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Isak jumps into the cart right before the train door closes. He squeezes himself in with his huge puffy coat, happy to be in warmth and having made this train. If he missed it, he would have to come up with another excuse because he thinks his professor is starting to think he's lying about the MTA just being shitty. 

He leans back against the door and pops his headphones in to find a podcast to listen to. He's scrolling through spotify when he feels someone taps him. Isak looks over to the man sitting across from him. The guy stands up and gestures for Isak to sit. He shakes his head with a smile, "Its okay"

"Please" The guy says softly. Isak isn't going to reject the seat if the guy is being nice so he thanks him and sits down, "You looked really cold."

Isak looks up at him and gives a short nod, "Thank you for the seat." And the conversations falls flat. When the train stops at Columbus Circle where a lot of working people exit, Isak sees a small sheet of paper being placed on his bag. He looks up but everyone is rushing out and he can't pinpoint who it was. He opens the fold and its him. Someone drew him.

Standing against the door, nose red, his oversized coat and hood engulfing his body . Below the sketch, the words says, you are the prettiest boy I've ever seen. I hope the seat was comfortable. have a beautiful day

Isaks jaw somewhat falls open in shock. He doesn't really know what to do. He's overwhelmingly flattered and never imagined things like this to happen in real life. He reads the line over and over, hoping a number would appear because why would there be no contact information. How can anyone be that kind and forward and not leave any contact for Isak to potentially reciprocate. 

He tucks the note in his pocket when the conductor announces his stop. He rises from the seat and exits the train, heading to class after grabbing a hot chocolate on campus.

.

Isak doesn't think about the encounter again. There's no point, it's kind of a lost cause and wasted energy until it's not. It's about 8 days since it happened and Isak is startled when he sees what might be the guy. He's on the other side of the train, at the end holding onto the pole. He's completely oblivious wrapped up in the music blaring out of his headphones.

Isaks mind is racing as he decides what to do. He looks out at the station they're approaching, he has 3 stops to do this before the guy gets off at the stop he did last week. He finds his legs walking though his mind hasn't prepared what to say. When he reaches him, he taps him and the guy pulls his headphones out, smiling down at him, "Good Morning"

"That was pretty stupid" Isak blurts out.

"I'm sorry?" 

"That was pretty stupid to not put your name or number on the drawing."

The guy looks up confused, he looks behind him and back down at Isak, "What drawing?"

"The note--the one you--was it not you?" He questions panicked. "Oh my God, wow. This is embarrassing. Never mind, Im--"

"I'm joking" The guy says cracking into a smile. "Yeah, it was me. Sorry if it was a little forward."

Isak shakes his head and stuffs one hand into his pocket as he holds onto the pole with the other, "Its okay, it was nice."

"I'm assuming you came over because you weren't totally creeped out so would you like to get dinner after work or something?" 

"Work?" Isak raises his brows. "I'm still in university. How old are you?"

"25, how old are you? Oh god, am I being totally creepy right now?"

"No, no. Im 20. So it's okay" He smiles. "But I'm done with classes at 4 so I can meet you wherever."

"Sounds good. Let's meet at 530 at Jimmys on 1st?"

Isak nods, "So are you going to tell me your name or do I just call you whatever I want in my head."

"You can call me Even. And I'll call you...?"

"Isak"

"Well Isak, this is me" He nudges to the platform the train is pulling into. He gives a flirtatious smile before leaving the subway cart and leaving Isak with butterflies. 

.

Isak is at Jimmys promptly at 5:25. He didn't want to go inside, get a table and get comfortable in case Even bailed on him.  But it's snowing and freezing so he's going to wait until 5 minutes after 5:30. Even turns the corner at 5:32 and greets Isak with a lovely smile.

"You didn't have to wait outside. It's freezing."

"Its okay" He says though Even notices him very much freezing in his oversized coat, pale face and red button nose peaking out.

"Let's head in." Even opens the door for him. They get directed to a booth right near the window. They settle in, taking off their coats and hats, "How was class?"

"It was class. It's over with,  that's all that matters. And work? Where do you work?" 

"At an advertising agency and it was good.  I knew I was coming here after so it was hard to have a bad day"

Isak rests his elbows on the table and his chin in his palm, looking at Even inquisitive, "Are you always this charming?"

"I try to be" He smirks as glasses of water are being placed at their tables. Isak orders a hot chocolate and Even gets a tea to warm up and defrost their frozen bodies.

They chat about where they're from,  why they're in new york, what they do on weekends. They learn theyre both from Oslo, Isak only leaving two years ago while Even's been in New York most of his life. They end up staying in the restaurant long after they've finished eating  and right up until it closes. When they notice employees putting chairs on top of tables, Even makes the initiative to head out.

When they step outside the restaurant,  Even softly ask if he wants to walk with him for a bit,  despite it being cold,  it's still beautiful out on the freshly snowed pavement. 

"So how does this date compare to the other dates you've been on in the two years of being a new yorker?'

"It doesnt" Isak answers. "I've only been on two and they weren't nearly this nice,  didn't really connect with them much."

"I'm finding it hard to believe you've only gone on two dates since you been here." 

"Remember I said, I only just came out when I got here so I'm very much a baby gay, still getting used to being out."

"And you found me only on the third date? I think the gay gods are looking out for you" Even says playfully.  

"I think they are" Isak replies without an ounce of doubt.  They continue to walk through the east village, their hands occasionally bumping into each other's so Even just interlocks their gloved hands and Isak makes no attempt to separate them. 

Isaks stomach is starting to hurt, he feels like he's been laughing for hours non stop and just did 100 crunches but cannot remember the last time he had such a great night.  "I think I should head home" Isak says, it's approaching an hour before midnight and he has class tomorrow morning. 

