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Staring at the Sun

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Jeremy was concerned. Jean had left with Kevin and Neil and it had been over an hour. He had Gregory with him but… 

"They're fine right?" He asked Andrew, "I mean they are all together so nothing bad could--"

“You greatly overestimate Kevin and Neil’s abilities to make good decisions,” Andrew deigned to reply, flicking him a bored look. Apparently he had been worn down enough by his constant worrying over the past fifteen minutes to finally reply.

"Jean makes good decisions." Unless it involved Kevin. Or Neil. 

Oh god what if they were dead. Or killed each other. Or got taken by the Yakuza or-- They were just going to secure their entrance to the club. It was fine.

"Do you want me to go look for them?" Katsu offered.

"Nope, you are staying here." He grabbed Katsu’s shirt and tugged him back. He could not lose a freshman.

Andrew settled his unnerving blank stare at Katsu and he just laughed nervously and ducking behind Jeremy. Katsu had over a head on him, so he doubted he was a particularly good shield. 

Then he saw three figures coming back, two tall, one short. And a dog. A wave of relief went through him. And as they approached Jeremy was pleased to see nobody was bleeding. Or bruised and they weren't fighting yet, or perhaps anymore.

"We're good. Kevin heavily implied he was willing to fuck the bouncer which almost backfired horribly because turns out she was a lesbian, which should have been obvious very butch, and his approach wasn't what you might call delicate. But then we were recognized and it turns out some of the other staff are exy fans so we are fine." Jean relayed.

Neil shot another confused look at him and Katsu, "Why are Jean's weird happy pets here again?" 

"Hey!" Katsu exclaimed.

"I let you bring Kevin and Andrew," Jeremy wasn't sure if he was supposed to be Kevin or Andrew in the comparison. And he was honestly not sure which he would prefer.

"Fuck you," Kevin snapped.

Jean rolled his eyes. But they got into the club without difficulties. 

While Neil and Andrew got drinks, Kecin made a disparaging remark towards Jean. "I think you should take it easy tonight, I mean you are a bit of a light weight and this is a busy place and shit and I don't want you to--"

Jean did not appreciate the concern. Whenever Kevin tried to be gentle or cautious it was consistently met with a fairly severe backlash. "Fuck you Kevin, you're the lightweight I can out-drink you any day."

Once the challenge was issued. Jeremy gave up any hope of having a drink himself. Despite Kevin's fumbled attempt to be careful they were both too competitive.

He snatched the shot away from Katsu once Neil and Andrew returned with a hiss, "You are not, making me deal with them on my own. You are here to help me keep them safe and get them home when they are plastered. If you make me take care of you too, you are starting every practice with 50 laps, I swear to god."

Katsu pouted but agreed. "Dibs on Jean?" 

"Absolutely not." He doubted Jean would be okay with someone else touching him while he was intoxicated or otherwise out of it. Even if Katsu was a really good friend, as much as Jean tried to deny it. However more importantly Jeremy didn't want to deal with Kevin, who he had yet to make his mind up on. At least he was pretty sure he wasn't going to try and get with Jean or vice versa, which was a point in his favor. 

"Fine." Katsu sighed, before perking up when Andrew and Neil returned.

They started "slow." Dividing up the shots procured for them while Andrew took none and Neil drank what looked like a cocktail but was actually just juice, he made Andrew drink most of it, grimacing at the taste. Then Kevin went off on the dance floor, and Katsu went too with a promise to check back in regularly and keep an eye on Kevin's whereabouts.

They soon made a reappearance at the edge of the crowd. Kevin had his tongue down some girl's throat and a hand in someone else's pants. There may have been a third person who had a hand in Kevin's pants.

Jean made a disgusted gagging noise. 

Katsu returned back to the table for a moment. "Um, do I have to watch him while…"

"No, I would never wish that upon anyone."

"Also why the fuck hasn’t he tried to sleep with me?  I mean, I am a little offended he has tried to sleep with almost the entire team."

"You're a freshman. Going to be." Jean deliberately ignored whatever Kevin was doing and he disappeared into the crowd. 


"You are too young." Jean reiterated. Jeremy wondered if that statement was because sometimes freshmen had summer birthdays and from Kevin's perspective the freshman could still be underage.

