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phoenix i

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Diego’s favorite time of the day came around 9:00 PM. It was a time when the world started to quiet down. It was a time when the day’s obligations were coming to an end. It also happened to be the time Al’s boxing gym closed for business. It was the time everyone headed out the door and went home, except for a few guys who decided that the rules didn’t apply to them. People only tended to make that mistake once, because Diego was quick to set them right. Closing time was absolute and non-negotiable. 

Once everybody gathered their equipment and left their sweaty, used towels all over the benches in the locker room, Diego was able to be alone. He had grown to enjoy the quiet. God knows he didn’t get any of it growing up. Growing up at the Academy likened to growing up in a zoo, but now, once the last patron left and the glorious sound of the door clicking behind them rang out, Diego could feel peace. 

Cleaning up after brazen, alpha men wasn’t Diego’s first choice, but he just guessed he had been doing it all his life in some way or another, so he was pretty good at it. Also, there was a calmness to the work. It helped serve as a distraction from all the unnecessary grunts and shouting the men did when they lifted their weights, as if each snort they made sent out a signal to the other tough guys in the area that said “Hey. Look at me and how much I can lift.” It drove Diego crazy. And each time someone threw their bench pressing bar on the ground, he always focused harder on the task at hand, his desire to punch one of these guys threatening to boil over. If they couldn’t bring the bar down safely, they aren’t strong enough to be doing that weight, in his opinion. But apparently it was a status symbol, and Diego was content enough knowing he could take any of these noisy, spurious men anyday. They did sometimes reminded him of Luther. 

During the day, there were a few other kids who helped with the custodial work, but at night it was really up to him. Diego had gotten used to following after them and redoing what they did in the first place anyway, so really it was up to him to keep the place up to code. In the back was a checklist of all the necessary tasks that needed to be completed for opening, which Diego also did on his own, as he lived at the gym. Diego had long wondered why Al bothered hiring other people in the first place, but he figured it must have something to do with regulations. And even Diego would admit, his rigorous work ethic was a little unusual.

He had already completed the majority of the easy tasks; wipe down the equipment with sterilizer, clean the mirrors, sanitizing the punching bags, start the laundry for the used towels. That meant it was time to turn to the less appealing jobs. Right now, mopping down the mats in the rings. There were only three of them, but three added up, especially when he had to refill the bucket after each one. Dropping his mop into the sudsy water then back out, Diego let his mind wander. Al had left for a convention out of town, closing the gym for the entire weekend. Diego had tried to tell Al that he was fully capable of running the gym on his own for a few days, but Al had been insistent that he would not let that happen. Diego tried to not take it personally. This place was Al’s baby. Besides, who wouldn’t mind a weekend off? Once he finished up in the rings, he was looking forward to some down time.

The unmistakable sound of the door’s entry bell rang out. If it were humanly possible, Diego would have rolled his eyes all the way back into his head.

“We’re closed.” Diego called out.

“What? Even for me?” a voice lilted back.


Klaus sauntered through the entryway and noncommittally looked around. Now that Diego was thinking about it, Klaus never had been to Al’s. It had kind of been a space that was just his. He had never had to say anything, but none of his siblings had ever stopped by. Now that Klaus was here, it felt like two worlds were colliding and Diego wasn’t sure how to act, because he was two different people in those two very different places. It must have shown on his face, because Klaus broke him out of his thoughts.

“Don’t look at me in that tone!” Klaus scoffed, grabbing onto one of the ropes that lined the ring Diego was in. “I just wanted to see where you worked.”

Using what little weight he had, Klaus leaned backwards and pulled himself up, and he did it without permission because, if he had asked, Diego would have told him to take his dirty street shoes off before ruining the perfectly cleaned mat he had just finished. Still, Diego smiled a little as he waited for Klaus to figure out how to weave his body through, the ropes growing taunt and fighting against him. After months and months of watching guys who got their hits off their own egos, it was a little refreshing to watch someone who didn’t know what they were doing and, maybe more importantly, was very comfortable being perceived as inept.

“Klaus, come on. What are you doing?” Diego sighed. “I just want to go to bed.”