"Of course yeah, Let me order you an uber" Even says.

"Trying to find out where I live?" He glares up at him playfully. 

"Would never" He chuckles.  "Will just wait for you to have me over."

"How optimistic of you" He says as he types his address in Evens phone. They exchange numbers as they wait the three minutes it takes for the car to pull up.

.

They don't stop talking after that date. Isak actually think it's pretty sad to admit that that's what gets him up in the morning, wanting to see what Even said last and it gets him through his day. 

They make plans for a second date two weeks after the first when they can't be satisfied through text.

Isak invites Even to the Brooklyn Musuem to check out the Frida Kahlo exhibit. He knows Even likes art and this is one of the few museums in the city that doesn't completely bore him. They spend their time throughout the space looking at every piece of work and reading the blurbs. They eventually lose each other as they're going at different paces but Even eventually finds Isak looking at work on the second level.  

He walks up to him,  wrapping his arms around his waist,  "Can't figure out which I'm more mesmerized by, you or the art " He says softly in his ear.

Isak turns around in his arms with an affectionate look, "I'd say the art is pretty lacking if you think I'm more appealing to look at"

"There's no doubt in my mind that you are"

Isak looks down at the floor and hides his blushing cheeks. Even tilts his head up gently by pressing his index finger to his chin and leans in to kiss Isak for the first time. 

Isak immediately pulls Even closer and lifts up to his tip toes to best reciprocate.  It's soft and gentle while still eager but they don't get too carried away.  Mostly because they're being called out by security.  They immediately separate and apologize and Isak pulls Even out of the exhibit, embarrassed.  

"You're so damn cute." Even smiles. Isak rolls his eyes, "Ready to go?"

 They go pick their coats up from the check in area, get bundled up before heading out into the brisk weather. 

 They head to a nearby cafe, sitting by the window after purchasing a croissant and tea and muffin and hot cocoa respectively.

"You don't ever get tired of all that chocolate?" Even nudges at his mug as he sips from his own. 

"Its chocolate. Are you not a chocolate person because that just might be a deal breaker" Isak shakes his head,  he sure is one for the dramatics. "What a shame, you were doing so well."

"Was I?" Even smirks. "I guess I should confess that I do like chocolate so hopefully I'm doing better." 

Isak gently kicks Evens leg under the table but Even catches it by wrapping his legs around him, keeping it in place. Isak feels the heat flood his cheeks as he looks down to pick and nibble at his muffin.

"You should come over." Even suggests. 

Isak looks at him with raised brows, "For what?" He inquiries. 

"To keep hanging out. It's freezing out and hopefully we could not spend any more money. We can watch a film or something."

"That better not be code for something else." He narrows his gaze.

"Its not, but I'm sure you wouldn't be opposed otherwise. Need I bring up previous texts?"

Isaks jaw clenched to keep himself from smiling, "You're an ass"

"Yes, I do think you have a nice ass. Wow, I love that youre mind reader." Even laughs.

Isak rolls his eyes and stands up,  holding his hand out, "Let's go. " Even takes his hand and is being dragged out of the cafe into the cold.

Even doesn't live too far above midtown so the commute is a bit of a long one. When they exit the train station,  hands interlock with each other's, Isak ask, "Why do you live in this neighborhood? Didnt peg you as a midtown person."

"I'm not but my parents had this place and when they moved,  they let me take over the lease." He explains as they arrive at this building and he doorman swings the door open. Even greets him and they head to the elevator and they head up to the second to last floor, "Are you rich or something?" Isak ask hesitantly. 

Even chuckles and shakes his head as the elevator opens into an apartment and Isak begs to differ when he sees the apartment. This is 100% a rich persons apartment. Isak turns to Even who's kicking his shoes off by the door, "What's going on?" He questions, voice laced with confusion  

"What do you mean?" He ask, walking in the kitchen grabbing a drink and hopping on the counter.

"Why didn't you tell me about this?" He ask walking over to him, leaning back against the fridge.

"What is there to tell?"

"Even, I'm a college student and you're--well, you're living in this." He says gobsmacked

Even reaches out to take Isaks hands and they naturally interlock as Even pulls him in between his legs, "This is irrelevant" He says gesturing to the glamour around him, "Who cares? It doesn't change anything, does it?"

"No of course not, I don't know--" He says shyly. "Guess I'm just caught off guard."

"But it's okay?" He ask tilting Isaks head up to him.

"Its okay" he confirms in a gentle tone as he leans up to kiss Evens lips. Even places his hands on Isaks lower back, pulling him closer, "Could do this all night." Even murmurs.

"Want to" Isak says pulling back, "Can we go to your room?" Even doesn't exactly know what the question entails but he nods and hops off the counter, leading the way. Isak stops about four times in the in 20 feet it takes to get to the bedroom to inquire about different paintings or trinkets and eventually Even has to pick Isak up to not get distracted. Isak bites Even's shoulder wanting to get down.

"Jesus Christ, are you a vampire?" He groans dropping Isak onto his bed. Isak laughs and crawls under the blanket. 

"Are we going to sleep?" Even ask as he sits on top of Isaks body still huddled under the cover. 

Isak shakes his body, getting Even to fall off of him and peeks through the blankets, "Not until you kiss me"

Even lies down flat on top of Isak and gives him what he asked for. And it doesn't take long before Isak is out of the blanket, legs are wrapped around Evens waist and he's kissing on his neck, running his hands up and down beneath his t shirt. 

"We should slow down" Even eventually says. "As much as I'm enjoying this." 

Isak drops his legs and nods, "Okay" Even leans down to give one more kiss, "Do you want to watch something?"

And so they watch a Netflix film as Even spoons Isak, with the younger boy falling asleep sooner than he intended to and staying the night. 

