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butterfly knives

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Kevin didn't understand why they had to come to the zoo. It was smelly, there were kids screaming everywhere, and he'd nearly been stepped on three times in the past 10 minutes. He much rather preferred exy to this.

Team bonding sucked.

He trudged along beside Aaron as Dan, Matt, and Nicky actually tried socializing with the new Foxes. Normally, Kevin would jump at the chance to talk about exy with these recruits, but also, normally he didn't feel like he'd just just rolled through a flaming dumpster filled with screeching, pooping monkeys.

Kevin let out a sigh as they passed some sort of mildly interesting snake exhibit. He nudged Aaron, who was on his phone with a red face, which meant he was either texting lovey-dovey things to Katelyn or blasting an idiot in his Ochem class. You never really knew with him.

"Aaron."

Aaron just scowled at him.

Kevin sighed again. Conversing was always so much more exhausting than he anticipated.

"Snakes."

"What."

"Do you want to... see the snakes?"

Aaron blinked in confusion. "Okay?"

Kevin led them to the snakes.

There, they shoved past some families and made it to the front of the glass enclosure.

"Well?" Aaron asked. "Now what do we do?"

Valid question, Kevin thought. He hadn't really considered what they were doing. He just wanted to see snakes.

He told Aaron as much, who rolled his eyes aggressively and went back to his phone.

Kevin felt a tap on his shoulder and twisted around, coming face-to-face (well, more like chest-to-face) with some sort of tour or information guide.

"Hi!" she smiled all too brightly. Kevin wanted to cover his eyes. "How are you enjoying the exhibition?"

"Um," Kevin gulped eloquently, then remembered his media training. "Oh yeah, it's great!"

"Awesome," she beamed. "You know, there's a snake feeding session in about 5 minutes if you and your son are interested."

Kevin's face contorted in confusion. He whirled around, assuming some tiny, lost child was latched near him, but when he turned back, the lady — Sandy — had her gaze intensely focused on the only other small person near him: Aaron.

Oh dear.

Aaron seemed to come to the same conclusion as Kevin did because his eyes widened comically and he hissed "I. am. not. his. son."

Sandy blinked owlishly. "Little brother then?"

Aaron threw his hands up. "I am 21! Leave me alone." He then proceeded to stomp out of the enclosure, dragging Kevin along and leaving a very flummoxed old lady behind them.

"I can't believe it," Aaron kept muttering. "Your son. Your son! I hate life."

Kevin was a bit miffed that he hadn't actually been able to see the snakes, but he figured Aaron's plight was slightly more significant than that.

After a few moments of silent walking (Kevin) and angry grumbing (Aaron), Kevin realized he couldn't see any of the Foxes anymore. He glanced around, instinctively searching for Andrew.

"Hey, do you know where Andrew and Neil went?" Kevin asked.

Aaron scoffed. "They're probably making out somewhere."

"Who's making out?"

Aaron and Kevin both gave unholy screeches as they turned around to find Nicky standing between them, a wide, innocent grin on his face.

"What the fuck," Aaron complained. "Don't do that again, you bitch."

Nicky waved him off. "Shut up. Who's making out? Might be able to close some bets."

Kevin rolled his eyes. "We just can't find Andrew and Neil anywhere. Aaron seems to believe they're off deflowering a zoo Port-A-Potty or something."

"Well then, we wouldn't want to interrupt them, right?" Nicky winked. "Anyways, we're all going to the butterfly exhibit right now so y'all have to join us. I'm not taking no for an answer."

It seemed that they had no choice, so after sharing a resigned glance, Kevin and Aaron trudged behind an overly enthusiastic Nicky while he babbled on about some parrots that he saw. It really didn't seem as interesting as Nicky was making it out to be, but Kevin didn't want to say anything lest he was expected to participate in the conversation too.

They finally reached the butterfly exhibit where the other Foxes were waiting for them.

They entered as a mass of loud, mildy buff, smelly athletes and got more than a few glares from the parents of young children who moved out of the way.

But in all this movement, the path cleared and Kevin found... Andrew and Neil? He was about to turn to Aaron and tell him that they evidently not making out, until he noticed how still Andrew was standing and the glee on Neil's face.

Nicky's gaze caught onto them a second later, because he squealed and grabbed Kevin's arm, jabbing his finger at the sight.

"Oh my God," he whispered. "Is that a butterfly on Andrew's nose? That is adorable."

Kevin squinted, and yes, that's exactly what it appeared to be. Interesting.

Nicky's outburst had caught Allison's attention, and she began marching over to Neil and Andrew, the rest of the Foxes in tow.

Kevin could already tell this was going to be a mess.

When they finally reached Andrew, Aaron was the first to speak. "What the fuck?" he asked flatly. Andrew glared at him.

Slowly, as to not move the butterfly, he raised his hand to gently flip off his brother. Nicky immediately started cooing.

"Aww, don't worry Andrew! I think you look adorable."

Andrew began slipping out a knife.

On Allison's left, Kevin saw Dan practically shaking with laughter as she pulled out her camera and snapped a picture.

Neil opened his mouth, probably to tell off Dan but Nicky rushed in to talk to him.

"Soooo," he waggled his eyebrows. "I didn't know you could see the future, Neil."

Neil stared at him blankly and turned back to Andrew as he pulled out a map, but Nicky rallied on.

"Like, you must have been able to predict that one day Andrew was going to be this adorable. That's why you asked him out, right?"

"What?" Neil asked distractedly. "I never asked him out."

Kevin blinked in surprise. After a moment's consideration, he realized that considering how utterly oblivious Neil could be, it really was no shocker that Andrew had to ask him out first.

"Wait wait wait," Matt shook his head. "So Andrew asked you out?"

Neil waved them off as he continued squinting at the map he was holding. "Yes yes, just go ask Kevin, he was there."

All eyes turned to Kevin. Kevin was very lost.

"What the fuck," Aaron repeated. "I'm so confused."

"Me too," Kevin muttered. "Me too."


After their long day at the zoo was over, the Foxes finally began the trudge back up to their respective dorms. The younger Foxes dozed off immediately, but the older Foxes gathered in the girls' room to drop off the bags they had borrowed.

In all the commotion, no one really noticed Andrew and Neil leaving together. But right before they slipped out the door, Renee caught sight of them.

"Good night, you two!" she called. Neil turned around and gave her a tired wave, practically collapsed on Andrew's body.

"Wait!" Nicky scrambled off the sofa. "Before I forget: Neil, how did Andrew ask you out?"

Neil blinked sleepily. "Well," he slurred. "He asked if he could blow me."

The room went silent.

Andrew heaved a sigh and dragged Neil out the door, leaving seven wide-eyed, very much awake athletes in their wake. Slowly, everyone turned to Kevin.

"You!" Allison weakly jabbed a finger in his direction. "You knew about this!"

Too late, Kevin realized what Neil's statement meant. Andrew had asked out Neil in front of Kevin. By offering sex. Nothing could have possibly ruined Kevin's night as much as this information had.

He met the Foxes' eyes slowly. Even Renee looked a bit surprised at Neil's admission, but she was clearly biting back a smile. "Trust me," Kevin groaned. "If I had known this had happened, I would have won myself so many bets."

"Damn," Nicky sighed. "I wish Erik and I had such an iconic story. Who knew the quiet, stabby cousin was such a horny gay bastard?"

"I," Aaron announced hotly. "have never wanted to forget a conversation more than this one."

"But Aaron. Andrew asked to blow him."

"Nicky, I swear— "

"OH MY GOD. They're probably having sex right now! Kevin, could you— "

Aaron put his head in his hands. "Please shut up now."