttering as he slipped from faded back to reality, mouth dropping open again.

He made a face right back uh, hello, obviously.

“We can't have them all getting water droplets in their throats.”

Isak bubbled up in a bright, surprised laugh, rolling a little on his chest and Even tugged him in closer, on top of the highest mountain, pressing a kiss to the top of his head as Isak’s arms wrapped around his ribs. A smile on his face while he lay back on Even’s chest and listened to his pounding heart.

 

~*~*~

 

 

Torsdag, 07:36
02.02.17

 

So the part that sucked was that Even didn’t spend the night. The part that didn’t suck as much was that he woke up to a good morning text.

Actually, a good morning beautiful text that made him blush and flop back down into his pillows, pulling Even’s hoodie up over his nose from how much he was smiling and goddammit, why couldn’t Even let him live, how was he supposed to wake up and be groggy and annoyed at the world when he woke up to a text like that.

Not as good as hearing it from that voice, though. If Even had spent the night, maybe,,,

Anyways. He eventually stopped blushing enough to pull his head out of his pillow, rolling up on his side. Ugh, still tired, but at least he slept. Some. He didn't actually go to bed until 1 and he woke up twice between then and now but still. Six hours was the best he’d gotten so far. And it was improving, slowly.

He'd taken everything completely chill last week, and this week too, one minute at a time and it was all gonna turn out okay. Yeah, a lot of nights it sucked and he was still laying up awake in the dark staring at the ceiling trying to figure this all out.

But Even asked for time. Isak could give him that. He just had to hold on a little longer and appreciate the little things he did have, like waking up to good morning beautiful texts when he couldn't wake up to a beautiful good morning instead.

Ugh. Why couldn’t Even be here, why couldn’t he be curled up around him instead of curled up in his hoodie. Goddamn. Why was he so damn weak.

Why did Even need time. The fuck did he have to figure out?

Okay. That was it.

Isak sat up, head spinning a little bit from how fast it was, groaning at himself as he lunged for the laptop beside his bed. He needed advice.

Skype took fucking nine years to load, and by the time he’d dialed out the number - still the most called, so clearly, he hadn’t used Skype in the past like six goddamn months - he’d shoved his laptop all the way to the foot of his bed, stretching out on his stomach and shoving a pillow under his chin as he waited for the other line to pick up.

Ah, there she was. And fuck, his hair looked ridiculous.

“Hi hoe, how are you?” Eva greeted brightly, snorting a little as he flattened a hand over his bedhead hair only for it to pop straight back up. Cool.

“Tired. You?”

“Mmm. Up earlier than usual, so. Might as well put on makeup with all my extra time.” She leaned in closer to the laptop, eyes on her own little photo instead of him, eyeliner pencil in hand while Isak rolled his eyes at her.

“So what's up?” She asked congenially, blinking rapidly before tracing a little triangle next to her eye.

“What, I can't just call a friend for fun?”

“Not at seven thirty in the morning.” Eva pinned him with a look and Isak pouted a little, squinting as he debated. Yeah, alright.

“...fair.”

“So?”

“So I'm trying to figure out why Even moved out,” he confessed and Eva lifted the pencil back to her eye, darkening in the little triangle.

“Oh?”

“He told me it's to be…responsible and not codependent and everything but.” He rocked his head dramatically on the terms, because yeah he got them, but still. Eva glanced over at his half of the screen and he threw up a hand. “It's dumb.”

“I mean. It is the right thing to do.”

“How?? Things were great when we lived together. He also said it was so I could get more sleep and now I get fucking half the sleep I did and he Knows That.” Isak lifted a hand, using his flipping palm to point it out. “So if that was really why, he'd move back in.”

“Hmm. Fair point.”

“Then I was thinking maybe it's a commitment thing…”

“It’s definitely not a commitment thing,” Eva countered, swiping mascara over her lashes, blinking rapidly and making a face at the black dot on her waterline. “I mean if he can talk about marriage with no issues, I seriously doubt living together would be all that intimidating.”

A sweep of the mascara wand, darkening the tops a little more, mouth open like that would help.

Isak’s mouth was open too.

Didn't help.

“...marriage??” he finally squeaked and Eva’s gazed instantly flicked over.

“Oh my god.” The mascara wand nearly went flying as she clapped a hand over her mouth, dark gray-blues going wide. “I totally forgot--”

“Did he talk to you about...???”

Isak couldn’t actually manage the word again. He couldn’t decide which of their expressions were more shocked. No, his, actually, as shocked as Eva’s was his was like. Ten times that right now, yep, fuck--

“It was at the cabin, we were all just chatting and giggling and we talked about a lot of things, don't--”

Isak buried his face in his pillow and Eva paused as she heard the muffled scream.

“Is that a good scream or a bad scream?” She ventured after a moment of heavy breathing through muddled screams and laptop screens.

His hands were clutching so tight to the pillow on either side of his face he might leave permanent fingermarks in cotton.

“Isak?”

Eva made a concerned sound and Isak lifted his head, feeling fairly dazed and probably looking even moreso. Good or bad scream.

“Overwhelmed,” he replied and she gave him a little smile, leaning back in to start in on the other eye.

“Maybe that's why he moved out. Because he didn't want to overwhelm you. He's just so...vibrant, you know?”

Smooth exit off the Marriage Train only he was still hanging on the rails and Isak blinked. And blinked again.

Eva tapped her screen like he was frozen, a little shit of a smile on her face. Isak shook his head once, curls so fucking disheveled they were trying to bounce in his eyes. He shoved them aside with a hand, opening his mouth before he figured out what to say.

“Ugh. Yeah, I guess, but like what about him could possibly overwhelm--”

Unless this had something to do with Even being bipolar.

Overwhelm.

Doing fucking homework at 2am like a weirdo.

That’s what set off Even moving out. It was a one-off event, Even really had just felt like working on his project at 2 in the morning, couldn’t sleep and artist type and inspiration and all, but.

But maybe Isak's reaction to it. To Even acting like that.

Unexpected and strange and somehow inconvenienced or something because of it--

Maybe he didn't want Isak to have the responsibility of caring for him when an episode finally hit. He didn't wanna be a burden when it came to critical hour so he moved out before it could happen.

Oh fuck, that was probably it.

Oh fuck. Fuck that.

“Isak?”

Eva was hovering her mascara wand again, waiting to sweep it on as she looked at him concernedly. Isak had trailed off with his mouth open, realizations all kinda sinking in at once. It was fair she was looking at him all concerned.

“I think I might've…hm. I think I might know why, but I have...no idea how to bring it up.” He stuck his tongue in his cheek and Eva lifted a shoulder, painting her lashes darker as she offered a classic Eva Suggestion.

“Ask him to spend the night, then talk about it in the early hours of the morning when everything’s all soft and sweet.”

“Hey, that's a great idea.”

“I know it is,” Eva smiled, puckering her lips to blow a hand-free kiss at the screen.

Isak blew an air kiss back and glanced in the corner of his laptop for the time. Yeah, good note to end on, he actually should do something about his hair now. Or food. That was a decidedly better idea.

“Okay, I'm gonna go get breakfast. Takk for the advice...I'll see you at school, good luck with the rest of your morning.”

“You too,” she smiled sweetly, hand coming into sight to shut out of the call. Isak lifted a finger before she could, waving it over the screen.

“Oh and the wing on your left eye is angled higher than your right.”

She flicked him off and Isak tipped his head in a smile then he was closing his laptop. It wouldn’t care that Skype was still running, in theory, hopefully it wouldn’t blast something terrible at him when he opened it back up.

God, like that one time he’d closed his laptop in the middle of binging Netflix and opened it back up to some demonic sound blasted all the way on high and nearly gave himself a heart attack.

Anyways. Even. Moved out because he thought Isak couldn’t handle his shit, what a fucker.

It was fair though, he hadn’t actually proved himself in that department yet. He'd only actually attempted to deal during a depressive episode, that was only half the picture. And Even was just trying to do what was best. Too bad he was...wrong.

Fuck. Okay. He just had to find a way to bring that up.

That was gonna be so wonderful and easy.

Hey babe, so I've been deliberating for the past two weeks and I'm pretty sure you moved out because you're afraid to be around me when you have another manic episode because you don't know how I'm gonna react but! Tough shit I want to be there for you and you're gonna move back in now so I can sleep, thanks.

Yeah. He was gonna have to work on that one.

 

 

Torsdag, 15:07
02.02.17

 

Magnus caught up to the two of them just before they hit the courtyard, backpacks swung over bumping shoulders that opened up to solid arms wrapping around both of their necks.

“Heya, boys.”

Even crinkled up in a smile and Isak shoved the arm off from around him, the three of them falling into step with Magnus in the middle.

At least he didn’t go for the ass slaps this time.

“Hey, Mags, what’s up?”

Isak’s eye twitched at the nickname and Even hesitated a moment. That wasn’t like...exclusive to certain people, was it?

The shoulder knocking into his knocked a little harder, shaking him out of the moment with that signature bright carefree.

“We're all going to the skate park after school, you two coming?”

“Skate park?” Isak sounded damn surprised, both eyebrows high as he did a little doubletake. “Jeez.”

Even leaned over Magnus to shoot him a curious look.

“You don't like skateboarding?”

Isak furrowed a little, head shaking as he fell back into step beside them.

“Nei, of course I do. We used to go every day, I just haven't been in a while.”

“You and Jonas?” Magnus asked.

“Ja,” Isak’s mouth landed in a little pout as he looked down at their shoes.

Even studied him a moment, hip-checking the door open and waving both of them through first.

There was definitely something up, but it didn’t sound like he didn’t wanna go either.

“Yeah, Magnus. We'll be there.” The door echoed shut behind them, a pause outside, tearing his eyes off Isak to give Magnus a smile. “Thanks for the invite. “

“Sure. Course. We’ll probably land there by 16:00. See ya there!” A congenial hand clapped down on his shoulder, then Isak’s, making him stumble a step as he snapped back into reality, offered Magnus a quick salute goodbye.

Even caught his hand on the way down, sliding it behind his back to wrap Isak’s arm around his waist, settling an arm around his shoulders in turn.

One eyebrow shot up and Isak gave him an amused look, to which Even just shrugged and started walking again.

“You still wanna grab kebabs first?”

“Sure, we’ve got time.”

The fingers on his waist curled in a little and Even smiled, ducking his head to watch Isak’s expression shift through the happy-embarrassed-awed as they made their way across the courtyard, arms around each other for the world to see.

The little smile on Isak’s face only lasted as long as the black fence wrapped around campus though, cause the minute they hit the city sidewalk it was fading right back into that distant, contemplative when the skatepark was mentioned.

It took him a solid additional thirty seconds to figure out what to say, but eventually he just decided fuck it and jostled Isak’s shoulder a little.

“Is everything okay with you and Jonas?”

“Hmm? Ja. Ja, everything's great. I mean, it's been really nice lately, I feel like we got pretty distant there for awhile and. It's good to not be so distant.”

“Mmhm. And you're sure everything's fine? With the skatepark?”

Isak glanced over at him and Even gave him a look, eyebrows up, one that said he knew something was up, no point in glossing over it. Isak sighed.

“It's just been awhile, a lot of old memories, y’know?”

“Ahh, that mysterious first year at Nissen,” Even said knowingly, little smile with it as he shook the sloping shoulder again and Isak sucked in a breath.

“Drama drama. But it'll be fun. Do you skate?”

“I know how. So I'll give it a shot. Do you?”

“Kinda. I can hold my own but I always used to just watch Jonas.”

“Is he good?” Even asked.

Isak just looked at him, tongue slipping over his lips, eyebrow cocking up.

And an hour later, standing at the edge of the bowl as Jonas leaped into the air, board flipping smoothly beneath him, landing back down perfectly to fly off into another trick Even could safely say the answer was yes, he was good. Really good.

A cheer broke up from the crowd and Even’s eyebrows shot up as he looked over at Isak. Isak wasn’t looking back, fidgeting as he scanned the walls like he had to reread every word of the painted graffiti.

“Let's go sit down,” Even suggested. They headed for a bench and Isak's gaze was still darting back and forth between the rink and the ground.

He'd looked down to avoid Even’s gaze, in the beginning. To avoid catching feelings.

Avoiding eye contact meant avoiding emotions for Isak, so clearly there was a lot he was working through right now.

It was a hell of a cool skatepark, bowls and half pipes and the works, walls and ground decorated with a dozen layers of vibrant spraypaint, everything from profane words to giant face murals, and the place was packed.

Every inch of standing room was either being boarded on, or trampled by feet of onlookers cheering, toes threatened as the flat of a board skid along the rim of the bowl, laughing boys tumbling back against each other to avoid getting hit.

The bench was long and propped right in the middle, covered in just as much graffiti as the rest of the park, only about ten times quieter right now.

“Isak,” Even tipped a little, knocking his shoulder and startling the snapback covered curls to turn his way. Isak was leaning forward with his forearms on his knees, hands clasped loosely between, one eyebrow cocking up at Even’s gaze. “What're you thinking about?”

“Nothing,” he said, shaking his head once with an exaggerated frown but he was looking down at his hands while he did it.

Jonas cleared the top again and another round of cheers burst. Isak wet his lips and glanced up, watching for a moment. There was so much under the surface there, a whole lake under ice that Even didn't know existed.

“You don't have to tell me,” he offered quietly. “But if you want to, I'm here to listen.”

Even leaned back on the bench, studying the pretty profile in his peripherals. Isak sighed. He wasn’t looking away from the skaters now, though.

“Y’know how I told you you were the first guy I'd ever been with?”

“Mmhm.”

“That's true. But you weren't the first guy I tried to get with.”

Even’s eyebrows shot straight up. That was...genuinely surprising. When he'd met Isak he'd never seen somebody so damn intent to throw themselves deeper into the closet. That hardly screamed I've chased down boys before.

“No?”

“Nei.”

It kinda made sense, though if he thought about it. Because once they did kiss Isak never stopped kissing him. Never really had the holy shit I'm kissing a boy there is another dick in this equation crisis that Even had been expecting.

So Isak already knew he liked boys, he just. Pretended that he didn't. Even always kinda assumed it was because he didn't want the reputation, hadn't met somebody worth it, but.

Looking at Isak's profile now, Even was pretty sure he was wrong.

Maybe Isak wasn't out because Isak had liked a boy who hadn't - probably couldn't - liked him back and it’d left him empty, empty enough to crawl deep into the dark where heartache wouldn't hurt him anymore.

Better to be in the closet than deal with heartbreak.

Even swallowed and looked down, leaning forward to match Isak’s pose, hands clasped loosely between his knees as he asked the question to his overlapped fingers instead.

“Were you in love?”

The sharp gaze snapped to him quickly, open with surprise. He hadn’t been expecting that question. Probably had never been asked it.

“I don't know,” he replied carefully, their gazes locked, emotions simmering under the surface as they tried to read each other. “Too much confusion and drama to ever really figure that out.”

“Are you still confused about it?”

“No,” Isak said and it was simple and sure. “I'm over it.”

“You don't have to say that just because it's me,” Even told him quietly and it was the same out he gave Isak before he met his parents, you don't think it's awkward? We don’t have to do this.

No. I don't think anything’s awkward anymore.

“I know.” Isak squinted out over the next sailing skater. “It's more of a what could've been feeling, I guess. Kinda just. Nostalgic.”

“Okay.” He didn’t really understand that, it kinda sounded like still confused to him, however. “But it's been bothering you lately?”

“Not bothering me, but.” The dart of his tongue over his lips and Isak sucked in a breath, looking away.

“Isak, I can help if you want. Talk it through with me.”

A quiet sigh and Even held his breath. He really meant it, he was here for Isak, whatever he was feeling. He knew there was a lot he was missing, about the past and if he could help Isak conquer that in any way, he wanted to be the person Isak turned to.

Finally a shoulder lifted, hand kinda waving as Isak sat up, trying not to rush it.

“I don't know, I guess it's just that a lot of things were left unsaid and I don't know whether or not to say them. To apologize, to address everything I fucked up and. Eva thinks I should just get over it but. I don't know.”

“Eva?” Not who he'd go to for love advice. What was her last connection to Isak again? Even ran it over in his head, trying to remember which friends had the history with which. “Wait didn't she used to date--”

Jonas chose that moment to soar over the edge again, board flipping in slow motion, the world slowed down for the single moment before Even’s words sunk in and Isak was caught in innocent limbo, gaze on his best friend and all the swirled emotions of the conversation - nostalgia - in those green eyes and the tiny sincere dash of a smile.

Oh.

Oh.

Jonas. Isak found out he was gay because of Jonas.

All the pieces just clicked into place and then the skateboard was crashing down onto the pavement, cheers bursting and a swooping sound as the wheels soared back down the slope and took Even’s stomach with them.

“Jonas, yeah,” Isak finished absently, glancing his way and suddenly freezing as he caught the look on Even’s face.

They both knew what they knew.

Even was paralyzed and he was sure Isak could see it. Sure Isak could hear his heart pounding as he stared, pouty mouth turned down and closed and eyes slightly wide, caught out and unsure and frozen stiff.

“But you don't still…?” Even asked, drifting through vibrant graffiti’d space and he felt absolutely terrible for the jealousy coursing through his veins but if Isak was in love with Jonas, he didn't stand a fucking chance and that all too real possibility was staring him directly in the face right now.

“Nei, I don't still,” Isak confirmed and the rush of air out of his lungs felt more like a punch to his chest than a breath of relief.

“Fuck, you thought-- Unnskyld, Even, I didn't mean to scare you--”

“It's fine.” Even was trying to catch his breath back, feeling strangely light headed from how relieved he was. “I'm sorry I freaked, I just thought...”

“That was hardly freaked,” Isak argued lightly, a warm arm snaking around his shoulders and pulling Even back towards him.

“I don't want you to think I don't trust you or anything or that I don't want you to be happy and to have close friends or--”

“Even. Even, I don't think any of those things, calm down.”

“...are you sure?” He was searching Isak's expression, flickering back and forth between sparkling green eyes, distantly registering the hand cupping his face, the opposite side of the rink.

“Ja. I was pretty sure beforehand, and now I'm positive.” A little huff and Even closed his eyes a moment, lips parted as he finally inhaled steadily.

He hadn’t just fucked everything up, Jesus Christ his stomach had dropped right to his feet, that’d been so fucking terrifying--

The hand on his cheek skirted up his jaw, tipping him forward as Isak pressed a soft kiss to his mouth, their lips slipping to lock in place together, the chill of Isak’s nose against his cheek from the tilt.

Their foreheads pressed together as they pulled apart, eyes still closed as Isak's head tipped, the weight of that calculating gaze on his skin.

“I didn't mean to scare you.”

“It's completely fine.” Even’s heart was still pounding and Isak must’ve been able to feel that because he kissed him again.

“Really.” Isak shook him a little, thumb stroking over his cheek as he pulled back enough to talk, see him and be seen.

“I've just been hashing through some old mistakes and conversations and things I want to fix, and there's still a lot about that semester that I want to make up for, but it's not from some crush or whatever, it's cause Jonas is my best friend and I owe him that.”

Even nodded. That was fair. That was really fair.

His gaze flicked away for a moment, tapping into the warmth of Isak’s hands on his skin. Their world connected through their touch.

“Of course.” He shook his head once, dislodging a few strands from the style he’d so carefully sculpted. Eyes flicking back up to Isak’s patient waiting ones. “...and I really do wanna help, if I can.”

“Yeah?” Isak asked softly, running a thumb over the angle of Even’s jaw. Even nodded, sealing it with a kiss and when Isak pulled back the next words weren't whatever he’d been expecting.

“Do I keep hiding the secret that I intentionally fucked over my best friend’s relationship with the girl of his dreams because the ache of watching them together used to keep me up at night?”

Even’s eyebrows rose slowly as it sunk in. Isak was looking at him seriously, waiting, so he wasn’t joking, he actually did intentionally sabotage Eva and Jonas.

“Well,” Even started and that's when Magnus plopped down beside them again, Mahdi in tow. The hand slipped from his cheek as he spun, sliding heavy down his arm the moment their gazes broke, turning in tandem to the boys.

“You guys are gonna skate, right? Even, you know how?”

“I'm nothing like Jonas,” he admitted and Isak's fingers tightened in his thigh. Fuck, phrasing, wording.

He wasn’t though, and the glance he shot over didn’t have worry written over the pretty features looking back at him. Confirmation. Surety. Gratitude.

Even sucked in a breath and there was a little smile on his face as he turned back to the boys again.

“But you know how?”

“Yeah?”

“Fantastic. Mahdi found a board you can borrow.”

“This way.”

They both popped up and Even stood too, stooping for just a moment to press a quick peck on Isak’s tipped up mouth.

“We'll finish talking later, promise.”

A hand squeezed in his, sending a spiral of warmth into his spine, then they were dropping as he quickly circled round the bench to catch up with Magnus and Mahdi, who were waiting.

They all started for the edge of the rink, where there was a whole crowd watching, waiting. It took him a few seconds to catch onto the fact that Isak wasn’t following, glancing over his shoulder for the bench, where he was still sitting pensively.

“Hey why aren't you making Isak skate too?”

“Isak's the trophy wife, he just sits and cheers,” an out of breath Jonas joined, looking over his shoulder too, both of them turning back to Magnus and Mahdi at the same time.

Even huffed a laugh, their eyes meeting for a brief moment.

“Don't worry, he loves it. Falls off the board near instantly, but he always enjoyed watching.”

Even smiled, but he didn’t say what he was thinking, taking the board Jonas was holding out instead.

Always enjoyed watching.

Yeah. Always enjoyed watching you.

 

 

 

Torsdag, 17:24
02.02.17

 

They didn’t talk about it on the way back to Isak’s place. Even didn’t bring it up and neither did Isak, so maybe they were just talking another time. Maybe Isak was giving him time to process.

 

It was cold enough, dusk dark enough for the puff of warm oxygen to be visible, billowing white.

Even breathed out hard, breath fogged from the cold, narrowing his mouth into an O as the smoke blew.

Isak gave him a funny look and Even lifted an eyebrow and did it again, fogging the air with his breath into a fancy, thin smoke cloud.

“I can’t smoke anymore, leave me be,” he countered, smiling, tipping up his chin to blow out another cloud of white.

Isak sighed and exhaled, shaping it into a steady stream too. Even smiled to himself and tucked his hands a little deeper in his pockets.

“Spend the night?” Isak asked. Even hesitated.

“Just tonight,” Isak asked again and Even nodded, breathing out into the cold and wrapping an arm around Isak’s waist.

“Yeah.” He dropped a kiss to the curls and Isak’s cold hands slipped under his hoodie to rest against his skin.

 

***

Three hours later his hands were sliding up that same spine, everything warm to the touch now as they rocked together beneath the late night whisper of his sheets.

Even was moving inside him slow and deep and possessive, biting high enough on his neck there was no way a scarf was gonna cover the marks. Hands branding his cheeks, shoulders, ribs. Thighs.

His body had been trembling for ten minutes, an hour, infinity, he didn’t know anymore, it didn’t matter, not when Even had him like this.

Isak lost himself to the purpose, in every touch. To the words Even was spelling out with his hands, with his tight grip, the shove of his body deeper and deeper in Isak’s. Again and again and again a hundred pressing nerves of heat as Even carved out a place for himself in Isak's chest.

A place and a hole, Isak tipped his head back on a broken gasp. A permanent hole he was never gonna be able to fill with anything else.

And laying here, taking Even inside his body like that, Isak never wanted to try.

The world was burning and Isak’s eyes slipped closed against it, flooded with sensation, shoved full and full and full with a hand circled loose around his neck, keeping him safe from the fire.

“Is-ak,” Even murmured, painting his skin with damp lips. His eyelashes fluttered as he moaned back quietly, the only response he could offer with his heart and soul and tongue like this. “Look at me.”

He managed to pry his eyes back open, dazed as he looked up, registered the desperation coloring that tone as he met the dark eyes watching his. Isak held the gaze, one of them drunk and the other crystal sharp, both tumbling for the edge.

“Tell me it’s me,” Even whispered and Isak was gone but not so far gone he didn’t get it, dropping his mouth open wider, shaking as Even pushed further inside him.

“E-even, Even, you, only you, ba-by--”

Two hands sliding up through his curls, tight handfuls making him dizzy.

“Ahh ah ah ah ah--”

Heaven rocking them together until pieces weren’t pieces anymore.

“Faen faen Even--”

His lashes fluttered and his head rolled to the side as sparks tumbled, muscles tightening all over, lifting past the clouds and Even thrust that much more sure, one hand grabbing Isak's chin, turning his head back up, foreheads pressed hard together.

“Look at me, look at me,” Even begged, mumbling over his mouth and Isak somehow fluttered his lashes open again, locked on blues too dark to see anything but shine, Even’s lips parted, hair disheveled, gaze desperate as it held onto his.

It took a fuckton of focus he didn't know he had to keep his eyes open and his head still, channeling all the too much into his fingers, sinking into Even’s shoulders, everything he usually tossed his head wantonly to, usually squeezed his eyes against.

Burning that much brighter when he forced himself still, no outlet for the buildup. Everything foggy and deep and deep, he'd be sliding an inch up on the mattress with every thrust inside of Even’s hands weren't wrapped around his shoulders, tips of his fingers bruising Isak’s collarbones as he tugged him down smooth and fucking hard with every roll of his hips inside.

Shoving into his body and shivering under his skin, both their mouths dropped open and their gazes locked so tight nothing else existed but the dark shades of Even’s drowning eyes, the night sky behind the stars he was hammering into sparklers in Isak’s sternum.

“Even, Even, Even--”

It was more than consuming, Even was consuming him and the sex was tying them together in messy unbreakable knots, coil wound so fucking tight in his stomach.

Spine trembling, on the edge of snapping, begging to arch, twist with, against, it was just so fucking deep and he was dying to throw his head back, toss to the side, close his eyes, anything to counter the deep slams into his entire existence but there was nothing he had nothing but winding up tighter tighter still, unmoving and gripping tight as his vision threatened to fog over, body threatened to burst.

