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never make him (love me)

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“Even, I need to tell you something.” Isak said, looking uncharacteristically nervous and on edge. He was biting his lip and refusing to meet Even’s eyes, instead looking down at his hands where he was picking at the skin around his fingernails.

“Okay.” Even replied in an easy tone, wanting to calm Isak’s nerves a little by not getting anxious himself. “What’s up?”

Isak closed his eyes and took a few deep breaths at Even’s words. Even felt himself grow more nervous. He had never seen Isak this nervous, not even when Isak had come out to him a few years ago. Even wanted to reach out and put a hand on Isak to comfort him, but he had a feeling that this wouldn’t be the best thing to do right now. Instead, he sat and waited patiently until a few moments later, Isak took a final deep breath and lifted his eyes to look directly at Even as he finally spoke.

“I’m in love with you.”

What.

Even sat there, mouth open in shock. What was going on? Even had been best friends with Isak for five years now, ever since they had met during Isak’s first year at Nissen. Isak and him had experienced an intense and immediate connection that only seemed to grow through their years together. Isak had been there for Even’s bipolar diagnosis and Even had helped Isak through his mother’s own mental health issues and eventual diagnosis of schizophrenia. Once Isak had graduated from Nissen and started attending the same university as Even, it had seemed only natural that they move in together. Isak was the most important person in Even’s life outside of his family. Isak had always been there for Even and Even had always been there for Isak. Even loved him, so much. But in love?

“Wha-Isak, what are you talking about?”

At this, Isak’s lip trembled a bit and he broke eye contact with Even. Even’s shocked reaction was clearly not what he had been hoping would happen. But Isak was strong and Isak was brave and so he continued.

“I’m in love with you,” he repeated quietly. “I've been in love with you for years.”

“But...how long?” Even couldn't stop himself from asking. He was just so floored. He needed to know how long he had been blind to this. He needed to know how long Isak had been feeling this way and keeping it to himself.

“Since my first year.”

Fuck.

“What? That long?” Even cringed as he spoke, knowing his words were probably not the most sensitive way of handling this. He was just so overwhelmed with shock that he had lost all sense of tact.

“Yes, Even. That fucking long. And you clearly don't feel the same way, so can we just forget this entire conversation ever happened? Please?” Isak was still looking away from Even and Even felt his heart drop as he saw Isak clearly struggling to control his emotions.

“Isak...I’m sorry. I do love you. I do.” Even reached out and squeezed Isak’s hand in comfort. He felt terrible that he had to do this to Isak- hurting Isak was the one thing Even never wanted to do, ever. But lying about his feelings would be even worse.

“You’re just not in love with me.” Isak said softly, biting his lip as it began to tremble and carefully removing his hand from Even’s grasp. Even felt his heart break as he looked at the raw hurt on his best friend’s face. He hated having to hurt Isak in this way.

“Isak…”

“It’s fine, Even. It’s fine. Just say it. You’re not in love with me.”

“No, I’m not. I’m sorry, Isak.” Even said as tenderly as he could, feeling awful as Isak closed his eyes in hurt at his words.

“It’s okay.” Isak mumbled. “You can’t help how you feel. It was stupid to even expect you to feel the same way.”

“Don’t say that. No it wasn’t. You’re amazing, the most amazing person I’ve ever met. I don’t know, we’ve just been friends for so long. I just don’t see you in that way, you’re like my brother, you know?” Even was desperate to comfort Isak. Isak was already so insecure and always struggled with feeling good enough. He hated the thought of contributing to Isak’s self-deprecating thoughts in any way, even if inadvertently. 

“Yeah. I get it.” Isak reached out and brushed away a tear that had started to fall down his cheek. Even longed to pull Isak into a hug, to comfort him as he had done so many times over the years, but he knew that this was probably not the best time to do that, especially since Isak had already retreated from his affection once.  

“So...where do we go from here?” Even asked tentatively. He was dreading how Isak’s confession might change their friendship. Isak was such a huge and constant presence in his life and Even would be devastated if things between them irrevocably changed due to Even’s inability to return Isak’s feelings. He couldn’t lose Isak, Isak meant too much to him.

