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OffGun+ November Drabbles

Chapter Text

Tam is in class when he smells cinnamon, surrounded by the classmates who barely tolerate him, and he feels confused when he should be comforted.

It smells like…

“Miss me, nong?” Bright asks, appearing beside him. “You know, you’re the reason I pay attention in class. Have to learn all the tricks to surprise my precious faen.”

“Aren’t you supposed to be in class now?” Tam asks, but he leans on Bright as Bright settles in close.

“P’Bright,” another student says. “What are you doing here?”

Bright can obviously see the way the others are looking at Tam and it makes him wrap an arm securely around Tam. “To see my faen. Isn’t he the cutest?”

“He’s creepy,” someone mutters.

“Weird,” says another.

“There’s something wrong with him.”


“My favorite person in the whole world,” Bright says, holding onto Tam tighter as Tam stiffens. “Better than all of you.”

Chapter Text

Gun thinks this translation might be a bit too literal. Phrases keep appearing that he has to search up on the web to understand or guess based on context, but he wants to know what happens, so he keeps going.

He frowns at the screen and re-reads it, still uncertain. “‘He wants to burst my…’”

Back to Google.

Gun searches the words and blushes, takes a momentary break from reading only to dive back in eagerly.

“What are you reading about?” Off asks. “You look so involved.”

“I’m reading about plants. Flowers.” Gun is babbling. “Chrysanthemums.”

“Why chrysanthemums?”

“...No reason.”

Chapter Text

Everything has been a lot. From the initial trauma, the conceit of White’s plan, Sean (just Sean, White can’t break down all the parts relating to Sean), the deals, the risks, nearly getting beaten up, the misunderstandings, his brother’s condition...

White decides sensibly to take a day just for himself. He sees Black and his dad but barely, as they continue working things out. The house is quiet and White can rest and try to recover mentally from it all.

He turns off his phone, he gets out a book. He does all the things you’re supposed to do to let things go and better take care of your own mental health.

Except…White has a boyfriend now. And they haven’t been boyfriends long, still in that early stage where being separated in any capacity feels like torture.

He had promised himself a peaceful little hibernation, time to disconnect, time to--

Fuck it.

White turns his phone on and dials Sean. “Er. I… White just…”

“I know. Sean can just be near White. How does that sound?”

“Good,” White says, breathing a sigh of relief. “Where are you?”

“Outside your place.”

White rolls his eyes, but grins ear to ear.

Chapter Text

Tam isn’t sure if it’s true or just his perception after only a month, but something about the underworld feels perpetually autumnal.

Maybe because it always feels a bit like Halloween with all the wolves and vampires and demons, with the witch currently in the other room, brewing a potion. Tam keeps expecting the ghosts of his own past to appear, but so far, they have only been in his dreams.

The dreams that come with less frequency as he drinks Krathing’s potions and falls asleep in Krathing’s arms.

If things keep getting better, Tam hopes the seasons never change.

Chapter Text

Maetee is expecting the heat this time, but it doesn’t come.

“You don’t go into heat when you’re knocked up,” Teedet tells him with a slap on the shoulder as Maetee stares dejectedly at the calendar checking and double-checking.

“Knocked up?” Maetee repeats.

Teedet raises an eyebrow. “You’ve got a little baby T-Rex in the oven. Even most betas can smell the fucking hormones of a preggo omega.”

T-Rex arrives home from his classes and Maetee stares at him. “T-Rex, am I pregnant?”

T-Rex waits a second, alarmed at the sudden question, before he smiles and nods. “Mh.”

“But… I…”

“The last three heats, Maetee has been begging me to put a baby in you. I guess Maetee’s body was ready.”

Maetee chuckles, scratches his head. “Right.” He worries his lip. “Why didn’t you tell me? Don’t I Vitamins?” His eyes widen as he starts thinking of everything.

“We’ve got time,” T-Rex assures.

Maetee lets out a long sigh, but T-Rex comes in close and holds him, exudes those comforting feelings and scents that only his alpha can. “T-Rex?”


“Our baby won’t be...haunted, right?” Maetee murmurs.

T-Rex shakes his head. “No. Our baby will be perfect.”

Chapter Text

Maetee is happy that he’s done with school so he doesn’t have to deal with being pregnant and still taking classes. Sure, his work isn’t quite full-time, but he’s already been promised a position, his scripts and his reputation in his department getting him recognition. It’s actually good that he has to wait, isn’t doing much yet. Most of it is currently online as he learns about some of their policies and practices, edits for others.

It means he gets to spend a great deal of his time at home, in the presence of the other Tees, whining and watching his belly ever-so-slowly grow. He doesn’t notice much at first, but one day he’s getting ready to shower and he catches sight of himself.

