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Lighten the Load

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Win was a very organized person. Juggling swimming club with his huge class workload and tutoring on the side requires it. He keeps a calendar on his computer with all of his important upcoming deadlines and events. That’s why he really should have realized that so many things were converging on the same week.

He had two huge projects due: one an individual assignment for a class with a very tough professor and the other a group project with three of his classmates. Frustratingly, only one of the three seemed to care about passing the class.

In addition to that, he and Dean had to finalize plans for the swimming club’s spring recruitment drive to submit to the university for approval. He also promised to tutor one of his juniors every Monday, and the kid was panic texting him five times a day with questions about his statistics homework.

That would have been busy but manageable, until Win’s mother called and reminded him that he had to go home that weekend for his cousin’s wedding.

Suddenly tough-but-manageable in seven days became pretty much impossible in five.

“Hia. Hia Win.”

Win blinked once and then blinked again when he saw that Team was in his room, standing over his bed.

“How long have you been here? What time is it?” Win asked. He glanced at his open laptop screen and saw that it was after 1am. “Shit.”

“Save your work, hia. I want to sleep,” Team said.

“Hang on, I’m almost…”

Team put a warning hand on the top of his laptop and inched it slightly closed.

“Ok, ok!” Win said. He saved the outline he’d finished for one project and then closed the laptop.

Team took the computer and stored it under Win’s bedside table. Without the steadying weight of it in his lap and the work to keep his focus, Win was suddenly exhausted. He had just enough strength left to plug in his phone and turn on the alarm.

Team handled the lights and then slid into the bed beside him.

“What did you eat today?” Team asked him.

Win couldn’t help letting out a soft snort.

“How have our roles reversed, huh? Isn’t it usually me asking you that question?” It was true, but also a distraction, when it occurred to Win that he really didn’t know when he last ate.

Team wrapped his arm around Win’s waist and pulled him close. “You’re shaking, hia,” he said.

Win winced at the concern in his tone. “Ah, don’t worry about it. I just have to get through this week.”

“You’ll make yourself sick,” Team said. He kissed one of Win’s shoulders and the base of his neck. Win sighed and felt himself relax for the first time since his mother’s phone call that afternoon. “How can I help you?” Team asked.

“This is a good start,” Win said. He laced their fingers together and let his eyes drift closed.

 


 

When the alarm on his phone woke him up, Win was alone in his bed, the spot where Team slept cold beside him. Win frowned. He would have heard it if Team’s alarm went off, and Team never woke up early on his own.

Win’s rubbed his eyes and reached for his phone. There was a text message from Team.

Getting us breakfast. Take a shower before I get back.

Win grinned, despite the growing anxiety seeping in as he mentally went over his schedule for the day: classes until three, then tutoring N’Plan at 3:30 in the cafe on campus. Swim practice from five to seven and then meeting with his useless group in the library at eight.

Win showered quickly, and when he walked out of the bathroom, he saw Team already eating at the table. An unopened box of food sat across from him, along with a carryout cup of coffee.

Win’s stomach rumbled at the smell of eggs and meat. He threw on his school uniform and left his hair down to dry before joining Team at the table.

The box contained a pork omelet with rice. Win dug in. His first bite made him realize how hungry he was, and he shoved the food into his mouth with no finesse.

“Want to drive back together after practice?” Team asked, once Win had finished half the omelet.

Win shook his head regretfully. “I’m meeting with my group to work on our project tonight.”

“Will P’Lynn be there too?” Team asked, naming his only other helpful group member.

“Yes. We’ll probably do everything again while Val and Bank flirt with each other,” Win grumbled.

Normally, Win was the last person to complain about people flirting. It would be hypocritical of him, considering the months he spent shamelessly flirting non-stop with Team. But Win still managed to get his work done even when his mind had been preoccupied with the width of Team’s shoulders, the smooth, tempting area of his throat exposed by his perpetually unkempt uniform, the cute, grumpy face he made when he was pleased with Win’s flirting but didn’t want to show it.

If Win could swim competitively every day without drowning from the distraction of Team’s muscular thighs in his swim shorts, then those two should be able to finish their reference pages and one page reflection papers on time.

“When will you be back? I’ll wait here for you,” Team said.

“No idea,” Win admitted and then fluttered his eyelashes teasingly when he saw Team’s annoyed expression. “But knowing you’ll be here pining away for me will be a great motivator to finish quickly.”

“Pining away, my ass,” Team said. Win leaned back in his chair, satisfied at the blush that spread across Team’s cheeks. The cute, grumpy face would never get old.

