It retrospect, it probably wasn’t something he should have said when Even had a toothbrush shoved in his mouth.
Recovery takes five minutes of Even coughing up phlegmy toothpaste; in which Isak spends the whole time panicked and wringing his hands, alternating between patting Even awkwardly on the back and wishing for the ground to swallow him whole.
“Um, sorry?” Isak finally stutters out, when Even’s breathing seems to have returned to normal at last. He can’t see Even’s face – because Even is still curled over the sink, long neck tipped downwards. He’s wearing nothing but a loose white t-shirt Isak has the horrible feeling used to belong to Eskild, and a pair of boxers that are rumpled and baggy in all the wrong places.
Isak finds the whole thing horribly attractive, which is awful. Mainly because it should be impossible to find someone attractive after you watch them choke up their own spit for any extended period of time.
“You’re sorry?” Even asks. His voice sounds kind of raw, and choked – as though it’s taking him a great effort to speak normally. His shoulders are shaking.
“Oh fuck,” Isak says, “Are you crying? Jesus Christ, this is a disaster. I mean, I’m sorry. I didn’t want to make you cry, fuck. C’mon, Even, we can just forget I ever said it and –”
Even finally looks up. Isak meets his eyes in the bathroom mirror, and he can see that Even’s mouth is cracked open on a grin, one so wide that his eyes have crinkled up to barely visible slits.
His shoulders aren’t shaking because he’s crying, his shoulders are shaking with the force of his poorly supressed laughter.
Isak scowls, “And you are an asshole,” He says, reaching out and thumping Even, hard, in the arm. “What the fuck, I can’t believe you’re laughing at me. That was very difficult for me to do, you know.”
Even spins around, still grinning. He holds up his hands, as if in surrender, “Sorry, sorry!” He reaches out his stupidly long arms, tugging Isak into them and squeezing him tightly, “I’m sorry I laughed at your assassination attempt,” He says, stupidly serious. He lets go with one hand to bop Isak on the nose, and Isak stares at him, disbelieving.
“It was very scary,” Even nods, looking down at Isak with the soft sort of fondness that makes Isak torn between kissing him or punching him so hard he gets a dead arm. It’s a very fine balance. “I thought I might never breathe again. I can’t believe you forced me to choke like that, Isak.”
Isak rolls his eyes, shoving at the arms Even has wrapped around him and skirting backwards in the bathroom. Even is still grinning, leaning back against the sink.
“I wasn’t trying to get you to choke. Stop being so fucking dramatic, Even. Anyway, if I wanted you to choke, you’d know about it,” He mutters. Even raises his eyebrows.
“Isak,” He gasps, his mouth falling open in a comical imitation of surprise, “That’s a very sexy proposition. One I think we should discuss further, no? How would I tell you my safe word? Erotic asphyxiation can kill people, you know. It’s actually very disturbing. Do you not remember the people in Filth?”
This time, it’s Isak’s turn to choke on air, and he doubles over coughing. Even watches him, arms loosely crossed; he looks amused at Isak’s struggle, and when Isak finally catches his breath, he scowls at him. “You know that is not what I meant. Jesus Christ. I still can’t believe you made me watch that movie, by the way. It was so messed up.”
“It’s not my fault they branded it as a comedy!” Even says, frowning.
Isak pulls a face at him. “I also can’t believe you’re talking about erotic asphyxiation. This is not the conversation we’re having right now.”
“This is definitely the conversation we’re having right now,” Even says. “I have a lot of feelings about properly negotiated sex.”
“Oh my god,” Isak throws his hands up, turning around and walking out of the bathroom. He can feel the presence of Even following him, but he refuses to turn to look.
“Your sexual comfort is important to me, Isak. You should always feel safe and cared for. No means no, you know?”
“I don’t know anything about you. Who are you? I’d like to never see you again in my life.”
Even catches up to Isak once they’re inside Isak’s bedroom. “I’m very hurt right now,” He informs Isak gravely. He crowds him up against the door, leaning over him. Isak tilts his head back, so he can look Even in the eyes.
“You’re hurt,” He asks, incredulously. It’s half to cover up how overwhelmed he feels being surrounded by Even like this, and half genuine offense. “What I just said to you should have been the best thing to happen to you all year!”
“What, when you said that you’d like to never see me again?” Even says. Isak pokes him in the stomach, hard, and Even flinches away from it, laughing loudly.
“No, asshole. What I said to you in the bathroom.”
“Sorry,” Even’s grinning, and he walks back up to where Isak’s still standing, back against the wall. He brings his hands up s that they’re resting on either side of Isak’s head, and leans in close to him, pressing a kiss high on his cheek. Isak pulls a face; he doesn’t know whether he should pull Even in to kiss him properly, or never speak to him again. “You said something in the bathroom? I don’t think I heard that.”
“You heard it,” Isak says, narrowing his eyes. “You called it my assassination attempt.”
“Mm, no. I don’t think I did hear that? I think you have to repeat it.”
“I’m never saying it again.”
Even drops his mouth open, comically exaggerated. “You’re not saying it?”
“No,” Isak reaches up, pushing Even in the chest, gently. Even staggers back as though it was a gunshot, instead of a push. His limbs flailing everywhere, mouth still wide open in mock horror.
“Isak,” He fake gasps, still stumbling back until his knees hit the mattress and he falls backwards onto the bed, lying horizontally across it. “I can’t believe you would hurt me this way.”
“You’re so dramatic,” Isak says, walking over to the bed and collapsing beside Even. “Does everyone else know how dramatic you are?”
“No,” Even says, reaching over and tangling his fingers up with Isak’s. He turns his head sideways, so that they’re both looking at each other, smiling. “I bet I can make you say it again,” He says, far quieter than before. He’s looking at Isak gently, warm eyes and tiny smile.
Isak tries not to smile, pursing his lips together and shaking his head. “I told you. I’m not saying it.”
“I bet you will. Really soon, in fact.”
“Never,” Isak says, giving up on not smiling.
Even hums, softly, reaching over with his free hand and running it through Isak’s hair. “That’s a shame,” He says. “Because I love you too.”
Isak blinks. Heart pounding, he can kind of see why it surprised Even enough to choke on his toothbrush, now; he was half expecting this and he still feels floored, like the entire world has been wiped out from under his feet. It feels as though there’s nothing but him and Even and the bed, now.
“Alright,” He says, still breathless and soppy and entirely too sappy. “Alright, you win, Even. I love you.”
Even’s grin is wide and happy enough that Isak thinks he’ll be okay with losing this one.
It doesn’t even really feel like losing.