T-Rex has been doting on him as much as he can, but T-Rex is finishing his last couple of classes, can’t be there all the time. He wonders if T-Rex sees the changes as much as he does, what T-Rex thinks of Maetee’s body now. His paranoia has started to shift, probably because of the hormones, even if some of it is that vague fear their child will be one of those creepy kids who always knows too much because it’s the reincarnation of some--

Well. Some of his paranoia now is about his body.

Which is ridiculous because T-Rex is his alpha and his soulmate. But…

Maetee has just gotten out of the shower, has gone back to the room to change, when T-Rex arrives.

“How are my favorite people?” he asks. He ducks down and presses a kiss to Maetee’s belly then bounces up to press a kiss to Maetee’s lips. “You’re so beautiful, Maetee.”

Maetee breathes a sigh of relief, then starts crying.

T-Rex takes it in stride, holding Maetee reassuringly to him.

Chapter Text

Maitee has been cooking up a storm, in the hopes of finding something Maetee will find appealing.

Maetee, however, has been having some very unpleasant morning sickness and has been experiencing almost a complete loss of appetite. It makes him picture those waifish omegas wasting away in those tearjerker romance novels, whose alphas have passed away and now they have no reason to live.

T-Rex has been gone for three days. Because his dad needed some help and Maetee had said he’d be fine staying at the house without T-Rex.

Maetee hasn’t eaten in almost two days. When he’d forced himself, he’d not kept anything down.

The other Tees are worried and Maitee has resorted to desserts, knowing Maetee’s fondness, but Maetee stares at the slice of pie in front of him forlornly.

Suddenly, however, it starts to look good, to smell good, and Maetee picks up his fork, hunger hitting him hard.

Maitee grins at him. “The pie worked? I can make more!”

The door cracks open and a scent much better than the spice of the pie hits Maetee.

Watee scoffs. “So it wasn’t the pie, after all. Welcome back, nong.”

Maitee sighs, but waves at T-Rex anyway.

Chapter Text

“I said not to do too much,” Off warns.

“It was already too late, Gun didn’t hear you.”

“Mh. Gun didn’t hear me or Gun didn’t want to hear me?”

Gun rolls his eyes. “Papii.”

Off stares Gun down. “You know what you did.”

Gun bats his eyelashes, suppressing a smile. “What can Gun do to make it up to Papii?”

Off doesn’t respond, but they both have the same idea in their minds. “Ai’Gun…”

It’s a warning and an invitation and Gun grins, kissing Off as he presses up against him.

“Let Gun suck, na,” Gun says, rubbing Off through his pants, can feel Off getting harder under his touch, at his words.

Of course Off is turned on, if a little angry for the principle of the thing, but he lets Gun kiss him again, then work his way down Off’s body, opening up Off’s fly so there’s less between him and Off’s dick.

Gun rubs his face against Off through the fabric of his boxers then mouths at him.

“Gun…” Off is trying to be stern, but mostly he’s just thinking of that image from the challenge.

Gun frees Off’s dick and lets it rest on his tongue a moment, making sure Off is watching him carefully. He wraps his lips around Off and slowly works Off further down his throat as he sucks. He moans around Off’s cock, eyes fluttering closed as he gets into it, then fluttering back open to look at Off, to make sure Off is watching him.

Of course Off is watching him. Where else could his focus be? What could be more important than the stretch of Gun’s lips, watching himself fuck Gun’s mouth?

Gun’s hand is on his sac, other hand now working the length of his cock as Gun pulls back a bit, knowing Off is close.

He leaves nothing to the imagination, sucking the head as Off comes, letting it drip from the corner of his lips and down his chin like he had earlier and swallowing the rest down. He leans back on his haunches, catching his breath, lips parted and looking up at Off, looking absolutely ruined.

“Shit, Gun,” Off whispers, staring.

“Papii is the only one who will ever really see me like this,” Gun assures, unbuttoning his shirt, letting it slide down his shoulder, exposing more skin. “Does Papii want to take a picture?”

Chapter Text

Khai tells himself he’s just going to get his hairbrush.

Third is in the shower, sure, but they’re close. And Third is living here with him. And the fog from the steam should give Third privacy, so it’s not like Khai will see anything even if he looks.

Which he won’t.

Why would Khai want to look at Third naked? It doesn’t make any sense.

Anyway, Third doesn’t even have to know Khai was there. He’ll just grab his hairbrush and leave.

With all the stealth he can muster, Khai slips open the bathroom door and steps in, zeroing in on his hairbrush.

A noise, a little grunt, the sound of the water being interrupted not in the staccato pattern of bathing but the rhythmic sound of something else, pulls Khai’s vision from the brush and to the shower.

Third’s eyes are closed, luckily, but the steam isn’t enough to give as much coverage as Khai had mentally claimed. Khai can see Third’s body and best of all— No. Worst of all. He means worst.