.

When Isak wakes up around 6 the next morning due to falling asleep early, he turns to see Even still asleep beside him and pulls his phone out of his pocket that's on 19% and sees a text from Jonas around midnight.

 

Are you coming home?

 

Sorry, fell asleep at Evens  

 

 Isak crawls out of Evens hold and walks throughout the apartment. His body is already awake and there's no hope in returning back to sleep. He opens the curtains in the living room to see double glass doors that lead to a balcony. He watches as the sun is peaking through the horizon about to wake all of new york. He stands there longer than he knows because when the sun is risen, Isak feels Even's arms wrap around him.

Isak turns his to kiss him, "Good Morning."

"Morning, enjoying the view?"

Isak nods, "Its beautiful. Why are you awake?" 

"Your phone kept going off. I went to turn it off and there was a text...from someone named Jonas asking how was the sex? Did you sleep with someone last night?" He teases.

Isak hits his chest, "I didn't tell him anything, I just said I stayed at yours and he's just texting back. Not my fault hes assuming."  Isak eases himself out of Evens arms to go get his phone and return in Evens arms as he calls Jonas.

"Bro, why didn't you answer?"

"I wasn't in the room, what's up?"

"You guys had sex already?"

Even laughs overhearing the conversation.

"No, calm down. We just came back here to chill and I fell asleep. We didnt do anything."

"Oh, well that's disappointing. Okay, I need to get ready for class, text me next time you're not coming home."

"Okay, sorry. I will" And hangs up. "That's cute" Even says tightening Isak in his arms, "You moved here with him, right?"

"Mhmm, can we eat? I'm so hungry."

Even pulls back and goes to get his phone to order delivery because he doesn't have much food and is not feeling up for going out in the snow on his day off.

"They have a breakfast platter, does that sound okay?" Even ask as the phone is ringing in his ear. Isak nods and kisses Evens cheek, letting him know he's going to hop in the shower. 

When Isak gets out about a half hour later from his toasty shower wrapped in his towel, Even has the platter spread out on the living room table, eggs, bacon, freshly baked bread, pancakes, fresh fruit and orange juice.

"Wow" Isak says staring down at the food drying his wet hair with the smaller towel. 

"Come sit" Isak joins Even on the couch, slightly overwhelmed. 

"You're ridiculous, you know that?" Isak says as he kisses his lips

"I've been told, now eat" The two take their time chowing down on the food as Even puts something on the TV. Isak ends up passing out soon after that.  

.

When Isak finally heads home later in the afternoon, it's the last time he sees Even for at least three weeks. He has exams coming up and he needs to focus, no distractions.

But Even was still texting him everyday telling him he missed him or he wanted to come over and promised he wouldn't be a bother but Isak still knew, he would be distracted.

But he ends up bumping into Even on their train,  on his way to take an exam. Even notices him before Isak does. Isak is at the end of the cart, leaning against the door that allows people to maneuver through train carts. Even squeezes through people to make it to Isak who's head is down as he is reading notes on index cards. 

"You're so cute when you're focused" Isak looks up started but expression rests into relief upon realizing it's Even. 

"Hi" Isak smiles.

"Hi" Even says, placing one hand on the door above Isaks head. One, to keep him balanced and two, mainly to give them the illusion of privacy. 

"You have no idea how much I missed you" 

"Yeah?" Isak questions with a teasing tone, tilting his head up,  begging the question.

"Mhmm, were all the texts not a dead giveaway?" He chuckles as he leans in to kiss Isaks lips.  And God, it's been way too long. Isak tugs on Evens coat wanting him closer though he couldn't physically get any closer. They hadn't realized how much they missed this,  until this very moment. 

Someone interrupts them by shaking the door Isak is leaning on. They separate and Isak turns back to see someone trying to get through.  He steps aside and allows them to pass, eventually leaning back against the door, "Lets go out tonight"

"No more studying?"

"Two more exams today and I'm done" 

Even nods, "Just text me where" The rest of their ride is spent in silence, in each other's arms.

When Even finally has to get off, Isak pouts up at him,  "Don't want you to go" He whines quietly.

"I'll see you tonight,  okay? A couple more hours, when you finish,  we'll see each other"

Isak nods sadly. Even quickly kisses his lips before running off the train before the door closed.

Isak has to force himself to bury the excitement of seeing Even later to focus on his exams. 

Which he aces. Or supposes he has, with how confident he feels 

.

He wants to go home and change before seeing Even because he was just expecting to go home after campus but he's too excited to see him so sweats and a hoodie under his coat will have to do. 

When Isak gets back to Columbus Circle, he texts Even he's in the area and Even texts him the address and to tell the people in front,  he's going to see him. 

Isak Google maps the address and walks the four blocks it takes to arrive to the building.  He walks in to the lobby and tells them he's here to see Even.

"Yes, he just called,  you can head up.  21st floor." 

Isak feels out of his place surrounded by everyone in suits and sleek outfits. He just needs to find Even.

When the elevator finally reaches the 21st floor, he steps out onto the elevator with no clue on where to go. He ask someone who's walking by. 

"The boss? He's the last room down your right.  Do you have an appointment? You need to make one before meeting with him"

"Erhm--I did. Thanks" He gives a weak smile and heads to his right and Evens room is covered in glass so it's hard to miss. 

Isak gently knocks on the door and Even looks up despite being on the phone.  He gestures for Isak to come in and so he quietly steps in and goes to sit at the seat in front of his desk. 

"Mr. Thompson, I will have to call you right back. I have to head in a meeting...Yes, will do" And hangs up. 

"You didn't have to do that" Isak says.