Klaus bounced up and down, throwing fake jabs at the air. “Come on, Diego. I’m a fair fighter.”

“Uh-huh.” Diego answered, unconvinced. “I’m sure.”

“Hm…” Klaus quipped “Rendered speechless by my abilities, I see.”

Klaus knew exactly how to play him, and Diego hated himself for being so predictable, but that simple sentence worked like a charm. Because, even though Diego knew that Klaus didn’t actually think he could win in a fight, Diego still felt the need to prove it. There is something almost innate in people who have siblings, and that’s the desire to fight with them, even long after such childish impulses should be gone.

Diego carefully moved his bucket of dirty water out of the way then lunged at his brother. Klaus sure as hell didn’t know how to fight, but he was scrappy, and he didn’t follow any of the rules, so Diego did have a hard time pinning him down. When any trained boxer would have dodged left, Klaus would do some unnecessary spin to the right or instead of blocking Diego’s jabs with the sides of his arms, Klaus instead chose to drop to the floor. Diego’s own methodology broke down not far into the skuffle, reverting back to a juvenile struggle, where precision had no influence on who won. He was, however, careful to make sure he didn’t actually land a solid hit. 

Diego could feel Klaus’ fighting spirit coming to an end when he broke out from a hold he was in and eyed the edge of the ring. Making his way over, Klaus pushed down on the ropes experimentally.

“Does it actually work like it does in the movies?” he asked. When Diego returned the question with a look of confusion, Klaus rolled his eyes. “Like can people bounce back off of these?” he clarified.

Before Diego could tell him “no,” Klaus leaned back against the ropes, his slender body slipping through the ropes and barrelling towards the floor feet below them. Diego’s breath caught in his throat as he dashed towards his brother, catching Klaus’ wrist in his grip just in time. Using all of his weight, he pulled him back up. However, it was once discovered that “an object in motion tends to remain in motion with the same speed and in the same direction unless acted upon by an unbalanced force.” In this case, the object, or objects in motion, were Diego and Klaus and the unbalanced force, was the solid, unforgiving mat. Diego braced himself as Klaus’ body fell on top of his.

“Are you stupid?” Diego chastised, breathless.

“So… if I’m on top, does that mean I win?” That stupid smile on Klaus' face drove Diego crazy. There’s no way he was leaving here that satisfied with himself.

Leveraging his weight, Diego grabbed Klaus’ left shoulder with his right hand and flipped over his brother, their positions switching in seconds. Klaus gasped at the speed as he landed lightly on the floor, Diego now towering over him. Klaus looked up at him through his eyelashes, the movement so simple, yet so effective. It was only then the reality of their position started to dawn on him and the warmth of Klaus’ inner thighs began to burn. Diego could feel his cheeks flush.

This was dangerous. He had felt this before.Years ago, when they were just teenagers, he and Klaus had shared a kiss. It had been tentative. Experimental, they told themselves. Just a brief peck, but it had lit Diego on fire. He remembered his first thought: Luther and Allison have their thing, right? So why can’t he and Klaus? Maybe they could actually do this. His brother and sister tried to hide it, but it was so obvious. And Reginald knew it too, but he never said anything. It had been a thought born of childlike bliss, because his second thought came crashing in almost immediately, providing a swift hand of reality: Luther and Allison were Reginald’s favorites. He and Klaus were his defiant son and his useless son, respectively. Although Diego would never call his brother useless. Never. He had been so in love, had such a shift in his world at such a small action, that Diego even considered starting to be more obedient, so he could earn his father’s affections and, as a result, he could be with Klaus. But even before the thought could complete itself, he knew it was all wishful thinking. 

So, Diego did the only thing he could do. He backed off. He had shut Klaus down, and rather harshly sometimes, until the advances became less and less, Klaus slowly getting the hint. But each time Klaus would try again, a brush past him that was slightly closer than necessary, the whisper of his hand on his back, each time he leaned in a little too close, Diego would have the fleeting moment where he entertained the idea. But Klaus never thought about anything long term and never put much stock in his personal well-being, so Diego had to do it for both of them. No. This way kept them both safe, and below the father’s radar. The illusion of choice when there truly is none is the cruelest thing the world could provide. He had pushed it down and put in a little box in the back of his mind, where he let it gather dust. Until now.