But...but Khai can see Third’s hand around his cock, jerking himself off.

Khai stares at Third’s fingers wrapped around himself, his other hand on his chest, back against the wall. His eyes are drawn back to Third’s chest, where Third’s thumb rubs over a taut nipple, then finally up to Third’s face, chin tipped back, eyes still closed, scrunched up tight almost like he’s in pain. Third’s full lips part as he lets out a little choked gasp.

Khai should really leave, realizes he’s palming himself through his pants and swallows. If he’s already seen this much, what if...what if he watches Third come? Third seems so close and it would be so hot—

It would be… Er. Well, Khai doesn’t want to accidentally disturb him now by making a sound, right? That would be rude, to interrupt someone on the edge of orgasm.

So he has to watch Third come, right? ...Right?

That way he knows Third is done and then he can grab his brush and leave and Third will be none the wiser.

Third’s hand speeds up, then slows, drawing it out, and Khai gets a better look at Third’s cock.

Khai is so. Painfully. Hard.

Third whimpers and Khai nearly does, too. Then, Third’s hand speeds up again and Khai watches as Third comes over his fist, pulsing out until there’s nothing left and Third just pants heavily.

Khai is panting heavily, too.

Khai leaves the bathroom, barely closing the door, before he’s pulling himself out, gets a hand on his dick and comes almost just as quick.

Khai is still catching his breath when the shower turns off.

Chapter Text

There’s nothing wrong with seeing something sexual and feeling something sexual. That’s what porn is for, anyway.

So Khai’s reaction to seeing Third jerk off is totally normal...other than the fact that it was Third.

It should be a breeze acting like he always does with Third.

...Except he’s watching Third drink water and Third tips his head back and water trickles down his chin, his throat…

Khai can’t look away and also he’s getting hard and they’re in public and is it just that he saw Third jerk off or is he attracted to Third?

Like an experiment, Khai spends the rest of the day staring at Third. They go to their classes, eat lunch, more class, go out for a drink, and finally arrive back at home.

After watching Third all day, going home with him feels like it’s supposed to lead to something more exciting than going to their separate rooms. When Third suggests a movie, Khai sees an opportunity.

But Third isn’t some girl Khai ensnared with his looks and charms. Third is his best friend. And Khai said he wouldn’t hit on someone in their department because he wouldn’t date a friend.

Khai can’t concentrate on the movie, his leg shaking, eyes darting unerringly back to Third until Third gives him a look.

“Ai’Khai, watch the movie, asshole.” Third stares at him a second longer.

“I saw you in the shower,” Khai says.

Third turns pink and his face crinkles in anger. “What? When? What the hell is wrong with you, Ai’Khai?” He pushes up, like he’s going to leave the couch, storm to his room.

Khai grabs Third’s arm. “It was really hot.”

“What did you—” Third turns redder and pulls his arm from Khai’s, but he doesn’t leave, some strange curiosity keeping him there.

“You’re really hot, Third,” Khai says. “Did you know that?”

“Mh,” Third grunts, squinting at Khai, uncomfortable. “I know. But… Nevermind. I don’t want to know what you saw. But don’t watch me shower!”

“I jerked off after,” Khai admits.

Third is frozen in place, looks like he wants to yell but seems unable to even breathe. Finally, he manages, “You’d… You could get horny watching plants grow.”

Khai shrugs. “I think you’re hot, Third. Do you think I’m hot?”

“Ai…” The “Khai” is not spoken aloud.

Khai moves in closer. “Does that mean yes?”

Third stares at Khai, flustered and wanting and confused all at once.

Khai risks it, kissing Third, and, in a moment, Third kisses him back. It goes on long enough that he maneuvers Third under him, presses his body to Third’s and discovers they’re both hard now with a rock of his hips.

Third breaks the kiss, searching for breath, searching for words. “We can’t—” He moans as Khai starts in on his neck, has to push at Khai’s shoulders until Khai looks at him, both of them dazed, lips swollen red. “I’m not an easy lay, Khai.”

Khai is still grinding against him.

Chapter Text

“Is four to old to say they’re our baby?” Off asks, pinching Babii’s cheek.

Gun shakes his head. “Babii is like Gun. Small and cute forever.”

Off laughs. “Right. Babii will always be our baby, just like you’ll always be mine.”

“Papii, stop,” Gun whines, half-heartedly, but he hoists Babii into his arms, more of a struggle now than it once was, since Babii has gotten so big in four years.

Off’s eyes alight in amusement as he watches.

“Do you think someday Babii will grow up and leave us?” Gun asks, frowning.

“Not for a long time,” Off assures.

Chapter Text

“Either we go on the hayride or I convince your dads to go on the hayride,” Ohm threatens.

“My dads will take gross selfies of them kissing if they go on the hayride,” Chimon says. “But I don’t want to go.”