"Well you came to see me,  it would be rude to be on the phone the entire time. " Even gets up and goes to stand in front of Isak, leaning back against his desk, "How did exams go?" 

"I think I aced them." He smiles. "Pretty confident"

"Good, all that studying paid off" Even smiles and takes Isaks hand so he's standing in front of him,  "I'm proud of you." He says placing his hand on his lower back.

"So Mr. Bossman, you run the place?" Isak teases. 

"I do, who let the cat out of the bag?" 

"Some random person I saw when I got off the elevator and ask where your office was...explains a lot"

"Does it?' Even pushes 

"Explains your place"

"Guess so"

"So...can you tell me why you haven't kissed me yet?" Isak ask playing with his tie.

"Mainly because I have to close the curtains to do that and the button is under my desk and I don't want to separate from you"

Isak chuckles, "Okay, let's move together"  clinging on to each other,  they take mini steps to the other side of the desk so even can get press the button that allows the curtains to close, giving them privacy. 

Even sits down in his chair and as soon as it's closed, he pulls Isak in his lap and they start making out. Isak zips down his coat, throwing it on the floor. He presses his hands on either side of Even's jaw as he sucks on his bottom lip and then sliding his tongue in his mouth. Isak starts making little movements on top of Even that defintely aren't going unnoticed. 

Even has to hold Isaks hips still because he can't allow himself to get hard right here. They continue kissing until there's a knock on the office door. Even pats Isaks hip to get up and he jumps up as Even tells the person to come in. She opens the door and it's Evens assistant, Rose.

"Hi Mr. Bech Naesheim, sorry to bother but Mr.Thompson is insistent about getting you back on the phone before he leaves his office for the day. 

"Rose my love, what does it mean when my curtains are closed?"

"That you don't want to be bothered" She says nervously

"Exactly so I'm confused why I'm still being bothered"

"I'm sorry, he said---"

"I told Mr. Thompson I'm in a meeting. Tell him we can talk tomorrow."

"Okay sir, sorry again"

"Rose, I don't want to be harsh but please follow my rules, if someone wants a call or meeting when these curtains are closed, you make something up so they leave you alone, okay?"

"Yes, thank you. Sorry for interrupting" She smiles and leaves the office. 

"You're so official" Isak smirks. "Bossing people around"

Even laughs,  "You like that?" He ask gently taking Isaks hand and pulling him back into his lap,  "Mhmm"

"Did you think about where you want to go tonight?"

"Yeah, there's a spoken word cafe I thought we can check out, I've been there once before. I probably just need to get some pants that aren't these" He gestures down to his baggy sweats. 

"We can get some when we head out, when does it start?"

"6, is that too early?" 

"No, no. That's fine.  Do you want to head out now?'

"Are you done with work?"

"I finish when I want to finish,  it's fine. Come on." Isak picks his coat up off the floor, Even opens his curtains and they leave the office,  Isak very shyly trailing behind Even as eyes turn to him. 

.

 They go buy Isak a pair of pants to change into and they are heading downtown to the spoken word cafe. They get there about 20 minutes early and there's a line outside. 

Even leans back against the brick wall of the building and Isak presses against him, arms creeping up into his coat, keeping himself warm.  They chat quietly to each other waiting for the doors to open.

"You two are really cute together. You make a cute couple.  They look startled to their left to see a guy beside them. 

"That's sweet but we're--"

"Thank you" Even cuts off with a sweet smile as the line starts moving. They interlock hands and take gradual steps to the entrance

"Why didn't you correct him?" Isak shout whispers. "What's the point? Just take the compliment" Even says

"Because it matters." Isak insists,  "Can't just go around having people think we're together if we're not. If we're not exclusive"

"Can you relax? It's not that serious." Even says pulling out his card to give to the person at the front door, taking money at the door. Isak separates his hand from Even's without a word as they walk inside. All four walls are brick but there's a glass ceiling with white fairy lights hanging. 

Isak sits down at the small circular two seater table in the intimate space, as people continue to enter. When they're comfortable, Even speaks up,  "So is this our first fight?" 

Isak doesn't answer. He doesn't even bother to look his way.  And he knows he's being childish but how can Even think so little of the title, just gloss over it like it has no significance.  

He's honestly been waiting for Even to make it official for weeks now and he still hasn't, so excuse him if he's a little bitter that Even poured salt on a cut by undermining the importance of being official. 

Even reaches out to squeeze Isaks leg but he brushes it off, not wanting to be bothered. Several minutes later, things are winding down and the host of the night comes out to introduce the acts and banter with the audience.

They watch a couple of incredible performances and Isak wishes he wasn't so stubborn so he can thoroughly enjoy it with Even and ask him his opinion about each one. 

But something hits him with the next performer. Every word chokes him up

There is a moment before you realize it's love, you flirt with the idea jokingly, as they have been a thought more often. Then it hits you in between the eyes how deep in you really are. After that, there is no going back.

He doesn't know what's gotten into him but he finds himself holding back tears. 

Maybe it’s a look that you used to not think much of but now it makes you fall to your knees. Maybe it’s a conversation where you used to wonder, now you know with certainty. Maybe it’s the tone that’s changed in your voice when you speak about them then you realize you’re looking for any reason to bring them up in conversation. It’s people seeing it in your eyes. The look of someone who has fallen completely in love without meaning to. 

 

He feels like an idiot getting so choked up right now but he hadn't realized what his feelings has been towards Even, how deeply and quickly he had fallen until now. Even seems to notice because he grabs the leg of Isaks chair and moves it beside him and turns Isaks face to him, "What's wrong?" He ask quietly with the performer still sharing her work.

 

He shakes his head, tears begging to fall.

"Tell me." Even begs. 

