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Neil was following Andrew home. It was eleven o’clock at night, four weeks from the end of the semester and the start of summer, and two weeks after Andrew came to Neil’s house drunk and cuddly. 

“Go away,” Andrew said. They had ten steps between them.

“I just want to make sure you get home okay,” Neil said. He was grinning. 

“I have knives,” Andrew said. 

“I’m deathly afraid of knives.” 

“Shut up.” 

“Make me.” 

Neil watched Andrew clench his hands into fists. He smothered a laugh. By the time they made it to Andrew’s dorm, Andrew was twenty steps ahead of Neil and visibly furious. He didn’t turn around as he stormed into his building. 

Neil called, “Sweet dreams, Andrew!” He didn’t know if Andrew could hear him. It didn’t matter. 

He turned around, hands in his pockets, light on his feet. It was a nice night for a walk. 

🧡

Twenty minutes later, as Neil was settling into his bed, his phone beeped with a text from Nicky. 

Nicky: why is andrew pissed at you
Neil: i won’t let him buy me a new phone
Nicky: lol why does he want to buy you a new phone
Neil: 🤷😎

He put his phone face down on his nightstand, not bothering to plug it in. When he woke up at seven the next morning, it was to a phone at ten percent battery and a missed text from Andrew, sent at three in the morning. 

Andrew: 🔪

Neil laughed. 

🧡

Andrew finally stopped ignoring Neil at midnight the next night, coming into his room with the key Neil gave him and dropping his backpack by the foot of the bed. 

Neil smiled in greeting, currently at his computer and watching someone play Resident Evil VII , but Andrew ignored him and went into the bathroom. Neil kept his video paused while he listened to Andrew get ready for bed: the rush of the water, the spit of Andrew brushing his teeth, the flush of the toilet. 

Andrew came out wearing only his armbands and a pair of Neil's pajama pants that had cutesy Thwomps all over them, black and pink. He was scowling as he pulled back the blankets on Neil’s bed and slid between the sheets until his back was against the wall. 

Neil smiled at him, and Andrew pointedly pulled out his phone and settled against the pillows, not saying anything, still glaring. 

“I’m just going to finish this video,” Neil told him. “Seven minutes left.” 

Andrew stayed silent, diddling with his phone, and Neil resumed his video, still smiling. There was a new warmth to the room now that Andrew was in it, and Neil wanted to be in bed with him now—but he also wanted to finish this video. 

Once it was over, Neil killed his computer screen and stood up. Andrew glanced away from his phone and watched as Neil, without a flourish, stripped out of his hoodie and dropped his jeans in the middle of the floor, left now in only his boxers. He made as if to jump into the bed, knowing it would annoy Andrew. Andrew made a small sound of protest and pointed toward the bathroom. Neil grinned. 

When he came back, freshly washed and brushed, it was to an Andrew wrapped in all the sheets and blankets, and nothing left for Neil but one pillow. 

“I thought sharing a bed was supposed to be more comfortable and warm for the both of us,” Neil said, sliding onto the bed and wiggling closer to the ball of blankets surrounding Andrew. 

“No.” Andrew shifted closer to the wall, as if to escape Neil, but Neil’s bed was a twin; there wasn’t far for anyone to go. Neil clasped his hands together and pillowed his cheek on them as he faced Andrew. The only thing visible through the mound of sheets, pillows, and blankets was the top of Andrew’s head, his eyes, and the tip of his nose. 

He was still glaring at Neil. 

Neil shuffled a little closer to Andrew, biting back a smile. “Andrew,” he chided. “I don’t need you to buy me a new phone.” 

“Your phone is shit,” Andrew said immediately, as if he hadn’t been giving Neil the silent treatment for more than twenty-four hours. 

“Why?” Neil asked, but he knew why. 

Andrew burrowed deeper into the blankets, closing his eyes. He was frowning. 

Neil chuckled, and the blankets at the end of the bed swung toward Neil in an attempt to kick. 

“Andrew,” Neil said again, his voice deeper and softer than it had been before. “I’m sorry my phone is a cheap Walmart phone that can’t open video files longer than three seconds.” 

Andrew tried to kick him again. Neil sat up to lean on an elbow over Andrew. Andrew opened his eyes at the movement and watched with a hooded glare as Neil brought a hand up and smoothed his fingers over Andrew’s forehead and into the exposed strands of his hair. As soon as his forehead was clear, Neil leaned down and pressed a soft kiss there before uncurling his fingers from Andrew’s hair and pulling away. He lay on his back and closed his eyes. 