Diego’s mind reeled in surprise when Klaus shot up, grabbing both sides of his face and pulling him into a sudden kiss. What surprised him even more was that he kissed back without thinking twice. And he kissed back hard. The only thing Diego could compare the feeling to was that first breath of air you take after almost drowning, the kind that rips through your lungs. Relief. Release. Pain. Ecstasy. The dam breaking. Diego held the back of Klaus’ head, his first thought, ridiculous enough, being that Klaus might hurt his neck if he kept it at that angle unsupported for too long. His other hand greedily hooked behind Klaus’ knee and pulled it up to his chest. Klaus responded beautifully, breaking their kiss to let out a small moan. Diego’s heart felt like it was caught in his throat.

Their father couldn’t get to them here.

“Do you want to go to my room?” Diego panted.

Klaus looked absolutely devilish. “Round Two on another mat, huh?” he teased. 

Diego broke records getting them there. 

Chapter Text

The second they stumbled through the threshold, Diego was on him. Gripping Klaus around the nape of his neck, Diego pulled him into another, deeper kiss, their tongues exploring one another with matched vigor. He could already feel the friction from Klaus’ facial hair rubbing painfully against his face, but he didn’t care. He didn’t care at all. Using his hand as a cushion for his brother’s head, Diego pinned Klaus against the wall, their bodies becoming incredibly closer. Abandoning Klaus’ mouth, Diego moved to his neck, roughly kissing at the base. He could feel Klaus tighten in his hold, a breathless, desperate whimper in his ear. As if he was doing it on purpose, Klaus rolled his hips upwards to meet Diego’s, the pressure taunting at him playfully. Diego had never been this out of control in his life. He felt absolutely feral. 

Diego couldn’t remember how they got down the small set of stairs, but they must have because the next thing he noticed was that he was being thrown down, landing in the one chair he owned. Frustrated by the separation, Diego tried to get back up.

“Pause.” Klaus held up a hand and Diego couldn’t help but think about how swollen his lips already were. “Should I close the door?”

“No, no one is here this weekend.” Diego panted impatiently.

A wicked look crossed Klaus’ face. “Oh, really?”

Every movement Klaus made was unbelievable. Now that they were finally, truly able to indulge in this, it was like the years of contained energy had broken loose. Diego started to get out of the chair again, only to feel a hand on his chest, shoving him back into it.

“No, don’t move.” Klaus mused. “I think you’re due for an exercise in patience.”

Diego nodded, his head barely moving. Instead, it was his eyes. Backing up, Klaus slowly started to lift his shirt over his head, unwrapping his torso as if it were a gift. Diego couldn’t help but watch his nimble frame stretch as his pulled the shirt off, consumed. The thought surprised him, but all he could wonder was how Klaus tasted. All he wanted to do was follow the concave of Klaus’ stomach with his hands, to show Klaus the reverence he was feeling. 

In a play of false modesty, Klaus turned around, but he knew exactly what he was doing. Diego attention instantly went to his brother’s shoulder blades, svelte and defined. They rolled as Klaus went to undo his pants, and if Diego thought it was bad now, it was all over with what Klaus pulled out next. 

Rather than watching Klaus’ leather pants fall to the floor, Diego’s entire being was centered around the black lingerie he revealed in doing so. His brother didn’t have much of an ass, but the delicate lacing around the edges accentuated everything his brother had to offer and left nothing to the imagination. The strings created intricate patterns over Klaus’ hip bones, a complex maze Diego felt vaguely intimidated by, but still wanted to get lost in. He couldn’t imagine how long it would take to get that on properly, or how quickly that hard work could be undone. The thought alone brought an incriminating heat rushing to his cheeks and he could feel the back of his neck growing hot. 

“Are you fucking kidding me?” he choked.

Klaus broke character for just a moment, a genuine laugh escaping his lips, before a sultry look took over again. 