 


 

Where are you?

The buzzing of Win’s phone pulled his focus away from the library’s online database, where he was methodically going through the books he’d need to find and noting their call numbers.

Library Win typed back and then dropped the phone on the table. He had told Team that he’d planned to work through his lunch there.

I know that. Where are you?

Win’s brow creased at the new message. He looked at his surroundings and answered, table in the back by the windows.

There was no response, but moments later, Team appeared at the end of a row of shelves. He looked around until his eyes landed on Win and walked over. He placed a bag on the table, along with a bottle of water.

“Eat,” Team said.

Win fondly stared his boyfriend, who looked stern and put out about bringing Win a lunch he didn’t even ask for.

“Thank you, Team,” Win said, letting the affection bleed into his voice. “Leave it on the table. I’ll eat it after I find all of these -- “

The paper with the list of call numbers was snatched out of his hand.

“I’ll get these, you eat,” Team said and stormed away, leaving Win no time to argue.

“I guess I’m eating,” Win muttered to himself. Inside the bag was a small lunch box filled with homemade chicken and vegetables which must have been cooked by Pharm. The sauce was spicy and tangy and Win soaked it into the broccoli and mushrooms along with the chicken.

Team returned twenty minutes later carrying five books. He dropped them on the table and picked up Win’s empty food container.

“I have to go,” Team said.

“Mmm,” Win replied, already cracking open the first book and searching the index. “Thank you for lunch, baby.”

“Don’t call me baby,” Team snapped. “Give me your phone.”

Win passed the phone over without looking up from his book. “Here.”

Team did something on it and then returned it to the table.

“I got you another bottle of water. Drink it,” Team said.

“Mmm,” Win agreed idly, only half-noticing when Team left.

The vibrating of his phone interrupted him later. Win looked over at it and saw that it was an alarm going off. The alarm was labeled “go to class.” Win glanced at the time and slammed his book shut. He had fifteen minutes to get across campus.

He shoved everything into his over-stuffed bag and took off.

 


 

Tutoring Plan went as usual. The first year spread out several problem sets over the table top at the cafe with an air of hopeless desperation. Win plied him with a muffin and some coffee he didn’t mention was decaf -- the kid did not need caffeine making him even more anxious.

They went over what they could in an hour, and then they got ready to leave, Win waving away Plan’s numerous apologies for all the texts.

He got through swim practice with a quick detour to grope Team behind the bleachers, and then once again found himself in the library with the other members of his group.

His phone lit up. It was a message from Lynn, who was sitting right beside him.

I hate them.

Win rolled his eyes at her in agreement and turned back to their shared document, where Val and Bank’s sections were worryingly empty for a project that was due in less than a week. The only good thing was that, though they would get points for all parts of the assignment being complete, the majority of their score would be based on their individual work.

It was after ten at night. Win’s eyes were dry and itchy, and he kept pinching his thigh to stay focused on the screen in front of him. He and Lynn passed ideas back and forth, and both of them were over halfway done with their parts.

His phone lit up again, and this time it wasn’t Lynn but Team. The message read, use this text as an excuse to leave if you want to.

Win smothered a grin and shut down his laptop.

“I think we all know what we’re each doing now, right? We all need to have our parts finished by Thursday to submit it by Friday,” Win declared. “I’m going to take off. My boyfriend has a flat tire and needs me to help him.”

Team would bristle at the idea that he couldn’t change his own flat tire, but he did tell Win to use him as an excuse.

Yes,” Lynn said, snapping shut her own laptop. “I’ll get going too.”

They packed up their things and left the other two trying to type one-handed. Win had no desire to find out what their other hands were doing.

“Does N’Team really have a flat tire?” Lynn asked when they were out of earshot.

Win responded by holding up his phone so that she could see Team’s message.

She laughed lightly and said, “Tell him thanks from me.”

 


 

Win got back to the dorms less than twenty minutes later. His shoes were off and his shirt half unbuttoned before the door to his room even closed. Team sat on his side of Win’s bed, playing some game on his phone. He looked up when Win entered.

“How’d it go?”

“Lynn and I are almost done. The other two will have to figure out the rest on their own. Lynn says thanks, by the way.”

The end of his sentence was shouted through the other side of the bathroom door. Win turned on the shower and pulled off the rest of his clothes.

When he emerged, Team was in bed with his phone charging and the television and lights still on.

“Dinner is over there. I’m going to sleep,” he said.

Win saw a covered dish on the table.