“If you want to see my pole dancing videos,” Neil said, “you’re going to have to see them directly on Dan’s phone.” 

Andrew made a petty sound of disagreement. Neil said, “I don’t need you to buy me a new phone.” 

Andrew kicked at Neil again, but instead of moving away after, he kept his body close. Andrew said, “You’re a poor college student.” 

“I have a quarter of a million dollars.” 

“You have what.” 

“Goodnight, Andrew.” 

“Fuck you.” 

Neil fell asleep that night with Andrew’s blanketed body melded to his side, Andrew’s forehead resting on his bicep, his breath warming his arm. 

🧡

The next day, Neil and Andrew met Dan and Matt at the coffee shop on campus. They all miraculously had a brief break between classes right at two in the afternoon. Neil messaged them on Discord earlier that morning and both had responded with copious amounts of emojis in response. 

Now it was five until two and Andrew was sipping from Neil’s coffee while Neil dipped his finger into Andrew’s whip cream and licked it off. They were both on their phones. 

Andrew leaned into Neil’s space to show him a picture. 

Neil stared at it trying to understand what Andrew was showing him. “What?” he asked when all he saw was a picture of a rabbit. 

“That’s you,” Andrew said, sitting straight again. Neil watched Andrew’s screen as he backed out of the image and showed that he had just been searching images of “cute bunnies with attitude problems.” 

Neil sputtered a laugh just as Matt and Dan came in. “What?” Matt asked as he sat at the table and Dan went to the counter to order them drinks. 

Neil shook his head, pocketing his phone as Andrew set his facedown on the table. “Nothing. Matt, this is Andrew. Andrew, this is Matt. We stream together sometimes.” 

“But we’re not friends?” Matt asked, clutching a dramatic hand to his chest. 

“We’re friends together sometimes,” Neil said, and Matt shoved Neil’s shoulder. 

“Whatever. Are we still on for tonight?” 

“Yeah. Phasmophobia ?” 

“Hell yeah.” They fist bumped, and then Dan sat at the table, setting an iced coffee in front of Matt and sipping from a cup of warm coffee for herself. 

“Hey, Neil. How’s it going?” 

“Good, how are you?” 

“Fine. And this is?” 

“Andrew. Andrew, this is Dan. She’s my friend, Matt’s girlfriend, and she teaches pole dancing.” 

Matt and Dan nodded and smiled at Andrew. Andrew nodded back, but Neil had noticed that his attention had become pointedly disinterested as soon as Neil said that Dan taught pole dancing. Neil bit down on a smile. 

Neil caught up with Matt and Dan while Andrew folded the paper of his straw and tapped the tip of his shoe occasionally against the toes of Neil. 

Ten minutes before they all had to disappear to class, Andrew kicked Neil hard in the shin and Neil yelped, sitting up and saying, “Dan! Can I see your phone? I want to show Andrew my pole videos.” 

Dan, raising a brow in confusion, relented to pulling out her phone and handing it to Neil. Neil used her unlock pattern and pulled up her pole dancing folder, scrolling past stills of Dan, Allison, Renee, and a few other students Neil didn’t know nor care about, before stopping on his most recent video. He expanded the screen and held the phone up between himself and Andrew and pressed play. 

Neil had been in Dan’s class for a few years now, so he was able to climb and contort around the pole at an advanced level, holding himself up by just his legs or swinging his body around by just the strength of his upper arms. He didn’t have the finesse or care to seduce the pole and his audience the way some of the other students did, but he still made occasional heavy eye contact with the camera on certain contortions and drops. 

He wasn’t comfortable enough around the others to bare his torso, so Neil was wearing a long sleeve shirt paired with bright blue spandex shorts. The video ended with him spinning into an upside down hold, back against the pole, with one hand grasping the pole behind him and the other reaching for the floor. He was staring at the camera with heavy-lidded eyes. 

As soon as the video ended, Andrew snatched the phone out of Neil’s hand and held it close to his face. He played the video again. He didn’t say anything. His face was impressively blank. 

When Andrew started the video again, Neil said, “There are others.” 

Andrew immediately stopped it and went through the files until he found another Neil video, Neil watching over his shoulder and Matt and Dan watching them, amused and bemused. This next video started with Dan showing Neil how to roll his hips as if to grind against the pole. Neil was laughing, and his first couple of thrusts were awkward and stilted. He was wearing a black shirt and orange shorts. There were giggles and light conversations happening in the background. The video ended with a successful grind that Neil immediately followed up with a whoop and victory spin. 

