Despite the recent influx of money-related bullshit in his life, Mark had not created Facebook in the hopes of making a billion dollars. That wasn't the goal, had never been and would never be the point of Facebook. Facebook was it for him, it was that ultimate stroke of genius, the title before his name.
Facebook Founder Mark Zuckerberg.
But admittedly, there were upsides to not subsisting on ramen and energy drinks: the ability to skip out early on a boring function, the freedom to spontaneously travel, the funds to book last-minute flights to Singapore. The easy access to medical care if Eduardo punched him in the goddamn nose.
"Oh, fuck." Eduardo sounded panicked, which was gratifying because, shit, ow. Mark pinched the bridge of his nose with his index finger and thumb and immediately regretted it. "No, jesus, don't do that," ordered Eduardo as he rushed forward and grabbed Mark by the shoulders. He steered Mark into his apartment building, saluting the doorman awkwardly.
He hustled Mark to the elevator and shoved him against the wall, and then he retreated to his own corner to slouch with his hands in his pockets and refuse to make anything resembling eye contact. This wasn't exactly against Mark's natural programming, but Eduardo had always been all about eye contact. Mark scowled at him.
Eduardo looked—different, maybe. Mark wasn't actually certain because he'd never spent much time looking at Eduardo. Eduardo had been this presence, a constant, not something that needed observation but something that was. Until that hadn't been true anymore, that is. But Eduardo had been a comfort right up until the moment he'd been a problem, and Mark had... taken that for granted, he'd allow. He could admit that much.
There was a different set to Eduardo's shoulders now: straighter, taller. There had been that difference during the depositions as well, but there it had looked like pride. It fit, now, uncomplicated and true.
The doors opened with a whir. Eduardo inclined his head and stepped into the hall, leaving Mark to shuffle after, fighting the urge to poke at his throbbing nose.
"With your income, I expected you to own property," said Mark. It kind of hurt to speak, but it was worse to be ignored, so he could work through it. His voice sounded strange, nasal.
Eduardo said, "This is the city. No one owns property."
He pulled a key from his pocket and unlocked the door, didn't wait for Mark before disappearing inside. Mark shuffled in with his hands in his hoodie pouch, pushed the door shut behind himself, and leaned against it, surveying the place cursorily. It was sparsely furnished and kept neat, everything done in burgundies and dark woods. There were files spread across the coffee table in haphazard piles. Across the top of the couch, there were six different ties, like Eduardo had taken them out to try them on and had never put them away.
Eduardo had vanished to the kitchen after letting them inside, a fact Mark only noticed when he reappeared with a sigh and tumbler of whiskey. "Aren't we mature," said Mark, raising his eyebrows. The pain in his nose had settled down, he noticed. He doubted it was broken. It couldn't be broken if it hadn't even bled, could it?
"We can't all live on beer and Red Bull forever," said Eduardo after he took a sip, like he hadn't been the one to buy the rest of them beer to begin with. He didn't offer a drink to Mark, but Mark hadn't developed any particular passion for whiskey since college, so that was fine. He rocked back on his heels, waiting, taking in the sight of Eduardo's tanned skin, his dark eyes, after all this time.
"What're you doing here?" Eduardo asked when he'd finished self-medicating. He added, biting, "I sure as hell didn't invite you."
"No shit," snapped Mark. He went back to examining the hardwood floors.
"So what, then?" asked Eduardo, eyes heavenward. He crouched to place the glass on the coffee table amidst the files, and Mark nodded a bit to himself, watching, and stepped forward.
Eduardo frowned. "What—" he said, then cut himself off when Mark patted his chest. Mark bit his lip, nervous in a primal, illogical way, and went heavily to his knees.
It hurt, jarred his bones, which was good, brought him into the moment. It was also loud, and when his gaze flicked up at Eduardo's gasp, he saw Eduardo wince.
"What're you—there are people below me, Mark," Eduardo hissed.
Mark undid his zipper. "Did you know it's a falsity that college students are more likely to experiment sexually?" he said. "They're more likely to talk about it because college students like to talk. We liked to talk."
"Obviously not enough," said Eduardo, strained. He gasped again when Mark's fingers brushed his cock through his underwear, and his hips gave a jerk. "Mark, what the fuck are you doing?" he asked again. It didn't resemble a protest, not anymore. Maybe a last-minute call to reason.