“Thanks for your help today,” Win said and enjoyed Team’s embarrassed grumbling.

“Whatever,” he said, rolling over onto his stomach and closing his eyes. “If you lose too much weight before next week’s meet, Dean will kill you.”

 


 

On Tuesday, Win once again woke up to an empty bed. There was a plate of fried dough and custard waiting for him, but no Team. It took Win until after his morning shower to remember that today was one of Team’s scheduled 5am training sessions. They all rotated out twice a month. Thankfully, Win’s turn was last week, so that was one thing that he didn’t need to worry about.

He texted Team thanking him for breakfast, the last piece of dough hanging from his mouth. It was after seven, so Team should have been finished with his drills.

Team proved him right by texting back a peace sign emoji and then, I’m taking our suits to the dry cleaner a block down from campus.

Win stopped in the middle of gathering his stuff to stare at the text and try to decipher it.

What suits? he texted back when he came up blank.

Your blue one, Team responded, clarifying nothing.

For the wedding on Saturday.

“Oh shit,” Win said, startled. He hadn’t even thought of that.

I totally forgot. Thank you.

Manaow said I had to, Team answered, which explained a lot. Team wasn’t exactly known for the care he took with his clothing.

Tell her thanks then, Win said.

No, Team responded instantly, and Win laughed.

 


 

Team forced him out to dinner after swim practice and even paid for the meal.

“Have you come into some money?” Win asked him. It was only a half-joke, considering how often Team would make sad cow eyes at Win until he bought both of their meals.

(Win would do it anyway, a fact that Team hadn’t yet picked up on. That was ok though. Win had a lot of money and a long term plan to use it on anything that made Team happy.)

“Haha,” Team said. “Just eat your food.”

They ate in silence for several minutes, and then Team asked, “Did you get anything done today?”

Win nodded as he took a sip of his soda. “Yes. N’Plan didn’t call or text me at all today, so I sat down and finished the rest of my part of the group project. We still need to get the spring recruitment proposal finished, but I’m not going to mention it until Dean does. What about you?”

Team sighed. “Pharm has forced me and Manaow to go to some cooking club meetings with him because he says that we should know how to make our own food.”

“Oh?” That was the first Win had heard about this, but it was hilarious. “Learn how to make anything good yet?”

“What I brought you for lunch yesterday,” Team replied.

“Wait, really?” Win said, honestly surprised. “I loved it, especially the spicy sauce. I assumed that Pharm made it.”

“He basically did,” Team said.

“I can’t believe you cooked for me!” Win said, ignoring Team’s comment.

“Pharm cooked for you. I just chopped the chilis and mixed the sauce.”

“My boyfriend cooks for me now.”

“Don’t get used to it.”

 


 

On Wednesday, the universe had mercy on Win. He woke up with Team still wrapped around him, along with a text message from Dean informing the whole team that practice was canceled that night because of scheduled maintenance on the pool.

He stretched carefully without disturbing Team. Wednesday was his light class day, and he didn’t have to leave for at least an hour. As he laid there, he thought about the day ahead of him. If he focused, he could finish his last project by Thursday, and then have Friday to hash out the spring recruitment plan and pack for the weekend back home.

The problem was that the professor for the class was so picky, Win knew that if he wanted to pass, he would have to cross-check all of his references and make sure everything was perfect. Consequently, despite the extra hours granted to him from their canceled practice, he was still awake at three in the morning. Team slept silently beside him. He had mulishly tried to stay awake with Win, but eventually drifted off.

Win hadn’t hit a place where he felt satisfied stopping for the night. There was still so much left to do.

 


 

“Hia?”

“Hmm?”

“Hia, did you sleep at all?” Team’s sleep-softened face creased with concern, and Win once again marveled at how their usual roles were reversed.

“For a while,” Win said. It was sort of true, in that Win kept dozing off in his seated position on the bed before jolting awake when he felt his laptop slipping off of his legs.

“Are you at least almost done?” Team asked.

“I’m going to skip my nine am lecture to keep working,” Win said.

What?”

Win stopped typing to turn towards Team, whose eyes had widened in shock.

“It’s one time,” Win said.

“Do you want me to go to it and take notes for you?” Team asked.

“Don’t you have your own class?” Win asked.

Team shrugged. “Yeah, but I skip class all the time,” he said. “Anything I don’t understand I just ask you about.”

Win scoffed. “Go to class, Team. I’ll get the notes from Lynn.”

“You should text her to let her know you’re not dead. She’ll probably be worried.”

