The first time you saw Diego shirtless was unintentional, as some first times usually were. You hadn’t been trying to catch him without his trademark black turtleneck on(he seemed to wear it at all times, anyway), but alas. There you were, frozen in the doorway of the Hargreeves basement kitchen as you spotted him, his back facing you as he rummaged through the fridge that morning.
You’d been friends with Allison Hargreeves since you were young, but your friendship had been a strange one, to say the least. You’d hardly been able to step foot in Reginald Hargreeves’ mansion more than a few times throughout your life due to his strict rules about having friends outside of the Umbrella Academy. However, Allison’s mother, Grace, had persuaded the cold, cruel bastard to allow for a few visits from friends for all seven siblings.
Allison was the only one of the bunch that really had any friends other than her siblings, so you were the only outsider regularly allowed inside the towering mansion. Of course, it was only for short visits, and she’d tried to sneak you in for an impromptu sleepover one night when you were twelve, but Reginald seemed to have eyes everywhere.
After that incident, you’d been banned from the house, and no amount of pleading from Allison, nor negotiation from Grace would change that.
Now, years later, and after Reginald’s long overdue death, you found yourself in the intimidating house again, staying a few nights simply because you could, and because Allison wanted you there.
Well...finding your best friend’s brother shirtless in the kitchen the morning after arriving wasn’t exactly what you’d had in mind.
It had been close to eighteen years since you’d seen the knife-wielding boy, who had obviously grown into a man over those years, his body changing and shaping into the man you saw now, who still hadn’t noticed you were staring at him.
I’m not staring, you insisted, blinking a few times. I’m just...surprised to see him, that’s all.
He was currently hunched over, grumbling something inaudible as he searched through the fridge. You almost cleared your throat to alert him of your presence, but the sudden flex of his back as he reached for what he wanted gave you pause. The muscles on his back were prominent and rippled down the tanned expanse of skin you could see, his spine a welcoming divet in his back that crept down to the waistband of his gray sweatpants.
You could hardly register his movements, blinking your mind clear of all thoughts when he turned around and flinched upon noticing you. “Jesus Christ,” he muttered in a battered sigh. “Don’t sneak up on a man like that.”
“Sorry,” you mumbled, your voice still soft and scratchy from sleep. “I, uh, I was just—” You meant to keep going, to make up a pitiful excuse for why you hadn’t announced your presence to the objectively attractive man in the kitchen, but he’d turned around again.
Reaching into the cabinet, Diego pulled out a tall glass. In his other hand was an egg, which he proceeded to crack, pouring the raw contents into the cup and downing them in one sip.
You couldn’t help the confused expression on your face and the disturbed cough that burst from your lips, which you slapped a hand over. You’d seen Rocky drink raw eggs, but that was in a movie. You never thought people would actually subject themselves to that.
“Isn’t that, uh...gross?” You asked softly, padding closer to him but keeping your distance by pausing on the opposite side of the kitchen table. Pointing a finger vaguely at the now empty glass, you cocked an eyebrow. “I mean, that’s raw egg .”
He chuckled lightly as he rinsed it and put it in the dishwasher. “Oh, it’s disgusting,” he reassured, “but it’s better than cooking out all the nutrients and just having them scrambled.” His eyes met yours and held them for a second, before narrowing them in thought, scrutinizing you. “What’s your name again?”
The disappointment in your gut surprised you, as you weren’t sure why you cared whether or not Allison’s brother remembered you. You told him your name gently, offering a smile that he merely stared at, his face relaxed and lips slightly parted. “What?” You said, crossing your arms over your pajama shirt.
Diego shook his head. “Nothing,” was his response, though you wished there was more. “Just never thought I’d see you here again. Not after Allison tried to sneak you in.”
You cocked an eyebrow. He remembered that? Shrugging, you fidgeted with the hem of your shirt to keep yourself from looking anywhere but his eyes. “Yeah, well…” you trailed off, only to finish dumbly, “Here I am.”
The silence only lasted a few more painfully long seconds before the towering man across from you straightened, jabbing a thumb behind him to gesture at the fridge. “You want anything for breakfast?”
“Um…” you started, but you got distracted by the revelation that Diego Hargreeves had a nipple piercing. A small, metal ring that looped through the skin, just begging you to stare at it.
Or better yet, touch it. Lick it. Pull on it with your teeth.
Unfortunately, you’d been openly staring at his chest, as was obvious once he cleared his throat and drawled, “You know, my eyes are up here.”
Shaking your head to clear it of any and all sinful thoughts, you rubbed your eyes and mumbled another, “Sorry.”
Diego dragged his eyes over your body and smirked. “No harm done,” he said in a low voice, “it’s not like I got it just for me to stare at.”
Thank god he turned around before he could see your widened eyes and furious blush creeping up on your cheeks. Looking down at the floor, you covered your mouth again with a palm as you fought to stifle a giggle. What is he doing to me? You’d never been rendered speechless before, and for some reason the sight of Diego’s strong, deliciously toned torso was enough to do it.
“You know, it’s nice to see you again,” he said from the fridge, pulling out a gallon of milk and setting it beside the pancake mix he’d found in the pantry. “I mean, it’s nice to see that dear old Allison still has friends.”
You meant to say something in return, something snappy perhaps, but your eyes were travelling down, down, down…
His sweatpants hung low on his hips, the swell of his back making you think of what his clothes were covering, what you couldn’t see. His back, other than a few thick scars, was clean of all impurities, an inviting empty canvas. Never before had you wanted to rake your fingernails down someone’s back so much.
A tutting noise behind you made you blink sharply, jerking your head to find Allison shuffling into the kitchen. “Jesus, Diego,” she groaned, “put a shirt on. No one wants to see that, especially not this early in the morning.”
He turned his head to make a face at his sister before flicking his eyes to yours, that same knowing smirk gracing his lips. “It’s not my fault,” he said, feigning annoyance, “your friend managed to sneak up on me.”
“Thank god someone can,” she grumbled, rolling her eyes. “I was beginning to think it was impossible.”
Something inside of you turned deliciously at the knowledge that you were the only one that had successfully surprised the calculating Hargreeves brother, a feat you’d achieved without even trying.
Diego shook his head. “No, I was just caught off guard.” He fixed you with a challenging stare, though his eyes (again) grated up and down your body and you suddenly felt hot underneath his gaze. As he side-stepped the table to oblige Allison’s request, he walked by you a little closer than was necessary and hummed darkly, “Won’t happen again,” leaving you with weak knees and a head lacking any sort of innocence.
Allison crossed her arms after he was gone, looking at you expectantly. “Don’t even think about it, babes,” she chided, “he’s not worth it. Nor is he your type.”
Cheeks still hot and flushed, you ducked your head and grinned, though you bit your lip to keep it from growing too wide. “I’ve got no idea what you’re talking about,” you replied smoothly.
He’s not your type, she’d warned . Oh, but he could be.