“Ahhahhahh, please please p-please, Even E-ev-ah ahh--”

The murmured pleas didn't do a single thing but he couldn't stop spilling them, couldn't stop rambling as he begged for something, anything because it was way too much and he couldn't take it anymore he couldn't--

The colors and contrast spiked higher and overwhelmingly higher and every cell in his body buzzing, every ounce of skin slipping damp with the sheen of sweat and he was looking up so desperately at those beautiful eyes that were eating him alive. Taking his soul right out from between his ribs.

Look at me, Even begged and it was too much but Isak did, he did and did and did and the parallel universes all followed in overwhelming step after step, right to the edge of the stumbling shouting foggy cliff because his eyes were locked on Even’s when he came and he wasn’t sure he'd ever felt more exposed in his life.

“E-even!” he broke, a cry out and he was shaking all over, choking over a dozen little sounds as his world fell apart and his vision kinda swam but he was still locked on Even, letting him watch him crumble beneath the dazed dark.

A rough hand shoved up through his curls and Even’s eyes slipped closed, their mouths catching in a kiss that was swallowing his insides tipping him up taking his oxygen breath of life shot at surviving as the rapid thrusts inside faltered and Even was coming inside him.

They gasped against each other's mouths, starved for air taken and stolen and gifted again.

Crash and crash and the tide dragged them by the thighs tumbling through white waves too strong to fight.

Isak was wondering distantly what it would feel like, to have Even come inside him without rubber between them, whether it'd feel dirtier or more intimate, if that was something Even would ever want to do.

Because fuck, he'd never felt so physically consumed before in his life.

It was another ten minutes, thirty seconds, infinity before he fluttered open his eyes again. They'd fallen shut when Even’s did. Even was breathing hard and looking down at him, kind of, eyelids hooded and their noses pressed together.

Isak managed to lift a hand, circling around a trembling bicep to grab the back of Even’s neck roughly, hold them here together, tight.

“I'm here,” Isak breathed and Even inhaled salty ocean air, dipping down to kiss him again.

And again. Until they were too out of breath to kiss anymore and that's when Even lifted up, pulled out while Isak winced and wished he'd stop doing that, dammit, that was the worst part of every time they had sex could he just. Cut that leaving shit out.

Although he wasn't really leaving. Not for real. He'd promised he'd stay the night, that's the whole reason they got to lay in Isak's bed and make love to each other on a school night.

Fuck. That really was the best way to describe it though.

Even rolled, reaching for a cloth on the bedside table only Isak hadn't thought to put one out after the last time he did laundry. (When Noora left someone had to do laundry, otherwise it wouldn't get done, and he was always the last person to pay rent so it was the least he could do.)

Even was never here anymore.

He patted around for a cloth before lifting high enough to look for one, not see one, and the realization slowly dawned.

“I'll be right back.”

The closest pair of boxers thrown on and the door creaked open, light from the hallway as he disappeared in the direction of the bathroom.

Isak wanted to curl up in a ball on his side, have Even wrapped around him but arguably he really should get cleaned up first so he sighed and laid there with his eyes closed trying not to think about the desperation, look at me until Even came back.

And tonight, thank god, he did.

The moment Isak was wiped down, a pair of sweats pulled up over his ass - because it’s January and you're always slipping out of the covers I can't have you freezing to death - he was rolling over to curl up on his side, exhausted then Even was crawling into bed beside him, pulling the sheets up over them both. Turning and sliding a hand down Isak's bare shoulder, a kiss to the back of his neck.

Isak was already drifting off to sleep but Even was here with him and he was exhausted and they were touching, there was an arm around his waist, heartbeat pounding in the wrist over his abs.

He fell right to sleep. Deep, deep sleep.

 

 

Fredag, 03:18
03.02.17

 

It started with the text.

Well actually it started in a church pew, empty but for a book slid over to him by a hand that had already left.

Isak picked up the book; touching the cover for a moment before he flipped open the sermon notes.

It didn't say meet me in the bathroom in five. Instead, it read.

Dear Isak.

I'm now sitting at the place where we met each other for the first time and I’m thinking of you. Soon it’ll be 21:21--

The pew dropped out from under his feet as he spun, blue lit crosses and golden candles and he was running, slipping over flat pieces of stained glass, a thousand shades of blue slowly darkening, spilling purple at the corners until they were seeping deep with red--

No no no nonono.

It was cold, it was so fucking cold and he could barely keep his fluttering eyes open long enough to see, everything kept threatening to blink back but he had to run, he had to make it in time--

The churches flashed, lightning behind him and there was the bench, dead wood, dead plants behind. Completely empty.

Except not, completely empty, Isak spun for the doors only they weren’t opening, they weren't opening, spun back around and there propped against the wood the empty, slumped on the ground against the side of the bench where they’d sat, the empty bench and blue hands were red gray green jackets were soaked black and Isak couldn’t breathe definitely couldn't hear the scream over the church choir singing as he fell to his knees.

Fall to your knees--

Folk, fall nu neder, och hälsa glatt din frihet

O helga natt, du frälsning åt oss gav, our salvation you gave, our salvation you gave

You gave and he was holding a cold face between his palms and there was blood on pounding fingertips he was smearing over cold porcelain skin and he couldn't feel anything but the cold, fingers pressing, hands lifting, begging him to come back, this couldn’t happen to them, no, this couldn’t be happening, no, this wasn’t real, this didn’t get to happen to them, Even, Even!

I don’t sleep cus sleep is the cousin to death.

I’d forgotten, it’s impossible to lose someone. We’re all alone anyways.

In infinite time.

That time the scream was loud enough, the rip deep enough that he snapped upright, surrounded in dark as he woke, scrambling up, starlight barely filtering in through the windows, hair all over the place and breathing so fast he could feel the mattress shake.

Nightmare nightmare nightmare bedroom nightmare not church bedroom bedroom bedroom nightmare--

 

The strangled sound woke him first, then the sudden shift in the covers.

Even blinked groggily and reached for Isak’s shoulder on the pillow, where it wasn’t. He lifted his head and saw Isak’s bare back, expanding again and again as he breathed heavy, curled over, head in his hands and Even was suddenly really awake.

He reached out, carefully touching the shaking spine.

The moment his fingertips pressed to skin Isak jumped, Even’s hand retreated like a child’s off a stove then Isak was spinning around and the small amount of light in the room shining on his face reflected off tear tracks.

Even sat up instantly. “Isak.”

It was pure concern, dead shot worry. Isak was still trying to breathe, eyes closed and head down and not looking at him and Even reached over and placed a hand on his knee through the covers.

“What happened? What’s wrong?”

Isak gasped in shakily, parted bow lips wavering to try to respond only the moment he opened his mouth to speak, the sound that came out wasn't human, wasn't anything but broken crash of a storm and the crumple came instantly with the rain.

Isak just started crying.

Even’s heart tried to leave his chest, physically seizing so hard he couldn't breathe but he didn't need oxygen, nothing mattered but pulling Isak in, gathering close wrapping around the beautiful shaking boy shining cascades down his cheeks.

Another broken sound and Isak clutched his arm fucking tight, curling into his heartbeat desperately. Even cradled the blonde head to his chest, eyes wide as he stared blankly over the top of his head and tried not to drown how deep he was swimming in fucking concern.

“Baby? Talk to me. What happened? Are you okay?”

“Ev-ven,” he gasped, choking on the tears.

Fingers leaving bruises in Even’s bare skin.

“I’m here. I’m here,” he promised.

That started a fresh wave of crying. Running tears of rain to stuttering waterfalls, raw and ragged and open and positively shattered.

Cold and soaking, seeping into his skin through his shirt, cautious hands thrown out the window for begging desperation, fingers curling so hard into his skin it fucking hurt.

What the fuck, what the actual fuck.

He’d never seen Isak break down like this.

Clutching him like the last piece of driftwood on the broken Titanic, ricocheting in the deep of the waves, dam completely destroyed as Isak wept into his chest.

He had no fucking clue what was happening.

No fucking clue what he was supposed to do to fix it.

Even ran a hand through the blonde curls, trying to comfort, down the side of the face that his fingertips had memorized a dozen times over by now.

A sudden shift and Isak grabbed his hand, hard. It was a little startling, then he was pressing a kiss to the inside of his wrist, mouth pressed too long as he kinda sobbed against Even’s heartbeat.

What the fuck was going on.

Even kissed the top of his head and started rocking them, fucking lost as he lifted open his mouth, started singing softly.

Just something quiet and soothing, a lullaby or something his mom used to sing to him, he didn’t really know where it came from, but Isak was crying snotty tears all over his heart and Even had no fucking clue what else he was supposed to do.

Jesus Christ, Isak wouldn't stop fucking shaking.

He was just shaking and shaking and shaking. His shoulders wouldn't stop shaking, face completely hidden as he bawled and shook and shook and shook more pieces.

Skin slipping wet, stiff with salt, Even just swallowed back the teary eyes and kept singing. Soft.

“Sove nå, sove nå, i jesu navn, Jesus bevare barnet…”

Shaking sobs to shuddering hiccuped cries to trembling streaming tears to twitching raindrops to muffled little whimpers heart pounding over his chest.

It took a few more grueling minutes of Even’s entire body hanging by a frayed, soaked thread, but Isak eventually kinda melted against him. Sniffling, quieting down.

His hand was wrapped around Even’s wrist now, squeezing it tightly but Even didn’t mind, keeping the other arm secure around Isak’s shoulders as he rocked and rocked and rocked them.

Even was staring at the orange curtains when Isak lifted his head, sniffling again as he tipped up and Even’s gaze instantly cut down to red-rimmed green.

He looked like hell. Even scooped him closer, lifting the shaky body sideways into his lap, legs over one thigh, spine curved against the other and Isak just curled easily against him, one hand over his heart and his temple on Even’s collarbone.

Chest still trembling with little bursts of shaking, internalized sobs, slower and fewer and further between as Even stroked his curls and sang under his breath, holding on tight.

He had no idea how long it was, how much time passed before Isak was breathing again, eyes closed and ear pressed to Even’s chest, listening to his heartbeat in the steady silence.

“Isak?” Even asked quietly into the dark.

Isak didn’t respond for a little bit. When he finally did, his voice was scratchy and hoarse.

“I had a nightmare. A nightmare where you.” He sucked in a breath and his thumb slid over Even’s wrist.

Even didn’t know if it was subconscious or his answer, but either way, it suddenly hit him.

“Oh, baby,” he broke, no no no no no, he was so fucking sorry.

He bundled Isak into his chest, cradling his head as Isak broke down and cried a little more.

Even squeezed his eyes shut and did fucking everything he could not to cry too. No no no no no no no. They rocked for a little bit, until a tear escaped, rolling past his lashes to fall on Isak’s bare shoulder.

Watery green eyes lifted up then, seeing Even’s face and all the heartbreak pasted over his skin.

Isak’s heart broke a little more, he could feel it, see it and Even couldn't take that, couldn't take this.

He curled in close, needing the proximity, needing the promise they were both okay, tipping Isak’s precious tear streaked face up to kiss him and Isak clung desperately, both hands lifting to his face like he'd fall apart the moment their mouths faded away.

It was salty and wet and mushed together and terribly broken, both of them stuttering little hurt inhales as their mouths pulled apart.

He still couldn't really breathe, heavy fingers biting into the sides of his neck.

“I’d never leave you like that,” Even swore into the dark, foreheads together and he could feel Isak swallow, could hear the silence filled with the unspoken response in Isak’s mind.

You don’t know that.

Fuck.

“I’m so sorry,” he whispered, choked up and Isak shook his head, moving Even’s with him.

“It’s not your fault.”

“It is,” he said and Isak shook him, once.

“It’s not. It’s not. Don’t say that.”

“Okay,” Even whispered. “Okay.”

Isak reached up and kissed him. Desperate touch sliding over his face, through his hair. Raking over his neck, pushing up against his jaw, cupping his cheekbones.

He was the one shaking now, they were both caught in the fucking whirlwind storm but Isak was here and kissing him and Even was here and kissing him and their pounding hearts were speeding so fucking fast but at least they were in sync.

Their mouths eventually slid apart to gasp in oxygen again.

There wasn’t anything left Even knew how to say.

Inhale.

All of that crushing darkness around them.

Exhale.

“Will you hold me,” Isak asked, shaky. Even blinked away another tear as the sorrow stuffed sorry sad smile tipped up at one corner.

“Forever,” he promised, sealing his heart away with the dotted line.

And he kissed Isak, slowly laying him back down as he did.

Wrapped both arms around him, lining their bodies up before their mouths popped free, staring breathlessly into the shiny, red eyes.

It was hovering on both of their tongues and neither of them said it. He leaned down and kissed the tear-stained mouth one more time, pulling the sheets back up with it.

They fell asleep clutching each other tight, legs tangled and Even’s arms around Isak the way he promised.

The way he promised.

There was only one thing he could think about on the slide into the dark.

Isak was here, with him, safe, shivering body pressed against his until the cold disappeared from those bones forever.

 

What if he hadn’t been here?

It was pure dumb fucking luck he was. It was the first night he’d spent over this week.

What if Isak had that nightmare literally. Any other night? Of their lives?

Woken up alone, crying into the dark, reaching for a distant cold phone, afraid to call--

 

Even couldn’t actually stomach that thought, so he closed his eyes and didn’t let himself think anymore.

 

***

 

Fredag, 08:23
03.02.17

 

Even was brushing his teeth and Isak was standing beside him in the bathroom mirror thinking about what Eva said. About how he should talk to Even in the morning when things were soft and serene.

Too bad he'd woken up to sheets stiff with salt, Even’s thumbs rubbing over the tear tracks on his cheeks.

Not exactly the time to bring it up.

He spat in the sink and washed his mouth and toothbrush out. He leaned over to put it back in its holder and Even ran an affectionate hand through the waves of unruly blonde on top of his head. Isak shuddered a little at the touch and Even took the toothbrush out of his mouth, water blasting as Isak let his eyes slip closed, rubbing his thumb over the hand tangled in his, fingers skewed and sideways and in the wrong slots and the most right he'd felt in weeks.

Then Even was putting an arm around his waist, leading him out of the bathroom. Noora raised an eyebrow and slid in behind them, door closing.

Even didn't wait further than the hallway before he was tugging Isak close and kissing him on the mouth.

He was fine, really. He was fine.

 

 

Fredag, 18:37
03.02.17

 

Even was in the gym underneath a long bar with weights on the end - bench press maybe? He didn't know what it was called but he knew enough to know how to be safe about it and not bench too much at once. Slow build.

There were earbuds in his ears and the loudest playlist he had blasting, some mindless russ music with a bass that made it really hard to echo Isak’s quiet sobs in his head.

Today got to go on the list of top five most difficult days of his school career.

Sitting there all day in useless classes at stupid desks while somewhere in the building there was a teary-eyed boy who had a nightmare last night his boyfriend tried to kill himself and woke up crying.

Yeah, why wasn’t he paying attention in German again? Jeez.

No. No, he told himself he wasn’t gonna fucking think about it. Isak was going out with the boys tonight, there hadn’t been a single tear on his pretty face as he kissed Even goodbye at the bus stop and told him he could use the night out, he promised not to do anything stupid.

Even had stood on the bus stop watching it disappear on the horizon until it was long past gone, until the next bus had cycled through and the driver was asking him if he was getting on.

No, he wasn’t, and he was in here instead because he was trying to be constructive. Trying not to just sit at home and waste away drawing angstily or something until he drove himself crazy and ended up on Isak’s doorstep when he wasn’t even there.

It wasn’t either of their fault, he got that.

Hell, for all he knew, Isak had had that nightmare half a dozen times before.

Fuck, okay, yeah, actually that did not make him feel any better, time to get off that traintrack before he dropped a giant steel bar with attached weights to his chest and actually crushed a metaphorically broken heart.

Shitty dance music. The bass was probably already loud enough he was gonna be deaf by age thirty but he didn't care, he turned it up a notch louder.

Lift, press, release carefully. Breathe. Breathe through all of it.

Focus on the strain. The burn. The bead of sweat dripping down the edge of the workout band he had wrapped around his head. His hair was all nasty sweaty now, curling over the top of it but he didn't give a fuck, he wasn't seeing Isak until tomorrow, at the earliest.

And it wasn't like he was gonna fucking know anybody working out in the gym by Nissen at 18:30 on a Friday night--

A towel snapped his thigh and Even lifted his arms backwards, notching the bar back on its hooks, popping out an earbud as he lifted his head to a wolf smile, the pop of chewing gum.

“Christi-boy, hey!” The other earbud tugged out and that smile widened, all glowy from the sweat beading his slicked back hairline too.

“Hey yourself, E.Bech. Since when are you a gym regular?”

“I'm not,” he corrected, sitting up and holding back the groan as he stretched out his shoulders. “Spot me while I go up a level?”

Chris shrugged congenially, wrapping the towel around his shoulders and helping him trade out the weights and get settled back underneath the bar.

Figured, of all people to run into at the gym, literally the only person he actually knew well enough to talk to.

On the bright side, Christoffer Schistad did not make it easy to think distant sad angsty thoughts.

“Fuck that's heavy,” Even groaned, pressing upwards with the two guiding hands as Chris grinned again and popped his gum.

“Ja, it is. What in hell are you training for? You look fine, there's gotta be a reason to try and lift this many kilos.”

Even huffed, letting the bar sink down to his chest. The workout band was doing its job a little too well keeping the sweat out of his eyes, no excuse for tears.

But this many kilos? Well. Pushing the bar back up was considerably harder while he was talking, so he pushed it up and answered the question anyways.

“I've got a boyfriend who's 182cm, weighs 75 kilos,” he huffed at the top, straining as he held it steady, looking up at Chris with a dead serious look on his face. “...and wants me to fuck him against the wall.”

Chris barked into shocked laughter, and it was a good thing Even had this because Chris would've dropped the weight on his chest just now, hand over his chest as he bent backwards, cackling.

“Oh my god, unreal.

“Very real,” Even replied, grimacing as he lowered the weights back down again. Jesus fuck.

Chris was still laughing as he took the bar again, lifting a bit of the weight off with a shaking head, looking down at Even all incredulous and amused, wolf-smile wide.

“I've heard it's better, with guys.” He tapered down, mouth pursing as he tipped his head curiously, gave Even a Look. “You've done both.”

“I have. I'm kinda partial though, sex with Isak is.” Even shook his head once, exhaling dramatically phhew, arms engaging to lift for another rep. “Wow.”

Chris shook his head, chewing over the sex with Isak thing. “I can't even picture it.”

“Good, don't,” Even suggested and Chris laughed again, a real, pretty boy smile sans the shark bite to follow.

“No, I just mean. Isak’s pretty cool, but he's always been that baby-faced kid with the curls, you know? Well, not anymore, the kid grew up fast.”

“That's what everybody says,” Even huffed, pushing up into another rep. “I never knew him before.”

“He’s chill now, but he was trouble,” Chris tutted, kinda leaning on the bar - great, extra weight, just what he needed - as he slid into storymode. “Split up me and my girlfriend, actually.”

“You too? Jesus. How many couples at Nissen…?”

“Hell if I know.”

Even shook his head, wondering if there'd ever been at least some unrequited truth to Eva and Noora’s suspicious of Chris and Isak having a thing last year.

If there was, and he'd broken Chris and his girl up too?

“He wasn't kidding, when he said he used to be a bitch.”

“Eh.” Chris shrugged. “He mostly just outed the rest of us bitches. It was me who cheated, he just told my girlfriend.”

Even lifted his eyebrows and Chris caught the look, eyes rolling wayyy overdramatically.

“I didn’t even find out it was him until like, three months after. I tried to get back with my ex and she went off on this rant how, no way, not when it wasn't me who confessed, she had to find out from some kid named Isak.

“But like we were all wrapped up in Yakuza shit at the time, so I didn't really give a fuck.”

Even cocked his head, trying to place the name. Oh yeah, wasn't that the other school they'd fought? He inhaled and exhaled huffing into another rep, considering prying about the Yakuza shit but. It was Chris, it wasn't like he was gonna get anything he hadn't from Isak.

So he gave him a judgy look from the bench instead.

“You cheated? Dick.”

“Is it less bad if you end up with the girl after?” Chris cocked an eyebrow and Even licked his lips, popping them back out with a sound.

“I mean. I hope so.”

“Oh?” Chris sounded surprised and Even rolled his eyes at him. Chris laughed, rolling his head. “Draaamaa--”

“It was just a kiss. Or, well, a few. More than a few. But I broke it off with my ex as soon as I got home.”

“Just a kiss for me too, but. I didn’t break it off, so.”

“You better off now though?”

“Oh, hell yeah.”

“So am I.” Even paused a moment, bar hovering near its hooks as he tried to catch his breath and Chris cocked his head side to side, debating it over with one of those wide smiles.

“Yeah, Blondie’s not too bad.”

“Oh, I know. Otherwise I wouldn't be in here working my ass off for his ass.”

It was a good thing Chris had just helped him hook the bar back into its stand because now they were both laughing too hard to stand up straight, let alone lift weights.

But with an arm over his stomach, shoulders shaking he was too busy to think about the shaking shoulders of the boy crying in his arms in the early hours and that's more than all he could ask for.

 

 

~*~*~

 

 

Lørdag, 01:53
04.02.17

 


text

 

Lørdag, 11:42
04.02.17

 


text

 

He wasn't freaking out.

Isak spending time with people who cared about him and didn't stress him the hell out was a good thing right now.

He most definitely wasn't laying in his bed over analyzing every look he'd ever seen Isak give Jonas.

He was fucking trying not to anyways.

They were close, they had history, that was fair, Even got that.

They'd never actually been more than best friends, so he had literally no reason to be jealous but here he fucking was, slowly torturing himself as he stared up uselessly at the ceiling.

How much did he not know?

How many conversations was he gonna have where he saw this whole new piece, new side of Isak and if that's how he was feeling, how in hell must Isak had felt when he found out Even was sick?

Fuck. This was not a good spiral. Not this spiral.

Okay. So he'd broken up Jonas and Eva. He and Eva were friends, close friends, but he was pretty sure he couldn't remember seeing them talk...ever, before the Christmas party.

And clearly Eva knew, she and Noora had both mentioned something at the cabin.

But Jonas didn't know. And Isak wanted to tell him, against Eva’s advice. So it had to some pretty serious guilt then.

How nasty of a breakup did it have to be? How in hell had he broken them up?

Although if he'd broken up Chris and an ex too, cause Chris cheated and ended up with --

Eva. Ohhh.

Oh Eva must've confided in Isak. Oh shit. And he'd used that to…

What a fucking drama queen. Yeah, he got why Isak wasn't too keen on admitting all that to Jonas.

He'd thought it was odd, at first, with Sonja? Isak had only cared that she was out of the picture, he'd never once stopped kissing Even to whisper no, you have a girlfriend, we shouldn't.

Although, in that locker room, he had been worried about upsetting...Even, the first time Even broke up with her. Still though, there was no, what, guilt?

Did he just not care? Or shove it some place really deep, that had to be healthy.

Or hell, maybe his parents’ relationship was so fucked he didn't have any of the usual Don't Do This morals.

But. Did that mean Isak would cheat on him?

No, no, he was way overthinking this, he had to Chill the fuck out before he ended up down destructive lane number seven fucking thousand.

Isak said he didn't still have feelings for Jonas.

Even would trust that. He'd chose to trust him.

And conveniently, that's exactly when his phone decided to go off.

He nearly hit his head on his ceiling he sat up so fast, catching his hand on the surface just in time. Then he was patting the folds of bedsheets for wherever the fuck his phone went--

There.

It was barely past lunch, he wasn’t expecting Isak to call until at least around dinner.

The vibrations were still going off wildly when he scooped it up, flipping it over to see the screen. Not Isak.

No, actually,

It was Jonas.

Even’s stomach dropped. Again. There was just...dread now, every time Jonas had called him it’d been to ruin Even’s life a little.

First Isak crying over his parents and then that he hadn’t slept all week, both of which were Even’s fault and--

Fuck, he had to pick up or it was gonna go to voicemail the way Isak’s call from his dad had. Wouldn’t that be fucking ironic.

He managed to pick it up just in time, lifting the phone to his ear.

“Halla?”

“Hey, it’s Jonas.”

“Hey, uh. Yeah.”

“So...I have a really weird question.”

“Shoot.” Me through the heart, actually, what life-altering knowledge was he gonna drop toda--

“Have you seen my red hat anywhere? Isak wears it all the fucking time and I can’t find it but I need it, I’ve got to prove something to Magnus and I can’t lose this bet.”

Even was already climbing off his ladder, headed straight for the windowsill where Isak’s - Jonas’s, red hat was sitting. Jesus fucking Christ. He was gonna be the first person in history to die of a heart attack over a phone call about a fucking hat.

He kinda glared at the red thing as he flipped it over, checking the inside in case he remembered correctly from the first time Isak had left it at his house, that very first day, so many damn months ago.

“Uh, does it have a tag torn out on the inside?”

“Yes! That’s it. Thank god. Can you bring it to school Monday?”

“Sure. No problem.”

“Thanks, man.”

“Mmhm.” Even paused, almost considering asking Jonas when they were planning on disbanding, when Isak was finally gonna go home, but. He wasn’t gonna be that boyfriend.

He at least kinda hoped to hear Isak’s laugh in the background or something.

“Kay, I’ll talk to you later, then?”

“Uh, yeah. Yeah.”

“Oh, and if you see Isak, can you tell him to call me? It’s important.”

“Uhm...sure,” Even said slowly, looking at his phone weirdly for a second before he put it back to his ear. He thought Isak was at Jonas’s? What the hell. “Anything I can help with?”

“No, I just got a text from Marianne, and Isak’s not picking up his phone.”

Isak’s not...what?

“Marianne?”

“Yeah. Uh, his-- he’ll know who that is. I’ve gotta go, but thanks Even.”

“Okay. Sure. Uh, hadet.”

“Yeah, hadet, hadet.”