"Blowing you," Mark replied, though he'd kind of assumed that would be self-evident. "Or I will be."
"But—" His voice cut off with a groan as Mark undid his button and slid a hand into his boxers. Eduardo was halfway to hard already, and Mark took some thrill in that. He wrapped a fist around Eduardo's cock and gave it a stroke, then ducked his head to blow gently on the head. Which—awkward: he'd taken a chance with that one and it hadn't paid off. He'd probably looked stupid, like he didn't know what he was doing, something that wasn't exactly untrue. He bit his lip and closed his eyes.
A hand slid into his hair, cupping his ear and trailing down his cheek, and he started. When he looked up, Eduardo's wasn't looking back, offered no comment. His expression was indecipherable to Mark, a message written in code with no key.
He was fully hard by the time Mark took him in, heavy and warm. The stretch of Mark's lips set his nose aching again, but that was okay, good, even. Eduardo grunted, both his hands in Mark's hair now.
Mark bent forward, one hand at the base of Eduardo's prick. It was weird, certainly. He half expected to gag but didn't. He did scrape Eduardo a bit with his teeth, though, and opened his mouth wider even though Eduardo hadn't protested. And then it started to strain his neck, and he reached up, slid his hands onto Eduardo's ass and pushed. Because Eduardo could do some of the work here, couldn't he?
Eduardo groaned, said, "Mark," hips jolting forward. His cock slipped into Mark's throat, and Mark did gag now, eyes watering. And he wasn't sure if his dick had ever been this hard in his life, didn't think it had been. Certainly he'd never cared this much about it. "Sorry, sorry," said Eduardo, and Mark didn't answer, just pulled Eduardo in again. It was wet and hot, and he wanted wetter, hotter, harder, more.
"Is this—" One of the hands in his hair was petting now, and that just made Mark's throat tight, started up a burning behind his eyes. Eduardo said, "Is this such a good idea?"
And really, who had a moral crisis mid-blowjob? Mark pulled off with a pop to glare at him. "Shit, Eduardo, you were always under the impression you were ethically superior to the rest of us, but I never realized you were such a pussy," he said.
Eduardo's jaw twitched like he was grinding his teeth. "You can't goad me into fucking you."
"I already did," said Mark. "The question is, 'Can I goad you into fucking me harder?'"
Eduardo's right hand tightened into a fist, and for a tense second, Mark thought there'd be an instant replay of what had happened when Eduardo had found Mark sitting next to his apartment door fiddling with his iPhone, but he just took a breath and seemed to settle. His cock was still hard, a deep red now. Sharply, he took Mark by the back of the head and jerked him toward it. It was rough, made Mark's shoulders twinge.
Which, yes. He understood. Mark hadn't quite had faith he would, but sometimes he didn't give Eduardo enough credit. He moaned, breathing through his nose. Eduardo's hands left his hair for a moment, and Mark let his eyebrows draw together, feeling bereft, but Eduardo just pried Mark's hands off the back of his thighs and then they were back, and they were better. Eduardo twined his fingers in Mark's curls and tugged, and the noises were ugly, wet and real, but that was perfect, that was what he'd wanted. Eduardo fucked his throat again and again, and he groaned and just let it happen.
He let Eduardo set the pace—or maybe let wasn't exactly the word anymore—and Eduardo varied it, sometimes keeping his thrusts rapid and shallow, making Mark choke and go red, and sometimes deep and long, holding him there until he was out of breath. Mark's hands would clench at his sides, fingers twitching with the desire to reach up, to pull Eduardo off and breathe freely again or maybe just to push him deeper still, but the one time he'd forgotten himself, Eduardo had stopped. He'd pulled Mark off with one hand and given him a look, and Mark had averted his eyes in apology and dropped his own hands back to his sides like he knew Eduardo wanted.
Eduardo muttered, "Fuck, Mark, that's good, you're good," and Mark flushed. And then Eduardo's hips were jerking faster, more frantically, up and in, and Mark rode it out until Eduardo came, groaning loudly and clutching Mark's head like a lifeline.
Mark pulled away when Eduardo let him go, swallowing down the come in his mouth. Eduardo was still half hard, but he tucked himself back into his boxers anyway, and then he straightened and looked down at Mark.