“Um. I don’t know. Can we just try to pretend this didn’t happen? I don’t want things to change between us.”

“If that’s what you want to do, Isak.”

“Yeah, it is.” Isak finally turned to look at Even again and Even felt his heart ache as he looked into Isak’s big green eyes that were still teary. “I know how you feel now, and I can begin to move on and work towards getting over my feelings for you. That’s the most important thing, right?”

“I really am sorry. Your friendship means everything to me, Isak. I hope you know that.” Even replied softly.

“I know, Even. Your friendship means everything to me too. Thank you for being honest with me.”

“Anytime.”

“So, are you up for a round of FIFA?” Isak asked, giving Even a small smile. Even knew Isak was uncomfortable and desperate to move on from the conversation and he could do that. He couldn’t love Isak the way Isak wanted him to love him, but he could do this for him. He would do almost anything Isak wanted of him, if he could.

“You’re on.”

_____________________

As much as they tried not to let Isak’s confession affect their friendship, things shifted between Isak and Even. It was inevitable. Sure, they continued to hang out all the time, but things were different. Strained. As much as he tried to hide it, Even could tell that Isak was still hurting from knowing that Even didn’t return his feelings. His smiles had dimmed a bit and never quite met his eyes like they had before the confession. Isak also seemed to be having problems sleeping, as Even would sometimes wake up in the middle of the night to hear Isak moving around in his own room and throughout their apartment. Even wanted to approach Isak to talk to him about it, but Isak had asked for Even not to bring it up again, and so Even would respect his wishes. He just- he wanted to help Isak. He just didn’t know how. He wanted to ask one of his friends for their opinion, but he hadn’t shared what had happened to anyone else. Isak had seemed embarrassed enough about the whole thing, and Even felt like it would be wrong to continue talking about it behind Isak’s back after he had asked that they forget the whole thing.

The biggest shift in their friendship finally came to a head at one of Eva’s parties a few weeks later. Isak and Even had attended the party together and had a relatively normal night that had reminded Even of how things had been before Isak’s confession. The two had taken shots together, destroyed Jonas and Magnus at beer pong together, and had been standing off in a corner separated from the others together, laughing easily when Isak suddenly tensed up, seemingly out of nowhere.

“Do you think you could stop touching me so much?” Isak said awkwardly, shifting away from Even a bit to put some distance between them.

“What are you talking about?” Even asked, confused.

“You know, like grabbing my arm, putting your arm around my shoulder, playing with my hair. Things like that.”

Even was startled. He hadn’t realized that he touched Isak so frequently. They had always had a tactile friendship, so the casual affection was just natural to him at this point. Cuddling was a normal thing for them. Hugging was common. His arm around Isak’s shoulder was a daily occurrence. These things were simply inherent parts of their friendship.

“I’m sorry, Isak. I didn’t even notice that it bothered you. I can stop though, no problem.” replied Even, feeling uneasy.

“It’s not that it bothers me. It’s just going to be hard to get over you when we’re constantly being affectionate with each other. It messes with me a little bit, so I think putting more boundaries between us would help me.” Isak shifted on his feet as he spoke, looking uncomfortable as he made the first reference to his feelings for Even since first admitting to them.

“Of course.” Even replied quietly. It did make sense. As much as they both wanted things to stay the same between them, it was inevitable that some things would have to change. “I understand.”

“Plus, it’s going to make the whole moving on thing a little bit harder if we keep looking like we’re dating, you know?”

“Moving on thing?”

“Well, yeah. I think it’s time I start putting myself out there with other guys now that I know my feelings for you aren’t going to lead anywhere. Best way to get over someone is to get under someone else and all that.” Isak replied easily.

