"Isak, wake up. Is, c'mon." Even was shaking his shoulder and Isak groaned muffled into the blue duvet and used the weak shred of energy he had to pull a hand out from under the blanket and unceremoniously flip Even off. Even laughed, the bastard. And Isak peeked open an eye, met with a blinding smile, getting stifled by a yawn. The neon red numbers on the clock on Even's bedside table made out a blurry, yet ridiculously early time and Isak opened both eyes now, a bit more uneasy. He squinted at the bright boy beside him, "Why are you up so early?", and it earned him an eye roll.
"I'm not manic, so calm your little head." and Isak flicked him off once more, yet Even caught his hand this time and weaved their fingers together. Isak buried his pink tinted cheeks into soft cotton and made a 'go on' sign with the hand that was not sending small electric sparks through his entire body.
"I woke up to pee and oh my god, Issy, you would not believe the sunrise right now."
Muffled, grumpy and certain, "I am not getting up at 4:30 to watch the fucking sunrise with you, Even. Go back to sleep, nerd."
This time the groan had a stronger offended tone, since the last thing Isak had been expecting at fucking half five in the morning was Even pushing him off the bed. Yet here he was, side colliding with cold wood and Isak made a vague 'ugh' before reluctantly getting up, duvet still wrapped around him. He was about to throw it back onto the bed, but- speaking of wood, he'd much rather leave it as it is for now, thank you very much.
Isak bitched and whined the entire time it took to drag his hazy, half asleep ass wrapped in feathery warmth up the ladder outside Even's window and onto the roof that suddenly seemed a lot more slanted than usual. Yet the wobble in his step dissolved the moment Even grasped his wrist and dragged him the last two feet up onto cold stone tiles. Then Isak was pulling the blanket tighter around himself, nearly drowning in the fabric until all that was visible was his pouty face that still hadn't quite stopped fussing. Even laughed and wrapped his arm around the cocoon going by the name of Isak and lifted his gaze to the sky. Isak lingered on his eyes for a second too long before following.
The horizon melted burnt orange into bubblegum pink and sunflower yellow, a picture perfect scene that reflected off of Even's fair skin in the best of ways. Gave him the angelic golden hue he always had in Isak's eyes anyway. Made him look even more beautiful, as if that was even possible. And damn his eyes look like a pop art painting, clean edges vibrant and fucking breathtaking. Somewhere above their heads, the liquid gold melted into the last remains of the blue, disappearing behind buildings on the other side, where someone else was waving goodbye to the sun, letting the stars bring a different light, different thoughts and dreams. Somewhere on the other side, someone could find comfort in the moon, chase endless constellations and wish upon shooting stars. Maybe somewhere an Isak had his Even the way he really wanted. Maybe in a parallel universe.
"Crown for your thoughts?" he was asking, soft and warm and just so Even.
"Somewhere in the world, someone is watching this same sun set,"
Bright blues cut to him, deciphering and breaking apart every word.
"Perhaps in a parallel universe, there's an Isak without an Even, looking at the moon right now."
Even snorted. "Bullshit." Yet his voice was kind. Gentle as the tender breeze blowing a few blonde strands in his face and Isak looked at him with furrowed brows. "Every Isak, in every universe, has an Even."
He sounded so sure it made Isak's heart melt with the heat of a thousand fires and a small whimper escaped his parted lips. Got caught in the wind and his heart, and if Even noticed, he didn't say.
They sat in the July morning breeze, Even taking his place next to Isak inside the blanket at some point, his body heat more than enough to keep Isak warm for centuries. Their legs and breaths tangled together, hearts laced and memories weaved. For a while, all Isak could hear was his own heartbeat, thrumming in his chest and throat, and he prayed that Even couldn't feel it. Because Even couldn't know.
"Nei, Even, it's like a 5 minute walk. We don't-" Even raised his brows, unamused and unaffected and Isak rolled his eyes, slinging a leg over the back of Even's bike and putting one hand on his waist, the other supporting him from behind.
"If we die, it's on you."
Isak could hear the full offense in Even's shocked gasp.
"I would never let anything happen to my best friend. How actually dare you accuse me of something like that?"