With bated breath, Diego’s skin lit up as Klaus leaned over, his hands landing on the armrests right next to his. Klaus playfully brushed his nose against Diego’s and whispered “You should relax a little,” his mouth then moving to nip Diego’s earlobe.  He tried, but despite his brother’s words, Diego stiffened again as Klaus moved again, lower. His brother’s touch ignited when he brought his hands to rest on his knees, unsure of what was going to happen next, but brimming with anticipation at the same time. For the first time in his life, Diego was plyable, responding to each subtle touch Klaus used to direct him. Gently, his eyes asking for permission, Klaus nudged for Diego to spread his legs apart. Crouching forward, Klaus held to Diego’s thighs, stopping short of Diego’s bulge, which there was no way he could hide anymore. The heat from Klaus’ breath as he exhaled over it made Diego’s mind start to go fuzzy and, as much as Diego’s body was screaming at him, he couldn’t look away from the hold of Klaus’ eyes. Their eyes were locked.  

He felt starved. He couldn’t take it anymore.

Diego’s hands barely made it off the armrest before Klaus backed off and he instantly regretted his attempt.

“That’s not what I told you to do.” Klaus tisked, pushing Diego’s hands back down. “I’ll tell you when you can move.”

It took everything in him to lean back into the seat, his fingers coiling around the edge of the armrests. Newfound determination settled into his mind. He wasn’t going to let Klaus have bragging rights later. Klaus followed shortly after, draping his arms around Diego’s head. Then finally, finally Klaus weaved his legs over Diego’s lap, straddling him. The feeling of Klaus’ weight and the heat from his inner thighs came as both a relief and a curse, because it was one of the most luxurious agonies Diego had ever felt. Diego couldn’t imagine it getting any worse, but then Klaus started grinding. It started out slow and mildly timid, as if Klaus were unsure. Diego couldn’t imagine how he could feel that way. Everything he had done up to this point was sinfully flawless. But then he seemed to gain more confidence, the grinding becoming more eager and less controlled. As he started to pick up speed, Klaus had the audacity to start mewling, sound breaking out every few seconds. That was the last Diego could take. He threw head back and gasped

Fuck, Klaus knows what he was doing.

“How are you so good at this?” Diego hissed, the words barely getting out.

“I’ve had a lot of practice.” Klaus answered, sounding just as out of breath.

Diego could feel his jealousy streak flare up. “I don’t want to hear about that.” 

Every move Klaus made made Diego’s skin feel like it was on fire. Diego gripped the armrests until his knuckles were white. It took every ounce of concentration he had to keep them there and not all over his brother. He could barely even look at Klaus, whose hair had started to grow damp on the ends from sweat.

Diego squeezed his eyes shut.

“Diego, remember to breathe.” 

Klaus’ voice sounded distant, but Diego let out a gasp he hadn’t realized he had been holding in, the air refilling his lungs. Klaus paused for a few moments, waiting for Diego’s breath to return a normal, steady pace. 

“Are you okay?” Klaus asked.

Diego nodded sharply, but it didn’t seem to convince Klaus.

“Can you tell me you’re okay?” he asked again.

“M...more… thh… than...nhm...okay.” Of course his stutter came out now, of all times.

“Very good.” Klaus praised, making Diego blush furiously. He wouldn’t have bought it from anyone else, but coming from Klaus, it sounded so erotic.

The lace of the lingerie rubbed against Diego, the feeling very different than that of skin. He tried not to focus on it too much, but each tiny movement brought it to the forefront of his mind. Diego had a sneaking suspicion that it made him feel more exposed than it did Klaus.

Klaus flexed, making Diego buck involuntarily, almost throwing Klaus off.

“Land…” Diego strained, his full concentration on trying to stay still. “Land the plane, Klaus. Please.” 

In response to his words, Klaus carefully got off of him. Part of Diego felt immense relief, the other felt immense longing. All he wanted was a turn at the wheel, but he waited, knowing his chance was coming soon enough. He could let Klaus have his fun for a little while longer. Klaus gingerly pressed his knee between Diego’s legs, and it took everything in Diego to not thrust himself forward onto it, just to relieve himself a tiny bit. The two of them sat in tense silence for what felt like ages.


Diego pounced on him.

Diego threw Klaus backwards onto his bed, Kissed down Klaus’ stomach, his lips just barely grazing over skin and stopping just above the lining of lace. He took a moment to savor it, his nose nestling in the trail of hair just below Klaus’ navel.