Fuck, Even hadn’t even considered the thought of Isak dating until now. Isak had been single for so long and seemed so uninterested in dating whenever anyone would bring it up or try to set him up with a guy. In fact, thinking back, Even couldn’t recall a recent time where he had even seen Isak flirt with another guy. Sure, guys had tried to come on to Isak because Isak was absolutely adorable and demanded attention wherever he went, but Isak had never responded to any flirations at all. Even swallowed as he realized that Isak’s disinterest towards other guys was probably because of Isak’s feelings for him. Guilt washed over Even as he thought about how much Isak had probably been missing out on this whole time.

“Of course. Yeah, that makes sense.” Even said awkwardly. Despite him and Isak both being interested in guys, this was a whole new territory for their friendship and Even felt himself fumbling to respond.  

“I already installed Grindr earlier, so we’ll see how it goes, I guess.” Isak said nonchalantly, even as a slight blush appeared over his cheeks at his words.

“What?! Grindr?”

“Yeah, it seemed like an easy and fun way to meet guys. Eskild recommended it and helped me set it up and everything.”

“Isn’t that a hookup app? As in, not really one for dating?” Even felt a little uneasy at the thought of Isak using Grindr for random hookups, but he couldn’t really understand why, especially since he had used Grindr once or twice himself when he first started exploring his sexuality. He chalked it up to the protectiveness he had always felt for Isak throughout their friendship. Isak deserved better than the skeezy Grindr guys who were only looking for anonymous ass and dick. Isak deserved the world.

“Well...yeah.” Isak said slowly, furrowing his eyebrows at Even. “But I think hookups are mainly what I’m looking for right now. Nothing too complicated, at least for awhile. It wouldn’t be right for me to start really dating until I’m fully over you.”

“Oh." Even swallowed. “Okay, then. I guess that makes sense.”

“So, do you mind helping me with my profile and stuff? Eskild helped a little bit but it never hurts to get a second guy’s opinion.”

Even felt his discomfort grow. Isak wanted help in hooking up with other guys? Wasn’t this a little bit weird? But just as Even opened his mouth to make an excuse to decline, Isak’s tear-stricken face from the night of his rejected love confession entered Even’s mind. Even felt the guilt all over again. He owed Isak this much.

“Yeah, sure, I can do that.”

“Thanks, Even.” Isak reached into his pocket to pull out his phone and Even watched uneasily at Isak swiped to the Grindr application and opened it. Isak brought up his profile and handed his phone to Even. “Tell me what you think.”

Even couldn’t help but to laugh when he saw Isak’s profile and scanned through the basic information about him on the left side of his profile.

“Twink? Really, Isak?”

Isak blushed, swatting at Even’s shoulder playfully.

“Shut up! Eskild made me do that. Just tell me if the pictures are good or whatever.”

“Well, this first one is really nice. The lighting is really good, brings out your eyes.”

“Ugh, only you would comment on the lighting. Pretentious dork. Just look at the other ones now, okay?”

Even smiled at Isak’s teasing and continued to regard Isak’s profile picture for a moment more. It really was a nice picture. It was one of Even’s favorites of Isak. He wasn’t wearing his signature snapback in it and instead had his beautiful curls nicely styled to frame his face. He had a big smile on his face, revealing the adorable gaps in his teeth. Isak looked genuinely happy in it. After appreciating the picture for a few more seconds, Even swiped his thumb to go to the next picture. His jaw dropped at what he saw.

“Isak, what the fuck?!”

“What?!”

Even could tell that Isak was taken aback at his words, but he couldn’t even spare him a glance right then, instead continuing to look at Isak’s phone in shock. The next photo was one that Even had never seen before of Isak. It was of Isak shirtless, standing in front of a full length mirror in only small and tight boxer briefs. The upper part of Isak’s face was not visible but Even could tell that it was Isak- he would recognize that mole and that smirk on Isak’s lips anywhere. Where the fuck had this picture come from?

“Isak, what the hell is this shirtless picture?”

“Eskild made me post it! He said you can’t be on Grindr without a shirtless picture! And you know, I’ve been going to the gym over the past few months, so I just used a recent progress picture I had in my phone. Why, is there something wrong with the picture? Do I need to take a new one?” 

“A new- Isak, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with this picture.” Even said, finally tearing his eyes away from the photo to look back at Isak. “I’m just surprised, this doesn’t seem like something you would post.” 