“Go take a shower,” Win said, his full attention returning to his work.

 


 

Win ran into Dean on campus after his afternoon class.

“You look like shit,” Dean said.

“P’Dean!” Pharm chided, swatting his arm. “Team says that you have had a very busy week, P’Win.”

“It’s almost over,” Win said, but then that made him anxious when he remembered all of the work still left on his project. He shook his head to get that thought loose and said instead, “By the way, thanks for forcing Team to learn cooking. I liked the chicken you made on Monday.”

Pharm frowned at him. “Forcing him? Team asked me for help.”

That made Win pause. “Really?” He thought back to what Team told him to see if he could have misunderstood, but even though he was running on no sleep, he didn’t think so.

“Yes, P’Win. He said he wanted to make you something spicy. I’m glad you liked it,” Pharm said.

“I…” Win paused, not knowing what to say to that and feeling warmth and affection rush through him. Of course Team would lie about that. Of course he would.

“P’Win?” Pharm asked, with a little uptick to the corner of his mouth that belied how innocent he sounded.

“Thanks for telling me,” Win settled on. “Dean, I think I’ll be free to finish up the spring recruitment stuff tomorrow. I’ll text you.”

Dean nodded, but his heavy gaze fixed on Pharm in a way that meant they were about to fall into one of their uncomfortably long soulmate stares. Win walked around them and headed back to his dorm.

 


 

“You need to sleep, hia,” Team told him for the fourth time that night.

“I’m almost done,” Win answered, also for the fourth time that night.

“What do you mean by ‘almost’?” Team asked.

“Two hours at the most,” Win said.

“It’s past eleven, and you didn’t sleep at all last night,” Team said. “You’re going to be passed out through your cousin’s wedding at the rate you’re going.”

Win heard shuffling around the room as he started to work on his footnotes.

“Hia. Hia Win, look at me.”

Win sighed and glanced up from his screen and his breath caught. Team stood in front of him completely naked, and...what work? Suddenly all Win could think about was the fact that it had been almost a week since he’d had sex with his boyfriend.

“Team,” Win said, his dick already stirring at the sight of him. He was so gorgeous.

Team pulled the laptop from Win’s unresisting hands. He looked at it a moment, saved Win’s work, and shut the lid. Then he put it down on a chair and walked back over to where Win sat with his back against the headboard.

Without a word, Team wrapped his hands around Win’s calves and tugged until Win scooted down to lie on his back. It was a great view. Win’s eyes were perfectly level with Team’s soft cock. Win reached out to touch, but Team gently pushed his hand away. Win expected Team to get on the bed with him, but instead, Team dropped to his knees right on the carpet.

“Oh,” Win said as all the air left his lungs at once.

Team didn’t waste time on kissing or even properly removing Win’s clothes. He grabbed the waistband of Win’s sweatpants and underwear and pulled them down to Win’s thighs. The hand he wrapped around Win’s cock was cool and wet with lube. Win shuddered hard at the first stroke. Team used both hands, one working Win’s cock in tight, fast strokes, and the other trailing under Win’s shirt to touch his stomach, his chest, his nipples.

The combination of naked Team, the surprise, sudden handjob and five long days of abstinence had Win riding the edge very quickly.

“Team,” he groaned. “Yeah, fuck. That’s so good. It’s so good.”

Team smirked up at him, a look that only succeeded in making Win hotter, and bent down to take Win’s cock into his mouth.

If you put a gun to Win’s head, if you shot him up with truth serum, he would tell you with complete honesty that nothing in the world felt better than Team’s lips wrapped around his cock.

Win was...not quiet when he felt that deep, warm suction take him in deep. In fact, the sound that came out of him could only be described as a wail, loud enough to be heard clearly by anyone in the vicinity.

Team moved up and down the head of Win’s cock while his hand stroked the base. It wasn’t long before Win was back up to the brink. He had his fingers threaded through Team’s dark hair. His core muscles ached as he held himself with his shoulders off of the pillow to watch.

When he knew he couldn’t hold off anymore, Win tugged at Team’s hair in warning. Team pulled off and went back to just using his hand, and Win got a great look at his bruised lips and slick chin, shiny with lube, spit and Win's pre-come.

Fuck, that was so hot and dirty that Win was half-afraid that he had fallen asleep and would wake up hard rubbing off on Team’s leg or something. His thighs trembled and every muscle in his body was coiled tightly, helplessly moving to the rhythm of Team’s hand until Win came, panting panting and gasping.