“I thought you dyed your hair to blend in,” Nanon teases, tugging at Chimon’s blonde locks.

Ohm swings an arm around Nanon. “It’s two against one. We’re going.”

Gun’s voice drifts across the field. “Papii, they’re doing hayrides!”

The three boyfriends glance over to see Gun already dragging Off towards the direction they had intended to go, Off pretending to resist as he lets it happen. He’s trying to hide his smile as Gun asks one of the workers about getting on.

Ohm pats Chimon on the head consolingly. “I’ll buy you a pumpkin.”

Ten minutes later, Nanon’s phone buzzes and he’s checking an Instagram notification. Ohm and Chimon peek at his screen.

“Are we not enough for you?” Ohm says, chin on Nanon’s shoulder as he pouts.

Chimon, however, processes the username. “Do you have notifications on for my dad?”

Nanon is already hitting the heart on the expected hayride selfies.

Even Chimon must admit they’re unbearably cute.

Chapter Text

Gun makes his desire for a ring no secret, but he doesn’t put any pressure on Off with this one, hoping that Off will choose the right time to act on it, and Off does.

The proposal is more of a promise than a question.

“But Gun wants to be married to Papii now,” Gun is saying, the ring on his finger. “Gun wants to be with Papii forever.”

“Gun wants to get married now?” Off asks, he hums from his position behind Gun, Gun on his lap.

Gun nods, tilts his face towards Off.

“Okay, let’s get married,” Off agrees, stealing a brief, chaste kiss from Gun’s lips.

“Really, Papii?” Gun asks, eyes wide.

Off nods. “Mhm. We could go away for the weekend, make Tay take care of everything. Is that what Gun wants?”

Gun shifts around, pressing another kiss to Off’s lips in agreement.

And so they do, returning with none the wiser.

On the rare occasions where Gun slips and calls Off his husband, people assume he means it in the colloquial sense, whether they believe he and Off have something together or just that those are the roles they play. They don’t ask any questions and Gun doesn’t specify any answers.

He just wears the ring.

When they’re alone and Gun is pouting for one reason or another, Off can take his hand, can hold up the ring and remind him, can make Gun blush and smile. Gun hides his face in Off’s chest or nuzzles Off’s neck and knows that Off is his and that it’ll be okay.

At the end of a long day, they still have each other. No matter what rumors try to upend them, they know the truth.

It’s their beautiful little secret.

...Until, of course, Tay accidentally tells everyone.

Chapter Text

It starts with something silly, just a joke about phones that leads Sean into saying, in English, “You’re the apple of my eye.”

White looks away, embarrassed.

“What did he say?” Gram asks.

Yok shrugs.

It’s then that Sean discovers he can now say sweet things to White all the time in English and keep the others in the dark. He starts, however, to say things like, “I can’t wait to take you home tonight.” Comments like that would usually lead to their friends teasing them, but now they just ignore it.

“Sean,” White warns, but Sean’s knee is bumping his under the table and it’s been a week and, honestly, White is just as excited as Sean is. “Not here,” he says.

“I wasn’t planning on doing anything here...unless White wants me to.” Sean raises an eyebrow.

Yok and Gram look up, must sense what’s going on by Sean’s tone, so White distracts them, starts talking about other things.

Throughout their conversation, Sean joins in, keeping his voice even, as if his words relate. “I can’t wait to put my hands all over White.” A pause, as he fakes interest, adds a comment in Thai before, “I’m going to finger you until you’re close, then fuck you until you come. Multiple times.”

Sean keeps his gaze on other things, even as his knee finds its way between White’s, rubbing up against him.

White can’t scold Sean without giving himself away, instead asking, “So why are we still here?”

Chapter Text

“This is the last straw!” Tay shouts, storming through the building. “We are no longer friends, Jumpol.”

“What broke the sacred bonds between our beloved pengyou?” Arm asks.

Tay fumes, but he doesn’t answer. “Ask Jumpol.”

Gun arrives next, chasing after Tay, trying to catch Tay’s hand and hold it, to mollify Tay.

Arm nudges Gun. “What happened? What did your Papii do?”

Gun pouts and swings Tay’s hand back and forth, Tay having given in.

Scoffing, Tay tells Arm, “Don’t ask my pet. He’s innocent.”

The phrasing makes Arm raise an eyebrow at Gun, who blushes. “Is he really?”

Chapter Text

It’s the rustle that tells Tay that someone is there and, feeling particularly nosy, he slips down the hall towards the sound.

He’s pleased to see that it’s Off and Gun, but slows, quiets his footsteps, wanting to surprise—and hopefully scare—them.

“Papii,” Gun says. “No.”

“‘No’?” Off repeats. “Ai’Gun,” he says, sounding frustrated. “I’m going to bend you over this desk and fuck you until you can’t walk. Will you still say ‘no’ then?”