“Yeah, I know. But you know, hookup app and all. I need to show these guys what I’m offering here.” Isak was blushing again and Even could tell Isak was feeling insecure. Despite being one of the most attractive guys Even had ever seen, Isak had always felt uncomfortable with his looks and awkward in his own skin. Even hated that Isak felt self-conscious about pictures of himself, especially one where he looked nothing short of near perfection.

“Well, I think any guy looking through this profile would be more than happy with what you’re offering.” Even swiped to the last picture, smiling at the picture of Isak with his snapback on, trying to give the camera a sexy pout. He was so endearing. “The profile looks great, the pictures are great, you’re great.”

Isak smiled shyly and took his phone back from Even’s outstretched hand.

“Thanks, Even. I appreciate you helping me out with this. I know things have been a little weird lately, but I think we are getting there.”

“I think so too, Isak. I hope this whole Grindr thing works out for you, I really do.”

“Me too. But hey, I’m out of beer- you need me to grab you another Coke or something?”

“Nah, I’m good right now. Thanks, though.”

Isak smiled at Even before he walked away in the direction of the kitchen. Even watched Isak go, feeling slightly unsettled by their conversation. He was so absorbed in his own thoughts that he didn’t even notice as Jonas approached him from his other side.

“What’s up, man?” Jonas said, laughing a little as Even jumped in surprise.

“Fuck, I didn’t see you at first. Not much, though. Coming to get beat at beer pong again by me and Isak? He just went to grab another beer, but he shouldn’t be too long.”

“Nah, not right now. I just wanted to see what was going on with you two, actually. I’ve been picking up weird vibes between you two recently?”

“What? Weird vibes?” Even tried to play stupid. He didn’t want to embarrass Isak by having his confession and news of Even’s rejection spread throughout their friend group. However, as he looked at Jonas and attempted to keep his face neutral, he saw Jonas study his face closely for a few moments until Jonas raised his bushy eyebrows in recognition and groaned.

“Oh fuck….he told you, didn’t he?” Jonas rubbed a hand over his face in aggravation.

“Told me what?” Even desperately tried to keep up the act despite knowing that Jonas was too perceptive for his own good, especially since he had known Isak and Even for the same amount of time that they had known each other. Jonas could see through both of them easily.

“Cut the shit, man. It all makes sense. The weird vibes, the underlying tension. Isak told you about his feelings for you, didn’t he?”

Even sighed, resigned to his fate. Jonas wouldn’t drop it now that he knew what had happened, anyway.

“Yes, he told me.”

“And you don’t feel the same way, do you?”

“Fuck...no, Jonas, I don’t. And I feel shitty enough about it, okay?” Even sighed. He really didn’t want to hear a lecture about hurting Isak from Jonas, who was the one person who rivaled Even for protectiveness about Isak.

“Relax, man.” Jonas held up his hands in a conciliatory gesture. “I’m not going to lecture you, you can’t help how you feel. But how did Isak take it?”

“I mean, he handled it pretty well, considering. He was upset, obviously, but things have been okay with us. We are figuring out a new norm, you know?”

“New norm? What does that involve?”

Even shifted uncomfortably. He still didn’t understand his apprehension regarding the changes in his and Isak’s friendship. They were all perfectly valid and he knew that they were what Isak needed.

“Well, Isak asked me to stop touching him so much. I guess we are too affectionate, or whatever.”

“You guess?” Jonas snorted in amusement. “You guys are constantly all over each other. Do you know how many people have asked me if you two are a couple?”

Even rolled his eyes.

“Yeah, that’s what Isak said. That we needed to stop acting like a couple. I had never even realized it could be perceived that way, it’s just been part of our friendship since the beginning. But he’s signed up for Grindr now, so I guess that will help too.

“Isak? On Grindr?” Jonas looked surprised. “That doesn’t seem like something he would be into.”

“Eskild evidently encouraged him to sign up and he thinks it’s what he needs right now to get over me. I don’t know. I’m just trying to be supportive and be there for him in whatever way that I can.”