It’s not like Win didn’t realize that Team was trying to tire him out. But just because he recognized the play didn’t mean it wasn’t working. All of the tension let his body at once, and Win sighed, melting into the mattress.

“I’m going to get a towel,” Team said. When he stood up, his very hard cock stood out front and center.

“Wait, what about…” Win reached out again to touch. This time, Team didn’t nicely bat him away. Instead, he once again wrapped his hand around Win’s now oversensitive cock and gave it a squeeze, making Win jump and milking one last, weak spurt of come out of him.

“Lay down,” Team said and Win gave up.

“See if I ever worry about getting you off again,” Win said.

Team walked away, apparently not even dignifying that obvious lie with a response, and Win drifted off, feeling sleep overtake him as he promised to finish the rest of his work first thing in the morning.

He was roused by the gentle feeling of a warm washcloth wiping away the mess on his stomach. His eyes cracked open and he saw Team on the bed dressed in his pajamas and cleaning Win up.

“Go back to sleep,” Team whispered.

Win looked down and noticed that Team’s erection was gone. Mind jumping to the only possible conclusion, Win’s cock gave a small twitch.

Team saw it and raised his eyebrow at Win.

“Sorry, I’m thinking about you jerking off in my bathroom.”

“Ugh, hia, you’re the worst,” Team said.

 


 

Win refused to eat breakfast the next morning, kicking Team out of the room while he rushed to finish his footnotes before his first class. The work did end up taking most of two hours, but then he was finally done. He read it over one more time and then submitted it before he could second guess it.

He texted the victory arms emoji to Team and got high five hands back as he was walking out the door to head to class.

At lunch, Win luxuriated in taking his time, eating with one hand as his other stayed firmly on Team’s thigh. Team didn’t even attempt to push him off, which showed just how worried he’d been about Win this past week.

“Hey Dean, I’m done today at four. Did you want to meet to figure out our proposal?”

Dean waved a hand in his direction. “Me, Team and Pruk already finished it.”

Win looked at Team, who shrugged. “We weren’t doing anything on Wednesday since practice got canceled.”

“Huh,” Win said. “So I’m done with everything?”

“We both need to pack,” Team said, “for the wedding you keep forgetting about.”

“Right,” Win answered. He didn’t even really like the cousin getting married. Win couldn’t be blamed for not caring about his wedding. Just then, though, something occurred to him. “Wait, you’ll be wearing a suit?”

Team glared at him. “What else would I wear to a wedding? My school uniform?”

“I’ve never seen you in a suit before. I’m suddenly much more excited about this weekend. Will you try it on for me tonight?” he asked.

“And let you get it dirty after I paid to have it cleaned? No way,” Team said.

Manaow popped her head into the conversation. “Get it dirty how, Team?” she asked with an impish grin.

“With his blood when I kill him,” Team said.

She stuck her tongue out at him as Win laughed. “You’re no fun,” she said.

Team’s phone buzzed that he had a text message, which was weird, since everyone would usually text him was sitting at the table. Win glanced at the lit up screen and saw Nong Plan flash before Team turned it over.

“Is that Plan, my junior?” he asked.

“Um, yes?” Team said, the response coming out more like a nervous question.

“Why is he texting you?” Win asked.

“Who knows?” Team replied.

“Well, you if you read what the text says,” Win said.

Team tapped the back of his phone case with his index finger a few times and then said, “Fine.” He turned the phone over and showed Win the message.

Thanks again for your help on Thursday! I think I did really well on my test!

“What?”

“Ok, look,” Team began defensively. “You were really busy this week, so when I ran into him at the library on Monday, I told him that if he needed any help for this week, he should ask me instead of you. Then I gave him my LINE. It was no big deal.”

Having been on the receiving end of Plan’s freak outs in the lead up to a test, Win knew that was not true.

“That’s why he hadn’t texted me at all this week,” Win said.

“You need to stop spending all of your time helping other people, especially when you have your own work to do,” Team said.

Win reached out and wrapped an arm around Team, pulling him in for a kiss. Manaow cheered on the other side of the table.

When they broke apart, Win beamed at Team, knowing he looked like a lovesick idiot, but not caring.

“Why should I, when my boyfriend takes such good care of me?” he asked.

“Oh, shut up,” Team snapped, but if he thought his cute, grumpy face was going to deter Win, he couldn’t be more wrong. “I’m buying another drink.”

“Get one for your boyfriend too!” Win called as Team hurried away. “He’s so thirsty, he might die!”

Team flipped him the middle finger over his shoulder.