The phone clicked off and Even stared at the screen for a few seconds. What the fuck. Who the fuck was Marianne. Why wasn’t Isak at Jonas’s? Jonas couldn’t get ahold of him? Isak didn’t turn off his phone, like. Ever. For any reason. How many fucking times had they been interrupted in bed by the goddamn groupchat going off?

He didn’t wanna do it, but Jonas sounded...awful about that and Even didn’t know anything that was happening and fuck.

He pulled up Eva’s contact, typing out the question, hey, do you know who Mariann--

Before he cursed out loud and erased every letter.

Cursed a little more and pulled up Isak’s contact instead.


Hey, babe. Jonas is trying to get ahold of you, he got a text from someone named Marianne?

Even stared at the screen a moment longer, not sure why, it wasn’t like Isak had read receipts turned on.

Then his mom’s voice was cutting through, calling him from the kitchen. Even turned his phone from vibrate to loud and shoved it in his pocket.

That was there was no way he could miss Isak’s call.

It also meant he was on edge literally. All day waiting for it.

His phone chimed once, during dinner, a text message he excused himself to read. It was from Isak.


I got ahold of him. Thx ❤️

Even sent back a red heart and trudged back to the table with a sigh.

A text but not a phone call, and not the time for a phone call, so he’d attempt some kind of conversation for the rest of dinner and maybe attempt playing guitar after it was cleaned up until Isak finally had time to call him.

 

 

Lørdag, 21:35
04.02.17

 

“We’re going out,” Magnus declared from the couch and Jonas lifted his head from the carpet.

“Who’s we.”

“You me and Mahdi.”

“Isak and Even?”

“According to the group chat, no shows. Probably banging each other all night or some shit.”

“Or some shit,” Jonas muttered under his breath, plopping his head back down to the carpet.

If only Marianne knew when she texted Jonas - asking if Isak was alright, he didn’t show up to her birthday - apparently if you wanted to get ahold of Isak nowadays, Jonas wasn’t the one to contact.

How much Marianne knew about Even, he had no idea. Well he certainly wasn’t gonna be the one to tell her.

He hadn’t texted back, what was he supposed to say, oh, it's fine he ducked out early here too?

Left before they even finished cleaning up lunch. Said he had to get homework done or some shit.

More like get Even done.

Was he being petty, probably, but there was a joint in his hand and barely a fraction of his friend group even available, he was allowed to be petty for a moment.

Jonas was upset because he was possessive, he was high enough he could stare up at the ceiling and admit that to himself.

Isak was his, always had been and now he had a boyfriend which meant. Jonas didn't mean the same thing he used to. It wasn’t fair to feel this way, it wasn’t fair to Isak because even if Even wasn't in the picture, Jonas wouldn't be able to fill that capacity, he never had been.

Didn't mean he didn't miss how much they used to mean to each other.

Didn’t mean he didn’t miss his best friend like crazy, sitting right beside him. On the rare occasion he got to sit next to him.

It wasn’t fucking fair, he shouldn’t be jealous of Isak’s boyfriend when he couldn’t even be Isak’s boyfriend, that wasn’t who they were, but he missed his best friend, dammit, and it wasn’t Even’s fault that Isak loved him more but that didn’t mean Jonas didn’t hate all three of them a little for it.

Even for taking Isak, Isak for happily leaving him in the dust, and himself for being so fucking petty and selfish.

But hey, if he got high enough. Maybe it wouldn’t matter anymore.

“Yeah, fuck those two.”

“I think they’ve got that covered,” Mahdi joked and if Jonas could ban them from talking about Isak and Even banging in his house, he fucking would, but here they were.

Instead he sat up, threw the closest soft-ish object at the closest boy and pushed to his feet.

“C’mon, c’mon, let’s go.”

 

 

Lørdag, 22:31
04.02.17

 

Even was low-key dozing definitely not napping just stretched out with his eyes closed on his bed when his phone finally rang.

It took him a half second to wake up, then he was reaching straight out, snagging the little vibrating devil device and answering it without looking.

“Halla?”

“Halla,” Isak greeted over the line and his voice was so close to Even’s ear it sent shivers down his spine that cut in deep with the sinking realization that that precious soft skin was so far away.

It took him a moment to get his shit together, blinking his eyes open in the dark, pounding heart hopefully not loud enough for Isak to hear.

“How are you?”

“I'm good. I went and saw Eva this afternoon.”

“Yeah?” They were communicating without pestering each other to, just offering up a single sentence that answered at least a third of the hellish merry-go-round circle questions he’d been asking himself all afternoon. He went and saw Eva, spent time with a friend who understood some of the shit he was going through right now. With Jonas, anyways.

Doing healthy, good, things for himself and Even had been what, worried he was fucking sneaking around? Jesus fuck, he needed to get himself together.

“Yeah, it was nice.”

He sucked in a breath, mentally kicking himself and really glad that Isak couldn’t see his face right now.

“That’s great. I saw Chris yesterday at the gym.”

“You went to workout without me?”

“Just arms, you didn’t miss much.”

“Oh.” It took a second, silence over the line before it clicked. “Ohhhh.

No one could ever accuse the kid of not being bright.

“Hm, yeah,” Even laughed a little and he could hear Isak smile on the other end but.

It didn’t last long, and everything fell quiet quick.

They called to talk, for real, and suddenly Even really didn’t wanna be in the dark by himself when they did.

“Can I come over tomorrow,” Even asked, eyes falling shut and he knew he sounded desperate but here he was.

“Ja,” Isak said. “Ja, Even, you can always come over.”

He said it so fucking axiomatically but it wasn’t obvious, it wasn’t something he could take for fucking granted.

There wasn’t a single sure thing in his life and here was Isak, acting like he was one, like Even was being ridiculous for thinking otherwise and the only thing he could do was inhale, unsteady enough Isak had to catch it over the static between them.

Yeah, he caught it alright, if the sound he made was any indication. A disbelieving huff, impatience mixed in with hurt.

It’s not. It’s not easy for me to not give a fuck about her, Even.

That disbelieving, impatient hurt huff.

Probably had the same hurt look on his face too, Even could hear it, in every fucking word

“You're the one who's always trying to leave, remember?”

He’d like to say the bitter on the edges of Isak’s voice wasn’t clawing into his heart, but it was. It was and it was and it was and he could not do this right now.

“Isak, I don't wanna fight. I really don't wanna fight with you.”

“I don't either, but this isn't working. It's causing all this unnecessary space between us and it sucks. We’re miscommunicating, and blaming each other for things. It's gotta stop, Even.”

Rational, to the point, but it wasn’t that fucking simple, Isak didn’t understand. He didn’t get it.

It’s gotta stop? Really? Was that how he was gonna play this?

“What, are you forcing me to move back in with you?”

“Nei! I wouldn't do that.” The voice over the line sounded offended that he’d suggest as much but Isak was the one over here being confrontational, bite in every word, a touch of incredulous. “But I need you to talk to me. For real.”

It echoed and Even had to take the phone away from his ear for a moment, setting it on his chest as he swallowed tight, heart pounding, staring up at the blank ceiling. Fuck. fuck.

He lifted it slow back to his ear, a moment or two of silence between them he could spend years trying to read, there wasn’t any way to know what expression was on those pretty cheekbones now, whether Isak was fuming quietly or exasperated staring up at the ceiling or wandering lost or--

Then his voice came back over the line and Even thought he was prepared but he wasn’t.

Not an ounce of the fight. None of the upset. Nothing but soft, silk around his chest and squeeze.

“Why are you doing this, sweetheart?”

His eyes fell shut of their own accord.

Why was he doing this.

If he opened his mouth he was gonna say something he did not wanna fucking say over the phone. If they were gonna talk about this, real, the way that Isak sounded, Even wasn’t gonna make the confession to these walls in the dark and fall asleep alone after.

“Don't you wanna talk about this in person--”

“If you really want to, but I wanna know what's wrong.” Isak sounded so damn upset and the last time Even had properly held him he’d been a whole different kind of upset, crying in Even’s arms because of him. What was wrong.

All indignant and young and so damn sure with every biting word.

“I wanna know why you're so dead set on this you're letting it...hurt us both.”

The knife slid in between ribs.

“I'm not trying to--” Even started tearily and that’s as far as he got before he was gasping shaky, giving everything away and Even was not a crier but his emotions were all over the fucking place right now, he didn’t--

“No, no. I know you're not, baby. Even, hey, listen to me. Fuck. Fuck, I'm not trying to upset you. I'm sorry. I know you're not. And we can figure this out, okay? It's us.” Isak’s voice tipped all sincere and sorry and Even forced himself to breathe.

He was fine. They were fine, they could figure this out. He had to get the fuck out of his head, Jesus, he was gonna eat himself alive.

“So how about you come over tomorrow morning after you get a good night’s sleep and we’ll talk and hold each other, okay?”

Even didn't sniffle, he wasn’t crying dammit, he just thumbed the edge of his lashes and let himself sound stuffed up.

“Yeah, okay.”

“And we’ll get this all figured out and there won't be anything to worry about.”

“Mmkay.”

“Okay.” The phone line fell into quiet silence again and Even tugged the hood up on his hoodie, pulling it over the top of his head and letting it close out his peripherals like sideblinders.

When the quiet words came back over the phone, they were as sure as Isak had been that day in December, I can’t stand you lying here all sad. I’m not sad.

“I'm not mad at you, Even.”

“I'm not mad at you either,” he whispered back. Reverberated awe.

“I just really really miss you.”

“I miss you too.”

“Tomorrow, okay?”

“Mmhm.”

“Okay.” Isak sounded considerably more okay than the last time he said that and Even drew in a breath, steady this time. Fuck. They were gonna talk tomorrow and everything was gonna be okay. “...I hope you have a good night.”

“Yeah,” he exhaled. “You too. You'll call me, if you need anything, ja?”

“Ja, I will. Promise.” He sounded sincere enough Even believed him. He didn't have anything else to do. “Sweet dreams of me, yeah?”

“Always,” Even confessed and Isak laughed lightly on the other end of the line, twinkling like the stars. Even closed his eyes and soaked in it as long as he could.

Not long enough.

“Okay. I'm gonna go to sleep now, but I'll see you in just a few hours. Try and get some rest, baby.”

Baby.

“I will.”

“Love you,” Isak whispered over the phone and Even’s breath caught in his throat, the edge of tears, a drop of water. Breaking the surface too soon, the boy who couldn’t hold his breath underwater.

His heart was pounding as he whispered it back.

“Love you too.”

And by god, did he.

Chapter Text

Søndag, 11:39
05.02.17

 

Isak was sitting on the couch, hands in his lap, staring dejectedly into space. Waiting.

He couldn’t remember the last time he’d just. Sat somewhere and thought for a bit. It was always headphones in, or phone out, or something. But today he just sat, waiting, kinda thinking, mostly just quiet.

There was a knock on the door.

It took a second to recognize, then Isak was lifting his head, looking for the door. Pushing off the couch and walking right to it, turning the handle and opening it wide.

Even.

“Hi,” he offered and the corner of Isak’s mouth tipped up in a smile.

“Hi.”

He stepped to the side, waving Even inside. A quick glance down the hallway and Even followed him in, kicking off his shoes while Isak closed and locked the door behind them.

The first time Even had shown up to talk, they hadn’t said a word past hello before they were kissing, all the way to Isak’s room and up against the wall, then went their clothes, and Even’s mouth down his body and he'd looked up from his knees and breathed Can I? and Isak had a hand in his hand and gasped you can back and yeah, well.

They hadn’t actually ended up talking.

Today though, they were going to.

“Do you want tea or anything?”

“Um. I’m good, thanks. Have you eaten lunch yet?”

“Nei.”

“I can make lunch in a little while, if you want.”

“That sounds great,” Isak offered and Even gave him a tight smile, hands in his pockets as he looked down at his socks.

Oh. Wait.

Hold on.

How was it that Even was as nervous now as he’d been that first time waiting in Isak’s doorway? They were so far past that, weren’t they? This couldn’t possibly be...that bad, could it?

Isak opened his mouth, a couple different words hovering over his tongue, most of them starting with hva faen, but he settled on something a little less dramatic.

“Bedroom?”

Even glanced up, catching the tilt of Isak’s head and unfreezing.

“Uh, yeah.” The smile was a little less tight as he took a step, waiting for Isak to lead the way. Like he didn’t fucking know where Isak’s bedroom was.

Used to call it their bedroom in his head.

It was quiet down the hallway, Even following silently behind him like a funeral death march or kids on their way back to class or strangers, how many times had they laughed down this hallway and Isak was suddenly really aware of the fact that they hadn’t kissed yet.

He paused at the door, hand on the knob before he let go, turning around to face Even instead, mouth open. Blonde hair in dramatic parted swoops over his forehead, feeling strangely disconnected from time. This could be today last week last month the first time Even called him into the locker room to kiss him, make him inhale shakily, foreheads pressed together.

Even stood there, eyebrows up, silent and waiting.

“I love you,” Isak told him.

Even blinked.

“I do,” Isak repeated, confirmed, dipping his head, one eyebrow cocked up with how serious he was being. Even rolled his lips in, tongue darting before pink popped back out with a little sound.

Looking at Isak like he was trying to figure something out. Isak dipped his head a little more, eyebrow arching a little higher. What.

“I love you too.” Even said it like Isak already knew it, like this was the six hundredth time they’d had this conversation, it wasn’t, it was the first, but Isak was completely fine with hearing it the next six hundred times just like that.

“Then kiss me.”

Even’s eyebrows went up, a tiny hint of a smile on his face.

Okay, that was enough of that.

Isak rolled his eyes and stepped across the foot between them, wrapping an arm around Even’s waist and pulling him in, pressing up to kiss that nervous, beautiful mouth.

Even kissed him back, fuck did he kiss him back, all urgency and sweet mixed up in the passion as he tilted his head, knocking their noses and slotting their mouths back together, backing Isak into his bedroom door.

There we go, that was the boy he knew.

Isak fumbled with the doorknob, stumbling them both inside. Even kicked the door back shut automatically, one hand coming up to cup Isak’s jaw as they barraged heatedly into his room.

Thank god he’d cleaned up this morning, so there were no clothes to trip over when Even backed him all the way to the edge of his mattress, pushing him down to bounce on the fall and crawling up over him to kiss him right into the sheets, making Isak’s heart soar in his chest.

“Mmm,” he managed to protest vaguely, although he didn’t wanna protest at all, he wanted to keep kissing Even until tomorrow came, but they did have things to discuss and they were going to discuss, dammit.

Their lips drew apart over a wet sound and Even lifted up, lips still parted as he looked down at Isak.

“We do still have to talk, though.”

“Ja. Ja, I know,” Even breathed, rolling off of him, landing on his back with a huff. Isak rolled too, landing on his stomach with an arm wrapped around Even’s ribs and a kiss pressed to his shoulder.

“Why did you move out?”

“Jeez, right to it--”

“I’m not kidding. This is important, and we’re talking about it, so.”

“I know, I know,” Even trailed, sticking his tongue in his cheek.

Isak leaned up and pressed a kiss to his cheek, over the protruding soft skin, making Even give him a funny little amused look. Then he was pushing his lips up against Even’s and they were kissing for real again. Fingers tightening in his curls, his fingers curling tighter in Even’s hoodie. The best kind of toe curling real.

This, this was good. This was so good, why couldn’t it just. Always be this, the two of them on his bed, making out soft until they both were smiling softer, his curls flopping sideways as he fell back to the arm he was resting his head on.

“You’re so beautiful,” Even whispered, reverent and Isak cocked his head, eyebrows shooting up in a touch of surprise.

“Takk.”

“Mhm.”

They lay there quiet for another moment, heartbeats settling back down. God, this was exactly his favorite place to be. Tangled up and warm, laying here with Even and nothing else in the whole goddamn world.

This was worth fighting for. Dammit, this was something he wanted. He hadn’t let himself want for way too long but this, this he wanted.

They were worth fighting for.

He wasn’t gonna wait, be patient, keep quiet, hold on any longer. Not when it was this at stake.

“Why did you move out?” Isak asked again, significantly more serene this time. Absolutely no less serious.

Even was quiet.

“You told me it was so I could get more sleep. Clearly, that wasn't true, I spent a week getting no sleep and you didn't move back in when you found that out.”

Still quiet. Isak rubbed the thumb over his ribs, a little reminder to the light blue gazing off over the top of his head.

“Even. Conversations are two-way.”

“I know. I just.” Even sucked in a breath, eyes fluttering closed for a moment. Head rolling on the mattress to look up at the ceiling instead of him. “I really was trying to be responsible.”

“I get that. But if that was the only reason why, when it didn’t work, you would’ve moved back in.” Isak studies him a moment, watching the slopes and stories in his profile. “You didn’t.”

Even sighed. Long fingers pushing through the waves of blonde on top of his head. Not exactly giving him much to work with here.

“So it’s about more than that. Not sleep, not being responsible.” Isak wet his lips, biting back the edge of nervousness as he lifted his expression up at that pretty face and asked. “There was nothing wrong when we lived together, was there?”

“No.” A shake of his head, still up at the ceiling. “No, just that we did.”

What the...fuck.

Isak furrowed his eyebrows, adjusting his weight on Even’s side to see his face clearer.

“What’s wrong with that?”

Even caught the touch of sharp in the question, gaze flicking his way. Caught the look on Isak’s face too, rolling head and shifting shoulders to look him straight in the eye.

“It was every night, Isak. Every night together, that can't possibly be healthy.”

Isak furrowed a little deeper. “Said who.”

“Common sense! You're seventeen.”

“So?”

“So you need independence, and to not live with your boyfriend.”

“Why?”

“Isak, c’mon. Every night?”

“Lots of couples do it,” he argued.

“Married couples do it,” Even corrected. “They’re older than us.”

“Not all of them,” Isak whispered.

Even looked away, transparent blue falling shut.

Why in hell did he look pained. What the fuck was so wrong with the idea of them being together?

Maybe not married, yeah, but the fact that Even thought they couldn’t sleep in the same room every night and not still be happy healthy functional members of society and have a wonderful relationship to boot, he just.

Isak sucked in a breath, looking down at the rise and fall of Even’s chest, playing with one of the strings of his hoodie, smudging the knot back and forth between his fingertips.

“I just don’t get it.”

“Isak, we’re young enough that we think we know the answers, and if we spend every day every night, in and out with each other, if we’re that dependent on someone else this young, when in hell are you supposed to learn how to be okay on your own?”

All of the we’s until the last sentence, then it was you, your own, when in hell are you supposed to learn, and that was red bell number one.

“I don’t need to be--”

“Yes. You do. You need to be okay on your own.”

It was stern and serious and Isak’s bottom lip was trembling a little. He wanted to say but why, I’ll always have you, but if Even was that adamant on Isak being okay on his own, that meant.

He wasn’t sure Isak would always have him.

Way to fucking break his heart. He just wished--

Fuck. He could tell Even he didn’t need time to be on his own, that they could be together forever, but Even didn’t believe that. Even still didn’t believe that and.

Red bells, you need to be okay without me.

And that’s what this was about. The only reason Isak would need to learn how to be okay on his own was if he didn't have Even anymore. Which was how Even was talking. Because that’s how he was thinking.

This still wasn’t about Isak, not really, there was still that underlying reason. Why Even thought he needed to know how to be okay on his own.

This was about Even being bipolar.

Isak licked his lips, debating a moment. How in hell he was supposed to approach this.

Carefully, was the answer. If he started throwing accusations, Even wasn’t gonna take that well. Or, well. Actually, he didn’t know. Like, he had no idea.

So. He was just gonna...go for it.

“Okay. Okay, so maybe it was a little much. Maybe…every night isn’t what we need.” Isak’s voice was quiet, but honest, and Even’s eyebrows shot up.

What we need, Isak had said. A team.

But more importantly, maybe it was a little much. Maybe not every night.

Was that something rational, out of Isak’s mouth just now? Remarkable.

Truly, he had no idea what parallel universe he'd just landed in.

Even almost opened his mouth to say so and that’s when Isak turned it right around, lifting his head up and pinning him with an accusing look, one hand waving up in the air as blonde curls bounced over his forehead.

“But that didn't mean you had to go three sixty in the other direction and just drop off the face of the planet, either.”

“I didn't drop off the face of the planet!”

“You did. Drop of a hat.” The hand was still waving around, giant gestures spanning across both their shoulders. “Went from all, to nothing. One end of the spectrum to the other.”

Even was in the middle of opening his mouth to call Isak a drama queen when the very poignant word choice hit and his mouth snapped back shut.

That couldn’t’ve been intentional--

Isak’s eyes were locked on his and Even just looked at him a moment.

Isak knew exactly what he just said.

Now Even couldn’t look away and Isak’s head cocked, peering green sinking into him more and more deeply.

Fucking hell.

“Is that why you're doing this?” Isak asked him quietly. Even searched back and forth between the serious, shining gaze. He couldn’t possible be talking about--

“...‘cause you don't think I can handle it when you have another episode?”

Okay, fuck, or he could be.

Even closed his eyes, lashes fluttering. Jesus fuck.

Didn’t matter how fast he ran from this one, Isak had just said that and now they were gonna Talk About It. And yeah, okay, they hadn’t actually had any kind of conversation really about that which clearly wasn’t a good idea because Isak already thought Even was blaming him, that he couldn’t handle it when that wasn’t it at all.

“It's not about you,” Even started, and the high-pitched huff that interrupted sounded so fucking offended his eyes flicked right back open to indignant green.

“Bullshit it's not about me. I'm the other half of this relationship Even, this is about me too.”

Pure incredulous and Even sucked in a breath, pushing off the mattress to prop up on his side, consequently dumping Isak onto the mattress to scramble up on his side too.

“Look that's not what I--”

Ja, that is what you meant.” It bit, the escalation, the shaking head, curls tumbling as Isak looked at him like he could see through every ounce of cellophane. “You don't trust me with this. With you.”

“That's not true, and that's not why.”

“Then what is??” Dropped open shock and hurt you don’t trust me with you and the axial tilt of the world was all wrong but Even’s mouth was spewing without his permission and he didn't get the chance to stop himself in time before it all just rushed out, broken dam to waterfall.

“‘Cause maybe we got so comfortable I got scared, okay? Maybe everything was so great I forgot there was a world outside our room, a reality where I don't get to have that, not really, and I could only see the damn expiration date stamped to the next time I run naked into the street and shatter that beautiful little bubble we were living in that couldn't be real. It's never gonna be like that with me Isak, it's never gonna be easy--”

“I don't want easy,” Isak interrupted. “I want you, Even. You. Ups, downs, in-betweens everything. All.”

Even was already shaking his head, pushing to sit up all the way, away. “You don't know, you haven't seen it, not really, not how--”

“I don't care.” Isak followed right after, knees bumping as he propped next to him, hand sliding around his thigh to grip tight. “I don't care how bad it gets. Even, I love you. Get it through your pretty head, cause I mean it, and I'm not giving up.”

The whole world kinda stopped turning for a few seconds, Even’s heart skipped at least three beats and he was pretty sure only half of his inhale actually made it into his lungs.

He closed his eyes, one sense cut as the rest of them kicked up, the universe revolving around the hand sliding up his chest, the spread fingers pausing over his heart. A single finger lifting to tap once, twice.

“I mean it.”

Even, I love you.

Palm over the pounding in his chest, moving with every sharp inhale, exhale as he tried and tried to calm himself down but Isak was holding a hand over his heart and telling him he loved him, wasn’t exactly the easiest situation to just keep his chill.

“I mean it.”

Isak was being fucking adamant. Even didn’t have walls high enough for this.

The hand on his chest caught him as he crumbled.

“I love you too,” he whispered, deflating, one hand catching steady over his heart.

He didn't get to have this, but it was so easy to forget that when the hovering clouds were so far off, when Isak shined so bright it made it hard to see the darkness in the sky.

It was on the edge of pained, that whisper between them. I love you too.

“Then come over here and kiss me,” Isak whispered back.

Even fluttered his lashes open, lifted his head long enough for the moment it took to search that beautiful face. Isak meant it and he didn't know he didn't get it but he wanted this he wanted to try and Even could do that, he could let them try.

He looked at that precious, sincere boy with the angel curls and the prettiest pout in the whole wide world then he was leaning forward, pressing their mouths together and maybe, everything might somehow turn out okay.

 

~*~*~

 

Mandag, 08:44
06.02.17

 

There were certain axiomatic rules in life that you just...followed. Regardless of age, gender, sexual orientation, race, star sign, all of it, you just. Followed.

The primary of those rules was that you knocked on closed doors before you opened them.

Apparently karma still wasn’t over the time when Isak used to not follow said rule, because come Monday morning, guess who was barging into his room knocking the door down without so much as a polite hello first.

“Queen Isabelle!!” Eskild called loudly and Isak lifted his head, blinking groggily.

“What.”

Then Even chose that moment to roll over and lift his head out of the covers too.

“What’s happening?” Bleary and precious, rubbing a hand over his eyes as they both squinted at the intruder in the doorway who had a dramatic hand over his chest and was fucking lucky the bedsheets hadn’t been kicked off in the night.

“Even!! I didn’t know you were here!!”

“If you knocked, maybe,” Even suggested and Isak did not have the temperament to be that nice in the mornings, sorry.

“We're both here, what do you want.”

Eskild made a sassy little face at him before turning to Even, softening right back all sweet with a touch of sorry thrown in.

“School starts in fifteen minutes.”

“Fuck,” Isak said.

“Fuck,” Even followed, slightly less dead and a little more passionate.

Eskild tutted from the doorway, waving a hand at them.

“What would you loverbirds do without me--”

“Eskild,” Even interrupted, one hand on the bedsheets as he looked up at the doorway.

“Yes?” Eskild gave him the brightest happiest I love you the mostest smile he had and Isak put his face in the pillow.

“If you wouldn't mind leaving, neither of these birds are wearing clothes under these sheets and we've gotta get to school, so.”

“Oh! Oh my. Ja, yeah. I'll just. Be going. Good to see you though Even! I hope you stick around!”

He gave one more little wave then the door clicked closed and Isak lept out of bed so fast the mattress nearly catapulted Even off too.