"I wanna be with you" He admits

Even smiles softly and squeezes Isaks cheeks  with his palms flat against them as he gives him a kiss, "Why haven't you asked me?" Isak ask.

Loving comes with the risk of knowing they can completely destroy you but you take the chance anyway,  overcome with more hope than fear

"I was just trying to be patient. Is this why you were mad at me? You wish you could of told that guy we were together?" He teases

"Shut up" Isak smiles, wiping his tears. 

"Be my boyfriend" Even says

Isak hides his smile and nods 

That’s what love really is, a hope and a faith within someone other than yourself.

Even kisses him softly, "You were already mine by the way. I feel way more than you can imagine but I won't scare you off just yet" He winks as he wraps his arms around Isak, who turns back to the stage

I didn’t choose this. And I don’t know who to thank for it but I look at you every day and I’m happy to be alive just knowing I’ve had the chance of loving someone like you. My simplistic hope and what I continue to pray for is it’s not just me that has fallen.

The artist smiles indicating the end of her performance and the audience instantly starts snapping and cheering at the delivery of the performance. Even kisses on Isaks neck, telling him the last part is exactly how he feels.

When the artist steps down off the stage to walk back to her seat, she stops in front of the new couple and kneels in front of Isak, "Did he ask you to be his boyfriend during the show?"

Isak blushes and nods, "Sorry to interrupt like th--"

"No not at all. It was cute. It was almost like a visual to my words. You guys are very cute together" 

Even squeezes Isak tighter as a little reply to the compliment as Isak giggles and thanks her. He turns back to Even and kisses him, before the next performer takes the stage.

When they leave the performance about half past 9, the two cant get enough of each other and cant stop touching as they walk along the streets. They keep stopping to kiss, they cant keep their hands out of each other's, its really sickening to anyone who isnt them but at least it's not daylight right now, so they arent too much of a bother.

Even has Isak up against a gate, touching what may be a little too much for public but they cant help themselves. Isak has one leg wrapped around Even's waist and his hands in his hair as they passionately and deeply kiss.

"Come home with me." Even mutters against his lips.

"Even, we can't. Not tonight." 

Even pulls back slightly and presses his forehead against Isak's, catching his breath, "Yeah, yeah okay. Let me take you home though."

Isak nods as they catch a taxi and head downtown to Isak's place. When they arrive in front of Isak's building, the taxi driver is getting annoyed because neither of them are making moves to get out of the car. "You can run the meter." He tells the driver.

Isak nuzzles his face deeper into his neck, "Dont want to leave you."

"Then come over." He says caressing his back.

"We both know what will happen if I do." He says looking up at him.

"We dont have to. We can control ourselves, baby. We can just chill and cuddle. "

Isak smiles, looking down at their hands.

"What?" Even ask confused. "Do you like that idea?"

Isak looks up to him, hand resting on his collarbone, grazing his index finger lightly on it, "Like when you call me baby."

Even chuckles and kisses him, "Stay with me tonight."

"Why dont you come upstairs with me?  Jonas is there anyway so we couldnt even if we wanted to." 

Even agrees as he notifies the driver this will be their last stop, pays and they head upstairs. They walk up the three flights to Isak's apartment. When they head inside, its quiet and Jonas is either out or in his room.

"This is cozy" Even compliments, kicking off his shoes

"Is that code for small?"

"No." He chuckles. "Its just very homey, I like it." Isak takes his hand and heads the three feet it takes to the bedrooms and knocks on Jonas' door, "Come in." 

Isak opens it and sees Jonas lying on his stomach on his bed with his laptop in front of him. "Hey bro."

"Hey, I just wanted you to meet Even...my boyfriend." Jonas' eyes widen but he tries to remain calm.  Isak can tell. Jonas gets up and hugs Even, "Nice to officially meet you."

"You as well. Nice room by the way." He says looking up at all the music and skateboarding memorabilia. 


"Ahh thanks. I really like it, so where were you guys tonight."

"I took him to the spoken word spot." 

"Aw thats a cute date. How did you like it?" He asks Even.

"It was really nice, everyone is really talented. This one cried." He teases, squeezes Isaks hip. 

"Shut up." Isak pouts, looking up at him. "We're gonna head to my room. Good night."

"Dont keep me up." Jonas says before closing the door and the couple head to Isaks pretty plain and uneventful room.

They spend the night in each other's arms. Kissing and holding each other, studying each other's bodies without any temptation to do more. This was more than enough. 

They spent the next couple months practically living with each other. Isak at Evens or vice versa, Isak usually showed up the office after work and they would go home together. Isak has really gotten to know everyone on Even's team, they treat him like a second boss but they're so sweet. 

It's finally spring and there's a different energy to the city.  Everyone is in euphoria with the sun, rising out of the winter blues.  They're progressively spending some time soaking up the sun, sitting in parks, eating at outdoor cafes. 

It was all a little too good,  to both of them. How had they been so lucky? 

.

Even and Isak are in Tompkins Sq Park, eating bagels in the grass. They seem to always find themselves in this neck of the woods though neither of them live particularly close by.

Even has his legs stretched out as he rests back against the trunk of a tree, Isak sitting in between his long legs with his own hugging Evens waist.

"That's sweet of you" Isak says munching on the bagel.  "I'm sure it'll be worth itit" He replies when Even tells him he let the team out a little early because the weather was so beautiful today but they would have a good amount of work to catch up on when they return. 

"Yeah, I guess. Your semester is almost done, yeah?" Isak nods with his mouth full

"How are you feeling?"

After swallowing the bite, he says, "I'm excited, I just want it to be done, I have one semester left which is nice.  Just can't wait to spend the summer with you."

Even smiles and squeezes his leg,  "Would you like to travel somewhere this summer?"