“Even. Don’t blame yourself for Isak being hurt right now. You can’t help that you don’t feel the same way. It’s best that you were honest with him rather than giving him false hope.” Jonas replied kindly.

“I know. I still feel bad though. I hate hurting him.”

“I get it. But Isak will be fine. Your friendship will be fine.” said Jonas, giving Even a reassuring smile to go along with his words.

“Yeah, I know we are too close to let this break us. isak will always be my best friend, I know that much for sure. Things are just weird right now.”

“It’ll get easier.” Jonas said. “It will, don’t worry. You just need some time, and Isak needs to put some space between you guys to get past everything.”

“Yeah, I guess. But hey, don’t mention this to anyone if you could? I don’t think Isak wants anyone to really know.”

“Don’t worry, I won’t. But, I’m here for you both, you know that, right? You just have to ask.”

Even smiled at Jonas, feeling grateful that he was so understanding and nonjudgmental about the whole thing. Jonas’ never-ending ability to remain chill about most situations was exactly what Even needed right now.

“I know, man. Thanks.” He reached up and clapped Jonas’ shoulder in gratitude.

“Hey Jonas, here to get your ass kicked again?” Isak grinned at Jonas as he appeared again at Even’s side, gripping a new beer in his hand. Even felt his arm begin to move in an automatic gesture to drape around Isak’s shoulder, but he forced himself to stop moving before he could get that far. He had to get used to this. He could do this. He didn’t need to touch Isak all the time.

“I knew I shouldn’t have let you win.” Jonas rolled his eyes as he answered Isak. “You’re such a smug winner, it’s ridiculous.”

“Excuse me?!” Isak was indignant, and Even couldn’t help but to laugh at the look on Isak’s face. “Let me win?! That’s it, we are playing again, and I will prove to you once again who is the real beer pong champion here! Come on Even, let’s go kick ass again!”

Even followed Isak as he stormed over to the beer pong table, laughing and shaking his head at his best friend’s passion over a stupid party game.

As they began playing in sync again to once again soundly defeat Jonas and Magnus, his awkwardness over his previous conversation with Isak was quickly forgotten. It was true what he had said to Jonas: him and Isak had been best friends for too long to let something like unrequited love break them. They would be just fine, Even was sure of it.

____________________

Grindr proved to be a very successful venture for Isak. Shortly after the party and Isak’s finalization of his profile, the messages began pouring in. Most of the messages went straight to the point:

“Hi. Top or bottom?”

“ur cute. looking to fuck?”

“i wanna fuck u so bad.”

“fuck, you’re hot. i wanna wreck you so bad.”

“I love twinks- you looking to get fucked? ;)”

Even was sure that Isak would be bothered by these messages, as he had always been shy when talking about sex before. However, after skimming through guy’s profiles to determine their attractiveness, Isak responded to many of the sexually suggestive messages and was frequently out of their shared apartment meeting up with guys he met on the app. Even still felt uncomfortable by the whole thing, but he didn’t understand why. Isak was out there, enjoying himself and having fun again after the awkwardness that had happened between him and Even, something that had seemed impossible not too long ago. Plus, Isak always had funny stories about some of the weirder guys he had encountered.

“Even, he took his pants off and I swear, his entire dick was barely bigger than my hand.”  Isak started soon after arriving home late one evening. Even was on the couch watching a movie, but he immediately paused it to give Isak his full attention.

“What the fuck? That small? So did you leave?”

“Nah, I figured we could still get each other off in other ways. But then he took like, ten seconds to come after I began blowing him.” Even began laughing as Isak continued, “That’s not even the worst part. After he was done, he basically made me leave right away. He didn’t even reciprocate, can you believe it?”

“Really? That’s fucked up. You deserve better than that shit.”

“Yeah, I know. You win some and you lose some, though. Can’t expect too much out of a Grindr hookup.” Isak shrugged.

“Nah, I guess not.” Even replied easily, smiling at Isak. “So, giving it a break for awhile, then?”