Then they were both cursing a lot and scrambling for clothes, attempting to not trip over each other as they reached for the same pair of boxers, same tshirt,

“Get your fucking own, Jesus, it’s my clothes. I get first dibs.”

“I’m your guest, I get first dibs!”

“You’re not a fucking guest you hoe-- no, I’m wearing that button-up, don’t you dare.”

“Did you just call me a hoe?”

“Sorry, it’s what Eva and I call each other, she’s the one I bitch at the most, so.”

“What the hell happened to your morning alarm?”

“I haven't used a morning alarm in a week and a half,” Isak scoffed, finally wrestling in the button on his jeans and reaching over to tug the hem of Even’s shirt straight. “Sometimes cause I’m already up anyways, but mostly I wake up enough times in the night I don’t need it.”

“Fuck.”

“Ja. Speaking of which. Are you sticking around?” Isak looked up, unrolling a pair of socks as blonde curls floofed into his face. Great.

Even paused in shouldering into one of Isak’s plaid shirts, looking at him for a moment before reaching around him to grab a pair of socks too.

“How about we don't play by extremes, yeah? I won't be gone all the time, but I won't be here all the time either.”

“Okay. That's fair.”

“And we’ll just play it by ear. Unless you wanted to make a schedule or something.”

Isak snorted, dropping to a crouch to shove his laptop into his backpack, checking to make sure his binders were still in there.

“So what, you spend more than three nights either place I come hunt you down and kick your ass?”

“As hot as you are when you wrestle, I prefer it when you kiss my ass.”

Isak rolled his eyes at the suggestive quirking eyebrows. “You done getting dressed yet? Your hair looks ridiculous.”

“Yours is worse,” Even told him, grabbing his backpack and throwing it over his shoulder. Thank fuck they'd picked it up when they went out to lunch yesterday.

“No fucking way.”

“Yes fucking way.”

Isak tugged his backpack on too, reaching for the closest snapback on his shelf.

“Not fair,” Even accused, already opening up the bedroom door again. “And sure, three nights is fine with me.”

They finally caught up at the threshold and Isak reached up on his tiptoes to plant a solid kiss on Even’s mouth.

It was probably a little too long and little too deep for what the time constraints allowed, but, well. They were already late, so.

“Why didn't we do this in the first place,” Isak murmured, falling back flat footed with a thumb stroking fond over Even’s jaw.

“Because I'm insecure sometimes and don't know how to bring up shit like this with you?”

Isak rolled his lips in and popped them back out, looking up at that beautiful boy.

“Yeah, we need to work on that.”

“We will,” Even promised, then he was pushing Isak out the door.

Isak span around in the hallway and reached up to tug his snapback backwards over the disarray of Even’s pretty swoops before snagging a folded up beanie from the side pocket of his backpack, shaking it out and tugging it over his wild curls.

Eskild handed them both a bag with a sandwich in it as they slid through the kitchen and Even kissed Eskild’s cheek while Isak protested a loud hey from the door, hopping into a boot then Even skid over on his socks to press a warm kiss to Isak’s mouth before he was hopping into boots too and well.

They were both late to class.

He wasn't sure what Isak got from all the friends he had in first hour, but Chris gave him a raised eyebrow at the snapback, which okay, was maybe a little obvious.

“Sleep in late with the boyfriend?”

“Yeah, actually,” he breathed, sliding into his seat and unzipping his backpack. “How was growing pea plants with yours?”

“You know, not as fun as it sounds, but they're naming an element on the periodic table after me now, so.”

“Really?” Even glanced over and shot his eyebrows up, folder tossed down on the desk.

“Mmhm.” Chris gave him a knowing look, pen twirling dramatically between quick fingers. “It's called Coolerthanyouium.”

“You're the worst ever,” Even told him and Chris laughed brightly, passing him a sheet of paper that had the first ten minutes of class jotted down secretary style.

“That's me. Gym after school?”

Even picked up the sheet, scanning over it and smiling to himself.

“You bet.”

 

 

 

Mandag, 12:12
06.02.17

 

“What in hell do I get Even for his birthday?”

Jonas reached down to close a zipper on his backpack and Isak reached over for Jonas’s Fanta.

The smack of his hand was loud enough to reverberate in the lunchroom and Jonas hadn’t even looked up, wrestling his zipper one handed as he scooted his Fanta out of the reach with the other.

Isak’s face was all twisted up, silently cursing, mouth dramatically sounding out the words at the rest of the boys as he shook out his hand. Mahdi snorted at him and Magnus raised his eyebrows, leaning across the table too.

“Don’t,” Jonas said before he was halfway across the table. Magnus fell back down in his seat and Jonas finally looked up, backpack zipper and friends tamed. “Now what were you saying, Isak?”

“Birthday, no idea what to get.”

“When is it?” Mahdi asked, chewing congenially and yeah, at least his hand wasn’t smarting.

“Sunday.”

“Wrap yourself naked in a giant red bow,” Magnus suggested around his sandwich.

Isak turned to him with the widest, wildest eyes he had.

“Nei ???”

“Why not?”

“Because that's…weird?”

“Oh and being bruised 24/7 isn't?” Mahdi pointed out. Isak rolled his eyes, unscrewing the cap on his waterbottle.

“That's different. They're almost always hickies.”

“It's the almost part that's kinky,” Jonas pointed out, snapping the cap off his Fanta and smiling at Isak as he lifted it to his mouth. Fucker.

“Hmm. True. There was this one weekend my jaw was mottled purple--”

Jonas choked a little.

“Okay yeah yep--” Mahdi held up a hand and Isak snickered to himself, shooting Jonas a triumphant look.

Jonas flicked him off and lifted the orange drink again.

“But seriously. What am I supposed to get him?”

“What does he like?” Magnus asked, like it was that fucking easy. Isak threw up a hand.

“Me. And film stuff. And art and music.”

“That sounds like a lot of things to chose from.”

“I guess, but also. No.”

“Just get him...I dunno, pencils or some shit.”

“You guys are so fucking helpful,” Isak told them and that time he got three middle fingers in return.

Oh to have great friends.

 

 

Tirsdag, 11:45
07.02.17

 

Isak was bored in class, so naturally, he was thumbing through Snapchat. None of the world stories looked interesting and Cosmo didn’t have anything on star signs today so honestly, what was the point, only thing he had left to scroll through was the stories of actual people.

He had way too many friends on here and 98% of them posted fucking longass stories he didn’t care about, so he scrolled down checking for the only four names that actually mattered--

Oh, there was Vilde, he supposed he could see what she was up to.

A hella cute photo of Eva and Sana with a billion stickers around it, and one of Chris and Noora with flower crowns. Hooray.

Scroll scroll scroll and--

Even? Since when the fuck did Even post anything on his Snapchat story?

It was rare enough that Isak put an earphone in to watch it properly, with sound.

The camera was shaky for a second, a wall or something, then it panned over to the kitchen.

It was fucking him. This morning, in sweats and a tshirt, pouring two bowls of cereal. Filmed from around the corner, because he clearly wasn’t paying attention or looking at the camera, and fuck, fuck no.

He’d thought Even was still showering. No no no no. This couldn’t be--

And there it was in the background, 5 Fine Frokner playing quietly on the radio and he was. Dancing, actually, singing to himself as he bobbed his head and this was on Even’s Snapchat story, Isak was gonna kill him.

He was gonna go find him and kick his fucking ass what the fUCK.

Except they were in school and he couldn’t realistically do that, however he could realistically cancel the fuck out of snapchat and pull open his messages app to type a very heartfelt text message to his lovely boyfriend.


HVA FAEN

You were cute!

How many friends do you have on snapchat ??????????? dELETE IT

Well. his question was answered a few moments later when the group chat lit up.

Fuck his friends.


text

 

 

Tirsdag, 16:32
07.02.17

 

There was a string on Even’s hoodie, he kept brushing it with his hand every time he reached around Even’s waist and it was annoying the fuck out of him.

Enough that he broke off mid kiss after brushing it for the nine thousandth time and lifted his head, wrapping a finger around it to tug hard.

It snapped and he breathed out a sigh of relief, lifting the black string up in the air and glaring at it.

“Hey, you’re supposed to tie them off and cut them, now it’s less secure,” Even protested, plucking it out of Isak’s hands.

“Whoops.”

He snagged it back, taking Even’s hand too, propping up on an elbow and quickly glancing upwards to make sure he had enough clearance without hitting the ceiling. Even’s fucking bunk bed.

They were supposed to be on the floor practicing guitar but alas, Isak had stolen Even’s sketchpad and ran screaming around his house while Even chased him, then somehow got just enough of a head start to haul ass up his ladder then when Even followed him up here Isak had tossed the sketchpad off the side of the bed and pulled his boyfriend down onto the sheets.

They’d made out for a little while, the nice sweet domestic kind, legs tangled together and Even’s hand on his neck, thumb rubbing into his skin.

It was the same thumb Isak was holding now, propped up on his elbow as he tied the torn hoodie string in a careful knot around Even’s finger, finishing it off with a little bow.

Then he was plopping back down to the bedspread, tilting his head up and waiting for a kiss. Even smiled, shaking his head fondly, and kissed him.

Not for long though, cause Isak suddenly remembered something, planting a hand on Even’s chest and lifting him bodily upwards, already rambling before their mouths were all the way apart.

“Oooo, did I tell you what the boys suggested for birthday gifts?”

“Hm? Wait, who told you about my birthday?”

“Your mom.”

“Ughhh.” Even dipped his head, eyes falling shut dramatically and Isak tipped his chin up, pressing a kiss to the end of his nose. The smile that followed crinkled up his whole beautiful face sparkling shiny starry eyes and Isak was so full of warmth he could burst.

“Aquarius. I should’ve known, you’re super hard to pin down.”

“Hey,” Even protested and Isak smiled cutely, tipping his head to the side.

Expressive eyebrows lifted, that cocky oh really face as Even smiled and leaned in slow, tilting his head, hovering centimeters from Isak’s mouth.

“Speaking of pinning down…”

Then he was kissing Isak into his pillow and Isak was shoving a hand up through his hair, other arm wrapping tight around Even’s shoulders, pulling him closer and making a lot of happy little mmm sounds into his mouth.

All that wonderful, safe pressure, Even kissing him so damn earnestly like this was the first day he got the chance to and Isak could barely kiss him back he was smiling so damn much. Two hands pressing his chest into the bed, thumbs rubbing over his ribs, just close enough to his sides to be kinda ticklish and Isak giggled into Even’s mouth, the kiss breaking into happy smiling little pecks.

Then Even was pressing their foreheads together and Isak’s bottom lip caught between his teeth, biting down as he looked up at the crinkling fond, the happy smiling shiny way Even was looking at him.

“You’re easy to pin down,” Even whispered, a little laugh on his pretty mouth as Isak’s cheeks heated up pink.

“Only cause it’s you.” He was blushing too much to say anything but the truth and Even laughed again, lifting up with it, head turning away and back to him crinkled more. Blues flicking down to watch Isak’s mouth, thumb pressing against his bottom lip, popping it back out. Pressing a little harder.

“Mhmm. I’m sure it is.”

“Really!” He took Even’s hand off his lips, weaving their fingers together instead so he could talk without the urge to suck Even’s thumb into his mouth. “I’m a fucking mess around you. You should’ve seen me before. I was super smooth.”

“Oh I’m sure you were,” Even told him very seriously and Isak scoffed, waving his head on the pillow and rolling his eyes a little.

“Shut up. Anyways. Birthday gifts.”

“Dammit.” A cute little shake of his head and Even’s gaze was on his mouth again, words going kinda soft. “All that kissing and you still didn’t forget.”

“You could kiss me some more and see,” Isak whispered, tipping up his chin, mouth closed as he waited, looking at Even from under his lashes.

That time they kissed until they were breathless, until Isak was all wrapped up in Even’s arms and legs, both of them tangled sideways on the bed with pillows strewed and sheets tangled and blankets kicked off, his heart pounding so hard in his chest he could barely remember how his lungs were supposed to work.

It was Even who was finally the responsible one, pulling back enough to let Isak pant against the skin of his cheek, eyes closed, mouth open, fingers curling in Even’s shoulders.

“You alright there?”

“Most alright I’ve ever been,” Isak managed and Even laughed, tucking his nose down in the crook of Isak’s neck and squeezing him tight.

“I’m seriously gonna forget what I was gonna say about birthday gifts though,” he mumbled into Even’s ear, following it up with a little kiss to his skin.

“Good. I don’t want anything.”

“It wasn’t even about that! I wanted to tell you what the boys said to get you.”

“Oh?” Even was pressing warm little kisses up his neck and Isak let his head fall to the bed, neck stretched out and lashes fluttering as Even sprinkled affection all over his skin.

“Mmhm. It was Magnus, actually. Ah-- unsurprisingly. I was whining about how I didn’t know what to get you and. Mmm. And he was like...you should just strip down entirely naked and wear a big red bow.”

Even burst into a bright laugh and Isak giggled, rolling up to watch. Nose squinching up, gaze unable to tear away from that beautiful crinkling face. Why was Even so fucking cute god fucking dammit.

“What did you say?”

“I told them no! I don’t think that’s our kind of kinky.”

“Mmm.” Even rolled his lips in over his tongue, popping them back out as he thought it over. Isak’s eyebrow lifted slowly, higher and higher until Even glanced down and caught the look on his face, smiling all pretty before he offered an explanation.

“I think if I wanted you to dress up for me, it wouldn’t be in that.”

Ooyyy,” Isak sounded and Even laughed brightly, head cocking with it, thumb rubbing back and forth over Isak’s cheek. Isak was still making surprised noises up at him.

“Oi-oi-oi. What would it be?”

“I don’t know. Let me think on that one.”

“Mmm. Mkay. Well. Then it looks like I do still have to find a legit birthday gift.”

“You don’t have to get me anything,” Even insisted and Isak shoved his chest a little.

“You’re turning 20, I have to get you something.”

“You really don’t. You’re enough.”

“Oh shh,” Isak hushed him and Even dipped back in, rubbing their noses together, up and down and Isak was smiling so much he was gonna actually burst in half, he could feel it all the way down in his toes, stuffed bubbling full with sunshine in the shape and color of light blue crystal eyes and that beautiful bright bright smile.

His grip tightened on Even’s bicep, waist, all that happiness making him too warm all over to not to and Even just smiled at him, tipping to the side to press a sweet little kiss to his cheek.

“Speaking of gifts though, are we doing anything for Valentine’s Day?”

“Oh fuck, yeah I forgot that’s like. Right by your birthday.”

“Mmhm. I’ve done like...joint gifts between Valentine’s and my birthday like. A lot of times.”

“Did you wanna do that?”

“Nei. I don’t really like Valentine’s Day, honestly, St. Valentine is creepy as fuck and it’s just. Too close to my day, y’know?”

“Mmhm. That makes sense. Although like. Snowdrops are cute.”

“We’re not in Denmark. And aren't they a little middle-school-y?”

“Mm I suppose.”

“So no gifts for Valentine’s then?” Even confirmed hopefully, fingers sliding into Isak’s hair. Isak wet his lips, tipping his head to the side again as he squinched up his nose and pretended to think it over.

“I was hoping for some really romantic sex.”

“I can definitely do that.”

A soft kiss landed on his mouth and Isak pulled back, hand on the back of Even’s neck as he looked at him very seriously and reiterated.

“...with candles.” Another kiss. “--and rose petals.” Kiss. “Live music.”

The next kiss morphed into a laugh against his lips and Isak leaned back, dipping his head, mouth open, eyebrows up.

“What? Do you think I’m kidding?”

“I think the live music gave you away,” Even teased. “You don’t really strike me as the exhibitionist type, even if it’s just a violinist.”

“Nei nei, the live music is coming from you,” Isak insisted.

“Oh?”

“Absolutely. I will be serenaded on Valentine’s day, thank you.” He pinned his boyfriend with a terribly serious look and Even was all bright and lit up, lips pursing together tight to keep the laugh inside. Isak’s mouth popped open a little further. “You really think I’m kidding?”

“I can’t tell!” Even was all happy and smiling which made it really hard to keep up the axiomatic faux serious looks. “Either you’re kidding or you’re actually that much of a princess.”

Me? A princess? Excuse me, who do you think you’re talking to? A fucking princess? It’s...Queen fucking Is-ak, thank you very much--”

The laugh was so bright and loud that Even rolled backwards onto the bed, shiny eyes disappearing all the way in crinkles and Isak had his mouth open in offense but he couldn’t keep it up any longer, breaking into bright giggly laughter with him.

Then he was feather-touching his fingers up under Even’s shirt to tickle his sides and Even was kicking and laughing more and Isak couldn’t help but kiss the literal fucking sun and then Even was sinking his hands into Isak’s hair and kissing him back, kissing and kissing as the huffing laughter faded into smiling kisses into earnest kisses and squeezing each other tight.

Then Isak’s hand was skirting down Even’s chest and dipping into the front of his pants, sliding beneath the band of his boxers and well. It was a good thing Even’s parents weren’t due home for another three hours.

Cause they made use of a good two of them.

 

~*~*~

 

Onsdag, 10:28
08.02.17

 

There were these tables by the cheese sandwich station that had benches with really tall black cushioned backs which were hella comfortable and also gave you view of like. Every person who came by for food, so that was where Isak and Eva were currently stationed, a coffee for both of them as they judged the outfits of all the people who walked by.

Or well, Eva was actually just trashing most of the boys for having no sense of style then commenting her favorite thing each girl was wearing while Isak hmm and mmhm'ed, but still, it was fun, spending quality time, all that.

Eva had just pointed out the hella cute color combo between that girls bow and her shoes and Isak was arguing that the distance was too far to match your damn hair accessories to your shoes - to which she pointed out his gray snapback and gray sneakers so fuck her - when Vilde walked in.

“There's a cute one!”

“Yeah, sure,” Isak agreed and Eva shoved him heartily.

“What, there’s only room for one soft whiny blonde per relationship, I already fill that quota.”

Eva rolled her eyes at him and Vilde plopped down cheerily next to her.

“Hi Isak! Hi Eva.”

A fond smile turned on the bright blue eyes and Vilde looked back wide-eyed at Eva for a moment, blush creeping up on her cheeks. Isak’s eye twitched.

“What’s up, Vilde?”

“Nothing.” She adjusted a little in her seat, setting her drink down on the table, two hands wrapped around the cup. “What are you guys doing?”

“Judging people. And talking about how great girls are,” Eva added on while Isak rolled his eyes. “Wanna join?”

“...sure? But um, Isak. I thought you were...gay?” Vilde leaned forward and dropped her voice a little, like she didn’t wanna shout it across the cantina and Isak leaned forward and pretended like that wasn’t annoying as fuck.

“I am?”

Confusion wrinkling up her eyebrows as she looked between them both.

“And Eva, aren’t you...straight?”

Huh, didn’t drop her voice for that one, wonder why.

“Why would that matter?” Eva tipped her head, a hell of a lot more patient than Isak was.

“Well if you're sitting here admiring girls wouldn't that uh.” Vilde scratched her head, looking like. Palpably confused. “Wouldn't that mean...certain things?”

She was being shifty af, jeez. Isak knew what Eva told him her suspicions were, but that didn't look like suspicions that looked. Yeah, if anybody could recognize the confused furrow, the way her heart was pounding right now, it was him.

“We're talking aesthetically,” he explained, trying to slowly retract the claws of sassy bitchiness.

“...what do you mean?” Vilde asked slowly. Looks, that’s all he meant, but he knew that wasn’t gonna be the way she took looks.

“Like outfit choices.”

“Oh. Oh, so nobody here actually like, likes girls,” she clarified, at least three degrees too bright and half an octave too high.

Yeah, the only thing he knew of Vilde’s experience was that she made out with Eva, and if Eva were to answer that question right now, regardless of what she said, it was gonna be so overanalyzed and picked apart and Isak just wasn’t gonna let her do that.

“I think girls are great,” he blurted out before Eva could so much as get her mouth open. He was lowkey cringing at himself but there were waters to test and he could for one single moment fake and pretend he thought anyone on this fucking planet (besides Even and maybe Jonas) was great for the chance at watching for the flash of That Expression.

Although they were both looking at him like he was off his rocker, so he should maybe explain that before somebody asked if he was pansexual or something again.

“They...do their hair cute, and wear great clothes and stuff.” Still looking at him odd. Isak threw up his hands. “I dunno, they put more effort into shit than boys, I guess. And they stick up for each other and stuff and. They don’t pretend they don’t care about shit so like. Yeah.”

“Fair point,” Eva was nodding.

“Mmhm. Girls are nice,” Vilde agreed cheerily. Kinda dreamy, actually.

Isak narrowed his eyes just a little. Hmmm.

“Yep. Girls,” Eva repeated, that one definitely dreamy.

“Ugh. They’re not that nice,” Isak complained, lifting his coffee to his mouth.

And exposing his ribs to be elbowed.

“Hey!”

 

 

Onsdag, 13:05
08.02.17

 


text

 

 

Onsdag, 20:27
08.02.17

 

It wasn’t the most mysterious text he got of the day, though.

Only the next one, he wasn't actually the person who saw it.

Isak had gotten home from the gym right as Linn was helping Even clean up the dinner he’d made. Isak had been pleasantly surprised to see him, giving him a kiss hello before heading off to shower.

Even wasn’t gonna be that annoying boyfriend who made everything about him, so he left Isak to shower in peace while he hung out in his room and waited.

He was working on his project on his laptop when his phone went off. Even picked it up without thinking, glancing at the text preview on the screen.

Only this wasn’t his phone, because he had his dad’s name written as Bjørn, not Pappa.

To be fair their phones were both on the bedside table, he’d just assumed--

But he didn’t get a text, Isak did, and now Even was accidentally staring at it and he couldn’t stop staring.

It was just the preview, so he couldn’t see much, but what he could see.

Pappa: Hey Isak. Your mom and I are sorry about what we said about you being gay--

Fuck, fuck.

Now he was leaning on his shoulder in the hallway, just outside the bathroom door, tapping his foot, Isak’s phone in hand, cursing quietly to himself.

“Isak?”

And perfect timing, the bathroom door swung open and there was Isak, stepping out of the bathroom with fog rolling and a towel around his waist, wet curls plastered to his forehead.

“Ja?”

“I swear, I didn't mean to look. I thought it was my phone, and I only saw the text preview but.” Even shoved the phone over and Isak double-dried his hands on the towel, eyebrows furrowing as he took it and lit up the screen. And read the preview.

“Fuck.”

The only thing Even could think about was that phone conversation with Jonas a month ago, about Isak crying because of his dad and he just couldn’t, he couldn’t keep his mouth shut and let Isak cry to himself alone about this.

Besides, hadn’t they just promised they weren’t gonna fall back into the no communication rut? That had been fucking terrible.

They had to talk about shit. That meant everything, and like. Now.

So Even waited until Isak locked the phone and looked back up at him, and then he fucking asked.

“Isak, what did they say?”

“Uh.” He glanced back down at his phone. Avoiding Even’s eyes. Sorry what we said about you being gay.

“I thought you said your dad would be fine with it,” Even asked quietly. God, the last time they’d talked about that had been so fucking long ago, so much had changed since then, yeah, but. Isak had told him it’d be fine.

“I mean. The first time I texted him about it he was. Well. Kinda.” Isak lifted a shoulder, head tipping back and forth, still not meeting Even’s eyes. “He thought I was joking then, uh, told me you'd stress my mom out, so.”

Isak shook his head once, glancing up, catching Even’s patient gaze and looking back down to worry his thumbs over the phone screen.

“But like. That was a long time ago, before the conc--” He stopped himself, mouth open, words frozen.

“The concert?” Even finished for him. Green flicked up instantly, their gazes locked, Isak’s mouth still open a little. A dozen gears turning behind his eyes before he finally swallowed, tongue wetting his lips, looked up at Even and asked.

“How do you know about that?”

Even was quiet for a moment. Communication, he’d promised. Glance down, away, hands in his pockets. “Jonas.”

“Fucking hell,” Isak cursed, then he was turning and stalking down the hallway for his room, one hand on the towel around his waist and the other tight around his phone.

“Isak! Wait--” Even took off skidding after him, nearly colliding with bare shoulders as Isak turned to him at the bedroom door, eyebrows knit, wild look on his face.

“I'm getting dressed, chill the fuck out. I’m not gonna lock you out again.”

Even followed him into his room just in case and plopped down at the edge of his bed.

Isak sat his phone down on the shelf and looked over at him sitting here still and cross-legged and knit his confused eyebrows a touch more.

“Are you just gonna...okay.” A shake of his head and Isak dropped the towel, getting dressed while Even sat there on his bed quietly, staring down at his hands.

He wasn’t gonna freak out. He wasn’t, Isak was dealing with all of this homophobic shit from society, yeah, on top of all the internalized shit he was still getting over and okay, all of this guilt with Jonas and then that break down in the church about how many people in this building think I should burn which had broken his fucking heart because Isak was the brightest thing in the world and he should never know any kind of burn but the heat of a thousand fucking loving kisses but he thought he was damned to Hell or that at least some people thought that about him like he could somehow ever on the entire fucking planet deserve that and on top of everything, apparently his parents weren’t okay with it and Even hadn’t known, how hadn’t he known, why didn’t Isak tell him, was he ashamed, if not for himself than of his parents, because they weren’t accepting like Even’s were, how bad was it, how many times had Isak cried, this was all his fault because Isak’s parents hadn’t been mad at him before about it but now they were and it was his fault because they’d had been trying to fix things with him and Even had been the one to ruin it, he’d been the one to ruin it because he’d pulled Isak away from them during his one shot--

Isak plopped down beside him on the bed and Even tipped sideways with the force of it,

wide eyes and open, motionless mouth suddenly snapping shut. Blinking back into reality as the spiral snapped into the back of his mind and he turned his gaze on the beautiful boy settling into the mattress beside him.

He was wearing clothes now, wet curls significantly drier, fluffy around around his ears and in pretty waves everywhere else and Even blinked twice, looking back down at his hands, up at Isak again.

A single eyebrow arched at him, shoulder bumping his, too quick to feel the subsequent shudder down Even’s spine.

“What do you know?”