“Come up here.” Klaus whispered, and Diego obliged immediately, crawling up Klaus’ lithe torso and leaving brief pecks of admiration along the way. Once he met his brother’s gaze, he raised his lips to meet Klaus’. Klaus hooked his legs behind Diego’s back as he deepened the kiss further, Diego’s own hips rocking against Klaus’ body. Heat rose as Klaus’ fingers tangled themselves around the back of Diego’s head, pulling him impossibly closer.

Diego lifted his brother, trying to get into a more comfortable position, but he either overestimated Klaus’ weight or underestimated his strength, because instead of his brother landing on the mattress, the back of his head slammed into the bedpost.

“Shit, are you okay?” Diego panicked, backing off immediately. 

“Yeah, yeah, yeah, I’m fine.” Klaus panted urgently, pulling him back. “Don’t stop.”

Diego was more than happy to oblige. Klaus gasped as Diego went back in. Diego grabbed his hair for purchase and felt his labored breath building against his brother’s neck. He could feel Klaus getting hard underneath him, his own body reacting the same way. The pressure was trapped inside his own pants, which he still hadn’t had a chance to take off. In fact, reality came crashing over him. His clothes were still on, but this was the most exposed he had ever in his life. What if someone found out? What if this was an impulse decision? What if Klaus regretted this later? He had never gone this far with Klaus, even though he had been haunted by his desire to all these years. Even though he fantasized about it when his self-discipline waned. Now all his cards were on the table, because this was the kind of thing you couldn’t take back. But god , he wanted to do this.

“You sure about this?” Diego paused. “We can stop if you want to.”

Rather than answering the question directly, Klaus rolled his hips up to meet Diego’s, making him moan. He knew that Klaus was playing with him like a toy, but he loved it. “What do you think?” Klaus smiled obscenely. 

Every move Klaus made felt like release. 

Every sound Klaus made felt like liberation.

Klaus melted into every touch, They were both participating in a dance Diego was able to lead. Diego could feel Klaus’ hands roaming reverently over his chest, their cool presence leaving a scorching trail behind them. His brothers fingers burrowed into his hair, and Diego took it as an invitation to speed things up. He paused over his brother’s chest, the heat of his breath. It was this moment when he realized how fragile Klaus was, his body rising and falling. With a sharp gasp, he felt Klaus and looked up to see him grasping the bed frame behind his head, and Diego mourned their absence. 

“Woah, woah, woah, slow down." Klaus breathed into Diego’s ear.

Diego growled in frustration, but responded instantly, easing off the gas and instead setting a slow, deep pace that was agonizing for them both.

“You had us all fooled, but you really are good at listening to directions, aren’t you?” The effect was instant. Diego flipped Klaus over onto his stomach and tore Klaus’ lingerie aside, actually making it tear.

“Hey. Lingerie isn’t exactly CHEAP!” Klaus keened, his words stopping short as Diego stuck his tongue, exploring earnestly. “Oh my god!”

“And how did you get so good at this?” Klaus called back.

Diego smirked. “A lot of practice.”

Klaus laughed softly into the crook of his arm as he leaned deeper into Diego’s hold.

Diego placed a hand on the small of Klaus’ back, prompting him to arch more. Klaus was pliable, instantly sticking his ass out and burying his face into the sheets. His brother let out a desperate, breathy sound, fully committed to the role at this point, and Diego was buying it. 

“I’m getting close!” Klaus whined.

“Turn around, turn around!” Diego guided.

Their eyes locked and it felt like freedom, but it scared him as well. Lost behind the intricate green, Diego could see his own anxieties masquerading in his brother’s; the kind of fear that left one feeling vulnerable, yet powerful at the same time. A quiet fear that was laced with an embolding strength. They were free.

Diego collapsed, his head falling against Klaus’ shoulder. As he waited for his breathing to return to normal, he could feel Klaus running his hand through his hair idly, and it was the most loved Diego had ever felt.