“Is that the grinding video?” Matt asked, as Andrew started the video again. Matt laughed. “I’ll admit, that one is pretty cute. And I get to see Dan and Neil working a pole? Bless.” 

Andrew went back to the list of videos and seemed as if about to settle in to watch them all. Dan looked as if about to snatch her phone out of Andrew’s hands, so Neil leaned in until his nose was buried in Andrew’s hair and said in a low voice, “I’ll send you the videos directly from Dan’s phone later, but you need to give that back now.” Neil, keeping his face in Andrew’s hair, glanced down and watched Andrew’s free hand curl into a fist. Neil smiled, dropped a quick kiss on the side of his head, and then stole the phone from Andrew’s hand and gave it back to Dan. 

Andrew’s face was still blank, and now that the phone was out of his hand, he stood up, purposefully knocked over Neil’s empty coffee cup that Andrew had sipped all of before grabbing his own coffee and leaving without saying goodbye.  

“What the fuck was that?” Matt asked, incredulous, as Neil watched Andrew leave. “Are you dating him? Was that you introducing your boyfriend ?” Neil turned an innocent face to Matt and said nothing. Matt smacked his hands flat on the table. “Neil. Answer me.” 

“Were we supposed to give the shovel talk?” Dan asked. “What the fuck? Neil.” She also smacked her hands on the table. “Answer us.” 

Neil shrugged. His phone buzzed in his pocket, probably with a text from Andrew, probably demanding the videos, perhaps another death threat. 

“Um,” Neil said, still trying to keep the smile from his face, and Matt, as soon as he realized that Neil’s silence was answer enough, squealed. 

🧡

Andrew was balancing on one elbow and leaning over Neil as he traced a sticky finger along Neil’s abs. It was two in the morning and they were in Neil’s bed. Neil was staring at the ceiling and trying to calm his breathing. He only had one sock on. 

When Neil’s gaze caught on Andrew and stayed there, Andrew placed his whole palm on Neil’s stomach and said, “What.” His forehead was wet with sweat and his fringe was damp and curling around his ears and along his neck. He only had his armbands on. 

Neil slid his own hand up the side of his stomach until their fingers touched and only hesitated one second before he linked their fingers together. “I need to wash this off my face.” 

Andrew passed a disinterested gaze over the mess on Neil’s face. “No one is stopping you.”  

Neil smiled. He said, “Hey,” in a soft voice. He waited until Andrew looked him in the eye. “Will you kiss me?” 

Andrew still looked disinterested, but his hand released Neil’s and started sliding up his chest. “Why,” he asked. 

“Because I want you to.” 

“You always want me to.” Andrew’s hand was cupping Neil’s face now. He was staring at Neil’s lips. He looked tired. 

Neil smiled, unashamed. “Yeah.” 

Andrew leaned down and pressed a brief kiss on Neil’s lips. He pulled back, just barely, so that there was no pressure but their lips were still touching. Neil leaned up, just barely, so they were kissing again, long and lingering. He opened his mouth, and Andrew’s tongue slowly unfurled inside, and they tasted each other, soft and slow, for a few minutes, no bites or nips or heat, just languid slides and pulls, and Andrew’s hand on Neil’s face, and Neil’s heart in his throat. 

“Andrew,” Neil whispered into Andrew’s mouth, and Andrew pulled back so he could breathe. His chest was red and his lips were swollen and Neil wanted to kiss him again, but he was so tired. 

“What,” Andrew snapped, but his voice was quiet. He stopped leaning on his elbow, let go of Neil’s face, and flopped onto his back. He closed his eyes, and Neil watched Andrew’s chest heave as he tried to get back under control. 

“Nothing,” Neil said. He stared at Andrew’s face. “I just like to say your name.” 

🧡

Andrew: come over
Neil: why
Andrew: i’m making dinner
Neil: what are you making
Andrew: food
Neil: nice i love food

🧡

When Neil walked into Andrew’s kitchen, he found two pans of meatloaf waiting for him on the table. 

“Um, aren’t you vegetarian?” Neil asked. 

Andrew pointed at the empty packet of impossiburger in the trash. Neil turned back to the pans on the table and frowned until he realized that one was obviously a meatloaf made with ground beef and the other was clearly not real meat.

Neil walked up to Andrew, who was pulling a bowl of peas out of the microwave, and said, “Aw, did you make me my own meatloaf out of real meat?” 