“That you were at a Christmas concert with your parents who you haven't seen in months when I texted you 21:21 and you ditched them and ruined your chance of fixing things because I couldn't handle my own shit.”

Even stared at his hands and the room was entirely entirely quiet. The water was hardening in every cell in his body and the room was silent and--

“Okay, so you don't know shit.”

The words bit and Even’s head snapped to the side, gaze watery, drop from Isak’s throat to Even’s lashes, trying to blink it away as he looked at the green.

Isak was just staring at him. Leaning a fraction away, staring at him, mouth dropping open only long enough to slide another question his way.

“How long have you been thinking that?”

“Since December,” he whispered.

Fuck. Even.” Isak reached over and took his hands, pulling them out of his lap and Even’s torso spun with the movement, facing Isak now as he breathed in through his mouth and looked between their entwined fingers and Isak’s earnest gaze.

“Even. It was a shabby attempt by my dad at fixing things that have been complicated and fucked up way too long. Threw in the nostalgia of the church I got baptized in and great fucking music. I got your text before it started, I read it and I didn't think much of it, figured I could text you back later and we'd sort everything out.”

Even looked down and Isak squeezed his hand, hard, making him lift his head back up. A moment just to hold his gaze, then Isak was speaking again, gaze wandering, head shaking as he did, but Even didn’t tear his eyes away this time.

“My parents were...I dunno, I went in expecting to have this big emotional downpour and they just...didn't mean anything to me anymore, you know? Like I almost couldn't see their faces, it was like. Strangers from the past, an aunt and uncle you feel obliged to please for no real reason. So we chatted a bit and sat down and then.”

He sucked in a breath, beautiful chest expanding, taking all the air right out of the room because Even certainly wasn’t breathing, he was watching Isak, watching the thumb rubbing absentmindedly back and forth over his hand as he talked about his parents, the one thing he’d refused to talk about for months, the people who raised him and shaped him and made him all of these things and.

And his thumb was sliding back and forth over Even’s hand, instinctively comforting him.

When Isak’s voice lifted again, Even’s translucent eyes lifted with it, watching the story spill out across beautiful features.

“Then Nils Bech was singing O Holy Night and I was looking at the cross - it was a Baz Luhrmann-looking cross you would've loved it - and. And I was thinking about you, and it just hit me, that text wasn't a love letter, it was a sui--”

Isak stopped himself in time.

Even couldn’t look at him now. Wouldn’t look at him. Wouldn’t even look at their hands.

Even closed his eyes and told himself not to cry and Isak held the pause, held his hand, held the closed eyes that were fucking trying not to cry.

It wasn’t a love letter,

“It was a suicide note,” Isak whispered, every syllable sinking into his skin. “So fuck my parents, of course I fucking left, what was one useless concert that didn't mean anything, against the very possible threat of losing the life of the man I'm in love with?”

His lips parted around an inhale that turned into a shaky hiccuped broken soft cry instead.

Isak squeezed his hands, shaking them once, earnest, and kept going, kept painting with blue neon lights over the candelight.

“So no, you don't know shit. I didn't ruin my chance of fixing things with my shitty parents because you couldn't handle your own shit?? I walked out of a situation that wasn't gonna fix a fucking thing to fix the only thing that mattered--”

One of the hands let go, palm shoving up his tilted jaw instead, rocking him sideways, fingers curling bruises into the back of his neck, words sinking in heavier than the touch with his eyes closed.

“...you thinking you were alone.”

“Fucking Christ,” Even managed to gasp, wiggling his other hand free to put both his palms over his face, smushed fingers wiping his eyes, trying to breathe. Isak was trying to catch his gaze and Even’s eyes had to be all puffy, he had to look like a fucking wreck, he’d guessed all of that completely wrong and he’d been torturing himself for how fucking long about that and he’d been dead fucking wrong and Isak’s touch was so fucking warm and secure and.

“Clearly, I don’t what the fuck I’m doing,” Even huffed and Isak made a sweet little pitied sound, melting a little, other hand sliding up his thigh.

“Shh. It’s okay.” Thumb rubbing over a high, tender spot on his thigh for a moment before the hand on his neck was pulling him forward, all the soft morphing into sincere, pushy. “C’mere.”

He let Isak pull him into a hug, let strong arms wrap around him, block back all those impending tears. Arms to hold back waterfalls. How on heaven or earth he’d found them, he had no idea.

They hugged and held each other there in the eye of the hurricane and Even went quiet, eyes slipping closed as he squeezed Isak painfully tight.

Isak just squeezed back harder.

“You saved me. I had to save you back.”

God. Even broke a little, some combination between a laugh and crying, shaking into Isak’s arms, eyes squeezed tight as he propped his chin on that strong shoulder and tried not to sound teary.

“Fucking stop with the one liners, I'm gonna soak you enough you have to shower again.” He failed on the not sounding teary part but Isak was smiling, leaning back and forcibly tipping Even upright, wiping his hands over Even’s wet cheeks before his own palms could.

Then soft pretty lips were pressing kisses to the tearstains, hand sliding up over the back of his head to hold him steady.

Even tipped his head away and Isak pressed another kiss to his jaw, leaning back to replace his mouth with his rubbing thumb.

“Fuck my parents. I don't give a fuck that taking off hurt their feelings. It's not my fault they couldn't handle it like fucking adults and had to lash out at me instead.”

He said it so derisively and fuck, Even had forgotten about the text that started this whole thing.

Sucked in a shaky breath, blinking open wet eyes and Even reached up to take Isak’s hand from his face, wrap it in his own, praying his voice didn’t crack too much.

“What did they say? After you left?”

Isak let him keep the one hand, using the other to still rub away at tearstains, thumbs over his cheekbones.

Shrugging lightly as he ran fingers through Even’s hair, not the usual fuck it up way, smoothing the top out into the little twist, fixing it for him.

“I got a nasty text about how my life choices were gonna catch up to me. Basically they blamed my immature childish reactions on drugs and ‘losing myself through nefarious life choices that must be confusing me,’ aka being gay, so.”

“What the fuck.”

Isak scoffed, tongue in his cheek as he ran his thumb down the side of Even’s face.

“Yeah. I know.” Wiping the pad of his hand over both of Even’s cheekbones one more time, destroying the few escaped tears that were longsince past just because they’d been there.

“...right after my mom said she'd love me no matter what, too.” Isak laughed, but it was cynical and hurt, breaking a few more bones in Even’s heart.

“So, fuck them, okay?” Their entwined hands squeezed once before Isak was dropping his grip, their gazes finally meeting again as he lifted both palms to Even’s cheeks, holding him still, immovable. “Fuck the sob stories about how it's my fault my mom’s the way she is, fuck my dad for leaving, fuck the accusations and the constant fucking apologies I just. Don't need them.”

Holding them close, shaking Even a little with how fucking much he meant it, those precious green eyes way too old for their age.

“We don't need them.”

Even nodded, inhaling shakily. Isak dipped forward precariously, pressing a solid kiss to his forehead, lingering long enough to send the ocean down Even’s spinal cord, into every nerve he owned.

Then he was pulling them into another hug, rocking with it this time and Even clung to his shoulders and tried not to feel so fucking small. Curls ticking his neck, warmth ghosting over his skin.

“If we go down, we go down together,” Isak whispered against his ear.

“Did you just quote the fucking Chainsmokers at me?”

“Yes.”

“I hate you,” Even informed him and Isak laughed brightly, squeezing him super tight.

“I love you too.”

It still made him inhale sharp, hearing it. A dozen little kisses to his neck and Even had already gone lamely weak at the confession, now he was nothing but boneless putty in those beautiful arms.

Jesus fuck, what he’d ever done in his life to deserve this, he had no fucking clue.

Isak tipped them sideways, further than just a gentle rock and they flopped down onto the bed together, mattress cushioning shoulders. Isak used the little bounce to climb closer, their expanding chests pressed together, one thigh slipping between Even’s, ankle hooking around the back of his shin to tug him in, a solid kiss to Even’s bobbing throat.

Even closed his eyes, stroking a hand down the back of Isak’s still damp head. Isak kissed his neck again.

“I love you,” Even whispered, and the taste on his tongue somehow wasn’t sorrow.

Isak scooted up an inch, tilting his chin up, looking down his nose under long dark lashes at Even, waiting.

One more inhale through parted lips and Even was leaning down to kiss him.

Their lips slotted together and Isak held it for a moment before he tugged, pulling away in a little wave.

Then he was tucking his head under Even’s chin, settling in against him, probably getting his bedsheets and Even’s shirt all damp from the freshly washed curls but there wasn’t a cell in his body that minded.

They both just lay there, in the quiet. Past the sounds of Eskild getting home from work, past the sounds of everyone going to bed.

They both lay there in the quiet until Isak fell all the way asleep.

 

Isak never realized how preciously fleeting life could be until he’d thought Even might lose his.
It was that suicide note, that terror of Even dying, that made him realize that right now was the only thing they had. That wasn’t romantic, it wasn’t, it made Even want to be sick, but Isak thought it was beautiful. Even’s life, and the threat on it made him realize how important his life was too. All lives.

It’d been fucking terrifying, but they had this now. They had this.

 

 

~*~*~

 

 

Torsdag, 12:55
09.02.17

 

He was attempting to finish the assignment - most days they got homework done, yesterday was not one of them - when Sana plopped down next to him, bright cheeky smile on her face.

“Hi, biology partner!”

“Hi friend, how are you.” He didn’t word it like a question because he wasn’t looking up from his laptop, he had to finish these last two molecules before he could email this in and there were some things a little more important.

“I’m great. So. What are you planning for Even’s birthday Sunday?”

Isak blinked and looked over at Sana’s expectant, raised eyebrows.

“What? How do you know Sunday is his birthday?”

“Magnus told Vilde, who told us.” A waving finger flipping from Vilde to us, us being the girls that doted on him so goddamn much. Then Sana was pinning him with a very serious look, dimple pursed. “And frankly, I’m offended I didn’t hear it from you.”

“Okay, whatever,” he shot back, turning back to his laptop. Even was his boyfriend, not theirs, he owed nobody anything, actually.

“Serr though, do you have plans?”

“Uh. We’re having lunch with his parents, but other than that...nei.”

Sana reached over to point at his computer screen, nail tapping on the molecule.

“The answer to that one is C.”

“It’s B,” he corrected. “I just figured it out. Is this all the homework we had?”

“Yes. Are you sure it’s--”

“Yes, I’m sure. Okay. Good, done.” Isak hit send and closed his laptop, arms folding over the table as he looked over properly. Sana was still giving him that expectant waiting look.

“So, Even’s birthday. Do you guys wanna do something for it?”

“We girls would love to. We all like him, remember?”

“Mmrgh. Yes, I remember.” He rolled his eyes and Sana smiled prettily.

“Surprise party at your place on Sunday? We could decorate and everything while you keep him at his parents’ house and...distract him.”

Isak twitched an eyebrow up at her and she lifted a shoulder.

“It’s not like we don’t all know you sleep together, you sport hickies the way celebrities sport wedding rings.”

“It’s not that bad,” he argued.

Sana made an “eeehhh” sound and Isak made a yikes face in return. Or apparently it was that bad.

“But anyways. Party, my place...sounds fun. Do you think the girls will be up for it?”

The teacher walked into the room and they both glanced over, before Sana clicked her tongue and looked down at her desk, hijab swinging as her head tipped.

“Vilde already bought decorations.”

Isak’s eyebrows shot up.

“...oh. Okay.” He nodded to himself, mouth closed on a little pucker. Sana shot him a Look and Isak sighed, throwing up a hand. “Why am I surprised, I should not be surprised.”

“It’s not surprising,” she agreed, typing something away on her phone.

If he thought his friends were extra, the boy squad had nothing on the girl squad.

“Yeah, so. Sunday then,” he confirmed and Sana lifted up her phone to show him the screen.

It was a group chat, titled something about lilac and gold? and there was Eva and Chris and Noora and Vilde, already all responded with various exclamation points and excited profanity.

“Alright then.”

“Oh, and what does he want for his birthday?”

“I wish I fucking knew.”

“What’s he like?” Sana asked, rolling her eyes like he was a dumbass but it wasn’t like it was that fucking simple. So he made a sassy face back, eyes narrowing and head cocking.

“Me.”

“Things he doesn’t have,” she corrected and Isak smiled a little to himself. “You’re a fucking sap.”

“I know. And I don’t know...art things?”

“Hm. You suck at this.”

“I know!”

Sana typed away in their little group chat, offering him a tip of her head.

“We’ll think of something.”

“Let me know when you do, because I have zero ideas.”

She gave him a bright smile, then the teacher was starting class and they were both sliding their phones away, but not before Isak caught the notification that he had already had a lengthy text message from Vilde, probably filled with a list of all the other things they were gonna need.

Sunday it was.

 

 

Torsdag, 20:43
09.02.17

 

They were kissing goodbye on the doorstep outside Isak’s apartment, although it wasn’t the most successful goodbye because Isak was up against the wall and their mouths weren’t doing a very good job at that whole breaking apart thing.

Eventually though, someone pulled off for oxygen and Even dipped his head, putting an inch of space between them before Isak could capture his mouth again and keep him for another five minutes.

“I love you,” Isak whispered against his nose and Even lifted his head, inhaling it.

Fuck. Isak just kept doing that and it was. It didn’t make it any easier to breathe, was the simple way to put it.

Even traced the lines of that beautiful face, the dimples around his pretty lips that were pursed even when he closed them, the dip in his chin, the sharp angles of his cheek bones, the arch of his eyebrows as he just looked at Even, let him soak in it for as fucking long as he wanted.

And god, he wanted.

Instead he finally slowed his hands, tipping up Isak’s chin to lean in and kiss him again.

He had no idea why his heart was racing, why the axiomatic reply hesitated on the tip of his tongue.

Not because it wasn’t true, but maybe because he was fucking terrified of how true it was.

Their mouths broke apart and Even inhaled against parted lips, breathing it right back into his skin.

“I love you,” Even promised, eyes slipping closed, foreheads pressed together. Fuck, they’d said it what...four or five times now, and still, it like. Shook his entire being every time they did.

Isak reached up and pecked him cutely, all light and sweet. He couldn’t help the curl into a smile, then Isak was pecking him again, tip up of his chin, puckered lips landing on his mouth for barely a second, a little kiss sound with it.

Again. And again.

Even’s smile broke from fond to wide, stars swooping through his chest as he dipped down and pecked him back, swaying a little with it.

“I hope you have a good night.”

“Oh I plan on it,” Isak told him, hand wrapping around his hip bone. “Gonna go take a long hot shower and think of you.”

The cupid’s bow tipped up in a sideways, cocky smile and Even leaned back, lifting his eyebrows up high.

“You trying to get me to stay?”

“Nei, just letting you know my plans.” Up on his tiptoes to press another little kiss to his mouth, chin still tipped up as he fell back flat footed, mouth still smiling all crooked. “Call me later, maybe I’ll skip the shower and we can...chat instead.”

“Oi,” he said back and Isak’s mouth tipped up on the other side, full dimpled beaming as Even leaned down and kissed him again. The smile morphed into pursing lips against his mouth and Even pushed back against them, wishing for the smile back.

Then a hand was on his chest, pressing back over his heart.

“Now go home so I can miss you and call you for phone sex.”

“Okay,” Even laughed lightly, then they were kissing just one more time, already taking steps backwards on the pull apart. Isak leaned off the wall to keep their mouths together as long as possible, then they were breaking with a little sound and Isak was waving goodbye, a pretty smile on his face as he spun into his apartment, closed the door behind him and Even pounded down the stairs.

One stair two stair three so many fucking stairs.

The door to the street took a second to finagle open then he was stepping out onto the sidewalk in the cold, air blasting his skin.

Shocking burst back into the outside world. Reality.

Popped little bubble of pretty.

Step one, untangle the headphones from his pocket, two shove in earbuds, and three go.

He figured he’d walk back today. He usually took the bus or rode his bike but it wasn't too far of a walk and it was still early enough he had no reason not to.

And the sky looked like That, dappled and dark and stark surprisingly movie dramatic hyper real so he had to play That song.

Even strolled down the sidewalks, cold hands in his pockets, mummified words filtering between his ears.

Was this his silver screen?

The wind picked up, scattering a stray piece of paper, dead leaves that hadn't quite decomposed to dance across the sidewalk, get trapped under the indifferent speed of traffic.

A sucker’s dream. He wasn't nineteen that much longer.

It was cold enough his eyes watered up but he was fine with that. Even walked to the brain pounding beat, every step reverberating up the rest of him to shake the water on his bottom lashes. Maybe he was a beautiful crier in some parallel universe. Maybe it made his eyes shine.

Then a tear slipped down his face and he wiped it away and inhaled shakily and if this was breaking on the inside so far deep down he wouldn't let himself look at it let him let it he’d suck the rest of the tears down so they could settle in between his bones and wait until the day they got to freeze.

 

 

~*~*~

 

Fredag, 10:56
10.02.17

 

He hadn’t seen Isak yet this morning.

Spent last night at his parent’s house, a hand clapped over his own mouth this time, Isak’s voice through his headphones, whining and moaning and carrying on over his own twisting hand and a lot of surprisingly filthy talk about what he wanted Even to do to him.

Except the part that sucked was that after they were both panting and sticky, Isak made kissy sounds over the phone and they eventually had to hang up to the darkness of their own rooms.

He didn't even like coffee but he was waiting in line to get one and he had absolutely no idea why.

It was taking forever and he was gonna be fucking late to class. He had his earphones all the way out, clutched in his hand in case they called his name but they didn't. The clock was ticking and he was gonna be late, he’d already paid or else he wouldn’t even wait but--

Okay, or his coffee could already be sitting waiting on the counter, his name on the cup. He’d been standing here bouncing on his toes waiting the entire time, how in hell had he missed that?

But it was ready and he grabbed it, taking off down the steps, across the courtyard because it was faster. He passed some kids from his one class and somebody said hey and he couldn’t place their names and he was trying to drown in music anyways.

Made it through the door just in time, swinging into a desk that was weirdly wedged behind the outcropping of the wall where the door was so he could only see like half the board, the rest of the vision was just wall but he sat his coffee down on the edge of his desk and tried to slow his heart down and told himself it didn’t matter.

Someone was talking to him and he was nodding along but he had absolutely no idea what they were saying, it was all drifting over him the way it did in movies, that hollowing echoey effect.

It was then he realized why, his mouth on his coffee, that he got it so he had an excuse for his hands to shake.

The door opened. The teacher walked in. Everything went dead silent and it was so fucking quiet it made him dizzy.

Fuck. Fuck. Fuck.

Had he eaten today?

...he hadn’t.

Oh, thank god. He just needed food. He just needed food, everything was fine.

Even took a deep breath, one hand on his chest, didn’t care who saw, what they thought. He was fine.

No one fucking noticed anyways.

Sat the coffee back down on the edge of his desk, equidistant from the corners. Picked up his pen and wrote down his name at the top of the paper.

Not like he was gonna turn it in, the paper was just for notes, but this paper was his.

He’s got this. He’s still in complete control.

When was the last one? Early December? It was too soon anyways.

Not like it was impossible and he hadn’t had them this close together before--

No. Stop, calm the fuck down.

Another deep breath, glancing up at the board, writing down the name of the chapter.

His hand was trembling, just a little.

Even put down his pencil and put his palm flat on the table. Waited, looking at it. The teacher was talking and he wasn’t listening.

Slowly, carefully, peeled his hand off the desk. It wasn’t shaking anymore. Fuck, okay.

It really was nerves. Stress. Coffee. It was almost lunch time and he hadn’t eaten anything. He needed to not do that, especially considering that he went for a run this morning. All of that energy expended and he didn’t fucking eat a granola bar or something, of course he was fucking dizzy.

It didn’t help that he was psyching himself the fuck out.

There was just. So much to ride on this time but he was Fine, honestly.

If he sat still and breathed for a moment his hearing was okay, everything sliding back to normal. Pieces clicking in.

It was completely okay. He just needed to Chill.

Couldn’t trust himself but he was Fine.

God. Calm down. Let’s go. He was fine. Relief.

The girl next to him leaned over to ask what page they’re on.

He said no idea and the girl kinda snorted at him and Even smiled back, thumbing open his book.

It didn’t matter what page they were on. He heard the question. That’s what counted.

 

 

Fredag, 19:02
10.02.17

 

Usually, making Friday night plans required at least a solid five minute debate, then going to someone’s house and debating more, making some phone calls around, searching for the best party, finding weed or alcohol or both.

By the time they were actually partying there was this whole list of hassle that went into it. Usually.

This Friday, they beat every record they’d ever set for making plans.

It took three texts in the group chat, and that was absolutely it.

 


Mahdi:
my parents are gone for the weekend and left the nice car who wants to go for a drive

Isak:
What time can we come over

Mahdi:
How’s 19:00

Read, by everyone

 

Fitting five overgrown boys into a little silver BMW 430i Coupe was not as easy as it sounded. Actually, it didn’t sound easy, any car with only 2 doors was always a struggle, but they were Determined and therefore they fucking figured it out.

Mahdi was driving, obviously, it was his parents’ car. Even was in the front with him because he was the tallest and had the longest legs by a long ways, then Isak was squished between Magnus and Jonas in the red-leather interior backseats.

“I’m second tallest, why am I in the middle,” he whined, trying to wiggle himself a bit more room as Mahdi pulled out of his parents’ driveway. “This isn’t even a real seat.”

“Bitch sits bitch,” Jonas said cheerily.

“Fuck you,” Isak told him, throwing an elbow then Jonas was jabbing a finger in that stupid fucking sensitive spot on his side and he yelped, jumping a foot, which was great when he had an inch of clearance between his head and the roof of this car.

Couldn’t really decide whether the thud his head made hitting the ceiling or the high-pitched yelp was louder, but everyone was laughing at him regardless, making him rub his head and pout.

Even turned around in shotgun, looking over the edge of his fancy seat with his eyebrows lifted high, head dipped down while Isak’s yelp echoed around the tiny space.

“What the fuck was that??”

“Oh, he doesn’t know about that?” Jonas asked, bushy dark eyebrows shooting up in turn and no.

“No, he doesn’t know about that, don’t you fucking dare tell him,” Isak shot back, swiveling to point very accusingly and very seriously at the amused-ass face of his best friend.

“Well now I’m fucking curious,” Even said from up front and Isak glared daggers in between those dark eyebrows, fucking daring him to--

“Isak has a soft spot,” Jonas said and Isak attempted to lean backwards in the seat, try and clamp a hand over Jonas’s mouth only there wasn’t enough room for his shoulders and now both Magnus and Jonas were shoving him. Isak batted a hand at his knee instead, way too many elbows in the back of this car as he glared ten thousand threats.

“It’s right--”

“Stop it, stop it, I will spill all of your secrets.”

“What secrets,” Jonas scoffed and Isak’s jaw dropped open, head dropping with it.

“The rope thing, for one.”

Jonas’s eyes went wide and his mouth snapped shut so fucking fast. Isak kept him pinned with a look until Jonas was leaning around Isak’s shoulder to talk to the front again.

“Sorry Even, I have no idea what I’m talking about, soft spot, what.”

“How the fuck don’t I know about it?” Even knitted his eyebrows, still high on his forehead as he shook his pretty head, curl falling loose from the high twist in his hair. “Pretty sure I’ve touched you everywhere.”

“Agghhh,” the boys all complained in tandem.

Conveniently it was right then that the front tires reached the major road and Mahdi wrapped the wheel around, tires spinning as they peeled out into the turn, picking up speed in about .3 seconds, getting a little cheer out of Magnus and Isak nearly dumped in Jonas’s lap.

Jonas shoved Isak back upright, then a little more so he was tipping into Magnus instead.

“But have you jabbed him everywhere.”

“Yes,” Even said, “But probably not in the way you mean.”

“STOP IT!” Isak yelled and the entire car was laughing their asses off, enough that the wheel shook a little from Mahdi and Magnus and Jonas’s breath was fogging up the windows and Even was crinkled up all cute.

Isak just groaned through his laughter, head tipped back against the seat in misery.

Then Mahdi was spinning the wheel again, turning a complete 90 degrees sharp enough to send them all sliding sideways yelling and squishing Magnus into the window.

Literally no one in the car had any idea where they were going besides Mahdi, and no one cared because it was Mahdi, he was the one like. Sensible not overdramatic hoe in this car.

Despite the way he was driving.

It was a sports car you couldn't not drive it this way.

Isak lowkey climbed over Jonas’s lap to try and read the sign for the road Mahdi just turned off on and Jonas highkey shoved him back on his ass with a lot of verbal unnecessary fussing Isak rolled his eyes at.

Then the car was pulling into a parking lot and all but skidding to a stop, passenger side door popping open before the engine rumbled off.

Even climbed out and Magnus shoved down the seat to climb out too then Isak was tumbling gracefully for the pavement and Even caught him just in time, muttering something about clumsy hoe boyfriends while Jonas hopped down to the pavement all easy and shit, shaking his head at Isak with a judgy look.

But at least they were all upright now. Fuck, his legs were cramped and he had like six elbow bruises probably, but they were no longer squished and somewhere cooler than they’d been when they’d left which was…

A park. It was already decently dark but there were streetlamps lighting a path back through some trees, a playground in the distance complete with jungle gym and swingsets. A giant pavilion set further back in the trees, a fuckton of picnic tables, a couple grills, and possibly a little gazebo by a creek way off to the left.

Nice.

The trunk of the car slammed shut with a loud sound, making them all turn as Jonas shouldered the backpack with the alcohol.

“Okay boys. We’re racing,” he declared, coming to a stop at the edge of the parking lot and the grass.

“Fett,” Isak agreed, letting go of Even’s arm to step up next to him. Mahdi and Magnus both joined, then Even last, the car’s locking alarm sound beeping behind them.

“Who has to carry the backpack?” Magnus asked, glancing over.

“I can.” Jonas pulled on the other strap, buckling the front over his chest. “To the light on the far end of the playground, last one there is DD.”

They all looked between in each other, eyes meeting as they agreed to the terms and held each opponent in calculation preparation.