"Even" He whines. "You know I can't, I'm trying to save."

Even gives him a look like he doesn't know why his boyfriend is complaining,  when he knows he will cover it.

Isak rolls his eyes because he's truly spoiled rotten, "Did you have a place in mind?"

"Was thinking we can take a trip back to Oslo, visit your family" He suggests lightly.  Even knows the deal with Isaks family and feels bad he bought it up when Isak stops eating and stills himself,  looking down at the grass 

"We don't have to,  obviously. I just thought it would be nice.  You haven't been in contact with them in two years"

"I text them occasionally" He lously defends. "Oslo isn't really the vacation I had in mind. Was thinking something a little more tropical"

Even knows Isak doesn't want to talk about it but Isak can't keep it buried within him for the rest of his life,  "We can take a detour there for a couple days and then go somewhere"

"Why are you insistent about this?" He questions

"Because I spoke to your dad and he really wants to see you" Isak flinches, looking up at Even, almost betrayed, "What do you mean you spoke to him?  How?"

"He called you one day when you were asleep. He kept calling and I picked up.  I didn't know it was him since his number isn't saved but I couldn't just hang up.  So we got to talking and he asked me if I can convince you to fly out there?"

Isak has his mouth open, too far shocked to process his many thoughts. What the hell did they talk about? Does his dad know he was talking to his boyfriend? Why couldn't his dad just fly here to see him if he wanted to see him so bad? Why did Even care so much?

As much as he was overthinking, he didn't want to talk about it. He unties his legs from around Even waist, "I don't want to talk about this"

"Baby, you can't avoid this forever. You guys need to figure it out. He was actually pretty nice"

"If you like him so much,  why don't you go see him and leave me the hell out of it?" He curses as he gets up to leave but Even pulls him back down, "I know you're not used to talking about your emotions and your family is very comfortable with ignoring problems but you're not going to do that with me.  Talk to me,  why don't you want to go?"

Isak doesn't know, there's too many reasons really,  that boil down to childhood trauma so he just says, "I hate him"

"Why?"

"Because Even! He's a selfish asshole who never wanted to be a dad and whos a shitty one. He left me, left my mother.  I want nothing to do with him."

Even nods, completely getting Isaks anger, it's completely justified,  "And why don't you want to see your mom?"

Isak shrugs, "I don't know, it's just--a lot of bad memories there.  A lot of neglect" He confesses. 

"I'm sure she would want to see you,  she's sick Isak. She deserves some empathy, no?"

"Don't I deserve some empathy?" He ask, tears filling up his ducts. "This has been happening my whole life, people making me feel guilty that I don't like them or want to be around them and I'm supposed to just because they made me. Everyone thinks I'm being mean. No one ever considers why I don't like them so much,  why I chose to move here and distance myself from the toxicity.  No one fucking cares that I was emotionally abused and neglected, all they care about is that I don't make my parents feel bad.  They've made me feel like shit my entire life" He cries. "Unintentional or not so no, I'm sorry but I'm not going to see them" 

Even doesn't say anything. He just lets Isak into his chest and lets him cry.  Getting out all of that built up emotion.  He's frankly pretty happy that he expressed all of that despite him not wanting to go to Oslo. This was still a healthy vent session, this is good for him. It was necessary 

"I want to go home" Isak chokes out. Even okays and Isak pulls back wiping his face,  "I look like a fucking idiot, crying like this"

"I don't think so,  vulnerability is so sexy" Isak gives him a wtf look and both laugh, the air much lighter between them. They get themselves together and start walking to the train, "I just want you to know I'm never blaming or pointing the fingers at you,  i just want you to have all the love in your life. If you ever change your mind or just want to vent,  you know I'm here"

And Isak does. He shares more that night when they're cuddled up in bed. It's silent among them when Isak says, "My dad took his anger with my mom out on me" That's how it starts. And Isak tells him everything,  the abandonment issues,  trust issues, so many deeply rooted traumas that trace back to his childhood.  There are a lot of tears on both end but more than that, there's I love yous and I'm here for you.

.

If it was possible for them to get any tighter after that, they defintely did.  That vulnerability unleashed something within them, maybe it was a deep trust, they're unsure. But it's been beautiful 

Isak is on his way to the office because he and Even were supposed to meet for dinner at 7 and it's 7:15, without a word from his boyfriend. When he makes it up to his floor, it's completely empty, lights turned off. He's about to head back into the elevator when he hears a loud noise of something crashing to to the ground.  He hesitantly walks to Evens office and the curtains are closed. He knocks.

"Who the hell is still here?" He sounds completely frustrated.  

Isak slowly opens the door and Even looks up from his palms, as if he suddenly remembers when he sees him,  "Fuck! Our date"

"Its okay" Isak says walking over to him. 

"I'm so sorry baby,  I forgot. I don't even know where my phone is"

"Don't worry about it" Isak stands behind Evens chair and starts massaging his shoulders, "Tell me what's wrong? Why are you still here?"

"We might lose a $30,000 account and I'm trying to figure out how to recover.  It's fucking impossible." 

Isak leans down to kiss his neck,  "Relax, stop yelling" He says in a soft and caring tone, not at all condescending.  "You can finish this on Monday"

"Isak, I need to figure--"

"On Monday" Isak reinforces. "You need to learn when to pull back from work, "I know this is your livelihood but what can do you now? You can't make phone calls or anything.  No one is working right now so take a moment and come back Monday.

Even sighs and leans up to Isak, puckering his lips. Isak turns the chair around and climbs in his lap,  holds his face by the jaw and kisses him.  It seems to be exactly what Even needs because he just let's out a sigh of relief when Isak gets his lips on him. Isak snakes his hand down Evens body and starts touching him through his pants, "Want you in  my mouth"

They're done this many a times, they've done the whole lot really but never in his office,  but really it was only a matter of time. Isak shamefully has been thinking about hot it would be since his first visit 

Even agrees as Isak gets on his knees and pulls Evens pants off, he's half hard so Isak strokes him until he's a little harder and takes him in his mouth.