Andrew shoved Neil out of his way. “I made myself my own meatloaf. You’re sharing with Aaron and Nicky.” 

“Still,” Neil said, grinning as Andrew set the table with plates and forks and ketchup. 

Andrew didn’t call for dinner, but Nicky and Aaron seemed to know it was time because they materialized in the room as soon as the table was set. 

“Hey, Neil!” Nicky greeted. Neil nodded in greeting and watched, amused, as Aaron tried to sit at presumably his usual place at the table beside Andrew and Andrew glared at him until Aaron heaved the most aggrieved sigh and sat in the chair beside Nicky. 

Once everyone was seated and settled, the only sound shared between them was the clack of silverware and the squish of meat as it was cut and served, peas spilled onto plates, hands smacked away from Andrew’s meatloaf. 

Neil hadn’t had a home-cooked meal in a very long time—probably ever in his life. So he ate the peas even though he didn’t care for them, and he ate his meatloaf even though he preferred the bite of Andrew’s that he had stolen, and he smiled at Andrew when Andrew looked over at his empty plate he was serving seconds on and up at Neil and stared. 

“So,” Nicky said. “I don’t think I’ve ever asked, but how did you two meet?” 

Neil pried his attention away from Andrew and turned to an expectant Nicky. “Um. We met at an internet cafe.” 

“At a what?” Aaron asked. 

“Like, a place where you can go and rent internet.” 

“What the fuck, Andrew, you have a computer and internet here.” 

Andrew took a sip of his apple juice, saying nothing. Aaron glared. Neil said, “At the time, I was between housing and didn’t have my computer unboxed, but I needed to login to one of my games to get a certain item only available that day.”

“What was Andrew doing there?” Aaron asked. 

“Avoiding you,” Andrew answered, and Aaron threw a pea at him. 

“That’s so cute!” Nicky said. “Did you play games together?” 

Neil thought back to the first day he met Andrew: Andrew prowling the rows of computers until he spotted Neil and moving to sit next to him as if he had something to say. But then he silently logged onto the computer and pulled up Hearts and said nothing, and Neil had snorted at him. Andrew had snarked back, and then four hours later they left together and made out in the backseat of Andrew’s car. 

“I guess,” Neil said, and Andrew nudged Neil’s leg with his foot, and Neil smiled down at his plate. 

🧡

Things got awkward after that when Nicky asked where Neil was staying over the summer and Neil answered probably a hostel until the semester started again, and when Nicky seemed surprised and Aaron asked if he was basically homeless, Neil said basically, yeah , and Andrew stood abruptly and took his plate even though Neil still had two bites left he wanted to eat and Andrew dumped them in the trash. 

Then things got even more awkward when Nicky teased Neil and asked how he could sleep at night when Andrew was so uncannily quiet, and Neil said that Andrew snored like a chainsaw and he was still learning how to sleep through the noise, and then Aaron said he had shared a room with Andrew for almost seven years and not once had Andrew ever snored, so Neil, honestly baffled, thought Aaron was joking and laughed, and Andrew was glaring at nothing, and Nicky was confused. 

“So he does snore?” Nicky asked. 

“Yes,” Neil said, as Aaron said, “No,” loudly overtop him. 

Neil turned to Andrew. Andrew was picking at his fingernails. “Um,” Neil said. He entreated Nicky and Aaron with a Look. “I mean. Andrew is a big dude?” He didn’t know how to say look at the girth of his chest without sounding like a simp for a muscly man who held him in his arms most nights. He didn’t know how to say Andrew snores when he sleeps on his back without digging himself into a deeper grave. 

As long as Andrew and Neil had been sharing a bed, which was barely even a month, Andrew often rolled onto his back at some point and rumbled the mattress with deep sounds ripped from his chest and out his throat, and sometimes Neil would be drowsily amused and sometimes he would pinch Andrew’s nose until he woke up and punched Neil in the sternum, and Andrew would turn his back to Neil and Neil would kiss his spine and then they would both fall asleep. 

“Andrew doesn’t snore,” Aaron insisted, and then went to the living room to watch TV. 

Nicky smiled awkwardly at Neil. Andrew stood up suddenly and walked to the hallway, presumably expecting Neil to follow. Neil stood up to follow, shrugging at Nicky in return. 

When they got to Andrew’s room, Andrew locked the door behind Neil and then sat at the foot of his bed. Neil went to stand in between his legs, and Andrew smoothed his hands up Neil’s thighs before stopping at the buckle of his belt. He looked up at Neil, and Neil nodded. Andrew started unbuckling and slowly pulled the belt out of its loops. Neil was holding his breath. His hands were at his sides. 