“Ready.” All eyes on Jonas. “Get set.” Isak’s foot prepped, a flick of his head to keep the curls out of his eyes.

“GO!”

Five pairs of feet took off, sneakers and boots pounding over grass mushy with longsince melted snow, (Fuck warm Januaries), arms swinging, perfect line breaking almost instantly.

Isak was going to win, obviously, he’d ran from enough fucking busted parties in his lifetime and he was the only one of them who regularly worked out, he had the core strength and stamina to count when it came to shit like this.

He pulled ahead, and Even did too, only because his legs were longer than like, Mahdi’s entire body.

And yeah, he technically had stamina too, although Isak would go to his grave swearing that yes sex was the best workout but it was also not technically a workout.

But he would happily win this and let his boyfriend take second, how cute would that be--

Even’s foot curved right around his ankle and pulled.

Of all. fucking. people.

Of all fucking people to trip him and cheat in this fucking race and it was the one he was fucking, are you fucking kidding me this was un-fucking believable, he could not fucking--

He barely managed to catch himself on the ground, a twig stabbing into his palm and he was shoving himself back up almost as quick as he’d fallen but it didn’t matter, there wasn’t enough of a gap between their speeds.

The boys all collided into the pole, hands and fingertips and laughing shoulders and Isak jogged to a stop, the last one, three feet behind.

“What the fuck,” he gasped, entirely out of breath and somehow the rest of them weren’t winded enough they couldn’t laugh at him.

“Sore loser?” Even asked, smiling wide and knowing through the heavy breathing.

“Fuck you,” Isak offered, sticking up his middle finger with it in case the message wasn’t clear enough, other hand on the pole as he tried to breathe. “Fuck. Okay. I can be DD.”

“You can’t drive,” Mahdi and Magnus said in tandem and Isak squinched up his face, looking offended at them both.

“Said who?”

“Jonas,” Mahdi replied. Isak threw up a hand at the laughing face under the fake fuckin’ halo of wild dark curls. Bastards, all of them. He turned to his one and only backup and Even put a hand on his hip, shoulder lifting with it.

“Well. Sounds like Isak’s not DD.”

“Good, even your boyfriend knows I’ve got authority,” Jonas cackled, all smug and puffed up.

Isak regrettably ended his relationship with the only kind thing that still loved him, this lightpole, pushing off the kind cold metal to shove Jonas as heartily as he could. He stumbled backwards and laughed brighter, twinkling and out of breath.

“DD’s gotta be someone strong enough to lift Isak, too,” Magnus pointed out and Isak spun around, making Magnus take a step backwards before he got shoved, except Isak was throwing up his hands, not shoving, confusion upping the next three notches.

“What are you talking about.”

“The only messier drunk than you is Eva.” Jonas made a sassy face and Isak crinkled up his nose in offense, jaw dropping, voice going up a damn half octave.

“I’m nowhere near that level!”

“Do you have any idea how many times I have carried you,” he deadpanned back and Isak threw his head back to the sky, hair falling as he groaned at the stars. When the fuck conversations on designated driver turn into let’s drag Isak through the dirt, he had no idea.

Whatever. Whatever, if they were gonna fucking be this way.

“Okay! DD has to be strong enough to carry me, that rules out Mahdi, sorry bro.”

“I can be DD,” Even offered. “I’ve carried you plenty too.”

“Very different reasons,” Magnus pointed out and Even tipped his head knowingly.

“Yeah, definitely.”

“I’m not gonna need to be carried! Jesus.”

“But Even, you’ve never gotten to be trashnasty with us, you can’t be DD. I’ll be DD.” Magnus stuck out his chest proudly and the rest of everyone’s faces scrunched up with his, angling towards the other blonde this time, thank god.

“Can you even drive??”

“Yes!”

“Okay but Mags, I want you to be able to drink too. I can be DD.” Mahdi clapped Magnus on the shoulder, tipping his head for the bench at the edge of the playground. “--and I’ll let your drunk asses carry Isak if someone has to, yeah?”

“Do you not trust me to drive your dad’s car?” Magnus sounded all offended and Mahdi pursed his mouth, eyebrows shooting up.

“No.”

“Then why are we arguing anyways! You’re DD.”

“It’s official,” Jonas declared, swinging the backpack for the dirt and tugging out a bottle of spiced rum. “Now who’s ready?”

 

They got positively, absolutely wasted in the middle of a park on the outskirts of the city, music blasting on someone’s phone as they threw Spotify back and forth and sang all the stupidest songs they could think of.

It was cold but not as cold as it had been, and the more they drank the more clothes that got shed, until everyone was in tshirts and jeans and clinking Captain Morgan with the bottle of Jack Daniels while Mahdi laughed at them, completely bundled up in coats and Isak’s beanie.

Then someone (Isak) came up with the stupid idea of playing truth or dare while they were drunk off their asses, which was how Magnus got stuck in a tree - that was the photo that got posted to Instagram, too - and then karma bit his ass and Isak nearly broke his ankle falling off the top of a bench he was trying to tightrope walk on.

He bitched on the ground for awhile but turned out he just sprained it, Mahdi was gonna be a doctor one day he had authority and he Knew, but Isak still made Even carry him back to the playing circle.

And then spent the next ten minutes of the game sideways in Even’s lap, reaching up to tip puckered lips up for a kiss every fucking. Thirty seconds or some shit.

Okay, actually it was more like three seconds.

They were on the truth part of truth or dare but Even wasn't managing to answer his question very well because Isak kept fucking kissing him.

“Our first kiss? Well it was supposed to be at--hmmph!” Isak's mouth covered his and Even kissed him once before he was popping off and speaking again.

“Isak threw this pregame at his apartment in Novem--”

Another kiss interrupted and Even pulled his mouth away and rubbed his thumb over Isak's cheek before he turned to the boys again.

“And we were in the kitchen and I tried to kiss him but-- fy faen--” Isak slid his tongue into Even’s mouth first that time and Even shoved two hands in Isak’s curls in retaliation, kissing him hard.

Hard enough it left Isak blinking dazed when their lips broke apart wet and Even got to attempt to finish his story.

“Anyways, sorry, I tried to kiss him and Noora showed up and interrupted. So then we ended up pregaming at his place before Halloween and the girls were there so we ditched them and broke into somebody’s pool and--”

Isak recovered through the dramatic retelling of their story and suddenly there was a very beautiful very drunk angel attacking his mouth with ten dozen rapid hungry little kisses.

Even made a vaguely frustrated mostly fond and hella turned on sound against Isak’s mouth then he was cupping his jaw with both hands and giving in, twisting their mouths together deep and dirty.

That was all it took before Isak was swinging one of his legs around in attempt to straddle Even and grind down against his lap, only they were in the middle of a park with all of their friends like ten inches away and Even caught Isak’s leg just in time, shoving his knee back to keep Isak sideways between his thighs.

“No, no,” he was scolding and Isak pressed pouty lips back up against his, lifting to straddle him again. Even pulled away, mouths breaking apart with a loud pop as he shoved Isak’s knee harder.

“Stay,” Even commanded down at him and Isak whimpered weakly and kissed him again.

“Fucking hell,” Even finally managed, ducking to the side and splaying his fingers over Isak’s mouth, heel of his palm pressed up against Isak’s Adam apple. “I am never gonna finish this story.”

“You guys are really cute,” Magnus told them, kinda dreamily as he tilted his head all cute. Even forced himself to tear his eyes away from Isak’s heated one, glancing up at the boys.

Magnus was smiling at them the way people smiled at their favorite movies and Mahdi had a hand over his forehead pretending like he had a headache or maybe facepalming at Isak’s neediness or maybe Even’s story telling.

Then there was Jonas, who had his mouth permanently wrapped around the alcohol bottle and kept tipping it backwards periodically with times that lined up strangely close to all the kisses Isak kept planting on Even.

“Anyways. So long story short, we broke into a swimming pool and had a competition who could hold their breath underwater longest and I won.”

“You cheated! You kissed me underwater!”

“I won,” Even repeated, ignoring him and Isak made the most offended sound on the planet and all of the boys were laughing now, Jonas included.

They went around in a circle of more truths until Jonas declared they were wasting their youth away chatting and that was how Even got dared to do the monkey bars with his feet, which was some kinda fucked up dare but Magnus thought it was a great idea and Even apparently didn’t know how to say no to a challenge so.

Mahdi spotted him while he put two hands on the ground, carefully kicking his feet up into the sky, pushing into a handstand that was surprisingly steady considering how much he drank.

Isak had a hand over his mouth the entire time and Jonas’s jaw was on the floor as he kept elbowing Isak and Magnus both,

“Did you have any idea he could do that?”

“Nei???”

“Surprise, babe,” Even called from the monkey bars, finally getting one foot hooked around the first bar, tipping a little to get his other foot hooked around the next one.

His white tshirt was all bunched up under his arms, smooth stomach and most of his chest entirely bare to the winter air - it was a miracle no one had commented on the dark mark riding low on the inside of his hip - but to be fair they were all pretty distracted. Even was fucking stunning, gravity defying hair all fluffy and somehow taller than usual as he pushed up on his hands and bit his bottom lip, one palm walking forward on the ground as he unhooked one foot and balanced it over to the next bar.

“What the fuck, he’s doing it!” Magnus shrieked and clapped his hands together, absolutely elated while Even giggled and Isak finally took the hand off his mouth.

“Not gonna lie, kinda turned on now, babe,” Isak called and Jonas snorted gracefully beside him, knocking into his shoulder. “What? That’s like. Super hot.”

“It’s freaky, is what it is.”

“That’s me,” Even shot back, hooking his foot around the next one. “How's that song go? Lady in the streets but a freak in the be--”

There must’ve been a patch of ice on the bar or something, because he’d barely let go of the ground before his foot was sliding, skidding sideways on the bar as Isak and Magnus both screamed and Jonas clapped a hand over his mouth.

Mahdi dove to catch him but Even didn’t fall, somehow, laughing hysterically as he hung there upside down, foot lodged between the rung and sides of the horizontal ladder.

And by lodged, he meant stuck.

“Oh my god,” Even giggled, trying to wiggle his toes, both hands landing back on the ground as he tried to pull his shoe free to absolutely no luck. “Baby! Help!”

Isak attempted to push off the ground and fell back on his ass near instantly.

“You’re useless,” Even told him. Isak made an offended sound, hand clapping over his heart, jaw dropping open. Even blew him a little kiss, letting go of the ground and swinging a little before he was crunching up his abs and attempting to reach upwards for his shoe himself. “Fuck.”

“This is the best dare we’ve ever, ever done,” Magnus said, completely awed and Isak could only nod in return.

“Hey Isak,” Mahdi piped up, stepping to the side so they could see him around Even’s dangling body. “Is Even ticklish?”

“YES.”

Magnus leapt off the ground, diving over and Even wiggled helplessly, waving his arms.

“No no no--”

It took all of them to get Even down from the monkey bars, Isak was the only one tall enough - okay, Magnus was taller but he wanted to do the important part dammit - to unhook his foot, and the rest of them all caught the falling boy while Isak shouted at them to be careful, dammit, he liked that one.

Then Even was whining about his dizzy head and Isak crowed something about karma before wrapping his arms around Even and tumbling them both for the dirt.

They ended up rolling until Isak was on his back, legs wrapping around Even’s waist automatically as Even kissed him into the cold grass, mouth fucking warm and tasting like alcohol. Now his head was spinning too, for a hell of a lot of other reasons, hands shoving up under the bunched white tshirt to warm warm skin and--

And that’s when the rest of them brushed themselves off enough and tapered down from laughing at Magnus enough to look over and instantly throw up protests.

“Hey, hey, hey, no hooking up on the fucking playground, the rest of us are standing right here.”

“Assholes! That’s you!”

They rolled again, Even’s back slamming into the grass as Isak settled comfortably perched on top of his hips, breathing hard and grass sticking pieces in his curls.

“Isak!”

“Hm?”

He glanced over his shoulder, one hand on Even’s chest and both of Even’s hands on his hips. Magnus gave him a hello??? look, waving an obvious dramatic hand at the three of them standing there. Isak rolled his lips in, looking between the disheveled, flushed, fucking gorgeous boy he was straddling and his indignant friends.

“Oh fuck, were you talking to us?”

Ja!

Isak stuck out his bottom lip, turning back to Even, telling him very matter-of-factly. “Apparently we’re not allowed to kiss.”

“You’re not allowed to have sex in front of us, no.”

Isak sighed heavily, slinging his leg back off Even’s lap and landing disgruntledly on his side in the dirt again. Magnus said something under his breath about young wild ones in love and Isak squinted at the starry night sky and tried to will away the sparks ricocheting up and down his spine.

“Fuck.”

“I’m still dizzy,” Even whined up at the sky, all precious and pouty and drunk and Isak put a hand on his own chest, other one waving around in the air.

“Kissing me isn’t gonna help with that, sorry.”

“Cocky bastard,” Even shot back, eyes twinkling at him prettier than all those stars they were under. Isak was just about to crawl the fuck back over there and kiss him until the sun rose with half the burning beauty of that enchanting boy only Even’s head rolled on the grass again, registering someone above him. Paying attention to someone besides Isak.

He stuck out his bottom lip, watching the beautiful jawline tip up, strong heavy hand lifting to one that wasn’t his. It was Magnus, sticking out a hand to help him back up and Even clapped it, groaning all the way up to his feet.

Jonas put both his hands under Isak’s arms and hauled him upright, making him bitch loudly and turn sloppily around, two hands waving Jonas off as he tutted. Way to make him not look cool.

“I’m fine, I’m fine.”

“I’m fine too,” Even insisted, pushing Magnus gently off him and taking a stumbling step forward, holding out his hand in Isak’s general direction.

Actually it was closer to Jonas than Isak but that was fine, Isak knew what he was talking about.

“Me? You wanna hold my hand?” Isak lifted his eyebrows, head dipping and shaking a little as the playground tipped.

“Jaaa,” Even insisted, making a grabby hand at him.

“You’re so sweet,” he cooed back, weaving his fingers in between Even’s and letting himself be tugged up to his side. “Okay, back to the game. Let’s go back to the circle spot...where did Jonas go?”

“I’m right here, fucknut.”

“Uh! Rude. It’s your turn, Jo-Jo, let’s go.”

They were all really mature and really wasted at this point, which was the only excuse they had for the next one. Well that and Magnus had found a really cool looking stick.

Which was how Jonas got dared to light said stick dipped in whiskey on fire and climb up to the highest point of the jungle gym with this flaming dangerous fireball on wood and somehow lodge it securely to the top, shoving it in a crevice and managing, remarkably, not to light either himself or the jungle gym on fire.

The boys all cheered wildly loudly, doubling as Jonas pulled a pocket-knife out of his pocket and carved all of their initials into the wooden post he was perched on, at the top of the dome above the highest slide.

“Fuck society!” He shouted, face all lit up with the flames slowly eating away at the burning stick and Isak laughed, tipping to the side.

“That’s my boy, hasn’t changed one...fuckin’ bit.”

Jonas carved a little heart at the final V, his and Isak’s last, before the knife was being flipped back closed and tossed down to the ground, according to Mahdi’s sincere insistence.

Then their triumpher was hopping down to the top platform, finally safe on two feet as he swept out an arm and bent down dramatically into a low bow.

“Jo-nas! Jo-nas!”

It was basically a whole night filled with hoodlum wonderfulness, topped off with fire to boot and then Jonas was popping upright from his bow and stumbling sideways, catching himself just in time before he tumbled off the side.

There was a significant amount of laughter and Jonas bowed again, using another wooden plank to launch himself down the straight metal slide. Isak’s heart kinda stopped in his chest for the moment it took between him being in the air and landing hard on the slide, swooping down and taking his stomach with it.

Then Jonas was stumbling into the dirt, spinning around, shaking his head and sending dark curls tumbling everywhere and everything was beautiful again.

“Jesus fuck, sliding while intoxicated--”

“I wanna try the tunnel slide,” Isak gasped, scrambling upright and dropping his jaw at the idea. One hand reaching out and making vague motions at the pile of waiting boys. “Mahdi, come with me.”

Mahdi sighed and stood, giving the rest of them a look that was probably some mix between save me and why me but they were going to have a super duper fantastic time. Isak grabbed his hand and dragged him for the steps. He was drunk enough to know that climbing up the little rock wall was going to mean certain death for them both.

Actually, they almost both died climbing up stairs to the platform with the swirling tunnel slide, but that was alright, they eventually made it.

“You first, I’ll hold onto you.”

“Why me?”

“Because you’re sober and I am Not.”

Mahdi laughed, stooping down and waiting at the entrance of the slide while Isak got situated behind him, squeezing his cushioned jacketed waist tight.

“Ready?”

“Yes.”

A hard push off and they were dropping into swirling, pitch black space with ridges that were trying to destroy his beautiful ass.

Isak screamed like a four year old the entire way down, only they were going so fast that when the slide finally dumped back out into the dirt they got dumped, literally. Mahdi stumbled and caught himself before he face-planted, but Isak wasn’t so lucky.

He landed hard on the chilled ground, barely missing his tailbone, tipping sideways and groaning. Loudly.

“I’m gonna have brui-seees.”

“You always have bruises,” Magnus shouted at him and Isak pushed himself in some vague direction of upright, pointing a tipsy finger in the direction of the laughing boys.

“I do.”

“Hey Jonas,” Even called, blinking numbly as Jonas tipped over overwhelmed, looking wide-eyed at the very loud Even who was sitting right beside him. “Oh. Hi.”

“Hi.”

“I bet I can swing higher than you.”

“You’re...fuckin’ on.”

They almost broke the fucking swing set. Even had really really long legs and Jonas had enough muscle mass that the entire A-frame was jumping around, jolting with every high point of one of their swings, basically threatening to launch them into outer space.

At one point in their mad swinging - seriously, someone was going to wrap themselves all the way around, was that possible? - the swings somehow aligned, both of them pushing back at the same time, soaring up with their feet kicking in tandem, and right back up high again.

“Ha!” Jonas shouted, two hands on the chains as he tipped back to keep up with Long Legs. “Isak, I married your boyfriend first, get wrecked.”

“Magnus, can you believe this? What a fuckin’ poser.”

“Oh fuck, look at that, we’re divorced,” Even made an exaggerated pouty face, pushing off extra hard so their swings didn’t line up anymore.

“Bastard,” Jonas shot back. “Okay, whoever can jump further.”

“You guys are gonna break your fucking ankles!” Mahdi shouted at them.

“On three.”

“No, on one.”

“Three, two--”

They both jumped and Jonas tried to duck and roll all fancy and just ended up catching the ground with his shoulders and tumbling over himself with a bumpy groan and Even ended up stumbling and almost face planting with the dirt, catching himself just in time but they were both laughing and Isak was giggling against Magnus’s shoulder.

“You’re really drunk,” Magnus told him and Isak patted his thigh.

“Mmhm. Isn’t it so nice to be back home?”

“Home?”

“Like the Marshmallow song,” Isak told him and Magnus furrowed his eyebrows.

“Was there something in the Daniels or…”

“You know what I’m talking about! The Marshmello song, right guys?”

Nobody was paying attention to him, Jonas was too busy settling himself back on two feet, taking another sweeping, dramatic bow.

“I went higher, I won.”

Even’s mouth popped open.

“I went further, I won!”

“You both won,” Mahdi told them, then Jonas was shoving Even’s shoulder on their way back to the Sacred Circle.

Even stumbled a step or two and shoved him back, hard. It was Very Dominant, their weird little show of aggression or superiority or whatever and Isak just blinked softly at them, thinking about how nice Magnus’s shoulder was.

“Thanks?” Magnus was looking down at him weirdly and Isak cocked his head.

“Did I say that out loud?”

“Ja. You are fucking wasted.”

“Mmm. Hey Magnus, guess what.”

“What.”

“I think there’s a chance that Even and I are soulmates.”

“Oii, the forelsket’s got you hard.”

“Oh ho ho. I thought it’d be like, a temporary thing? But it’s not. It’s like...everytime I look at him, it’s just...forelsket all. over. again.”

“Jeez.”

He closed his eyes, nodding to himself as he leaned a little harder on Magnus’s shoulder.

“S’great though.”

Then Magnus jostled his arm, shaking Isak back upright.

“Isak, I wanna go down the slide with you.”

“I’m still bruised, but...okay, letssgo.”

Magnus offered a hand and Isak took it, nearly dragging him back down to the dirt then they were attempting to race to the playground, streetlit world fading beautiful and bright at the edges, creaking empty swingset singing of their eternal legacy of youth.

“I’m going first this time, cause I’m not landing on my ass again.”

Only of course he did, and of course he bitched, and of course the boys all laughed and a dozen or so more stars were born in the sky.

On the bright side, Magnus also landed on his ass, narrowly avoiding smacking his head on the slide as they both fell backwards.

“Owww--”

“Jesus fuck, someone get me the alcohol, make the pain go awaaay.”

“That’s not how it works,” Magnus groaned and Isak flicked him off, dragging himself back up with a hand on the slide and the other pointing for the backpack.

“Race you.”

They all ended up kinda carrying each other back to the car sometime around one in the morning.

Everybody had stitches in their sides from laughing but most of their heads were spinning too much to care. Mahdi made them all stop in the parking lot and brush themselves off, because there was literally not one of them that wasn’t smudged with dirt, covered in grass, or both.

Even ruffled the grass out of Isak’s curls with his big hands and Isak squinched up his face and bitched about it, then he was reaching over to brush dirt off Magnus’s shoulder, pointing out the grass pieces sticking out of Jonas’s shoes.

“No one puke on the seats, that’s all I ask.” Mahdi helped everyone’s ducking head back into the car, Jonas and Magnus first, a whiny Isak next.

“Do I have to sit in the middle again? Can I lie down?”

They passed him off from Mahdi’s hands to Magnus’s to Jonas’s, who licked his thumb and smudged at a streak of dirt on Isak’s cheekbone.

“Yeah you can lie down, if Mahdi drives careful.”

“I’ll drive careful,” he promised, swinging into the driver’s seat. Even closed the passenger door, shooting a wayyy affectionate look over his shoulder.

“Good, that’s precious cargo.”

“You’re...precious,” Isak slurred back, eyes slipping closed as he tucked Jonas’s arm over his chest. “Guys this was so fun, why don’t we do more shit like this like all the time.”

“Because you have bruises and you’re gonna wake up tomorrow ready to kill everyone?” Magnus offered.

“Nuh uh,” Isak countered, bumping Magnus’s stomach with his knee to prove his point. Because that obviously would prove his point.

“Speaking of which, is there water up front?” Jonas’s voice sounded all deep from down here with his ear against his stomach.

Isak squinted open his eyes in time to see Even lean over from the front, passing back a bottle.

Jonas had a hand in Isak’s hair and Even had a funny look on his face, then the hand in his hair was sliding to the back of his neck, lifting him up while Isak let his head flop back dramatically against Jonas’s strong fingers.

“Ughhh.”

“C’mon Iska, sit up.” Jonas propped him upright, cushioning hand between the back of his head and the cold window as he held the water up to Isak’s lips.

“Iska...fuck you.” Head tipping to the side, open water bottle chasing after his mouth. Jonas tried to make him drink and Isak moved his head again, dodging and nearly making it spill. Whoops.

“Cut it out.”

He squinched up his nose, groaning because he didn’t wanna sit here and be fed like a baby then Jonas took his chin and gave him The Look™ so Isak sighed and opened his mouth.

“You’re a fucking hassle,” Magnus told him, fondly he was pretty sure, tapping his ankle with it. This car was so much better when he wasn’t sitting in the middle. Why couldn’t he sit on everyone’s laps all the time.

Jonas didn’t let the bottle leave his mouth until the water was all gone and Isak felt approximately like a two year old but whatever, didn’t have much of a choice. So he drank it all, then finally Jonas released him from hell and tossed the empty bottle back up front.

“Why am I always the drunkest,” Isak whined, rolling his head on the window as Even passed Magnus another water bottle for him and Jonas to split.

“Cause you have zero meat on your bones?” Mahdi offered from the front, flicking on his blinker before taking them very carefully and smoothly around a turn.

“Huh? Nei. I am…strong. Shh. You’re tiny. You’re all tiny.”

“I’m not tiny, you’re drunk,” Jonas informed him. Even snickered up front and Isak licked his lips, watching the little laugh curving up Even’s profile. He was so fucking pretty. Even couldn’t see him from up there. Shame.

Then he was rolling his head on the window to look back at Jonas, who had his eyebrows raised at Isak. It was a very different eyebrow raise than the kind Even did. Even’s were all signature and cute and Jonas was just looking at him judgy and Knowing.

“You were always taller than me, what happened,” Isak complained, pouting and sinking down the window a little.

“I don’t fucking know kid, you kept growing without me.”

“Gotta cut that shit out,” Isak said, sliding all the way down and hopping a little to land back on Magnus’s thigh, making him groan then he was laying back down comfortably in Jonas’s lap, smiling softly as the hand returned to petting his hair.

“You do,” Jonas told him quietly. “You really do.”

The rest of the car was quiet.

Even looked out the window at the dancing lights of golden Oslo below them and watched the world go by.

Chapter Text

Lørdag, 02:12
11.02.17

 

Mahdi dropped them off on the curb Friday night, shouting at them to be safe dammit and not fall down the stairs or some shit.

Even wrapped an arm around Isak’s waist, shot the fancy silver car a thumbs up, and pulled his boyfriend for the door. He had to dig through Isak’s pockets to find the keys, during which Isak slumped against his collarbone and mumbled some shit about Even getting in his pants but they were both wayyy too drunk for that.

But he eventually found keys, letting them both inside and taking a woozy second to lock the door behind him, then he was dragging a bitchy stumbling boyfriend up the stairs with him and somehow wrestled the other door open too.

The lights were all off and the place looked empty, but Isak was still bitching so Even shushed him, trying to kick off both their shoes.

“Hey, cut it out, I can take off my own da--”

“Shh! You’re gonna wake up your roommates.”

“Don’t fuckin’ care, s’not like they don’t wake up me--

Even clapped a hand over Isak’s mouth before he could think to not to.