He loves doing this for Even, really loves when Even just desperately tells him to open his mouth and fucks into it or when he takes as much of him as he can down, the sounds Even makes go straight to Isaks hard dick.

Even pulls him off after he's rock hard and kisses him,  "Need to be inside you"

"Please" Isak whines. Even stands up and pushes Isak so he's bending over the desk. Even takes Isaks pants and underwear off and almost comes when gets a look of Isaks hole. They had sex this morning so not much opening up is necessary but he does eat him out for a while since they don't have lube and when they're about get to it, both of them are ridiculously horny and eager.

Isaks begging and Even finally gets a condom on, he slowly eases into Isak, giving long and deep strokes. Isak can feel him everywhere inside of him at this angle.

He arches his back mainly because he just needs to kiss Even. He wraps his hand around the back of Evens head and lifts one leg up on the desk.  He cries out when Even pushes in at that angle, so much deeper. It's slow, sensual, Even making Isak feel every inch. He asks him to fuck him harder but Even teases the whole time,  stretching Isak's orgasm out as long as he can. Isak is biting onto his hand to quiet himself down but Even insists he wants to hear him. Isak knows his noises help Even get off, he just hopes no one else is in the building because he knows he's rather loud. Isak is soon at his end point when Even keeps hitting his spot and needs to come and begs Even to go hard, he's been on the edge for too long and Even finally does, as Isak strokes himself and comes all over the desk.  Even wants to take the condom off and come all over Isak but this isn't the best place for that so he finishes inside Isak. They both collapse to the floor afterwards, panting and exhausted. 

It's a silly sight to see, lying on the carpeted floor of an office with their dicks out. "Let's go eat" Isak says when they've recovered from the stimulation 

Even agrees as they get up to get dressed.  Isak cleans up the desk from the mess he made and they leave the office.  They grab some cheap dumplings and head into Central Park a couple blocks away. 

They stay out in the park until 11 when they finally decide it's time they split.  They go back to their respective apartments for a change,  mainly because Isak promised Jonas they'll hang tomorrow.

.

When Isak leaves campus one afternoon, he pulls out his phone and sees a call coming through on whatsapp and he knows who it is. He decides to answer after ignoring for so long.

"Hello?"

"Hey Even, is this you?" He insists 

"No" He says simply. 

"Isak? Oh my god" He stutters. "I didn't expect you to answer, didn't actually plan to say anything. Was just giving it another try"

Isak doesn't reply, what does he even say to that?

"So how have you been, son?"

"Shouldn't you know since you've spoken to my boyfriend?" He says spitefully 

"Well I would like to speak to you"

So he does know Even's his boyfriend

"I'm fine, just came from class, I might do an internship this summer, I think.  I got accepted."

"That's amazing, Isak. I'm proud of you, I'm always proud of you"

"So how's mom?" 

"She's okay,  the usual.  I think they're taking care of her, she does miss you."

"How do you know?" Isak already knowing there's no chance he visited her. Yes, because he has a new family but also she gets the wrong idea if he's around, that they're still together.

"The doctors called me. Asked me about you, if you could come see her since she's been talking about you, told them you were schooling out of the country."

"Well thanks for that. Look, I gotta go. I need to get on the train."

"Okay, thanks for answering. Love you"

"You're welcome" And he hangs up. And for some reason, Isak is feeling guilty after the phone call which is why he never talks to them. That night, he calls Even to tell him he needs to go see his mother.

.

When Isak finishes up his semester, he and Even hop on a plane to Oslo before their couple's trip to New Zealand. When they arrive at the hotel that evening in Oslo, Even knows Isak's anxious. He's barely spoken a word and as soon as he got to the hotel, he hopped in the shower and curled into bed right after, even though he hasn't eaten since they left New York. 

Even takes a shower after Isak's curled up into bed and joins him soon after, wrapping his arms around him. "Is this okay?" He ask, giving a gentle kiss to his neck. Isak simply nods.

"Its going to be okay, baby.  I love you."

And they fall asleep, though Isak doesnt get much of it.

.

Their body clocks are completely messed up so they wake up in the afternoon as its really morning in New York. Isak has been in and out of sleep all night so despite waking up at 2pm, he's still exhausted. Even gets up and walks to Isak's side of the bed, sitting on his side, "How are you feeling?"

Isak shrugs as he runs his hand through his hair, "I think we should just go or Im going to drive myself crazy." Even agrees as they go get ready for the day. They eat some food at a cafe before taking a taxi to the mental hospital. When they get to the front desk, Isak shares that he's here to see Marianne.

"She's in therapy right now, she will be out in about 40 minutes."

"I'm her son." He says, hoping that might provide some leniency. 

"Isak?" The lady questions hesitantly.

He nods, "'Yeah, that's me."

She confirms with his ID. "Wow um--great. She's going to be really excited. I'll give the therapist a call, you can sit down."

.

They're sitting down,  Isak has his legs crossed, shaking. Even pulls Isak into his chest as he murmurs, "I dont know if I can do this."

"Its okay, she's your mother. She loves you and she's going to be excited to see you."

"Isak." He looks up to see another lady standing by a door, "Marianne would love to see you."

Isak gets up and doesn't hear Even behind him, "Come on."

He shakes his head, "I think you should go alone."

"Even, please." He says sadly. "I need you there."

Even stands up and holds his face, "You need to do this, baby. I dont want her getting distracted by me being there where you guys cant talk honestly. If you want me to come after you talk, I will but I think you should go alone first."