“Nope.” Isak popped the p as he answered. “Meeting up with another guy tomorrow, I think.”

Even felt his stomach sink a little bit. Isak could hook up with as many guys as often as he wanted to, Even would never judge him for that, but for some reason Even felt like Isak was slipping away from him. He missed when Isak would spend his nights with him, not out getting off with some strange guy who didn’t know all of Isak’s little quirks, like how Isak always cried when the dog died in I am Legend, no matter how many times he watched it.

“Oh. That sounds fun.” Even replied. He knew his jealousy was misplaced. Isak was still his best friend as much as ever.  He didn’t need to spend all of his time with Even to prove that.

“Yeah. This one actually wants to get coffee though, beforehand. Plus, we’ve kind of been talking for a few weeks before he even asked me out? Kind of weird.”

“Isak, that sounds more like a date than just a casual hookup.”

Isak blushed, looking at Even in shock. He was so oblivious.

“A date? What? I don’t think so. This is Grindr, Even. People don’t do dates on Grindr.”

“If you insist.” Even said, not in the mood to argue with Isak. The thought of Isak going on a date with someone rather than engaging them in meaningless sex and never seeing them again made something unpleasant shift in him.

“I do. I do insist.” replied Isak stubbornly, crossing his arms over his chest as he picked up the remote to unpause the movie and pick up where Even had left off.

“Okay. Just don’t be surprised if you’re wrong and it’s a date, not a hookup. That’s all.” Even acquiesced, settling in to finish the movie and enjoy a quiet night in with his best friend, the one constant in his life.

_______

It was a date. Just like Even had predicted, Isak had come home the next day, flushed with happiness and telling Even all about the great time he had with Julian. Julian was so cute, Julian had also studied biology, Julian worked in a lab now, Julian had a dog, Julian was so funny, oh and did Isak mention how cute Julian was, Even? And soon after that first date, there came a second date, then a third, until Isak was seeing Julian exclusively and Grindr had swiftly been deleted from his phone.

Even knew he should be happy for Isak. Isak was glowing and laughing and smiling all the time now. The times of Isak being withdrawn and upset after Even had rejected him seemed to be long gone. And the thing was, Even had met Julian, and Julian really did seem to be a great guy. He clearly adored Isak, and he was nice enough.

The only problem was this: Even couldn’t stand the guy. He was just too….much. He was just too eager to please and reminded Even of a damn puppy dog with how he looked at Isak. Plus, Julian had stalked Even’s Instagram and liked every pic of Isak that was on there, even ones dating back at least five years to the beginning of their friendship and ones where Isak was barely discernible in the background. Who the fuck revealed their stalking so blatantly like that? But when Even had told Isak, Isak had just laughed and thought it was cute. Even couldn’t stand that either.

But out of all of the things Even couldn’t stand about Julian, it was the nights that he spent over at the apartment Isak shared with Even. Those nights, Even had to hear groans and moans as Isak and Julian got up to god-knows-what in Isak’s room. Even usually tried to ignore it and would put on headphones, but on this particular night, he had enough.

“Isak!” Even said after knocking on the Isak’s bedroom door after a few too many loud moans. Even put his ear close to the door to try and hear what was going on and smirked as he heard the noises come to an end.

“Yeah?” came Isak’s voice a few moments later from the other side of the door.

“Could you keep it down a little? My headphones stopped working, so…” That was a lie. Even’s headphones hadn’t stopped working. He really just wanted them to stop altogether and knew that Isak would be embarrassed if he knew that his best friend could hear him getting off. As much as Isak didn’t mind talking about sex these days, Even knew he still wouldn’t want people actually being able to hear him having it.

“Oh-oh, of course.” Isak replied and Even could hear the embarrassment in his voice. Jackpot. “Sorry, Even.”

“It’s no problem. Good night, Isak.”

“Good night.”

Even smiled to himself as he walked back to his own room and resettled himself on his bed, pulling out his book to begin reading again. However, only a minute later, he set his book upside down on his chest as he could hear a quiet conversation happening on the other side of the wall that he shared with Isak.