“Peng!” Tay shouts. “You can’t talk to my pet— to, to Nong Gun like that!” He pulls Gun away from Off, but lets Gun go when Gun struggles, storms away. He’s shouting about how he and Off can no longer be friends.

“He thinks I started it,” Off says, rolling his eyes. “So?”

“I’ll go after P’Tay,” Gun says quickly, but Off knows Gun doesn’t have enough face to explain the real context of Off’s “threat.”

Chapter Text

“Jumpol, do you want to go out tonight?” Arm suggests as they walk to their cars. “Just you, me, Alice, and Tay. No crowds. What do you think?”

Off pulls a face. “No.”

Arm rolls his eyes good-humoredly, takes a different tack. “I know it’s not really your scene, but you went out with Nong Gun for his birthday and mine is in a couple of days. Just 91 liners.”

Still frowning, Off opens his mouth, but Arm interrupts.

“You can go out with Gun but not us?” He smirks. “What? Do you and Nong Gun have something going on?”

Off shakes his head, waves his hands. “Nothing, nothing.”

Arm pauses, had expected a joke, but there’s a nervous sort of tension in Off’s face that makes him reassess. “No?”

“No,” Off repeats.

“Khun Off, I have to ask, do you...want there to be?”

Off kicks a rock, sifts messily through his thoughts. “Nong is…” He sucks in a breath, unsure where he was going, and settles on the straightforward. “Uh. I like Gun.”

The crunch of Gun’s shoes on the gravel is what gets him caught.

Gun darts away and Off swears.

Arm offers a smile. “Good luck.”

Chapter Text

It feels like Gun has been raking Off over the coals. Off has asked Gun to be his faen a dozen times now and, every time, it hurts. Gun will avoid the question or tell him he’s not sure or just plain say no even though Off has no idea why.

After all, since Gun found out about his feelings, Gun had been making it very apparent that he wants Off, and Off is pretty sure Gun likes him, too. So far, they’ve made out more than a few times, gone further, but Gun so often whines and whispers about how badly he wants Off to fuck him—hard.

Gun wants Off to rail him.

To this request, Off has refused every time. They’re not together and Off isn’t looking for a fuckbuddy.

As they hang out in the building and Gun suggests they fool around, Off asks again if they can be official.

When Gun says no, Off is pretty sure Gun is just determined to be obstinate, or maybe he just wants to get his way, and Off can’t stand it anymore. Maybe doing things Gun’s way is the only way that will work, and so he asks.

Chapter Text

Arm’s question reaches Off’s ears, Off arriving at the scene just in time for Tay to claim, “Of course! My pet has been harassed.”

Off snorts. “Ai’Tay, mind your own business.” He knows Tay won’t, but he’s curious what Gun will say if Tay goes on. Will Gun condemn him just to save himself?

Tay looks at Arm. “Jumpol said he would”—Tay hugs Gun’s head to his chest, covers Gun’s ears—“do unspeakable things to Nong Gun,” he whispers vaguely.

Arm hums, looks between the three of them as Tay stops trying to smother Gun. “Does Nong Gun not want Khun Off to do those those things?”

“Nong said no!” Tay answers quickly.

“He did,” Off agrees. “To a different question. Should we tell Tay the truth, Gun?” Softer, he asks, “Or maybe you could tell me why you keep saying no?”

“Maybe because he doesn’t want—”

“Don’t put words in his mouth, Ai’Tay,” Off warns, and Arm gives Tay a nod in agreement.

Off inhales, rephrases his previous offer. “If I did that, would you say yes to me?”

Gun considers it, must feel the three of them watching him. “If Papii really did, Gun would say yes.”

“Did what?” Tay asks, completely turned around.

“That thing you overheard,” Off replies easily, smirking at Gun.

Gun squeaks and ducks his head and Off nabs Gun’s hand, pulling him over, away from Tay.

“What thing?” Tay stares at them. “Wait. No. Not that?”

Off nods. “Although maybe not on that desk.”

Not wanting to know the context of Off’s last correction, Arm asks the important question from which Tay had been distracted. “What will Nong Gun say yes to?”

Off raises his eyebrows at Gun, who shakes his head. “Not until Papii does what Gun wants.”

“You’ve fallen for a difficult man, Jumpol,” Arm says with a chuckle.

“What Gun wants… Fallen…” Tay is piecing everything together with a look of bewilderment that turns to horror. “Peng likes Pet. And Pet wants…” His eyes widen.

“I’ll woo him however he chooses at this point,” Off says, grinning.

Chapter Text

It’s well-fitted, as if tailored to Khai, although they’ve really just stolen outfits from wardrobe.

“Ai’Khai, I don’t understand why we need to be in the scene,” Third calls, having not yet emerged from behind the folding partition in the dressing room.

