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Pat texts him a location and nothing else. Pran, like an idiot, doesn’t ask for more, and now he’s wandering through the engineering faculty lost as hell because, like an idiot, he’s too stubborn to admit it to Pat.

His fingers twitch over his keyboard, though he still hesitates to type. For all his stubbornness, he hasn’t seen Pat much lately and it stings of lonely memories and old fears like a bruise. Between exams, projects, and their friends venting their stress on each other, Pran’s barely has time to give Pat a secret nod hello when they pass each other by in the hallway. Pat’s irritatingly endearing habit of texting him dozens of photos throughout the day, all accompanied by cute little comments like, thinking of you♡ or, hey dimples, or, look: a duck!, soothes just as much as it stings. He wonders if Pat feels the same about the meals or post-its he leaves for him, then worries if Pat’s been eating at all, and all it does is make Pran feel sad.

An arm snakes around his neck and Pran barely has time to gasp before he’s being dragged back into a little nook tucked away under the staircase.

“Eh-- Pat!”

Pat ruffles his hair in hello and Pran retaliates by tickling his side, which is a terrible idea because they’re in a very small and cramped space and Pat bangs his head against the underside of the concrete staircase when he tries to escape. Pat jerks away from him with a pained gasp but Pran follows, cradling Pat’s head as he tugs him down so that he can check his scalp. “Shit, Pat! Are you okay?”

Pat nuzzles Pran’s hands and says in his smallest, most pitiful voice, “No. I just bashed my head in, it’s split open, my brains are going to start spilling out, I only have minutes to live unless you kiss me better--”

Pran snorts and shoves him away. “Asshole, I was worried.”


Pran rolls his eyes, but he can’t hold onto any ire, just happy to finally see Pat again. He drinks in Pat’s wrinkled shirt, the coffee stain on his collar, the dark circles under his eyes, and watches Pat make his own catalog of him just as hungrily.

“Long time, no see,” he tries to joke, except it comes out flat and all wrong. Even though they try to at least see each other at night, or all the time they carve out to talk on the phone together, they’ve barely spent a whole five waking hours together in the past two weeks. They’d barely had an hour awake last night and Pat had to leave this morning before he’d even woken up, and Pran aches.

He watches something sad and miserable flicker across Pat’s face, so fleeting it appears between one blink and is gone the next, so quickly replaced by a fragile smile. It jolts through him like a live wire though, concern leadening his limbs. “Pat…?”

Pat’s mask flickers, just a little bit, his smile not quite so bright anymore. He almost seems fine until he opens his mouth and says in a quiet, strained whisper, “Come here?”

Pran goes, immediately sinking into Pat’s hold. Pat collapses around him, arms locked tight around his waist, and Pran buries himself in Pat. It’s simultaneously too much and not enough, the firm sweep of Pat’s fingers down his back leaving starbursts of white pleasure in their wake, Pat’s shoulders warm and broad beneath his desperate grasp as Pran tries to plaster every millimeter of himself against him. Pat buries his nose in Pran’s neck and Pran tucks his face into the crook of Pat’s shoulder as well. He’s missed Pat, and holding him in his arms only does so much when he knows they’re on a timer.

“Pran,” Pat rumbles against the sensitive skin under Pran’s ear, sending lightning skittering down his spine, “Stop thinking.”

Pran shudders. As though he even could think like this. The sensation of Pat is overwhelmingly delightful, making his thoughts thick like honey, trapping every aching detail in his head as though that might make the inevitable separation more bearable--

Pat takes a deep breath, hot sigh tickling Pran’s neck, and Pran squirms in his hold.

“Are you sniffing me?” Pran asks the shell of Pat’s ear, bemused and appalled at how endearing he finds the action. Pat really is rubbing off on him too much.

Pat takes another deep breath, with exaggerated snuffling this time, and Pran rolls his eyes even before Pat opens his mouth. “Yep!” Pat chirps merrily, “You’re the best inhaler, I’m all refreshed now!”

Pran snorts and Pat takes another big sniff, and another. Pran pinches the base of his neck, laughing. Ridiculous.

“Oh? All refreshed now, huh?,” Pran murmurs as Pat takes another deep inhale with a happy Mm! “You gonna let me go then?”

Pat’s hold tightens and he grunts unhappily, and Pran can’t hold back his grin as he clings back just as tight. Pat does pull back, but only far enough to give him the most aggrieved pout he can manage when they’re tangled together. Pran coos before pulling him into a chaste kiss.

“Just teasing, baby,” he murmurs, gently rubbing his nose against Pat’s.

Except something seems to break in Pat at that. His only warning is a choked gasp against his lips before Pat grabs the back of his head and crashes their lips together.

Pran hesitates to call it a kiss, because it’s more like an onslaught. Pran’s thoughts melt under the wave of liquid fire Pat ignites in him, his lungs ache as Pat takes his gasps to lick into his mouth, and he’s so overwhelmingly consumed it’s a miracle they’re not fused together.