He brought one finger up to trace the collar of Andrew’s shirt while Andrew pushed Neil’s jeans down past his knees so Neil could step out of them. Then Andrew leaned forward and lightly nipped at the skin above Neil’s waistline. 

Neil dragged his finger up Andrew’s neck and around his ear, tracing the outline of it. He said, “Thick walls here?” 

Andrew said, “No.” His nose was making its way to the front of Neil’s boxers. 

“How do they not hear you at night?” he asked. Andrew’s hands started sliding up the back of Neil’s thighs, up under his boxers. Neil wiggled at the pointed presses of Andrew’s fingers. Andrew squeezed when Neil squirmed too much, so Neil, in retaliation, sucked his free index finger in his mouth and gave Andrew a wet willy, movements too quick for Andrew to stop. 

Andrew retracted his hands and smacked Neil’s hand away. When Neil laughed, Andrew grabbed Neil’s hand and tugged lightly until Neil was straddling Andrew on the foot of the bed. Neil dropped his arms on Andrew’s shoulders and crossed them behind his head. He kissed Andrew’s nose. 

Andrew said, “We have very thin walls.” 

Neil started sucking slow kisses onto Andrew’s neck. Andrew’s palms slid slow tracks up and down Neil’s back. Neil murmured, “You think I can’t be quiet?” 

Andrew hummed, his hands sliding down and dipping past Neil’s waistline. He pulled Neil closer, flush against every part of him, and Neil gasped. 

Andrew bit at Neil’s shirt and pulled once before saying, “No.” 

Neil leaned back from Andrew only to put his hands on Andrew’s shoulders and push his back onto the bed. Andrew’s hands slipped out of his boxers and rested now on Neil’s thighs. Neil yanked his own shirt over his head. He crawled his fingers up Andrew’s chest and rested one on his heart while the other stopped at Andrew’s mouth. He tapped two fingers to Andrew’s lips until Andrew opened his mouth and Neil pressed in. 

Andrew sucked on his fingers and Neil leaned in and said in a low voice, “Then why don’t you prove it.”

🧡

Neil had three papers to write and three tests to prep for and no time to eat or sleep. He was too tired to blink, let alone entertain visitors or try to socialize with Andrew’s family. 

He didn’t want to say it because the only good thing in his life right now besides a purpose to live and a future to look forward to was Andrew, and Neil felt like Andrew was slowly folding himself into Neil’s purpose to live and future to look forward to and he didn’t want to tell him to stay away. 

But Neil really needed to finish his homework and pass his tests. 

So on Monday night he texted Andrew i have homework and that was all, because even with his determination to pass his classes, he still couldn’t tell Andrew he didn’t want him here. 

But Andrew thankfully left him alone for all of Monday, and all of Tuesday, and all of Wednesday, and Neil didn’t text Andrew and Andrew didn’t text Neil, and it was Wednesday night and Neil was asleep on top of his covers on his bed and in such a cadaverous slumber that he didn’t hear his door unlock or open until Andrew was poking the bottom of his foot and Neil jolted awake. 

Andrew dropped his hand, but Neil immediately relaxed when he saw it was just Andrew. He kicked his legs like a sleepy toddler so Andrew would strip his pants. Andrew, after a second, sighed and then moved to pull off Neil’s jeans and drop them on the floor. Neil fell asleep again and roused sometime later (probably only two minutes later) when Andrew crawled into bed beside him. Andrew kicked and shoved Neil until Andrew was able to burrow under the blankets with Neil still on top of them. 

As soon as Andrew was settled, lying on his back, Neil turned to face him and tried to hide his face under Andrew’s shoulder. He whined softly when he failed, settling with his face smushed into Andrew’s arm instead, and slurred, “What time is it.”

“Barely seven.”

Neil huffed a breath. He was about to fall asleep again. “I’m tired.”

“Okay.”

“I missed you.”

“Hm.”

“I’m glad you’re here.”

Andrew stayed quiet. Neil thought maybe he was falling asleep, too, but then he felt Andrew’s fingers in his hair.

🧡

Neil was showering at Andrew’s after a celebratory, it’s-almost-finals-week-it’s-almost-summer dinner and he was washing his hair when the curtain suddenly pulled back and Andrew stepped in with him. 

“Hey,” Neil said, soap on his fingers and fingers in his hair. “Trying to conserve water?” 