“Lots of people cameo in their own movies,” Khai replies, trying to peek.

“So?” Third bites back. “We don’t have to.”

“Come on, tee rak, it’ll be fun,” Khai says, daring to push aside the partition.

Third looks so good, but his cheeks are burning in embarrassment.

“Why are you embarrassed?” Khai asks. “You look more handsome than any of the actors. Should we fire them all? Re-shoot the whole film with you as the lead.”

Third frowns. “I’m taking it off.”

“Nooo!” Khai whines. “If you try to take it off, I’m going to help.” He waggles his eyebrows, then sighs, shifting back in mood. “It’s one scene.”

“One scene,” Third repeats woefully, but he lets Khai take him by the arm, agreeing only to sit there and pout through the whole thing.

Watching the film later, Khai will point to the two figures dancing together in the background and Third will admit that they look good.

Chapter Text

The air outside may be crisp, but the inside of the car is hot and humid, panting breaths steaming up the windows as Pick pins Rome down in the backseat.

Why did his dad have to come back early?

This would be so much less cramped in his bed…

But Pick is desperate and Rome is willing.

“P’Pick, can Rome…”

And they switch positions, maneuvering until Rome is on top of Pick. They’ve gotten very good at making out and have now gotten to the addition of aggressive grinding and sometimes handjobs phase of their relationship. Pick feels like a teenager again, but he’s never been with a guy and Rome is good with taking it slow.

Taking it slow, however, does not mean not making out at every available opportunity.

Rome’s hips are seeking friction and Pick can’t stand it anymore, shoves their bodies apart enough to get them both free, take himself and Rome in hand and jerk off.

They’ve just come when there’s a knock on the window and they hastily clean up and straighten themselves out, for whatever it’s worth.

There’s no way they look like they haven’t been fooling around, but one can always hope.

Pick opens the door and steps out, on the far side from the knock, leaning against the car for some sense of coverage, and sees his dad standing across from him. He pulls in his lips, trying to think of what to say.

“Were you and your friend getting ready for football?” his dad asks with a glint in his eye. “Did you remember your cleats this time? It seems awfully late to be going out to play sports, no matter how ‘manly’ you are.”

Pick’s brain turns off. He has no response.

“Hm. That’s what I thought,” his dad says. “Nong Rome, you’re welcome to come inside the house,” he calls towards the car.

Rome shuffles out on Pick’s side and it’s horrible and hilarious at the same time to see how rumpled Rome is and how he’s attempted to flatten his hair and how he still has the sense to wai Pick’s father.

“I was just going him home,” Pick says lamely.

His father looks at the car, with its fogged windows, then back at Pick. He heads into the house without another word.

Pick rests his elbows on the car, face in his hands. “Shit.”

Chapter Text

Tam had never seen any of these creatures before, not counting whatever Phum was, whether Phum was real or not. It makes him curious and he asks Krathing about it one evening as Krathing makes a hex bag to place on some girl’s stalker—which, Tam thinks, is pretty cool.

“Witches are human,” Krathing says, something he’s said before. “We’re connected to all this,” and he gestures, “but we’re not from here. We can go between whenever we want. Unless we’re cursed or dead, of course. But everything else needs help.”

“Like a summoning? Like when I went to the crossroads?” Tam asks.

Krathing nods. “Summonings, eclipses, equinoxes, rituals, holidays… Anything to change things up, anything with enough of a pull to help them slip through, if they want to.”

“Sometimes P’Krathing sounds very wise,” Tam says, confused.

“I am wise,” Krathing says with a wink. “But that’s our secret, nong.”

Tam nods, watches Krathing for a minute before he says, “The wolves smell blood on me.”

Krathing hesitates. “They always will. But it will get fainter over time.”

“There’s no magical way to cleanse myself?” Tam follows up, half-joking.

“Lethe,” Krathing admits. “It can wash it away, but you’ll lose everything else, too. All your memories, everything of who you are now.”

“Sounds nice,” Tam says.

Krathing puts down the herbs and the knife and turns to Tam. “I like who you are. And I like having you around.”

Tam shivers. “Can you start joking around again, phi?”

Krathing tucks Tam’s head under his chin. “I’ll miss you, nong. But if you really do want to forget, I can take you to the river.”

“I wanted to be free from them. I made the choice.” Tam winds his arms around Krathing’s back, shakes his head. “I’ll stay with you.”

Chapter Text

“Gun, it’s fine!” Off assures for what feels like the millionth time.

“Papiiiii…” Gun whines. “What if Gun is really bad at it?”

“Gun is good at everything,” Off returns. “You just pick up the amber and—”

“Papii, there are monsters!” Gun starts hitting the buttons in a panic.

“Gun— Tee rak. Calm down. I’ll kill the monsters for you. There. Better?”