He sighs and nods and kisses him. They share i love yous before Isak disappears behind the door.

.

Even hasn't really felt any nerves up until this point but now that Isak is back there, he's nervous. Maybe she should of taken his offer to come back with him. He calls a friend to distract himself. They're talking and laughing and catching up until he hears his name. He turns back to see the therapist again, "Isak would like you to join him."

He's startled and nods, hangs up the phone without a goodbye and follows the woman. Even spots  Isak standing outside of a door cracked open and his eyes are bloodshot red. He gives a weak smile as Even hurries to him.

"What happened?" He ask concerned.

"We talked. About a lot. She's on medication so it's a little easier to communicate with her but I told her about how everything affected me, why I left and stuff. Told her about you and we talked about me being gay. She shared some stuff. We just talked a lot about stuff that needed to come out.

"And you're feeling, okay? Your eyes are so red, its worrying me."

Isak smiles and pecks his lips, "Im fine, but I want you to meet her." He interlocks his hand with Even's and opens the door, closing it behind him. Isak's mom is sitting on a bed and they look exactly alike. Even notices her fluffy dirty blond hair, pulled back, freckles, the pale skin, soft pointy nose. Even briefly wonders if Isak has any of his dad's features.

"So you're the man who swept my son off his feet?" She smiles.

Even nods, he's suddenly nervous, "I'm Even."

"'Even, great for you to bring my baby here. I missed him so much." She says getting choked up again.

"Momma, come on. Dont cry again." Isak sighs.

"I'm not. Im not." She says wiping her tears threatening to fall.

They talk. They talk about New York, about their relationship, about the future, about their plans for New Zealand. They stand there until visiting hours are over. They even stay an hour later because the employees know how long its been since Marianne has waited for a visit from her son.

But eventually they're getting nudged out. Isak promises to try to call once a week. When they leave the facility, they walk a couple blocks, without a destination and without a word. Even eventually stops them, pushing Isak back up against a brick wall, and kisses the life out of him.

When he pulls back breathless, he ask "What was that for?"

"Im so proud of you.  You have no idea."

Isak breaks into a smile,"Couldn't do that without you. So um, you kind of mentioned in there you wanted to spend your life with me" He teases

Even cheeks flush and mutters shut up as he kisses him again, they make their way back to their hotel, stopping five too many times to make out. They're ready for their getaway.

.

New Zealand is an absolute dream. They spend a lot of time in the water, hiking, eating, having sex, cuddling, sleeping, drinking, having sex, getting massages, watching films,  white water rafting. They never want to leave this utopia they created for themselves. They return to New York in the height of summer. 

Isak starts his internship the week after they return and Even needs to return to work. When Isak gets back in his apartment, he drops his bags on the floor. He goes to say hi to Jonas, knocking on the door and opens the door and definitely does not expect to see a girl in his room, especially not with her mouth around his best friend's dick.

"Um--I--sorry." He says awkwardly and closes the door. Isak laughs to himself. He has a flashback of his first year in high school and the bitterness he felt after that moment. But he's happy for Jonas, whether its a hook up or something serious, he's still happy for him.

When Jonas joins him in his room about a half hour later, Isak ask, "She left?"

"Yeah, we're not gonna talk about it right now. How was your trip?"

Isak buries his face in a pillow and squeals, "I'm so in love." 

"What the hell happened?" Jonas smiles, hopping on the bed.

"We just--I dont know, Jonas. We're just so good together, we had such a good time. He's just so fucking sweet, ugh-he's the best."

"Aww, thats so--"

"And the sex. I never had so much sex in my life. We're so compatible, it makes no sense sometimes."

"Well Im happy for you, dude. You deserve it more than anyone I know." 

"Thank you. I think he's it for me, like I would be so content just being with him forever."

"Forever?" Jonas raises his brows. "That's a big commitment."

"I know but Im not going to feel like this about anyone and I know that. Even is it for me. So what is going on with you and this girl?"  The best friends continue to catch up despite Isak wanting to rest his eyes, they share stories and they cannot be happier for each other. 

.

Even and Isak go a week without seeing each other with Isak's start to his internship. It's only a week but after spending everyday with each other for the last month, it's a bit of adjustment but they make do with facetime and texting.

"When can I see you?" Even ask as he's eating lunch at his desk.

"I don't know, baby." Isak says as he's leaving campus, to head to the lab, "I'll try to make some time this weekend."

"I miss you so much." Even shares.

Isak pouts, "I miss you too. I promise we'll see each other. Let's go the park this weekend or something."

"Yes, I would love that but also would like to do a little something else. We haven't since we got back."

"Next Saturday, just us.  Whatever you want, Im going to lose connection so I will call you later. Love you so much. Bye." And Even watches Isak's face freeze on the screen and locks his phone. Even can't help the smile on his face as he eats his lunch. God, he makes himself sick with how happy he is.

.

They finally make time for each other on Saturday. Isak is sitting on a bench in Central Park drinking his smoothie waiting for Even. He looks up to his right when he sees Even walking his way. He smiles brightly as he runs over to him and collapses into his arms. Even picks him up and kisses him, "You taste sweet."

Isak pulls the smoothie from behind Evens head and holds it up to Even giving him a sip. 

"I missed you." Even says kissing him again.

Isak takes Even's hand as they walk back to the bench. Isak curls himself into a ball, leaning onto Even as they catch up on their week.

They don't leave the park until the sun starts to set. "Think we should probably head somewhere else." Even says.

Isak moans and groans, hugging onto Evens bicep in protest, "Can't we just stay here forever"

Even looks down at Isak and tilts his head up, nuzzling his nose against his, "We can do that."