Neil elaborated "You moved out of your parents' house like what a month, a month and a half ago? Kevin's an idiot but he also isn't going to take advantage of the fact that he's a celebrity and try to sleep with people who might not be ready for that and might feel pressured or if they are at a completely different point in their life from him. It's a weird power dynamic. Or whatever, not sure how to phrase it. He has a code at the very least."

"And I would kill him." Andrew added. 

Oh. That was better. 

Katsu had a follow up question, "That's pretty specific."

"Yes, he put a lot of thought into it once people started throwing themselves at him when we were younger." Jean grumbled. 

Jeremy knew that Kevin was in, or had at some point, some kind of relationship with Thea Muldani, who graduated the year Kevin was a freshman. A rather significant age gap, Jeremy didn’t say anything, it wasn’t his business and from what he heard about Muldani from Jean was mostly positive, but he couldn’t help but wonder if that, and Kevin’s policy of not sleeping with people significantly younger, or at least freshman, were correlated.

“Although I am honestly astonished with how many-- Neil is this normal for him?"

"No, he's really going all out on this trip. To be fair, Palmetto has a fairly small pool compared to L.A. But also a bit yeah, far more success here though."

"I mean it makes sense. I can't imagine anyone sleeping with him then deciding to repeat the experience."

Neil and Andrew departed to get drinks, it had been awhile so Jeremy scanned the club for them and caught a glimpse of them in a corner, Andrew's hands in Neil's back pockets, Neil's hands in his hair and mouth on his neck. Jeremy quickly looked away.

Kevin returned with lipstick on his face before Neil and Andrew. 

 Jean muttered darkly half under his breath, but still plenty loud enough to hear. “And they called me the Raven whore.” 

Kevin let out a choking noise and went white as a sheet and looking just as stricken as Jeremy felt, the image of those words carved in scar tissue below the small of Jean's back flashed in his mind. They were the only two that caught what he said. Katsu was on the dance floor.

"It's a little bit funny."  Jean defended, looking at their aghast expressions.

"It isn't. It wasn't--" Kevin stammered horrified.

"It's my trauma. I can joke about it if I want to." When neither of them lightened their expressions Jean rolled his eyes. "Fine. Where are Neil and Andrew? At least they should be with the alcohol, if Kevin's done avoiding actually making an effort in this competition--"

"I'm giving you time to adjust to the alcohol already in your system asshole, you're going to need it." Petty rivalry and competition seemed to clear Kevin's mind, but he still looked a bit upset. Rubbing some of the lipstick off his neck.

Kevin opened his mouth to say something but Jean took the mature response of kicking him in the shin.

"Um. They are uh, occupied, I think we should leave them be." 

Jean wrinkled his nose. Kevin rolled his eyes theatrically and huffed impatiently, before leaving to join the dance floor with a, "Come get me when they get back." Kevin kept darting glances at Jean while refusing to actually look at him for longer than a half second.

Five or so minutes later Neil and Andrew returned and Jean sent Katsu to go find Kevin.

When they return Jean said something biting, Jeremy  assumed was very mature and collected, got a "Fuck you!" in response and then the two of them started downing shots of like they were in the civil war and about to get their limbs amputated. 

The night devolved from there. 

Jeremy figured there was a fifty-fifty shot if they were blackout drunk or not. He recalled Jean getting slightly tipsy long before the foxes’ visit and watching Avatar. Upon reflection that had not been drunk. Not in the slightest.

By the time they left Kevin and Jean were leaning on each other for support and stumbling; alternating between shouting at each other and laughing hysterically and something that only made sense to them.

Once out on the concrete Kevin tipped over onto the ground and Jean pointed and laughed before also immediately falling without Kevin holding him up.

To which Kevin laughed back,  "Fucking light weight," 

"Shu' up Ke’in, your on za, ze, de whats i’ called? outside floor! You'rr oustide floor too" Jean slurring his words, in an almost incomprehensibly thick French accent.

Jeremy went to help Jean up, Jean just tried to tug him down, then settled for kinda headbutting then nuzzling his stomach, "You're pre'ty"

"I'm pretty too," Kevin screamed.

"No you aren't you're … you're … " Jean squinted, "ass-face. Basic ass bitch. Moms ugly."

"Well your moms a whore and fat,"

"You're both so drunk," Jeremy laughed, Jean had his arms around his waist and face buried in his t-shirt at his stomach only turning away occasionally to shout some drunken insults at Kevin and Neil. 