Isak’s knees lowkey gave out then Even was cursing, barely covering the moan against his hand as he herded Isak through the kitchen and down the hall. Kicking himself mentally because now he not only had a noisy fussy boyfriend, he had a noisy fussy really turned on boyfriend.

Who apparently couldn’t stop whimpering, practically boneless as Even all but dragged him down the hallway.

Then they were finally, eventually, safe in Isak’s room. He let go of Isak’s mouth and Isak whined, reaching grabby hands for him again. Even put up an unsteady hand, no, room spinning at the corners.

“Another time, baby.”

“But I want you nooww.”

“You want sleep,” Even corrected, unbuttoning Isak’s jeans and wiggling them down over his ass.

“With you.” Isak tipped into him and Even kissed the side of his face, holding the back of his head for a moment. Fuck.

Then he was pushing a stumbling, half undressed Isak onto his bed, because wrestling him out of his grass-stained jeans was way easier when he wasn’t leaning all over him.

Even nearly fell trying to wrestle Isak’s jeans off but he somehow managed it, hopping out of his own too and almost crashing into the bookshelf. Then he got his shirt tossed off and plopped down to the mattress, bouncing way too many times, and lifted Isak’s arms up to tug his shirt over his curls too.

There were still some dirt smudges along his hands and neck but this was as damn good as it was gonna get.

So he pressed a hard kiss to Isak’s cheek - or at least aimed for his cheek, it ended up kinda between his jaw and ear, but Isak fell sideways with it either way.

Then they were tangling up in each other, half covered in the sheets, clothes strewn and mouths overlapping for the brief moment they had enough brain power left to. Then brain power cut entirely and Even squeezed warm bare skin and they both slipped into the dark.

Ten minutes after they’d been dropped off at the curb and they were passing out wasted and half naked on top of each other.

Which was kinda a hell of a successful night if you asked him.

 

Lørdag, 08:44
11.02.17

 

Saturday morning Isak woke up with a headache and Even woke up painfree. He’d had a lot of water and Isak apparently hated himself cause he'd only had the one bottle, so.

Still though, Even kissed his neck and held his hand the whole way into the kitchen, so he wasn't feeling that terrible.

The kitchen that currently had really bright lights on, and a stove on, and three people packed in already.

“When am I supposed to flip it?”

“When it’s golden brown, this is not that hard, Linn.”

“Can't see the other side, how’m I spos’d to know when it's golden brown…”

“Good morn’,” Even greeted everyone way too brightly and Isak trailed grumpily behind him, still latched onto his hand.

“Boys! You're awake. We're making pancakes.” Noora gave them a bright smile and Eskild huffed.

Attempting to make pancakes.”

“I can see that…” Even glanced at the finished stack, which was thankfully only like three, then the batter that Noora was stirring and decided it was his duty to step in and rescue them all or something.

“The fuck is your consistency?” Even passed a sleepy Isak off into Noora’s surprised arms, squinting at the lights and grabbing milk from the fridge.

Isak squinted up at Noora from the shoulder he'd landed on. She peered down right back.

“You’re not Even. You’re very small.”

“Good to see you too,” she offered, patting a hand on top of his curls.

He groaned vaguely and rolled his head off her shoulder, shuffling free and bumping right into Eskild, who was pressing a full glass of water into his hand.

Why did everyone always act like this when he was drunk and/or hungover.

“Act like what, babe,” Even asked, not looking up from the batter he was fixing and Isak blinked against the stupid fucking bright lights until he figured out Even wasn't telepathic, he'd just mumbled it under his breath.

A hand patted his shoulder and Isak rubbed the backs of his hands over his eyes.

“Take care of me,” he bitched, pouting as he narrowed his eyes at Eskild.

“We loooveee you,” Noora teased all smiley and cute and Isak was way too grumpy for this.

“I love him,” Isak grumbled back, then he was wrapping his arms around Even’s stomach, curling over his warm spine and slipping right into place. Melting soft, nose pressing to the side, clinging affectionate with how damn sleepy he was.

It was just really fucking early okay, he didn't deserve this shit.

“Awww.”

They were all looking between each other - God knows what look Even was giving over his shoulder - and Noora clasped her hands, cooing at them.

Isak ignored them, soaking in the steady slow of Even’s back expanding against his chest, the calm breathing and warm proximity that was gonna send him right back to sleep.

Unfortunately, he eventually he woke up, after Eskild shoved three more glasses of water at him until he had to go pee, and actually washed his face and fixed his hair and brushed his teeth - and okay, hopped in a quick shower but there was dirt on his ankles, no thank you - while he was in there.

The headache was basically gone, and the sleepiness was too, so now he was just hungry and vaguely bitchy.

He wandered back into the kitchen unfortunately refreshed, but everyone was already in the living room.

They were eating breakfast in front of the TV, turned quietly to some news channel everyone was chatting over.

Even was squished between Eskild and Noora, Linn was on the other couch, all stretched out and Isak joined her, plopping down on the other end with his plate of pancakes, stretching out his legs alongside Linn’s and taking up as much room as possible.

“...so you know how it's my birthday tomorrow?”

“Yes,” Isak said, stuffing a piece of pancake in his mouth as everyone else freaked out, including Linn, who chewed at him all surprised.

“No way.”

“Mmhm.”

“So you'll be turning...20, right?” Eskild was way enthusiastic and Isak sighed at his maple syrup.

“Yep, twenty.”

“Wow, you're gonna be so old.” Linn said dully and Isak raised an eyebrow. “Time is a construct of society.”

Noora and her clapping hands and cheery red-lipped smile interrupted all bright again.

“Oh Isak, he's gonna be a real adult, no teen left. What a catch.” She batted her lashes all dreamily.

“He's mine.” Isak narrowed his eyes and took a threatening bite of pancake.

“Anyways. It's my birthday tomorrow, and there was kinda a gift I had in mind, from all of you?”

“Oh?”

Yeah, Isak could echo the surprised oh. Even had been pretty adamant on not wanting gifts, so this was kinda hella surprising.

“Mmhm. Although actually I'd like to have it today, because we've already got plans for tomorrow.”

“And what's that?” Noora asked, leaning on the armrest of the couch with a pretty smile. Even turned to the side, giving her an even prettier one in return, eyebrows shooting up with it.

“An afternoon in the apartment with just the two of us, no interruptions.”

“Ooooo,” Eskild said.

Oh shit, Linn’s face said.

Oh my, said Noora’s.

And Isak was on his end of the couch trying to swallow his pancake without dying.

“Jesus fuck.”

An afternoon in the apartment with just the two of them. Linn nudged his leg with hers.

“If I were you I'd get seconds. You're gonna need the energy.”

Everyone snickered but that was a good fucking point. Isak climbed off the couch and headed straight for the kitchen.

All the snickers turned to laughs. He wasn't fucking around though, he knew what a workout fucking for an hour was, let alone a goddamn afternoon.

“...really would,” Even was saying as Isak got back with three more pancakes.

“We can definitely do that,” Noora assured him.

“The whole apartment, kinky,” Eskild gave a suggestive little shimmy and a super suggestive smile with it.

Isak flicked him off and settled back into the couch.

“If they have sex on the tables or kitchen counters, can we make them wipe it down?” Linn made a vaguely disturbed face. “People eat there.”

“Oh we’ll deep clean the whole place tomorrow, don't worry.”

Noora nodded reassuringly and Even was trying not to giggle and Isak was beet red, entirely focused on carving up his pancake.

“I've heard couch sex is harder than it looks,” Noora offered and Isak lifted a bite, chewing as he spoke around it.

“It's really not.”

Even threw his head back in a bright crinkling laugh, lighting up the whole room as Isak fought the triumphant little grin and Eskild jumped up dramatically, pointing at the couches.

“Which one? This one? That one?”

Isak lifted an eyebrow, stabbing another bite and popping it in his mouth.

“Both.”

The laughter that erupted was probably just as much at Eskild’s shocked scandalized reaction as it was to Isak’s answer, everyone all happy and amused.

It was still too early for this shit, honestly, but it was nice to just chill with his roommates like this. Making everybody laugh and lean into each other in the early morning light over warm good homemade food.

Isak smiled to himself and Linn kneed his knee.

“Was I home?”

“I don't think so?” Isak offered. “Maybe, honestly.”

“Good thing I never leave my room.” She leaned forward and waved a fork at his plate. He held it out for her to stab an uneaten half of pancake.

“Well. Either way, none of us will be home today, so. Be as loud and kinky as you want.” Eskild clapped his hands and gave them both a happy bright ridiculous smile.

“We will be,” Even replied all simple and sweet. Fuck.

“Not like Isak's not already rather...vocal.”

Eskild and the girls all gave him knowing looks and Isak glared at the entire room, furniture and pancakes included.

“I’m not that loud, dammit.”

“Oh we’ll see about that.” Even tugged his fork out from between his teeth, eyes on Isak the entire time, eyebrows shooting up suggestive as the fork popped clean.

Isak's eyes went wide and he looked down at his plate very pointedly.

“Oh my,” Eskild suggested and yeah, oh my, what the fuck.

Noora tapped a finger over her mouth, looking between them both and Isak was not gonna lift his eyes up from his plate, thank you very much.

“Hm, guys we should go soon, ja?”

“We've got breakfast cleanup,” Even offered and Isak was still eating his, dammit, he was feeling wildly unprepared right now and these pancakes were the only things that weren’t teasing him for being loud or making suggestive-ass faces at him from across the room.

Then his only other ally pushed up regretfully from the couch, leaving his legs cold and his heart pounding.

“I'll go get a coat.” Fuck, Linn, come back--

“What time will it be safe to come home by?” Eskild spun around to ask over his shoulder and Isak was watching the scene from under his lashes, pretending not to pay attention so he could maybe chill the fuck out for a second.

Even chewed his cheek for a moment, glancing over at Isak, eyes sweeping all the way down his body before he looked back up at Eskild.

“Like...18:00.”

Isak choked on his pancake.

That was literally….eight fucking hours from now.

He didn't stop choking and Linn had to grab him a glass of orange juice because the rest of them were too busy laughing too hard. Not that Linn wasn’t laughing too, she just also happened to look sorry for him.

He was motherfucking far from sorry for himself.

No, he was just pretty sure he might pass out before everyone got out the door.

Eight hours. With Even. Alone. In the apartment. When he’d been looking at Isak like that.

Hahahah, yeah, no, he was probably gonna die before he managed to get his clothes off.

But then all his roommates were waving and bundling up and heading out the door.

Okay. He could be chill.

***

The lock clicked shut and Even turned around. Isak got off the couch. Even was watching him and Isak swallowed, gathering the plates in the living room. Taking them as calmly as he could for the kitchen.

It was deadly quiet and Isak was physically fucking tripping over the tension right now.

His heart was pounding out of his chest, then Even actually appeared, coming into the kitchen behind him. One hand on the counter by Isak's hip as he reached around him and set a glass in the sink.

They weren't touching yet and Isak was already breathing hard.

Jesus fuck he'd never been more attuned to Even’s body in his life, the heartbeat moving behind him, the heat of his skin just inches away. The silence as he swallowed, throat bobbing he could feel it, he was facing the other direction and he could feel it.

Also lowkey happened to be so hard he was pressed against the cabinets, eyes shut, trying to breathe.

He nearly jumped out of his skin when Even’s voice lifted, rumbling behind him.

“No pressure, babe, we can go watch a movie, or nap or something.” Soft, low. Sweet. “I just wanted to be alone with you.”

Isak hummed and that was very romantic and all but he couldn't really think from how much his body was like, throbbing. Even’s warmth, this empty apartment, no obligations for hours, the look he'd given Isak when the door shut.

Jesus fuck. Jesus fucking Christ he was completely frozen and he could not breathe.

“We don't have to if you don't want to--”

“God I want to,” Isak breathed and Even paused, shifting on his feet behind him. Isak's mouth was open now and he ducked his head, swallowing tight trying to make his lungs work but his fingers were curling in the counter.

“Yeah?”

Deep and interested.

A hand swept slow over the back of his neck, nails skirting the line of his curls and sending waves of sparks down his spine.

,” Isak gasped and Even span him around so fucking fast, pressing hard against his hips, slamming him into the counter.

Stupid pretty eyebrows up at how hard Isak was already but he didn't fucking care, head falling back as his eyes fluttered closed and Even grinded forward slow, making a filthy desperate moan tumble past Isak's lips.

That's as far as they got in the teasing before Even was latching two hands on Isak's jaw and shoving his tongue into his mouth.

Which would’ve been enough to destroy him if he weren’t so fucking wound up, but surprise, he was so fucking wound up from the past twenty minutes that when Even fucking grabbed him like that he just...crumbled. Knees giving out as he whimpered into Even’s mouth, clinging weakly to his biceps, begging.

One of Even’s hands tipped his head up harder and the other hoisted his thigh up over Even’s hipbone, grinding closer and keeping him from falling all in one.

Okay apparently Even was attempting to make him come in his pants like a fucking teenager that was fine everything was so fine he was so dizzy he couldn't really tell which way was upright as his head tilted against Even’s mouth, pressing deeper, tongue slipping wet over his while it rained fire through his entire torso.

Even tasted like maple syrup and fireworks and Isak was melting.

Their mouths broke apart for gasping oxygen and the broken sound Isak made was entirely involuntary, only now Even was squeezing his thigh tight enough to bruise, looking at him in mouth-parted awe.

“Fuck,” he whispered and Isak was gonna fucking burst.

Please,” he begged.

It happened so fast he barely had time to get his arms around Even’s neck before his other thigh was scooped up then he was being swung around and dumped onto the kitchen table.

He wasn't sure it would hold his weight but considering that he just collided with it hard and it hadn't broken yet, clearly, it could handle the weight.

That made one of them cause Isak couldn't handle a single bit of the weight, the heat dragging his sweats off right now, he was already losing it to the hands stripping him with this fucking urgency.

Sweats tossed aside, grabbing the bottom of Isak's shirt and tugging it off over his head, then Even was yanking off his boxers and Isak was surging up against him, kissing his mouth and skidding his knees up Even’s hips and the table was cold and fucking hard and strange beneath his bare ass but he was also fucking hard so.

“Fuck, you're starving for it, aren't you?” Even kissed loose sloppy kisses down his neck, still completely clothed while Isak was here on the table stark naked and it was making his head spin, fingernails digging into Even’s shoulders, mouth filled with little moans and opened too wide to reply.

Besides yes. Because yes yes yes yes.

“You want it, baby?” A heated mouth taunted, hand wrapping around to slide up his inner thigh, fingers curling against sensitive soft skin as he danced in closer between Isak’s spread legs.

“Fuck, Even,” Isak managed and Even pressed his mouth over Isak's ear, hard and possessive, damp lips catching over his skin.

“Tell me how bad you want it.”

Isak keened but Even’s touch was getting lighter and lighter and god he didn't want it, he fucking needed it or he was gonna actually combust and Noora’s deep clean tomorrow was gonna be for Isak-pieces instead.

“Ba-by--”

“Tell me.”

Low, warning, a step away from stepping away, fingerprints leaving indentations in his inner thighs and yeah, he fucking broke.

“I want it I want it I want you so bad please Even please baby please--”

A hand shoved his chest, other catching his head just in time before it slammed onto the table, then it was slipping free to spread his legs, tug them hard for the edge of the table as Even dropped to his knees and shoved his tongue in Isak's ass.

Isak lifted his head, jaw dropped and sound caught entirely in his throat as his stomach muscles curled his hips up, angling Even’s tongue deeper. Eyes rolling back in his head then his head was knocking back against the table and puckered lips sucked hard, all the pressure knocking the block right out of his throat.

Even!! Fuck fuck fuck, baby fuck-- ah ahhhh--”

Hands scrambling for purchase, one of them gripping the edge of the table and the other darting down for a handful of Even’s fluffy bedhead hair, fisting tight.

“Fuck fuck fuck fuck--”

It was so fucking much, way too fucking much. Even kneeling there on the tiles, eating him out at the kitchen table, this was.

Actually not how he'd pictured spending his Saturday.

Then there were fingers pushing inside him with the tongue and Isak was kinda losing his mind.

This was Even, who wanted for his birthday to be alone with Isak and now here he was stripped out naked for him and Even was licking and curling his fingers inside him like this was a gift for him instead of Isak.

Like Isak was the only thing he ever fucking wanted. Like pressing into his body was it, like Isak spread out for him on the table like this was the only gift he ever needed and fuck, fuck, he’d never been so fucking emotional with a tongue in his ass before.

It was just that. He didn’t get treated like this, like something...precious, something to long for, besides with Even, Even treated him like this and held him like this and pried open his body with his fingers like this and fucking did that stupid fucking thing with his tongue that was literally eating Isak up like this and he just.

It was a lot, all of it was a lot and Even was so far down, way on the other side of the world while Isak gasped up at the blank white ceiling and this was incredible but the only anchor he had was his hand in Even’s hair and he was kinda falling apart, he needed Even to be right here up here right now he was way way too far away.

“Please. Please, please, I need you inside me Even, please.”

A pretty mouth popped off, pressing a kiss to the smooth curve of a cheek and looking up at Isak as he ran his fingertips softly around the most fucking sensitive place in his body.

“What's that, baby?

“Even please,” he gasped and he was so worked up there were tears on his lashes. “Please I need you inside me I need you I need you I need you--”

“Shh, shh baby it's okay, I'm right here, I'm right here.” A solid hand sliding up Isak's chest, holding over his pounding heart as Isak breathed and breathed and tried to stop his legs from trembling so much.

Even was fishing a condom and lube out of his jean pockets but Isak didn’t have time for that, sex had never been like this, he had no idea what to fucking do and he needed some damn comfort, dammit.

“Kiss me,” Isak breathed and Even did, bending in half over the table to kiss him on the mouth. And he kissed him the same way he’d twisted his mouth down there.

Isak, up on a pedestal.

Their mouths were fucking warm, Christ, and Even tasted like him, all over the slip of his tongue.

Strong arms flexing as his shirt tugged off over his head, their lips breaking apart for the briefest moment then his mouth was landing back down hard, kissing Isak again as he unbuttoned his jeans.

It was uncoordinated and sloppy as he tried to get undressed and still kiss him, still give him something to hold onto while he tried to wiggle out of his clothes and hopped around on one foot with his lips on Isak’s. It was just so sweet, Even was so fucking sweet Isak couldn't help the curling smile against his mouth.

He got a crinkled one in return, lips pecking together as he finally toed his boxers aside.

Light light blue glancing down to roll the condom on and Isak grabbed the back of his head, locked on that beautiful gaze.

“Hey, keep kissing me.”

He wasn’t done yet, meant it in every drop of heat in the gaze, parted lips wavering gravity between their mouths. Even huffed amused, cute and leaned down to kiss him again.

Isak slid his tongue into Even’s mouth and arched up against all this blank air above him, hard surface below. Fingers curling hard enough in the back of Even’s neck their mouths broke apart on a gasp.

“Fuck. You ready?”

“Always,” he collapsed. Even circled around the table, a hand running down Isak’s bare chest, catching one of his thighs and dragging him back for the edge.

“I hope so, cause I've got more plans than this table.”

“Fuck,” Isak said to the ceiling. Lubed up fingers pressing back inside him for a moment, to check, the way he fucking knew Isak’s body like this Jesus fucking Christ, “Fuck.”

“Mmhm,” Even said back, then he was sliding inside and Isak didn’t really have words anymore.

His beautiful, strong, doting boyfriend fucked him into the table until all he could see was stars, until his whole spine was probably bruised from the damn surface, until he was keening and tightening up so much he couldn’t grip the sides of the table tight enough,

And that’s when Even stuttered a shaky breath and pulled out.

Isak made the most pained noise he’d literally ever made during sex and scrambled for him, to which Even put a hand on his chest, holding him down against the surface, own chest heaving as he tried to breathe.

“What the--”

“18:00, remember?” Even gasped and Isak’s jaw had never dropped further.

“Oh fuck that, I wanna--”

“My birthday,” Even tapped the inside of his thigh and Isak lowkey wailed, whipping his head on the table. That was not fucking fair.

“Baby please.”

“Oh we will, just not right here. We’ve got an entire apartment.”

He swooped low to press a kiss to the inside of Isak’s trembling knee and Isak fought the urge to scream.

He’d just fucking stopped.

“Where do you want me to carry you?”

“Anywhere,” he shot back. Wherever. It didn’t matter, so long as he had Even. Inside him. Asap.

Even caught the reference, a pretty smile blooming on his face and yeah, Isak was trying to be cute but he was mostly trying to breathe, he couldn’t believe Even just fucking did that to him, actually.

“Wherever it is, kiss me on the way.”

Even slid two fingers inside him and Isak’s mouth popped open.

“This isn't carrying, this isn't--”

Isak was so close to coming and Even just lifted his hips up, high enough Isak's knees were about to land down next to his ears, table digging into the top of his spine as Even’s hand twisted inside him, taking about point three seconds to find his prostate, pads of his fingers rubbing fast.

“Fu u uck Evi Evi please--”

The angle was completely different with Isak up on a platform like this and he honestly could not fucking cognize any of this, just that he was about to hit his orgasm like a fucking train, feet kicking, eyes rolling back, and that's when Even’s fingers slipped right out of him again.

Isak shouted fuck up at the ceiling.

“You'll be fine,” Even told him, all fond, slowly lowering his hips back down, fingers still pressed over his entrance on the outside.

“Have you ever had a heartbeat in between your legs? A fucking heartbeat, Even.”

“I know, I can feel it.” He wiggled his fingers like Isak wasn’t fucking throbbing.

“Ughhhhhh.” Isak threw his head back against the table, only the dull thud didn’t do a damn thing to change the fact that he was shaking and Even wasn't letting him have any.

“I can bend you over the counter,” Even suggested and Isak had never said ja faster in his life. Then Even was sliding him off the table and they were kissing and kissing again.

His legs weren’t being the most fucking cooperative, making him stumble a little then Even was wrapping around him and kissing him from behind, walking them both as raining sparks trickled through his bones.

Then there was a hand between his shoulderblades and the side of his face was on the counter,

Fucking Christ.

The heels of his hands skid across the smooth surface only he couldn’t find purchase and Even was still positively ruining him, so.

“Fuck, you’re beautiful,” Even murmured behind him and the flush that went up his chest was ridiculous, he was bent over the kitchen counter and making all these pitiful little sounds while Even shoved inside his body, this was really not what he would picture for the word beautiful.

Maybe, like, so hot he was gonna die, but.

The hand between his shoulderblades wasn’t holding him down very well, fingertips had gotten distracted, drawing little lines and sketches over his shoulderblades, hips slowed to roll instead of shove and this was ridiculous, he was being split like, in half, and there were tingles going down his legs from how goddamn soft Even was touching him.

“It’s n-not. Fair,” Isak managed, words shaky and squished against the counter. “You can’t. Can’t aauggh, fuck, fuck me like this and still. Mmmrn draw on my fucking shoulders, Christ.

The palm between his shoulderblades planted down hard, entire body rolling down his spine as Even bent over him to bite where he’d been drawing pretty pictures, smile behind his teeth as Isak gasped.

“Not. Fair.” Bites and drawings and soft kisses and.

“You think there are rules here?” Even teased and the scoff would’ve been high pitched and breathy if Even hadn’t slammed into him with it.

“Ja???”

The body draped over his disappeared again, hand sliding soothingly down his spine, hips rolling up against him in a tight little circle.

“Fuck, fuck, faaaeen--”

A sharp sting to the side of his ass and Isak rolled his forehead on the counter, choked sound morphing into a moan as he pushed back against the hips trying to ruin his life.

Oh god.

“Between all the curses, you make the most beautiful noises.” Even’s fingertips traced over the side of his neck and Isak groaned into the counter.

“Mmmm. Mm baby you c-can’t…”

“Can’t what?”

“I’m gonna fucking come if--”

“Don’t, not on the cabinets.”

“You can’t just tell me not to c--”

Mouthing off, not the most clever thing to do right now apparently, cause the second he protested that it was not that simple, Even was pulling right back out again.

“Why, why, why--”

The hands on his hips spun him around and Isak was pretty sure he wasn’t much more than a ragdoll right now, limbs deadweight, everything deadweight as Even tipped up his face and kissed him deep.

Deep enough his head was spinning and his toes were curling, vision a little blurred at the edges when Even pulled back, thumb stroking fondly over his cheekbone.

“Ughh,” he offered, but everything was too dazed and pretty to do much but blink slow and drunk, make a vague sound as Even picked him up and set him down on the counter, cold and hard and real kinda waking his skin back up.

“Think you can hold onto the counter behind you?”

“Hmm?”

“I don’t know if I can prop you all the way yet.”

“I can...try,” he offered, then Even was rolling his hips forward and tugging him off the edge, sliding Isak right back into place on his cock.

Fuck.

To give him credit, he actually did try. Wasn’t his fault his arms gave out.

They kinda stumbled back against the counter, slipping apart again as their mouths crashed together and Even giggled and kissed him until he was way past dizzy, way too turned on to care that the arm thing didn’t work. Fuck it.

Literally the only thing he cared about was getting Even back inside him, fucking him, this was absolutely ridiculous, actually.

“You wanna try the hallway?”

There was a hand on his face, a beautiful boy in front of him with his eyebrows up, head dipped, smile on his face, waiting for Isak to respond. Right.

“Mmmhm,” he managed, way high pitched. The hallway. As in the hallway to his bedroom? That hallway? Ohh. Ohh. Isak swallowed, making himself blink a few times, trying to slip back into reality and out of drunk on Even. Foreheads pressed together, a moment to manage the words.

“Up against the wall?”

“Yeah,” Even whispered, noses weaving. Then Isak was kissing him and kissing him and shivering like all over, couldn’t stop kissing him, definitely couldn’t stop shivering, especially now that Even’s hands were raking down his spine, around to his hips, bubbly and amused, kisses drawing off into loose, sticky pecks that were trying to drag his eyes shut with the shivers.