Mark's thoughts whirred as they stared at each other. Eduardo's chest rose and fell in rapid rhythm, his color still high. He ran a hand through his hair and eyed Mark thoughtfully, then cocked his head.
"Do you want to get off?" he asked.
Mark blinked. "That's, what—do you even realize how insipid that question is, why would I—"
"Be quiet, Mark," said Eduardo, steel in his tone. Mark's mouth snapped shut.
"If you wanna get off," he said, and there was a challenge in his eyes now, "you can get off against my leg."
"Against your—" Mark echoed, but he quieted down when Eduardo's eyes narrowed.
"Yes," said Eduardo. "Don't—don't touch yourself. Just—" He nodded.
Mark swallowed again. He thought about getting up, about catching the next flight back to Palo Alto still hard and covered in an uncomfortable sheen of sweat. Except, really, that was the last thing he wanted, and the first thing he wanted was—
The first thing he wanted was to listen.
He shuffled forward on his knees. He had to take a beat consider how to even go about this—maybe it was an idea better executed solely in the more forgiving confines of Eduardo's imagination—but he ended up flush again Eduardo's torso, hips tight around Eduardo's thigh, and it worked.
He allowed himself a moment just to close his eyes and bury his face in Eduardo's shirt, arms loose around Eduardo's waist. Eduardo smelled the same as he had in college, because Mark hadn't always looked at him, but he could always tell by Eduardo's cologne when he was in the room. Mark's heart hurt, which was stupid because they didn't just go around doing that, but it did anyway. Eduardo was still beneath him, and then his hand was there again, his knuckles stroking Mark's cheek. "Go, Mark," he said, quiet but firm.
Mark pumped his hips with a whimper, letting his dick drag against Eduardo's hip. He gripped the back of Eduardo's jacket tightly, wrinkling the fabric. There was nothing natural, nothing graceful about his movements; he never could give himself up to it and let himself go.
But it was amazing, and it was humiliating, and Mark tried to shut it all out, tried to rub himself off against Eduardo's body and feel nothing at all. "Pay attention, Mark," said Eduardo, like he knew. Mark nodded into his chest and brought himself back, let himself feel the burn of it, the ache. His breath hitched, and he whined high in his throat, and then he was coming in his pants, his cheeks burning, gasping, "Wardo."
At first, he felt outside his own body, high on the rush of it all. And then all at once he wasn't anymore. He tried to jerk back, but Eduardo held him, and they stood together without speaking at all, arms wrapped around each other, until Eduardo let him go again.
Eduardo fell back, hands smoothing the wrinkles from his shirt. He cleared his throat, looking anywhere but at Mark. "Where's your stuff?" he asked. "Don't you have clothes?"
"This was—spontaneous," said Mark. That was an understatement. He wasn't even sure why he'd done it to begin, except that he'd thought, Wardo never had any idea what these things were called. He called them baby hot dogs, and the next intelligent thought he'd had about anything at all was after he'd already hopped a flight to Singapore. He'd taken his Sprite from the flight attendant and wondered, What the hell am I doing?
He was possibly sleep deprived by this point.
Eduardo's tongue flicked out to wet his lips. "You know," he said carefully. "You know this doesn't fix things, right?"
Mark pulled at the sleeve of his hoodie. "I want a pair of underwear," he said. "Boxers, not the tight ones you always wear."
"Mark," said Eduardo. He stayed silent until Mark brought himself to look up at him, and then he bit his lip and said, "It doesn't fix things, but... I don't want you to go. Don't go yet, okay?"
That ache was back in his chest. He chewed on his thumb nail and didn't reply, just nodded slightly. Eduardo laughed. "Stand up," he said.
Mark rolled his eyes but assented. He legs were shaky, and his boxers were sticky and damp, bringing sharply back the memory of fucking up against Eduardo like he couldn't help himself, just because Eduardo told him to. Eduardo pulled Mark in by the back of his head again and nipped at his lip, and then they were kissing, finally, for the first time.
Mark hadn't ever thought to imagine it, and he was glad of that now, because whatever he imagined would surely have fallen short.
They traded kisses back and forth, languid and lazy, until finally, Eduardo bumped Mark's nose with his own by accident. Mark mumbled, "Ow," against his mouth, and then Eduardo was pulling back with a laugh and prodding gently at Mark's swollen skin. "I forgot all about your nose," he said.
"Forget about it again," Mark replied, and he tugged him back in.