“Gun has never played this game before,” Gun says plaintively. “Papii has to protect me until I figure out how to murder everyone.”

Off laughs. “Of course, baby.”

“Peng, Pet, you’re in voicechat still,” Tay says, clearing his throat.

Mond and Nanon laugh uncomfortably, knowing they’re both livestreaming.

“Everyone,” Off announces into chat, on purpose this time, “Gun is new at this, but by the end of the game today, he’ll be the best.”

“Right,” Gun says, trying to sound confident.

“You can do it, P’Gun,” Nanon agrees.

Chapter Text

After the revelation, Tee’s mother searches for someone named T-Rex, doesn’t know if the person is living or dead, or if he’s really real at all. Part of her still hopes that Tee is just being a silly kid with an overactive imagination.

She finds a notice, however, from a few years previous, along with a photograph that aligns too well with the drawings her son has been creating since he was old enough to hold a crayon.

...And then she finds the right cemetery.

Tee insists on going with her when she tries to leave the house, to investigate first on her own, as if he knows where she’s going.

They park and, weakening, she shows him the picture and Tee nods. He hesitates, getting out of the car. “I can see them,” he says. “T-Rex used to make it better.”

“Can you see T-Rex?” his mother asks.

Tee shakes his head. “T-Rex moved on, when I…” He looks to his mother and doesn’t say it, but the horror strikes her.

“He was that important to you, luk?”

Tee nods and wanders over, as if he already knows where to go. “Been here before,” he whispers. “After T-Rex...after we...”

Someone else arrives, holding offerings. “What are you doing at my brother’s grave?”

“Looking for him,” Tee’s mother replies, as if her own spirit has gone. “My… We were looking for your brother.” She clamps her mouth shut.

“It’s okay, Mae,” Tee says. “He used to be my friend.”

Chapter Text

Third stares at his sleeping husband with curiosity. Despite all his fantasies, he had always thought his crush hopeless. It seems unreal to have Khai beside him sometimes, to have this ring on his finger reminding him that they’re committed to one another: Third is Khai’s and Khai is Third’s.

He’s no good at saying these words aloud, but he drags his fingertips over Khai’s jawline and smiles as Khai shifts, still dreaming.

Maybe, even if he can’t tell Khai, he can show him. He slings a leg carefully over Khai and brings himself to a straddle. “Khai… Wake up.”

Chapter Text

The night’s chill air gets to everyone, except Thawin and Punn, who stay warm, who walk together back to Thawin’s quarters.

They had been here before, passionate, consumed, until Punn had asked about the prophecy. They’re both aware of it as they lie on Thawin’s bed silently contemplating, although they still touch. The castle feels particularly drafty this evening, making Punn unconsciously draw nearer to Thawin’s heat.

“I’m sorry,” Thawin says again.

“Don’t,” Punn says. “Kiss me again, Khun Thawin?” He shifts onto his side, up onto his elbow to stare at Thawin’s face.

“Like the first time or like I kissed you out in the grass?” Thawin asks.

Punn considers the question. “Neither. Kiss me like I’m your soulmate, and like you’re happy.”

The first touch of lips is soft and sweet, already different than their previous kisses.

“Khun Thawin,” Punn murmurs, at brief parting. He wants to hear it now, to feel that ache of waiting, to know Thawin had felt it, too. “Were you trying to protect me?”

“Were you trying to save me?” Thawin replies. He takes up Punn’s hand, presses his warm lips to Punn’s cold palm.

“Can I stay here until morning?” Punn asks.

Chapter Text

Thawin isn’t sure whether he should let Punn stay, some notion of propriety still lingering.

As if he hadn’t just been kissing one of his students, as if Punn wasn’t already in his bed.

Allowing Punn to stay is decidedly innocent and, more than that, Punn deserves to get what he wants.

“Mh,” Thawin agrees. “Nong Punn can stay.”

And so Punn does, curled up close, Thawin keeping him warm as they get but a few hours sleep—real sleep, finally—before Thawin has to get up and start classes, sending Punn back to his shared room with Wave.

Unsurprisingly, Pang is in Wave’s bed with him.

“Get up,” Punn tells them. “It’s time for class.”

Wave blearily opens his eyes, his big spoon nudging him awake.

“Are you okay?” Pang asks. He realizes the time. “Did you just get back?”

Punn nods, starts changing into a fresh uniform, a fresh robe.

“Have you eaten?” Pang follows up.

“Not hungry.”

“Great,” Wave mutters, trying to hide his face in Pang’s chest. “There’s still something wrong with him.”

Ohm appears as he is wont, fully dressed, and takes in their appearances. “What’s wrong?”

Pang juts his chin towards Punn, who looks is just straightening his clothes, ready now.

“He’s ‘not hungry,’” Wave explains.