Chapter Text

Diego knew that his arm had fallen asleep, but he didn’t care. The gentle weight of Klaus’ head rested on his upper arm, definitely cutting off his circulation. His chest tightened as Klaus shifted, reminding him that this was actually happening. The motion traveled down his body, bringing them closer together. He could feel Klaus back pressed against his chest, Diego’s arm draped tenderly over him. Diego never wanted to move again. Leaning forward, he nuzzled his face into the back of Klaus’ neck, sighing deeply. Contently. 

Of course, Diego had thought about this moment often. Fantasized about what it would be like. But nothing could have prepared him for the real thing. It’s impossible to imagine this feeling.

Klaus followed his movements as Diego lazily traced the “G” of his brother’s “Good Bye” tattoo, cherishing the slightest of every touch. Klaus occasionally clamped his fingers over Diego’s, stopping the repetitive motion to stroke over Diego’s calloused knuckles. His mind wandered over the catalog of new things he learned about Klaus’ body. The scars he had never known about, the skull on his arm, the castle of symbols on his chest, the tiger...

“Why did you…” Diego paused, unsure if he wanted to potentially ruin the moment. “Why did you get more tattoos after…”

“After Dad had us get a matching set?” Klaus finished.

Diego nodded curtly, the memory alone igniting his dormant anger. But he didn’t want to feel that. Not here, not now.

“I don’t know…” Klaus buried his head against Diego’s arm. “I guess because I got to make those decisions, not him. Kind of reclaiming myself, you know? They remind me that he couldn’t control me.”

“And can’t. Not anymore.” Diego growled. Their father couldn’t touch them now.

He felt Klaus relax deeper into Diego’s hold, the thought alone bringing him peace.

“Not anymore.” Klaus repeated.

Klaus pulled himself up, turning around to rest on his elbows and look at Diego’s own umbrella tattoo. Diego kept his arm in place, letting him, even though he never gave his own branding any attention. He did everything in his power to forget it even existed. It was the most shameful part of himself, but with Klaus, it felt safe to show it. His skin lit up as Klaus placed a soft kiss over it, whether from the gesture or the prickling of blood coming back, Diego wasn’t sure.

“You want to get another couple’s tattoo with me?” Klaus teased.

Diego laughed. “Nope. You couldn’t pay me. I love you, but you’re going to have to do a lot more than that to get me over my thing with needles.”

Diego blushed as he realized what he had just said. There was no way either of them were ready for that. Shit.

“Klaus, I didn’t mean…”

Klaus’ kiss was passionate. Passionate, but in a different way than the others before. A quiet force. Unbridled and tender. Slow and deep. Diego brought his hands up to cup his brother’s face, bringing him closer. Diego wanted to live in the moment forever, but Klaus pulled away, taking the breath from Diego’s lungs with him. They stayed there for a few moments, Klaus absentmindedly stroking the side of Diego’s face, and Diego felt nothing but devotion for the man he saw.

Placing another small peck on Diego’s hand, Klaus jumped out of bed.

Diego blinked in surprise. “Wait! Where are you going?”

“Well, I’m not going to sleep in that. ” Klaus gestured down at the ruined lingerie on the floor. “Sure, I had the foresight to get all dolled up, but not enough to pack a change of clothes. I think it’s impressive enough that I thought that far ahead.” Klaus eyed the sorry excuse for drawers Diego kept all his clothes in and made his way towards it. “Which one has your underwear in it?”

Diego could barely think about Klaus wearing his clothes, his mind turning to a frenzy. As casually as he could muster choked “Top one.” and hoped Klaus wouldn’t notice. But of course he did. A smile played on his lips as he started rummaging around inside the drawer.

“I’m sorry about that.”

 Klaus followed Diego’s gaze and casually looked down at the stain on his chest, then brushed Diego’s apology away with a magnanimous flick of his hand. “It’s a compliment. Is there a place to clean up?”

“There are showers in the locker room.”

Klaus feigned offense “And you didn’t tell me that earlier? He smiled. “Imagine what I could’ve made happen in there.”

Diego flushed at the idea.

“Ideas for next time…” Klaus lilted, grabbing his shirt off the floor before heading towards the showers. “Maybe you can bring out the knives too!” Klaus called from down the hallway. Diego was thankful that his brother wouldn’t see the effect his words had.