Pran staggers back, his deep breaths scraping down his throat, and Pat pushes him back against the wall with a wounded noise. Their noses bump together painfully and Pran laughs hoarsely, thoughts stuttering to a halt again as Pat’s fingers find their way under Pran’s shirt and grip his hip tight enough to leave bruises.

“I need to call you baby more often,” he says, stupid and dazed as Pat’s hot pants fan his mouth. Pat whines and fuck oxygen, Pran grabs the back of Pat’s neck and yanks him in with a desperate mewl. He gets as far as sucking Pat’s tongue into his mouth when Pat’s weight gives away, pinning Pran between the hard lines of Pat’s body and the unforgiving wall behind him. It feels fantastic.

It’s not enough.

Pran groans into Pat’s mouth, yanking his shirt to pull him as close as he can come. For some reason, Pat’s hidden behind a properly done up collar today of all days, which just won’t do, and Pran tugs and pulls open the top buttons just for a glimpse or tantalizing touch or both of Pat’s chest before they’re forced to button him up once more.

Except another shirt greets him below Pat’s uniform, blocking his prize.

Pran tears away with an irritated hiss. Pat somehow finds it in himself to laugh, which is not helping Pran’s growing ire.

“Damn, can you really recognize your shirts just by touch?”


Pat raises his eyebrows, but Pran can’t respond, too busy ripping open the top of Pat’s uniform. Because Pat’s wearing his shirt, definitively snatched from Pran’s laundry basket in the wee hours of the morning, now carefully tucked away under the buttons of Pat’s uniform, and it’s taking up all of Pran’s limited brain power right now. Pran’s hands flex along Pat’s ruined collar, crumpling it under his fingers, their tips brushing across the soft worn fabric of his shirt.

Pran nearly chokes on his heavy tongue. “Why’d you pick that one?”

Pat looks down, confusion visible. “Because it smells like you?”

“No, I mean.” Pran’s fingers flex again. The shirt--his shirt--his shirt he wore yesterday--

Fuck. His shirt that people definitely saw him wearing yesterday--

Pran gulps. “It clashes with your uniform,” he protests hoarsely.

Pat looks down at Pran’s fingers digging into the material and back up at Pran cautiously. “Does it? I’m not very good with colors.”

Pran chokes on a wordless groan. He tugs Pat closer, stretching the collar of his shirt, possibly ruining it. But it doesn’t matter, not when he needs Pat pressed against his every surface. He might even forgive Pat for picking a shirt with a high collar he needs to ruin, just so long as Pat comes here.

Pran yanks Pat desperately, anything to get him closer, and feels something give way in his hand. Pat’s lips land on the corner of his mouth, kissing Pran’s dimple.Pran shudders as Pat grunts his question against his cheek. He’d drop whatever’s in his hand, more eager for Pat, but Pat catches his hand first and coaxes his fingers open. They both stare dumbly at the button in Pran’s palm before it wobbles and rolls off his palm and falls to the floor with a faint pink!

“…Huh,” Pran mutters dumbly.

Pat gives his uniform shirt a quick cross-eyed inspection before shrugging it off. Pran would be fine with leaving it there as well, except then Pat says, “Don’t worry, I’ll just button the collar. No one will notice anything different.”

Pran’s eye twitches and he rips off another button.

Pat grunts in surprise. He stares at Pran with wide doe eyes as Pran gets his fingers around a third button and rips it as well. It’s tougher than the other two though and it clings on by a thread, and Pran scowls and yanks it again, button flying away to somewhere unknown.

Pat finally snaps to with a gasp and he grabs Pran’s hand with a laugh before Pran can rip away any more. He beams like a little sun, eyes bright and happy. Pran aches.

Pat nudges Pran’s nose with his and smiles playfully. “Is my boyfriend gonna fix my uniform for me?”

Pran hums and shrugs, eyes ducked and cheeks hot. “Don’t think it’d be worth it,” he says dismissively, trying not to smile when Pat pouts pitifully. “I’m pretty sure a certain shirt thief’s just going to steal one of mine instead.”

Pat’s pout drops with a startled gasp and then he’s pressing kiss upon kiss across Pran’s face. Pran sputters half-formed protests, but mostly just laughs and gasps under Pat’s relentless affection.

“Ridiculous,” he mutters fondly as he tries to catch Pat’s cheeks. He needs Pat’s lips on his, needs Pat’s weight pressed against him, needs his hands on Pat’s skin and vice versa. He just needs Pat, as close as he can get him, before the thought of Pat walking away with his shirt on display catches up with him. There’s a fire in his heart and a hunger in his belly, and Pran just wants Pat to kiss him until he’s confident and stupid.

Because it’s just a shirt. A shirt distinctly not Pat’s, even one Pran had worn yesterday, now on display for anyone to see and wonder and--

Pran looks at Pat’s delighted smile and forces his brain to a stop. It’s just a shirt, he reminds himself sternly as he pulls Pat in for another mind-numbing kiss.

It’ll be fine.