Ohm frowns. “Maybe he’s not hungry for food because he’s too hungry for Khun Thawin’s dick.”

Pang and Wave cringe, but then an unspoken message passes between them.

“He needed the kiss to wake,” Pang starts. “So maybe…?”

Chapter Text

Everyone is gathered for the bonfire, the air pulsing with magic, swarming with magical creatures who appear almost as wisps of the flames, feeding.

Unlike Punn, who hasn’t eaten in days.

“What do you think will happen?” Ohm asks Mon, but she shakes her head.

Mon raises an eyebrow. “How would I know?”

Ohm shrugs, glances over to Korn.

“He gets to sleep,” Korn says, annoyed. “He’s lucky.”

Khun Thawin is close to Punn, although they don’t touch, not with so many people around.

“Do you think Pang is right? That they need to…” And Ohm jams his hands together.

A chorus of “ew” greets him.

Claire clears her throat. “Something needs to be done.”

“Love spell?” Ohm asks, looks at Namtan, who glares back offended at the notion.

“They’re already in love,” she says. “That would be like giving one to Wave, or Pang.”

Pang and Wave are a little ways away, Wave’s magic sparking like electricity from his fingertips, Pang watching him in awe.

“What do we do? Trap them in a closet until they fuck?” Claire says, far more bluntly this time.

They watch as Punn glances over to Thawin, murmurs something as Thawin leans in respectfully.

“I’m certain they’ve made out,” Ohm announces. “I don’t know what their problem is.”

“Maybe Khun Thawin has some moral objections to fucking a student,” Mon says reasonably.

Ohm waves her off. “Fate did this, but Khun Thawin messed up. If anything, he has an obligation now to screw Punn.”

Chapter Text

Punn looks beautiful, the yellows and oranges and reds and occasional blues highlighting his face in different ways, reminding Thawin of all that’s going on beneath the surface, all those different versions of Punn.

There’s something very romantic about the scene, but now is not the time to pull Punn into his arms, to think of how they’d kissed, slept side by side. Nothing has happened since then, just an increased awareness of one another, and the knowledge that they will be together. Thawin doesn’t risk letting the thought cross his mind that they won’t.

Maybe tonight he’ll hold Punn in his arms for a moment. He used to spend so much time thinking of love, waiting on love, before he changed himself, gave all that up. The fact that he’s been given something so precious scares him, like he’ll break Punn with everything pent up inside, all that he’d locked away when he saved his brother, let Momay go.

Punn sways, catches himself, and the firelight hits him just right, revealing something gaunt, something hollow, and Thawin’s breath catches.

He steps closer to Punn, offering his shoulder. It’s a risky move, but not out of the question.

“Khun Thawin,” Punn murmurs. “Can I stay in your quarters tonight?”

Thawin is surprised, but he sees Pang and Wave across the fire. “Giving them space?” he asks.

“I think… I think I need to be close to you,” Punn says. “That’s what they’re all saying.” His eyes slip closed, his expression is pained.

“Whatever you need,” Thawin says quickly. He ushers Punn away from everyone else, takes Punn back to his room and lays him down.

Punn feels cold to the touch and Thawin warms him, keeps his arms wrapped around Punn all through the night.

Punn seems a bit better.

Chapter Text

“Punn’s still not eating,” Wave tells Pang.

“I can hear you,” Punn says, but he’s trembling, his body harvesting what little it can from his reserves and beyond to keep going. He feels it when he’s away from Thawin, feels cold without Thawin to warm him. He grabs his things. “I have class.”

Pang and Wave share a look. “Alright. Good luck.”

Punn tries to look stronger than he feels as he walks to meet Thawin. They’ve only had two classes since he’d woken up and Punn is trying to be his usual self, but learning anything, even without his added gift, pulls at him now, threatens to split his personalities apart. Luckily, they’re all starved.

Well, except—

Punn closes his eyes and wills the darkness away.

He knocks on the door to Thawin’s office today and he’s shaking harder, hard enough that he drops his belongings before Thawin can open the door.

Thawin helps him grab everything, takes him inside, takes Punn’s hands in his to warm them.

The tremors ease the closer together they are.

“Are you sure you’re ready to resume classes, Nong Punn?” He glances at a note on his desk, crumples it up and takes a more secure hold of Punn.

Punn hates falling behind, has lost out on too much time already, but he hears those footsteps coming down the hall, inside his own mind, and he leans into Thawin’s touch more. “I...don’t know.”

They end up in Thawin’s room, leaving Punn’s things behind.

Thawin lets Punn go for a moment and the shivering begins again, makes Thawin rush back to him.

“Something is still wrong,” Thawin admits. “I’ve known, but I’ve hoped…”

Punn kisses Thawin, pulls him close, topples them onto the bed with strength he shouldn’t have.

Thawin’s gaze meets black.