And okay, they fell over while riding through the park, but Even insisted it was solely because Isak wouldn't stop squirming, which Isak most certainly had not been as he gracelessly pointed out, still wiping grass off of his- Even's -sweats. They managed to avoid further mishaps along the way, but Isak still scolded Even the entire time, only shutting up when Even wrapped his arms around Isak in front of the coffee shop so tight that his lips were smushed against Even's chest, and yeah. He certainly couldn't speak like that. But he also couldn't stay on his feet like that because Even was squeezing him and laughing bright and bubbly into his hair, being the literal embodiment of sunshine and okay, Isak had to pull away like, three minutes ago, because his cheeks were flushed and his curls were a bit fucked in every direction and Even was smiling at him brighter than any star Isak had ever seen and. He just grumbled under his breath as Even slung an arm over his shoulder and pulled them both into the shop.
"You know my coffee order? Creep."
Even socked his shoulder and Isak pushed his tongue out through his teeth as he laughed.
"Well, considering how many times you've either forced or blackmailed me to get it for you, it ain't that hard to remember," Even teased, eyebrows shot up and a smirk etching its way onto his lips.
"That was one time, Even. I was 13, give me a break."
And then they both laughed, flashing teeth, loud and, frankly, quite obnoxious, turning annoyed heads and cracking some smiles onto tired faces. They nearly calmed down enough to breathe before Even plastered on his most squeaky voice, "If you don't buy me coffee, i'll tell your mum why you were actually sick this morning." And Isak spat out the sip of coffee he'd taken naively, thinking Even would let it go that easy. He most certainly did not apologize for getting both his latte and saliva on Even's hoodie. At least not until Even threw a coffee infused napkin at him. And yeah. In the end, it was nice. And even though Isak would never admit it, he was glad Even had woken him up at an ungodly hour mid-July when he could've been in deep slumber for an added six hours at least. Because he wouldn't trade these mornings for anything. Okay, maybe there was something. But that was between Isak and his pining heart.
If there was one person Isak could count on for aimless afternoon debates and laughing until their sides burned, it was Jonas. Since middle school, it had always been Jonas. To get ridiculously drunk or high, to skate around without any real destination in mind, have conversations absurd enough to have them both rolling on the floor. That was Jonas. Isak's possible secret brother, as they'd joked since 12 years old. The rock Isak could lean on for things he could never admit to Even. And it just so happened that Jonas came with extras now. Although they hated when Isak called them that. (They always knew he was joking). Magnus and Mahdi. Each wonderful and wise in their own respective departments, not that Isak would ever say it out loud. But he was pretty sure they already knew.
"Hey man, been a while since I've seen you 'round here."
"It's been like a week, Jonas. What the fuck."
Before Jonas could stop laughing, Magnus was already tackling Isak in a big bear hug, positively fucking up the hair he'd spent at least five minutes getting to work with him all the while Eskild had whined from the hallway. Those five minutes were enough reason for Isak to punch Magnus' shoulder lightly, mumbling something mildly incoherent about his hair. The boys laughed at him and Isak cursed them all out.
Two hours later, they were all clutching their stomachs on Jonas' bedroom floor, laughing maniacally over something that was already long swept from their heads. But it didn't matter because Magnus snorted when he tried to breathe and they all broke into another fit of giggles, including Magnus who was now gasping for breath in between every little burst of laughter.
It was the kind of afternoon where everything else got dropped at the door, and all that mattered was the moment. What a fucking cliche, right? Yet somehow, it wasn't. Instead, it was clarifying. Freeing. To let go of worries and doubts just for a moment. Out the window, there to pick up later. Waiting, always waiting. But still there. And Isak didn't give it more thought because Mahdi announced his hunger and Jonas was scrambling for his phone. A collective cheer rushed through the boys like a wave, and when the pizzas arrived, Isak was more than certain that the guy knew exactly what they were up to. He might have tipped him just a bit too much. But the guy was like 6ft and had a golden quiff and blue eyes. Sue him. He was high, for fucks sake. It's allowed.
Soft hands running through his curls, tender, fragile. A faint scent of lavender and a dip in his mattress. Warm, but not like usual. Careful palm skidding down the side of his face and he snuggled into it, still sleep-soft and mellow. Yet the hand was too small. And the smell of lavender kept getting more and more overpowering. Green eyes fluttered open slow, met with a timid red lipped smile and a head of light, flowy hair.
