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Two birds on a wire

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Pat had no idea why they were at the rooftop again- or well he knew. After buying the batch of muffins he had his eyes on, he hesitated on knocking. What if Wai opened the door? The guy glared at him all the time, it was scary, like a father looking disapprovingly at you. Hopefully it wouldn't be him, or at least won't start a rapid answer round with him on the door. To his dismay, even after he gained courage to do so, no one answered. He kept knocking, nothing but silence greeting him.

 

Dejected, his steps left him to the roof, much like previously. What were the chances he would meet Pran again? Oh, a hundred percent by the way the man was sitting at a far corner, head down, in casual wear unlike the last time. He liked to come here way too often. Just as he was getting close, he noticed the cigarette in the man's hand. Of course he smokes, what a cliché. 

 

Pran raised his head and was met with a box right in front of him, startled and looking up at Pat with wide eyes. "Hey" the college student said simply, smiling and sitting down next to him on the ground, a little space between them. "Why are you sulking again here? Is this your place to come and be sad?" He teased and the other scowled, proceeding to smile with his head turned the other way, pat would let it slide because it was adorable. 

 

"What's that?" He asked, raising his eyebrows, eyes on the white box. Pat smiled sweetly at him, "marriage ring, I'm here to steal you from your boyfriend." Well.. he was half serious about it but the older man didn't need to know, Pran couldn't stop the smile on his face either, dimples betraying him as he tried to keep a straight face, rolling his eyes. "Stop being an ass." 

 

The college boy opened the box and slid them over, only for the man to stare at them for a whole minute. Did he not like it? Or he didn't eat sweets? He had honestly not thought of anything at the time he made a lame excuse of taking a gift for Paa to his friends, the cute smiles made him think of the door of his neighbours and his hand itched to buy it. There are people who don't even eat cakes, Chang himself didn't eat cakes as he claimed he didn't like the taste. Maybe he had bought these for nothing, well he'll just act like he bought them for himself then.

 

His little mental breakdown had taken all of his attention that he didn't notice the tears on Pran's face and it almost made him jump up. "Woah- are you okay? Shit, you hate them that much?" Pran just shook his head, wiping his cheeks with a smile, an airy laugh leaving his lips. "I don't know why I'm crying, this is really sweet of you. I love them so much." He blurted out and Pat didn't know what he should feel honestly. Was the guy happy or not? Why would anyone cry at something as little as this?

 

But then again, if he was having a shitty day and someone thought about him enough to bring a comforting thing even accidentally, he would be touched too. "You don't receive gifts often and it shows.." He said with a soft smile. Pran poked his head from the side harshly, "I've received two times more gifts than your current age kid." Pat just pouted and tried taking the rest of the muffins away only for Pran to snatch them and start running. He jumped to his feet chasing after the older and they ran in circles, laughing and screaming.

 

The whole time it looked like Pran would drop the box any moment but neither really cared enough and miraculously he managed to not drop it. When Pat finally caught him, he started wiggling to get out of his grip. It was hard to keep up with someone like him though, he was pretty strong for anyone who didn't exercise regularly because of his frequent visits to the gym. They were locked in that hug and so they started picking the muffins out of the box and eating them. 

 

If anyone walked in on them and saw the scene they would probably be scared to talk to them the second time, crumbs falling on the ground, open mouths trying hard to chew between the loud laughs. "What- if we- what if we choke.. let go of me" Pran was shouting in between his giggle fit and Pat let go of him for the man to slump down against the wall, the muffin in his hand. He could only admire the ruffled hair all messy because of running around in the strong wind.

 

Pran let the college student sit next to him, throwing a loose hand on his shoulder, catching his breath from the laughs.

 

He felt happy again. Just a while back he had been sulking in the corner that was now empty because of his daily monotonous life and the surprising elements Pat often dropped in always stirred his mind and heart. He felt young again; unlike the soulless, tired, frustrated man he was on most days. It may simply be just the younger boy's personality or it may be that he has an extremely different way of living that interests him. He can't quite put a finger on it.

 

Pran likes to figure things out and clear the picture but right now he wants to go with the moment. It doesn't make sense, fighting for muffins on a rooftop and finding trouble to fill the need of air in their lungs because they're laughing so much. Nothing is even funny about it and it just makes him laugh more. 

 

Minutes ago he was crying and now he's laughing like he won't ever stop, the shifts in his emotions make his chest rise and fall with more depth. It's like stepping out in fresh air after being locked in a suffocating room for a long time, he can't describe it any other way. How did Pat manage to do it? He doesn't know, and he doesn't care, the thought of Wai long forgotten as he invites the college boy over for dinner and they race back downstairs like middle schoolers.

 

-----

 

Pran only looked out of his window, staring into space. He didn't feel sad today, unlike all the times he spent worrying and feeling guilty over Wai leaving he felt relaxed and free. Like he had needed this, even if his boyfriend hadn't. The man could be anywhere, he couldn't worry less. Pat had removed the possibility of his general activities like begging his partner to come back home and spamming his call log and texts. 

 

Now he could only smile and try to remember the sweet taste of the muffins melting in his mouth and a bright smile that accompanied him. It felt wrong but in a right way? To think of a college student next door instead of his boyfriend. It was also wrong that he felt happier and safer in the company of Pat than Wai. 

 

How long had he known Pat? For two months? That was nothing compared to how long he has been living with Wai but he felt more familiar and looked more forward to seeing him . It wasn't fair for him to let his heart make a space for this new neighbour but it was involuntary. Even with his protective cold exterior, Pat had managed to dig through. Was there really any saving from this boy? And what would Pran do if he let the younger have too much of his heart till it started affecting his life?

 

He picked up his phone and let his finger hover over the call button. Should he really reach out again? His burnout in the relationship only increased whenever he had to chase after Wai, he was tired of him being the centre of their relationship. Tired of not having the same worth but how long could he really keep this strong resolve. He knew the next day he would be going back to doing what he was stopping himself from right now.

 

Pran threw his phone in the side and sighed, rubbing his hands on his tired eyes. The day had been long, Pran didn't even realise when his eyes closed and when he fell into a dreamland filled with warm smiles and home-like eyes.