Andrew closed the curtain behind him and shoved Neil out of the way of the spray of the water. That’s when Neil noticed that Andrew was completely naked—no shirt, no shoes, no armbands. 

When Andrew closed his eyes to the water, Neil allowed himself one blinding smile. When Andrew opened his eyes again, Neil was under control and blinking away soap from his eyes. “It’s my turn for the water.” 

Andrew stayed in the stream and reached for the shampoo. He stared Neil in the eye as he started to lather shampoo in his hair. 

Neil said, “Andrew. My eyes.” 

Andrew reached out a soapy hand and brushed off the soap seeping into Neil’s eyes. More soap flooded down.

“Can you just let me rinse this off? Then I can wash your back or something.” 

“No.” 

“Okay, what, so you’re really here to conserve water?” 

Andrew washed out the shampoo from his hair. Neil heaved a sigh. When Andrew still wouldn’t move and reached for the conditioner, Neil shook his head like a wet dog, flinging soap everywhere, and finally Andrew relented to switch positions. 

“Whose loofa is the pink one?” Neil asked, spitting water out of his mouth after he submerged his entire head and face in the water. He opened his eyes to Andrew grabbing the pink loofa off its hook. 

Neil laughed. “Are you going to wash my back?” he asked. 

“No.”

“This is the most boring shower I’ve ever had, and I usually shower alone.”

Andrew, who had been soaping his chest and Neil had been watching, suddenly stopped and glared at Neil. “ Usually ?” he said. 

Neil winked, and Andrew tried to shove the loofa down Neil’s throat, and he would have been less successful if Neil would just stop laughing. 

🧡

On the last day of the semester, the night before Neil had to be out of his dorm and take his stuff to Matt’s house for the summer, Neil was sitting at his desktop and playing video games when Andrew came in. 

“Hey,” Neil said, not turning around. He thought Andrew would sit on the bed like he always did, and Neil was hit with a sudden wave of nostalgia for these moments that wouldn’t happen anymore after tonight, so before Andrew could sit down Neil turned in his chair and said, “Hey,” again, a little softer. 

Andrew immediately walked over to Neil and, after a brief evaluation of how Neil’s legs were splayed on his chair, lowered himself onto Neil’s lap and leaned the side of his head against the side of Neil’s. Neil wrapped one arm around Andrew’s back and placed his hand on the mouse again, and Andrew relaxed his body into Neil.

Neil said, “Want to play this game with me?”

“No,” Andrew said.

“All you have to do is make the choices for me.”

“What kind of choices.”

“Who I date.”

“What?”

“Don’t worry; there’s only one girl who wins in the end.”

“Who.”

“Just Monika.” 

Andrew sighed, shifting his weight into a more comfortable position. Neil kissed Andrew’s temple. “Thank you,” he said. 

“Shut up.  

Matt was supposed to meet at Neil’s dorm at nine the next morning, but it was nine-thirty and he still wasn’t there and Andrew was starting to carry Neil’s stuff to the trunk of his car. 

“Um,” Neil said. “It’s okay. I don’t know why Matt is late, but you don’t have to help. Aren’t you and Aaron and Nicky moving out of your dorm, too?”

“They’re already done,” Andrew told him after going back inside his dorm and unplugging Neil’s desktop. Neil made a frantic sound and quickly stopped him, unplugging the cords a lot more gently and methodically. 

“Okay,” Neil said slowly. “But why are you taking my stuff?”

“I texted Matt,” Andrew said. 

Neil paused. He turned to find Andrew holding the other of Neil’s only two boxes of possessions that weren’t his desktop. “What?” he asked. 

Andrew left with Neil’s box and Neil hurried to follow. He wasn’t sure, but he thought maybe…

“Andrew,” he said. “What the fuck. Am I just supposed to stay with you all summer? Where are you going to put all my stuff?”

“Well, Neil, I think we can find room for two boxes and a computer.”

Neil’s heart was beating heavy in his chest. He said, “Okay, but what about Nicky and Aaron? Don’t they mind?”

“This isn’t about them.”

“Andrew.”

“Neil. I’m not going to a hostel every night just to see you.”

Neil felt like maybe he might want to smile, or he might want to frown, or he might want to message Matt and chew him out for this betrayal. He settled on a mix of all three and frowned at Andrew but with a warm heart and said, “Fine.” 

Andrew dropped Neil’s box in the trunk beside his other one. He wouldn’t meet Neil’s eyes. His neck was red. “Fine,” he said.