"Halla." and Isak suddenly didn't care who the hand belonged to, buried his face deeper into the affectionate touch and whined quietly.
"You're not Even. Why are you petting me?"
The bright, surprised laughter set a yellow butterfly free in his chest, rays of gold sunshine melting through the window and claiming their place on his cheeks, between his sleepy lashes that still held the last pieces of his dream, secure and sound until he opened his eyes again and Noora gave him another small smile.
"Just wanted to tell you that Linn isn't doing so well. I gave her some of your cookies and she went back to sleep. Just. Be gentle around her, okay? That's all." The hand in Isak's hair never stilled, but the butterfly in his chest did. He squinted accusingly at the sun and pushed himself up, then Noora placed a soft kiss on his forehead that certainly left a mark, but Isak didn't really care at the moment.
"Anything I can do? Something I can get for her?" and now Eskild was leaning in his doorway with a wide grin,
"He's so mushy in the mornings, I love it."
Isak flicked him off.
"Aaand there it went. Fun while it lasted."
"Oh fuck off. Serr, if there's any way I can help, let me know."
Noora gave him one last pat on the top of his fluffy mop of bed hair and tilted her head gratefully, "I'm going out with Eva today, so if you could help Eskild around here and maybe drop by the store at one point, that'd be great."
Isak's door shut with a click and he fell back on his sheets, basking in the warm streaks of light for a few moments longer, letting the heat glide over his soft thighs and stomach, wrapping himself in the cotton that still somehow smelled like Even a little bit. Smiled to himself and hugged the faded blue pillow that held Even's beautiful head every time he stayed over. When he closed his eyes and inhaled strawberry, cigarettes, black coffee, he could almost imagine it was Even in his arms instead of feathers in fabric. Okay, yeah. Isak might have a little crush on his best friend of 13 years. So? He was like, really hot.
Isak silently padded across the floor, bare feet on wooden planks and tiles, cold enough it made him jump just a little. One quick look and. Sure enough, a red ghost of lips right in the middle of his forehead. Nice. He washed himself with the floral scented shower gel Eva had left in their bathroom weeks back, probably intentionally as she knew exactly how much Isak loved it. But it really made his skin so soft and smelled so nice. He could have sweet things sometimes. He deserved it.
Eskild bitched again when he took a bit too long in the bathroom to which Isak responded with wasting even more time, humming a happy tune as he mindlessly flipped through the shampoo, lotion and shaving cream bottles on the shelf, rearranging them while making sure Eskild knew exactly what he was doing. He laughed loud when Eskild smacked the back of his head in the hallway, blowing him a kiss on the way back to his bedroom.
It was past three when Linn came out of her room to use the bathroom and Isak made her a cup of her favorite tea without any questions, sliding a plate of cookies next to it. Linn sat down at the kitchen table, sipping the tea cautiously and eating the same cookie for five minutes. A comfortable silence filled the air between them, something they were both grateful for. Isak sat there, texting Even, trying not to give away the warm feeling in his chest, yet the sparkle in his emerald eyes told it all. When Even sent him something funny, he'd show Linn, and by the end of her tea, Isak managed to get a corner of her lips to twitch up just a little.
"He's a keeper," she said in a timid voice and Isak's cheeks tinted pink when her door snapped shut.
Isak jumped at Eskild's voice.
"How long have you been standing there?"
Great. That's specific.
Eskild took the seat Linn had just warmed up, giving Isak a look that he supposed should've been serious, yet Isak could see the vulnerability behind it. The heart this man possesses.
"I want to say thank you. Like, really. For being there for Linn - and us - when we've needed it. You've come a long way from your little bitch days and I think we can all thank Jesus for that,"
Isak shot him a glare.
"But serr, thank you. And if you ever need anything. Advice or whatever, you know where to find me."
"Ja, takk, Eskild."
"Happy to help baby gay."
Isak's eyes went wide and his mouth popped open. A stuttered "What?" earned him Eskild's attention again.
"Oh, nothing," he sing-songed and left with a sly smile and Isak's blush running from his cheeks down to his neck and disappearing into his collar. Baby gay? Who the fuck did Eskild think he was? Well. Right. He was right.