"Katsu put the phone down and delete the video," Jeremy ordered with a sigh. Katsu frowned but put his phone away. He knew there was a minimum 70 percent chance that he did not delete the video.

"Hmmmm you smell nice." Jean mumbled

"Are you going to throw up in the car if I call one?" Jeremy asked, amused resting his hands on his shoulders while Jean held his middle fast. He was so cute.

"No, Kevin will though 'cause he's a loser.

"I'm not a loser!"

"Yes you are. you're on the outside floor. Loser. Bitch,"

"So are you,"

"I am doing it on purposefully. Porpoise. No, that's a dolphin. Because I want to be here Kevin." Neil also had a camera, but Jeremy wasn't going to tell him what to do, it seemed more focused on Kevin anyway.

Jeremy had never seen Jean drunk before, at least not as drunk as he got with Kevin and whatever competitive bullshit they had going on. He had thought last night was drunk. But this insane amount of liquor they downed trying to outdo each other would have probably put someone Jeremys size in the ER and they were absolutely plastered. Even more than they had been the other night. At least then they had been able to stand. But as tonight had been some kind of competition, he just counted himself as lucky that neither of them had alcohol poisoning. 

Jean made to swing at Kevin but missed his face by over a foot and just blinked at the air in front of him. "We should -- we should play a game."

Kevin made a garbled noise and lurched forward. Apparently it was enough for Jean to understand. So he continued, "Hand in face and the first falling is loser."

Kevin somehow understood that sentence and swung his hand at Jean but missed and Jean laughed. "Only one of you. There's too many, it’s cheating."

"You're too many" The game seemed to be trying to punch each other in the face, again, which Jeremy normally would have stopped immediately but they were both so drunk that the odds of their fists actually making contact with the other person looked very low. Neil and Andrew just passively watched, they wouldn't intervene unless someone was dying, so he gave a nod to a very overwhelmed Katsu to keep an eye on the situation. Jean clung to his shirt and whined when he tried to step away.

The uber arrived and Jeremy helped Jean to his feet. He leaned on him tucking his chin on his shoulder swaying dangerously. Before righting himself. "You going to be good to walk?" 

Jean just groaned.

Andrew went to haul Kevin to his feet and shove him into the backseat with Jean. Before Neil and him left. “Call if there are any problems, but otherwise just get him mostly propped up on some surface in case he pukes and he’ll be good in the morning.”

They managed to make it back to the dorms without either of them throwing up and he gave the driver a hefty tip and five star review while apologizing profusely. Katsu had to sit in the middle between the two of them. His amusement about the situation had declined rapidly. Particularly when Kevin thought he was Jean and started yelling at him in French while poking him in the chest. 

Well mostly in French, it was pretty garbled and incomprehensible.

Kevin and Jean managed to support each other, stumbling arm in arm onto the elevator and into their room, only tripping twice before they collapsed on the couch on top of each other. Katsu let out an exhausted sigh and left once Jeremy gave him a nod and permission to leave.

It was actually super cute to watch them cuddle. Jean just made a groaning sound when he tried to encourage him to come to bed, so he let them sleep there, curling up in an armchair himself. It didn't feel right for some reason to go to their bed without Jean. And if Jean did have a nightmare, waking up next to Kevin probably wouldn't end well.

Gregory curled up on his dog bed at the end of the couch after a cautious sniff at Kevin.

It was immediately less cute when Jean woke up first, saw Kevin asleep on his shoulder and snoring, wrinkled his nose then immediately shoved him to the ground.

"Dude what the fuck! Asshole!" Kevin yelled.

"You were drooling." Jean glared at Kevin on the floor unapologetic.

He stretched his shoulders, popping his elbows before staggering to his feet with a groan, "Ugh what time is it?" 

"Just before six," Jeremy yawned they'd only been home a couple of hours.

"I'm going the fuck back to sleep." Jean offered him a hand then tugged him to his feet and they made their way into the bedroom.

"You sure? You don't want to do your morning exercise--" Jeremy smirked, Jean looked miserable.

"Shhhhhhhh," Jean hushed him, pulling him to bed and wrapping his arms around him, getting situated in the blankets behind him. 

Jeremy couldn't argue with that. The chair had been terrible to try and sleep on. And the warm embrace of Jean’s arms was too comfortable to ever leave.