“We're not even in the hallway yet.” Even smiled over his mouth and Isak wrapped two arms around his neck, squeezing bare hips between his knees, kissing the smile under the heat.

“Fight me, I'm excited.”

“How ‘bout I fuck you instead?”

Please.”

“Always so polite,” Even teased, hand shoving up through his curls and Isak rolled his head, mouth popping open, a moment’s pause before he managed to squint at Even and tell him very seriously,

“Fuck off.”

“Alright, go time.” Two arms hauled him off the counter, holding him pressed tight to Even’s chest as they swung into the hallway, then Even was slamming him into a wall and Isak was shoving his hands through Even’s hair, legs squeezing tight, mouths crashing together.

They’d made out up against this wall so many times but they always had to keep going and tumble into his bed, except today, today they crashed into the wall and Even was gonna fuck him against it and Isak was super chill if you didn’t count every cell in his body trembling or the litany of sounds he couldn’t stop muffling against Even’s mouth.

Until Even’s mouth disappeared and now he was whining and moaning against the open air as Even kissed down his neck, leaving bruises or little fires or cool wet spots that were making his entire being like shift through all of the elements, who fucking knew that was possible.

“You remember my promise to make you loud?”

“Ahhh. God. Fuck.”

Even’s head lifted, normally perfect swooping hair broken into bobbing strands, damp around his face as he held Isak’s gaze and Isak tried to keep his head above water. “Isak?”

“Ja, I do.”

“Don't hold back for me, baby. I'll know if you do.”

“Mmm. Okay.”

“I mean it.” Even kissed his mouth, guiding his hips, tip sliding just barely inside him, breaching the rim and making Isak’s mouth drop open. Choking over it. Light blue held his gaze, waiting, forcing Isak’s eyes back on him, held them as tight as he was holding Isak’s hips. “I'm gonna make you scream, and you're gonna blush like crazy after, but for now you're gonna beg for it.”

Isak was already kinda shaking, had already worked up enough of a sweat that he was damp to the touch, Even’s grip was gonna slip if he kept trembling but Even was looking at him like that and Isak was being held up against a wall like a precious painting instead of a backalley screw.

“Mmhm.”

“Isak.”

“Yes, yeah.” He tipped his head back against the wall, closing his senses off before everything just. Dropped him. “Okay.”

“Look at me,” Even murmured, thumb rubbing his hip fondly. “Let me see those pretty eyes.”

Fuck.

“Ahhhmm.” Isak rolled his head on the wall, prying open his eyes to peer down at Even, mouth puckered in a little pout. Even still wasn’t moving inside him. Fucking fuck.

He'd never been more turned on or frustrated in his life, Even was just barely inside him, waiting, holding him hard up against the wall, same intensity in his eyes as the first time he backed Isak into a wall to kiss him.

Fucking fuckity fuck fuc--

“You okay? Scale of one to ten.”

“What?” Isak lifted his head off the wall, shaking it a little, repeating the question in his head. Scale of one to ten. “Turned on? Eleven, I don't know how to handle this.”

“Emotional wellbeing,” Even corrected.

“Need you back inside me feel like I'm kinda losing it.” Rushed together way too honest - it being the world, his sanity, connection to reality - and Isak opened his mouth to take it back the moment he said it.

Only his open mouth was suddenly being covered by Even’s, kissing him into the wall and shoving inside to the hilt.

“Mmm mm--”

It felt precarious as hell, held up with his spine pressed hard and Even’s hands digging into his skin as he fucked up into him, hard and sure, kissing Isak through every inch of it until his chest was gonna burst.

Lips breaking free, gasping frantically as he shuddered, another round of shivers going down his spine from the lock Even had on his gaze.

“Now?”

MmmMmgh.”

Weight shifted harder against the wall and a hand lifted for his jaw, popping Isak’s mouth back open for him, cheeky little smile before he was catching his thigh again, keeping him propped before they slid.

“What was that?”

“Ahh h I uh ah--”

“W-words, baby.”

“Uunnnhhh fuck fuuuuuck.”

Even rolled up into him and kissed his cheek, fond and sweet.

“Close enough. Emotional wellbeing?”

What the fuck made Even think he had enough brain power for that right now, he had no idea, but apparently Even knew him better than he knew himself because somehow, some part of his brain let him part his mouth over an intelligible number.

“Nine,” Isak gasped and the eyes on his flashed, Even’s pretty head cocking, hips shoving him up against the wall, arms straining to keep him up.

“What's missing?” Of course Isak gave him an almost perfect score and Even was focused on the damn one point.

“Too many emotions,” he managed tightly, sinking his fingers a little deeper into Even’s shoulders. The force fucking him into the wall slowed slightly, making him tip his head and let out a little cry. C’mon, c’mon.

“Overwhelmed?”

“Mmhm,” Isak nodded, a little rapidly, eyes closed.

“You wanna stop?”

He said it so fucking gentle and sincere and Isak had never been more upset to hear the soft kindness in that deep voice.

“Nei nei nei, please, don't stop, nei--”

“Okay, okay I won't. Can you look at me, sweetheart?”

Even wasn’t sure what he expected when Isak pried his eyes back open, but based on the way he was shaking, it wasn’t all that surprising the beautiful green eyes were just entirely glazed over.

Yeah, the kid was only seventeen, he was putting a lot on him emotionally and physically right now, pushing all those limits Isak didn’t even know he had, and god, to watch him crumble and beg for Even, but he was super not okay with stepping over a limit, no thank you.

“What's your name?” Even murmured and the hands on his shoulders tightened, the ankles locked behind his spine slipping across the sheen of sweat, digging into the top of his ass.

“I-Isak Val...Valtersen.”

“And what's mine?”

“Even. Even Even Even Even--” Blonde curls smushed and rearranged as Isak rolled his head against the wall, gasping with every push deeper.

“Tell me what you need.”

“Harder, harder, baby please.”

He obliged, arm muscles screaming, and his leg muscles were probably gonna like. Not work tomorrow, but that was fine, because Isak was scrambling for purchase on his skin, letting out a little shout that echoed down the hallway before the tumbling mantra.

“Oh god oh god god god god Even! Ah ahh ahH--”

Isak’s curls were bouncing with every thrust into his body, one of his hands slipping off its grip of Isak’s thigh, turning that pretty head to the side so Even could press in closer, sink his teeth into the pounding pulse.

“Fuck!!”

Splayed fingers digging in, keeping Isak’s head turned for him while Isak lost his grip entirely and Even fucked him into the wall hard enough the plaster could probably shake.

“Fuck ooooh oooh oooh god, fucking hell.”

They were pressed close enough the movement of every thrust was keeping Isak against the wall, so the hand shoving Isak’s face to the side slid down his neck, fingers digging in just a little, closing around his throat and the faded bruises from a few days ago, the oxygen Isak was barely grasping at anyways.

Glazed green rolled right back into his head, rasping through the shout.

“FUCK fuck fuck ah ahhh ah ahh--”

The bob of Isak’s throat under his palm, then his grip was sliding around to the back of his neck and Even was pulling Isak into his chest, forward an inch off the wall to grip thighs tight, inhale all the oxygen left in this hallway, and bounce him.

Isak screamed, cry shoved against his neck, hauling up and down in open air, thighs so tight Even’s hips were gonna bruise, only the arms around him trembled too hard too fast, too much. Even slammed him back into the wall, one hand on his chest as he shoved inside rapid fire fast.

Faen, yes yes yes fuck--”

Okay, it was him this time that was a shuddering second away from tensing up and losing it, how could he not when Isak was completely gone, completely wasted and begging for him.

“What's that, baby?” Barely managed the words, fingers sinking in hard to beautiful skin and Isak was way beyond the point of being embarrassed anymore.

“Oh oh ohhh please please harder please--”

Choking on it, squeezing Even with straining thighs and bruising fingertips as Isak tried to pull him in closer and yeah, okay, they had to slow it down right now or this was about to be over way faster than he’d planned.

It took a few breaths and stuttering thrusts to draw to a halt.

The moment he stopped Isak broke a little, letting out a sound some mix between a wail and a sob, heels scrambling over his skin to keep Even inside.

“Hey, hey, sweetheart I'm right here.” A desperate gasp for air. “I'm right here, just calm down baby, I've got you.”

Slowly rolled his hips inside, back and forth, drawing slow and steady as Isak panted, eyes closed, chest heaving, fingers still digging into Even’s biceps.

“I've got you. I've got you.”

Isak was rocking down against him, desperate enough he was sliding against the wall, mouth unable to close, clinging and needy and Even wanted to give him the fucking world, but his arms were probably gonna die if he had to hold him up three seconds longer, and it was gonna be hella unromantic the moment they both just collapsed to the floor, so.

“Can you walk?” He asked, breathy, barely together enough himself.

Isak popped his mouth open with a little smacking sound, eyebrows knit as lashes fluttered open.

“I can try,” he managed. And barely managed, at that. Honestly, he was pretty sure he couldn’t, he was pretty sure Even was going to have to carry him everywhere for the rest of their lives, which was completely fine with him.

But if Even wanted him to attempt to walk, he could try.

“That's a good boy,” Even murmured, and he probably meant it in gest or some shit, but Isak melted against the wall, so.

“Well I can't now.”

A bubbling, surprised laugh, eyes crinkling up for a moment as Even crowded him up against the wall, their open mouths overlapping again. Fuck, he was soft. Soft and warm and humming against Isak’s mouth.

Then Even was pulling back, foreheads still together as he whispered over Isak’s lips.

“Yes you can, you can be good for me, can't you?”

Well actually, fucking yes, when Even put it that way. Isak could probably move a mountain or like actually lasso a fucking star or some shit.

He’d always thought that was the dumbest thing but here he was, here he fucking was.

So when Even slowly lowered his legs, placing his feet back on the ground, Isak sucked in as steady of a breath as he could manage, wobbling a little. Blowing the breath out through an “o.” He was chill, he could be chill.

Even’s arms were wrapping around his waist and tugging him in the direction of the kitchen again but if Isak pressed close enough, kissed him deep enough then maybe he could just...float wherever Even was taking him.

Even kissed him all the way into the living room, their bodies bumping, everything bright and on edge, on fire and terribly empty.

What a thing to get addicted to.

Then their mouths broke and Even cupped his jaw, searching his expression while Isak tried to flutter his eyes open, swallow against the pitiful sound in his throat.

God. He needed, he'd never felt so desperate in his entire goddamn life, needed Even inside him, surrounding him in every way possible and like now, please, now--

“Turn around and touch your toes.”

“Fuckkkk.”

Jesus fucking Christ. Okay, okay.

This was the same giggling boy who kissed him soft in his bed but he'd swear, right now, there was nothing but the heated suavity of James Dean floating across the courtyard, lips parted, positively gorgeous, entirely untouchable.

Only except now, he was more than touchable, hyper touchable, every cell of his body begging their connection and the heated look was the boy dancing across a blacklit room, cheekbones sharp enough to cut his skin, fucking him hard as he had up against the wall just now, except that the only thing locked was their gazes.

“Isak.”

“Ja,” he swallowed, then he was spinning.

Even’s hands held his hips tight as he turned, sucking in a breath before he bent over, blush shooting up his chest.

Even bumped up against him, lining up. He'd just slicked back up with more lube as they made their way through the kitchen so it was cold, hard cold against all the most exposed parts of him, trembling with it.

Fuck. Fuck. Fuck.

Isak hung his head, curls going fucking everywhere, then Even was sinking slow inside him and he scrambled to hold onto something besides his shaking calves, fingers curling round the edge of the coffee table.

He was never gonna be able to look as this coffee table the same again.

Was he already getting a little lightheaded as Even pushed slow back inside him? Why yes, he was, this was disorienting as fuck, and frankly most of the light headedness was probably from how fucking hard he was, so.

“You gonna be good for me?”

“Hva faen,” was all he managed, then Even’s hips were pressing against his ass and he didn't have the ability to make anymore words. Or sounds at all, actually.

Because yeah, they'd had sex at a lot of angles in their time together, but this was wildly deep. Like, it felt like Even was pushed between his ribs and into his throat kinda deep.

Even kicked his legs further apart and Isak was trying to fucking inhale but surprise, apparently he didn't know how to do that anymore.

One hand on his spine and the other on his hip, drawing back slow and Jesus fuck fuck fuck.

Then Even was shoving back in, little smoother, so fucking deep he yelped when they pressed flush again.

“Hold on, baby.”

Hold onto what, the coil so tight in his stomach he was trembling on the edge from one thrust inside? Hold onto the mental stability and emotional regulation he'd thrown out the window the moment he spread his legs? Hold onto the coffee table as his head hung and his boyfriend fucked into him hard enough his vision spotted black?

Then the gentle pushes inside went out the window, maybe the same one Isak lost his mind out of.

His entire body rocked, hard heat colliding deep enough his thrust closed, caught over any possible sound, tears jumping into his eyes fucking Christ.

For everything the first thrust jarred, the second knocked loose. Frozen, broken, then the next collision in his fucking sternum and his body remembered how to work again. Isak jolted with the force and cried out, loud.

“AahhhAHH!!”

Even froze instantly, pulling right back out and peering down at Isak, hand still on his hip.

“Are you okay?”

Isak couldn't breathe enough to reply to that, trembling. Even knocked his arms free of their death grip on the table, hauling him back upright; hand over his sternum unfolding him up against Even’s long body.

Isak tipped his head back, curls flattened against Even’s neck, eyes closed and mouth breathing open heavy.

“Isak? Are you hurt?”

Every muscle in his body was still taut, all wound up and kinda throbbing, all he wanted to do was press back against Even and fall apart but there was so much concern in the voice over his ear, in the body he was draped over.

“Isak?”

“Nei. It was just...really deep. Like painfully deep.”

“I'm so sorry,” Even whispered, hushed and hurt over his skin and Isak shook his head once, fingers sinking in against the thigh behind his.

“Nei, nei. I'm just trying not to like...come on the coffee table, hold on.” He blew a steady stream of air through another o, fluttering his eyes back open to the gaze on his face.

Even’s eyebrows were up at him and Isak settled back against his collarbone a little, letting his head roll as Even nosed down his jaw to place a soft lingering kiss to his neck.

The hand on his chest pressed him closer as Isak melted, legs trembling too much to hold all his weight.

“God. Never thought I'd find something that was too much.”

“It's completely okay.”

“Yeah, yeah, I know it is I'm just. Ahh always used to asking for more but. Mm. Wow. Maybe one day, when I get a little better at this.”

“You're incredible at this,” Even whispered, warm, sending about ten thousand tingles down his spine with it. “But you’ve gotta talk to me, okay? I don’t wanna hurt you.”

“I think the whole scream thing worked pretty well.”

“Isak, I’m serious.”

“Jaa, ja okay.” He rolled his head the other way on Even’s shoulder, looking up at him beneath hooded lids and tipping his chin up, waiting pouty for a kiss.

Even obliged, mouth slotting together, lips overlapping as they slid together wet and tugged apart. Affectionate hand slipping up to his neck, angle pressing deeper to slip back together again, breathing over each other's tongues.

A wet pop on the break and Isak’s mouth hovered open over Even’s, nose squished against the side of his, blinking too slow to breath properly.

“Promise?”

“Mmhm. How’s baby, you’re bruising my fucking diaphragm, knock it off.”

Even laughed, bright and light and beautiful, thumb stroking over the skin of his neck, every sweep deciding the heartbeat beneath as Isak tipped up against him, drunk on the proximity, affection.

“I think that works,” Even told him, other hand skirting up Isak’s ribs. This was nice, really nice, but he was still trembling, still had all the rest of him that was kinda dying right now so.

Isak nuzzled back against that beautiful smile, arching up a little as he chased the sensation of Even’s touch skidding over his skin. Fuck. Starved.

“Hey, can you get back inside me?”

Even made a fond sound, fingers skirting every sensitive place on his chest as he pressed another soft kiss to Isak’s open mouth.

“How about the couch?”

“My legs are probably gonna give out if I try to ride you, honestly.”

The fingertips that'd reached his throat, tracing mesmerized slipped back down his chest, quicker now as he tipped Isak a little, mouth capturing his again, kissing him hard. Isak keened up into it and kissed back.

Then two strong arms were wrapping around his stomach, one hand sliding up his straining erection.

“Ahh, fucking--”

“C’mon. I've got an idea.”

Even laid them down sideways on the couch, Isak's hitched up knee pressed to the edge of the cushions, Even behind him as he held Isak's thigh, cradling his body to slide back inside.

“Unnnhh,” Isak melted into the cushions, grip tightening on Even’s forearm. “Fuck.”

A warm kiss to his shoulder and Even rolled them together, moving slow and easy inside him.

Fucking...leisurely, like he was petting and stroking Isak from the inside out. Okay, fuck.

Plastered against his back, close enough he could feel every clench of soft abs as his hips rolled slow, waves of deep and sweet.

“Mmm. Fuck, can we just stay like this forever?”

Even laughed into his skin, hips drawing out to sink back warm and steady and beautiful.

“I'm not kidding,” Isak told him, mouth parting over a quiet inhale as the hand on his thigh pushed it a little higher, sinking a little deeper. So fucking smooth.

Isak twisted his torso, leaning up over his shoulder to kiss Even’s mouth, making dancing hips roll up inside him a little harder.

“Agghhh ah ahh.”

“You want me to make you come like this?” Even pressed a kiss to the side of his face and Isak let his head tip with it, eyes slipping closed to drown in the heat gifted slow into his muscles, bones.

“Mmm. Nei, save it. Let's just mmm. Enjoy this for a bit.”

A teasing nip of his ear to send chills down his rolling spine.

“Who knew you'd be so into edging.”

“The fuck is edging?”

“Nothing, don't worry about it,” Even giggled, kissing his cheek and Isak peered at him suspiciously over his shoulder, only he couldn't keep the squint up long when his mouth was dropping back open. Heavy gaze holding his while Even locked their bodies as tight and close as they could be again.

God god.

“Is edging where you don't let me orgasm?” Isak finally managed, taking a moment to close his eyes and compose himself. As composed as he could be with Even sliding in and out of him like this. “Because yeah, it's hot as hell, but I also wanna strangle you.”

A smiling kiss pressed to his mouth and Isak tipped into it, letting the warmth flood.

“You should be thanking me,” a little peck against his lips. “I'm teaching you stamina.”

“...stamina ??? Excuse me, you're depriving me of my natural right.”

“But think of how much better it's gonna be when you do.”

“Mmm. Mmmugh okay.”

“Besides. We always take things so fast. We've got all day, we're young, might as well make it last.”

Forever and ever, more like it. Isak squeezed Even’s arm, tipping his head up for another kiss, mouth already open.

“Nothing we can't make last,” he murmured against the smile. He was so far past caring how cheesy he sounded right now.

Another kiss and Isak moaned into it, eyes rolling back in his head as their mouths broke, shuddering at the roll of Even inside his body.

Fuck. The rest of all of his Saturday's had a hell of a lot to live up to.

Isak laid his head back down on Even’s bicep and let his eyes flutter closed. Shifting muscle beneath his temple as Even bent his arm at the elbow to sink long fingers into his curls.

Cradled here in the quiet, safe cage of Even’s arms, still doting on every inch of their combined bodies.

“Fucking hell, Isak.”

Hushed, awed.

“Mm-mmm.”

“How long would you let me do this to you?” Even whispered, open-mouthed kiss to a bare shoulder curled up all comfortable. Isak adjusted his head a little, eyes still closed as he released some of the tension lingering in his muscles, relaxing into the cushions and Even’s cradle, the cock inside him.

“A-already told you. Fuck. Mmm.” Slide in and out, smooth long strokes. Isak breathed in slowly, letting the confession trickle on the exhale. “Forever.”

Even was fucking him so soft and easy Isak was completely settled and comfy into it, he fucking meant it.

“Let's see how close we can get to forever.”

It felt a lot closer than it was, Even managed to keep it up a damn while. Isak lowkey slipped into some parallel universe or some shit, the one where they actually did get to do this forever, lying there completely dazed and warm and gasping soft little breaths.

It probably could've lasted forever, if the friction wasn't building in his gut slow and steady enough to take him by surprise. They rocked steady and sweet until one of them - Isak - got a little too heated, grinding back against it with a moan.

Even teased him about his stamina but he was fucking seventeen, cut him a break. They had time to learn, lots of time to take it slow and easy but right now he really could go for some actual satisfaction thrown in with all the buildup.

“Fuck, fuck. Mmkay, let's go.” He tapped the side of Even’s ass, arching back against him, pressing a quick kiss to the bicep he'd been using for a pillow. “C’mon, give it to me.”

An amused huff and Even pulled up his hips, rocking back on his knees and pressing the side of Isak’s face into the couch cushions. Give it to me, he'd said, and oh did Even ever.

“Fuck fuck fuck!”

Yeah, okay, they'd reached the point where he wasn't playing games anymore, he'd been highkey dying for release for the past god knows how many fucking hours.

Isak got a hand wrapped around himself and Even knocked his grip right back off.

“Ahh, Even, please--”

Even pulled out.

“Fucking quit it! Oh my god!” Isak flopped onto his back, mouth open in offense as he looked up accusingly at his ridiculously pretty smug ass boyfriend.

“If you don’t get back inside me in the next five seconds so help me god--”

Even grabbed his foot and hopped off the couch, dragging him up to the far end of the cushions, ass up over the armrest, curving his body then he was holding onto Isak’s thighs and sinking back in.

“You’re fucking insatiable,” Even laughed brightly and Isak’s jaw dropped, making the most high pitched indignant sound he had.

“Excuse me??? You haven’t let me come yet!!”

Even giggled at him and Isak was still staring open mouthed up at him in offense. Insatiable?? Okay yes, but really????

“Okay okay,” Even conceded, shaking his head a little as he sunk in deep and leaned down over the side of the couch to kiss him.

Isak kissed him back hungry, craning up, ab muscles shaking from how much he was engaging them, begging.

And Even was crawling right back over him onto the couch, arm slipping under his waist, flipping them upright in one fluid motion then Isak was sinking into his lap and his lashes were fluttering.

Ohhh yes. This one was fucking intimate, he knew this one, he fucking loved this one.

His jaw dropped again as his hips did, seated with Even all the way inside him, possessive grip sliding over his hips to knead his ass, roll him out, back in.

Mouths tipping together, filled up to the brim, and yeah, his legs were too shaky to lift him up and ride Even properly but this was. Great with him.

Kinda wild to think about, that he was somebody who regularly had sex now, somebody who regularly stripped down and tangled with somebody like this, enough so to have favorites, to have a familiar chill go up his spine because with his eyes locked on Even’s like this, both of them so wrapped up and focused on each other, it burned something warm and stable in his chest. Sinking in deep, letting Even lift him up, all the power still in the grip on his heated skin.

Any way Even wanted him he'd take, but the desire felt fucking palpable when Even smiled against his mouth and thrust up inside him like this.

“Fuck, that’s good,” Isak tipped his head to the side and Even rolled in his lips over the smile, pushing Isak up to fall back down on his lap.

Isak moaned and moaned. Yes. Head rolling, forearms resting lazy on Even’s shoulders, rocking deep and warm while Even’s gaze flickered all over his face kinda moaned.

“I thought we were celebrating your birthday, not mine,” he murmured, eyes still closed, mouth tipped open.

“We are,” Even said and Isak shuddered as Even’s hands danced over his waist.

“Feels like mine.”

Heavy touch gathered him close, kissing his open mouth.

Isak kissed back, letting Even lift him up and down over his cock, riding tall and proud and pretty, wrists crossed loosely behind Even’s head.

Even pushed a curl off his forehead, hand draping down along the side of his face to cup his jaw, pure affection.

“Fuck, I love you.”

A little shudder went down Isak’s spine. He wet his lips, heart-pounding at the revelation. Too much to open his eyes yet.

“Yeah?”

“Yeah, Isak. Yeah.”

His thighs were engaging, fuck how sore he was gonna be, and he rocked a little faster, desperate in Even’s lap.

“Ahh ah ah ah ah-- jeg e-elsker d-deg, faen--”

“You ready?”

“Am I ready? Am I-- You’re unbelievable, honestly, you spend fucking...hours pushing me to the edge and holding me there and not letting me fucking orgasm while I’m begging you and then you fucking ask if I’m ready of fucking course I’m fucking ready you assho--AHH!”

It was a damn good thing this apartment was empty.

“Even Even--”

Even had one hand on his cock, twisting, other holding Isak half a foot off the couch so he could fuck into him hard and rapid, legs shaking, mouth open and he was suspended for a moment then he was curling and shouting, everything twisting to burn bright.

And right before the drop Even was slamming them together, pulling him down hard, wrapped all the way around Isak, both hands on Isak’s face, foreheads pressed together as close and intimate as they could be, two final deep circles into his body.

C’mon, Isak, come for me.”

The most anticipated moment of the goddamn day and he was barely conscious enough to register the look on Even’s face before it all just went like. White.

So he was gone, entire body tightening all at once and Even followed right after, mouth crashing into Isak’s only Isak wasn’t like, breathing, let alone in the capacity to kiss. The visible world fogged over at the edges, slowly dragging him further down through clouds and he just mouthed desperately at Even’s warmth before his mouth was popped permanently open, eyes rolling back in his head.

Collapsed down against the heavy chest and Even shuddered and squeezed exhausted arms around his dead limbs, heaving torso.

Isak was whimpering and moaning into the long stretch of Even’s bare neck and Even was just trying to fucking breathe, holding onto him tight, eyes closed to the world and nose tucked in damp, beautiful blonde curls.

 

***

 

So. Apparently not getting to orgasm for that fucking long meant that when he did he basically passed out. You learn new things every day.

It was past 13:00 by the time Isak blinked awake enough through the daze to recognize that they were sticky and exhausted and hadn’t actually left the couch yet.

Nice.

“How are you?” Even whispered and Isak smiled, soft, beautiful, a slow deep purple sunrise.

Then the pretty mouth just tipped up, lashes low as he held his chin up and waited for a kiss. He got one.

He got a lot more than one, actually.

Even kissed him slow all over, every drop of bare skin laid out on the couch, a few places which got him a raised eyebrow from Isak, nose c