“Julian- Julian, we can’t, stop." 

“Come on Isak, he didn’t say we needed to stop, just asked us to be quieter.” Even felt his annoyance return as he could hear a kiss after Julian spoke.

“I don’t want my best friend to hear us having sex, it’s weird.”

“Just be quieter then, babe.”

Even could hear Isak begin to reply, but it seemed like words were lost to him as Even heard a distinct noise start up. It took Even a few seconds to place it, but then he realized: it was the sound of skin against skin. They were fucking again. Even rolled his eyes and went to dig for headphones to drown them out yet again, when he heard it.

It was Isak. Making a noise he had never heard Isak make before. It was a sort of weird sigh and groan combined together. Even flushed and immediately stopped looking for his headphones. There was something about that noise that was really fucking hot. Even swallowed deeply as he tried to calm his racing thoughts. This became even harder when he felt the blood in his body began to rush south. Before Even realized what was happening, he was beginning to tug down his sweatpants and boxers.  

Wait. What was Even doing? This was Isak. Isak was his best friend and had been for years. Isak, who laughed at Even’s silly jokes and teased Even about being a hipster nerd. Even couldn’t be thinking this way about Isak, of all people. This wasn’t right. Even shook his head to snap himself out of it and began looking for his headphones again.

Of course, that was when Isak made that fucking noise again, coupled with a soft “fuck…” and Even was hopeless once more. He gave up looking for his headphones once and for all. He didn’t know what was going on, but something about that noise and knowing that Isak was just on the other side of the wall having sex was really doing it for Even right now. Before he knew it, Even had shucked off his pants, boxers, and shirt, throwing them to the other side of the room as he quickly rifled through his drawer, searching for the lube he knew he kept in there. Each sound Isak made only added to the desperation he felt.

Once Even found the lube buried at the back of his drawer, he quickly poured some on his hand and reached for his dick where it was now completely hard solely from the obscene noises of Isak having sex coming through the wall. Even had a distant thought that maybe he shouldn’t be getting off on this since it was Julian fucking Isak, but as Even closed his eyes and continued to stroke himself, he found his imagination wandering and all thoughts of Julian exited his mind. Before too long, Even found himself imaging that he was the one above Isak, was the one causing Isak to sigh and moan like that.

“Fuck….yes….right there.” Isak was getting loud again and Even could hear Julian make a weak attempt to shush him, but Even no longer cared about how loud they were being as he stroked faster at the sound of Isak’s obvious pleasure. In fact, being able to hear Isak better just made him even more excited. 

“Fuck...harder.” 

As Isak continued to make noises and mutter encouraging words, Even began to lose sense of himself. Julian was no longer a factor, Even could only picture himself above Isak, thrusting into him. Even could picture perfectly what Isak looked like, thanks to that embarrassing incident a few years ago when he had accidentally walked in on Isak jerking off himself. That blush on his pale skin, his blonde hair extra curly from sweat, his lips bitten red and puffy. At the time, Even hadn’t thought anything of it. But now, it was all that Even could think about as he continued to bring himself to pleasure as Isak’s noises filtered through the wall.

“Fuck, that’s so good.”

Even stroked himself faster as Isak’s noises began to sound more desperate. For some reason, Even wanted nothing more than to come at the same time that Isak did. Who fucking cared about Julian? Julian was nothing. Even was the one who had always been there for Isak, Even was the one who could give Isak exactly what he needed, including in the bedroom. Julian could never even hope to give Isak anything close to what Even could.

Finally, at the sound of Isak making that noise again, this time much louder, Even came. It was one of the best orgasms he had in a long time- one of the toe-curling ones where he could barely comprehend what was happening outside of the pleasure coursing through his body. However, the sound of Isak reaching his own peak managed to make it through his dazed mind. Even felt a weird sense of satisfaction at knowing that him and Isak were still connected in some way, even while Isak was having sex with someone else.

It was as Even was laying there in his post-orgasm bliss, cum still splattered all over his stomach, that it finally hit him.

He had a crush on Isak.